Jessie’s Tip of the Day: Raccoon Baiting

Jessie’s Tip Of The Day

If you want to catch raccoons in a live trap use marshmallows.  Marshmallows are non-messy, non-stinky, and any extra can be eaten on your way back from the live trap and few animals other than raccoons are willing to crawl into a scary cage for a little, white, sugary pillow.

Because…if your daughter ate all the marshmallows and you end up using canned dog food, even though you know it’s a terrible idea, then you’ll probably catch a possum early in the night. After evicting the possum with it’s weird clingy toes from the trap your mother will “helpfully” run off with the flashlight to scare it away. Instead she may accidentally chase, it at twelve times the speed a possum normally travels, three quarters of the way around the house back toward the trap you are resetting for the marauding raccoon. Making the chances of your raccoon trap being successful much lower.

In conclusion, hide your marshmallows from the kids and never let your mother hold your flashlight.

P.S. My mom would like you to know she had to edit this for me.

P.P.S. She’s a much better editor than flashlight holder.

 

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Clara’s Favorites at Seven Years Old

Clara, what’s your favorite…

Color – I have couple, teal, blue, green, yellow and purple.

Animal – I have couple, dolphins, bees, foxes (I just like the look of them) and ummm what are they calllled, manatees.

Bug- Bees and earwigs. *laughing* NO I don’t like earwigs!! And that’s when I knew this was going to be interesting…

Food – Lots of stuff, like pizza, spaghetti, kielbasa, the skillet you make, ice cream and candy.

Clothes –Skirts and t-shirts if its summer, but in the winter I like to wear long sleeves, long pants and socks cause I like skating around the house. And that’s where we diverged from list making into a much more interesting conversatuon…

Dog – I have couple… *big breath* Trip, Storm, Goose, Digby, Cooper (poor Cooper has been gone for years but glad he still made the list) Rosie, Birkie, Buzz, Turk, Bailey, Ruby.

Cat –Gypsy, Cassie, Fiona, Baby, Pester, Ginger, Blacky and Oreo (It seems our youngest cat didn’t make the cut and the last three are kittens her friend’s family “might” adopt. Makes you wonder what Simone did to her recently).

Person – You, Dad, Jane, Ivy, Grandma Grandpa, Grandma Pat, Grandpa Al… Like all my grandma’s and grandpas and aunts and uncles. Lola, Lucy, Brent, Rachel, Macy, Evelyn, Joe… I cut her off around here before she listed everyone she knew.

Me: Do you know what favorite means?

Clara: …yeaahhh…

Me: What’s it mean?

Clara: You really like them.

Me: Does favorite mean one or lots?

Clara: ….

Me: So, most people think favorite means the thing they like the most.

Clara: Yeah… but I can’t choose.

Alright then. Moving on…

Thing to do –A couple… Like two… Swim and we play on the playgrounds, oh three, and play on the computer, or ipad or phone… or do arts and crafts… I can’t choose!

Thing to do inside – Annoy Ivy. Great…

Thing to do outside – swim

Chore – *laughter, lack of eye contact*  Ummm nothing. – Oh! Clean the pool out cause then you get to be in the pool.

Time of day – Two. I like how we are numbering the favorites now.  Dinner time when it’s close to dark out. And in the morning and at midnight. And how that doesn’t cut down on the number of things what so ever. Or make them factual. She’s a monster in the morning and she doesn’t ever get to stay up until midnight. 

Place to go – Umm couple… Like to Florida, to the beach, to Lola’s and to the Cambridge Elementry and the pool house at Lola’s and where I saw the kitties at Lola’s. Lola is Clara’s best friend, can you tell? Also she likes going to school? Judging by her morning behavior, I’m totally suspicious of that.  

Song – I don’t really have one… I like… Katie Perry, or Lady Gaga but I don’t like Lady Gaga as much as Ivy. Who does really?

Flower – Three I doubt it. Like the ones that go and are like in the summer… SCILLA! One Ummm what are they called, they are in the summer and some of them have white petals… Oh yeah, daffodils Two and tulips Three and the roses with not a lot of petals cause the ones with tons of petals-*makes a disgusted face* uh ehhh! Four. I’m totally with her on her rose feelings though. 

Farm Animal – Horses and goats. What? That’s it?

Thing about school – Couple things, recess, snack time – cause she usually reads a book to us, and um um um um I don’t remember. And this Clara is why favorite implies one thing. A thing you like enough that you remember it. 

Friend – You know… You know… Lola! Yes. Yes we do know. 

Movie – I don’t have one. Believable. 

Thing to do with Ivy – Annoy her. Me: How do you like to annoy her? Clara: By going like, “Ivy , Ivy, Ivy” and if she says “What?” I just keep saying, “Ivy, Ivy, Ivy…” This explains a lot of the yelling that I’ve been hearing lately. 

Thing to do with Jane – Annoy her and play legos. Me: How do you like to annoy Jane?  Clara: Go, “Jane, Jane, what’s that, what’s that, Jane, Jane…” This explains the rest of the yelling I’ve been hearing. 

Thing to do with Dad – Couple things, not annoy him. If only that were true… Go to parks with him, play in the garage and make obstacle courses and help him build like sailboats. That would be a reference  to the two pieces of wood she nailed together 3 years ago and dubbed a sailboat. 

Thing to do with Me – I don’t know, watch movies. And if you wanted proof that I’ve been a bit stressed and cranky lately there you have it. Like what kind of movies?  We don’t watch very many movies. Selkie one maybe?  The selkie movie was Song of the Sea which was beautiful and she cried through half of it. Again, were you wondering about my general attitude lately? 

Book – I don’t have one. This answer bothered me far more than the previous one. You can not like me but no favorite book?!? Tragic! 

Meal – Breakfast. I think she’s losing steam.

Thing to do in the car –Color and annoy people. Me: Can you not annoy people on the drive tonight? Clara: Ok, but its what I love to do!

When you get older what kind of problems do you want to help solve? This required further explanation. Her eventual answer: “No.” She creates problems, she does not solve them.

What do you want to do when you are grown up? – Have a lot of cats. But if I get a husband he would have to do the cat litter boxes. This is where I almost swallowed my tongue trying not to burst laughing. 

Anything else? –  Candy!- Sour candy! I think that might be it… oh wait my favorite kind of fruit is… I have couple… lemons, limes, apples, grapes, pineapple, watermelon and peaches. Oh, and pears!

But that was all yesterday…

Today Clara turned eight! 

Happy Birthday to my girl who has all the favorites!

Little Blond Pirate

I caught Jane giving something on the end of her finger the evil eye while she said,
“Come on guy. Start wigglin; or I’ll split yer guts out!”

Don’t let that cute exterior fool you she’s the terror of the rain barrel and all the mosquito larva quake in fear at the sound of her dainty footsteps.

Kindergarten, 2nd and 5th Grade

Can you tell?

Does Ivy look like the one who was up and dressed and ready? Excitedly talking to Jane all morning about how fabulous school is. Impatient for us to hurry up and get there already. Last week she told us, “The first day of school, to me, is like a holiday.” (I’m not actually sure she’s not some sort of alien robot because none of this behavior sounds like something a daughter of mine would do.)

Does Clara look like she spent the morning in virtual silence? She spent all evening crying at the thought of another school year and left this morning as if I was marching her off to a firing squad rather than a new school year.  (This one is for sure my kid.)

Does Jane look like the bundle of nervous energy she was? Torn between her older sisters’ enthusiasm and dread, she didn’t know what to think.  (I sympathize with Clara too much, I tried not to chime in.)

Can you tell that I’m holding the camera looking forward to seven hours of being able to pee without anyone asking me a question?

Can you tell?

Does it look like Ivy was just as enthusiastic about school as when she left in the morning?

Does it look like Clara is dreading tomorrow just as much as she dreaded today?

Does it look like Jane’s answer to, Did you like school? was “Not very much.”

Does it look like Jane and Clara were about to release their pent up energy, tiredness and frustration by picking on each other until they both cried, making up and then repeating until bedtime?

Can you tell that between the preparation, the drama, the fighting and the essay homework that I was assigned, that I felt like I paid for every solo bathroom trip?

Can you tell that it was still worth it?

 

No Screens in the Car

John and I are mean spirited and old fashioned in our parenting and we are at our nastiest in the car where we won’t let the kids play on screens while we drive.

Clearly we are monsters.

We enforce this rule because we want the girls to grow up with the skill of being able to occupy themselves without a screen for more than five minutes without succumbing to a case of “I’m bored’s”. I do realize that this is probably a skill they will never need to use once they leave my house. That’s fine. My dad made me learn DOS, I’m just passing it on to the next generation as well as I can.

The other reason we are sticklers about this particular rule is that we are not shelling out the money to get them each some sort of handheld screened device and you know what would happen if there was only one to share…

Fighting. One screen does not divide among three girls. We know this. Oh do we know this.

Instead my poor, deprived, screen-less girls current favorite thing to do in the car is to “collect” all the edibles we drive by.

“I get this side!”

“I get this side”

“WHAT SIDE DO I GET?!?”

“I get the corn!”

“I get soybeans!”

“I get that wheat!”

“Yeah, well I get ALL the corn!”

“You can’t have ALL the corn!”

“I got those strawberry patches!”

“I DIDN’T SEE STRAWBERRIES, THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

“I got this corn too!”

“YOU HAVE TO SHARE THE CORN!”

Yes, that’s right. Currently my girls’ favorite thing to do in the car is to fight over the cornfields we drive by.

Proof that it doesn’t really matter what you do as a parent, when in the mood kids always know exactly how to push each others’ buttons.

On the bright side, it’s working – they aren’t bored.

 

On Growing Up

First tooth gone!

“Well… I was a baby and now I’m on to being a kid and then I’ll be a big girl, then a teenager, then a grownup and then a grandma.”

John while trying to settle down all three girls for bed, while they were in various states ranging from wildly happy to upset,  mutters: “Let’s not talk about teenagers.”

Timeline to Happy

Jane and I had an accidental head bonking that spiraled out of control.

Perhaps if you haven’t bonked heads with a small overtired child that might not make sense. But let me explain, it goes a bit like this.

You are the mom. You accidentally bump head with your own child. Your child completely FREAKS out because clearly you are out to kill them, never mind that the head bump made your own eyes water, you are the mother and that is not important. Instead of accepting your heartfelt apology gracefully, or even reluctantly the child lashes out kicking and yelling. Which makes all the sense in the world because you were trying to maim them by clocking them with your own temple. Then you, the mother with the hurting head, yells back at the child who’s trying to beat you up with their tiny pokey fists and feet because even though you know it won’t actually help anything your head hurts and none of what happened since heads banged together makes sense anyway and besides by this time you have “HAD ENOUGH!”. The child then runs off crying because they hate everyone, in particular, you. 

After we retreated to separate corners for awhile, Jane came over and gave me this note.29

This is clearly a time line to happy. At 2 o’clock Jane is sad because we bonked heads and yelled at each other and she will slowly get happier until 5 o’clock when she is back to being extra happy.  I know this because she told me.

Luckily for all of us, Jane didn’t check the clock before making her time line and before long I was able to answer her constant inquires into the time with 4 o’clock! Sure enough, half a smile showed up right on schedule.

A while later I served cheese sticks.

“WHAT?!? MINE ARE HOT?! EVERY TIME YOU MAKE THINGS IN THE OVEN THEY ARE HOT AND YOU KNOW I HATE THAT!… I ONLY LIKE THINGS WARM!”

Thinking I could circumnavigate the ongoing disagreement we’ve been having over the last year that revolves around the necessity of heat to cook things, I checked the time.

“Jane! It’s 5:00! You can be all the way happy now!”

I thought that was a brilliant maneuver on my part – no such luck.

Suffice it to say we needed to start over with a new timeline.