Saturday, October 1, 2016

Purposeful Treefrog Murder

Today I murdered this cute and innocent 3-inch long Cuban treefrog that I found hiding beneath my front porch wreath. They are an invasive species to Florida and they eat voraciously. Besides spiders and bugs and little snakes, they have nearly eliminated the five local species of native treefrogs and also the ever shrinking green anole lizard population. The Cuban anole is also killing off the green anole, but that is a different story altogether.

Hiding beneath the wreath. "If I stay real still, nobody will notice me!"
I caught this slimey fella in a ziploc baggie, verified its species, and by the way, it was a boy - he had black gripper callouses on his thumbs to hang onto his mate. Next I anesthetized him, then froze him, and finally dumped him into the swirling vortex of death. The instructions to humanely kill a treefrog are to put an inch line of 20% benzocaine (orajel) down its back and they go into a coma in 20 numbing seconds, then freeze for a couple of days before burying at least a foot underground and still in baggie. But we don't have benzocaine, so I instead poured a thimbleful of very old 80 proof scotch whiskey into the baggie, aiming for his back, and this was probably a more entertaining 15 seconds than the numbing gel would have been for this frog. FYI, frogs don't drink, they absorb liquids into their back skin. It was disturbing to me to put him (in baggie) into the freezer, but I did for several hours. I just couldn't deal with the thought of having a frog in my freezer so the toilet came to mind. He felt frozen/hard and I am pretty sure he was dead when I flushed him, but it is my guess that if he wasn't, he has since drowned or died from alcohol poisoning. 
Not happy in a baggie, before getting scotch whiskey.
Killing a frog wasn't as awful as I expected and I do not feel bad about it now. I won't murder just any frog, just invasive Cuban treefrogs. My sister Patty and I were in a gift shop this past Tuesday and I spied a small native green treefrog hopping around on the floor, so I caught him, rinsed carpet fuzz and dust off of him and put him outside in the bushes to eat bugs and make some music. Why scotch? My sisters and I emptied my father's liquor cabinet several years ago and this was the bottle I was given. Dad quit drinking 38 years ago, so I'd say that's some aged scotch and maybe more than 80 proof now. I am glad I used alcohol instead of benzocaine, as you are supposed to hold the frog in your hand and rub the ointment into his back skin. Holding frogs doesn't bother me, but lately I react very strongly to plant, bug and probably frog juices too, so I'd surely have had a reaction. Even ice gives me hives!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's Shower Time!

So. The cultured marble shower was installed and is a foot narrower than the monster tub that it replaced. After an unsuccessful search all over Jacksonville for matching floor/wall/fancy trim tile, we had to choose a different tile altogether. Mark removed the floor tile and walked away. We chose not to go halfway up the wall as it was tiled before. My sweet husband is not big on construction and replacing wallboard, muffing and sanding is definitely not his forte, in fact, he stinks at it! We hired our friend Matt to do his magic and he's been sawing, hammering, sanding. Hopefully he will have the bulk of it done by 6 tonight, the time I need to drive him back to Orlando. The new wallboard is up and taped and sanded. I think a few more mud layers will make it smooth. Once that's done, he will lay the tile today and probably leave the grout for Mark, something he CAN do. Looking forward to having the glass door installed and then finally, a toilet!  Our house is small, but going to the other side to use the bathroom and shower has been a pain in the neck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Run Daddy's Car Lot.

Georges Auto Sales
This is where I have been spending my days since my father had back surgery in late August.  Dad is 84, heavy, and very out of shape as he has had back pain for several years. Recovery has been much more lengthy than we expected. After a week in the hospital, dad went to a step down recovery hospital for a couple of weeks, and finally he was moved to a nursing home that has a physical therapy wing. He is ready to go home, but he isn't physically ready, still pretty shaky walking with a walker and prefers to lay in bed.

 I sold two vans and either two or three cars...I can't remember. I have also been to auction where I won and purchased two vans and an SUV at great prices.  My nephew George details and washes the cars.

Impalas Galore
My father likes to buy used police cars, so we have a ton of Chevy Impalas and Ford Crown Victorias, with a small few other cars...a BMW, Cadillac, Taurus and a Buick.  
More cars in the back.  There are two more rows in addition to this one.
I think there are 65 vehicles total with ten of them at different locations for paint, repair, etc.

My job is to make sure the lot runs smoothly. I greet customers, quote prices, ask for the sale, prepare sales paperwork with fees for taxes and tag and title, close, collect money, print a temporary tag, go to the bank, go downtown for the title work and tag, fill out paperwork for accountant, remove the vehicle file and place copies of sales papers, fill in ledger for auto sold, and a few more things related to paperwork. The phone rings a lot with "How much is that white Impala?" type questions. I am pretty familiar with the locations, prices, mileage, and year of each vehicle. There is a running list of repairs my mechanics need to do, Nephew/lot worker/nephew George does smaller repairs like changing batteries, replacing parts in the interior, and the hard job of detailing really awful looking cop cars to make them look amazing. I pay the bills, order parts, coordinate repairmen, lock up. I am also very aware of the environment. The car lot is in an area of town that has become pretty dangerous, so I am always looking around, locking the door to the office and being generally on guard when Mark isn't there. He has done some mechanic work, changing alternators and belts, stuff like that.

After work I might go see mom or go to the nursing home to visit dad, who claims he's in bedroom jail. He goes to a dining room for his meals and has made friends with several gentlemen. Mom, Kathie and I visit almost every day. I live only a mile and a half away, so I bring home dad's dirty clothes, wash and return the same evening.  Last night, Mark and I showed up pretty late after a cookout at a friends house with a slice of red velvet cake. It was almost 10PM. Yum yum he said.

Our middle sister, Patty had a double mastectomy for breast cancer in February, followed by chemotherapy. That's all behind her, but she has had problems battling some pretty severe infections and has spent over 40 days in hospital with these. Cancer is tough stuff, even after it's gone. She has an adorable new crop of hair, not quite an inch long and her once long and thick eyelashes are pretty short and thin, but like her hair, they will be back.