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.


Sweet, Nice and Cute

Taking my children out in public transforms them.

It transforms them into kids that people make lovely comments about.

Comments that involve words like sweet, nice, and cute.

Now, mind you, I’m not complaining. Clara

Having demons in private and angels in public is far better than the inverse.


I wonder what those same people would think if they heard what happens in the truck when we say goodbye.

Tired girls loose their angelic qualities quickly when left with just Mom for an audience and even my well behaved children have conversations that might stun that nice little old lady in the checkout line….Ivy

Ivy: “Mom, You know what I love, love LOVE? Dead Racoons! Because-”

Clara: ” -‘Cause you can STEP on them!”

Ivy: “NO Clara! Because then they don’t kill our ducks and chickens!”

(I would like to state for the record that while I’m in full agreement with Ivy I have no idea why Clara wants to stomp on the roadkill.)

Michigan Entertainment

When John and the girls and I go visiting we always like a good project or activity.  Sitting around and visiting is fine after dinner when you are stuffed and worn out from the day and the kids are in bed, but up until that point we like to do something!

That said, we aren’t picky. For instance, we went to see Tyler and helped build a dog kennel.  We went to Michigan a few weeks ago and went snowshoeing and skiing. So this weekend when we took Storm back to Michigan and an escapee dog at the vet clinic chewed through two doors and part of a wall it wasn’t a problem… for us. We had a fun time running to get supplies and helping start to put things back together, then we left after the easy part was done. Other peoples’ projects are the best!

After we had called it quits on the repairs, a raccoon was spotted in a tree in the front yard and real fun began.

First up was to assess whether or not the raccoon seemed to be ill. Uncle Jim, as the vet, thought a diagnosis would best be accomplished with the reaction to a small rock from a slingshot.

Then we found out that John is not a very good shot, Uncle Jim is pretty decent, and all I can hit is a barn.

Had Marcia been there she would have showed us all up. Rumor has it she has been using Good and Plenty’s in a wrist rocket at thirty yards to scare away hawks that are snacking on the songbirds at her feeders. Not only is that the best use of a Good and Plenty I’ve ever heard of, but it’s also some pretty good aim!

After a few pebbles connected with the raccoon, the official diagnosis was that he had woken up during the last few days of warm weather and when it started getting chilly, climbed up the first tree he came to in order to fall back asleep. Since the aim of the slingshooters was too poor to bother the coon overly much and the tree was a fairly inappropriate place for a raccoon to sleep away the rest of the winter in, John was sent up the tree.

He was really upset by that…

… just kidding. Did you see that grin? John loves climbing trees, any excuse will do.

Did you know that law enforcement officers frown on climbing the trees along Madison’s State Street? John does.

Much shaking and poking later… …the coon was out of the tree and John took a rest… …while the ground crew went to work.

Uncle Jim, while good at aerial diagnosis of raccoons, is not the best coon herder.  It started out looking like a professional job, until the raccoon made a break for the garage.

I, the picture taker/Clara holder, was not near enough to see the part where the raccoon tried to burrow in under a bunch of boxes and Uncle Jim took matters into his own hands.  Ever since the coon was on the ground and Clara said “meow” I’d been holding her our of the way of the “kitty.” But when they came out of the garage I was all eyes!

A live, feisty, barking raccoon held at arms length made for a very quick trip across the yard where the coon was released back into the woods. Released with form that can only be explained by years of playing bean bag toss on the fourth of July.

Tonight the raccoon is hopefully snuggled up somewhere more appropriate for the rest of the winter, and if he is very smart thanking his lucky stars he lives in Marcia’s back yard and not in mine.

The moral of my story: We’d love to tackle a project with you if we ever visit, but you don’t need to worry about what it might be, we are very easily entertained!