Archive for August 15, 2009

30-Year-Old Clay County Woman the Latest Swine Flu Fatality


A 30-year-old Clay County woman died Friday of swine flu, a public health official said. It was the first swine flu fatality recorded in the county.

I do not recall, until this year, hearing of a healthy 30-year-old succumbing to the flu.

Mills said swine flu, which only reached Northeast Florida in April, now accounts for about 90 percent of the flu cases reported to her agency. Health officials in Florida have stopped publicly reporting routine swine flu diagnoses.

Nationally, there have been 477 deaths and 7,511 people hospitalized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

Mills said the death should underscore to people the need to take precautions to limit the spread of the disease. People with respiratory diseases should stay home, and away from work or school to avoid spreading infections, she said, and others should avoid close contact with people who are coughing or seem sick. Mills said people should contact a doctor if they a cough, fever and fatigue, especially in conjunction with diarrhea and vomiting.

Unfortunately, I fear that this fall a lot of people are going to be too scared about the possibility of losing their jobs to take off from work if they are ill, and thereby pass it on to people that shouldn’t be getting it. *sigh*

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I Won’t Be Hearing Squirrels Falling Out of Tree at Night Anymore!

Dylan and squirrels

Dylan and squirrels

Jacob and Squirrel

Jacob and Squirrel

Momma Squirrel got around to carrying away her little ones this morning. She apparently decided that I was the one climbing up her tree at 3 a.m. and stealing her babies, so she moved her little ones out to a tree in the woods. Since Momma Squirrel absolutely sucks at nest building, I expect that the little ones will be plummeting to earth again shortly. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I won’t be able to rescue them.

Jacob and Dylan enjoyed seeing the squirrels, though!aug 15,2009 079

The worst thing about digital cameras is that they are slower than my film camera. You do not know HOW many shots I had to take to get just a couple that were relatively unblurred!

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Squirrels Dropping in Part Deux

aug 15,2009 082Dylan woke up at 3:30 a.m. He is awake because old Odie’s bladder ain’t what it used to be, and he barked loudly about how badly he wanted off the porch to pee. After letting him back on the porch while my bladder was insistently reminding me that it wasn’t no spring chicken either, I came inside to find that Dylan was peeping in from his bed in the living room, a happy smile on his face because it must be morning because MeeMaw and Odie are up! Oh, HELL no.

After tending to the bladder, I was trying to snuggle Dylan back to sleep when I heard a high-pitched series of squeaks like a baby squirrel had fallen out of the tree and was in distress. I said a very rude word, left Dylan in the MeeMaw chair, and ran outside before Puppy had breakfast.

First baby squirrel was easy to find, lying on his back and wriggling his legs in the air, squeaking for momma to come fetch him. I picked him up and he immediately wrapped his little limbs around my thumb, clinging for dear life, and went to sleep. Somebody warm had found him, and that was good enough for him. I found another one lying stunned in some thick grass. I couldn’t find any more fallen babies, so I came inside. No sooner had I gotten them placed in a deep Tupperware bowl in a nest of rags than I heard more distress sounds, then nothing. Running back outside I searched frantically, then found another one mostly submerged in a mud puddle, his little head thrown back to keep his nose in the air. Dang. He wasn’t moving. I put him underneath my shirt for warmth while I searched for the fourth baby. After several minutes of fruitless searching by both myself and Pup (at least I hope it was fruitless searching on Pup’s part), I gave up and came inside. Either the portion of the nest the last baby squirrel was in hadn’t fallen yet, or baby squirrel was at the bottom of a deep puddle as we’ve gotten 5+ inches of rain in the last couple days. Momma squirrel really needs to take some remedial nest building classes, damnit.

In the meantime, Dylan is still awake. He waited patiently for his chocolate milk even though his MeeMaw unaccountably heated up a bottle of hot water to tuck into the rag nest with the baby squirrels to warm them before fixing his chocolate milk, then decided that he is The Man and is therefore going to sleep in Papa’s chair instead of snuggling in MeeMaw’s chair (my sleeping place while the boys are here in case they wake up during the night). He is currently fighting sleep with all his might.

I checked the squirrels again. They are all curled up and fast asleep, unlike Dylan. They have fur now, unlike last time, and their eyeslits may be partially open. Their tail is still skinny. I’m worried about whether the one from the water will be alive in the morning as I think he may have inhaled some water. Oh, wait. It IS morning. Damnit.

It’s now 5 a.m. Dylan is finally showing some signs of going to sleep (woohoo! I see sleepy eyes!) so maybe MeeMaw can get some of that very, VERY badly needed beauty sleep. Or at least enough sleep so the dawg doesn’t look at me and run away yelping when I go outside.

Even if Dylan goes to sleep and sleeps until the ungodly late hour of 7 a.m., Jacob will still be waking up @ 6 a.m.

I want my mommy bringing me a Margarita. And a blanket.

We have a new tropical storm headed this way (the things you learn when you turn on the Weather Channel before dawn to make soothing noise for a little one). Do we have batteries? I don’t think I’ve stocked up on those yet this year and the number of nocturnal squirrel fetching trips is really puttin’ a hurt on the flashlight. Huh. Guess a trip to Walmart is in our near future since the tropics are gettin’ all active again.

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