Skunk spray smells much worse, especially if it’s permeating your living space. Let me give you a little background before I tell today’s story. We live near what surely must be a skunk migration area, and are now somewhat used to the smell. We still aren’t fans of it, though, and perhaps it’s because we rarely get a break from the scent. In fact, I’m not sure you can travel through the valley on any given day without smelling it once or twice or more. One of the biggest things I miss about living in other places … the smell of green or rain and not much else. I’m used to rural smells, and even kind of like to detect a very light tinge of manure in the air now and then, but it seems there is less to balance things out here. I mean, in other places, you don’t smell the pigs or the cows until you’re very near them. Trees seem to block the dairy air reasonably well. In the South, honeysuckle and jasmine were common scents in the warmer months. Skunk sprays were a rare, unwelcome accident. A skunk on the road was to be avoided, not something to target fixate your car towards.

There are worse scents to be found, even locally, although that’s a matter of opinion. Unfortunately sometimes the wind blows them our direction. Most of the sources employ a number of people. I guess skunks do, too if you consider animal control and products to deter skunks or remove their calling cards. I have even met people that weirdly like the smell of polecat, as they’re known in other locales, because “it reminds them of Cache Valley”. One was a German lady that had never smelled skunk before living here. It was a novel thing for her. She travels the world and lives in other places most of the time, but every year she visits and likes to catch a whiff while she enjoys the gorgeous mountain scenery. Personally I love it here, too, but the high skunk population is part of the “pros” column when it comes to advantages and disadvantages of moving elsewhere. By the way, we might have to leave for work, so I’ve been trying to make my peace with our potential migration … and while this recent incident could have happened almost anywhere in The States, I think the odds are exponentially higher here. The cons look a bit smaller on days like today at least.

So now that I’ve explained all that, here’s what happened …

My dog wanted out at 2 am this morning. I have been thinking we need to cut back on letting her in and out so much since it’s tampering with our limited sanity. Unfortunately I’m not the best at enforcing my own ideas, especially if they seem like rules. Besides, dogs can do a nice job of deterring critters that might otherwise get into places we’d rather not have them. I could do without having raccoons living under the roof again. I decided to be nice and let her out for a sniff one last time before we called it lights out. She’d already been out not long before, and I really should have denied her request. Let’s just say, she got a nose full, and so did we.

When I opened the door to let her back in, the aroma of skunk perfumed the yard as it often does … only this time, my dear puppy was near the bushes, frantically rubbing her face in the grass. My assumptions were confirmed, although luckily it didn’t seem she’d been sprayed at full strength. Though I never saw it, I imagine the skunk was in the bushes when it sprayed and perhaps the branches diffused things a bit, thankfully. She does have a medium to longish white coat, and I’ve never been so thankful that it sheds so easily. I’d even have been tempted to shave her, but the hair on her face is pretty short as it is, so I don’t think it’d help. I remembered once seeing a skunk smell removal product for pets at Wal-Mart a while back, thinking we might one day need it. Wal-mart is open all the time, and there are two in town. Of course after we piled in the car, already tired, in hopes of picking up such a product … neither store had it in stock and nothing else was open. Yeah, that’s just how our luck goes most of the time.

Keep in mind this is an indoor dog, and our town is working on noise ordinances that include barking dogs and related fines, especially for those running loose. I also love my neighbors, and like us, many of them have chickens or other small animals that bored dogs don’t play nice with, so letting her run around unattended isn’t an option. We’re on a main road, and even if she stinks, I don’t want to see my dog run over … though some might consider it a mercy killing in this situation. She has a tie-out cord, but it gets caught on everything, and her barking about it would wake the neighbors (as if the roosters crowing isn’t enough). Our attention-spoiled dog does not like to spend much time away from her people, either. She barks to be let in, louder and louder until her wish is granted. We have no outside kennel, and no money to build one she could not escape from.

This dog also really hates baths, and tried to run away from us when she realized her torture was far from over. Honestly, I’d planned to wash her earlier, and I would have been pretty annoyed if I’d done a good job only to have this happen. See, procrastination has an upside, too! That’s my new excuse, by the way. We ended up bathing her with what we had … baby shampoo. Baby shampoo contains citric acid, which many others recommend for reducing skunk smell. Some even say to wash your dog with soda pop. Wait, people drink something that can possibly remove skunk smell???

Unfortunately, we’ve been heavily avoiding and cutting back on the fizz, so there was none in the house to try. I suspect it wouldn’t have done that much, though. I’ve also heard some combination of peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and tomato juice can help … but googling revealed that most remedies could only do so much, and at best, you’d probably wind up with the smell of skunk mixed with whatever you used. Weirdly enough, the baby shampoo did help temporarily, but not enough to prevent me from associating it with skunk smell from here on out. Some people claimed a product called TECNU would do the trick, but I’ve never seen it before. Hopefully while J is out running errands today he can find something better than what we already have on hand. Surely the farm & outdoor stores have something.

Honestly, it could be worse, but I still feel like everything in the house, including us, stinks! I think it may last a while. Good thing our carpet is raggedy and old, so I won’t be sad if we have to strip it out. This, after washing the dog, ourselves, and our clothes … and keep in mind, we and the house did not get sprayed directly! Skunk spray is powerful stuff, and it can spread to other things pretty easily. I’m glad the weather is warming up. We can at least air things out and there are plenty of excuses to get some fresh air during the day while those black and white striped kitties are less active. Hopefully Pepe Le Pu will avoid our place, too, but I’m not holding my breath … OK, maybe I am, for obvious reasons!

We finally got the raised beds full enough with dirt to start planting. Hopefully the new beds will allow us to grow a few things in one of the most rocky areas of the yard. If not, we could always move them and have more driveway I guess. I think the late frost the other day was the last one, so we put the poor little tomato and pepper plants in, finally. They’ve been suffering in the house or drying out on the porch because things just keep coming up when I intend to plant them! Now, if we can just manage to keep things watered. Actually, J planted most of them and I just observed. Among them, I planted some old seeds I had for parsley, onions, and two kinds of basil. I did those because J couldn’t take the mosquito bites any longer. They were particularly nasty tonight, but I had things to get done!

Hopefully the plants will do well. Nothing like fresh tomatoes, pesto, so many things! I have two more kinds of basil, plus lots of other herbs, veggies, and flowers I hope to scatter. The garden’s probably not going to be the tidiest. A bit of this here and there, but if it grows well enough that I can pick it before the cold sets in again, I will be happy. I’ll cover it (until it finally just dies) if I can! The onions and a few greens might winter over, though, and some herbs and flowers. Right now, I have poppies and columbines blooming, two of my favorites!

How is your garden growing?

I’ve been busy, really busy … and I can’t describe it all. It mostly involves selling chicken eggs for eating and hatching, helping run a farmers’ market, and trying to learn some new things while expanding my circle of friends. I am going to leave out lots, but yeah … just busy and tired … appreciating the process.

I’m taking a couple sewing classes, and let’s just say, I’m having fun, learning a ton … and drooling over that $5,000 artista embroidery machine in the Bernina store. Oh … some day … it shall be mine! Muahahhaaa!!! Well, probably not, but I can still pretend.

Take a look at Burdastyle. The site stemmed from a trendy sewing magazine. They not only offer free patterns on their new beta site, but allow you to upload your own to share with the world. Some people also upload the alterations they made to the patterns, especially those from the magazine. Pretty fun, huh? They have some kind of difficult or extreme patterns that wouldn’t be for everyone, but also many vintage, simple and classic styles that flatter a wider audience.

I’ve always wanted to sew well with a machine, but this recent interest stemmed from trying out for a job a didn’t even get. It almost forced me (OK, the looming fear of losing my house forced me) to try using a wonderful new-to-me sewing machine … a machine I’d let sit in a box for a shamefully long time … but wow did I learn a lot from being bold … and for going after something rather unfamiliar.

Interviews need not be a waste of time. Make the hunt an adventure and take the time between jobs to work on yourself a little. You might make some new friends along the way, or get to know some familiar faces even better.

Anyway, that sewing site link for you again is: Burdastyle

Many of you know that I help run a small farm and garden market in the friendly little town of Paradise, Utah. We just got started last year, and we threw everything together in a very short amount of time, but it all turned out pretty well, despite our worries about time, money, and whether or not anyone would even show up. We have some new ideas for this year, but mostly we expect things to be much the same, only we won’t be running around quite so frantically. Well, at least we hope not!

Here’s a recent article Paul Siddoway from USU Hard News Cafe wrote about Paradise Market. I’ll just give you a small portion, then you can click to read the full article if you’re interested.

Paradise Farmers’ Market Proud of “Small Town Feel” – Hard News Cafe May 4, 2010 By Paul Lewis Siddoway
“Residents of Paradise pride themselves on the small town feel, Christy Holmes said. “I like the atmosphere here. It’s a community thing. Everyone in the community came out to visit.” … The market wasn’t only friendly toward Paradise residents.”
See Full Article Here.

To learn more about Paradise Market, please visit our site.

If you’re into photography even a little, you need to check out this site called JPG. Thanks, Alfie, for setting up a profile for me and getting me started. You know how I hate registration forms!

Many of the photos will blow you away. They even make a magazine out of some of the cool photos members post. It’s a social networking site for photography.

I haven’t been on there in a while, but I still love to look even if I’m slacking on snapping my own pictures. My camera batteries are charging right now. No they aren’t. Add me as a friend on JPG by signing up, then looking for me! It’s free to participate, but you can upgrade to a paid account. Warning: JPG is highly addictive. I can spend hours simply looking at the work of others. Hot photos tend to end up in the magazine, but I don’t think any of mine have, yet. No surprise given what some of these folks are crankin’ out! Some day …

To see my current hot photos, Click Here for my Hot Photos.

OK, The post about my dyslexia was all true, but really, it was my hope to make people feel better if they have trouble learning something … anything, or if their kids do, despite what seems like a lot of time trying to help them keep up with everyone else. I hear all the time from friends about how their kids are not learning or developing at the same rate as the others. That’s usually OK, to be honest. Consider getting them tested for everything from allergies to anxiety if they have problems, but remember most of this stuff was not called a “disease” or thought of as such a big deal before all the pills were invented to “cure” said diseases. Make sure you are treating a real ailment and not just fattening some balderdasher’s wallet.

It’s just that we’ve been tricked into thinking that every type of intelligence can be measured, and that kids will all perform the same under the same conditions, or that they should. We should probably wait to get out the yardstick when all is said and done, if we get it out at all. Perhaps instead figure out what teaching methods, or what individual endeavors, might be best encouraged for each child. Let them focus on what they excel at more, but strongly encourage them to add other subjects they find challenging, as often as possible, at their own pace. Maintaining a diversity of talents and interests is important, too, ya know?

I hope this next part helps, too. I’m not saying Albert was the wisest man ever, but he did get famous for his figuring. Here’s a little about him that you might find interesting. It has often help me get through tough learning processes, and moments of blatant stupidity.

“ALBERT Einstein was three or four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read, and slouched his way through school. He also had some trouble remembering his address. (Me: Wow, is this hitting close to home for anyone else? I think the comparisons will stop here for now … but you never know. My Mom likes to talk about “The Slow of Dark” rather than the speed of light. I think it’s funny, but not a bad topic to look into.)

Later he saw that light travels as both a wave and as particles called quanta, mostly because it has to . . . And Einstein also got rid of the ether as a valid concept of physics. and he went on to find that Light had mass, and space and time were simply space-time – and and the universe might be shaped like a saddle.

After Einstein emigrated to the United States in 1933, his every bon mot was duly recorded, and his personal quirks, such as very rarely wearing socks, were eagerly added to a fast-growing legend about the Einstein, and no longer Einstein the physicist.”

If you want to read the rest of this click here to go to the site I borrowed it from.

There are a lot of people out there that don’t know the horrors my Mom endured teaching me to read, count, and do math. If you ask her, though, she will sell me out like coupons for free ice cream! I was never formerly diagnosed as dislexic or learning disabled, but Mom, was I ever even tested? If so, I wonder how I slid by without getting caught.

I think it was actually more a lack of focus. I was always daydreaming when people were telling me how to do things. My attention span is still much too small for my own good. Sometimes I just don’t get it for a long time, even if I pay attention and try my best, and even if I’m getting more than enough outside help.

I just learn some things very slowly, often going back over and over something in my mind, and researching it further on my own time before I become more competent. This is why I seem like a ditz sometimes, in case you were wondering. That’s not the only reason, but we won’t go there. I can’t help spacing out, and don’t do it intentionally. Usually, I’m not even bored. In fact, I’m often enthralled and trying my best to listen. It’s just that some little thing … a color on someone’s shirt, a sound in the hall, a word … just any tiny thing … can unexpectedly get my mind spinning in a million or more directions. My eyes are glazed over, but my imagination is active … the lights are low, but somebody is usually home. I’m sure it is both a pro and a con for those with creative minds, and probably quite common.

Also, if I can’t associate a whole word as a symbol for something else, I probably won’t get it. Sometimes I think the letters move around on me a bit, too, but that’s generally OK. Phonics and “sounding it out” is great for some people, but it never helped me much. I totally understand why it might work with someone else, but I just learn differently.

Believe it or not, I actually did extremely well in school, once I got past grade levels K-2. It wasn’t because it came naturally or because I was smarter than the other kids. Actually, I think most were far more intelligent. I worked hard, because I had to or I would be totally lost all the time, rather than mostly lost, like I usually am. Also, I was a tad competitive on the inside. I still am sometimes and I know I’m not the only one.

At a job interview recently, a competing candidate sneered at me in disgust. She was almost as good at curling her lip as Billy Idol … nah, not near that good, but still pretty good. To my recollection, I’ve never had that happen. It made me snicker because it was so childish … and yet I channeled my old self a bit … the nerdy me that had to try to beat everybody every time, except at math and PE, and even in those areas if I could. You have no idea how much I loved getting those silly certificates and ribbons at the awards ceremonies as a kid.

Now, I try my best to simply enjoy the learning and fun and the sneers! That has been reflected in my grades sometimes … I got a few B’s that should have been A’s, but I wasn’t near as stressed as when I was hogging all the glory. I’m still a Type A, and an eldest child, but now I focus on more than just the immediate rewards and recognition.

I wish I’d learned some things well enough to remember them, especially when it comes to math. Honestly, the only math I use in any of my work, tends to do with measurement. I also need to be good with geometric shapes due to the drawing aspects. Ask me to do a proof in geometry, though, and I’m lost.

I learn other types of math when I need the skills, then my brain tends to cover the information in mothballs once it’s not in use. Usually those things can be refreshed with a little effort, like the effort it takes for cleaning an icky stove. Heck, tonight one of my nieces asked me to help her do her homework. It was something I should have been able to rattle off confidently, yet I couldn’t honestly tell her I knew the answer or how to get it. Oh sure, I could look up how to do it somewhere, but instead, I did what at least half the other people in the house did … told her to go ask so-and-so! The shame! Oh well. I will eventually brush up those math skills, and hopefully practice them enough to remember better. You never know when somebody’s going to need help with their homework after all.

I have lived in or near Logan since February of 2008, and Wednesday was the first time I got past the postcard rack in Book Table’s storefront. I’m so happy. Seriously, this is a big deal because not only was the store as awesome as everyone said it was, it was infinitely BETTER than they said it was. I might have to request they put out a cot for me on the 2nd floor somewhere … no, it’ll be better than that … a HAMMOCK!

Why did I never make it in before? The postcard rack out front always distracted me for a while, as they usually have a few different cards than the other places I look. Always, just as I was about to make my final selections, go in and purchase the cards, and look around the store more, some emergency would come up. I would sadly put back the cards I planned to buy and pout, then walk away, promising myself some day, I would actually make it inside to buy something, ANYTHING!

Wednesday, the fog of my curse was a bit thinner. I didn’t get to see the whole store, but I did get to buy some things. I even made it to the second floor, which is a crafter’s dream shop. They have classes and the nicest people work there!

Book Table
435-752-3055
29 S Main St Logan, UT 84321

My first stitches with Bernina

My first stitches with Bernina. Aren’t they sew cute?

Her name is Bernina, and although she’s technically an inanimate object until you push her buttons, I think she’s great. She seems to have a bit of a Swiss accent, which I love, and I think the guys do, too. Yes, yes, I learned to sew on a machine a little today FINALLY, thanks to my amazing teachers and a cleverly built sewing machine. I love how portable and cute it is.

My only complaints so far are certain plastic parts and their function, mostly the little add-on platform. I like how it gives you more supported work surface area, but I hate how it makes it harder to access the bobbin. I also think they could make a better way for it to go on and still stay secure. That’s just me, though. I could see room for improvements, but for the most, part I’m in love with learning machine sewing now, as long as it’s with a Bernina. Everything else is just too hard on my patience!

I have always admired those who could make anything from thread and cloth and buttons with any machine, or by hand. I tried and failed epically many times in my youth (though I am rather good at cross stitching by hand). Now, I might actually be able to hem pants that are too long, without having to take hours stitching by hand!

Anyway, if you have the money to invest, try out a Bernina. You won’t be sorry. I had pretty much written machine sewing off as a hobby for me. It was really easy to write “fashion designer” off my list of top career choices. I still don’t plan to go to Milan or Singapore any time soon, at least not as a runway designer.

The picture was taken with my phone, in bad lighting, and then edited with Picasa … also the first time I have used that software. I need Photoshop on my computer. It’s so much better and easier! Oh well, though. Picasa is free and right now, the price is right! Hope everyone else reading is having some fun adventures learning new things, too.

Oh, and sorry I missed volleyball AGAIN, everybody. It’s just that Thursday tends to be my heaviest in-law visiting day, and I dearly love my in-laws, so I always space out about everything else when I’m with them! It could also have something to do with the fact that they all dabble in so many cool things and are all so talented. More than that, they are willing to share their knowledge, and pretty much everything they have with me.

Get a blog they tell me! We never hear enough from you they tell me. We want to see what your life is like they tell me. All kinds of things they tell me. They, being family and friends. I have procrastinated long enough. The imagination stew may not be quite ready, and the flavors may not be quite developed, but the hungry wolf is at my door, and I must feed it! Well, here it is Big Bad Wolf, my first blog! Dig in and sorry it’s not gourmet! Can I get any approving Cricket chirps for my planned randomness?

OK, maybe not, but chirp away even if I’m not here when you are! Just make sure you keep it G-rated. My Mom might read this!

I guess I should explain my blog naming choice.

Spontaneity
1 : the quality or state of being spontaneous
2 : voluntary or undetermined action or movement; also : its source

New
1
: having recently come into existence : recent, modern
2 a (1) : having been seen, used, or known for a short time : novel
3 : having been in a relationship or condition but a short time <new to the job>
4 a : beginning as the resumption or repetition of a previous act or thing <a new day> b : made or become fresh <awoke a new person>
5 : different from one of the same category that has existed previously
6 : of dissimilar origin and usually of superior quality
7 capitalized : modern 3; especially : having been in use after medieval times

Witty
1
archaic : having good intellectual capacity : intelligent
2 : amusingly or ingeniously clever in conception or execution
3 : marked by or full of wit : smartly facetious or jocular
4 : quick or ready to see or express illuminating or amusing relationships or insights

*Note that I do not claim this blog will actually be any of the above things much, if any of the time. Sorry about that.

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