Monday, March 21, 2011

Snakes Like Rats!

OK... so I tell the world I have rat blood and what shows up in my house almost immediately? A snake!! And of course I have no idea what kind of snake it is... and I did take a picture.. actually several, the one on the right is the only one that came out.

It's kind of freaky to have a snake in your house - especially when he right away hides under the furniture, and you don't know what kind of a snake he even is because you didn't get a close enough look what with all the screaming... ok... I didn't actually scream... but I wasn't exactly calm either.

So, I left him in his little hiding place, called my son-in-law to come help me, and while I was waiting for him, I went on a web search for how to catch a snake in your house.

I found a tutorial on how to catch a snake, I called my son-in-law up and made him come over and help me find it. He wasn't hard to find, and catching him was amazingly simple - I'll post that tutorial here in a minute.

At first we thought he kind of looked like a baby copperhead. His little head did look triagular - and his markings (although you can't see them in the picture) did seem to go crossways, he was kind of a coppery color, and what with the pond so close to the house ... (I hadn't read the part about the brightly colored tails yet). But I couldn't bring myself to kill him, he was so cute! So we just let him loose in the field.

Then I started to worry that I might have saved a baby copperhead - and how smart was that really what with my granddaughter and my cats... so I looked up Poisonous Snakes in Missouri. Here's what I found:

According to the University of Missouri Extension Center, it's easy to figure out which snakes are poinsonous. Here's what they say on their website:

All of Missouri's poisonous snakes are members of the pit viper family, and you easily can distinguish them from harmless snakes. Three ways exist to distinguish poisonous snakes in Missouri:

Identifying a poisonous snake by its pupils.

Harmless snakes have round pupils (the black part in the center of the eye). Poisonous snakes have egg-shaped or cat-like (elliptical) pupils. In good light, you easily can see the pupil shape from a safe distance because snakes cannot jump, nor can they strike, from more than one-third of their body length.

Poisonous snakes in Missouri also have a conspicuous sensory area or pit (hence the name "pit viper") on each side of the head. The pit looks somewhat like a nostril and helps the snake locate warm-bodied food. It is located about midway between and slightly below the eye and nostril. Harmless snakes do not have pits.

Identifying a poisonous snake by its tail.

The underside scales of a poisonous snake's tail go all the way across in a single row from the anal plate. The tip of the tail may have two scale rows. Nonpoisonous snakes have two rows of scales from the vent to the end of the tail. This characteristic also can be seen on skins that may have been shed.

Other features may help you identify a poisonous snake at a distance:

Usually, poisonous snakes have a triangular (wide at the back and attached to a narrow neck) or "spade-shaped" head. Be aware that many other harmless snakes flatten their heads when threatened and may appear poisonous.

Usually, rattlesnakes sound a warning rattle (a buzz or a dry, whirring sound) when approached. However, many nonpoisonous snakes (black racers, corn snakes, rat snakes, milk snakes and pine snakes) and several poisonous snakes (copperhead and cottonmouth) often vibrate their tails when threatened. The sound produced by this vibration often imitates a rattle or hissing sound when the snake is sitting in dry grass or leaves.

Snakes with lengthwise-striped markings are nonpoisonous. Most solid-colored snakes also are nonpoisonous, except the adult western cottonmouth, which has dark crossbands that often are indistinct. If a snake is marked in any other way, use other characteristics for identification.

You easily can recognize young cottonmouths and copperheads by their bright yellow or greenish yellow tails.

Whew! Now that's a sigh of relief -

As you can see though, his pupils are round, he was probably just flaring his head trying to look scary. and his tail was the same color as the rest of him... so... probably it was just a little garter snake...

Oh and by the way!

Here's something else I found out. Snakes in Missouri are protected by state law. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards and most turtles as nongame. This means there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically illegal to kill them. Of course, realistic exceptions exist, such as when a poisonous snake comes in close contact with humans, which could result in someone getting bitten. You should get a collecting permit from the Missouri Department of Conservation before attempting to catch and keep a snake.

How'd we catch it? We found his little hiding place and threw a towel over him and then picked him up.

Here's a tutorial with some other ideas.

Occasionally, homeowners find a snake inside the home, usually in a basement or crawl space. Snakes are attracted to these areas by the warmth on cold days and the shade on hot days. They may enter through a hole around the foundation or an open or loose door or basement window. If this occurs, you need to get the snakes out, then seal the holes.

You increase your chances of capturing a snake in the house by placing in areas where snakes have been seen some rumpled, damp cloths covered by dry cloths. Snakes are attracted to these areas. You then can remove the whole works, snake and cloths, or capture the snake individually. A good way to remove a snake is to sweep it with a broom into a large bucket.

Here he is.
Isn't he cute?

Rat Blood

I've been thinking a lot about Charlie Sheen and his Tiger Blood. And I say, good for you Charlie! As for me? I have rat blood!

Seriously! My life does seem to unfold as a series of mazes and traps! Not only that, I live in what would definitely pass for a rat hole, my mind scurries around constantly gnawing on a variety of savory and not so savory things, when cornered I absolutely will turn and fight... the list goes on.

And who's to say that rat blood isn't a good thing? Read this quote:

If a man be ridden with a great weight of sleep, as one who has tasted mandragora, so that his eyes glue themselves together, and all his functions are dried up in drowsiness, the blood of a rat poured into his veins may avail to remove the curse and call back the soul into his body.

That quote came from a Time Magazine Article! So you know it must be true!

Did you know that a group of rats is called a mischief? How fun is that? Here's something else that's fun to know, a rat's fur smells like grape soda. I know that's true because mine does too! It's also true that when rats don't have companionship, they can become lonely, depressed, anxious and stressed.  Rats love games and are highly curious – as curious as cats. Rats adore snuggling up in your lap while you watch a movie or read a book. Me too!

Not only that, Rats can sniff out landmines and bombs and identify tuberculosis; they can be used in search and rescue. They are also very tasty, which is comforting to know if you're ever trapped in a sewer.

The first year of the Chinese zodia is the Year of the Rat - and I'm sure that Rat year is first year for a very good reason. And what about the "Rat Pack"? The Rat temple? Did you know there's even a rat fan club?

Isn't that cute?

The Rat Pack Live

The Rat Pack live at the "Kiel Opera House", St. Louis - June 20, 1965. Only known filmed "The Rat Pack" concert from the 1960s. It was originally aired as a charity event that was beamed live (via closed circuit) to audiences at movie theaters around the country.

Host: Johnny Carson.
Songs: Send Me The Pillow and You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You.

The Rat Temple

The Karni Mata Temple is an important Hindu site. It is a beautiful temple made of marble with solid silver doors. However, it is not the architecture of this temple that attracts tourists; it is the thousands of rats that inhabit it. There are special holes and tunnels around the temple to facilitate the rats' movements as well as a wire screen over the courtyard to protect them from birds of prey.

Pilgrims are anointed with ash while the scurrying critters run over their feet. This is considered very auspicious as is spotting a rare white rat. Bowls of milk and water are strategically placed throughout the temple and pilgrims feed the rats balls of sugar. You may be asking, "Why all the fuss about rats?" Well, these pilgrims believe that the rats are their ancestors.

Here's a video:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Winning Recipes With Charlie Sheen

Too Too Funny!!

Digging Charlie Sheen

Some of the people I know are absolutely appalled by the stuff Charlie Sheen has been saying lately - but not me! I am totally enjoying him! Totally! I mean... WINNING! He just cracks me up. And he tells the truth. And yes, his truth is sometimes a bit of a stretch, but hey, plenty of what he says is my truth too!

Here's my favorite quote:

I was people pleasing for too long. And when you're people pleasing, your soul is dead. Cause at the end of the day you're left with yourself and you think, god, I didn't take care of myself, again.

(Link) View more Charlie Sheen: Winning Sound Clips and Charlie Sheen Rant Sound Clips

Hopefully this audio clip will work! If not, here's a link to the webpage where I found it: People Pleasing. I love the way he says it!

I didn't used to be a Charlie Sheen fan. I always thought he was kind of lame. Two And A Half Men is probably the stupidist show on television, I've never watched an entire episode even once. So it boggles my mind to think it's even slightly popular. But after watching his interview - I was hooked - not on his show but on him. The stuff he comes up with ... well, I'm digging it.

My favorite Charlie Sheen quotes:

“I’m tired of pretending like I'm not special. I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total freaking rock star from Mars and people can't figure me out, they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with the normal brain.”

"I’m here and I’m ready. Bring it."

"If you borrowed my brain for five seconds, you’d be like, ‘Dude! Can’t handle it, unplug this bastard!’"

"I blinked and I cured my brain."

"We have a few rules here. Nobody panics. There’s no judgment. You park your judgment at the door. Nobody dies. And — enjoy every moment. What did I miss? Drink chocolate milk. We just have fun. There’s a ton of laughter in this house. A ton of love in this house. There’s a ton of nobility in this house."

"Women are not meant to be hit. They’re to be hugged and caressed."

"That was an old brain, I have a new brain. I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a 7-year-old. That’s how I describe myself."

"Well, life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them."

“I am grandiose because I live a grandiose life; what's wrong with that?”

"I'm a winner and their lives look like they're - you know, ruled by losers."

"I got tiger blood, man. My brain:.fires in a way that is -- I don't know, maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm."

"I finally extracted myself from their troll hole and started living my life the way I want to live it."

"I was actually disappointed because I thought, I think the mistake, the mistakes, I made is that people misinterpret my passion for anger."

 "I'm not interested in people treating me like a 12-year-old."

"I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen. It's not available because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."

"Tiger blood will drip from my veins in my quest. Defeat is not an option."

"I don't count my days because it puts a premium on them and you walk around with your days, where did my days go? Keep coming back, keep coming back, here's your one day..."

"I'm not fair game. I'm not a soft target. It's over. There's a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins."

"I'm sorry man but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips."

"I have 'mondo' gratitude for this life. Life is a fantasy."

“I don’t live in the middle anymore, that’s where you get slaughtered, that’s where you get embarrassed in front of the prom queen and I just…it’s just not an option.”

"Guess what we were doing all day, every second of the day? Winning."

“Don’t be special, be one of us.’ Newsflash: I am special, and I will never be one of you!”

“My motto now is ‘You either love or you hate and you must do so violently’”

"I have one speed. I have one gear. Go! And I dare you to keep up with me."

"I don't speak to them anymore. I speak past them. I don't have any interest in being stuck in the mire of their stupidity. I lead with the truth. I've been inside the truth."

"That's how I roll. And if it's too gnarly for people, then buh-bye."

"Lead by example and teach your kids right and wrong. If my right and wrong is a little bit different than anybody else, then my kids will be different too."

"I've never been in trouble [financially]. Something will fall out of the sky, I don't believe in panic."

"They give me oxygen......we love trees, let's keep as many as we can and marry a tree, marriage for me didn't work so I am just going to marry a tree."

"I healed really quickly, but I also unravel really quickly, so get me right now, guys. Get me right now."

"I'm crazy, I'm passionate and I speak the truth."

"I'm grandiose. I have a grandiose life and I'm embracing it. ... It doesn't fit into their model and their model sucks."

"When I step between the lines, it's on. And I'm there to show others how it's done. It's not really rocket science."

"I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind. I had to unload 22 years of fiction and just decided I don't believe that anymore."

"It was nice to have police come to my house and for once I didn't leave with them."

“People are mystified by this odyssey that refuses to quit calling itself Charlie Sheen.”

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