Random 5 for June 21 – Raccoons, empty nest, ancestry research, names, summer

Source: National Wildlife Federations, Mary Braatz

Another mystery of life – I have a large housing unit for my birdseed can. It takes up a lot of space so for the summer I tried a smaller galvanized can tucked in the shrubs. On Friday, the lid was off the can but neatly placed behind it against the house. Could I have forgotten to put the lid back on? Maybe. It’s something I would do if I’m distracted. The can wasn’t emptied and there wasn’t a mess around the can. I’ll take the hit on this one. The second night I double checked the lid when I went to bed and it was firmly on the can. Same thing next morning. We get raccoons and they love sunflower seeds. They usually go on the feeders at night for a nosh. A long time ago I lived at an apartment where the raccoons went into the garbage. There was a loud racket and quite a mess the next morning. The ones visiting me now are very refined and polite. No noise, no mess and they don’t empty it out or dump it. The beloved husband has rigged up a bungy cord to keep the lid on. I feel guilty about it. They were so polite.

Empty nest syndrome – Our area is going into the green this coming Friday (as far as covid-19 restrictions are concerned). Salons, gyms, indoor shopping will open up with social distancing restrictions. I have been grocery shopping for my brother but this week he went on his own. Stores are not crowded so with masks and gloves, he’s safe. I’ll miss shopping for him. His grocery list was always a hoot. This is exactly how I felt after his accident. I helped him out until he was cleared to drive and bought a car. It’s like sending your kid off to college except he’s so much older and doesn’t ask for money!

Kerplunk! – I was contacted recently by a distant cousin through DNA research. She is related through my maternal grandmother and I was able to fill in some gaps. Whenever this happens, I go into a black hole of neurotic research that is somehow soothing. Love that rabbit hole!

Speaking of which – One of the frustrating things about ancestry research is the repetitious names. Sons were named after fathers and the other sons named a son after their father. In this case it was Frank (or variations mostly Ferencz). Separating them out and double checking birth dates, parents, etc. is critical yet sometimes that information is missing. Did I say this was soothing?

Source: Goodstuffathome.com

Here comes summer! – We celebrated the summer solstice this weekend. Right on schedule our temperatures went from 80 (26C) to 90 (32C) degrees. Hey, it’s summer! When I was a kid this was huge. It still is. It means walking outdoors must happen in the morning! Afternoons are for lazing around with a cold drink of choice!

So how was your week?

 

57 thoughts on “Random 5 for June 21 – Raccoons, empty nest, ancestry research, names, summer

  1. Hmmm, polite visitors or no visitors. I will take the no visitors. I could have used your husband’s help when we used to get a lot of visitors (peeps). Interesting about the distant cousin. It sounds like life is on the upswing, Kate. Time for that cold drink.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bungie cord has done the trick. The lid hasn’t been removed since. I kind of feel sorry for the creative little things but not sorry enough to feed them. There is a lot of food out right now with everything growing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate,
    Raccoons are so adorable, but I’ve got really awful horror stories about them. I was actually watering my herb garden outside a few evenings ago and looked up and there was a big guy/gal racoon on top of our chimney watching me. Ha! We need a chimney cover. I hope we don’t end up with roasted…never mind. Sorry. I’m not making a very good first impression, am I? Maybe you could spare some late night snacks for your polite midnight patrollers since you know they’re around? I know a lot of people enjoy genealogy and that’s very cool that a long-distance relative contacted you! Mmmm…frozen margaritas! BTW, I had a unique experience this past week that I wrote about on my blog if you’re interested. Too much to write about here. Have a great rest of the week! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How funny – you have polite bandits. If they could have managed to get the lid back on, they could have snookered you for some time.
    We had a neighbor once who had a lovely fish pond that came with her house. One summer she got all huffy and called all the neighbors about outdoor cats at night. She said they had bought some expensive big fish and “someone’s cat was coming over at night and helping himself”. (Ours stayed in – too lazy and hot to go out even at night) We all suggested she give up on buying expensive fish.
    Turned out it was one HUGE raccoon enjoying her stocked fishing lake. One night her daughter said they heard a noise and her mom was screaming about a midget peeping Tom looking in at them (Mom drank heavily). The “hand” prints he left on the glass were really big. We’d seen him travel the fence line, but he never stopped as there was no dog food left out…and there was this great resort pond next door…
    Glad your brother is able to get out.
    We are open, but some counties still masking and restaurants limiting indoor tables. If you are in a building, some counties require masks. Despite the screaming about rising numbers, our hospitals are less than 50% – with 80% of the patients in there not there because of COVID but something elective or something else. Hospitals trying to keep their elective surgeries and taking care of patients with existing issue. Lockdowns harm people and hospitals operate on a thin margin, so they need “regular” patients. Good reason for everyone to try and stay healthy…teens not really on board with it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are teens ever on board? Love the raccoon story. I was blaming a raccoon for trashing my pond when it was a deer. I should know better than to jump to conclusions. Cats fishing? Never had a cat that was that ambitious. Especially when they get good eats at home. My old cat never once put a paw in the pond. Current crew don’t go out. Easier that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I admire your ability to stick with your ancestor research. I know what you mean about the repetitive names, often spelled differently [or not]. I gave up trying to figure out my kin, but you make headway. I’m impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 90! Ugh – that is hot! Definite yes to lazing around with cool drinks 🙂 I would feel guilty about shutting them off from a little seed too. Can you put a little on the ground for them? Although I guess that would definitely attract mice like nobody’s business.
    Yay for new relatives and more info for the family tree!

    Liked by 2 people

    • There is seed under the bird feeders as the birds are sloppy eaters so they have that. I also occasionally put produce past it’s prime out for them. They love an ear of corn! We have mice too. They all hear about me supplying food. Nope, not gonna change. As for relatives, I hear from one or two a year as they navigate the system, my name comes up as a DNA match. So far no surprises although this new one was distant so I didn’t know her at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Our weather teed it up for Summer’s arrival – while I’m not looking forward to tonite or tomorrow’s storm, at least it will remove the heat/humidity for a few days. I know there are mice outside, but I don’t see them too often. I was hosing off the A/C from the cottonwood fuzz and a mouse ran out right in front of me. I am sure my heart stopped and I lost a few years off my life. Since I’m not a cat, I was not pleased about that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s sure a cute raccoon in the photo. I’ve had a couple of skirmishes with raccoons, though, and now I know to watch out for them.

    Your empty-nest-syndrome story is touching. I think all of us enjoy helping someone we love. When they no longer need us, it leaves a hole.

    We have an amazing number of repeated names in my family, too. Now, rather than preserving a link to an older relative, we look for unique names.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Country raccoon have those nice busy fingers whereas their city counterparts are a bit more thug-ish, trying to just get to the ‘goods’ quickly and on to the next trash bin. In this day and age, politeness is rare enough to embrace it when it arrives even under cover of night. No doubt a night camera would show those guys wearing gloves with cute little bow ties. 🦝
    P.S. Wholeheartedly endorse your beverage choice. 🍹

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m leaning to the thought that you mentioned in a comment that it might be a neighbor sneaking over for a cup of seed… ha! Our week was hectic! We did watch some gorgeous red dragonflies yesterday… they were beautiful! It’s going to be HOT here… oh boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Raccoons are the enemy around here. Every August for the past number of years, we have had roof damage caused by raccoons trying to break into our attic to nest for the winter. There has been endless expense trying to repair and raccoon-proof our house, but last summer was the last straw. At a loss with trying to figure out how they were getting onto the roof after all the deterrents that have been put in place, my husband installed a surveillance camera in the backyard. Who knew there was so much activity going on in our yard at night!!

    … and we still don’t know how the raccoons are getting on the roof 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did that when someone was trashing my pond. I suspected raccoons but it turned out to be a lovely doe who came every night for a swim and a nosh on my water lilies. For the past 3 years we’ve been trying to figure out how mice get in. We had no mice for the first 10 years. Something had to have changed. Fortunately the cats get active when one is in the basement.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, Kate – I’m totally with you in your frustration regarding repetitious names when doing family tree research. My great-grandfather’s name was Castle Willian Fielding. You wouldn’t thing there would be many people with that same name, would you? If you agreed, you’d be wrong — there are dozens with that name on Ancestry.com. Who knew?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That’s an unusual name (in my book). As I was doing my tree a while back I realized that one of my ancestors had a son when he was two. Can’t be right. I had the wrong one slotted in. I wish I would have asked my mom more questions but I didn’t care back then.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. We have raccoons who like to investigate garbage dumpsters in our condo community. For the most part the bins are too tall for them to get into, so they tend to “feed” on whatever has dumped out by sloppy residents tossing (and missing). I’m always startled when I chance upon them in broad daylight. I thought they’re nocturnal! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am going to do the Ancestry DNA test soon and hope to find some cousins. Our salons opened last week- I got a pedicure Friday. Now I desperately need a haircut 🙂 Have a nice week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did both Ancestry.com and 23andme and I loved it. It’s historical and yet family. I learned a lot about how my ancestors lived (thank God I wasn’t alive then!). I cut my own hair a few weeks ago so I am good until end of July. Hoping I will be able to get in then.

      Like

  14. I wish we had raccoons. We have had a fox visiting recently and I may have bought a pack of dog biscuits. We have just gone from orange to yellow but should have hair dressers and coffee shops open in a couple of weeks. It is starting to feel like normal life is returning.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This morning, it was 80 degrees . . . in the shade . . . at 7:45 am.
    And the breeze was a paltry 1 mph.

    We skipped walking, opting to bike for 30 minutes and then swim for 30 minutes.
    It was the right call.

    I’m impressed with your raccoons ~ neat, tidy, and not piggy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I would expect a very polite note from the raccoons asking what they did to annoy you! Poor things, being so polite, and then locked out. And walking in the am…absolutely. You’re way ahead of me on steps lately! Mornings and after sunset are the only walking times for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My week was a blur of unpacking/organizing and running errands. There will be more of the same for the coming week. I don’t remember taking this much time to get settled in previous moves. Unless moving is like childbirth and you forget how painful the last one was when you consider doing it again. 🤣🤣🤣

    Love your tidy raccoons! Wish a camera had caught them in the act.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Raccoons are certainly crafty little fellas aren’t they Kate? Summertime is exactly what we need right now. I thought of you last night as we sat out on our back patio and I could hear the tree frogs singing across the lake. We are predicted to hit in the 90s today, so the hummingbird activity should be excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t put out a hummingbird feeder this year. I’ve not been successful with them. They will come to my geraniums but not the feeder and I change it every 3 days. It got to be too much work for no return. There must be a secret to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are a lot of work Kate. Keeping the feeder clean is one of the most important things. Mold has a tendency to build up in the little feeding crevices where they stick their beak. In the hot summer sunny months the juice needs to be changed about every two days.If you have a shady spot to put the feeder you might get more activity.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was under a tree with dappled shade. I thought maybe it was too shady. We don’t get a lot of them. Only one at a time and maybe once a week although sometimes if they find something they like, they’ll come back a few days in a row. We had black and blue salvia and they loved that. I didn’t buy it this year.

          Liked by 1 person

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