WHY I’M DUMPING CLUMPING LITTER
Some years back I switched from regular cat litter to clumping thinking it would be less expensive and make it easier to maintain multiple litter boxes. I’ve used different varieties – brand name, store name, generic, scented, unscented, lightweight. Looking back I don’t know that I saved money since it’s more expensive than non-clumping. It was less work in that I got a little more time between total dump and clean of the boxes. I t seemed to break down and become less absorbent. Urine would get to the bottom of the box and turn into a nasty, smelly goop.
The pee clumps solidify a lot more litter than you would think and they’re heavy. I scooped into a plastic grocery bag. If you dispose of these in your regular garbage it only take a few bags to make your garbage too heavy to easily manage. Living on a farm I was able to designate an out of the way ‘cat compost’ area. (You need to keep cat waste away from any food growing areas.) This clumping stuff doesn’t break down well. The entired pile has now turned into the “goop” I mentioned that sticks to the bottom of the litter box and is sitting there and hasn’t dissolved much even after days and days of heavy rains, which brings me to this thought:
I’d see clumping litter tracked all over my house, literally. It can, will, and does stick to kitty feet/fur. Cats groom themselves – without a doubt some of the cat litter gets ingested. Could this eventually cause problems since it clumps? Could it clump in your furbaby’s intestines over time and cause issues I don’t know the answer but I know what I saw when I scooped it and where I dumped it outside. I’m thinking clumping cat litter may not be very environmentally friendy.
MY SEARCH FOR A NON-CLAY LITTER MATERIAL
There are litter products made from recycled newpapers and other materials and even special boxes to use them in but they seem expensive to me. Finally I came across a lot of posts and youtube videos where people have started using pelletized pine equine bedding – horse stall bedding or litter. It seems some people also use this for their small animal cages, too. Be aware that some people question the safety of it, citing that pine may be toxic to cats and also suggesting that you make sure what you use is kiln dried. Since cats don’t spend extended periods of time in a litter box I think it is a non-issue and may be no more of an issue than clumping cat litter. But, that is MY personal opinion so do your own research and make your own decision.
My local Tractor Supply store carries pelletized pine horse bedding and it comes in 40 pound bags, normally priced at $5.99 as of this posting. These bags are a lot bigger than a 40 pound box of clumping litter. One bag filled three litter boxes with 1/4 to 1/3 bag left over.
You scoop the poop out as usual. Unless the poop is unusually soft very little of the pellets stick to it. I’ve found that most of the kitty waste is urine, not poop. When kitty pees , the pellets break down into sawdust and that works it’s way to the bottom of the litter box. You separate the solid pellets from the sawdust, dispose of the sawdust and put the pellets back into the litter box. Add some new pellets to keep around the same amount of litter available. The sawdust has absorbed the urine but is dry. The bottom of the litter box is also dry. I’m noticing NO URINE SMELL when I separate the sawdust from the remaining pellets.
SIMPLIFYING THE SEPARATION PROCESS
Using pine pellets will likely be a little more work and take more time but if it is better for the kitties and saves money it’s worth it. I have three litter boxes. Trying to use a pooper scooper to separate sawdust from good pellets simply isn’t going to work well for me, plus when I tried it I felt I was disposing of too many good pellets. It was going to be necessary to come up with a way to sift the litter better and faster.
Your local hardware store is your friend. You will need a plastic storage bin – my experimental model is approximately 16×11. You want to cut out the center of the bottom, leaving a border of around 1 1/2 inch around the edges. You will also need some hardware cloth with 1/4 inch holes. I used 23 gauge. Anything with smaller or larger holes will not work. It needs to be wire and fairly stiff. My first attempt I tried to use some recycled material that was too flimsy and it didn’t work well at all. PLEASE WEAR SAFETY GLASSES AND USE OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS.
I got out my dusty but trusty Dremel tool and after marking the bottom of the plastic bin I used a cutting disc to remove the center. It’s not perfect, of course, and because the speed of the Dremel tends to somewhat melt some of the plastic you’ll need to smooth that – I was able to break/pull it off with my fingers.
The most difficult part is cutting the hardware cloth. That stuff is wicked! It will snag, cut and poke you badly. WEAR HEAVY LEATHER GLOVES. Could I find my wire/metal snips? Of course not. I finally dug out my trusty kitchen shears and they worked. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, hardware cloth is sharp and can and will tear into your skin.
My setup is such that I sift the sawdust into a designated trash bag and have an old dishpan to dump the good pellets into until I finish sifting. I am sifting each box in two to three batches. Once done I simply dump the good pellets back into the litter box and add a few new pellets if necessary.
I will be finetuning my sifting setup. The box I picked up has a little dip at the edge where the sides meet the bottom which allows sawdust to settle in it and it has to be knocked out to keep from adding it back to the good pellets. My hardware cloth isn’t fitting as snuggly as it should and when I dump the good pellets it occasionally tries to fall out – again, be careful with it, the little nubs where it’s cut are sharp. It’s a minor issue, though – just a little extra work.
I’m happy with the results I’ve seen so far. Once I get the sifter box working better I’ll be even more satisfied. The sawdust does not smell like cat urine. It’s dry. The bottom of the litterbox stays dry. The weight of kitty waste is only a fraction of what I had to deal with while using the clumping litter. My wild herd does kick some litter out of the boxes but it’s much easier to clean up. The only issue I’ve had is that there has been a slight rebellion when it comes to pooping in the box, but that is improving. It’s important to note that I didn’t slowly merge them over to the equine litter. I was out of clumping litter, the boxes needed changing badly so I went “cold turkey” over to the new litter.
If you have inside kitties this is a project worth trying. It not only cuts down on odor but should save a considerable amount of money. Sure, it may be a little more work but furbabies are worth it.
We found this large, beautiful moth hanging out under our carport this morning. It’s a Regal or Royal walnut moth, citheronia regalis. In Larva stage it is known as a hickory horned devil. I wish I could have gotten a picture with his wings expanded.
UPDATE: SHE has been in the same spot all day. It’s definitely female because she’s laying eggs. The eggs are falling on a plastic bag below her – once she is done I will have to find a safe place for them. These moths are amazing. They emerge one night, mate 24 hours later then lay their eggs 24 hours after that. Sadly, these moths are short-lived – possibly a week of life. From the information I’ve read, they do not eat – they don’t have mouths.
Her head is covered with what looks more like feathers. I couldn’t help myself – I had to carefully touch her – she feels like silk. I was concerned I’d cause her to fly away but she didn’t she seemed to only slightly tense.
Hopefully her eggs will hatch and I will be fortunate enough to see one of her caterpillars. Some info says they are huge – and can reach up to six inches long.
UPDATE 8-19-2018: Several days ago eggs began to hatch. These are some tiny creatures – My camera isn’t very good but I did manage to get this photo – the larger spikes are on it’s head. Not all the eggs hatched and some didn’t make it, sadly. Since these eggs were laid nowhere close to anything edible for them, I’ve been picking fresh pecan leaves several times a day to feed them. Hopefully the remaining babies will survive.
This article is to alert my readers to calls from the above two numbers.
I’m on the ‘do not call list’ but on June 18th I started getting robo calls about mortgage refinancing from 803-244-0371 – which showed up on my caller ID as Bamberg, SC. Each time I disconnected the call. When the calls continued on June 19th I decided to go into my voip control panel and block the number.
Imagine my surprise when I looked at the call log and saw that the call was made from 803-244-0371 but TO, instead of MY number showing up, a number in Florida, 813-343-6500. How shady and sneaky is that? Googling the 813-343-6500 number shows up two types of results – a marketing company and loan companies. What a way to hide who and where you are.
I doubt most people would be able to see that information but my voip service logs everything for me. Hopefully this will be helpful to the FCC Do Not Call people because I’ve reported all their calls.
This is a simplified, end-user review of the Eleaf Aster 75 watt mod. It doesn’t cover specifications and all the technical things – only an opinion of a consumer who has used the product. I ordered the product on August 11, 2017, received it several days later and used it until around November 28, 2017, slightly over three months.
As far as the PERFORMANCE of this mod, I was pleased with it. The single battery life was pretty good, the mod small and comfortable in my hand. I could easily wrap my hand entirely around it. The adjustment buttons are above and below the screen, the fire button on an angle above. I did run into an issue with accidently changing my wattage, but I think that was more due to the way I held the unit than anything else.
I’m sad to report that I am NOT happy with the durability of the mod beyond the actual performance. Within two days of receiving it, the bottom magnet on the door fell off. I superglued it back in but it fell out again within a week – I guess I was too stingy with the glue. I reglued it – and dumb me put the magnet in backwards so the bottom of the door wouldn’t close. Unfortunately I’d used enough glue that time it refused to come out. I should have sent it back the first time the magnet fell outsince it was under warranty, my mistake.
Next comes the quality of the paint finish. No, just no. Look at the picture below the fire button. (More pictures at end of article) The finish is worn down to the bare metal where my thumb rested when I fired the mod. The mod hasn’t been dropped or abused.There is also a picture of the bottom and sides. The sides have a lot of scratches, the bottom shows wear as that under the fire button. For the most part, the mod sat on my computer desk. Oddly, the battery door finish is almost blemish free…… and that poor battery door HAS been dropped many times – it tended to easily fall off since only one magnet held it. Some wear is expected, but not this much, not in under four months use. I have other different brand mods that have been used a lot longer and subjected to rougher conditions that show none of this wear and tear.
Would I buy this unit again? I have mixed feelings about that. As far as the mechanical part, it’s a good little mod, in my opinion. I can reason with myself that the battery door was one of those things, not that big of a deal. The finish, though, that might be a deal breaker for me. I feel it should have held up better no longer than it was used.
I’d advise anyone considering this mod to make sure there are silicone cases or at least decals available before purchase.
After a long, hot and humid summer in the south, cooler weather makes me think about doing some yard work. On a cool but damp and cloudy day I decided to make plans to trim back some limbs on a lopsided tree that annoyed me all summer.
I was walking around it trying to decide where the best places to prune would be when I something caught my eye – at first I thought it was a vine then I realized it was a SNAKE. We were, literally, nose to nose. His head was maybe six inches from my nose. I will say at this point I probably set a new record for a backwards broad jump if there is any such thing. Continue reading ‘Black Snake In Tree Surprise’ »
I’m posting this in order to (hopefully) avoid potential confusion.
I’ve had this domain for almost 10 years. I just found out that in July 2017 someone started using “carolinafinds” on Twitter. It looks like this person sells used items through a site called poshmark. I want to make it clear that the person IS NOT ME and that I do not know or have any affiliation with them. @carolinafinds #carolinafinds
Artists and designers fight a never-ending battle to stop copyright infringement – thieves love to steal other people’s hard work and slap it on counterfeit products to make a fast buck. Many but not all of these thieves are in China – the description plainly says ships from China and even including the shipping costs (which is supplemented by the Chinese government as well and the US) sells for a fraction of what the legitimate product sells for. Buyers can probably expect to get a shoddy product – since the most of the time the images used for the print has been greatly enlarged and likely wil be fuzzy and drab.
The above situation has to be handled by the abused party in specific ways. HOWEVER, there are other situations that can be handled in other, ummm, creative ways. ***NOTE I am not telling or even suggesting you do this – I am putting this information out for educational purposes***** 🙂 Continue reading ‘A Little Bit About Copyright Infringement…..’ »
With a hint of fall and cooler weather in the air it’s time to enjoy wearing leggings. Think football games, cozy fires, brisk walks, any occasion at all.
Leggings might be considered by many to be tight fitting pants, but to me they are a version of footless tights and can be worn with our without a skirt, as pants or under clothing for extra warmth. Think dressing in layers when it’s extremely cold. I think they look really cute worn with little boots that come past your ankles.
For myself, I prefer longer tops that cover at least most of my backside, but that’s just my preference for ME. These days anything goes. If you’re looking for something in your own unique color choices give me a shout and I’ll see what I can come up with for you.
Check back as these were recently added by Zazzle and I will be adding more to this collection. Also check out the other items for sale in my Zazzle store, Vanilla Primrose
I haven’t posted in awhile, and I’ve tried hard to avoid being blatantly political on this blog, but NO MORE. It’s time to speak up and speak out.
If you are a Christian, if you believe in religious freedom, you need to wake up fast and don’t even consider voting for Hillary Clinton. She has made it clear that she wants to continue Obama’s legacy – and he has stated he will consider it a personal insult if people don’t vote for her. In addition to other damage he has done to the United States and her citizens he has consistently chipped away at Christianity while appearing to support some people who seem bent on terrorism.
Consider this: In January 2011 OBAMA APPOINTED Martin Castro as Chairman of the US Comission on Civil Rights. In September of this 2016 they have finally released a report which was due out in 2013. At least one member of the commission has stated he didn’t agree with the report but voted for it in order not to hold up the report any longer……This report says:
RELIGION IS A CODE WORD FOR DISCRIMINATION, INTOLERANCE,
RACISM, SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA, ISLAMOPHOBIA, CHRISTIAN SUPREMACY
OR ANY FORM OF INTOLERANCE.
That seems to me to be an attack on the CHRISTIAN religion.
Clinton’s said (From her speech, 6th Annual Women In The World Summit)
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
I do not believe for one moment that this comment pertained only to women’s abortion rights but instead to ending religious rights and freedoms of Christians.
The way things are going Christian’s won’t have any rights. Lyndon Johnson forced a law years ago that threatens to take away tax-exempt status from Churches that express their political views. Donald Trump is right – this law, amendment or whatever you want to call it needs to be overturned.
People, PLEASE do some homework on this. Christians cannot afford for Hillary Clinton to become our POTUS. Corruption, lies and dishonesty, deceipt, etc. already swirl around her like flies on, well, poop, but if that isn’t enough to make you give up supporting her consider the fact that she’ll go after your Christian beliefs and 1st and 2nd amendment rights. After all, in the minds of some, everybody BUT Christians have rights.
And don’t forget, she wants to increase the big numbers of so-called “refugees” Obama demands by at least 550% – you know, those “refugees” that terrorists have bragged about infiltrating, who want to murder Christians.
SAVE THE US – VOTE TRUMP.
LINKS TO ASSOCIATED ARTICLES. For tons more google “martin castro and religious freedom” without the quotes.
I’d like to give shoppers a “head’s up” about a problem graphics designers are having with some 3rd party sellers on AMAZON. If you are shopping for any product with a design/artwork on it and it’s from a third party seller, be sure to check it out very well before ordering.
There are a lot of graphics thieves operating on Amazon as 3rd party sellers. They steal images and offer them for sale at prices much cheaper than the legitimate products. Can we say counterfeit? A lot of these don’t bother to simply take the image and slap it on something – they are such sorry pieces of humanity they take the actual image from a Zazzle store – the article for sale with the image on it, then slap it up for sale on Amazon. Most of these little scumbags say the item will ship from China and their stores will say “just launched”, although I have seen some that have managed to stay in business for a long time in spite of their thieving ways and at least one thief was in the US.
It doesn’t help that Amazon has some kind of catalog/database they store everything in – even products no longer available. It seems that once something is in there it is hell to get it out. They seem to want to lay claim to anything that gets uploaded to them – even if it was uploaded illegally by a thief. According to the e-mail I’ve pasted below, they make it available to all their sellers.
Thank you for your message. Based on the information you have given us, we must respectfully decline your request to remove the listings of your Pillow from our website. Currently, Amazon.com does not offer the item(s) for sale. Rather, its catalog contains bibliographic and other information about the materials.
Continue reading ‘Beware Counterfeit Items On Amazon Using Stolen Artwork’ »
I have a VERY old house. It’s always needing something – nothing lasts forever – and hiring someone to do anything can be a lot more expensive than hiring someone to do the same project on a newer home. Some of it I can see – old houses aren’t plumb – they’ve settled over the years, and who would look forward to crawling under a building that’s been standing there for a hundred years or more? Still, some overpricing because a house is old is ridiculous – say to have a pane of glass in a window replaced – things like that.
Needless to say, I’m always trying to find ways to save a little money when I can. Sure, the house is paid for – and due to it’s age property taxes aren’t near what they would be on a newer home of the same size. On the other hand, not having good insulation and things like that, my electric bills are higher, and something is always breaking or needing repair. The consolation in that is I’ve seen a lot of newer homes that have more issues than my old place does.
My latest experiment/project is to try to save a little on electricity while keeping myself from completely roasting. The local power company is whining for (another) 3% rate increase because the nuclear plant they’ve been building for years is still behind schedule. Gotta love paying for something ahead of time we’ll probably never see any savings from (but you can bet the power company will eventually see a profit in their bottom line.) Continue reading ‘Do It Yourself Cheap Heat Reflecting Curtains’ »
Christmas is fast approaching and I’ve been busy designing Christmasy products for my Cafepress and Zazzle Stores. I’d love to have you visit them – My Cafepress Storeand My Zazzle Store They are a little unorganized – most visitors reach items through the respective marketplaces – but both have most Christmas items in one spot. If you have time, browse around – you may find something that will make a good gift for those hard-to-buy-for people. And, if you are looking for something specific and can’t find it anywhere, or want something unique, get in touch with me and I’ll work with you to design something just for you! Remember, though, I do have to abide by copyright and trademark laws. For example, I can’t use a Disney character, and there are some common, everyday phrases that greedy people have trademarked. Some things trademarked are simply ridiculous.
When shopping on Cafepress or Zazzle, once you see an item you like in the marketplace, if the designer has a “store”, do check the prices there. Sometimes they will be cheaper. For example, Cafepress sets the Marketplace prices. Designers only have control over item prices when they are listed in their stores. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it is worth checking. Everybody would like to save a little money.
Recently I’ve sold some products through e-commerce. That’s where an online retailer sells products through their business. I have no way of knowing what retailer my items sold through, though. These sales only pay me half of what I’d make if it sold through the POD and at first I was a little bummed out about it until I got to thinking that the buyers may not visit the POD’s and I may not have made the sale at all otherwise. Half IS better than zero, lol.
I’ve been designing now for both Zazzle and Cafepress for a year and a half. I don’t make much, but even the little pocket change I do make is helpful.
Happy Holiday Shopping To All!
These directions are for four enchiladas. Simple to double, triple, etc. the recipe. I was in a hurry so I skipped some of the steps a lot of recipes call for and they turned out fine.
Chi-Chi’s Whole Wheat Fajita Style Tortilla Wraps
1 can Medium Chi-Chi’s Enchilada Sauce
Velveeta Casa Blanco Cheese
11×7 glass baking dish. Heat oven to 350 while preparing.
Pour about half the can of sauce into the baking dish. Place chunks of cheese in center of tortilla wraps. * Fold one side over the cheese , then roll up into a tube. Roll in sauce, then leave it there with the edge side down. *Repeat for all.
Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Place on plates, then spoon sauce from cooking dish over them.
This is a basic recipe which could easily be expanded on, fast and easy to whip up and are filling.
Other things could be added – chicken, more or less cheese, burger, etc. I used what I had on hand, but the next time I think I’ll try adding some bacon bits to the cheese. For a fancier meal, you could add sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes and onions, etc.
Back on May 20th I posted an article, , about my experience of finding a baby buzzard in my old barn. As tempted as I was, I did not go back into the barn because I didn’t want to disturb him. I’m going to call this critter a him, although I don’t have the slightest idea if it’s male or female. It wasn’t long I started seeing what appeared to be a younger buzzard hanging around with an older one – maybe the mother buzzard? It’s been interesting to see that both of them will perch on top of my house, and will sit on the patio outside my bedroom window. The older one tends to be a little more cautious. The younger one, which I believe to be the hatching pictured in my earlier article isn’t all that shy – he seems pretty curious.
If you’re wondering why I think the one on the right is the younger, from what I’ve been able to find on the internet (Google is your friend) younger buzzards, or vultures have smoother skin on their faces and heads, and their beaks are darker.
I was able to snap several photos of both sitting on top of the barn before the older one flew off to land in a tree a little distance away. The younger one seemed to enjoy the photo shoot. Once I turned around and walked away he flew off and landed in the tree occupied by the other one. His flying seems a little shaky still.
On the day I took this picture, I had cut my grass earlier. I’ve cut it multiple times since I discovered the baby buzzard so the noise wasn’t something completely new to him. That day, however, something different happened. As I approached the barn, a dark shape came hurtling, literally out of the window and very clumsily landed on the ground not far in front of me. The time he hit the ground he took off running, not flying, running, and ran into the breezeway of the barn. Then he just sat there and watched me. I got a good laugh at his expense – I have to say, a buzzard running is quite a comical sight to see. Still you would have thought he would have run away from the sound, not towards it.
I’ve really enjoyed the little I’ve been able to see of this bird growing up. I’ve gotten to see the older one take the younger one to feast on a rabbit run over in the road – shooing him out of the road when a vehicle came by. I wish these were turkey vultures instread of the black ones, though. Turkey vultures have red heads and are more shy. Black headed buzzards are reputed to be much more aggressive and have been known to kill baby animals. As much as I hate to do it, once I’m sure this fellow is old enough to “run with the pack” I think I will put wire over the window to keep them out. A few aren’t likely to be a bad problem but they may have friends and relatives move in.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to save money. That said, when I shop at a store that price matches I check around online before making the purchase. I’m not really talking about five cents here and there, although that adds up – I’m talking about saving on things where one may save dollars instead of cents.
For example, this week I saved $10 on ONE item. Continue reading ‘Save Money With Price Matching’ »
Awhile back I downloaded a freeware program from a (once) reputable website I’d used for years. I trusted them, because I was so familiar with the site and they were very well-known. I downloaded a simple “freeware” program, didn’t think much about that unlike before you now needed their “downloader.” When I went to install the program and realized it was going to install crap I didn’t want as well as the software I did want, (one of those handy-dandy oh so helpful toolbars) I declined the entire installation. I didn’t want the freeware program that bad. Thing is, even though I hit don’t accept decline cancel and whatever else I could, the trash in the downloader installed anyway. The freeware program I wanted didn’t, but the malware did. This was nasty malware and it’s damage took hours to repair. Needless to say I no longer visit that site – and I don’t read any of their many articles, either. I no longer trust them. No, don’t accept, decline should mean just that. It should be illegal for them to go ahead and install anyway.
I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that yesterday, when I downloaded an open-source freeware program from another (once reputable) website that is supposed to be all about freeware and open source code it came with a nice little downloader, too. I was careless and let it install by mistake. Ouch. It hijacked all three browswer on my computer. I followed all the directions to disable and remove it from all three browswers and removed it through add and remove programs as well. Continue reading ‘Downloaders, Hijacked Browsers, Redirect Virus Nasties’ »
While cutting grass by my old barn today, I noticed some things out of place from where there were several days ago. We have problems with trespassers at times, so I decided to check things out to make sure nobody had been up to no good. That involved, of course, going upstairs.
The hay loft door was unlatched, so I believe someone had been in there. I latched it, was getting ready to look around when I was told to not make any sudden moves, that something was growling at us and moving around in the hay. Our first thought was a fox, coyote or possibly a feral cat. It wasn’t making much effort to get away from us, which in itself was a little disconcerting. It was fairly dark inside and we had no flashlight so we decided to ease away until we were better prepared.
Not knowing what might be in there, we went back armed with flashlights and gun. We had no intentions of shooting anything unless we had no choice – like it trying to attack or being sick or rabid. From a distance and from the angle we were at and the fact it seemed to have it’s back towards us, at first it looked like a hunched over monkey of some kind. We looked closer and were surprised to find a young buzzard, still with down on it. I have no idea how old he is, but he’s a whopper – I’d say already the size of a chicken. The sounds he made were quite interesting. Although the photo looks as though it was taken close up it wasn’t – I used a zoom in order to not upset him.
Although I was born and raised in the country, I’d never seen a baby buzzard (some people call them vultures) before so it was a treat. For now we’ll avoid the area he’s in and hopefully he’ll be flying around in a few weeks.
If you’re like me – highly allergic to poison ivy/oak, you may cringe at the thought of being exposed to it. As a result of much misery suffered from reactions to urushiol – the oil in the plant which causes the allergic reaction – I’ve tended to steer clear of anything that slightly resembles poison oak/ivy.
As a result of my phobia, for a very long time I avoided virginia creeper. Then, one day I saw my aunt grabbing and pulling vines bare handed. When I told her “watch out, that’s poison ivy!” she laughed and said “no, honey, this is virginia creeper.” She was old school and although I knew she knew what she was talking about, I researched it – just to be sure – just in case…. (Embarrasing, I was born and raised in the country so I ought to just KNOW this stuff.)
First of all, poison oak and ivy has THREE leaves. Virginia creeper has five. The coloration is so close, however, that it is easy to confuse the two plants. I’ve seen both growing together in my yard so look closely. Will I be using the brush trimmer there? Um, no. As much as I hate weed killers, weed killer it is.
Poison oak/ivy has a nasty relative called poison sumac. Fortunately it’s not as common as it’s relatives – poison sumac prefers wetlands. Unlike ivy and oak, poison sumac has seven to nine leaves per stem.
Don’t think you can’t get this stuff if you never go off your deck or patio. Pets can get urushiol on their fur – which you come into contact with when you pet them. If
you handle clothing or shoes of someone who has been through it and has the urushiol on them, you come into contact. It’s a year round thing. Even “dead” vines can give you the itches. Urushiol can remain active for years!
CAUTION. Do not burn poison oak or ivy. Urushiol carries in the smoke, and yes, there have been cases of people inhaling it as well.
If you know you’ve been exposed, wash well as soon as possible. My guess is it’s best to shower, not take a tub bath – urushiol is an oil, it may float and expose even more of your skin. Use lots of soap but use cool or tepid water to avoid opening your pores.
You can’t “catch” poison ivy / oak from someone’s blisters. The blisters don’t spread it – but if there is any urushiol left on the skin that certainly can be spread. I
won’t suggest any specific treatment because I’ve yet to find one that is all that great. Last time I had “the rash” I made a paste of bentonite clay and just left it on. I
can’t say it worked miracles but I’d say it worked as well for me as calamine lotion. The next time I plan to add a few drops of oregano oil to the paste and give that a try.
As a young child I would sometimes pick honeysuckle flowers, pinch off the stem end and suck out the sweet nectar. My parents showed me that trick – BUT they also made a big production of teaching me the difference between harmless honeysuckle and potentially deadly yellow jasmine.
Both flowers smell wonderful, although the scents are different. Both may be yellow (honeysuckle can be white, too). An adult should be able to tell the difference at a glance (although with some many “city people” moving to rural areas these days I wouldn’t bet on it). But how about a young child? People need to know the difference. If you aren’t sure leave it alone.
ALL parts of yellow jasmine are poisonous. Ingesting any part of it can make you extremely ill or even kill you. Even deer don’t eat it. Allergic reactions have been reported from simply handling it. Since the entire plant is poisonous, if you do handle it I suggest you wasn your hands well after.
Yellow jasmine is the state flower of South Carolina. It’s beautiful and has a wonderful smell but it’s best to enjoy it without touching. Enjoy it but stay safe.
You should never, EVER declaw a cat. I suppose there could be a rare medical reason – if a toe is crushed, has some kind of growth or cancer, that type of thing, but it is wrong to declaw a cat because they scratch your furniture, you or your kids. If you’re that worried about your furniture, might I suggest that a cat is not the pet for you. Get a fish.
When a cat is declawed, they don’t simply remove the nail as a doctor would a human’s ingrown toenail. The entire last joint of the cat’s toe is removed. It is the same as removing the tips of a human’s fingers at the joint below the nail. It’s painful, dangerous and has the potential to cause physical and behavior problems for the cat. For example, common sense says if a cat has no claws to defend itself with it may turn to biting instead. I’m not posting a picture but you can Google it and see how horrific the process really is. Those who say it’s not a big deal are full of crap.
Get or make a scratching post for kitty. They are commercially available and there are plenty of instruction online for making your own. If nothing else, a piece of firewood will do. While I’ve never used them or done serious research about them, you can also buy vinyl nail covers for kitty’s claws. Do some research. Find alternatives to declawing. Or accept the fact a cat may not be the right pet for you. Just don’t even consider declawing.
Would it ever cross your mind to cut off the tips of Juniors fingers because he picks his nose and eats it? Or because he scratches bug bites? If Junior bites other children, would you pull all his teeth so he can’t? Of course not! Pets are part of your family. Don’t abuse them, and in my opinion declawing a cat is animal abuse. What if kitty sneaks outside? How can he/she defend themselves? How can they climb a tree to get away from a dog or other animal?
Sorry if what I have to say offends anyone. On second thought, no I’m not sorry, not at all. I’m using extreme examples here to make a point – and if any readers are unable to comprehend that is what I’m doing, well, I feel bad for them. Yes, comparing declawing a cat to pulling a kids teeth or cutting off the end of their fingers may not be realistic but it makes the point.