Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pondering a Wily Raccoon

My mom had a pet raccoon when she was little.

The little thing loved Nilla Wafers, but found them endlessly frustrating, because he would go wash them in water, as raccoons do, and they would dissolve. I think he finally figured it out and stopped washing them.

While in a circumstance like this, I can understand that it might be difficult to be a raccoon, most of the time it's difficult to be a human with a raccoon problem.

I am such a human.

One night, in our old house, I was awakened by the sound of breaking glass near the front of our house. I got up (of course, my husband slept through this part) and realized the sound was coming from the garage. Smash, smash, smash.

Now I don't recommend this, but I was mad, and I opened the door to the garage - and immediately I thought I was hallucinating. Our garage was FULL of raccoons. They were up on the high shelves on the wall, they were on the car, they were on the ground. One of the ones up on a shelf looked right into my eyes and SMASH - pitched a jar off the shelf onto the floor, where it shattered.

Next to the car, this poor stray cat we had been feeding, and the reason we kept the garage door cracked, was being hissed at and terrorized by one of the coons that must have weighed thirty pounds. THAT made me mad. I started smacking them with a broom and chasing them out of the garage, After I vamoosed five of them, I closed the door and tried to comfort this poor kitty and make sure she hadn't been bitten. I left the glass cleanup for the morning. I go back to bed, and had JUST closed my eyes and SMASH! I shot back into the garage and sure enough there was another one in there. I chased him out and went to bed.

Since this incident I have had exactly zero love lost for raccoons.

The other day, I went to take the trash out, and found, as I do most days, that a coon had been in our trashcan, eating our scraps. I call him our composter. But as I looked at the bag torn open and wondered what his dish of choice was that day I realized something horrifying.

The little bugger has to hop up on the recycle bin - he can't hop onto the trashcan or he wouldn't be able to lift the lid - this is one of those giant, grey, city trashcans - lift the lid, which is heavy, hop down in onto the trash and then at at point sit INSIDE the trashcan in the dark with the lid closed and eat trash. Shudder.

Then how the heck does he get out? Does he just jump up so hard he bonks the lid open with his head? It's just slippery plastic so unless he's REALLY a giant, I don't know how he'd reach up there and crawl out.

And yet he does. It makes me want to film it. Maybe I will.

I felt sorry for him when I thought about that. But then I thought about our little kitty Dinah being terrorized by his cousins and that feeling passed. Bunnies are better.

I colored these bunnies on Periscope the other day and I promised everyone I'd make them into a card, so here they are.

I love how insecure they look. I wish I could make them feel better about themselves :).

This is actually a sneak peek of one of the Hope You Can Cling To challenges on Splitcoast. But I'm sworn to secrecy, so I can't tell you which one. What I can tell you is that you should join us for this amazing, month-long card drive for breast cancer patients at MD Anderson. It all kicks off on October 1, and our sponsors have some amazing prizes as a reward for your generosity and kindness.

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Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

The bunnies are from the Made With Love set - I just did stamp surgery to separate them from the sentiment they are attached to.

The sentiment is from the Feel Goods Stamp Set. I colored them with Derwent Inktense pencils.

Don't you just want to hug them?? Make them laugh? I do.

And I want to convince raccoons to be more like them.

And to stop eating my trash. 

I'm having fun in the newest Watercolor for Cardmakers Class - Exploring Mediums - are you in this class with me? The first two days have been AMAZING. I love these classes because they are filled with experts, they make the techniques approachable and tell you ways to use supplies you already have, and you have lifetime access to them.

And guess what? You can win a seat in this amazing class!

All you have to do is leave me a comment with your absolute favorite FALL recipe.


I will draw a winner this weekend!



  1. Your bunny card is so cute! Glad to see you doing the online watercolor class. These classes are so much fun and filled with so many great ideas.

  2. My favorite recipe is Twisty Noodle salad - pasta, cooked chicken, pecans, craisins, celery, parm. cheese, green onions and poppy seed dressing. yum! Love your online classes!!!

  3. I love chili and cornbread! I guess that's not really fall though since I make that throughout the year. I also love butternut squash soup with a dollop of jalapeƱo walnut pesto on top accompanied by a hearty loaf of homemade bread.

  4. Lydia, this has nothing to do with raccoons but thought you might be interested in this post. http://www.raisingjane.org/journal/58280

  5. Adorable card! My favorite fall recipe is Pumpkin Cheesecake! I don't actually have the recipe but it's delicious!

  6. I can relate to your raccoon story. Living in the country, we deal with them daily. A baby coon managed to get in out dog feeder and hung in there upside down, eating his fill. We wondered why the dogs suddenly shunned the feeder and then we heard him. After donning leather gloves hubby rescued him and set him free in the woods. Poor dumb thing. Note for my favorite fall recipe!
    Pumpkin dump cake
    Dump one spice it butter pecan cake mix in a 9x13 pan. Pour a can of pureed pumpkin over top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and pour a melee stuck of real butter over it. In good dump cake fashion, do not stir. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes. Yummy just like Your wonderful card!

  7. Lydia- I am completely in love with the Watercolor Medium class! I have only been able to watch day one so far but it truly was fabulous! In the fall I love snackey food things like dips and chips or chili. I have a fabulous black bean chili recipe and my other fav. Would be hot spinach dip. I can email you if you want recipe ...cute little bunnies and they pair so well with the fill good stamp set

  8. Lydia- I am completely in love with the Watercolor Medium class! I have only been able to watch day one so far but it truly was fabulous! In the fall I love snackey food things like dips and chips or chili. I have a fabulous black bean chili recipe and my other fav. Would be hot spinach dip. I can email you if you want recipe ...cute little bunnies and they pair so well with the fill good stamp set

  9. I actually purchase a 50 lb bag of dog food a month to keep the raccoons out of the trash. I was spending about 45 min a morning cleaning up their mess so I could back out of the driveway. As a result, we have a plethora (15+) and several generations of the bandit faced buggers who come to visit us nightly. There are even a few that you can pet if you are so inclined. Some are nicer than others and even though they are wild critters, my husband and I have our faves. That being said, love the card. Am trying to justify the purchase of the pencils. Don't have time to use all my goodies now. Am looking at them as an investment when I retire in a couple of years. Love your stuff because it is more arty than most and thank you for sharing your eclectic world with us!

  10. My favorite fall recipe is pumpkin pie, chili soup in bread bowls, & butternut squash (almost anything butternut) And love your blog & how you express yourself... I think I would follow your blog even if I didn't make cards. Sending love...

  11. What a horrifying experience for your little kitty! We have a critter hanging around our house, we can hear him, but we can't identify what it is because we've never seen him - it's one of those rare, unsolved nature mysteries. I hope someday to get a glimpse of him, but yet I'm afraid that I'll actually get a glimpse! He must be smaller than our dogs because they aren't concerned about our mystery guest, and that includes my dog who's afraid of just about everything, except Robins, he has an intense hatred of Robins. Yeah, he has issues. I don't cook so my favorite fall recipe is Rice Krispy Treats. Now before you think that's just sad,, I should tell you that, IMHO, I make the most fabulous Halloween Rice Krispy treats ever. Thanks for the chance to win the class.

  12. Love those bunnies! I don't have that set yet, but it's on my wish list now! A watercolor class? I would love to be part of something like that!
    My favorite fall recipe is candy corn mixed with peanuts!!
    Ok, for a real recipe Tomato soup:
    4 c. fresh tomatoes
    2 c. chicken broth
    1 sliced onion
    4 whole cloves
    1 tsp sugar
    Bring to boil and reduce heat, simmer 20 min.
    Steam or boil 3 lg. carrots
    Strain the tomatoes to remove seeds and skin.
    Add pureed carrots, cover and simmer over low heat 5 min.
    This can be made and frozen too!!!

  13. Favorite recipe for fall is soup in general but probably potato cheese is best. Hmm...maybe I should go make some!

  14. I loved your story! I too felt sorry for your poor stray cat being terrorized and I'd be so leery of taking the trash out!
    I adore your card - those bunnies are just the cutest and the saying is great too!

  15. Unfortunately, I have a penchant for raccoons...they have those fluffy tails and their face masks delight me. I do not, however, have an outside cat. Mine is indoors, so I needn't worry about the little bandits terrorizing her. Fortunately for us, not a lot of raccoons around. Our area's vermin are skunks. Rather have raccoons, frankly. In any case, those bunnies do look insecure, it's good their so beautifully colored and have pals to buck them up. Favorite recipe...navy bean soup. Easy, no stress. I just use a great northern beans, ham shank, a little chopped onion and lo-sodium chicken stock and simmer the begeezus out of it. Voila, several days of soup which is good because my man was born with a soup spoon in his mouth.

  16. We have lots of wildlife around us, but surprisingly, no raccoons. Sounds like we should be very thankful for that! :)

    My favorite fall recipes are both things that I make like my mom used to make. I love a good bowl of chili when we get that first really cold snap (and any other time all winter long!) and for Thanksgiving I have to have candied sweet potatoes like mom used to make. I wish I could cook a lot more things like my mom used to... I do make a few other things like she did, but she was such a great cook and I have never really enjoyed cooking much at all so have not spent the time perfecting many dishes. I'm so lucky to have a husband who likes to cook and is very good at it! :)

  17. Fall recipe? I'm in Alaska and I will barbeque until I can't shovel the snow to the grill! ;)

  18. Poor coons. They were just liberating things in jars that had been screaming at them! Poor Dinah, though. Oh my. My coons are very much like the bunnehs you have here until they reach breeding/male size. Then they stop coming around. As for fall recipes - soups. So many soups. And more soups. Then a little chili, and some fresh bread and more soup. I may try bunneh soup soon because Mac has figured out the coon tactic for him: opening the fence gate with ease. Sigh... OH and grilled cheese, and awesome mac-n-cheese, and... (I'm taking that class.)

  19. Very cute card. My favorite fall recipe is anything someone else makes as I don't cook. Thanks for the chance to win.

  20. Cute card. We love Pumpkin soup :) Would love to learn about various types of watercolors cos I love watercoloring :)

  21. Frito Pie ftw! Adorable bunnies, Lydia. I love your online classes, will check out the one your teaching now.

  22. The class sounds fabulous... keeping my fingers crossed!
    Favorite fall recipe is stuffed zucchini. I make a think sauce with hamburger, onion, tomatoes and bell pepper, then fill an overgrown sliced and hollowed out zucchini. Bake it til the zucchini is tender, then top with mozzarella cheese and return to bake a few more minutes til cheese is melted. Yum!

  23. I love to make Cranberry Apple Crisp! The whole house smells heavenly while it's baking. It's so yummy served hot or cold, and has become a family favorite. The recipe is in the book 'Autumn' by Susan Branch.
    The newest Watercolor for Card Makers sounds so wonderful! Thank you for the chance, Lydia! ♡Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes

  24. You are sooo right about the raccoons! When I was growing up, we had a huge fenced in dog run for our labs. They were outdoor dogs, but they had a doggie door into the garage which was heated in the winter. One night, we heard a huge racket and discovered a huge coon balanced on top of the chain link fence, hissing and clawing at our two FULL GROWN Labradors who were barking and jumping and trying to get close enough to kill it without getting scratched. We were shocked and wondered why she was taking on two huge dogs when we heard a noise inside the garage. It turned out that her babies had gone into the garage and got themselves trapped inside. She was a raccoon-turned-mama-bear and was trying to save her babies! I've never seen such a vicious animal! Honestly, I think I'd rather go face-to-face with the bear!

  25. My friends always request my version of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars every autumn. I can share the recipe if you are interested. Love your little bunnies!


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