November 28, 2013

WP Daily Prompt 11/16/2013: FAQ—Thanksgiving Questions to Chief Tom Turkey

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Hugs for al my friends, near and far

WP Daily Prompt 11/16/2013: FAQ—Thanksgiving Questions to Chief Tom Turkey



Written by Cochran Cornell the Cantankerous Cockroach

The WordPress Daily Prompt for November 16, 2013, was FAQInterview someone—a friend, another blogger, your mother, the mailman—and write a post based on their responses. Being as it’s Thanksgiving and I am quite busy, I asked Cochran Cornell the Cantankerous Cockroach if he’d write this post for me.

“I guess so,” he said in a tone in which I detected a lack of enthusiasm.

“And no shenanigans,” I added. “It’s Thanksgiving, and interviewing Chief Tom Turkey is important. He doesn’t give interviews to just anybody. You might want to read about the Henningsen Cold Storage Col in Stilwell, Oklahoma, before you leave.”

“I read that article yesterday while you were reading it,” huffed Cochran.

“You don’t have to get snippy with me. Now off you go to find Chief Turkey. And I expect your article to be on my computer before I go to bed at 3:30 a. m. so I can post it at the regular time, 3:00 a. m.”


I found Chief Tom Turkey safe at a residence on the banks of the Jordan River in Lamoine, Maine, where he was keeping a low profile under the protective wing of the property owner who didn’t want to be identified.

“It’s a safe place here,” Chief Turkey said. “I’ve sent an invitation to Popcorn to join me.”

“Popcorn?” I queried.’

“Yes…he’s the lucky turkey President Obama pardoned…”

“That’s right. Every year the President pardons a turkey.”

“It’s a holiday ritual,” said Chief Turkey. “It kind of began when Abraham Lincoln saved the life of a dinner-bound turkey his son liked. Since then presidents have been given turkeys by various organizations. Usually they made a meal for the President. It was President John F. Kennedy that started the annual tradition of (more…)

August 20, 2013

Deer Facts From Deere (A Young Buck)



Hug for Monte, the photographer


Hi there,

I was snacking in a wonderful yard containing a feast of flora and fauna when the master of the house (Monte) first saw me. He seemed pretty tame, so I didn’t run immediately. But my better nature won out when I heard a strange clicking noise coming from him, and I scooted off quickly.


But the buffet feast was so plentiful and yummy that I returned and stayed longer. This human Monte was there again, and I realized he wasn’t too scary, and the clicking noise he made was softer this time, so I hung around for a while, filling my belly.

I might note that the clicking sound the human made was a trigger finger—not on the feared gun, but on a camera that somehow created an image of me for his collection.

I’d like to tell you about myself—fondly named Deere by Monte’s wife—and my family.


 I’m a whitetail deer.

In North America the elk, moose, caribou, mule deer and . blacktail deer are related to me. There are about 100 types of deer (30 recognized). All of us have some common characteristics.

ScientificaIly I’m part of the family Cervidae, order Artiodactyle—way too technical! Being an Artiodactyle simply means I have hoofs with an even number of toes. My scientific name Odocoileus virginianus,, but please call me Deere.

I’m also labeled an ungulate (hoofed animal) because each of my feet ends in a cloven or two-piece hoof. 

Perhaps the children would like a page to color:


As a herbivore, I like tender young leaves, stems, shoots and in some areas acorns and mushrooms. Wild fruits and agricultural crops are especially great, but it’s rumored that this human rants and raves when us deer stand on our hind legs to reach the apples and pears on the fruit trees. Also, they have some kind of netting around their vegetable garden, so all I can do is look at the produce longingly.

Humans call me a buck, bull, stag, or hart, which means I’m a boy. Girl deer are called does, cows, or hinds, and our children are known as fawns or calfs


 It’s easy to tell I’m a boy in the summer and (more…)

April 21, 2013

WP Daily Prompt: Brief Encounter with a Stranger—Sexing Clams


The WordPress daily prompt for April 20th was Have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?

Most certainly, I have. Many of them. I call them brief encounters.

Branches droop on an ice-covered tree

Branches droop on an ice-covered tree

 The ice storm of January 1998 affected 17 million acres of forestland in northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, including parts of the Green Mountain National Forest and the White Mountain National Forest. Portions of eastern Canada were also impacted. The weight of accumulated ice caused trees to snap off or bend over to the ground. Large branches broke within crowns and debris littered the landscape.

On January 1, 1998, my husband was on the telephone making airline reservations a flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Bangor, Maine. My mother, Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius, was in the hospital seriously ill, and he was arranging for me to be there with her. I was to fly on January 2.

After arriving early in the evening I talked with her briefly, expecting to spend some time with her on January 3rd. Unfortunately, she unexpectedly passed on before I left my room for breakfast.

Several family members who were also at the hospital drove to Presque Isle, her retirement location. While there a severe ice storm hit the northeast. I couldn’t delay leaving, so another family member drove me to the airport. I recall sitting in the back seat of a sports car, terrified, as we headed back to Bangor.

In the airport I went to the coffee machine. Another woman was also getting coffee. I asked her if she wanted to join me, and so she did.

During a pleasant conversation I asked her about her work. She (I’ll call her Meriah) was a medical researcher who traveled between Rhode Island and Maine to do research on cancer in female clams.

I’ve worked in medical research. My subjects were the typical: white mice. I knew how difficult it was to determine the sex of these creatures, so I asked the obvious question: (more…)

March 5, 2013

WP Daily Prompt 3/4/2013: A Story Written Using No “N”, Another With No “E”

WP Daily Prompt 3/4/2013:

The March 4, 2013, WordPress Daily Prompt was There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel!)

Easy, I thought. All I have to do is eliminate the Q or the Z.

But that would be, in my mind, not fair, cheating. How often do I write entire posts that don’t have a Q or a Z? I must say it’s quite often.

I looked around the room and recorded the first number I saw between 1 and 26. It was 14. I went through the alphabet on my fingers and discovered number 14 was the letter “N.” How does one write a piece without using the letter N?


The kitty, a.k.a. Baby, was scared. She acted from her fear.

The day we brought her home from the shelter she scooted from the cat carrier. She hid above the sheets stored atop a shelf. If Mary or Joe, the kids who lived with her, came close to her she bared her teeth with a hiss.IMG_0318eShortly, however, she came to love Mary and Joe. She rubbed their legs while she purred as they petted her. She slept curled at their feet. She grabbed pieces of food from their thumbs.

Baby protected Mary and Joe. If they were (more…)

May 27, 2012

A Fish Tongue Twister…



(Happy Eleventh Birthday, Dawson!)

Good poetry aside, you might say “fins find fantastic food five times a day.”*

I took on the challenge, as a writer, to improve the poetry, although my genre is not poetry. However, the thought of creating a tongue twister is irresistible.

The initial poetry was excerpted from the article, 50,0000 King Salmon Come to Sodus Bay. The bay is located on Lake Ontario somewhere near Rochester, New York, according to my husband Monte. It was being stocked with fish to entertain sportsmen.

The wind was gusting at 40 mph and there was a brief white-out from some lake effect snow. Not the typical conditions for April 21st, however the 50,000 kings delivered to Sodus Bay appeared to be content as they were transferred from hatchery truck to net pens.

I wonder—how can you tell if a fish is content or not? I’ve visited the spillway at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery in Linesville, Pennsylvania, on Lake Pymatuning. The carp were several layers thick—thick enough that ducks walk on their backs. People stop to ogle them. Many feed them scraps of bread, torn from week-old loaves purchased cheaply at a shed, so they can watch them hungrily battle for their morsels. Somehow it reminds me of the concentration camps of World War II. This doesn’t speak of content to me.

Water temperature is critical to the transfer and Sodus Bay registered 43 degrees, while hatchery truck was 39 degrees…within the 10 degree window preferred by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) biologists.

…Actually, they don’t have a complete set of fins. The rear dorsal has been clipped for future surveys. Biologists will use this information to see how far the salmon roam. But…they will have a steady meal, eating fish pellets five times a day.

Manna became boring to the Israelites. Do fish pellets become boring to the salmon? Maybe they, like the fish in Linesville, jump for morsels of bread to brighten up their diet.

Anyway, I digress. The point is to improve on the tongue twister:

Fish fins find fantastic food five (more…)

July 12, 2011

Sky-Patrolling Insectivorous Scary Critters



     They flit at superman speeds throughout my yard and over my head once dusk sets in, forcing me to give up my comfortably cool porch seat to retire indoors. They get into my house, causing an irrational terror that they will land in my hair, bite me, and send me for medical treatment for a series of possible rabies shots.

     Yet I will never advocate eliminating this species except when they enter my personal domain, the interior of my house. Even then, my husband Monte and I make the effort to guide them to the outdoors before executing them.

     It is suggested that they save us big bucks by (more…)

June 26, 2011

Sydney—A One-Ton Camel—Visits Ligonier (PA)



During the Community Day open houses in Ligonier my husband Monte, our friend Lois, and I visited the Antiochian Village Heritage Museum. Outside, they had a camel—a real live camel—a living, breathing creature I wouldn’t expect to see in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

     Sidney, according to his handler Dave Baker, resides at the Living Treasures “Wild” Animal Park outside the city of New Castle, Pennsylvania, where visitors are encouraged to interact with him.

     One thing for certain—Sidney is fortunate not to live in Australia these days, where there is a great concern about green-ignorant camels who don’t (more…)

June 1, 2011

Jellyfish Sting Again!



     I wondered why my post on a jellyfish that stung over one hundred people at my childhood beach, Wallis Sands Beach, in Rye, New Hampshire, had so many hits May 31. I checked to see if the post was being spammed, but it was not. That there were legitimate searches for jellyfish stings proved correct.

     Then I saw the post/article on the Internet: Jellyfish hordes crash Florida beach parties. More than eight hundred persons were stung by a jellyfish invasion at the beaches along Florida’s Atlantic coast. They were stung by (more…)

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