Russ had to go out of town this afternoon and deliver something. On the way home we swung through Ponca State Park and there found... well, lovely things. It turned out to be a lovely stop and helped. This is the view from the lookout over the Missouri River. As you can tell from the sand bars, it's a bit low this year. This area also isn't channeled, so it spreads wide and looks wonderful. We had the spot nearly entirely to ourselves. Despite the gorgeous weather, hardly anyone was out.
On the way out we found a new monument they put up that is absolutely gorgeous. The waterfall part wasn't on yet, but it didn't matter... it's incredible. I'm doing an entire page devoted to it later tonight. I'll put in a link when I get it. It was wonderful to suddenly come upon something so unexpected in a place we had been visiting for years. We saw them starting this a year or so ago, but had no idea what it would be.
It was good to get out. I'm having neighbor problems, and they've managed to have several the strays caught and killed, including Nazir. I'm just incredibly upset about this. Okay, I can't do anything about what they do at their house, and the best you can do is feed the guys and hope for the best... but they sent city people over to my house. And the problem is that Russ had already talked to the city people and said never to bother me about it, and if they needed something done to talk to him and he'd handle it. They know who Russ is -- he was on the city council, after all. There's a good reason for what he said, called an irregular heartbeat and incredibly high blood pressure that shot straight up when the city people wouldn't leave. By the time Russ got home last night it had finally dropped back down to about 160/99 -- still not good, but better. Getting out today was wise.
I hope to get some of the fence moved this spring so that I can have a private back yard. Not for the cats, but for me so that I don't have to deal with these people any more. I am tired of glaring people who don't approve of the fact that our house needs painting. You want to pay for it? Fine. I'll be glad to do the work -- what I can -- but if it comes down to choosing between paying the utility bills or buying paint, guess the outside is going to have to wait a while longer. Yeah, it's ugly. But you know what? We're not drug dealers like the people two doors down from you, we don't have a race car we tune all hours during the summer like the guy two doors down from us, we don't stand out and scream and yell until the police come like a couple of the other neighbors have been. We don't have kids screaming and people playing music so loud that the house vibrates. We've been here for about twenty-five years, and except that the house looks a bit scruffy, we've never been a problem.
But they are creating one. Oddly, there have been less cats around for quite a while anyway -- that, unfortunately, happens every winter. But just because people tossed out animals and didn't take care of them is not the animal's fault -- or the following generations, and I will never purposely let an animal starve or kill it just because it has had an unfortuante life. Cat, dog, squirrel or whatever.
I also feed squirrels, birds, rabbits, and occasionally (though not intentionally) raccoons and possums. I think if I get any more crap about 'don't put out food for stray cats' then I'll start looking into the fact that the city allows squirrel, bird and even raccoon feeders.
Okay, yes. Stop working the blood pressure back up. Go take pill now.
Think about lovely trip instead. It was really very nice. I got to take 5 megapixel pictures, though we only saw a couple squirrels, two very fast turkeys, and Russ saw a deer. Usually Easter weekend is good for animals and birds. I think on Sunday we'll go out to our little pond for an hour or so and just watch the geese. I saw a couple ducks out there the last time, too.
If I am lucky I'll be able to finally finish Return tonight. I'm down to the last scene, but between being horribly ill, having the hip problem (and now an ankle one, too), and then the trouble yesterday with the neighbors I just haven't gotten much done. Time to move on. I cannot save all the cats in the world, especially when there are people working against it. But they had better hope that they never again need the kind of help that Russ has given them in the past.