Happy Grandfather’s Day!

Grandpa Teddy


When my husband, Teddy, sent me an email from Oklahoma with a photo of a handwritten note, I thought, ‘here we go, he has been pretending to be Sean Connery again’. The lovely server had asked him about his rings. He has a large silver and turquoise ring and a Celtic gold one. No doubt he had a few refreshments by then but showed her my photograph, explained that I was part native and that we were married for 35 years.

The silver ring was just a lucky gift when we were browsing a shop selling Native American goods in Rice Village, Houston. Some very rich guy had ordered a custom made silver and turquoise for his larger than average fingers. After trying it one, he decided he wanted something even more ostentatious. The original ring was being sold cheap until another werewolf popped in. Teddy’s has big hands but also large knuckles from arthritis that started in his 30’s. (Rather suspiciously he is growing werewolf hair on his shoulders…)

The gold ring was his 40th birthday present from me. By that stage he had two wedding rings because of the increasing knuckle size. I took those plus some of his granny’s rings to a goldsmith and chose a Celtic interwoven pattern from a book of sketches. He loved it! As time went by the knuckles became more inflamed and it didn’t fit again. About two years ago we took a chance with a local jeweler who increased it by expanding the pattern with more gold. It was fantastic!

We were not fortunate enough to spawn although we always wondered about creating some crazy mutant werewolf…🐺 He is still in Oklahoma for Father’s Day but there was a card in his suitcase signed by Toffee, our cat, Katniss and her new kitten (that’s another story), the armadillos, the possums, the skunks, the raccoons and cicadas. Teddy has been a fabulous Daddy to all our pussycats and clearly he would have made a lovely grandfather…

Love Nana Bunny

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

Katniss and Winter Storm Helena

diy-cat-shelter

DIY Cat Shelter

As most of you know, we now have an outside feral cat – Katniss (picture below). We have a large deck which she uses most of the year with all the other critters but Winter Storm Helena is bringing a hard frost. I need to interject – why do we name every stupid storm? Back in the old days it was just bad weather. As usual, Houston is reacting as though winterpocalypse had arrived. To be fair, homeless people and critters are going to struggle over the next couple of days. What to do?

I checked out cat houses on Amazon and we could certainly get one eventually. In the meantime, I created a nest with an old cat crate covered in a tarp for hurricanes. It is off the deck to feel safer and there is a clean fleecy blanket in there with a catnip toy. Then I went to the supermarket to look for a hot water bottle – the assistant looked at me as though I came out of the Ark. “I don’t think they make them anymore”. Kerry Macgyver thought about it and created this.

glass bottle filled with hot water

glass bottle filled with hot water

Wrapped in two old t-shirts

Wrapped in two old t-shirts

I threw out some 10 year old Pimms (British drink) and filled it with hot water, sealed with the love of my life – duct tape. Then I rolled it in two of Teddy’s old t-shirts and put it under the blanket.

Katniss, the feral cat

Katniss, the feral cat

I doubt very much if Princess Katniss will use this shelter but perhaps there will be a warm family of possums? One of my neighbors kindly allows Katniss to sleep on their covered porch which is warm from the house, so she has some options.  A few days ago, I spotted her waiting for breakfast in the corner of the garden. She suddenly looked behind her, clearly askance but not terrified, into the reserve. To my astonishment, two fat possums (Betsy and Peggy Sue?) came thundering out aiming directly for our deck. It was 8 am so they were late going to bed (under our deck) but they had been digging for grubs by the looks of their snouts. It looked like the scene in the film Fifth Element where the elephantine aliens came thundering out of the pyramid. I burst out laughing and went out to reassure Katniss.

She ran off (to return at a later time) and I startled Possum # 3 – the baby who had been following the other two. I saw him sleeping on the flowerbed a couple of hours later and entreated him gently to go under the deck to sleep with his family. He seemed to understand and went to bed like all good little critters should.

Thank you to Wikipedia for the links – what did we do before Google??
PS
No need to comment about our love of alcohol, with the bottle and 6 pack door… 😆

A perpetrator caught on camera!

Patsy Sue

Patsy Sue

After the Vandals in the Suburbs, we put the infrared camera out at night to see who our visitors were. This time it was Patsy Sue, the Possum! I am certain that the previous marauders on the porch were raccoons because Possums are gentle little critters – the only marsupial in America. Possums eat very slowly and noisily, with their mouths open (see the video at the bottom). In my mind, they are southern folks, so Patsy’s Mama was Betsy Sue and she was a big girl! Last year we caught her on camera, walloping the baby raccoons who were too boisterous. Was Mama Raccoon a Hoochie-Mama, out on the town meeting new guys?

The squirrels are all Hispanic because they are fast and talk very quickly. We had a Mario for a while until we realized it was a Marisol with swollen teats. Possums carry their little babies on their body, clinging onto the fur. My friend came across one at night and a Mama Possum covered in babies gratefully accepted some dog treats that she had in her pocket. You can’t really see Patsy that well because of the Infrared film but this is another one that was on the rooftop opposite Teddy’s work.

Teddy's Possum

Teddy’s Possum

This one is also a juvenile and look at that little face. Soooo cute, holding her stick! We sent my cousin in Canada a toy,stuffed Possum for a Christmas present and they wondered why we had sent a rat… They just have ratty tails but the funniest little feet.

Possum toes

Possum toes

Click on this red link to see Patsy Sue eating very slowly and noisily.

Vandals in the suburbs…

Bloody Banditos!

Bloody Banditos!

I live in a forest and if you have ever seen the movie, “Over the Hedge” you will understand who our vandals are. Every season, I decorate the porch and this year I went with an orange and green theme. Topping my pine cone basket were some fake gourds that I have kept for 12 years…

After all these years, I know exactly who the perpetrators are – RACCOONS! There is plenty of food available, trees are hanging with fruits and berries so this was just playtime. Those little hands get into everything. I started laughing when I saw the devastation and when I was at the grocery store I bought a small real pumpkin, so their tummies won’t be full of polystyrene. The checkout girl gave it to me free, as it was out of a bag, and I told her my banditos will be grateful (or skunks or possums)
pumpkin-wedge
At home, I carefully cut a wedge and put it back together so it would be easier to eat. Yeah, I know I am loco…

Redecorated porch

Redecorated porch

Now the porch decor is intact again and I was feeling delighted with my art and largess towards the critters. Then I went into the back yard. As you know, two of our old pussycats died this year and we buried them in the garden. On a darkly funny note, something has been trying to dig into Zhenny’s grave, perhaps they are tomb robbers? She was an Egyptian princess, after all. My wonderful gardener came around, put down fresh mulch and dug in some plants. Since it looked so perfect, I added a couple of Dia de Los Muertes candles to their graves.

zeds-shrine

Zhenny’s shrine

racoon3

Not only did they desecrate the graves by knocking over the candles but carried another fake gourd around to the back and destroyed it on the deck. We heard nothing. I guess we are so used to the nighttime chirrups and squeaks that we don’t hear it anymore. Ah, the joys of living with wildlife. 😀🌲

“Sixteen turtles sitting on a log”

16 turtles

This is my final post from Mercer Arboretum in Houston. They have a beautiful pond, full of turtles and fish, within the grounds. This is the most turtles I have seen sitting on the log in a decade so I guess they had fun making baby turtles? Spring Creek is a short distance away with some alligators. I have often wondered what happens at night and do the alligators wander up for a turtle crunchie (they eat them like Doritos) but I think they have enough food to eat down in the creek.

These are red-eared slider turtles and unbelievably they can live for 50 to 70 years! The females don’t mature until they are 5-7 years old. I had great fun watching a baby with her mama, following her around incessantly. I imagined she was saying, “snack, Momma”, but maybe that’s just normal. They were very cute. Happy Easter

Momma and baby turtle

Versatile Blogger Award – Kerry’s on fire!

versatile bloggers award

My lovely fellow blogger, The Grey Eye has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Woo-hoo! Two awards in two days – how awesome am I? We have a snarky expression in Scotland to describe someone (like me) who has been bragging or boasting. ‘If she was chocolate, she would eat herself’. Just call me Miss Hershey!

The rules:
Show the award on your blog. Thank the person who nominated you.
The Grey Eye said this about me
Kerry for her amazing mental strength, despite her illness she is so strong that will make you think about yourself from a new angle
I am both humbled and touched by such a lovely comment and the graciousness of the whole blog.

Share 7 facts about yourself. Nominate 15 blogs. Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.
Facts about me :

1. I once modelled for Icelandic Airlines. Way back in the Ice Age (1962) I was on my first air trip from San Francisco, the place of my birth, to Scotland. We stopped at Reykjavik, Iceland to refuel and the local staff were enchanted with this exotic baby girl whose surname was Ortega. They would have been either disappointed or delighted that I am very distantly related to Princess Diana’s family. We share a medieval uncle.

Kerry's first passport

Kerry’s first passport

2. I am amazingly good in a crisis (despite a diagnosis of anxiety). Just shove any old thing at me; someone having a panic attack on an aircraft, perhaps a devastating hurricane or the 2nd Gulf War breaking out (Egypt 2003). I will just smile and keep calm. Later, when the shouting is over, I will have a small psychiatric break…

3. Despite a phobia of moths, I have no fear of traveling almost anywhere alone. Flew off to Central America and South East Asia without a care in the world and came to no harm. This is the silver lining to fatalism. I am reasonable sensible in dangerous parts but still think I will die of heart disease like almost everyone else. It would be excessively cool, however, to become undead in a zombie apocalypse!

4. I love hot, steamy weather which is handy because I live in south east Texas. In cold climates, I become ill really quickly and can’t warm up without a bath. Along with Native American genetics, I believe I have some very ancient lizard DNA. I bask in sunlight and shut down in the cold.

5. Food is inconsequential to me. I either eat too much or too little. I enjoy savory and sweet morsels but would be happy to live forever on avocados and wine. I do like food porn though and salivate at other blogger’s recipes. I am the only person I know who gets nauseous when grocery shopping and have to leave midway.

6. Despite a love of writing, I now find it very difficult to concentrate on reading. My attention span is short so I have to really struggle to read a book for book club. Blogs are perfect for me. When I do read I love geeky stuff – sci-fi and fantasy. Game of Thrones (shudder of delight)…

7. Cats, critters, wildlife. Love it all (even the moths) and am so lucky that our house backs onto a reserve full of interesting critters- possums, skunks, raccoons, snakes, wood rats, birds, feral cats and goodness knows what else. HEAVEN… but noisy in the summer when everyone is mating and chirruping! I knew the raccoons visited last night because our newly painted cream deck was covered in little muddy paw prints and the water bowl was empty. Guess what my honey do hunk will be doing when he gets back from Waco?

I nominate :

Mr Wayne
Bold Blind Beauty
poemhobby
Fife Photos and Art
Life As Lisa Knows It
Mon Petit Blog D’écriture
discovermarche
101viaggi
Love Exploring Scotland
organic is beautiful
impeccable hopes
FORGOTTEN MEADOWS
xifoidvexillum
Rachel Being Chatty
Robyn Christi

Liebster Award

liebster5A big thank you to Lisa, Life of an El Paso Woman who nominated me for a Liebster Award. I was going to say this is a No Award site but the Grinch has left my soul after a lovely day working on Christmas Day and I will accept with gracious appreciation.

The rules are: 1. Say thank you to the person who nominated you. 2.Pick 5 people to nominate 3. Ask 5 questions. 4. Post the pic in the post.

These are Lisa’s 10 questions –

1. What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. Everyone can celebrate it, no one needs to fight about what they should call the holiday (yes, it’s a happy holiday :)). There are no presents and most of us have something to be thankful about.

2. What is your favorite thing to cook or bake?
Nothing at all. Does salad out of a packet count with bottled dressing?

3. What’s the best thing about the city where you live?
My city is built in an indigenous forest. There are critters everywhere. We had the infra red camera out on Christmas and counted Betsy Sue the Possum and her two kids, Louanne and Chuck, two Woodrats, Willie and Winnie, the Raccoon twins, Rocky and Robbie, KATNISS, our feral cat who came back for Christmas. We think that Betsy Sue’s ‘husband’ was there too – Travis?

4. What are some of your favorite movies?
The Wizard of Oz and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. How is that for a contrast but they both have a moral tale…

5. What was one of the hardest thing you’ve ever done in life so far?
Move to Egypt and stay there after the Gulf War started.

6. Who are you the closest with in your family?
Does my husband count? If not, probably my dead mother, I see her in the mirror every day and somehow her words come out of my mouth in an involuntary manner. “Do you want a smack?”

7. Why did you start blogging?
To make me finish and publish my book. Letters from Cairo by Kerry Duncan

8. Is the glass half empty or half full?
Mostly half full but I am happily medicated…

9. Are you a Star Wars fan?
Of course! Can’t you see my uncanny resemblance to Princess Leia? You should see me in a gold bikini and chains…

10. What was your favorite toy growing up?
BEBE! The doll that Daddy sent me

Now I nominate five people and give them five questions to answer.  I nominate –

A Vegan in Las Vegas
Tomorrow Definitely
The Ardross-man
Weird Guy With The Dog
New England Nomad

Here are my questions –
1. Who was your first TV/Film hero or crush?
2. What other place in the world do you think you could live in?
3. What would you like engraved on your tombstone or written on your obituary?
4. What food to you hate to eat?
5. Star Wars or Star Trek?