Sunday, June 3, 2012


Cameron Oliver Young. Age 5 years and 22 years. A precious memory of Kindergarten graduation and then a proud moment of college graduation -- Louisiana State University, Class of 2012. Cameron missed graduating Cum Laude by only .015 points! 

Since graduating in May, Cameron volunteered to help with the Special Olympics in Dallas, Texas. He was the MC for the events. Cameron's delightful sense of humor surely added to the joy of the day. As part of his graduation gift, Cameron will be making a trip in August to visit many of his friends in Europe. 

Audrey Marlena Archer. Graduation Day from Kindergarten, age (almost) 5 years, and Graduation Day from Southern Methodist University, Class of 2012, age (almost) 22 years. 

As part of her graduation gift, Audrey and her good friend Hannah are trekking across the United States, arriving today in Delaware, stopping at many points of interest between Amarillo and her destination. Audrey will be working this summer with the Delaware State Park system as an Environmental Tour Guide, discussing with and educating the public regarding the flora and fauna of the State Park. She has applied, and will learn in August if she has been hired, to work with a group in North Carolina in the rescue and rehabilitation of Sea Turtles. 

These cousins, born four months apart, have been close all of their short lives. Their parents threw a wonderful celebratory party for them in Dallas a few weeks back. Friends and family (with the exception of this sad grandmama, who had an ailing parent to tend to) gathered to send them off into the world. Having grown up in Dallas, Cameron had many of his childhood friends in attendance.

Beautiful, talented, and bright. These two are going to make special marks in our world. I intend to hang around and report their accomplishments for all the world to hear about!

I salute you two! With all my love and pride,
Fancy Grandmama

Friday, June 1, 2012


As most of you know, I have been away from home for the past two and a half weeks assisting my ailing dad. During this time, we had a good deal of rain here in Burnet. This is a portion of my back yard as it appeared, overgrown with weeds, when I returned home. In the rear by the tree, one of my outdoor shoes known as "Crocs", is ensconced in a nearly dry birdbath. The yellow, concrete one had been overturned. Upon examination, I saw that the shoe had been nearly destroyed by "something" chewing on it! The mate has disappeared completely!
There is a wide hole going into the crawlspace beneath my house that I have had chicken wire stapled over several times. A creature of some kind keeps working the chicken wire loose to access this space. I called our local animal control officer and explained what I had found. She appeared shortly, accompanied by a police officer who has an interest in the wildlife around here. I told them that my neighbor had seen a raccoon in my yard a couple of years ago. (See MORE MUSINGS, August 2010) We even set a trap when said raccoon began to raid their tomato plants. At that time, we netted a feral cat, and the raccoon ceased its nighttime forays. The policeman, who had 15 pet raccoons at one time, said he never knew them to chew up anything. When I told him I had found some leftover suet in the birdbath earlier this year, he said that did sound like a raccoon. They are often able to open doors to cages such as the one that held the suet.
Looking at the destruction of this hard rubber shoe, I am reminded of puppies who chew anything and everything when they are cutting teeth. I looked up some of the behavior of raccoons on the internet, and much to my dismay I discovered they can have litters of up to seven little ones!! 

We set a trap with cat food, hung a piece of bread with peanut butter and jelly (the officer said they have a sweet tooth) in the suet basket, and I awaited daylight. I was up at 5:30 with my flashlight trying to see what we had captured. It was a very large house cat! Probably someone's pet. The animal control officer came and reset the trap while I was gone this morning. I wonder what we will capture tonight.

My property is across a busy highway from a wooded, hilly area. In the winter, my former neighbor (a night owl who awakens easily) has seen deer in my back yard. Unfortunately, due to the droughts we have suffered in this part of Texas, the deer migrate to neighborhoods to feed and many of their fawns are hit by cars and killed.

Day 2 -- We have one smart raccoon, if that's what it is. This morning the peanut butter and jelly had been removed from the suet cage, the trap door was still set but the can of cat food was empty and turned upside down in the birdbath, and the second Croc was now missing, too! I have a call into animal control. Maybe we will try another tactic. I'll keep you posted.