03/31/06 to 04/03/06
Thursday afternoon I got a call from the Lohn school principal asking me to
babysit, uh, I mean substitute, on Friday.  I got there Friday morning, while Mr.
Farmer was still there.  Lohn has 120 kids, K-12, all in the same building.  Mr.
Farmer teaches "middle school."  His first class was 6th grade math.  They were
nice, but rowdy.  Mr. Farmer had left "busy work" for all the classes, and left at
the end of the 1st period.  All of the teachers left.  There was a conference
somewhere, and all the teachers but one left the building.  Meaning, of course,
that there were subs in all the classes, so not only were the kids rowdy in my
class, then they went to other classes, got even rowdier, and came back!!  The
best part was that this conference was for academic competition, so they had
taken all the good, smart students with them!!  
Second period was 7th grade Social Studies.  They were awful.  Third period
was 6th and 7th grades together for Literature.  This didn't work because the
grades were in different books, reading different stories and doing different
work.  They were supposed to read the story to themselves, then answer
questions.  They were loud, and talking, and getting out of their seats, and
goofing off, and being horrible.  I wanted to threaten to make them take turns
reading out loud, to control them, but I couldn't because they were reading two
different stories!!  Next was 8th grade math.  They had a quiz, then talked
quietly.  They were a good class.  Then I had to deal with 9th grade.  The teacher
had told me that there was no one good in that class.  They gave me fake
names, not even trying hard, one was Luther Vandros, one was Humpty
Dumpty--are you kidding me?  Ninth grade and they can't even come up with
decent fake names?  This was a half hour class before lunch to help them with
issues they are having in passing the TACS test (the Texas version of
standardized testing.)  There are no grades for this class, so of course they
didn't care.  They were EVIL!!  Then, after lunch, they came back!  Why didn't
they just skip?  No, they returned to learn about World Geography.  This time I
did threaten to make them read out loud.  It kinda worked, and they all finished
their assignment, but I had to remind them every 2 minutes to get back to it.  
Then I had a tiny class of two 12th graders.  There is usually an 11th grader in
there with them, but he was at conference.  We worked on math, and they were
good for the first 3/4 of the hour, until one of the boys decided he should stop
participating and take a nap.  There are only TWO of them, like I'm not going to
notice that his head is on his desk and he is sleeping??  Then the 6th and 7th
graders returned for Language Arts.  They came from gym, where they had a
sub.  According to the 6th graders, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade was all in gym
together, and the sub let the 8th graders push the 6th graders around.  So, one
of my 6th grade boys sat at his desk and made punching motions the entire
class, and kept telling everyone he was going to punch Chris whenever he saw
him.  He even got up and started pacing the isles, punching the air.  When I
asked him to sit down, he said, "What are you going to do?"  and I said, "I'm
going to ask you to sit down."  I thought I was going to have to call 911 or
something, but he just walked to his desk and sat down.  That was the drama
with the 6th grade boys.  The girls had drama of their own.  A 6th grade girl and
a 7th grade girl were rumored to be in the principals office, with the police,
because they had been threatening to kill each other.  (I don't believe there were
any cops, since I've seen one since I've been here, and he wasn't anywhere near
Lohn.)  They showed up to class about 10 minutes later, not talking, and giving
death looks at each other, and trying to gossip about it with all the other girls.  I
knew that would just start another fight, so I tried my best to keep them from
talking--not very successfully.  The bell finally rung, with no punches being thrown.
 I doubt there had been any learning either, but at least there were no punches!!
That was without a doubt the hardest 50 bucks I've ever made!!

Saturday morning I went down to work in the "garden."  There still isn't any
garden since we've been bumping projects up the list above putting up my
garden fence.  But I went down and was breaking up the dirt when I came across
a huge spider--about 2" long.  Spiders eat bugs, and I hate bugs, so I decided to
let him live.  But I didn't want him in my garden where he might bite me, so I
threw him in the wood heap (it was a wood pile, but it fell over, if you recall.)  So I
continued breaking up the dirt, and found another spider, not quite as large, but
still scary.  I kept going and found a spider carrying a white sack.  That was
enough for me.  If this was a poisonous spider, I didn't want a bunch of babies
running around.  So I put her-and a fellow I found with her-in a jar and got on line
to try to identify them to make sure they were not poisonous.  No luck.  Here is
the photo, anyone know if these are dangerous?
The spiders had me heebeejeebee-ed out, so I gave up on the garden.  Richard
was working on the chicken coop, and I was hunting flowers and birds.  I had just
missed another picture of a quail, when I heard a very loud BZZZZZ.  I looked
over, and 6 feet away was the biggest damn rattlesnake.  I never imagined we
would see a snake that big on our place.  He looked like a boa constrictor.  
I slowly backed away while I yelled, "HONEY!!"  Richard came running and when
I saw him I yelled, "Rattlesnake."  He stopped dead, and I said, "Big rattlesnake,
get the..."  and I was about to say shovel, but this snake was BIG, so I said,
"Gun!"  "Huge snake, Gun, huge, gun."  I didn't want to get too far away, cause I
wanted to keep my eye on him.  Richard returned with his rifle and dispatched
our 5th rattler from a safe distance.  He looks small in this picture, be we figure
he was about 4.5 feet long.  He had 8 rattles and a button.  (Compared to 5 and
a button for the first one I got, and 1 and a button for the three little guys.)
When I posted the site about killing the 3 babies, my brother got all mad at me,
saying I shouldn't kill them, especially since I'm a vegetarian and all.  Well even
though he is crazy, I didn't want to piss him off again, so I asked Richard if he
would eat it if I cooked it up.  He said no and went off to skin it.  When he
returned he told me "WE" were going to eat him.  I have a TX postcard with a
rattlesnake recipe on it, so I started cutting up the snake.  Since my kitchen is
vegetarian, I don't exactly have a cleaver, so I was just mushing the damn thing.  I
couldn't cut through the bone, so Richard had to take over.  (That is the skin
soaking in my good sauce pan!!)
After it was all cut up, I still wasn't sure about my cooking abilities, and there was
way too much meat for the two of us to eat, so I put it in a tupperware to take to
my Granny's house the next day.  I knew she would know how to cook meat.  
Then I cleaned my entire kitchen with bleach!

We didn't want the chicks to feel left out, so we fed them some snake scraps.  
They went crazy!!  
Having the other chickens run
after them to get the food is
more fun than eating it.  Any
time one of them gets
something good, they squawk
and start running so everyone
will chase them.  If they just
kept quiet, they could eat in
peace, but where's the fun in
that?
Sunday we got to my Granny's a little after noon.  My Grandpa had come home
from rehab on Friday and my uncle was there to help, so there were plenty of
eaters for the rattlesnake.  Granny had a cornmeal mix all ready, and we breaded
and fried the pieces just like the postcard said.  Yes, I ate some.  Well, I tasted it
really.  It was so chewy that I had to spit it out.  I tried another bite, same thing.  I
couldn't get it chewed.  It doesn't taste like chicken.  Richard ate the most, and we
brought home the leftovers for the chickens.  

We stopped on the way home to fill our gallon jugs with filtered water, and I think I
gave myself tennis elbow, so I have been whining around all day.  Richard is
making progress on the chicken coop.

My neighbor put me in touch with an ornithologist, so there are several
corrections and final identifications to my first two bird pages.  Plus, there have
been even more bird sightings!!  Now, if only I could find a wildflowerologist to
confirm my wildflower page...