17 Dec 2017 When gifts come together, Failing tests (fire ants), Cloudman (Dr. John A Day) and Dream

Hello to you.  Just a short note as I haven’t written in a couple of days.  I’ve kind of come to an impasse with this blog and am not sure how or if I want to proceed with it.  I’m afraid I am just more “noise” to the already noisy world of written text.

Something neat.  Kyle’s niece Laci had given us two glitterized mason jars with tea lights for Christmas when we saw her recently.  I hadn’t lit the tea lights as they don’t last very long.  Well then I opened the gifts from my Aunt Ruth yesterday and she solved that problem with a pair of fairy lights!

It’s beautiful when that happens!  Two completely different families, different people connected together by love, one holiday and two people.  We are all connected like this directly and indirectly if we take a look!

Yesterday I had one of those “tests” to check my anger management skills and I feel like I failed (the anger part.)

What happened is I had my cot out to do some sky watching like I love to do and apparently a nest of fire ants decided to move where I like to put my cot!  Things escalated quickly.  They were on the cot without me even realizing it and were attacking their way up my body!  This was reminiscent of when an entire colony invaded our house and set up shop in our garden tub where we put our laundry basket!  Anyways, I felt them biting me and got really pissed.  I grabbed the garden hose and just let it run and then poured Demetrius earth over the entire area.

What all this made me think of is how we as human beings act when we are attacked by another human being.  The phrase “As is above, As is below” came to mind.  Why does it feel like it’s so easy to get mad when I get physically attacked by another person or by nature?  Kyle says it is a very primitive part of me rising up to protect myself.  When I had calmed down and flushed the biters out of my clothes I cried and felt really bad.  The ants were just doing what they instinctually knew to do.  This is what people in the stratums of this so-called civilized society we’ve created do.  We are a lot like the ants and most all beings in nature despite what we tell ourselves.  I’m glad it rained and washed away powder shortly afterwards.

I re-explored this book yesterday and took a chance to tell the family of Dr. Day how grateful I was for this book.  I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it but was surprised and honored by his daughter Janice actually responding to my note!  I forwarded the exchange to my mother-in-law so she could see “the circle” of love she started by buying me this book:

http://www.cloudman.com/ – The Book of Clouds by Dr. John A. Day was bought for me by my mother-in-law to help me through one of my hospital stays and it is one of my favorite books.  Look up and See!  (https://www.amazon.com/Book-Clouds-John-Day/dp/1402728131/ref=sr_1_1/141-9688725-4985135?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513527884&sr=1-1&keywords=the+book+of+clouds+by+john+day)

With the weather being cold and wet, I’m thinking about trying to use this guide from a friend I had on Facebook, Mark House (I’m probably not going back to Facebook), to help me with my random music making:

I had a cool dream last night.  I had been looking for an angel my Aunt Ruth had given to me many years ago.  It was jointed with wires and had a little sign that says Joy, my middle name.  Ruth likes to give me ornaments etc. with that word for the holidays.  Well I didn’t find the angel.  I think it broke or she was a casualty of one of my unfortunate stuff cullings that I do from time to time!  I did come across a picture program from the only live rock concert I’ve ever been to which was David Bowie Sound and Vision Tour at Cal Expo back in 1990.  Well then this morning I was treated to a dream about performing with David at a concert lol.  I guess the right waking world keys were in place to unlock that.  What was funny is he and I looked a like and we weren’t singing words, we were making sounds.

Sound And Vision


Doo, doo, doo, do-doh
Doo, doo, doo, do-doh

Don’t you wonder sometimes
‘Bout sound and vision

Blue, blue, electric blue
That’s the color of my room
Where I will live
Blue, blue

Pale blinds drawn all day
Nothing to do, nothing to say
Blue, blue

I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
And I will sing, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
Drifting into my solitude, over my head

Don’t you wonder sometimes
‘Bout sound and vision

Songwriters: DAVID BOWIE
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, TINTORETTO MUSIC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

16 Dec 2017 – pen and ink drawing I did yesterday


20 Sept 2017 Ants in our pants (Diatomaceous earth for pest control) and Hope in Front of Me (Danny Gokey)

Hello to you.  It’s 6:40 pm on this Wednesday evening.  We had a rough start to our morning – another fire ant siege in the house.  They were in our laundry basket!  After talking to a neighbor who also had a garden tub, which is where we used to keep our laundry basket (not keeping it there anymore!) they had the same thing happen to them when it gets dry like it is here lately.  They go for the water sources they can get to.  We are trying some Diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of the house to see if we can’t get them to move.  For those who have dealt with ants, you know that’s all you are doing with anything you do to them!  This is what we bought:  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Safer-Brand-4-lb-Diatomaceous-Earth-Bed-Bug-Flea-Ant-Crawling-Insect-Killer-51703/206857782.  Since we have two dogs, we decided to try it in lieu of the more toxic sprays and other traditional ant killers on the market.

Funny meme I found on the internet this morning about our predicament lol.

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html – if you are interested to learn more, please use this link.  Lots of good info.

What is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas.

photo credit: Wipeter

Silica is very common in nature and makes up 26% of the earth’s crust by weight. Various forms of silica include sand, emerald, quartz, feldspar, mica, clay, asbestos, and glass. Silicon, a component of silica, does not exist naturally in its pure form. It usually reacts with oxygen and water to form silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide has two naturally occurring forms: crystalline and amorphous. Most diatomaceous earth is made of amorphous silicon dioxide. However, it can contain very low levels of crystalline silicon dioxide. The first pesticide products containing silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth) were registered in 1960 to kill insects and mites.

What are some products that contain diatomaceous earth?

Products containing diatomaceous earth are most commonly dusts. Other formulations include wettable powders and pressurized liquids. Currently, there are over 150 products registered for use inside and outside of buildings, farms, gardens, and pet kennels. Some products can also be used directly on dogs and cats. Diatomaceous earth products are registered for use against bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders, and many other pests.

There are thousands of non-pesticide products that contain diatomaceous earth. These include skin care products, toothpastes, foods, beverages, medicines, rubbers, paints, and water filters. The Food & Drug Administration lists diatomaceous earth as “Generally Recognized as Safe”. “Food grade” diatomaceous earth products are purified. They may be used as anticaking materials in feed, or as clarifiers for wine and beer.


Today’s news, like most days, was full of heartbreak all over the world and both Kyle and I have just been feeling so beat down by it all.  It’s in these times you truly feel powerless and can lose hope.  You feel it especially if you are the types of people, like Kyle and I,  that care about everybody but can’t really be of much help to  anybody…..just a lot of prayers to give but not much else!  Well I was looking for inspirational videos and music and found Danny Gokey’s message of Hope.  I hope something in his message resonates with you today.  Even if it seems like nobody cares…..a lot of people you’ve never met are praying for you right now.

Hope in Front of Me

I’ve been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I’ve seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

There’s a place at the end of the storm
You finally find
Where the hurt and the tears and the pain
All fall behind

You open up your eyes and up ahead
There’s a big sun shining
Right then and there you realize
You’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me
There’s a light, I still see it
There’s a hand still holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I might be down but I’m not dead
There’s better days still up ahead
Even after all I’ve seen
There’s hope in front of me

There’s a hope still burning
I can feel it rising through the night
And my world’s still turning
I can feel your love here by my side

You’re my hope
You’re the light, I still see it
Your hands are holding me
Even when I don’t believe it
I’ve got to believe
I still have hope
You are my hope

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

12 Sept 2017 Link news (human drugs being prescribed to animals) and Homeownership blues (the fight with nature)

Hello to you.  It’s 11:03 am on this Tuesday morning as I start to write to you.  I’m happy to report Link is doing better after his battle with we aren’t sure what.  He had blood work done for organ function, fecal matter testing and pancreatic tests which all came up negative for any nasties.  There is a possibility that he got himself stressed out when we were out of the house more frequently than normal (box car derby)….hard to say.  What I wouldn’t give for the ability to do a mind-meld with my dogs to figure out what the heck is going on in their heads sometimes!

12 Sept 2017 – Link this morning – feeling better!


Sunday night I was up most of the night with him but we did manage to get a few winks on the couch in the living room.  I ended up having another one of those vivid dreams where it’s hard to tell if you are sleeping or in a dream.  I was looking out our front windows and it was dark.  I saw flashing blue lights like the ones on top of police cars.  There were lights on in the house.  After I saw the flashing lights, all the sudden all the lights in our house started going out, the last one was in the bedroom and I yelled, “They EMP’d us!” and woke up.  Weird thing to dream on another anniversary of one of the worst days in world history….9/11.

So anyways….as I write this morning, Link is feeling better.  Poor Spot was a basket case with Link being so sick.  When we brought him to the vet and came home without him, she just moped around, got very clingy…smelling my clothes where he had been.  Then when we brought him home from the vet yesterday afternoon, she was so happy!  He was happy to see her too and even gave her a kiss lol!

12 Sept 2017 – Links special girl Spot, who was pretty tired too this morning.

They prescribed the antibiotic Metronidazole, which is yet another drug intended for humans being passed off to our dogs and cats.  When I read about it, I was not happy.  Ironically it’s a drug to help with diarrhea with a possible side effect of causing diarrhea!  Insanity!  The other, more concerning side effect can be neurological problems!  For me, as the nurse-maid having to administer the drugs, is getting him to actually take them without a heavy “disguise” of burying the pill in meat or some other food product just so he’ll eat the pill.  Why the hell hasn’t the animal pharmaceutical industry formulated a drug like this that is specifically for dog and cat biology, will appeal to said dog or cat and not have such horrendous side effects?!  Probably for the same reason they haven’t done it for humans….sigh.

For human use info:

Metronidazole is the generic form of the brand name drug Flagyl, which is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, vagina, stomach, joints, or respiratory tract. The drug is sometimes used with other medicines to treat stomach ulcers. Metronidazole is an antibiotic, which works by killing bacteria in your body.

http://www.petsmart.com/dog/pharmacy/rx-medication/metronidazole-tablet-generic-to-flagyl-5274505.htmlWe use Banfield Pet Hospital which is located inside of Petsmart in Burleson TX.  I’m glad I decided to find and share this, as the vet didn’t tell us that crushing the tablets could cause drooling! 

Product highlights

Metronidazole can help to resolve susceptible anaerobic bacterial infections, protozoa, and other inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract plus anaerobic bacterial infections in the mouth when used as directed by your veterinarian.

What is Metronidazole?This is an oral medication that helps to kill susceptible anaerobic bacteria and protozoa including Giardia. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract so it can be helpful in the treatment of diarrhea as a result of multiple causes.

What are the benefits of Metronidazole?

  • Effective against many cases of diarrhea.
  • Helps with intestinal and periodontal infections plus other susceptible infections.
  • Treats Giardia.

Formulated for:primarily cats and dogs but may be useful in other species.
How is this medication given?Use exactly as directed. Always follow the instructions your veterinarian gives you for your individual pet. If you have questions about how to use Metronidazole correctly, contact your veterinarian.
How does this medication work? Susceptible anaerobic bacteria and certain protozoa are killed most likely as a result of inhibition of DNA synthesis within the affected organism. Metronidazole also works to reduce inflammation in the GI tract so it can be help in the treatment of diarrhea.
What results can I expect? Your pets infection or condition should improve when you use Metronidazole as prescribed. Some conditions respond with a short course of treatment. Other more chronic conditions may require several weeks or more before they are resolved. If your pet seems to be worsening or is not improving after all required medication has been given, notify your veterinarian.
What form(s) does Metronidazole come in? Metronidazole is commercially available as a tablet.
Generic Name:Metronidazole (Common Drug Name)
Common Brand Name:Flagyl
Dose and Administration:Give orally according to your veterinarians exact directions. Give a dose as soon as you remember if you miss a dose but skip the dose if it is time for the next one. Never share this medication with other pets in the household. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions regarding the proper use of Metronidazole.
Uses: Metronidazole works to treat susceptible bacterial and protozoal infections including Giardia. It can also help to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Possible Side Effects: Nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting are the most commonly reported side effects. Other problems such as diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, blood in the urine, head tilt, stumbling, and liver disease are also possible but less likely.
A true allergic reaction may occur if your pet is allergic to Metronidazole. Other side effects are may occur.
Your pet may salivate or drool if tablets are crushed or chewed.
If your pet appears sick in any way while taking Metronidazole, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Drug and Food Interactions: Discuss all other medications or supplements your pet is taking with your veterinarian before giving Metronidazole. Interactions are possible with anticoagulants, cimetidine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and some sedatives/tranquilizers. Other drug interactions may occur.
Precautions:Pets who are allergic to Metronidazole or its derivatives should not take this medication. Do not give this medication to pregnant and lactating females. Debilitated animals or those with liver disease should be given this medication with extreme caution only as prescribed by a veterinarian.
Storage:Store at room temperature in a safe place.
A prescription from your veterinarian is required to purchase Metronidazole.

Changing gears…..
This morning I had a bit of a break down with Kyle after I finished taking care of the yard.  It’s probably because I’m tired after all that has been going on in our home and beyond.  I told Kyle I feel like we are having to fight nature to keep this house…almost to the point to saying fuck it!   I know, I should just be grateful and I am most days!  The list for what we need done to and for this house is growing beyond our financial resources and it’s overwhelming at times.
We have a huge cottonwood tree in our neighbors yard that has roots that go all the way to my next door neighbors house.  It feels like the soil around our house is non-existent….just powder.  Even if we were watering regularly, there isn’t enough dirt to water and the city water is very expensive. We have probably five ant colonies and a couple of them have been launching campaigns to get inside the house.  They were successful in breaching the garage, which spurred me having to move May back into the room she and Amber used to share.  We’ve tried baking soda, bleach, baking soda and vinegar and this morning Kyle went and picked up some Splenda packets to try.  Apparently Splenda originally came about from insecticide origins and can kill ants.
Does Splenda kill ants?
Splenda is an Ant Poison. Splenda is a molecule of carbon and hydrogen with attached chlorine atoms. Its molecular structure is similar to that of DDT. It was discovered accidentally while trying to create a new insecticide. It is no surprise, then, that Splenda kills ants.
We are trying as non-lethal of approaches as we can without hiring an exterminator.  We know from past experience, those services don’t work for long either.  Just like with weeds, the ants and other insects we are trying to kill with poisons are adapting resistances to what we are coming up with.   Whatever we do to them, we do to ourselves and our pets.  Kind of like with us humans when we make contact with something that makes us sick….adapt or die. We are considering ripping out a lot of stuff to include the two gardens in the back that the cottonwood root systems have almost completely infiltrated – try to make the place simpler to care for.  Where is my magic wand LOL?!!!  POOF perfect yard!
Interesting article about they why behind insects developing resistance to pesticides which is what I thought – like humans, some survive exposure to the poison and then past on this resistance to their gene pool:
How pesticide resistance develops

Excerpt from Fruit Crop Ecology and Management, Chapter 2: Managing the Community of Pests and Beneficials by Larry Gut, Annemiek Schilder, Rufus Isaacs and Patricia McManus

The role of population genetics

An individual organism’s genes determine its physical and behavioral traits. When individuals reproduce, they pass along unique combinations of genes to their offspring. Different environments favor individuals with different physical and behavioral traits. Individuals with genes that improve their survival will be more likely to pass along these genes compared to the rest of the population. The mix of genes in a population is called the gene pool. The composition of the gene pool continually changes over time through a process called natural selection.

With the help of plant breeders, fruit growers have taken advantage of the gene pool’s natural variability in a process known as artificial selection. The first step in this process is to identify desirable traits, such as flavor, color, tolerance, or resistance to a pest. Once desirable traits are identified, these can be incorporated into new crop varieties through conventional breeding or genetic engineering. For example, apples have been bred to create a few varieties that are resistant to apple scab. Even without specific breeding efforts, fruit crop varieties display a natural range of resistance to various pests and diseases. When monocultures of single varieties are planted, efficiency of production is traded for diversity of resistance to pests.

Effects of pesticide selection

Repeated use of the same class of pesticides to control a pest can cause undesirable changes in the gene pool of a pest leading to another form of artificial selection, pesticide resistance. When a pesticide is first used, a small proportion of the pest population may survive exposure to the material due to their distinct genetic makeup. These individuals pass along the genes for resistance to the next generation. Subsequent uses of the pesticide increase the proportion of less-susceptible individuals in the population. Through this process of selection, the population gradually develops resistance to the pesticide. Worldwide, more than 500 species of insects, mites, and spiders have developed some level of pesticide resistance. The twospotted spider mite is a pest of most fruit crops and is notorious for rapidly developing resistance to miticides.

diagram of how resistance develops

Some plant pathogens have also become resistant to pesticides. Among fruit producers in North America, apple growers perhaps have faced the most significant problems with pesticide resistance. Examples include streptomycin resistance in the fire blight bacterium and benomyl resistance in the apple scab pathogen. Although the precise genetic and ecological factors differ among pests that have become resistant, in all cases resistance is driven by one process—selection.

Insecticide resistance

Selection for resistance can occur if a small proportion of the insect population is able to survive treatment with insecticide. These rare resistant individuals can reproduce and pass on their resistance to the offspring. If an insecticide with the same mode of action is repeatedly used against this population, an even greater proportion will survive. Ultimately, the once-effective product no longer controls the resistant population.

Fungicide resistance

Single-step pesticide resistance arises suddenly in the field. A single gene or physiological function changes so that an individual becomes highly resistant to the pesticide. With just one or two sprays of the pesticide, the population shifts from mostly sensitive to mostly resistant individuals. This is the process by which populations of streptomycin-resistant fire blight bacteria and benomyl-resistant apple scab bacteria rapidly developed in commercial orchards.

Multi-step pesticide resistance arises slowly in the field over many years. Rather than having distinct groups of sensitive and resistant individuals, the population consists of individuals with a range of sensitivities to the pesticide. With each pesticide application, those individuals at the more resistant end of the spectrum survive and reproduce. Over the years, the proportion of the population that can survive a pesticide spray increases, until that pesticide eventually becomes ineffective. This process is underway in apple orchards where the sterol inhibitor (SI) fungicides have been used extensively to control scab. The shift toward resistance leads to a gradual erosion of control.

Resistance management

Growers can help delay the development of resistance by applying pesticides only when they are needed, by rotating between different chemical classes, and by using rates of pesticides within the labeled range. Integrating non-chemical approaches such as pheromone mating disruption and cultural controls can also help delay resistance.