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Alligators In Our Yard!


You have to look real close, but the gator is resting behind the sago palm and the water’s edge.  Needless to say, I too these photos from inside the house and did not go out to get a closer inspection.

The Alligator Trapper caught “the big one” which was 12 foot plus.  Here he is taking him away in his little boat.  Hooray!


Ahhhh, the joys of living on the river, or is there danger lurking in the shallows?  Just thought ya’ll would find the attached photos interesting of our alligator visitors, yes, plural alligators.

There have always been gators floating and swimming past our yard and dock since we have been here, but they typically don’t bother anything or anyone.  However, recently a couple of our neighbor’s dogs were playing in the shallows off of our yard (our yard is not bulk headed like the ones on either side of us) as we were sitting down to watch the evening news when Bob spotted one of the gators (the large one) making a bee-line for the dogs and moving at a very past pace.  I ran out the back door and called to Missy, one of the dogs.  Luckily she is very obedient and came out of the water immediately and ran up on the yard.  The black dog from one street over followed her.  The gator came to a dead stop in the water, about 6 feet from where the dogs were playing.  We figure they had about a few seconds left before attack.

After contacting the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (on the Alligator Hotline), they issued us a case number then issued a permit to the alligator trapper assigned to our area.  He came out the next night and chased “the big one” from the end of our dock, across the river, and into the forest preserve, but couldn’t catch him.  We had gone to Jacksonville or Saturday for our anniversary and to do some shopping.  It just so happened that just as we arrived home, the gator trapper called to see if we had seen any sight of the gator.  As I was telling him that we had not seen him for a couple of days I looked out the window and lo and behold, a gator was sunning himself on our back lawn.  YIKES!

The trapper came about 30 minutes later but by then the gator had gone into the water.  He set a bait hook at the end of our dock and told me to keep an eye on it and call me when the bait had been taken.  YIKES again!  It is very interesting that they put a big hunk of chicken or turkey on a big hook suspended by a long metal pole off the dock.  Attached to the hook is a rope with plastic floaters, like a bait jug and liter bottles from soft drinks at intervals along the rope.  That way when the gator takes the bait and swims off, they just follow where the line of bottles are.  Think of the scene from “Jaws” where they attach the large yellow barrels to the harpoon that they try to catch the shark with.

The bait was still there at 9:00 that night from what I could see from the patio deck, but the trapper said not to come out at night with flashlights to check the trap, just in case the gator was lurking near by.  You think I would go out there at night?  NOOOOOOO!

But at early light at 6:30 the next morning I could see that the bait was gone and I called the trapper.  He came out ASAP and scoured the shoreline of the river in his boat then finally found the gator across the river deep in a cedar creek shoal.  He had to call in reinforcements as his boat was too small to drag him out.  I spoke to him by cell phone and he said the gator was already dead, apparently they swallow the hook and that’s all I will say about that.

The trapper was kind enough to bring the gator across the river so that I could get photos of it, but he had to hurry and get it to shore once it gets out in the sunlight.  The trapper said this was a 12 foot plus gator, and that this was “the big one” that he chased the other night, and the one that most probably came after the neighbor’s dogs.

Page 2 of the story:  The gator you see in the yard he said was only a 7 to 9 footer, based on the photos I took, but was feeling at home enough to come up on shore to relax and sun himself, so he would need to go as well.  I called the Alligator Hotline again and added one more gator to the permit, as the trapper said he was only allowed to catch the one gator on the permit.  So we will be gator hunting again very soon!

Well, so much for excitement in sunny Florida!

Back Again After a Short Break

Dear Family, Friends, Subscribers, and Visitors,

I’ve been remiss in not posting very much since Thanksgiving of 2011, and I know you have wondered where the “Hot Flashes in the Pan” videos have been.  You will be glad to know that I will be focused more on bringing all types of new information, articles, videos, photos, and a whole new array of projects in 2012.  I took  a short hiatus to work over at my Church, tend to our business of forensic work, went through the holidays, preparing the taxes for the IRS submission, etc.

Featured on my blog will be some of the projects I worked on at the Church which can be applied to all other situations & locations, including your home.  My husband and I also put together a website for the church which I think is pretty phenomenal, if I do say so myself.  It’s a tiny little church, about 80 members, but you just can’t imagine all the things that this little congregation does and gets accomplished.  If you would like, please go to the site:  www.sanmateopresbyterianchurch.com and see all the events, activities, projects, and everything that this church does.  The previous church that we were members of has over 1,200 members, and they don’t do or accomplish anywhere near what our little San Mateo church accomplishes.  Hope you enjoy seeing our “little” church.

I thank you for your patience and understanding while I was away, and really appreciate you keeping up with my blog.  So get ready for a New Year, 2012 will be an fun, exciting, & beautiful time for us all!

Yours very truly,


Shepherd in a Manger

Shepherd Dog in a Manger

Shepherd Dog in a Manger


Found on the Internet / Facebook:

A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard.
During the night, someone came across this.
An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort.
No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night.
We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus’ lap from time to time.
This is too sweet not to share.
No one mentioned that the dog breed is a “shepherd!”

4th of July Little Known History

January 14, 2010 Story Time No Comments

US FlagDid you know this part of 4th of July history?  This has been around before, and sent to me via email by several people, but still is very interesting.  For those that were not aware, that these great Men gave so much for our freedom.

4TH OF JULY – Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. … Continue Reading

Riding Lawnmower Gift

January 7, 2010 Story Time No Comments

Riding Lawnmower

This article came to me via email from some male who thought it was kinda funny:

My wife always wanted a riding lawn mower.  She works all day and was always tired when she came home from work and thought that a riding lawn mower would help her get the yard work done quicker so she would have more time for the chores inside the house.

SO, being the handy sort of guy that I am, I made her a riding lawn mower.  I guess I thought she would squeal with delight or something and give me a big hug.  To this day I have never been able to understand why some women are so hard to please…. I thought I did a great job!

Arthur and the Witch

January 5, 2010 Story Time No Comments

KnightThis short story came to me via email from several people:

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom.  The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur’s youth and ideals.  So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question.  Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question?… .What do women really want?  Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query.  But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch’s proposition to have an answer by year’s end.  He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone:  the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester.  He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.  Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.  But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged. … Continue Reading

Christmas Eve 1881

December 27, 2009 Story Time No Comments

Log CabinThis story was sent to me via email by a very dear friend.  We don’t know who the author is, but take time to read this inspiring story.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve 1881

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. … Continue Reading

Men, You’ve Got To Love Them!

November 6, 2009 Story Time No Comments

Couple CartoonA little humor from a friend from Church:

MEN!!!! (Author(s) Unknown)

One day, my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his Sweatshirt.  Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, ‘What setting do I use on the washing machine?’

‘It depends,’ I replied. ‘What does it say on your shirt?’  He yelled back, ‘ OHIO STATE !’


A couple is lying in bed. The man says, ‘I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world.’

The woman replies, ‘I’ll miss you………


‘It’s just too hot to wear clothes today,’ Jack says as he stepped out of the shower, ‘honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?’

‘Probably that I married you for your money,’ she replied. … Continue Reading

Da End Be Near!!

November 6, 2009 Story Time No Comments

Reverend Boudreaux was the part-time pastor of the local Cajun Baptist Church and Pastor Thibodaux was the minister of the Covenant Church across the road.They were both standing by the road, pounding a sign into the ground, that read:
‘Da End is Near
Turn Yo Sef ‘Roun Now
Afore It Be Too Late!’
As a car sped past them, the driver leaned out his window and yelled, ‘You religious nuts!’
From the curve they heard screeching tires, a big splash and then silence….
Boudreaux turns to Thibodaux and asks, ‘Do ya tink maybe da sign should jussay…..’Bridge Out?’

Author Unknown

Author Unknown

Vacuum Cleaner Blues

October 3, 2009 Story Time No Comments
Vacuum CleanerI recently lost my house keeper temporarily…she fell off her horse and broke her back….so my mom and I decided we COULD clean house.
My house is a large tri-level Italian-style house.
My idea was that we should clean one level at a time…mom volunteered to vacuum…I cleaned all the glass (which was a lot) and dusted everything…I cleaned the half bath and the laundry room and was waiting for mom to do the vacuuming so that I could mop (I have NO carpet).
Well, it takes mom at least 2 hours to get dressed in the morning…by the time she was ready, I was finished with my portion except for the mopping so I was taking a break.
She got the vacuum cleaner out and turned it on for about 2 minutes and turned it off…she wanted to change the bag, but could not figure out how to get it open and called me to help her…I took ONE look at the vacuum…it looked like an “alien” to me…I pushed all the buttons I saw…nothing happened except it went on and off and the cord rolled up…I have not vacuumed in 25 years…I did not have a clue as to what to do…I told her that Dana always changed the bag timely and that I was sure the bag was all right…so we gave up on that.
She turned the vacuum on again and turned it off after 2 minutes…she wanted to sweep up 3 leaves that fell off a plant in the bathroom instead of vacuuming them…so I got the broom and the dustpan for her…she swept the leaves and took them outside to the flowerbed. … Continue Reading

Life on Tate Street

September 27, 2009 Story Time No Comments

Dog Tate StreetOur family was so happy living in the little wood-frame house on Tate Street in Camden, Arkansas in the mid-fifties.

We had everything….a coop full of chickens, a grand old apple tree. some ducks and some rabbits and our trusty mixed-breed dog Ginger….Ginger was a fabulous dog…she went with us everywhere…when she was a puppy, David and I would dress her up in Paul`s baby clothes and cart her around in a little red wagon to “show her off” to our neighbors…soon she became a full-sized dog and looked like a light colored lab…no more “free” rides for her….we hooked her up to the wagon and she carted Paul around and we “showed him off” to our neighbors…she was VERY protective of David and me (which proved to be her downfall)…one day our Sunday School teacher came to the house for a visit…..Ginger took ONE look at her and decided SHE was the ENEMY….the poor woman barely got out of the car when Ginger “set in” on her…Ginger chased our teacher around and around her car with David and me chasing after her yelling and screaming for her to stop…the DOG outlasted the teacher…Ginger “treed” her against her car and then sat down…she never understood why we did not give her “kudos” for her GREAT feat OR why she got “shipped off” to a farm….dad took us to see her now and then…she was quite happy in her new home…she could chase anything she wanted and never got in trouble….she was always glad to see us and proved it by bounding up to us and knocking David and me down to the ground and “licking us to death”. … Continue Reading

My Dog Snooper

September 27, 2009 Story Time No Comments

Laura's dog snooperWhen I was a little girl, my dad was in the Air Force and was stationed in Houston….I had a dog…his name was Snooper…I loved that dog more than anything in the world.

He only had ONE vice…he chased cars…he was hit by vehicles three times in his life…the first two were no too bad and he was able to recover…the third time he was hit by the paperboy…the boy was on a motorcycle…Snooper ran out in front of him…he was hurt badly.

My dad sized up the situation and decided the best thing to do was to “put him down”…I was only 4 so I did not know what that meant.

Dad got his gun out of the closet and loaded it with bullets…my mom began to cry…I started crying too and begged my mom not to weep…I said, “Don`t worry mother…dad is going to shoot the paperboy not Snooper.” When I said that, my dad put the gun away and scooped up the dog…he took him to the vet and told him he HAD to save the dog for my sake…the vet patched him up and he lived to a ripe old age.

After he recovered, we went to Arkansas to visit my grandmother and other relatives….we took Snooper with us…I was not going ANYWHERE without that dog…I decided to give him a bath…my grandmother fixed me a dishpan of soapy water…well, the dog was a lot bigger than I so that did not work very well…so I ditched that idea and took the “plunge” myself….here is the proof.

Old Spurs the Rooster

September 27, 2009 Story Time No Comments

RoosterWhen I was 5 years old my dad opted to leave the Air Force and pursue a career in the paper industry.

My dad and mom bought a cute little wood-frame house in Camden, Arkansas in a nice neighborhood within walking distance of the school…the area had tons of kids to play with…David (my brother) and I loved it there….there was a chicken coop in the back yard so, of course dad bought some hens and a rooster…soon we had chicks running around in the coop…David and I had great fun playing with the baby chicks…dad had to make us leave them alone…we were “loving” them to death.

It was not long before we had an addition to the family….our baby brother Paul was born….David and I tried to “love” him to death too.

Soon there were other additions to our animal kingdom as well….dad bought us four little ducks that soon grew into four BIG ducks….our next door neighbors were elderly and retired…..the Hearns….Mr. Hearn grew the most beautiful garden….tomatoes, corn, okra, peas and beans….well, my dad had a little garden too, but for some reason our ducks preferred Mr. Hearns garden to ours…we found out later it was because we did NOT have corn…anyway, when the ducks were big enough to fly, they flew over the fence into Mr. Hearn`s garden…David and I climbed over the fence and it became a “free-for-all”….we chased the ducks…the ducks were squawking loudly and poor Mr. Hearn (being “at his wit`s end”) chased all of us through the garden…in the end we caught the ducks….Mr. Hearn was furious and brought out some of the largest shears David and I had ever seen…we began to cry and beg for the duck`s lives as we thought he was going to cut their heads off…much to our relief he clipped their wings and threw them back over the fence….after that my dad grew the ducks “their own” row of corn in the back yard…that solved solved the problem. … Continue Reading

The Boogie Man

September 27, 2009 Story Time No Comments

Pillow FightWhen my brother David and I were children, we spent time with our grandmother Frankie quite often…we would usually go to her house on Saturday morning, spend the day and night and then my dad would pick us up on Sunday morning to go to Sunday School.

One especially memorable time found David and me at Frankie`s house with our Shepherd first cousins…Angie and Billy Wade…we were all spending time together…life was wonderful!!….our second cousin Jim lived several houses down the street…he was coming to spend the day with us and then after supper we were going to “walk” him back home…the rest of us were spending the night with Frankie…we were “stair steps” in age…David was the youngest and Jim and Angie were the oldest, but we were all very young….under 10 or 11.

We had a grand time that day…Frankie made taffy…she greased up all our hands with butter and we pulled and pulled on it until she said it was done…of course it had a bit of grass and dirt in it, but we did not mind….we ate it anyway. … Continue Reading

Hot Flashes in the Pan YouTube Videos

Hot Flashes in the Pan YouTube Videos

Critter Corner

Alligators In Our Yard!

July 17, 2012

  You have to look real close, but the gator is resting behind the sago palm and the water’s edge.  Needless to say, I too these photos from inside the house and did not go out to get a closer inspection. The Alligator Trapper caught “the big one” which was 12 foot plus.  Here he […]

Back Again After a Short Break

February 2, 2012

Dear Family, Friends, Subscribers, and Visitors, I’ve been remiss in not posting very much since Thanksgiving of 2011, and I know you have wondered where the “Hot Flashes in the Pan” videos have been.  You will be glad to know that I will be focused more on bringing all types of new information, articles, videos, […]

Shepherd in a Manger

November 20, 2011

  Found on the Internet / Facebook: A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard. During the night, someone came across this. An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there […]

Tale of the Missing Socks

September 17, 2011

My cat Penelope wears socks.  Yes, you heard correctly, socks.  She’s a little over 15 years old now and has arthritis in her back legs.  This causes her to be a little unsteady when using the litter box.  Sometimes, not always, but sometimes after she tinkles she looses her balance and steps in the clump of […]

Pets and the Joy They Bring

September 16, 2011

Having a pet, be it a cat, dog, bird, fish, horse, pig, or whatever furry creature you relate to, is a positive and healthy experience.  Studies have proven that they can extend our lives, lower our blood pressure, and pretty much make us feel good all over because they give us unconditional love. You may […]