The SATs and my mom

Momma today.

I remember wondering about this when I took the SATs (and yes, they had them way back when I was a student).  I also remember thinking about it when Amber was doing her SAT reviews.  You know, there are so many things we question the value of when we are learning.  Like those silly story problems in math, I found out those things do come up in real life,  Well, maybe not about two trains passing or whatever it was, but other things.

One of the things I remember well was the whole reading comprehension exercise.  I routinely scored well in this area.  I am sure there are several of you taking the SATs or ACTs and wondering what is the point of the little stories and the questions to follow.  Do you remember this?  Often you were given a quick story about a subject you knew nothing about and then were asked questions about it.  It was hard to follow the questions, often you wouldn’t even remember reading about that.  Likewise, what you might have thought was the subject of the exercise was not really the subject at all.

Here is my point.  Each day, I go to visit my mom.  She launches off on some story that I do not understand, that I do not follow nor does it seem to make any sense.  But thankfully, from my experiences in standardized testing, I am able to start with bare minimum facts and see a story emerge.  I look for little hints in the story to comprehend what we are talking about.  Yesterday, her story was all about going to dinner with some people.  I was able to listen for the little clues.  I picked up the words “Betty and Getty” who are her stepson and his wife in Denver.  Therefore, I knew she thought we were in Denver and that she anticipated going out for a nice dinner.  There is no point in telling her we are not in Denver or that Betty and Getty were not taking her out to dinner.  That just seems to confuse and confound her more.  Sometimes, she just flat does not believe me (obviously, I must be confused about where we are because clearly we are in Denver).  So, the best plan is just to tell her, no, not tonight momma.  Tonight we will eat here at this place.  This does not assure that she will accept this answer but after I repeat it multiple times, she goes along.

Next, she launched into asking what she should do.  Should she just wait and see what happens or do I have any suggestions for her?  I was not sure what she was referring to, but once again with my superior comprehension skills, I listened and waited for more information.  She asked, “Well, at our age, if we have a chance to be happy, shouldn’t we just go for it?”  I realized then that she was on the “Jim and I should get married track”.  Again, no point in explaining that she has been married for 15 years.  No point at all.  I told her (again) that Jim and Jay were coming to visit after Thanksgiving and she would see them then.  “Well”, she decided, “we will just see how that goes and make a decision later”.  Okay, I could go with that. 

Each day is a new opportunity to use those skills I learned years ago.  Each time I follow her story or her reasoning makes it easier for her to think I am following and supporting her thinking.  And we just thought all that test stuff was worthless.

Away Dog Pack! Away!

I really don’t want to think about how this is obtained

I wrote a few days ago about my cats getting killed by something in the night.  Most regrettable, was the loss of favorite cat, Chloe.

Jordyn came down to spend the weekend.  She was sleeping with me when the frenzied sound of my dogs barking awakened me.  A quick glance at the clock told me it was 2:36 am.  I leapt from my bed mostly because I wanted the dogs to shut up and Jordyn not to wake up.  The dogs were riveted toward the barn and barking like maniacs.  Knowing that I was likely to find coyotes or dogs out at barn, I still headed outside in my make-shift pajamas in the cold (45 degrees) still of morning.  I didn’t have a gun (don’t own one unlike most of my Texas neighbors) but I was thinking about the shovel I had left out by the barn.

As I rounded the corner I caught sight of a pack of four or five dogs surrounding Mr. Kid. They had barricaded him against the barn wall next to Mickey’s stall.  Both Mickey and Feather were in their stalls but Kid is allowed to move in and out of his stall at night.  My cat, Alice, was perched on top of the ten-foot high gate and two other cats were on the roof of the tackroom.  Under the full moon, I went screaming at the pack of wild dogs.  They went running, no doubt frightened by the sight of me in pjs, screaming with a shovel in my hand.

Sunday morning I found blood all over the cat’s bowls.  I did not find any dead cats.  This morning found another kitten dead in the pasture, the cat food container still sealed but found lying on my drive-way and all my cat food bowls thrown haphazard around the my front yard. 

I understand I need to put all the cat food away so the dogs are not coming here to get food.  They are not eating the cats and kittens that they kill.  The are just killing for the sake of killing. Today I got a lot of advice on what to do to stop the killing by the dog pack. 

Here are the top suggestions:

Have someone sit outside all night until the dogs appear and shoot them dead. 

    A) It could be a long, cold night

    B) They would be lucky to get one shot before the others scatter

    C) The sound of a gun in the middle of a quiet night will scare my horses to death

Fence my entire property with solid-mesh fencing that dogs cannot cross through.  I just spent a lot of money (I thought it was a lot of money) to fence a small section of my property.  The cost of fencing my entire property would probably be more than what it cost me to buy this little house.  Good solution, but not practical for me right now.

Find something to keep the wild dogs off my property.  The number one internet solution?  Bear urine-I am not kidding.  Bear urine and wolf urine were both equally recommended, however, the wolf urine does come with a disclaimer that it could attract wolves.  I do have some questions.  A bottle of bear urine is about $30.  You are supposed to leave four or five droplets every two to three feet around the perimeter of your property.  Do you have to repeat every time it rains?  How long is bear urine effective in dry weather?  Does it come in a spray bottle?  (I found on another site that it does come in a spray.)  What do horses think of bear urine?  Will I be cantering along only to have Mickey bolt in fear upon suddenly sensing bears are approaching?  For those of you better at math than I, how far will 32 ounces of bear urine divided into four or five drops every two to three feet go-like, do I need multiple bottles?

Two kittens that are left.

I want to stop the senseless killing of my kittens.  I have moved my one remaining neutered male and Lauren’s favorite cat, L’Orange into my front room.  I see that momma kitty has moved the two remaining kittens to the tack room.  Hopefully, momma can keep the kittens from playing outside in the moonlight.

I also understand that citrus peelings spread around the perimeter may stop the dog packs as well.  My friend at work suggested getting a lemon tree.  And waiting how long for it grow, I asked? Wow, we are going to need a lot fruit.  But until the bear urine gets here , I better getting working on the fruit.  Anybody want an orange slice?