Did you SEE the mess
that bear made, Dad???
Richard's Bear Obstacle
Getting up at 7:00am should be against the law especially when it is still dark outside. As I have stated before, many times, I am NOT an early morning person. Today I had to be up to avoid an hour and a half wait at the lab. Last week the technician didn't get enough blood from my arms for my pre-op blood work so this morning I had to return for round 2.
On the way, driving past a tiny strip mall on Johnston Road, I notice a police car and crime scene tape at a local Jewellery store. Shades of CSI. "Oh my" I said, "looks like they must have been robbed again."
At the lab the technician - the same one who tried to take the blood last week - actually flinched when I told her who I was and why I was there. Not a good sign. Sitting down in the cubicle, I prepared for her to start right away. I waited. She did paperwork from other lab attendees periodically turning and giving me a half slitty-eyed look, then turning back to her papers. I waited some more. She gave me scrunchy face looks. Finally after 15 minutes she stood up, straightening her shoulders, as though coming to a conclusion. I braced myself.
"I have decided to take it out of the back of your hand" she stated. I make a scrunchy face myself. That can be painful. "OK," I said, "let's get it over with." 5 minutes later I am out the door, no pain, no bruising, and she is heaving a big sigh of relief at getting a test tube full before the vein gave up. And it's only 8:25.
Back home and in I go for my cappuccino and the news. Richard leaves to feed cows and check on Ron, returning with the newspaper and information on the Jewellery store. Two men tried to rob it last night at gunpoint, just before closing, but the owner refused to give them anything but two shots from a pistol. Yikes. Details are sketchy.
I revive from my early morning ordeal, checking for email and find my first test recipe from the bread book author. After reading it over a few times to familiarize myself with it, I decide to go and purchase some fresh ingredients: bread flour, instant yeast, PAM cooking spray - something I never use - and a large, round, plastic container for stowing the dough in the fridge.
The day turns sunny and gorgeous, and I ride in the van with my window down. As we pull back into the yard, I comment that it didn't seem like the bear had been in the the apple trees over night. "Nope," said Richard, "but I put a few things around the base of the tree to keep him from climbing it, so I expect that deterred him."
Now, I have to tell you here that Richard is an eternal optimist. No, really. See, he really does believe that putting a couple of things - namely a STEP LADDER, part of a bunk bed frame that looks like a ladder and a homemade apple picker - will deter a hungry bear from climbing a tree to eat apples. Really. Needless to say, I gave him my best incredulous-face look, shaking my head. "Your kidding, right?" I got a look of wounded innocence in return. "Aw God," I said holding my head in my hands.
He parks the van and I get out to take some photo's of the barricade and the dogs in the yard. Afterward, we meander around enjoying the sunshine, the warm breeze and the blue sky. The Bichons are on guard, watching for the bear, and Mason points out more Bear Poop, just outside the fence...right beside the bear barricade. Go figger.
While looking across the driveway, I notice something in the Sweet Chestnut tree. Is that...could that really be...it is! After 12 years of not producing chestnuts, it has a cluster of spiny burrs, containing several small chestnuts. That tree used to produce many burrs every year, until we buried JJ the cat, who had died suddenly, under it. We came to the conclusion that he must have been poisoned somehow and that in turn killed the tree. Then a few years later we noticed new growth again and the tree came back to life. And has finally produced nuts. Hmmph, interesting.
Back in the yard, the dogs are enjoying the sunshine and so am I. Richard has gone to Walmart to check out his new work schedule. A couple of the Muttering Murder of Crows show up, perching down in a Pear tree, watching the dogs and me. These two are the class clowns. Soon I hear one of them doing his barking Bichon imitation. Very funny guy. The other one then imitates someone knocking on a door and then they begin grokking. Guess that is the Crow version of laughter. Who knew Crows had a sense of humor?
We trail back indoors and I begin to make plans for dinner. Tonight will be Apricot Mustard Meatballs, Rice and vegetables. A quick and easy meal, and quite tasty if I do say so myself. I like to get the Green Giant frozen vegetables that have the water chestnut slices, pea pods, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and yellow peppers. They are so good with rice and nearly taste like fresh picked.
Dinner is on the go, so we wander one more time out to the garden yard before it is too dark. As the dogs hit the end of the yard, the Blue Grouse flies up, startled, from across the drive to the south of us. Of course the dogs go crazy. I am glad to see she is still around and hope she stays.
The sun is setting and dinner is nearly ready. I'm tired after my early start to the day. Going to take it easy and rest, maybe read a book and watch tv. Love those NCIS reruns. This weekend I hope to get started on the bread recipe for the cookbook I am a tester for. One of 300 testers. This will be interesting. Hope I do ok.
The dogs are on the back of the sofa, dozing and watching for bear monsters. But all that shows up are the Cute Little Island Mule Deer. Of course the kids hoot and holler. And of course I shush them. And of course they ignore me. Ah well, the deer ignore them too.
Wonder what the bear will think of the barricade.