Living in Michigan allows us many wilderness enjoyments. I love the fact that I can see a “rafter” (I love that Google can make me look smart) of turkeys foraging in a field, a herd of deer (I knew that one on my own!) grazing, and many more beautiful examples of how God took extra care and time when creating Michigan.
As much as I love all of God’s creatures, there are many that I question their need and importance, other than to give God a chuckle when he sees them in action, such as the mosquito (although I have read they help pollinate the cocoa plant…chocolate is a necessity in our house) and most recently the skunk. You see, the skunk in Michigan is the natural season keeper. You know spring is upon us when the distinct scent wafts through the air, and you rejoice that fall is here, when you can again open your windows at night without worrying about the potent odor resting in you house for the next few hours.
If this was the only potential issue that would arise from the skunks living in nearly every crevice in Michigan, then we would just deal with the annoyances, but unfortunately in the Davidson home we also have a member of the family who enjoys an evening romp hunting for chipmunks, squirrels, and whatever else may be lurking in our tree lined property. Remy (or as he is affectionately called Wiggles) is our families lovable mutt, half beagle and half Australian Shepard. We at times call him our baussie.
You see, the beagle half of Remy drives him to follow his nose into every nook and cranny on our property….as well as others property, at times. This leads us to the event that occurred on August 31st at 1:25 am. Remy was persistent about wanting outside. In the past this was due to an upset tummy. We have learned that it is better to oblige the midnight run, then deal with the morning mess. Now, we were aware of a skunk problem, between our neighbors houses, their dog was unfortunate enough to meet the back end of the skunk. So my husband went out on the deck with the lights on, to hopefully deter any animals from staying close by. Remember that beagle nose? Well, Remy had already been aware of the skunk, hence his persistence, and bolted toward its location by the tree closest to our house. Even with the hollering of my husband and the warnings from the skunk, Remy chose his fate, a snout full of the most noxious smell I have ever come across.
You would think, at this point the skunk would make a quick getaway from the chaos that was beginning to brew, but oh no, he chose to hide under our deck stairs, which only drove our now partially blind, hacking, and confused dog, crazy. Basically, my dog had been pepper sprayed by the skunk, and continued to not obey the natural law and order of things. Instead, he began to dig, and lunge at the skunk under the steps. In the meantime, my husband and I had gathered the necessary materials needed (best recipe for de-skunking) to combat the odor that was causing the two of us to feel as if we had been sprayed as well. Now I had never known this, but skunk spray up close does not smell the same was when you drive by an unfortunate soul that has met it’s end with a vehicle on the road. The best way to describe it, is burning rubber x100.
My husband was finally able to spray the skunk out from under the stairs by using our garden house, but at this point he had already done his damage. Not only was our family pet, shamefully hanging his head and drooling profusely, our house, that had been opened up to let in all of the fresh end of summer air, was now filled with fumes.
We commenced the cleaning cycle of the de-skunking mixture, peppermint mouthwash (another recommendation), and dog shampoo. Using a rinse cycle in between. The biggest hurdle, the central target was our dogs muzzle. You can not get the mixture in their eyes, well we did our best. By now it was after 2 am, and my husband and I were wet, wide awake, and smelled of wet dog and skunk. I chose to diffuse some oils to help with the stench in our house, using peppermint and lemon, also cinnamon and orange the next day. I also left bowls of vinegar around the house as a deodorizer. The night ended with us changed, cuddled in bed, with an pouting dog in his.
Now, I am also a teacher, and preparing for my first day back at school, in less than a week. To add insult to injury, the magnificent district that I work in, is finishing up the amazing task of building two new elementary schools. Due to the massive amount of construction, I am (as well as the rest of the staff that I work with) trying to put together a classroom and sensory room, in one week. When at home, I am trying to get planning and scheduling under way, so that I can begin meeting the needs of my students as soon as possible.This can only be done with the tremendous support of the people I work with every day, as well as my loving family.
So at 3 am, while I am trying to get a few hours of sleep before I head in to work on my room, I am listing what needs to be completed, as well as child care for my children, and the dreaded meal planning as I head back to a normal work week. So as I process all of this, I decided, what better thing to do, then plan a meal that will cook all day and help subside the smell of skunk, at least for a little while. I decided on a new broccoli and cheese soup that I found, while browsing the web one evening. I chose to follow some of the basics and added some of my own. Here is the recipe for chicken, broccoli, and cheddar soup. Both my children loved the soup, this can be challenging with Big D, as she is picky and not a huge meat eater. I would make this again, even without the chicken.
As I sit here typing this post, I am continuing to list in my head (a curse at times for teacher brains) all of the things I must complete before Tuesday commences, and I begin my 9th year of teaching special education, and Big D enters her 1st grade year. I am hoping that my new found planner/organizer will lead the way. After researching and discussing with my friend and neighbor (who also knows the joys and sorrows of teaching special education), I decided to try out the Erin Condren planner. Later in the year I will be posting areview of the planner and how it has change my life…hopefully.
With the last sip of coffee, I hope that I have provided a little chuckle for you as well as God, as you peek into the life that I live…thankfully, I think!