Did you blink? It is indeed all gone

Somebody — was it you? — really, really blinked from the time you were warned that if you did it would all be gone! — because since I issued that warning just two weeks ago it is indeed totally all gone!

And now that daylight saving time has also gone, the amount of light diffused by those trillions of now-gone leaves is incredible, and the increase in traffic noise is even more so.

Toby is convinced that nothing has changed and continues to try to awaken me at the usual time, especially if it is a bright morning, and persists in his racket until I must arise at 7:15 which to him is 8:15. Old Apache couldn’t care less, as long as he gets fed sometime.

Freedom day

Election Day was Toby’s “freedom day” as he was freed of the grazing muzzle he’s had to wear since the first of April. Hopefully he’ll not graze himself into a founder, and I’ll bring him in early so that doesn’t happen.

Winnie’s sleep schedule remains unchanged though. Her morning routine begins when both of us are mobile, then into the barn, then to look out the back door, then to her potty stall, then back into the house for breakfast, and then she goes back to bed! She loves it if I decide to catch another 40 winks, and snuggles into me for as long as I’m there.

Bingo is something else indeed. When she finally decides to quit racing through the house in the evening, she pesters for us to go to bed. She’ll beg for one more droplet of milk, then into the bedroom, onto the bed, stomping on me as she shifts to the radiator, then back to curl against me, purring like a motorboat.

She doesn’t stay in one place. And if I’m not up early enough to suit her she makes it her business to rout me and I can’t resist. She is such a fun cat. But I still miss Lisa who would have been here 14 years this month.

Back to Winnie, who has become a grandmother! Her champion daughter, Faith, had 11 puppies on Sept. 11! Another of Cindy Riggan’s Dalmatians, Memphis, waited just a week and then had seven puppies, so Cindy and the “girls” and Ken have their hands and paws full.

Otis

And then there is Cindy’s Otis, who was recruited by the team which is producing 101 Dalmatians as a musical but using 15 actual Dalmatians. So Otis was flown to Minneapolis, then to Florida, to “audition” and perhaps become a traveling star as the completed production was to begin a 24-city tour. Stops in the new year include Columbus and Pittsburgh.

A brief look at the stage scene appeared recently on NBC and even stone-faced Ann Curry had to smile. An article in USAToday listed a “video of the Dalmatians in training at life.usatoday.com.”

What about Otis? “He wouldn’t eat, he barked nonstop, he wouldn’t play nicely with the other dogs, and we had to bring him home after a month,” Cindy explains. “He was homesick and he didn’t want to be an actor. He couldn’t bark for a month after coming home, he was so hoarse.”

A not-so-nice forecast for winter appeared in my eastern “jungle” after all the leaves had dropped: a huge, high-up hornet’s nest, about the size of a half-bushel basket. It is said the higher the paper nest is made the higher the snow will reach!

Juncos returned a week later than usual, so maybe they’re predicting a more mild winter!

Quote

We’re going to quote a paragraph from a paper no longer in existence, but listen carefully: “Some day the tons of cornstalks farmers try to get to rot in field or farmyard may be used to produce gas for fuel and lights. Dr. A.M. Buswell, University of Illinois scientist, has developed a new light fuel from cornstalk silage and sewage. The mixture is fed to billions of bacteria which produce gas. Laboratory results show that a ton of cornstalks produces from 10,000 to 20,000 cubic feet of the gas which is said to be equal to natural gas for cooking and lighting.”

The paper was Pathfinder, published weekly in Washington, D.C., and the date was Aug. 8, 1931! It seems to have taken a long time for our brilliant scientists of today to figure out anything similar!

Spell-check in today’s writing ventures can sometimes be helpful but it can definitely goof: remember the “wondering” bear in Canfield this past summer when it should have been “wandering,” and the latest I found in a tribute to a deceased lady who was a “rabid sports fan…” The word “avid” is used frequently in obituaries. This goof ran not one day, but two — and no one corrected it.

Exercise

I recently read that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week for a person 65 or older, and that it can be spread out over an entire week.

According to that, I must be disgustingly healthy as my daily exercise every day lasts a lot longer than 2 1/2 hours! Maybe that is why I’ve lived so long with such relatively few health problems.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More Stories by Janie Jenkins

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