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Kibbles and Bits: Tuesday 6 June

~ In the wee hours, for the first time last night, I wondered if I can/should continue doing the newspaper column. It was easy when I was mostly submitting blog posts and book entries massaged slightly for the Floyd Press audience. Now, the book is out, and there doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything that needs doing--which should at some point include some new writing. I'm just thinking outloud close to a deadline during a period of writer's block, so don't mind me. Actually, I'm working this morning to research a time-sensitive piece that I had thought about getting in the column eventually, but NOW is the time--while people can see what I'm talking about. Multiflora rose is absolutely taking over the county, and in full flower, the invasion is impossible to miss. Once the petals fall (I hope not by next Thursday's column) folks will drive past fields choked with this rampant alien species without notice or concern.

~ An envelope came yesterday from Cracker Barrel. It came too fast and was too thin to be anything other than the rejection letter I've seen before. "Dear Mr. Frost, our organization receives hundreds of submissions of potential new products every hour. By declining your product, we are in no way saying that it lacks merit in its own right, but only that...blah blah blah". Okay. On to the Slow Road Hiway Traveler's Audio CD.

~ Early on, even before the book arrived, I looked at three Appalachian Lit journals to see how to submit a book for review. Combing through their websites, there were places for contributors to submit book reviews already completed, and essays, poems, and non-fiction stories. Nowhere did any of them say (that I could find) "here's how you get a book before our editors for consideration for review." So, I figured that, unless I could tailor some part or parts of the book as an essay, those possible avenues of book exposure were out. Yesterday, emboldened by encouraging words from a mentor who knows these publications and their editors well, I emailed each of them, got almost immediate responses inviting me to send the book, and have three books in the mail: to Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and Now & Then. Reviews are not assured, and may do more harm than good. Who knows. But it felt like a successful day, nonetheless.

~ Oh joy! For once, we are getting rain while almost no other place in the state is. Too many times these past weeks, the radar shows a solid blot of green and yellow moving our way, destined to wet the dusty road and powdery garden. And as the massive wave of rain approaches the X on the weather radar loop that marks home, the green parts east and west like the Red Sea, leaving the Children of Goose Creek parched and unblessed. And by the time I finished those couple of sentences, the rain had ended--not enough to get down to the level of bean seeds planted a week ago, dormant, dry, and waiting. Another week without a good soaking, our garden will not make harvest before frost, or late summer bean beetles, mildew and other season-enders.

~ For those few who wondered WHAT was under the house: We got home Sunday afternoon and the smell had disappeared. Monday morning it had returned. Monday afternoon I did the alligator crawl under the house with the 2 million candle power spotlight (yes, this is an accurate rating. It's massive--Ann's purchase for shining deer at night for the dog to chase.) I could see nothing to account for the musty smell, except maybe a bunch of rotting cardboard (where did that come from?) which I removed. I also (duh) opened the foundation vents. And I just heard complaints from the bedroom: it's that smell again. The stinky mystery continues.

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Comments

Maybe you've got a dead animal in the wall somewhere?

Sean

The idea occurred to me of a small ad in the Appalachian Voices publication. The editor is a professor at Radford by the way.
Dead mouse in the wall, I bet that's it.

or - a sasquatch uses your crawlspace as its bedroom?

Or worse, hidden in the attic crawl spaces among the insulation. Been there, done that - last year. And, based on the smell, going to be doing it again this year.

Our difficulty is we live in a forest and feed birds and raccoons. This food also entices rats, not mice, rats. They find ways to get into our house. We search for access holes and find ways to stop them. The problem is rats have baby rats. If the parent(s) are blocked then the baby rats die. Horrible, horrible smell.

Being smaller and more agile than my husband, I get to dig through the two feet of blown insulation looking for them. One would think you could follow the smell, however the good news/bad news is you quickly lose your sense of smell, at least the ability to detect location.

Good luck...

Yeppers, you just might have a possum, etc. that crawled up between the walls, and got stuck and expired. My mother had one. I will not tell you what all they had to do to get it out...it wasn't a pretty sight, and it included some wall patching......

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