Author Archives: Pamela Rentz

The Tale of the Missing Cat Food

After a delivery, Mom threw a couple of bags of cat food on top of the cabinet. But look: only one is there now.

There were ongoing issues with animals getting in the garage and getting into the cat food so everything was moved upstairs and the shenanigans seemed to have stopped. Or did they?

The next morning there was evidence that some little rascal had found the delicious treat and unsuccessfully tried to take it home.

I thought I heard something but I was half asleep and didn’t want to get out of bed. Later the cat was crying and I had to get up and let him in. “Why didn’t you use your door?” I scolded.

His door was blocked.

Later, I cleaned up the spilled cat food and stashed away in a closed cupboard. One of the neighbor dogs was kind enough to help me out.

Could these be the culprits? My sister said she was hearing noise around the trailer so I set up the camera and these too nervously crept by.

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Elk Crossing?

I don’t know why this video looks like this. Don’t subscribe. I don’t make content I just put videos up now and then. I don’t know how to fix it and do not want to problem solve right now.

One of my best wildlife sightings ever. This was yesterday morning driving home from Orleans.

Today I did yard work and as always, my first yard work day of the season means I am so tired I can barely lift my arms above my head.

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Time and Tilt

A couple of years ago I found these big xmas lights in the xmas box. They were too much for the tree but I draped them over this cabinet. Even then they were a bit much so I unscrewed light bulbs until I had it at the level I wanted.

Turned out, I liked having this source of lighting better than a lamp. In the evenings when I watch TV I like a little bit of light and this is just perfect.

Later I put it on a timer so it comes on for a couple hours in the evening and is timed to go off right at bedtime. And it comes on for an hour or so in the morning.

As the light changes with the time of year, I adjust the timer. As we head into winter I add more and more time and as we move back to summer I change to shorter and shorter. In June we don’t even use it.

If you look in the background of the top photo in the very top left, you can see the little lights I have on in my room. I like little lights.

I am headed down to Orleans to visit Mom and check out the scene down there. Photos when I return.

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Jelly Belly

This is my single blooming daffodil — all by itself, shivering out there among the birdfeeders.

I have this vague memory of being in a store I don’t normally go to and them having almost a half-aisle of Jelly Belly varieties. I remember thinking: I need to come back here when I have more time to pick out my favorites. I haven’t had Jelly Bellies (Is the correct plural Jelly Bellies?) in a long time. Is it weird I think of them as “healthy” candy?

But later, I tried to remember where this was. What is a store I don’t normally go to that I’ve been to lately? I can’t think of it. Or logically: what kind of store would have so many Jelly Bellies? I don’t know.

Did I dream about an aisle of Jelly Belly candy? If so, what a strange, random dream.

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I bought a new strap for my trail cam. Actually, I bought 4 straps because you can’t just buy one.

Now that the camera is properly strapped up, it’s catching the backyard scene again. Looks like opossum has moved back in under the shed. I have the opening covered but there’s a gap and apparently it’s just enough for it to get in and set up a happy home.

Bunny hops through almost every morning. I often see one or sometimes two bunnies in my or the neighbor’s yard when I take off for work in the morning.

Raccoons regularly coming through, too. I haven’t caught a skunk on camera for awhile. The deer don’t seem to have me on regular rotation.

There was lovely weather early last weekend which would have been a great time to do the annual roses prune plus I was going to do a little clipping on the blue berries plus the raspberry patch needs some TLC. But I missed my window and when I finally had a moment, it was too cold and damp out there. The forecast doesn’t look too promising.

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Friends of Trees

I made some new friends in my neighborhood and joined the Tree Squad.

We have stickers.

I joined them in volunteering to plant trees in my neighborhood yesterday with Friends of Trees.

When we first pulled away from the staging area we were following a bunch of people toting their trees with their bikes and I thought: what a great photo! But I was driving and it never occurred to me to take photos again for the rest of the event. All the photos are from the FOT website and used without permission. (Sorry!)

We planted 141 trees! It was their biggest planting event of the year. My team planted 7 trees, all a very short walk from my house and part of one of my walking circuits. I can’t wait to visit them.

We planted a Bigleaf Maple (Not actual size):

And a Firestarter Black Tupelo (also, not actual tree. It didn’t have leaves yet) and a few others.

I learned a lot about trees including a lot of information that would have been helpful years ago. I’m so timid with my plants and afraid of damaging them. When they showed us how to break up the root balls on the container trees — they weren’t afraid to be rough.

When I woke up, I was bummed that I volunteered but once I got over there it ended up super fun. Amazing how many volunteers they had and how organized the event was. Turns out people who love trees are really cool. I am going to get some help and figure out a strategy for more trees in my yard.

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Missing Chapter of the Three Bears

Image generated by ai on February 14, 2024

It seems like at the grocery store that either they have a package with way more than you need or else too small for what you want.

Example 1 is that I used to buy kosher salt in a cardboard box roughly the size of a dictionary or a big fat book. Bob picked some up for me and he got it in a plastic (frownie face) bottle about the size of a 12 oz soda. It’s already almost gone so I went to pick some up and there were no cardboard boxes. Only the inadequate and environmentally stupid bottle.

Example 2 is that, long story, but my bones are already getting old and I am investigating the doctor report and trying to be more mindful of protein in my diet. This makes me mad because I am a poster elder for clean living and I am getting diagnosed with pre-everything. Back to my story, I thought I might try a protein powder to add to my morning yogurt, fruit, cereal and I looked at the store and they were all 2 lb tubs. What if I don’t like it?

And honestly, in my dream version of myself I would do this but in real life it seems like too much trouble. I don’t like smoothies. I don’t like washing the blender. I don’t have a lot of time to make things to bring for work. I don’t see how anyone gets enough protein looking at these amounts.

I also know if I make it too hard on myself then I don’t do anything and I eat cookies when I get to work and that doesn’t seem like the best outcome.

For now I am sticking to my regular breakfast foods and continuing my research.

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Too Big

Yesterday I was settling in for a little yoga and looked over to find this sweetie hanging out with me. Generally, I’m not bothered by spiders but I don’t love these big ones. After a brief negotiation, I trapped it in a jar with some cardboard and relocated it to a new home outside which I’m sure means that it ran after me and is back in the house and also mad now.

WELL! I am having a weird issue with my photos and Adobe and my troubleshooting didn’t fix it and you know what? I don’t have the time or energy to solve *that* problem right now. So I managed to get this photo to save and I have another AI generated photo for later in the week.

Today’s topic is: The yard. I’ve been doing some research about my fruit trees and blueberry bushes and looking for tips about pruning and fertilizing.

Where is the fertilizing for dummies material? Everything I found was like a science project and suggested I send my soil out and get it analyzed by a lab.


I just want some berries for my cereal.

I did look it up for curiosity and there is a university extension that will test your soil for $$$$. I think that’s for environmental testing. It looks like you can buy a kit at certain stores. I still don’t think I will do it. It sounds too high maintenance.

The pruning advice also seemed overly complex so I think I’m just going to trust my instincts. Worst case is I get no fruit and I don’t have any fruit now so not like I’m going to lose out.

Possible photos to come.

Meanwhile: I am obsessed with the Big Bear Bald Eagle live cam. Three eggs!

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This is the earliest ever that I churned up the garden. There was decent weather so I ran over to colleagues to borrow the rototiller. I bet I do it again before I start planting.

Quite a few potatoes came rolling out during the process. I don’t think you can ever stop having potatoes once you’ve started.

I thought I threw some cover crop seeds out there but nothing is growing except grass and weeds. My garden technique is admittedly super half-assed.


I need to go through the seeds I already have and see what I should buy or decide on a strategy for this year. Normally what I do is go through the catalog and buy a ton of stuff.

Later, when I go to plant, I realize I still have zillions of other seeds from the year before. Then I take all those seeds and toss them out there because I figure they’re old and most won’t even germinate.

But of course, I’m wrong and there is chaos. Which is fine. Some areas of my life I needs lots of order but I like chaos in the yard.

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Back to the Bus Accident

Another actual image from accident. Generated with AI ∙ January 29, 2024 at 5:23 AM

There was one thing I forgot to add to the bus accident story.

Normally we get to the park-n-ride around 5-ish but because of all the waiting around we didn’t get there until after 6pm. Dinner is going to be late.

As we are exiting, this guy from the back of the bus heads toward the door holding a cupcake.

Not like the cupcake is wrapped up. It’s ready to eat. How did he sit on the bus for over 2 hours and not eat that cupcake? Was he high compliance and didn’t want to eat on the bus against the rules? Did he forget about it until just then? Was he holding the cupcake like that to save for later? Or maybe he was passing around cupcakes to the people in the back and this was the last one.

I should have tried to make a new friend.

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