I’ve met some pretty amazing people in the short time since we moved to this town. The latest one is Ric Yost, an arborist whom I recently hired to remove a dead white oak from our property because it is a fire hazard. Our property owners’ association has an annual fire inspection of each member property, and we are required to comply with its findings. Ric gave me a reasonable price, and he also took out an almost dead Douglas Fir that was leaning dangerously toward the area where we park our cars on our driveway.
Ric is a super nice guy and we hit it off right away. He likes to shoot the breeze and we eventually started talking music. (I majored in music in college). It turns out that Ric is a professional singer-songwriter who has performed all over the country, even in Brussels, Belgium. Check out his bio on his website for the details.
Some of Ric’s songs are on his repertoir at myspace.com/ricjyost. My favorite song is Planets and Stars. Although Ric describes his genre as folk, IMO, this song could almost be a crossover. The most interesting part is that, like many of his songs, the lyrics are based on personal experiences, such as the boy asking his dad to “play airplane ride” with him while they’re working together in the yard. I like the touching lyrics which remind the listeners of our youth, the catchy melody, and Ric’s amazing voice which ties it all together.
I learn more and more each day how small this world really is, in more ways than one.
Martine Carlsen and I are pleased to announce that we’re offering “Lucy, the Loch Ness Llama” on Kindle now for the ridiculously low price of $.99. We hope you will have as much fun with it as we had creating it. Our dream was to develop a family read-aloud book which could be enjoyed through the generations. And from the reader reviews we’ve received, it seems that this vision has worked for some readers.
If “Pigs can fly,” llamas can swim, and talk a universal language with fish and sheep (much as we pet lovers can talk to our cats, dogs, birds, and other pets). And if a llama and a ewe who were arch-enemies can make up and become friends, so can people.
And remember, with Amazon, you can get a refund if you didn’t like the book, and if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can borrow books for free.
Be sure to watch for the tuneful black cat playing the music. She also plays a part in the drama at the end. Love in its mysterious forms.
Few surprises here at the win, but it was heartbreaking to see the photo of I’ll Have Another’s retirement ceremony. That horse has heart and I’m sure I’m only one of thousands who thought he’d be a legend someday.
It’s been an exciting two weeks. We’ve had a total of three bear encounters during that time, the first one of the bear family from across the road, which I wrote about yesterday. Then, this past week we’ve had our first sighting of this mama bear and her tiny but agile little cub. The attraction on both occasions, was our garbage cans. These bears have just come out of their winter sleep (black bears do not hibernate, according to Laura Klappenbach, About.com Guide to Wildlife.) But since their sleep lasts as long as seven months, once they wake they are bound to be very hungry, and the mother bears need to find food for their cubs. The first time my son saw mom and baby was around 3 a.m. last week, and she had gotten into the garbage can in front of our garage. When he shined the flashlight at her, they ran around the corner of the garage and down the hill to the dense forest on the west of our house (the area you can see in this photo). He opened the garage door from the inside and picked up the stuff scattered around the can then rolled it back into the garage. He discovered a bit later that she was right around the corner watching him all the time, while her cub was scampering up and down an oak tree next to our deck on the west side. Read more…
What does this have to do with bears, you ask? The first Diamond Pet Food recalls only mentioned dog and puppy foods. Although I started covering the recalls because many of my readers also own dogs, cat foods had specifically not be mentioned. Alissa Wolf, the About.com Guide to Pet Shops emailed me and said she’d talked to a Diamond media rep, who told her that “ALL dry pet foods (dog and cat) manufactured between Dec. 9, 2011 and April 7 are being recalled.” Shortly thereafter, I received three emails from Amazon.com, that two cat foods I had bought had been recalled. I still had about a pound of Taste of the Wild Venison and Salmon left in a gravity feeder I keep in my bedroom, which I share with Jenny. By then, more humans than pets had been stricken with salmonella after handling pet food. So I used extra careful precautions in disposing of the TOTW, wearing latex gloves, then scrubbing my arms up to the elbows, and washing the feeder thoroughly with hot soapy water with bleach. I then double wrapped the suspect cat food in plastic grocery bags, tied them tightly and tossed them in the kitchen trash container.
That night around 11:30 when I had fallen asleep watching TV (as usual), my son shook my arm and stage-whispered “Mom, look out the window. There’s bears going through our garbage!” He shone a flashlight through the window and I counted five black bears altogether, including one very small cub. Most of the bears ran across the road and into an undeveloped piece of forested land. However the largest male tipped over the fiberglass garbage tote and dove headfirst into the detritus, coming out with a suspiciously familiar plastic grocery bag. He raced across the road, a bulky Ursus version of Man ‘O War. It was too dark to get a photo, but since then we’ve aquired a high-powered spotlight, and I’m just waiting. But I’ve been worrying about that baby bear ever since, that he might fall victim to salmonella.
So now you know the story behind the story of the latest pet food recalls.