Slippery Slopes

Slippery SlopesThe snow coming down this afternoon reminded me of those glass winter ornaments made with scenes inside which when turned upside down, create a light winter snow.  I’m at least glad it did get above zero today and I’m in hopes it will remain that way.  It’s funny in my having spoken about the deer eating evergreen trees several days ago and then today a customer telling me how quickly a small herd of deer had eaten the green parts off his hedge of arborvitaes about halfway up in one evening’s graze.  A colleague of mine mentioned today how a neighbor of hers down the street puts out several pails of cracked corn for a huge herd of deer about two times a day.  I don’t think we should have residents encouraging them to be more emboldened in and around our City.  It’s no wonder we have so many since there are no predators as well as being provided free meals twice a day.  We humans can’t even have it that good at a Community Kitchen.  I commend those who’ve developed a taste for deer meat.  I’ve had it just about every way imaginable and I can still taste a trace of their weird sort of gaminess I find unpalatable.  The only way I’ve found it edible, is when it’s pressure canned with lots of garlic and used in chile or vegetable based soups.  Going to all the work of getting its meat from hoof to finished jar is way too much work even for me.  Someone told me it’s their fat one must be sure to remove before processing.  Well I tried it, and I could still taste deer.  I’m wondering if there are some who have a genetic aversion to the taste of certain foods to where they instinctively know when that taste is present no matter what other food or spice is used to mask its taste.

I had to do some extra chores for several of my clients today so I figured I’d go and check on the progress of a property that’ll be getting listed soon.  The owners have been diligently working on getting it cleaned up, fixed up, and painted so to be ready for the early Spring market.  It happens to be a home that was a rental for a number of years but after their last tenant moved out, they decided it was time to throw in the rag with their dealing with cleanups from irresponsible tenants.  They’re making great progress and I’m confident they’ll have it spic and span for the future owners.  They were telling me some of their “finds” while working on it, and believe me, I’m glad I wasn’t there to see them.

Those tenants must have been so dirty, they actually had flying bugs in the house and instead of making sure the home was kept clean, they placed some weird sort of flypaper on the windows in attempts to catch them.  The owners said the tenants must have had caged birds which left loose so they could fly around as they pleased and certainly to leave droppings on windowsills and door capitals.  The owners said they also must’ve had mice problems since they’d  found droppings in kitchen cabinets and drawers.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to deter mice—you just don’t leave food out.  I’ve told many over the years that if they have dog or cat food, they must only give them enough to where they’ll eat it all, and then make sure their supply of food is kept in metal containers.  Mice and rats can easily chew through paper and plastic.  Pesky rodents are everywhere and usually can be kept under control by not giving them free access to food as well as keeping fresh rat and mouse poison out and available.  Most bothersome pests can be controlled as long as pro-active steps are taken.  I walked through a vacant home several weeks ago and found a dead mouse floating in a toilet bowl.  It likely was thirsty and decided to jump in for a drink without realizing it couldn’t crawl back up the slippery slopes of the bowl.   It’s good for us all to remember to never jump into something without knowing we can’t make our way back up those slippery slopes.

Joe Chodur

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