There’s No ‘Fun’ in Fungi

About 3 weeks ago, Jason and I were ‘backroading’ some of our county’s fine dirt roads.  In true redneck fashion, I always carry my rechargeable spotlight to check out anything interesting we may see along the way. What can I say? I’m a nighttime naturalist. So, we came upon a couple of coons in trees and a snake or two. Then, as we were heading back home, we saw a big group of ‘somethings’ on the side of the road.  Jason thought they may be possums, but as we got closer, no, it was just a starving group of ragtag kittens.

Now, one thing that drives me absolutely insane is when people don’t deal with an issue and it becomes YOUR issue. Like when other people litter, allow their dog to bark all night long, or someone is so kind and gracious that they dump their unwanted pets upon your doorstep. Thinks like that make me a little closer to crazy.

So here is a whooooole passel of cats; a virtual cat assortment, half-dead with starvation sitting patiently by the roadside to wait for someone…anyone to come and pick them up.  I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised…things like this happen to me all the time. Once you have worked in a vet practice, you are cursed   blessed with such gifts at every turn. I feel like a Statue of Animal Charity:

“Give me your unwanted, packed with louse*,

Your un-neutered masses yearning to spray pee,

The hairless refuse of your teeming house.

Send these, the homeless, parasite-laden to me,

With anthelminitics* and shampoo I shall douse.

(*: yes, I know the plural is lice…it didn’t work for the poem, and * #2, that is a fancy word for wormer)

Somehow, getting 5 cats into our vehicle wasn’t much of a problem (thank you Jesus for that…I still have my eyes and skin intact), and we got them home.  Most everything was going pretty well, besides the fact I had become the Insta-Crazy Cat Lady in a span of 5 minutes and the annoying fact that I simply do not want a pet cat, much less five. I even like cats, but when you’re in the process of downsizing, adding 5 more mouths to your home doesn’t make much sense. Fortunately, or perhaps ‘un’ (keep reading), we adopted out the two babies, so I was down to scooping 3 cat poos a day. And by the way, who came up with scented cat litter? They ought to be forced to sit in a room sniffing mounds of Country Flower Fresh poop. Adding perfume to cat crap is what I would label an epic disaster. Thank heavens they poop a lot so I could hurry up and get a non-scented box of litter that DIDN’T smell like someone sprayed a floral Glade air freshener on fecal matter.

Anyhoo, so this week on Animal Rescue House, we all broke out in itchy red bumps…which magically morphed into circles and we all look like a really gross and creepy dot-to-dot. You know where I’m going, don’t you? Yes, the fun and exciting fungal world of Tinea corporis AKA ringworm. Oh, the joy of zoonotic disease!  Oh, how gleeful I was to have my skin blister and peel away. It’s so fun I almost could scream…in fact, I already have!  I love going through about 100 Band-Aids a day and the feeling of sheer dread when I get the slightest itch anywhere on my body. I LOVE DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S ISSUES!!! YAAAAAAY!!!!

Maybe next time, I’ll tell you all about the time I got lice from one of my kids and got to comb them out of my two foot long hair!  I already have the blog title: “Party Lice it’s Nit-Teen Ninety Nine”.

Parasites suck. That is all.

We are Siamese, if you pleeease. We are filled with ringworm and with fleeeeas
We are Siamese, if you pleeease. We are filled with ringworm and with fleeeeas
Shhh, the incubation time is 2 weeks! By then, she'll love us! Bwahahahaha
Shhh, the incubation time is 2 weeks! By then, she’ll love us! Bwahahahaha

 

 

 

 

Back to school…oh wait, we never left!

 

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Homeschool Lesson #2387: How to learn despite the obvious distractions of the outdoors + a cute dog

Today is the first day back to school for thousands of kids across the nation.  This morning on Facebook, there are tons of pictures of uniformed and non-uniformed little students holding up their Pinterest-inspired chalkboards and letters denoting the grade they are entering.  Little scrubbed-clean cherubic faces smiling with huge backpacks, bulging with supplies.  They are all so cute and happy in their photos and I wonder how they did at their morning drop offs and walk-ins. Everywhere, moms (and dads) are probably crying on one hand and breathing a collective sign of relief on the other as their little ones enter a new year and life gets back into a schedule after the randomness of summer.

For us, ‘school’ started last week.  What does that mean to me?  Worksheets, new books, spelling words, math problems, writing, history discussions, arts and crafts, and all those other things we didn’t do over the past few months. I learned the hard way that year-round school definitely has its benefits.

Last Monday, as we began a new year, suddenly no one remembered how to add, multiply, divide, read, write, read directions, or for that matter, what school was. Tears were shed over ‘long’ division until she realized that it was what she had been doing for 2 years already.  I came as close as I’ve ever been to beating my head on a table when a simple calendar exercise caused major confusion. Zoe declared very loudly that she “couldn’t read words (text) this small” and that all she liked to read was “Frog and Toad” by Arnold Lobel. Not true, by the way. She also told me that reading the Bible made her have bad dreams (“Remember, Mom?  Remember when I dreamed that (name removed to protect the innocent) died?”)  Biscuits served for breakfast that morning nearly caused civil disobedience and the dog pooped in the laundry room. I felt like a captain being forced to walk the plank on his own ship. It was mutiny on the Bounty, for sure. 

The day was salvaged when we went to guitar lessons that afternoon and then soccer practice after that. I have to say that Tuesday was much less eventful…the kids magically seemed to remember what I had taught them the previous nine months, so I was happy to find that it WASN’T a total waste of our time/money. Today begins our second week, and we are all back to our own brand of ‘normal’. 

So, this means that we begin another year of homeschool on our little farm.  It’s nice to get back into a routine and hit the books again. For me, I am looking forward to another year of seeing my little people learn…it was something I didn’t get to fully experience while they were in public school.  I love to see the lightbulb going on above their heads! 

Three cheers to all the moms, dads, teachers, and home educators! Here we go again!

 

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Homeschool Lesson #4, 679: How to build your own wood-fueled stove (and then cook hot dogs and S’mores on it)
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Homeschool Lesson #5671: How to dye Easter Eggs without becoming a rainbow yourself