Monday, June 28, 2010

Well, Since we are on a snake-kick...

Are you grossed out with snakes yet? I am! Especially from what happened last night.

We had a lot of family over at our house for dinner, and just as we pulled out the gallon of ice cream from the upstairs freezer, my nephew pulled out a gallon bucket from my downstairs freezer.

Do you see what's in there? Want a closer look?


And I thought finding frozen cow hearts was bad enough.


Isn't that snake about the yuckiest thing you've ever seen? I can not believe it froze like that. I mean, you can tell that it was an angry snake 'til the end of it's life.....freezing to death.

I posted this crazy find as a status on my facebook page. This prompted my sister-in-law to call immediately and she said, "You found the frozen snake?! My dad will be so happy. He has been looking for that!"

Oh great. lol

She told me it was about 10 years old, and wasn't it so cool-looking? Uh, sure. Hahaha. She also told me that she took it to her work one day and put it on the chair of her co-worker. Oh, that would be a good practical joke. Can you imagine? That thing would scare ya to death! WOW!

So we started discussing snakes. She thinks they are cool. She asked, "Haven't you ever played with a blow snake or a garden snake? It is so much fun! If you would just play with one once, you would really like snakes!"


Sorry to say this sis, but probably not.

By the way, we put the snake back in the freezer. I'm too scared that if it thaws, it's going to come back to life!

Plus, I guess the father-in-law still wants it.....

Monday, June 21, 2010

How To Skin a Copperhead Snake

Well, as I promised, here we go!

The day after the "Snake Bite Episode," they got the dead, headless snake out of the pillowcase and my husband decided to skin it for his brother. My husband.

As I have written on this blog before, he has many hidden talents, that have now come to surface since we've moved to the farm. Apparently this is one of them. I have never seen him skin a snake in the 5 years we have been married, but here we go!

First you have to get a razor, and split the skin down the middle of the belly...starting from top to bottom.


Then you just start pulling it away from the tissue of the snake. It's very slick.
......No pun intended...okay, pun intended. :)

Almost to the tail-end!
(Yes, that one was intended too..)

There you go - snake skin, and snake insides.
Would any science students like to dissect this snake for us?

Oh, and I helped with the proceedure too, are you impressed? No...those are not my hands helping him. I was the one who found that stick!

Now you just have to roll up the snake skin on the stick.
(Hey, anyone else notice the farmer-tan-arms above?)


Then you soak it in some alcohol....rubbing alcohol.
My favorite part about the above picture is that the jar says,
"So Close to Homemade."

So now what do you think we should do with it? It was suggested that we make him a snake-skin belt. What do you think? A belt? A Plaque? Boots?

Friday, June 18, 2010

He Loves His Steaks and His Rattlesnakes...

Well, I'm sure that my brother-in-law will be thrilled when he finds out he is the topic of my blog post today, but hey, it's a crazy story! I have to post it. Maybe instead, he will feel famous!

So... remember how I said we went on a long trip? Well we did. We went to Missouri and Illinois. My husband's parents are in Missouri, so it was really fun to visit them! We had such a great time.

My husband's family is so much fun. They have this little family song that they sing and each sibling gets a verse....It's a long song because there are nine siblings! Yet, it's really fun, creative, and cute.

So, Sunday night, we sang the family song to their friends. My brother-in-law's verse has a part that says, "He loves his steaks and his rattlesnakes." Then we went touring that night, and we really did run into a snake.

Here's the story. We enjoyed walking through the woods where my in laws are living now. We even got to the spot that is the geographical center of the United States. That was pretty cool. We also saw some wildlife - well, mostly deer and fireflies. It started to get dark so we were heading back when my father-in-law spotted a snake. He thought it was a rattlesnake. Okay, now you have to understand this family. They grew up catching rattlesnakes. In fact, there are a couple of rattlesnake skins hanging up on the wall right next to me, in my computer room. But that wall will be a whole 'nother blog post...along with the stuffed pheasant, bug collection, and countless skulls. I know one of them was of a badger, but it is gone now. We took it out to my father-in-law on this trip. they grew up catching rattlesnakes. I'm not sure the reason why. Either it was cool, or they were just out there in the fields and they learned how to do it cause you have to be smarter than a rattlesnake, right? Who knows. Maybe someone can fill me in.

So...we thought we spotted one on the road. Everyone got out to check out the snake. Well, except me and another sister-in-law. I thought they were all crazy.

In all the excitement, they realized that the snake did not have rattles on it. Thus it was probably not a rattlesnake. Someone yelled out, "Oh, it's just a Blowsnake!" And someone else yelled out, "But are you sure! Maybe it still is a rattlesnake?"... "No it's not."...."Hey, don't pick it up!" ...."Why?!.... OUCH!" Or maybe it was something like, "#%!*!!"

Anyway, the brother was bit...twice. It surprised everyone. At least I think. I really don't know why else most of them would be smiling in this picture...

Everyone was yelling, "What is it?! Does it have rattles? Is it poisonous?"

Then it went on to bite my father-in-law's leather boots, so everyone saw it's fang. Oh dear. By this time the brother was already in pain too!

So they caught it like they would a rattlesnake and checked to for rattles. Yes, that would be my husband holding the snake.

None. Interestingly enough, my father-in-law had a pillowcase and put the snake in there......right in the back of the truck by ME! Lovely, huh?

We rushed back to the house, and we actually called 911. We were in an isolated place and did not know where the nearest hospital was. The ambulance came....with the rest of the town following... cause you know, not much else going on in a small town. The EMT's had never treated a snake bit and had no idea what to do. They cut off the head of the snake, so they could take it with them for evidence. Then they made some phone calls, put a pressure cuff on his arm and an IV. They then drove him to the best hospital 70 miles away.

When they got to the hospital, they found out that no one at the hospital had ever treated a snake bite. Amazingly, a doctor from Texas was there and knew what to do. They finally started treating him with anti-venum and pain killers. But it did not take away the pain. Here he is when he said that, on a scale from 1-10, his pain level was an 11.
IMG00042-20100607-0930 (1)

You might not be able to tell from this picture, but his hand and arm swelled up a ton. So much that they took him in and made incisions the lenth of his finger, on both sides of his finger. I do have a picture of that, but I'm not sure you'd like to see it. It's pretty graphic. They did this because the swelling was going to start cutting off his circulation. They don't stitch it up the incisions either. It has to heal from the inside out. They said if they had not done this proceedure, his whole finger would have been black, just like that blister you can see here.

He ended up being in the hospital for THREE days. Okay, so I knew that getting bit by a poisonous snake was a big deal, and required emergency medical care. But I thought that you ran to the hospital, got your anti-venum, stayed a night so they could monitor you, and then you'd come home to recuperate. But wow. This was a big deal. And my brother-in-law is large in stature - I think 6'4" or something? And this little snake caused all this pain and medical attention. We couldn't believe it.

And you know what he said in the middle of all this? He said, "Oh, I'll still pick up a snake again." :)

Next blog post: "How to skin a copperhead snake."

Yes, I'm serious.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We Have Some Big News...

...... Moley is pregnant!

So we've been on vacation for over a week, and I had not seen Moley for about two weeks prior to that. Remember how she went on vacation? This was about as close as I ever got to her. So I knew she was alive.
Anyhow, we got back from our vacation late last night. I just went out to the garage this evening, and for the first time in weeks, she decided to come home and eat. She looked a bit chubby, so I went over to pet her. Um, I'm pretty sure that is a pregnant belly. I don't think she's been eating too many mice....especially since I found one in my basement this morning. Plus, Ladd also agrees with me so we are safe to say, "She expecting." Maybe we should just continue the trend and see how many litters she can have this year. What do you think?

Hold on, let me google the gestational period of a cat...Wow, it's only about 9 weeks. Geez, how would that be? It also said that the cat's stomach will swell noticeably around the 5th week. So I figure we have only about a month, but it could be less. I will have to ask my mother-in-law, since Moley is hers and she has done this before. we go again! Babies the end of February, now babies by mid July. So that makes the next litter due in November-ish? I'll keep you posted....


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'll Be Back Soon!

We've been on vacation!!! And it's been a blast.

BUT, I do have stories of ticks, chiggers, and a poisonous snake bite....even pictures. It's been an adventure, let me tell ya.

Hopefully the nephew is keeping the farm and house in tact. I'm sure he is.

Speaking of ticks.. our group just found another one! That's the fifth"burrowed" tick!