The historic statement, “We have met the enemy and they are ours” was uttered by Commodore Oliver Perry in the battle against the British at Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
In a far less significant struggle, I’m happy to announce I’ve finally met my enemy, the squadrons of squirrels who for years have raided my bird feeders, and they are vanquished.
But not before they cost me more than $2,000 because of their acts of vandalism.
On two occasions, they gnawed their way into the trunk of my car and from there worked their way forward, gnawing the wires leading to the ignition. The car had to be towed to the shop for repairs. While we were on vacation, they gnawed holes in the screen wire of the porch and used the porch as a bathroom for a week. We had to have the porch re-screened.
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A friend kept reminding me that the solution was simple but expensive: pepper-treated sunflower seed.
Shazam! Double Shazam! Nowadays, an occasional squirrel strolls by, but doesn’t linger.
Yes, corn on the cob as opposed to corn in the column. I do love the former.
My wife shucks and silks the corn and drops it into a pot of boiling water for four minutes. Simple.
I lightly glaze it with a touch of butter and lightly salt it, although every time I pick up a salt shaker I hear Doc Starkenburg warning, “Watch that salt!”
According to friend Glenn Keever, I don’t know what good corn on the cob is all about. As a public service, here is his recipe:
Submerge and soak three or four ears of un-shucked corn for two hours, then toss it on a hot grill to roast in the husk. When it is about done roasting in its own husk, don heavy gloves to shuck it and clear the silks.
Return it to a lowered heat grill so you can run a half stick of butter over the ears and then serve them piping hot.
Wow! That’s a lot of trouble and sweat for an ear of corn on a 93-degree summer day.
But if you’re a gourmet and a griller, go for it!
I recently credited former N.C. First Lady Jeanelle Moore with initiating the state’s wildflower program along our highways.
Phil Kirk, former director of the Department of Health and Human Resources, explained that Moore started the Keep North Carolina Beautiful program designed to make highways litter free and beautiful. It was First Lady Dottie Martin who persuaded the Department of Transportation to launch the flower bed program that is funded by the purchase of vanity license tags.
Thanks to both, Tar Heel and visiting motorists are treated to 1,500 acres of “Say it with Flowers” welcome mats from the mountains to the sea.
I observed a birthday recently. My wife, among others, presented me with gifts. Early in our marriage she presented me with an unforgettable birthday gift.
At the time, the two of us together were earning just under $10,000 annually. So I had her on a rather strict household allowance.
To let me know it was too strict, on my birthday she presented me with a beautifully wrapped package. With great anticipation, I ripped off the wrappings to discover a half-dozen new dish cloths that she had charged to my account at Hudson Belk. I got the message.
One of my favorite anecdotes has to do with a husband so unthoughtful that his wife dragged him to a “sensitivity training” workshop at which the marriage counselor stressed that couples should know the things that are important to each other.
“David,” he said, “can you describe your wife’s favorite flower”?
David touched his wife’s arm gently and whispered, “Pillsbury All-Purpose, ain’t it, dear?”