winter story contest--win 20 packets of seeds

kms4meDecember 8, 2008


Tell us a funny story somehow related to GARDENING or ANYTHING OUTDOORS that has occured to you in the months of NOVEMBER, DECEMBER OR JANUARY. I know many of you have dormant gardens now, so it can relate to such things as chasing critters, inadvertently taking a dip in the water garden when you thought the ice was frozen, falling on your butt in front of the mailman, getting frost bite on your ears putting up holiday lights (ok, the last four are up close and personal to me), feeding birds, new pets/children experiencing the winter weather, turkeys flying through windows, aliens landing on your balcony...Pretty much anything that occurs outdoors in the winter months (if you live in warmer climates, I will envy you but not hold it against you). Remember, we all need a good laugh, so please relate something FUNNY.

BUT.... PLEASE, NO PICTURES. If you post pictures, you will be eliminated from the competition. If you want to know why, email me directly.

The contest starts immediately and runs until midnight Thursday, December 17th. A panel of judges will privately select the winner who will be announced on Saturday, December 19th. The winner will receive the following seeds:

Angelica gigas

Aquilegia Calimero

Aster The Hulk

Callirhoe involucruta

Campanula primulifolia

Clematis integrifolia

Darmera peltata nana

Gentiana clausa

Geranium Splish Splash

Incarvillea delavayi

Inula magnifica

Iris ensata mixed

Lallemantia canescens

Ligularia japonica

Lupine Pixie Delight

Oenothera Tina James Magic

Pedicularis crenulata

Phlomis Amazone

Primula japonica mixed

Saponaria ocymoides

Some of the judges may share stories but will not participate in the contest. If you'd like to share a story but aren't interested in the seeds, please do so--just tell us you are not competing.

So let's spread some cheer and make each other laugh!

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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Ok So It's the coldest day of the year so far (11*) And I go outside to check on the plants in my unheated greenhouse. Well I get to the greenhouse door and it's frozen in place well luckily I was able to force open the door and finally get inside my greenhouse, only to find that all the water in the glass bottles I keep in my greenhouse had frozen. It so happened that the lettuce i have in a cold frame really needed a drink so I figured i would take some of the ice and place it around the lettuce( don't ask how i was supposed to get the ice out of the bottles). Anyway I took the bottles outside to get some ice out of them and i guess the sun must have melted the ice a little bit but when I picked up the bottles there bottoms fell out and the sides cracked too. Now I had big pieces of glass and perfect copies of the glass made out of ice. I hope ice is recyclable!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:04AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

(not an entry as I am a judge)

Anywho, This happened just yesterday and I had posted it at another forum here....a couple of weeks ago there were birds in the basement...sigh

I heard a loud thud, and knew a bird had flown into the picture window. In looking out, yep, there he was, laying on his side on the concrete. I went out and picked him up, before the doggies chose to maybe finish him off. He was still breathing, his tongue was hanging out, and his little head flopped to one side. He looked so pitiful with his tongue hanging out. I'd never seen a bird tongue before.

I took him into the bathroom, got a towel and folded it, and laid him on the folded towel in the tub. I figured I could at least make him comfortable for what little time he had left on this earth. I watched him for a bit, held and lightly stroked his foot, and tried to console him. Ever tried to console an injured, maybe dying bird? Once I let go of his foot and I stood up, imagine my surprise when he got up and flew/fluttered to the other end of the tub. I quietly stepped away, and left the room, shutting the door behind me. I figured he had had enough trauma for the moment and could use some alone time before I tried to get him out of there.

Minutes later..............

Well I just went in to look at him and he was hanging haphazardly from one of the tub jet holes. I thought maybe his claw was caught or something, so I took him off of that and he squirmed out of my hand. He just walked around a bit, not acting scared at all, and I tried to get him to light on my finger. No go, so I grabbed him and he really put up a fight.
On the way out, I snapped his pic, and went to place him in the cedar tree out front. Instead of hopping onto a branch and hanging on, he took off like a bat out of hell, and flew away squawking. All is well I guess.
Later yesterday evening I thought I heard and recognized his squawk out on or near the front porch.

Oh dlf4, I can't imagine trying to water your lettuce with ice...good one....silly girl


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:04PM
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lindaruzicka(Z6 PA)

I thought I didn't have a story but you know how Murphy's Law works....this actually happened about a half hour ago...

I'm sitting on the couch, relaxing after recovering from a kick your behind virus. I look out my window at my garden with the bird feeder in it. I notice my lab/pit bull Piper sniffing around the flower bed. It takes a moment to sink in..wait..she's supposed to be in the FENCED IN YARD! Then I see Chancey, my terrier mix, sniffing around the outside of the window and Cindy, the collie mix, strolling towards the woods. I run outside in the yard in sweat pants, tshirt and socks. The yard hasn't been "picked up" because I've been sick for 4 days. So I'm literally running through icy mud, slush and God knows what else! A section of the fence is down. I call very softly "Ohhh Piper...c'mere girl",,she does the "I'm so happy to see you but I'm not coming to you dance". Then Chancey starts chasing Piper and I'm chasing the both of them, Cindy is still strolling around the upper yard (she's 13, deaf as a doornail and in her own little dog world). I catch a dog, shove it in the yard, prop up the fence, fence falls down, dog escapes. Finally I see that Cindy is wandering up the yard away from the road. I step into the yard, call the other two dogs and promise them treats, dog bones, steak anything as long as they get into the house! by the way, my feet are numb. I get Piper and Chancey into the house then go after Cindy. Cindy decides not only is she deaf but today she's blind as well and can't see me chasing her as she lopes across neighbors yard stopping to smell the occasional deer dropping. We play "dodge the owner" for a little bit until I grab her collar. She looks surprised as if I just showed up and she had no idea I was even outside. I put her furry butt into the house. I grab my trusty Black and Decker craft drill and take it and a handful of screws outside and screw the fence back together..I still can't feel my feet...and my socks are in the trash.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:14PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

daylilyfanatic4 ,I guess the problem of getting the ice out of there was resolved!

Oh Sue that was too much! am so touched by how you were willing to comfort the little guy in his last moments,I have been there! Two summers ago,I came out my side door and found a wee baby mouse on my welcome mat,he was breathing had no apparent signs of injury,but was just laying there so pathetic! So I got a small towel and picked him up,sort of swaddled him. He was so tiny and helpless! I called DH at work and asked him what I should do,now mind you,this is the summer after the winter we had mice in the house and had to set traps,DH told me to toss him in the honeysuckle! Well, I sure was not going to do that,so I kept him wrapped up and put him in a hamster cage. DH came home and immediately went and looked at the mouse,I told him he could throw it in the honeysuckle because I was not. I knew he wouldn't,he told me,"Well you better get on the phone and find out what we need to feed it" I called PetSmart and talked to the rodent guy there,he told me what formula to feed it after I described the little guys size to him,apparently he was still somewhat of an infant. All this time,this little mouse laid in his little bed and didn't move,just slept like a little angel.DH went and bought the feeder bottle set and the formula,immediately I fed him.He ate and napped several times into the next day. I got up early to feed him,he was still in the cage so I figured he wasn't able to slip through the bars and felt safe with leaving him out on the covered porch.Thank Goodness! Because what happened next would have been a complete nightmare if I had brought the cage inside! Well I got his little bottle ready and went out to feed him,I picked him up and swaddled him and fed him. After he ate he just laid there with a dazed look in his eye,sort of like a baby after they eat.So I just held him a bit and petted him and talked to him for a little while. I put him back in his cage and the next thing I knew he shot out of the cage threw the bars and right into the honeysuckle he went! I couldn't believe it! I felt like I had just been played by a,it does not end there,I didn't see him the rest of the day and assumed he just must have needed some r&r. Well the very next morning I get up,go to let the dog out and who is laying on my welcome mat... AGAIN? Mr Mouse! So I pick him up ,put him in the cage,go and get a bottle for him,I didn't throw it away,because I had a feeling it wasn't over I,I fed him,he napped,he woke up freaked out and darted out of the cage and into the honeysuckle again! I never did see him again,I assume he must have been ill and possibly passed.I know this isnt a very funny story,but,it's all I am glad I am a judge and not a player!:)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:32PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

LOL Linda! I didn't see your story,I was probably still typing when you posted! That is hysterical! I can just imagine you out there playing doggy round up!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:36PM
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I've lived in my part of Texas for 45 years where snow is very rare. If we got a flurrie the whole town would shut down. And the schools would definitely close for the day so all the kids could go out and collect enough snow to build a snowman. Any amount of snow was delightful for this 'ol Texas bumkin.
I moved to Colorado for awhile. While there I met a lady from New York. We became good friends. Her & her family teased me all the time about being thrilled over snow. They grew up in it & had had enough. When they went back to New York for a visit they invited me along.
On the trip, I had falling asleep. I was awakened by a loud shout, "Look, it's snowing, it's snowing!" I bolted right up to see that wonderful sight. Was watching every flake that fell from the sky, rapture on my up turned face. Untill they told me it wasn't snow but the dogwood tress. Cotton-pickin dogwood blooms!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:56PM
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Hello, I am new to all of this, but thought I would pass this on. And I know that my DH is the only one like this, so all menfolk reading, please realize I know you do not hibernate away from needful tasks! That is why I call this true story

The Only Hibernating Husband

One spring morning, happy wife said, as she was organizing the seeds for her garden, "I think I should buy a new dehydrator to use at harvest time." "Oh, no!" replied the hibernating husband, as he drew in a breath and his shoulders slowly began to expand, "I think I can fix our old one." "What a wonderful idea," replied the happy wife as she gathered a seed packet or two and headed out the door.

It soon became late spring and blueberries were ripening very quickly. There were plenty to dry, as well as freeze, and so she remarked to hibernating husband that maybe now would be a good time to look into a new dehydrator. "Oh no," said hibernating husband, "I am sure I can fix our old one. I need to get that down and look at it."

Peaches were plentiful in the summer, but they were canned and only a few dried in the oven. In the fall, apples were put up by the bushelcanned, once again, into beautiful sauce; and only once did happy wife softly mention a dehydrator, and in response hibernating husband mumbled something, just a softly but unintelligibly, under his breath.

Now winter is nearly upon us. The nights are getting longer and the daylight shorter. All good bears have found a den. Even the chipmunks have gathered their last seed for the winter months from under our bird feeders, and hibernating husband curls up more and more with Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn, and his favorite westerns.

But what is this? A dehydrator, my old Excaliber to be exact, on the living room floor? There it stayed, however, untouched all day. The next day hibernating husband turned it on its back; but, unfortunately, there it remained, again untouched, all that day and the next. But this morning the screws are out! And the back is opened up! And I fully expect to hear in a week or two or maybe three, "Honey, I think we should invest in a new dehydrator for next season." And we probably will.

Thanks for everything I have read as I get used to these forums. You all are a great group of people!


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:57PM
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Great stories everyone! I have one but mine would never beat these. I will tell it anyway.

I have lived in the south most of my life and now live near Chicago, IL so we get snow and cold and still go to work in the south that never happens :)

Our first winter we knew the next day was going to be really cold so the kids and I were excited to read the thermometer in the car. In the Garage it was reading warm as we backed out the temp kept falling... on the way to drop off the kids it finally read -17. We were all shocked and almost afraid to get out of the car. Well I had a runny nose and I took a good sniff when I got out and my nose froze shut....It was so funny. The kids were laughing and trying to get theirs to freeze too. I will never forget that cold day :) It was the funniest but I was I was missing the warm that day :)

I too have chased some dogs, I had one when I was pregnant many years ago and I was trying to run after him, it was like he knew I could not catch him, sneaky guy.

Can't wait to read the rest of the stories.

Great Idea Judges!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 5:26PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

I don't know if I'm allowed to enter more then one story but I'll tell you this one just in case.

Last November a week or so after I planted some bulbs I started find bulbs sitting on top of the ground next to a hole. Well I thought the deer must have been digging up my bulbs so I put up a chicken wire fence. The next day I was looking out the window when I saw a groundhog running at terrific speed toward my garden, I thought it was going to hit the fence or something but no it took a flying leap and cleared the 4 ft fence. So now I had a groundhog which was my newest suspected bulb digger running around my garden. Even though it was 32* outside I decided I better get out there quickly so I slipped on a pair of flip flops and went outside in my short sleeves. well I ran over to my garden and with a 7f long stick i reached across the width of my narrow garden and lifted up the fence. the groundhog thought i was some sort of monster and went scurrying out the hole. never to visit again. I went back inside feeling successful when it hit me how cold I actually was. I think it might of been better to let the groundhog dig up all my bulbs and replant them later.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 6:52PM
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I'm glad to see some contestant posts already. I don't have any winter garden stories, but I do have some funny winter memories.
One of my most memorable is one of my many school bus mishaps. I used to chronically oversleep even as a child. Running for the bus was a common occurrence. The stop was just one house ahead of mine so if I got out of the house, the driver could see me and they would wait. One winter morning, when I was in Junior High, I came running out of the house, hit a patch of ice and went airborne. I came down on my behind, and as I did, I heard a dreaded rip. Yes, I split my pants. So there I am trying to wave the bus on. I can see all the kids on the bus laughing at my fall. They of course don't know I ripped my pants, but in my mind they did, and the driver I can tell thinks I'm hurt so I rise. I'm trying to wave the bus on. The driver is still waving come on and I'm shaking my head no and waving her on as I'm backing myself up the driveway to the house, LOL.

Karen you made me remember icicle hair! I had waist length hair when I was younger that I used to comb out and let air dry. Once time as a teen, I got ready to go out to my friend house which was a short walk away. It was cold! As I was walking, I kept hearing tinking like when glasses get pushed together. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what is was. I kept stopping and listening, and of course when I stopped, it stopped. I finally swung my head fast enough around that I realized it was my own hair! The top of my head was dry, but my hair was so long, the bottom 1/2 was wet. My hair had become an icicle windchime, lol.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 7:18PM
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kathi_rogers(6a - NE Oklahoma)

It's only the beginning of Dec and I am already in the major stages of gardening withdrawal (my husband can't understand it as I have 42 Brugmansia cuttings in various stages of rooting). One day last week, I decided I just had to start a couple of seed trays in the house and go to the gardening/firewood shed to get trays and peat pots to start a few datura seeds. I am counting out peat pots when all of a sudden a SHAPE shoots out from the firewood and starts bouncing off the walls and everything between them! I suffer from severe PTSD and any kind of unexpected noise is enough to make me jump a couple of feet but this is too much! I end up on top of my DH's monster yardtractor screaming my head off with the SHAPE still moving so quickly I can't tell what it is (not that I can focus so well!) A neighbor hears my screams and comes running over, bursts through the shed door and the SHAPE runs up his leg, across his torso, up to his shoulder and leaps out the door. Now neighbor is screaming also! It turns out the shape is a squirrel who somehow became trapped in the shed and was probably doing screaming of his own, unless he considered it an absolute "scream" and was laughing his furry little tail off! Needless to say both spouses are still laughing! I now leave the shed door open when I go in - regardless of the temp! Needless to say the datura had to wait a couple of days to get planted!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:12PM
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I can't think of any funny stories...............oh, well...........


    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:39PM
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skeetermagnet(z7 Okc/Edmond)

We live outside the city limits and enjoy being able to watch the small amount of wildlife that visits us occasionally. It wasn't too long after we moved in that the squirrels became much more comfortable with our being there and began showing themselves more often. My two kids thought they were kinda cute and enjoyed seeing them play in the yard and their acrobatics in the trees. What the kids didn't realize was that their little fur-clad animated toys were getting into the attic and causing problems. I spent the entire day before Christmas running new telephone cable in my attic where those nasty gnawers had chewed through a wire that wasn't even edible! Well, the lines were now drawn. No more Mr. Niceguy for me. They were now doing damage to the house and costing me money. Something had to give and I was the one with the mortgage so it wasn't going to be me! All I needed now was the proper moment to exact my revenge.
It wasn't long after the phone line replacement incident that I was looking out the back of the house on a pretty winter day. I enjoy watching the birds come to my nifty plexiglass bird feeder. My wife and kids bought me that feeder and I loved it. It mounts on a pole and the birds literally will wait in line to eat dinner. As I'm watching the cardinals and blue jays take turns I notice a fat squirrel making it's way across the yard to the feeder. "Surely he won't be able to make it up that slick pole", I thought to myself. Well, I was wrong. Judging by his navigational skills on the pole and his obvious girth, this wasn't his first rodeo. He hopped right up on the feeder and was digging through it for the choicest morsels. Bird food was spilling out on the ground at such a rate that the feeder would be completely empty in just a few minutes.
Being a man of action I was determined not to stand up while this interloper went through 2lbs of bird food for the 9 dried cherries that were in there. I reached for my handy Crossman pellet rifle which is kept near the back door for just such occasions. I silently pulled the bolt back and allowed the magnetic pin to grab a BB from the reservoir, pushed it forward and deposited it into the air chamber. I pumped the gun again and again until I had reached the maximum ten pumps. "Stinkin' wire chewer!" I mumbled to myself as I eased open the back door with stealth no less than a military sniper on a mission. The barrel eased out of the door and the sights were lined up squarely on his hairy noggin. My finger gently squeezed the trigger and the BB left the barrel at 760fps headed to its intended target.
Or so I thought. I was ignorant of some knowledge that would have made a big difference in this process. Such knowledge like the kids had been down at the creek shooting the pellet gun. And they had dropped it on the ground a few times. Enough times that the sights weren't lined up anymore. The rear sight had probably only moved a few millimeters but when the 25 feet between me and the feeder were factored in the error was exacerbated geometrically. Had I known that ahead of time I probably wouldn't have launched a .177 caliber projectile at 760fps at this squirrel that was sitting on my favorite bird feeder with the plexiglass sides.
I'm not sure what was going through the mind of the squirrel that day. It could have been what a good lunch he was finding. It could have been how easy pickings this feeder was. The squirrel could have had the memory of those delicious dried fruits going through his mind. I can tell you for certain one thing that wasn't going through his mind was that BB. A split second after leaving the barrel that little orb of death poked two perfect holes through my beautiful bird feeder. The entrance wound on my beloved feeder was 6 inches from the perpetrator. The feeder was bleeding millet from the exit wound. The squirrel was frozen momentarily with that "what-the-heck-was-that" posture until he noticed me at the back door. In one giant leap that left the feeder swaying back and forth, and 4 strides he cleared an acre's worth of open ground to the safety of the wooded creek.
I stood there staring in disbelief with the cold air whistling in the back door. I had killed my feeder. But the wire chewing, food stealing squirrel was left to vandalize another day.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 3:45PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

LOL...these are great! Keep them coming!:)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:56PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I'm loving all the shared experiences.

I can remember my nose freezin as a child, but think it was likely when I was a runny nosed

I can really envision that shape bouncing off the walls in the shed. A couple of years ago a neighbor told me she had a wild cat in her shed and couldn't get it out. I told her I'd be down and assured her I COULD get it caught and out, if she had a good heavy glove. Once I got in there, and it started bouncing off the walls, I realized there was no way of catching it by hand. It finally left on its own after once she left the door open long enough.

I just knew how your story was gonna end, and can't believe you would even shoot in the general direction of your most favorite bird feeder.

Remy, I can't believe you hand fed a !@#$ mouse.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 12:24AM
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Some talented writers!!! Great reading!!!

Skeeter, I can relate to your story -up to the point of pellet gun, as we've been invaded by a few critters for years, more so since we no longer have a dog. We try to fill feeders about 1/4 full, seen raccoons hanging on to the bottom of the feeders, squirrels upside down etc etc, tried putting feeder inside the large pet carrier placed atop the large cage, heard a loud bang one night, pair of coons on a mission, had the cage with the feeder...knocked down on the patio. We're getting a STOVE PIPE to slip the feeder pole into it, that should do it!!
I can't believe either you'd shoot at the critters, may be if it were opossum, shows up rarely- gross.

Christmas tree time- looking at our Norfolk Island Pine makes me think of the not that funny but amusing to us story.
In 2000 my son-in-law took me the Christmas tree display in front of Delchamps, nice Norfolk Pine trees with at least a dozen trees in each pot, $20.
My dear s-i-l insisted he can get me FREE trees , any size, all I want to, from his parents' farm in TX, he'll dig one nice one for me, not to waste my money!! LOL
It took a few minutes to convince him these are special trees!! Besides, it was my money, smile, he paid me for babysitting his son/my first grandchild....special, as is this tree, we've decorated it together 7 years now.

Big is sometimes too big, even for Texas, lol

GB--Bea ( who got the GraanieB name when my grandson was starting to call me so)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 8:20AM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

LOL these are great stories!!!

Remy ~ there's just somethin' about a baby anything that makes me wanna care for it.. even if it was a filthy mouse! lol

We rarely see snow here in N Ga, and if we do it's a dusting that's gone by the next day... but some years we have some pretty wild ice storms that are just gorgeous but nasty as all get out to drive in!

I have a few winter stories, and I didn't see an entry limit so here goes story #1:

Now I lived on the corner of a major hwy and a side road. So anything I did in the front or side yard was often witnessed by those driving by. I told the story before of running after grasshoppers with my shovel trying to squoosh them with it and passersby slowing down to watch my antics... I'm sure everyone considered me that weird garden lady down the road.. what'll she do for excitement today? lol

This happened last November. At the old house there were many HUGE oak trees and a number of other trees that dropped some kinda nuts all over the yard. I decided to run the mower over the side yard once more before any ice came. The mower would spit the nuts over the hill and mulch up the leaves. Well the squirrels in those parts just LOVEEEEEEEEEEE those nuts!! And they are bold lil suckers too.. they don't usually run away until you get right up on them! So I'm bee-bopping along w/ my mower going and head up close to the biggest tree and there sits a squirrel munching on a nut. He's a big fella, hasn't missed many meals there, that one. I kind sort of rush at the tree in an attempt to scare him off so I could finish my business under the tree. He didn't care. I swear he looked at me like I was stupid. So I re-started the mower and swooshed that at him several times before he finally takes the nut he's munching and tosses it at the mower! I think to myself dang, he's a brave one. I go at him again and again he lodges another nut at the mower and holds his ground. I had no intentions of mulching the big guy.. just wanted him to scoot so I could finish what needed done! I went around the side and got closer to him and he goes up the tree about 6" and again lodges a nut at the mower! I laughed as he scampered up the tree to the branches waiting above me, thinking I'd outsmarted the lil punk. I go about mowing under the tree and suddenly hear a loud *PINGGG* and I looked up and saw that the dang squirrel was pulling the nuts offa the tree branch and was still launching his attack at the mower.. only now from up above! I couldn't believe it! I think ah ok, here's a lil show off.. probably got some lil girly squirrel up there he's trying to impress. I keep at it and another *PINGGG*, now I'm getting a lil irked.. it is MY yard afterall! So I stop the mower and reach down and start launching nuts back at him! He scampers to the other side of the tree and I think HAH! That'll show him!! I re-start the mower, feeling all powerful and proud of myself and I try to finish up and suddenly I feel a sharp smack on the top of my head and dangit if that squirrel didn't launch a nut at ME!!!!!!! Not once but TWICE did he nail me in the noggin! That was it. I ran and snatched up my leaf rake and I start yelling at the squirrel and banging the rake against the branches in the hopes of knocking him out. Suddenly I hear the squeal of brakes and realize my son's bus had arrived and when I looked over all the kids are laughing and pointing at me. My son didn't speak to me for 2 hours... he was soooooooooo embarrassed. But by gosh that squirrel ran off and I was able to finish mowing the lawn in peace! I'm still not sure who really 'won' that battle.. but I looked for him this year to see if he wanted another go at it just in case! :P

Hugs all and beware of those unruly squirrels, they have great aim! :)


    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:28AM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

Sue,that would be me that fed the mouse! Remy split her

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 2:17PM
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A few years ago I had a four foot Iguana move into my yard. Iguanas are nothing unusual here in Fl. People buy them for pets, they get too big or the people tire of them and turn them loose where they proceed to multiply.

John Percy (the Iguana) was relatively tame. He would eat hibiscus blooms, which are like candy to Iguanas, out of my hand and didn't run when you got close.

Anyway, I had planted my winter flower garden and my plants were 3 - 5 inches high and very healthy looking. I let my dogs out into the back yard and happened to glance at my cutting garden where to my surprise I spotted John Percy helping himself to my Zinnias, Rubedeckia and anything else that caught his fancy. I guess he thought he had died and gone to an Iguana buffet heaven. I already had an on going battle with one of my neighbors dogs who loved to graze on my Zinnias. Even my dogs will take a bite out of them when I take them out into the front yard and they manage to inch their way close enough. It was bad enough to share with the dogs but I knew if I let John Percy stay there it would be the end of my cutting garden.....besides, I fed wasn't like he needed to eat my flowers. I went to my carport and got an old broom that I kept there, boldly walked into my garden armed and ready. I had no desire to hurt John Percy, I was just going to use the soft end of the broom to help him change locations. I walked right up to him and he calmly looked at me as tho to say "join me these flowers are delicious" and continued his feast. I took the business end of the broom and gave him a little shove with it but he stood his ground. I gave him another shove and he proceeded to lash at me with his tail. I was so surprised that I almost fell over my own two feet trying to get out of the way as he stood there laughing at me. Believe me, I could tell by his expression that he was laughing. I started toward him with my broom once more and he came running toward me with his tail still lashing. Have you ever seen a lady with a broom jump a fence? OK, so it was only a two foot fence, but I cleared it by a few feet. When I got brave enough to stop I first checked to see if my neighbors were watching....luckily no one was in the yard but I do believe I saw a curtain moving. I turned around and John Percy had gone back to grazing on my Zinnias. I was mad now and I gripped my trusty broom in hand and went back in to the arena. I guess John Percy could see that I meant business that time because he lashed his tail a few times and headed up a Carrisa Plum bush. I must have really hurt his feelings because he stayed up there all night and the next day he moved two houses down to a neighbor. His feelings my have been hurt, but my pride took a bigger blow.......chased and running from a "LIT'L OLE" lizard.

My yard men were clearing an area in my back yard a little while ago and said they saw a five foot Iguana. I don't know it it was John Percy or a new one. I just planted my cutting garden a few months ago and the plants are tender and juicy. I guess I better get the broom handy.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 2:36PM
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"that would be me that fed the mouse! Remy split her pants" LOL.
No I did not feed any mice. I used to have pet rats though. I know you all are thinking I'm crazy now. They(lab rats) make good pets really! Much better than hamsters or gerbils.

I forgot to say that the pants ripping story was used in combination with other stories that happened to me to win a "Why I was late for school or work" story contest on the radio.

Here's another school bus story that still brings back embarrassing memories.
I got on the bus and after a couple stops, the whole bus starts to smell. It smells like dog poo. The driver can smell it and asks what the smell is. It is getting stronger and the kids are yelling so she stops the bus and starts walking down the aisle trying to identify the source. It of course is me. I stepped in dog poo obviously right before getting on the bus! The odor was strong around me, but I had no clue I was the source of the stench. I had to get up, get off the bus, and scrape my shoe on the grass until I got it clean. The whole bus was laughing at me!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Though I haven't had a chance to respond, I have enjoyed the entries to the contest very much. It seems like critters are a VERY COMMON theme... actually I don't feel so bad about the THING in the garage or whatever IT is scuttling in the attic...

If you think of it, please go to the Seed Trading Side and keep bumping the Contest announcement up (a couple of you already have)--I'd like to read a whole lot more before it is through and I send the seeds to the winner.

Here is my little story, not to be judged as I am the host of the contest. It's in memory of my little Homer.

Ice Fishing

I live where ice and snow dominate many months of the year. It is a winter wonderland for the adventurous. There is skiing, both downhill and cross country, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice sailing, and I am too uncoordinated to do any of them. I used to go sledding when my kids were little, until the time I swerved to avoid a big soft Great Pyrenees dog and hit a nice hard tree instead. After I recovered from the hairline skull fracture and concussion, my kids decided it might be best if I watched them and cheered from the sidelines, though they would, bless their little hearts, generously allow me to pull them back up the hill.

Being the outdoor woman that I am, I had to find something to do in the long winter that was fun, easy, and best of all, almost impossible to hurt myself doing. Since I'd grown up in Hayward, Wisconsin, where fishing is a religion and there is a Fishing Hall of Fame in the shape of a giant musky (I couldn't make this up if I tried), I had learned and enjoyed fishing as a child. It seemed reasonable then that as an uncoodinated but winter-loving adult, I should become an ice fisherwoman. It was a good fit; other than poking myself in the foot a couple of time with the ice auger, spearing a few fingers baiting my hook, dropping my mittens down the ice hole, and a touch of frost bite now and then, I found I really enjoyed it. However, my husband was NOT fun to fish with--as men will do, bless their controlling little hides, he felt like it was his duty to tell me all the things I was doing wrong; even though he did not catch as many or as large of fish as I did, he still thought his running commentary on my technique would somehow enhance my fishing pleasure. One day there was a scene--I won't point fingers, but someone drove away off the ice, someone was stranded on the ice--I'll leave it to you all to figure out what happened to whom.

My kids didn't like fishing either--too cold, too boring, no T.V., no computer games... I'd already decided I'd give up the sport before I'd go ice fishing with another man, and sadly, there aren't many women, I've found, with a passion for it. They are, no doubt, the women who are coordinated enough to ski, to snowboard, etc.

I decided to see if my tiny terrier, a 10 pound feisty fellow named Homer, would take to the icy adventure. I bought him doggy boots and a sweater, and it took him roughly half the time to tear them off and rip them to shreds that it took me to get them on him. I warned him he was going to be cold, but he wagged his stump of a tail in anticipation, so I figured if nothing else I could zip him up on my parka if it got to be too much for him.

I took him out on the ice for the first time when he was barely a year old. The roads were a bit slippery that day and my focus was solely on my driving. I didn't realize he was busy in the back of the car, until we got to the lake and he climbed up to the front seat to lick me in the face, smacking his chops and oddly smelling of fish...the little sucker had pried open the top of the minnow bucket and eaten half my bait.

In the next 9 years (after I was smart enough to store the bait in the trunk), we would hike out on the ice, me pulling the sled, Homer running around sniffing everything, circling, jumping up in sheer joy, and when I had drilled the hole, I'd open the minnow bucket and flip him a minnow, he'd catch it and wolf it down, wag his stump of a tail, and happiness for both of us was so simple and pure.

This year I think the ice fishing equipment is going to stay in the garage as I don't seem to have the heart to use it. However, I sometimes go out and look at the minnow bucket and smile--Homer's little claw marks are still around the latch from that very first time we went out on the ice and he pried it open, then jumped up to kiss me with minnow-breath.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 1:43AM
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lindaruzicka(Z6 PA)

I'm really enjoying reading all these's a great way to start the day!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 7:42AM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

Kate,that is such a sweet story,thanks so much for sharing! :)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 11:03AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I'd sure go with you, but I am pretty picky about the ice and the weather. In the past I always enjoyed it so much when the ice was good and thick (more than the minimum to be considered safe) and a sunny 40 degree or better day with no wind.
When I was a beginner ice fisherwoman, I learned early on that an ice auger is really necessary, as an axe just ends up getting one all wet, once the ice is broken just a tiny bit and the water fills the tiny hole.
I once took a young neighbor boy with me and my ice skates for him. He soon tired of fishing, but it was really windy (that was before I got picky about the weather), and he held his coat open, let the wind catch it, and went sailing across the ice, powered by the wind only. He had a really good time keeping me entertained.

Sue...who has often been entertained by neighborhood children

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Great stories guys!! Keep them coming!!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 10:23PM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying reading all the stories...they are all putting a big smile on my face. Kim

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Ok, this actually happened in April! But it was in the Rocky Mountains and still snowing, so maybe it can count =)

Hubby and I were on our way back to NJ from California, driving. We had planned to have the beloved cat ride in style next to the window, with her carrier propped up so she could see out... but she really didn't like that idea. So we put her at my feet up front (passenger side, of course) and that quieted her right down.

Except when my DH opened the window while driving for some air... she starting MEOWING at the top of her lungs! The carrier was bouncing around the floor at my feet. He closed it... immediate silence. Well, once he figured that one out, the window got opened about every five minutes just to rile her up. Like clockwork, everytime the window opened, angry MEOWS and scrambling started up... shut the window, calm. I think the topper was when we stopped in Denver, and DH thought we should get a travel picture of Selah (cat) visiting Colorado. So we have a lovely picture of a partially-shredded soft-side cat carrier, held high next to our car, with the Rockies in the background. Too bad we didn't get a video, that would have been more fun =)

And then there was the night we snuck her into our hotel room, and had to take the bed apart the next morning to get her out......

Poor cat... don't know how she is not scarred for life. Then again, she's always been crazy, so how would we know??


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Here's my story. It's an old one from childhood. Thanks! Diana

I never got to experience much snow having grown up in Georgia, so it was very exciting one year when we were expecting quite a few inches and cold temps to keep it on the ground for a few days. The house I grew up in sat on a hill and was surrounded by woods. We had a really long driveway that would be perfect for sledding! My dad, being the amazing contractor he is, decided to build us a sled before the snow came in.

We excitedly woke up one morning to a blanket of white on the ground and the newscaster telling us that school was closed for at least the next two days. My mom of course insisted on making us a good hot breakfast before we could go outside and try out our new sled. On came the food cheese eggs, sausage, buttery grits, biscuits and gravy all the things my dad loves. We devoured our food faster than a speeding bullet and out the door we went.

My dad pulled out the sled and insisted that he needed to test it out before letting my sister and I give it a try. Hes gotta make sure its safe, right!?!?! Well, it was quite safe and my dad made it down the hill just fine. Keep in mind that out driveway was darn near a half a mile long. My dad started up the driveway with the sled in tow and my sister and I waiting not so patiently for him. "Hurry up dad!"

All of the sudden, my dads speed picked up. But we were staring in confusion he let go of the sled! He just left it laying there and we didnt want to have to go down there and get it! "Dad, go back! You left the sled!" He made it about another 30 feet when he suddenly reached around and put his hand over his behind. Immediately everything made sense. Dad had really overdone it with the greasy breakfast mom had made! Diarrhea was the culprit and the real question was: would he make it in time!?!? The upward slope was bad enough, and the snow certainly wasnt cooperating either. He kept slipping and falling with practically every step. We literally thought Christmas would come and go before he made it up the hill.

My mom, sister and I were literally lying on the ground, laughing hysterically. The whole time my dad kept screaming "Its not funny! Stop laughing!" and holding his behind the whole way. He finally made it up to the house and into the bathroom, but to this day I still dont know if he actually "made it." He was pretty mad at us for laughing at him and my mom wouldnt say another word about it after she went in to check on him. I do remember new underwear being under the Christmas tree for him that year though!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Here's my story, and you want believe it. Only this happened in October.
I have this white german sherperd (Annie). She has a pretty good size dog lot to run in, there is a big peacon tree right at the side of the fence, that she uses for shade. One morning I went out on the deck to check on Annie and behold a large raccon was up in the tree. I called for my husband to come and look, the coon wan't moving, so I though it amy be sick and I didn't want it to fall in Annie's dog pen. So DH got out the BB gun and tried to scary the coon so that it would come down.No way was that coon going to move. I guess it had died up in the tree. No movement, so dead, I guess Well you know that , the coon had to come out of the tree I didn't want Annie to get it, so DH went to get a ladder to try and get the coon down. On our way back with the ladder, you want belive that was happening. Three large and I mean large buzzards was carring it off. I couldn't believe my eyes. They pick the thing up out of the tree and took off with it Believe it or Not

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 1:59PM
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My story is very fresh in my mind as it happened two weeks
ago. I was at a new Super Target starting a bit of Christmas shopping. I had quite a few items as well as groceries thinking "well this will be pricey". I am not a snow person as it stops me from gardening of course and we already had alot of snow. The cashier was nice and so was the young man helping her bag items. All of a sudden another young worker runs toward us and says to the young man helping me :Dude, your Grandma is out in the parking lot driving around in circles! I ran outside with them as
I thought she may have a heart attack or a stroke or something awful. Sure enough, here she comes toward us driving in a great big circle. She has her window down about two inches and screams "I am going to----" She is gone again going to the outer part of this great big parking lot. We wait and here she comes again and says "kill your"----" Gone again. She makes her way back to us and the grandson screams Grandma, what are you going to kill? She yells back, your _______ grandfather! He told me he fixed the brakes and I have none. We got to laughing, crying really but got a grip as we didn't know what to do with her. They didn't have those concrete parking blocks so there weren't many options. We finally got her to drive into a huge snowbank after she braced herself. Well I am telling you that was one mad, mad, grandma. She got out of that car, unharmed, stormed to the front of the store yelling at her grandson, See, he just ignores me and thinks I am nagging at him. Come to find out, Grandpa owned the huge Shell station down the road which is a full service repair shop and what have you.
Well that is my Christmas snow story, Happy Holidays,Sybil

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Glad to see some more stories!

Your story reminds me of another bodily function story from where else? On the bus! lol.
On the way to school, I was suddenly overcome with nausea, and I got sick. Thankfully on the floor below my seat, or so you would think. Well, I must of drank too much liquid with my breakfast or over ate cereal, because it was very fluid in motion. So as the bus jolted forward and back as a bus does when stopping to pick kids up, it was rolling under the seats up and back. Kids were screaming all kinds of things,"Remy threw up!" "Here it comes!" "Lift your feet!" "It's coming back this way!" There was all this yelling intermixed with high pitched girlie screams, LOL. Oh my, did I want to die. That was a long ride to school.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:35PM
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Too funny Remy! Of course I'm sure it wasn't so funny at the time. Isn't it nice that we can look back and laugh at those "not so funny" moments from the past!?!?!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 8:16AM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Our youngest child (Luke an 8 year old Golden Retriever that thinks he's human) has his spot picked out right next to the front door, where he curls up and snoozes during the cold weather. I suppose he's more middle aged in dog years, but he's quite the playful pup when he wants to be. Well our front door has about a 1/2-3/4 inch gap in the bottom that we will some day, get around to placing weather stripping on, of some form. We currently roll a towel to keep the cold air out. But sometimes the towel doesn't get placed where it's supposed to be.

So now you have a picture of our peaceful middle aged puppy snoozing next to the door. Have any of you ever seen the movie Signs, with Mel Gibson? One early evening last week, I was watching Luke as he was sleeping next to the door. I heard a funny noise and was wondering what on Earth it could be. It wasnt Luke snoring, it was a different sound than that, but I followed where the noise was coming from. I stood about a foot from Lukes head where he was laying and looked at the space under the front door. These long 4 furry fingers snuck under the door, grasping at Luke's fur. They finally grasped his fur and pulled. Luke awoke and jumped in the cartoons, he began running in place, trying to escape what ever it was that just snatched his fur. Startled and laughing MBO, I ended up right in the way of the direction he was trying to run. His feet finally caught grip and he started his momentum forward. Everything went flying, including me!

After he finally calmed down, he proceeded toward the door to see what grabbed at him. Just inside the door, where he was laying, was a small kibble from his food bowl, which was outside the door. I opened the door and lo and behold, a raccoon was finishing off the last of Luke's dinner. It seems that this little bandit didnt want to lose any of the kibble that Luke had left.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:07AM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

Ok not a winter story so doesn't count, but cute and I had to share.

Jordan (age 4) was sleeping over Sunday night and grandpa asked her to go get his cup from the bathroom. Grandpa proceeded to take out his teeth and put them in the cup. Jordan had never seen him do this before and had to look in his mouth. She had to look for quite some time to figure out what just happened. She then looked in his cup and said, "Wow Grandpa! The tooth fairy is going to bring you lots of money!!!" Grandpa just laughed and said big people don't get money from the tooth fairy...after much explaining, grandpa finally just agreed that he would get lots of money...there is no reasoning with a 4 year old who believes :)

Later at night I hear my husband yell, "what the h---! Turn on the light". What I ask groggy??? He yells "TURN ON THE LIGHT, TURN ON THE LIGHT"! I crack my head on the nightstand as I reach over to turn on the light fearing something really bad just happened. Once the light was on my husband flips over his pillow and there sits his dentures!!! I laughed so hard I forgot about the growing lump on my head. I guess Jordan was going to make sure grandpa got rich that night...Happy Holidays everyone.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:53AM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

Kim that is hysterical!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 12:48PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Oh Kim...that is priceless. Are you logging all of these antics of Jordan's, so she can someday share the laughter with her own children?


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Kim that was adorable! It sure put a smile on my face as my children always got a kick out of my fathers dentures and how he would stick them out and then as they went to touch them he would pull them back in!! Thanks for a sweet memory!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 6:07PM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

Oh yeah I cannot go a day without having Jordan say something funny...Sue thanks for the great idea...I am going to get a journal to write these things down.

We also braved the cold and went to the zoo last Thursday because we had to "see the animals that live with Santa". We saw the "snow bear" and penguins and lots of other animals. I got to see my favorite close up and personal...the giraffe. We also got to see a "rhinopulous" (rhino) up close as well. The rhino was banging around a large rubber ball and Jordan thought he was bowling. All of a sudden the rhino let out a large, um noise from his rear end, and out plopped a VERY large pile of dung. We had been standing with a zoo volunteer and Jordan looked at her and said, "Can my gramma have that poop to make her plants grow big?" Well gramma got a little red in the face as she explained why we collect poop...what gardener would be without?


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 8:35PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

Ok,when do we vote and how? Are we supposed to email our choices to Kate or post them here? It is going to be so hard choosing my favorite!:)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 12:45PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

YIKES! I just read above in the OP that the contest is over tonight. I 'thought' it was running for a couple of months. Sure wish I would have had a laugh meter going when I read so many of these. I enjoyed them all and the visions they brought mind, ie I can see dirtdiggin's dog Luke running in place, spinning his wheels, trying to get away from the coon that 'grabbed' him.

I'm leaning toward a 'private' vote by the judges, but that is up to our organizer. Whatever she chooses is fine.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 1:47PM
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Please email me your vote privately. Please include a second-place choice--this will be used as a tie-breaker.

I apologize for not posting this earlier. A squirrel in the transformer took out ours and our neighbors' power for almost 16 hours last night into this morning!

Thanks for your help,


    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 3:55PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

That sounds like a good story Kate! lol



    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 9:32AM
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It's a story I could tell frequently- in the 20 years we've been here, 8 squirrels have committed suicide in our transformer.

In terms of announcing the winner, I am still awaiting the vote of one of our judges. This is a very close contest!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 11:33PM
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