Banks County Opinions...

NOVEMBER 17, 2004


By: Angela Gary
The Banks County News
November 17, 2004

My ‘buddy’
“We’re buddies. You’re a buddy, and I’m a buddy.” Every time my nephew says this, I have to laugh. It’s true. Kids really do say the funniest things.
Jake and I really are buddies. No one else can convince me to squeeze into a small playhouse and pretend to eat an egg he makes for me on a make-believe stove or go for endless rides on our tricycles. I’ve also watched his Barney and Wiggles tapes more times than you can imagine, read the same book five times in a row and joined him in doing the “happy dance.”
The happy dance involves turning around in a circle and quickly tapping your feet on the ground, while you laugh or squeal in delight. Jake does this when I get home from work, his parents or grandparents return from an outing or any other time the mood hits him.
Jake has endless energy. Sometimes, he just runs around the house laughing out loud, and he wants me to join him. He yells, “Come on, Aunt Angie, run, run, run!!” I have to admit it, I do it. I run around the house laughing out loud for no reason. Who would have thought?
It’s been a joy to watch Jake leave behind his “baby years” and turn into a rambunctious toddler. The bottle is a distant memory and diapers are no longer necessary. It’s amazing how much you celebrate when they go to the “potty” like a “big boy.”
He will always be our “baby,” but Jake is no longer a baby. He celebrated his third birthday on Friday, and it was a weekend of celebration. It started Friday morning with his annual photo session for his official birthday pictures, and ended with a Sunday afternoon party with his little friends. In between was a night at Chuck E Cheese’s with family for some play-time.
The fall is always a lot of fun for us with Halloween, Jake’s birthday and then Thanksgiving. I have especially enjoyed celebrating Halloween with Jake. For the past three years, I have dressed up with Jake on Halloween. The first year, he was Superman and I was Lois Lane. Next, we had matching Cat in the Hat costumes. This year, I was Cruella De Ville and he was a Dalmation pup. I will always treasure the fun times I have with Jake, and I hope he will too.
If you have a little one, make the most of every moment. We try to make the most of every moment with Jake because we know these years pass by all too quickly.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at

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By: Margie Richards
The Banks County News
November 17, 2004

A ‘stinky situation’
As the political season has ended, I’ve found myself preoccupied with an onslaught of skunks.
And no, I’m not referring to our political candidates, either locally or nationally, I’m referring to the black and white fluffy rodents (members of the weasel family, in fact) who we’re most accustomed to seeing (and smelling) when they meet their fate in the highway, often leaving their pungent sulfuric odor behind as a final statement to the world.
The skunk situation around our subdivision, and my house in particular, really began to stink last week.
Crickett, our little Jack Russell, is for the most part a well-mannered, obedient little dog. She loves nothing better than accompanying Charles down to his shop after work in the evenings. She was doing just that one afternoon last week when Charles heard her yelp inside the garage and saw one of our cats making a mad dash away from the scene. Assuming Crickett and the cat had had an altercation over the cat food we keep in a bowl in the garage, he thought no more of it, until an overpowering, nauseating odor filled the air.
After calling to her for a while, Crickett emerged from where she had ran around the house, rubbing her eyes on the ground. Her smell preceded her and Charles knew exactly what had happened — she’d been skunked. It was a direct hit to the face and the odor made it impossible to come within feet of her.
While Charles put her in the fenced back yard, I hurriedly got on line and “googled” the word “skunk.”
Right away, I found a bevy of information about this industrious, intelligent rodent, including what I was desperately seeking; a recipe to quell the smell emanating from our little house dog - who needless to say was temporarily “in the dog house.”
After using a sponge to saturate her with the proscribed concoction twice, letting it sit on her skin for a while each time before rinsing it off thoroughly, we found that the scent had, for the most part, dissipated.
Just to be on the safe side, Crickett spent the night outside, her small face pressed worriedly against the French doors every time I looked her way.
Here is the recipe for the concoction (and no, it’s not tomato juice): 1 quart 3 percent alkaline hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda and one teaspoon liquid soap (we used dish detergent). A solution of 2 percent vinegar and 98 percent water is also said to be effective.
As I said before, saturate the animal, object or clothing thoroughly and allow it to soak in for a while. Rinse thoroughly. I waited until the following day to wash Crickett with regular dog shampoo and after she passed the “sniff” test she was allowed back inside, much to her relief.
The very next day, my husband Charles and son Zack (with Crickett again) found a huge skunk in the back of our shop. He didn’t spray; he just worked his way back out the hole he had come through.
Then tonight (Monday) the stink hit hard again, when our other dog, Buddy, encountered a skunk near our garage (most likely the same one who got Crickett). This is Buddy’s third “skunking” in the last year or so.
My car, which is housed in same said garage, has smelled like a skunk for the last couple of weeks. It’s beginning to seem almost a normal smell to me.
Being animal lovers, we understand that the skunks are coming around for food and shelter (and it’s not even mating season, that comes later).
So we find ourselves in a dilemma as to what to do about our pesky visitors, since the dogs seem determined to keep things stirred up. We don’t want to hurt them if it can be avoided, and in fact I wouldn’t mind them so much if it weren’t for the continuous odor.
Here are some suggestions from the internet that we plan to try.
Suggested preventative measures include: removing lumber and junk piles, storing garbage in sealed cans, keeping pet food cleaned up and installing fencing that extends one to two feet below ground (since skunks dig) and sealing foundation openings under buildings.
Another option to remove them is to acquire live traps (a risky business) or call a wildlife expert (this can be expensive). As one of our neighbors said, it may be annoying but on the other hand it’s nice to live in a community where there is still wildlife around.
And it’s true I do prefer them to some of the other critters on the prowl lately. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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