Incredible Snake Tale

I will probably never witness anything like this in person again in my life.  It was one of those experiences that you only see on National Geographic Channel!!  I was driving home, and was on the very last stretch of the road, when I came around the bend of the corner.  Flying through the air was a HUGE Red Tailed Hawk, with a snake dangling in his talons.  I could see him flying, against the blue sky, gaining altitude with his soon to be dinner lifting over my head.

But then he saw me, and before all the details of what was happening actually registered in my mind, the bird dropped the snake, and it flopped onto the ground, just a few yards from me.  The hawk landed in the tallest nearby tree, and both of us surveyed what just happened.  Reality began to take hold, and I couldn’t believed what I just witnessed!!  If the angle had been eerily perfect, the snake would have descended into my open window and landed smack in the middle of my lap.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted to see if the snake was alive or dead.  The hawk and I both had the same wish…get to the snake first, but he let go of his desire, and promptly flew away when he could see that his dinner was gone, and another predator, bigger than himself, was on the scene.

I drove up to the snake and he promptly coiled himself up and swayed his body gently in each direction.  His eyes were piercing my own, and his tongue was in motion.  I edged the car closer, and he struck at my tire.  I took a good look at that snake and was horrified to see a triangular shaped head, skinny neck, and the behaviors of a Rattle Snake.  I was told there were no Rattle Snakes where we lived, but this was a living, breathing, very rattle-snake-like creature, and he was just under a mile from my house. 

I grew up in California.  I know what Rattle Snakes look like, and I know what they are capable of doing.  I DID NOT want a Rattle Snake that close to my house.  But while he had the mannerisms and look of a Rattle Snake, he didn’t rattle, and that was very puzzling to me.  I backed up the car and pulled forward again.  He coiled, swayed, spit his tongue, gave me the evil eye, but he did not rattle.  I threw a few pebbles at him.  He was not happy.  But he made no sound at all.  Something wasn’t right!

I called Daryl.  I knew I could take care of the snake and squash him, but if he wasn’t poisonous, I didn’t feel any need to kill him, so I wanted a second opinion.  Soon he arrived with our friend Rob, and both of them confirmed that they thought the snake was probably a Bull Snake. 

 If you look closely, you can see a bit of blood on his mouth.  I’m sure he had struggled with the Hawk, before experiencing his rude landing.  He did not like me one bit, and acted in a very evil manner towards me.  He actually should have been thanking me, because I saved him from becoming lunch.

 See that head??  That is triangular if I’ve ever seen triangular!

 I was quite happy to be safely up in my vehicle!

 A picture of the girl who was tormenting the snake with pebbles! We ended up guiding him away from the road and into the woods.  He took refuge under some bushes, in the deep grass, and hopefully found his way home!  It was a bad day for the Hawk, a good day for the snake, and a mixed day for me.  I was glad he wasn’t a rattler, but I don’t like knowing that there ARE snakes in my neck of the woods. Ewwwwww!  
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Garden

Again, these photos were taken a few weeks back!  I was excited to see blossoms on the strawberry plants.  It means only one thing….berries are coming!

 When these really get going, we will have a hard time keeping up with picking them!

 The one that actually enjoys his time in the garden!

 Albino Pea Plant.  I think there was something wrong with him afterall, because he did end up dieing.

 We had a nice time together!  More garden pictures to come!  
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sabbath Afternoon

I just discovered that I have 6 drafts waiting to become actual blog posts.  I take pictures with my iPhone and then blog them with an app to blogger.  Then I finish the post on my computer by doing the typing and story telling on a regular keyboard!  So I have 6 groups of pictures, all waiting to become posts!!

A few weeks ago, when the river was still so low, we took a walk along the river.  It was a bit cool and cloudy, but the kids had fun looking for fish hooks in all the rocks.  It was a bit windy and it started to sprinkle right before we left, but it was a nice and refreshing walk overall.

 This is our “jumping” place, where the kids jump off the rocks and into the water during the summer.  I may have mentioned before how glad I was to see that there are no large, hidden rocks, under that dark water.  They can jump all they want with no worries of striking something under the water!

 Kaelyn was the chief fish-hook finder.

 The sky was warning us that rain would be coming soon!

 When it did rain, we took cover in the car!

 Self Portrait!  I just had my hair done the day before, so was getting used to the new highlights!

 We drove around a bit after the rain started, and there were these sweet, little yellow wildflowers.  I wanted to get a picture, and was completely delighted when I took a close look at this one!  I loved the raindrops on the petals, but on closer inspection, I realized there is a tiny spider walking down one of the petals.  I’m going to enter this photo in the fair!  I wonder how it will do.  I think it’s a great shot! (and with my iPhone at that)!!  
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

So Tired of Homeschooling

I put my post in my private journal.  Too negative for public consumption.  Suffice it to say I am not a happy camper right now, trying to get my oldest to finish his first semester of school work from this past year.  We have a deadline of August 3rd.  If it’s not completed by that date, he gets a zero.  He MUST do 7 lessons each day, 5 days a week to make this happen.  He barely gets 3 done.  I have to sit right next to him and tap him to keep him focused.  I’m just so tired of doing this.  This has been my experience with homeschooling.  It has not been a good experience.  I can’t wait till it’s over and I can put homeschooling behind me.  It has been nothing but a struggle the whole time.  I have no energy left for my other two children, so now they’ll go to school as well.  This is not how I imagined that it would be.  This is so not the way I wanted things to turn out. 

Yep, I Did

Last week, on our way home from town, we stopped by Taco Bell for a quick supper.  On the way to Taco Bell, I passed the marquee of a local grocery store, and one of the items flashing caught my eye.  I should have kept driving.  I should have ignored the “.88 cents” price tag on the item.  But I couldn’t help it.

I made a fatal right turn, parked my car, and marched into the store.
They had Betty Crocker Cake Mixes on sale for .88 cents!  YES, only .88 cents!
I couldn’t let a deal like that pass me by.
I had decided a couple weeks ago that I would take a simple cake with canned raspberry topping to potluck every time we went (at least twice a month).  A simple white or yellow cake was quick and easy to make, everybody likes it because it’s not too sweet, and our home canned raspberries as a topping make it pretty.  It was the perfect solution to my potluck brain freeze.
So I thought, “I’ll just pick up a ‘little supply’ of these Betty Crocker cake mixes to have on hand for my potluck cake idea.”
As I stood there, looking at all those boxes of cake, that were only .88 cents each, something wild and terrible came over me.
I wanted every flavor. 
I began to devise how I could use every flavor of cake mix.
I began to think of ways to use cake, give away cake, sell cake, donate cake, make cake into amazing kitchen creations that I could post on my languishing Kitchen Blog.
So I began to fill my cart.  I grabbed 10 boxes of this type, 10 boxes of that type.
I made sure to get Vanilla and Yellow.  I mean, that was the reason I came into the store in the first place, right?
I only wish I had taken a picture of my grocery cart, filled to the top with cake boxes.  It was quite a sight.  The checkout lady asked me what I was going to do with all that cake?? 

I heard the words “I’m using it for fund raising” come out of my mouth. 

Where did that come from??

So, what AM I going to do with all this cake?
Well, first, I’m going to give it to my 11 year old son. 
He had tons of fun with it!!

 Spiral tower…

 Fortress…

 Fortress again!!

 Tower…

 Tower Details…

 King in his Castle…

 Throne…

 Happy King on his Throne…

And here it is!  10 boxes of Vanilla.  10 boxes of White.  10 boxes of German Chocolate.  10 boxes of Yellow.  10 boxes of Lemon.  2 boxes of Carrot.  2 boxes of Spice.  2 Boxes of Chocolate.  2 Boxes of Chocolate Fudge. AND 2 boxes of Confetti (for the kids).
I BOUGHT 60 BOXES OF CAKE!!!!!!
Yep, I did.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Two Layer Tacos

We finally ate something worth telling about!  This is a simple meal, but takes an old standard and gives it a new and fun twist!  I think I got the idea from Taco Bell, but I don’t remember for sure.

 First, take a warm corn tortilla…

 Then cover it with a thin layer of refried beans…

 Then wrap it around your warm, crunchy taco shell like an old, worn glove…

 It’s really easy to do…

 Then fill with all your favorite Taco fillings.  We like to use veggie beef crumbles in the hard taco (though on this day, we just put in more refried beans), lettuce, tomato, olives, cheese, sour cream…whatever you like to put in a taco…
 And enjoy!!! The beauty of wrapping the hard shell in a soft shell is that when you take that crunchy bite, nothing falls apart!  The hard taco crunches and may actually break, but the soft shell holds it all together!!   These are fun to make and fun to eat!!  
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Nothing Happening

My kitchen is hibernating.  Nothing has been happening in it besides my trying to get my children to do their chores and get the dishes done.  Meals have been haphazard…grab some cereal, toast some bread, grab some cheese and crackers, eat a few cherries, thank goodness for Taco Bell, “there’s nothing to eat”, “what can we eat?”, and so on…

I think by tomorrow, we’ll have it clean again, and I need to tackle the tiny, apartment size fridge that we have in our tiny, apartment size kitchen.  We have lettuce in the garden.  The least I could do is make a salad like the Wood Man did (hubby’s new blog name).  It would be pretty, taste earthy and fresh, and be full of nutrients.  That will be my goal for tomorrow!  See you then!