Holy Toledo Don’t Move

If you follow me, you know that I have a few dogs.  Mutt is the biggest of all three and the biggest chicken of them all.  This scaredy cat syndrome she has leads to a lot of uncontrolled barking.  My neighbors hate it and so do we.  My husband had threatened for years to buy one of those shocking dog collars for barking, but I forbade it.  All I could imagine was the ‘youtube’ video where the dude had the collar on and he barked.  Each time he barked louder and each time he was shocked with more intensity.   The poor guy was crying uncontrollable by the time he got it off.  NO WAY WAS THAT HAPPENING TO MY BABY GIRL. PERIOD.

Mutt is totally afraid of everything and everyone.  If she sees white on the ground, she refuses to go out.  It does not help that she was clobbered by a 2 foot avalanche of snow off the roof one year.  When she sees anything out in the yard that has not been there all her life, she spazzes out especially if it is black.  In out, in out, barking for one of us to come see what is in her space.  Fall is the worst.  Leaves…do I need to say more?  She has a dog door but you can forget about her using it after sun down.  In the rare cases she has tried to brave the night, she has high tailed it right back in with eyes as wide as apples, hair ruffled on her back, and barking to beat the band.  Heck, half the time she is running so fast and out of control to get back inside she misses the dog door completely and smacks her head into the door facing.  She is definitely my 80 pound chicken little.

One day I came home from work.  Hub was avoiding eye contact.  I knew something was up right then.  He only does this when he has done something he knows I would not approve of.  I looked all over for evidence to support my suspicion.  I found nothing.  As I was fixing dinner, I noticed Hub was becoming more fidgety and shifty eyed.  Hmmmmm.  I served dinner and all were in attendance except Mutt.

MUTT.  I look at Hub. Not a word escaped his lips.   He had that deer in the head light look.   I got up and looked out the back door.  There was Mutt in the corner of the yard pressed against the fence.  She was just sitting there not doing anything.  I opened the door and called her in.  She came walking on her tip toes.  What the heck was going on?  I asked Hub if he had beaten my dog.  He looked at me as if I had asked him if he’d killed one of my kids.  “Of course not!” he said with disgust.  Mutt comes in with a mixture of calm and defeat.  I thought maybe she was sick.  I resumed eating.

It was not until later that night I realized she had not uttered a sound all evening.  She went out and came back in without incident.  What in the world was going on?  I called her over to the couch.  She jumped up and laid her head in my lap. And that is when I saw IT.  Hubs had gone and bought that shock collar!  I throw my evil eye upon him and he immediately started with his defense.

He pointed out the fact that we had not heard a peep out of her all night.  (evil eye).  He pointed out that she has calmed down to a normal dog’s energy. (slight evil eye).  And the most important thing was the collar seemed to have a calming affect on her that made her a bit braver and more confident.  (Are you kidding me?  Huge Evil Eye!).  He gave me a little cockeyed smile.  I went to take it off but he forbade me.  Oh boy, but I went along with it.  I was going to trash it as soon as he went to sleep.  However, something happened that night.  She did seem a bit more confident.  She went in and out the door with ease.  No barking and no frightened looks.  It was as if this collar was protecting her at all times.  I’m sure in her mind everything around her was getting shocked too and therefore nothing would dare move or grab her.  I did not throw it away.

Next morning, I asked him about her reaction to the collar.  He said she was barking her fool head off at something, probably a falling leaf.  He put the collar on and walked back inside.  She started to bark again and got a surprise!  It shocked her and he said she yelped.  She tried it one more time, yelped, then never barked again.  It broke my heart to hear this but she was being quiet and acting very content.

Over the years she has become friends with it.  She knows the collar gives her more freedom and willingly comes to you to put it on.  (we can let her out without fear of the neighbors complaining)   You can even ask her where it is and she will look around the room as if she is really looking for it.  She has figured out she can bark but only intermittently.  The collar gives her a couple of times before it shocks. Please don’t think of this as cruel the why I did at first.  We give her the bark time she need to be queen of the back yard and, at least for my dog, it has helped her and us so much.  Now to the reason I started this story.

Jeff, our Pomeranian, has a vocabulary of about a billion barks. He loves to continually show off his aptitude.  Today was an extremely vocal day for Jeff and Hub had reached his limit.  He snatched the collar off Mutt.  She gave him a surprised look.  He then proceeded to adjust the size to fit Jeff.  No! No! I yelled. Mutt started walking in circles.  I kept telling Hub he was too little.  It would hurt him.  But Hub continued with his mission.  Before you knew it, Jeff was sporting a new shocking device around his tiny little neck.

I was freaking out.  Hub started laughing and I looked at him with contempt only to see him pointing at Mutt.  Mutt was sitting on the couch reared back with the whites of her eyes showing.   She and Jeff had locked gazes.   Her ears were lying down and she was so still she was not even breathing.  It looked as if she were telepathically warning Jeff not to make a sound or make a move.  And Jeff obeyed her every telepathic thought.  He stood there frozen stiff.  It was as if she had told him all about that collar.  He never made a peep.  And she never took her googly eyes off of him.  After a few minutes of laughter, from both of us, Hub felt sorry for him because he told me to take it off.  I did and off he went out the dog door to educate the backyard critters with his verbal skills. All I can say is I sure am glad the boy knows how to keep his mouth shut when it counts.

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Until next time remember this: When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person, err, dog who can live in peace with others.

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The Power or My funny “friend” part 2

Last Monday was a part one and here, as promised, is the rest of the story.

It is a little past 12:00 p.m and around two weeks later. All the electricity it OUT, my husband would prefer that I not write about him again so I will tell you what happened when “my friend” came home.

I greeted my bestie at the garage door, which I had to manually open. He calls out, with the enthusiasm of a 9 year old. “What is wrong?” “The electricity out?” “Yes”, I said.

Here we go…..

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He walks into the garage as quick as knee high snow will let him. He immediately goes to the back porch. For a little while, I hear nothing, nothing at all. The door swings open… There he stands and in his hand is a key and the answers to all our problems, he proudly announced. I swear there were beams of light projecting from somewhere in the background. He looked bigger than life right then. Maybe it was the way he was holding himself

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chest out, head up, and chin straight or it could have been the sun setting behind him. In his hand, a little orange box attached to this long cord, which had been pulled in through the doggie door. (Dogs were looking a little suspicious at him) He sits it up on the kitchen island and with great satisfaction… he turns that key he was holding. This thing has a key to start it remotely!! I might need to get my friend to teach me how to use it. It starts up pretty as you please. He, my friend, smiles. Scurry, scurry all over the place pulling extension cord from everywhere. He starts plugging in the electronics. (notice his level of priority) TV – check, internet, router, and computers – check, refrigerator – check, by the way, he listens this time to make sure it is really off then turns and looks at me. I am standing there, apparently and without my knowledge, with a huge sheepish grin on my face. I’m taking it all in. I don’t want to miss a thing. In my mind, I’m writing this story as we go. He gets this serious look on his face and tells me I can not write about any of this. People in town are waving at him that he doesn’t even know and he attributes the friendly nature of folks to my FaceBook notes. Boy, he sure does give me a lot of credit. 😉

I open the refrigerator door and NOTHING! It was not working.

“It’s NOT WORKING” he says with disbelief and a slight panic in his voice. “I told you we should have tested this damn thing out before we really needed it”, my friend says. Unbelievably, he is directing that shout out at me. It could be because I told him I did not want to fool with all the cords and the hassle of moving things here and there when he first got it. It could be because I told him just to leave it until we really needed it, but who really knows why he would take such a tone. -grins-

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TV – does not work, internet and router not working. What the……? With a bewildered look on his face, heels dug in and tongue stuck out his mouth, for concentration, he sets to work on the problem. In and out, in and out of the house then a few minutes later, da, da, dah, everything is working. He calls me into the kitchen to receive a general lesson. “You have to make sure all the plugs are in tight”, he tell me. “And see this one, this one you have to turn it a half a turn to the right.” (Big Grin) He is really trying very hard to not show how exhilarated he is. He’s convinced I am going to write about this anyway. He’d be right.

Now we are sitting in the living room. My best friend is feeling quite pleased with himself. Then he looks at me, I could see the excitement building. He asked, “Do you think I should go plow the drive now?” All the while, the snow is being poured out of the sky by the bucket loads.
Thus, is a day in the life of my snow happy husband “friend” deep in the Sacramento Mountains.

All kidding aside, I love it when he is happy. He is my hero, my “friend”.

The Power or Oh Goody, Oh Goody… part 1

 This is the story that started everything, as in my blog.  I put it on Facebook back in Jan. 2010 and it was a hit.  I think it did so well because everyone on my Facebook knows  Hubs.  This showed him in a different light.  All my friends are familiar with the public man.Public man is a burly man, a man of very few words, a man who would never want any one to see the human side of him.  He is also a man that has sworn me to never write about him again.   So everyone needs to keep this one on the QT.

Hubs has been waiting on this day since Christmas morning. He was practically giddy with excitement. Did we win the lottery, a new truck in the drive or, please no, not another huge snow? It was none of the above.  Hubs was walking in and out of the house with an excitement that I have rarely heard, more like never heard.   I laid there listening. Soon he popped his head in the bedroom and reports, “The electricity is OUT!”, with the biggest Cheshire  grin that I have ever seen on his face.

To most folks me included, this is horrid no water, lights, and spoiled food; to my husband, it is music to his ears. After years of dealing with power outages, his father gave him a generator for Christmas. It was like opening his present all over again. He finally got to fill it with gas, start it and hooked it up. He kept telling me that the generator could run the whole house. I said no way. But he insisted it could.

As I laid there in bed listening, I heard it start. It was a smooth start, sort of like a Honda motorcycle. I could hear him going in and out of the house all excited and getting everything ready to be hooked up. He was just having way to much fun. To my surprise, the ceiling fan in my bedroom came on! I was shocked. He was right! This was one time I was happy to be wrong. No more nights without lights or sounds of the TV. This is a good thing. I got up to go check it out. The pure delight on his face was worth getting up to see.

As I am watching him plug the refrigerator into one of the extension cords, it hits me, how could the fans in the bedrooms be working when he is pulling extension cords in the house? He did not plug in the generator to the house at all. THE POWER had come back on without our knowledge. Oh no, how should I point this out? I just watched him plugging stuff in. All the while, a giant grin plastered on his face. Finally I ask him, how could the fans be working in the back of the house if we are using extension cords for power?

The gleam in his eyes and the smile on his face…..gone. “You mean we have power?”, he asked.” I thought I heard the frige running when I unplugged it. But I was not sure.” He, slowly, turned the generator off and returned all plugs to their rightful sockets. With his excitement faded and the reality of a day of delivering mail, in the snow without me, he kisses me good bye and says, “Have a good day off.”

Oh well, at least we know it starts!

 

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree

This is to be sung to the tune….O Christmas tree.  For your convenience, I have included a link to the instrumentals  of O Christmas Tree.  As you will see, a couple of words must be said fast in order to fit the song.  😉

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

The forest we walked looking for a tree. Warning forest is larger than appears in picture.

We started looking around noon.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We started looking around noon.

We’ve walked 7  miles  down three canyons.

My knees are weak and so is companion’s.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree;

We started looking, around noon.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

image is from tpwd.state.tx.us

The sun is setting it’s dark soon.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

The sun is setting it’s dark soon.

I’m hearing wild coyo-otes.

He needs to pick one soon please!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

The sun is setting it’s dark soon.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Hubs violently chopping a baby tree with a tinny tiny ax

He is chopping you down now

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

He is chopping you down now.

He whacked and whacked, until you cracked

I saw you crying pine extract.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

He is chopping you down now.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

7 miles, 3 canyons, one large size Charlie Brown Tree we are ready for home.

Our Charlie Brown Tree you will be.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Our Charlie Brown  Tree you will be.

Your skimpy branches and crooked trunk

Makes me wish  that I was drunk.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Our Charlie Brown Tree you will be.

 

 

Meet the large Charlie Brown Tree

 

 

 

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If you are wondering, WHY did she put this to music?  Ask The Hobbler.  SHE IS THE REASON.  I can get her songs out of my head.  It started with Rain Gear and it has not stopped yet.  Check it out she is in a league of her own.

aMusing Mondays: This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Dance

I write for the webcam in our little village.  This story was one I wrote back in the peak of our dry season and posted for the webcam blog.  Originally, it was called The Dance but I thought I would shake it up a bit with a different title.

I can not tell you how long it has been since we have had rain. Days would be an understatement it is more like nine months. I remember a few years ago, back around 2006, we had a pretty good dry spell too. A handful of us gals decided to try a rain dance. We had a designated time, we decided to do it in our own back yards and…. we were  to do it naked!.

WHY???

I don’t know but that was the deal. You had to follow these decisions to the T or, as I was told, “To the T or don’t do the dance at all.”  We were convinced it would only work if we all did it and followed the criteria to the letter. The dance was not choreographed nor rehearsed. You might say we decided  to do an interpretative dance. I remember thinking, “What the heck am I DOING?”, while I was stomping my feet and throwing my hands in the air.  My normally covered places were now exposed and wiggling in the wind.  My arms were waving and I was chanting, “Come on, come on and make it rain!”, over and over and over again. I felt so foolish.   My dogs thought I had lost my mind but they liked it. They were running in circles chasing each other in the dark of night and barking up a storm. Thank goodness my neighbors were gone. The whole time I was wondering if everybody else was doing it or if any moment they were going to jump out and punk me. The one thing we did not decide was how long we were to do this naked rain dance. After what felt like LONG ENOUGH, I grabbed my robe and ran inside, dogs in tow. A few days later the rain came. It rained and rained. It rained so much that parts of the mountain flooded. In fact, I had a rather large river running through my front yard even parts of the highway had to be closed because of the run off. It was strange to say the least. That following winter was a good snowy winter as well. I would have to say that the nude rain danced worked.

Now here we are again. No rain in sight and nothing on the radar. One of the original organizers called the other night and stated we need another rain dance. Same rules as last time…and to be followed to the T or it just won’t work. Last night at 9:00 p.m. I tipped toed out the back door. My dogs were not invited this year because my neighbors were here most of the week and I was not sure if they had left yet. I preferred no one witness this crazy woman trying to do her part for all her forest neighbors. Nine o’clock struck and I began to dance as before. Right as I started, I heard an eerie  noise creep up behind me. I could not see a thing because my eyes had not had a chance to adjust to the moonless night.  All I could think of was a coyote or bear or some other kind of wild animal breathing on my bare legs! That crazy thought soon became a reality.  Not only could I feel it, I could hear its steady breathe…in out…in out.   I stood there frozen, naked and night blinded.  I gave myself a minute to adjust to the darkness then slowly turned around.

MY DOGS!

My dogs had slipped out through the dog door and were waiting for their dance invitation, which I was happy to give after I made sure my neighbors were gone. Those little happy brown eyes and wagging tails were just so cute I just could not refuse them. We started slowly then worked our way up to a full-fledged rain dance! The dogs were in heaven running in circles and barking. We were having a pretty good time. It felt oddly freeing and if it paid off like last time very rewarding. I felt no embarrassment in the cloak of darkness and no one else was around… until look up to see Hubs shadow moving toward the window. Oh no, he is going to think I have lost my mind, again. He knew that us girls were going to do a rain dance but he had no idea that we were doing it naked. In all our dancing fun, the dogs and I had worked our way up the hill and out further in the field than I had planned. I had not noticed that until I had to race for my robe by the door. I had to get to it before he turned ON the Porch Light! I believe my dogs thought this was a race to end all races. Mutt must have felt I was winning because she moved her body right in front of mine and over I went like a slinky down the stairs, or in my case down the hill.  Ouch! I had to have rolled and bounced because I was on my feet in a split second and in full stride.  Thank God for padded cabooses.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Finally I get to my robe, compose myself, pulled the sticks out of my hair and walked in as if nothing happened. When I walked in, Hubs asked, “Did you do your dance at 9:00?” “Yes”, I said then went to wash my wounds. While tending to my skint knees, I ‘decided’ if called upon next year I will  pass on the dance. I think I better leave that to the younger braver ones.  I just hope that this year’s effort will bring the rain again.

Until next time

update: 1 week after our dance it RAINED.