Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Plague? Pestilence? Or . . . .

We have an inexplicable number of houseflies at Moogie's Manor.   There are no open windows; doors aren't open for long. The only possible fly source we can postulate is the Labrador size doggie door.

The doggie door is in the laundry room, which is near the Master bedroom and bath. Most of the flies seem to wind up in our bathroom where we're often easily able to smash them with our bare hands.

(I know -- gross, right!?!?!)

So.  This odd separation of flies and inhabitants leads me to a new conspiracy theory.

The houseflies are NSA drones. Checking up on the goings on at Moogie's Manor.  Right?

Sometimes they are really out to get you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's For the Birds at Moogie's Manor

My father, Boompie (that's his "grandfather" name, after Jimmy Stewart's character in Mister Hobbs Takes a Vacation -- "Boompah?!?!  What kind of a name is Boompah?  You couldn't do any better for your own father?!"), instilled in me at an early age a love of, and fascination for, birds.  Except sparrows.  Don't ask. It's a long strange story.  Anyway, I can just sit and watch birds for hours.

Back at the Mansion in New Orleans, birdwatching was pretty much limited to Mockingbirds, Cardinals, and Doves, with the occasional obnoxious Crow or Pigeon thrown in.  And, Doves are just stoopid birds with very little personality, so they don't really count, and that just left me with Cardinals and Mockingbirds, who are meaner than a snake!  It was hardly worth setting up a feeder because the Mockers wouldn't use it and the Cardinals got bored with it, and it attracted rats.

But, here at the Manor, we have a wooded green space in back that is home to scads of birds!  Moogie is in hog heaven! (Heh -- get it?  Razorbacks?  Hog Heaven?  I crack me up sometimes.)  We have Cardinals and Mockers and Finches and Titmice and Chickadees and Nuthatches and Hummingbirds!  I have three feeders on the back deck!

(There's Moogie's reflection in the window. Say hi!)

Having three feeders, however, means we also have a herd of greedy, marauding squirrels. 

I originally hung the feeder in the first picture in the spot where the new squirrel-resistant feeder now hangs in the second pic.  Not a good plan.  Acrobatically-gifted squirrels had it emptied in a day.  The new spot is just far enough away from any good launching points to keep them at bay.  Pepper said he'd hang and re-fill it for me (Moogie is height-challenged), but I had to clean up the Kamikaze squirrel carcasses.  So far, no squirrel carcasses!

As for the new feeder, so far, so good.  It works on a weight and spring principle -- it closes the food ports when heavy critters get on it.  The squirrels tried every angle possible for a few days -- you could just see their frustration when they shook their furry little tails and had to give up.  Sometimes they will sit and stare at the feeders, as if willing the feed to hover into their greedy little paws.

But, I think some of the birds must be in cahoots with the little vermin.  Some of the birds appear to prefer a specific type of seed, so they'll sling the other types right out of the feeder!  And the squirrels, being the determined moochers they are, now just kinda hang out on the deck or the rails and scoop up what has fallen, without really even having to work for it.

And that drives Bouie nuts!  I'm just hoping he doesn't go through one of those windows.  Mysti just gets excited because Bouie's excited.  Come to think of it, however, she has started tracking the squirrel scent lately, so I suppose I should start worrying about both of them now.

We have a dominant Hummingbird who has staked out his territory around the hummingbird feeder.  He loves to light on the feeder and drink his fill.  They are such incredible little birds!  And, fearless.

So, it's apparently the best of times for the local bird populations, now that Moogie has become their neighbor.

I wonder what else we'll discover?  Hopefully nothing reptilian.  Ewww.

Friday, July 26, 2013


This is the front door to Moogie's Manor in Little Rock!

We locked the door to Moogie's Mansion in New Orleans for the last time on June 19th and headed north, several weeks earlier than originally planned.   It was indeed bittersweet to leave New Orleans, but we've been so busy with family and friends that I've barely had time to feel wistful.  Plus, there are now 5 grandchildren!  Baby Walter Arthur, nicknamed "Mac," was born to Younger Daughter and her husband on May 29th, right on time!  His arrival,and my job of helping the new family, kinda put a time crunch on packing, so Pepper set about it like a madman in my absence, nearly losing his mind (and a whole lot of other stuff!) in the process.

And today is Baby Jack's first birthday!  Where did that year go?!?!

The dogs have settled in, but Bouie was a little freaked out by the whole packing and moving thing.

Mysti Puppy was at Boarding School learning to be a good girl/duck dog during the move, so she did a little better.  We had to pick her up earlier than planned because her trainer had to have a pacemaker implanted.  She may need a little refresher course even though Pepper is still working on her training.  She's so competitive!  And she tends to bully Bouie a bit.  Just look how big she is! (Bouie is looking at the camera).

And Moogie FINALLY got to ride the boat!  We've been to the lake several times with Elder Daughter and family since the move -- the dogs LOVE it!  We even have to keep Mysti on a leash while the boat is moving because she really likes the water and isn't afraid of jumping into it.  This is at Lake Ouachita, which actually is crystal clear -- the dogs have just stirred up the silt.

We spent the day with Eldest Grandson today.  And I've FINALLY gotten access to a computer that will allow me to post pictures!  So, maybe I'll be a little better about blogging.  Maybe.   Hopefully.

So, we have become back deck people instead of front porch people -- The Manor is peaceful and quiet, surrounded by trees, with many songbirds and chipmunks.  And damn squirrels.  LOTS of damn squirrels! 

And so, even though we still haven't hung all the pictures or gotten around to the POD, (that's going to be a process!)  life is good in Moogie's World.  (Except for the damn squirrels.)  I hope your world is good, too.

(And, yes, I did adjust that cattywhompus door mat.  Doesn't it just drive you crazy in that first picture!)