Saturday, October 31, 2009

Giving kids a ghost of a chance

Where do all these kids come from? Tonight is our 11th Halloween at CadMur Manor, and we expect somewhere from 250 to 500 little visitors to our front door. That's an average of about 2 kids for each of the 220 households in the development -- way more than live here.

A sizable majority of our visitors come from outside Mill Creek, mostly from surrounding neighborhoods, a fact that infuriates some of our neighbors. Scores of parents pile their little ghosts and gobblins into their cars, drive to our urban-enclave of a development and send them out looking for treats in a safe, (mostly) welcoming community. The trick-or-treaters fair better here because:
  1. more residents participate and hand out candy
  2. the booty might be somewhat of a higher caliber than it would be where they live
  3. the kids are safer here than at home, less than a mile away -- unlikely to be shot accidentally or otherwise by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, outside for instance early in the evening
It's a small price to pay for us, handing out candy to kids who don't live here, "outsiders," along with everyone else. We don't worry where our visitors are from. We're happy to have so many kids safely experience a holiday tradition that we both experienced in simpler times. In times before gangs and massive violence. Once a year, we get this wonderful opportunity for love and service, a gift that benefits us at least as much as it does the children who knock on our door, proclaiming, "Trick or treat!"
Sheba and Siegfried From KAOS will be on hand to welcome hundreds of trick-or-treaters tonight

Friday, October 30, 2009

Our path

Sophie and I hit the trail behind CadMur Manor today for a fabulous Friday frolic with the pups. Along the way, we met up with our neighbor Kellie and her four-month-old, Daniel, crunching leaves in the late afternoon sun and trading tales about deer sightings, gardening and Mill Creek living.






The all-purpose Garfield Park trail bordering Mill Creek. Just one of the scores of reasons we love our community.





Sophie and I took occupancy of our brand new home in Mill Creek Oct. 30, 1998 -- 11 years ago today. Good times.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mill Creek afternoon












Sedum telephium 'autumn joy'


Tetraopes tetrophthalmus 'milkweed beetle' on Asclepias syriaca 'common milkweed'
















Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mill Creek rising


















The view from the back door at CadMur Manor, 7:30 a.m., Oct. 14, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Skunk now... sanity later

A guest blog post from Sophie, she wrote this originally as a note to her co-workers this morning. Today is the first of three days R&R for the hard-working quality-supervisor-nurse. ~slc
My three days off started with a bit of drama. Around 9 pm last night, I let Siegfried and Sheba out. They were barking wildly. Sheba was still in the yard. Siegfried had taken off and was two doors down. He had something cornered in the neighbor's flower bed. It was pitch black. I ran over and he was holding a skunk captive. At this point Sheba joined in on the fun. They were attacking the skunk. Siegfried had it in his mouth shaking it back and forth as terriers do with their prey. They wouldn't let the creature alone.

I was frantic!! My neighbor Leon came out. He didn't know what to do. The dogs continued to attack the skunk and get sprayed at the same time. At one point Sheba shreiked in pain -- I almost lost it. My children were in horrible danger. I was inches away from the threesome and was able to grab Sheba. I put her back in the yard, thinking she would stay put because of the invisible fence, but she came back for more. She wasn't done attacking the skunk. It's all a blur.

At this point, Siegfried and the skunk were down the hill and he was locked in on the skunk, which was only moving slightly. Somehow I managed to get Sheba back up the hill, grabbed a leash from inside and subdued her. I think about 15 minutes had gone by at this point. Siegfried was still holding the skunk captive. He had a mouth full of fur. I called my other neighbors (who also have a Jack Russel) Keith and Cindy. They came out and continued to try to coax Siegfried up the hill away from the skunk. After about 20 minutes of coaxing, Siegfried finally came up and we grabbed him. The skunk was still moving slightly, but died quickly. We then prepared a mixture of baking soda/dawn soap and h202 [hydrogen peroxide] and bathed each of them.

It doesn't seem possible, but I don't think they were sprayed too much. They don't have too many battle scars -- Sheba has a scratch on her side and is going to the vet this a.m. They were both happy and wagging their tails this morning like nothing happened -- no smell whatsoever.

I am renaming Siegfried -- he is now "Killer." Killer is sleeping soundly in my lap right now. Oh and while all this drama was going on, Mama was saying "I wanna go to bed. I'm tired. Take me to bed."

Serenity now!!
I posted another story, "Sophie's Choice," on the same event today in Every Day With Bandar.