Home Work

I found another dead shrew inside the garage this morning. This is the third shrew Madeline has killed. She always leaves her “gifts” in the same place, just inside the garage’s back door. With Madeline on the job, we won’t have much of a problem with “critters.” I usually see Madeline in the mornings when I bring her and Annie their portion of canned food. She seems to be really happy coming and going according to her own schedule.

After our day enjoying the beauty of autumn yesterday at the Sand Lakes Quiet Area, it was time to get a few things done around home today.

The finished sign

After EJ and I emptied the pot of coffee, I carried the ladder down the driveway and set it up next to my sign so I could outline the yellow letters with the red paint pen I bought yesterday. I think the sign looks very splendid now. The red outline makes the yellow letters stand out much better than the orange. I declare that my sign is finally officially complete. That is good–because I suspect that this will be the last day of unseasonably warm temperatures. The high temperature today was in the mid-70s, the high tomorrow is supposed to be only 60, and the forecasted temperatures go down from there.

After a bit, EJ walked down the driveway to see how I was doing. After admiring my sign, he remarked that the clouds were very beautiful so I asked him if he wanted to use my camera and take photos of it. Silly man, he mostly took photos of me. This is why I don’t let him take my camera very often! (Ha ha!)

Next, I would like to make signs for INSIDE the coop. Signs such as “Farm Fresh Eggs” or “Happy Chickens” or something like that.

After I finished my sign, I did tasks such as scooping the poultry feed into kitty litter buckets for storage. EJ did a variety of tasks as well. He repainted our post that measures snowfall in preparation for winter. I’ve read that because of El Nina, we could have a wetter-than-normal winter. Whether the precipitation comes as rain or snow remains to be seen. I’d rather have snow than rain that freezes into ice.

EJ also figured out how we are going to put fencing around the apple trees to protect them from deer. His plan required a trip to the hardware store. It’s such a beautiful drive along one of Northern Michigan’s many lakes that it is always a joy to drive to the store. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store so EJ could get gas in the Suburban and I could shop for groceries. JJ is working in the deli today and he gave me a hug when he saw me in the store. Then it was back home to put the groceries away.

I think EJ planned to clean the furnace filter and we were going to start on installing the protective fence around the fruit trees, but it started to rain not long after we got home, so we postponed those tasks. Once it started raining–about 2 pm.–it continued to rain steadily. I think we are supposed to have rain every day this week.

As you know, EJ and I decided to take turns having multiple birthday celebrations throughout the year. It’s just a way to make sure we take the time to have fun. If we just say we are going to have “fun days” every month, we might keep putting them off. But birthdays! We always celebrate birthdays! And it’s fun to take turns deciding what to do and wishing each other a Happy Birthday throughout the year. 🙂

As we were driving home from Sand Lakes Quiet Area yesterday, I told EJ that for my next birthday, I wanted to go to a different nature area. We have many of them in our area. This morning the nature area I want to go to posted on their Facebook page that they were hosting an event called Owl Prowl next weekend. They described it as

What is it about the elusive owl that sparks an air of mystery and intrigue? Join us  as we learn about our local owls with an indoor presentation and then go for a night hike in search of these amazing birds. Participants must be able to hike on uneven trails in the dark for about 1 mile/1 hour. Please bring a light if you have one. 

In the wee hours of the night one summer evening in 2016, I couldn’t sleep so I went outside and stood on our deck admiring the stars. Suddenly, I heard a whoo-whoo-whoo not far away, and an answering whoo-whoo-whoo in the distance. It was amazing. I’ve wanted to hear it again. So I exclaimed to EJ this morning, “I would love to go on the Owl Prowl for my birthday! What do you think? Can we?” I would love to learn about owls and I love night walks. It’s only $5 each. EJ said, “Sign us up for it. We will go.” So I did.

Then I noticed that in another week or two, the nature area is hosting another event called Tree ID by Leaf, Bud and Bark. The info said:

How well can you identify trees without leaves in the winter? Join us on Saturday, November 11th at 1 pm to gain the skills to identify Michigan trees by their bark, buds, and branching patterns while taking a short hike on our beautiful trails with a naturalist. 

EJ said that he would like to go to this event for his next birthday. And, of course, we both enjoy both events–both owls and trees. So I signed us up for this event too. It also is just $5 each. That’s a lot of fun for just a few dollars.

So we have our next birthday fun scheduled. I can’t wait!

Then we will have to figure out what to do for our December birthdays. I think I will try to find a place where we can  go on sleigh rides for my birthday. I have always wanted to go on a sleigh ride. I remember when I was a kid, our local Public Radio Station (PBS) had annual auctions to raise money for the station. My parents often bid on items–that was before the PBS station had minimum prices that a buyer had to meet. My parents were able to get wonderful things for low prices. One year, my parents won a Christmas evening at Greenfield Village, which is a living history village near Detroit. The evening included a historic dinner at the village inn–complete with minstrels playing–and a sleigh ride through the village. We were able to enjoy the dinner, but there wasn’t enough slow that year so we couldn’t go on a

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