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”.

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.

aMusing Mondays: A Wicked Sense of Humor

 

When we moved here years ago I was totally shocked at the size of these birds up here. I thought they were giant crows that were involved in some type of nuclear fall out. I can only guess their weight but I would guesstimate an average of 20 lbs…some larger some smaller but all huge! I was told later on they were Common Ravens. Shoot, there is NOTHING common about those birds as far as I am concerned. In the last few years I have come to believe the Common Raven must have a sense of humor. Last winter, one Raven that hangs out at the top of my backyard Pines got a big chuckle when he witnessed my dogs’ surprise of the first snow of 2010.

Every morning my dogs have a ritual, which consists of, CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT THE DOOR AND BARK MY BRAINS OUT! Pacing, pacing can’t wait. They run as FAST as they can, down a 45ft porch and jump off the end with an attitude that should scare even the meanest of squirrels! Then turn with a puffed out chest to look at the door to see if anyone was watching. They are proud beasts, my Mutt and Jeff.

This morning was a tad bit different. Can’t wait, Can’t wait! (the same) Ready set GO (the same)….run, run, run (the same)… the little one (7 lbs Jeff) gets to the end of the porch first but things are DIFFERENT! White stuff.  EVERYWHERE! He puts on the brakes right as he gets to the end of the porch…..PLONK! He flew off alright but not in the manner he was accustomed to. Pride was…………GONE.

The BIG one (70+ lb, Mutt) was hot on his trail. There was no way that little one was going to beat her. Her mind quickly changed as she watched him fly then land hard in the snow. She tried with everything she had to stop. Too late, the snow and ice started about 15 ft from the end and she was already in it. BRAKE, BRAKE, BRAKE, you could just see her mind yelling it and her eyes pleading it. She did manage to slow down a little bit before the big finish, which lead to an agonizing slow motion crash. She felt ever step she hit as she was going down. The little one watched at first with horror and moved out of the way before she squished him. Then he appeared to be basking in pure joy of  seeing the big dog epically fail. Both of them got up. No barking, no looking back with pride……..they did their business and came back to their nice warm beds to lick their proverbial wounds.

After witnessing this comic relief, I walked back to the den.  It is then I noticed there was not only the one Raven at the top of the tree, there were now about five or six Ravens clucking and chuckling like little hens. I guess the one at the top called for the others to watch the morning entertainment. Yep, I think the Common Ravens have a wicked sense of humor.

Note: To all concerned, it is 8:10 on Sunday night.  I have this scheduled for publish on Monday .  So far so good. My tummy ache went away, no headache and everyone in the house is doing well.  I think I am in the clear….we are in the clear.    On a serious note,  I really was scared and I do appreciate any prays that were prayed for us.  That was some pretty heavy guilt.  Thank you my friends

aMusing Monday: WOW, It Is True!

I love those scented softsoap shower gels. Not only does it make your skin feel great, they can make bubbles for miles in a jetted tub; and they have an aromatherapy effect that can rival any spa. Really, I can’t say enough about them. Tonight I needed a memory to kick in so I could stop fretting about what to write for the blog.  It seems there are two sure fire ways to get my mind in gear and that is a snow storm or a warm bubble bath……..

The bathroom had a heavenly aroma of cucumber with melon and pomegranate oil. The bubbles were at least 18 inches high.  The dogs opted out of the bath time show tonight so there were no worrisome whines to get in the tub with me. Nothing at all to cloud the mind.

(insert cricket sounds here…no really you need to make the sound) 

I could not get my head in the game. My mind was blank.  It was not long before my eyes came to a rest on the faucet to the tub. I got to thinking about those old television shows and movies.  You know, the ones with the hot chickie in the tub and she has her toe stuck in the faucet. How in the world does a real person get their toe stuck in such a large opening? And so starts the stupidity of it all.

I tried it. I stuck my toe in and out it fell.

Hummm.

It entered my mind that if this were Myth Busters (a TV show about science), they would keep trying until they proved it to be plausible or busted.  At that moment, I decided to really give this as much effort as Jamie or Adam would have given it on their show. I schooched down a little bit to get a better angle and poked it back in.

Nothing, it fell right back out.

I wiggled down more and crammed my toe way in there and left it. It started to feel like it was going to work. I left it for a few minutes longer, then it hit me. If my toe really does get stuck, my husband is going to have to help me get out of it. The first 10 years we were married he thought I was one of the smartest women alive. ( I…am was a fantastic actress ) In the last ten years he has changed his mind. It appears he might be right because the next thing I do is pull my toe and it’s stuck.

WOW it’s true!

No problem, I will just relax and it will fall out. NOT. I laid there thinking about this situation I got myself into. I think, maybe it is like Chinese handcuffs. So I push it in further! Yeah, not like Chinese handcuffs. It now hits me I am really STUCK. I can’t call my husband I just can’t! I decide to stand up. That in itself was a little bizarre. Arms and legs flailing in the air trying to stand with one foot stuck and soap bubbles everywhere.  Finally, I found myself standing but I was at a loss as to what to do. I thought maybe if I can twist the faucet upward, then I could pour some of that Pomegranate oil in the space between my toe and the metal. To get it facing upward, I had to turn toward the back wall.  This was both good and bad.  I could now reach the oil at the back of the tub but I found myself in an awkward position when I tried to apply it to the hole.  I finally figured it out, poured it in and waited.  About that time, the dogs started frantically scratching the door trying to get in.  I guess all the splashing to stand up gave them some cause for alarm.  I had to calm them down but I couldn’t get to the door to let them in.  What to do?  Someone was going to hear them and come to find out what all the panic was about.  Two minutes into their frenzy, I hear tippy tappy, tippy tappy, footsteps are coming my way.

A feeling of dredge over came me with every approaching foot step.  I start pulling with all my might to get my toe out.  The sound was getting louder and heavier.  It went from tippy tappy, tippy tappy, to thump tap, thump tap of dead weight. It was a walk of purpose.  A forceful walk on a mission.    OMGosh, it was my husband!   NO, NO, NO.  Terror starts to over take me.  It was all I could do not to pee myself and then… time slowed ddd ooo www nnn.   I started seeing things in slow-mo and could barely hear the approaching doom.  In true Macgruber style, I grabbed the belt to my robe slid it under my ankle and gave it a yank  to end all yanks.  Power that I have not felt since I was a young adult overcame me. And just as the door knob starts to turn, out it pops and down I go.

The dogs rush in frantic and panting.  My mind regains its focus and I  scrambled to grab my robe when all of a sudden the door closes. I never saw a face.  Who ever it was did not even bother to poke their head in.   I put my robe on and poked my head out just in time to see my daughter turning the corner and hear her  mumble that she was tired of hearing the dogs beg for me day in and day out.  “Why do I have to DO everything?” she said as she turned out of sight.

Such relief!  Not only is my toe free, free, free at last, but my husband will  never be the wiser.

I have to say this experiment proved VERY pausible!  I will never try that again! 

Now, after telling you all this, I feel I need to get in there and do something smart in front of my husband!

Bye yaw

Whacked out Wednesday – A Sunflower Seed By Any Other Name

I may not have mentioned that I throw  deliver mail with my husband but I do, on the two days a week I am not at my other job.  Yes, we are glorified USPS rural postal carriers.   On a good morning we manage to work well together, but on other days we just work.  This was one of those days….

I was running late.  My hair was just not making nice.  My clothes were left in the dryer over night and wrinkles were set in hard.  I couldn’t find my shoes and my makeup was half on.   “WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!” encourages my husband.  Of course, “encourages” that is my sarcasm shining through.   I throw everything down, walk out with one shoe in hand and an attitude that would make a bad dog run.

“Large letters to the back,” he croaks.  “Get busy,” he says, while doing nothing!  Or at least nothing I can see.  Okay, now I’m about to go postal on him…

Humph! I yelled…in my head. You see, I am a firm believer in picking your battles. I looked at him and contemplated going for the big one…instead I decide to walk away, cool off and get some sunflower seeds from the local corner store. I really like sunflower seeds.    They are nature at its finest and when humans add the salt it sets my soul at ease.  I try not to eat them often, but when mad they do the trick to occupy my thoughts and keep me from ringing my other half’s neck!

Our drive started pretty good.  Things had calmed down and I was getting into the music while sucking on a handful of seeds.  Before I knew it, my toes are tapping out the beat of the current song. Things were looking up until the man I married, the man that saw me getting ready this morning in frustration, the man I just gave a stern look to only minutes ago, looks at me with a look that said…THAT SAID…well I don’t know what it said, but I didn’t like the look!

Again, to battle or not to battle…decisions decisions.   I came to the conclusion that I would wait to fight the good fight another day.  It was already a hot, hot day and tempers flying would just make it all worse.  As I was pondering the question of whether to talk it out or not, I realized I had a hand full of empty sunflower seed shells in my hand and nowhere to put them.  So I rolled down the window and took all that rage I was feeling at the moment, wadded it up into those sunflower shells then I let ‘er rip with the biggest throw I could muster.

OMGOSH!  It landed on the car next to us!    The poor man’s window was down!  If any thing flew inside, he didn’t notice.  I think he was more concerned with the connect the dot puzzle of seeds on his windshield and car door.  He sort of gave me the same look I just saw on my hubby’s face.  I gave him the most apologetic look I could.  I stuck out my bottom lip and shrugged my shoulders.  I think I may have even batted my eyes a time or two in hopes that he would forgive my stupidity..   I then give a panicked look over to my husband.  I realize he saw nothing, notta, no clue as to what I just did.  He turned on his blinker and drove off.  I turned to look back at the poor man as we drove away.  I could not see his face because of his wipers racing at 90 miles an hour.  I keep watching in the rear view mirror.  All I could imagine was the sight of him pulling up beside us and cussing my poor, poor husband out.  I was beginning to think that all of this crumby day was all my doings.  Our next units of boxes were just ahead, and still no sight of the victim…. I mean gentleman.   I go about putting packages in their respective boxes, all the while, looking over my shoulder.  Ten minutes later, my heart is finally starting to settle down.  I grab the last of the out going mail and look up to find that polka dotted seed car driving S-L-O-W-L-Y by.  I pray he just keeps on driving.  I mouth, “I’m so sorry.”  He gives me a look, slightly waves and drives on.  My husband is a witness to this exchange and I can see he wants to ask what it was all about.  I have no idea what kind of look was on my face but it must have been good because he went about his business and never said a word.

I still look for that gentleman from time to time.  I have yet to see him and if I ever do see him again I will apologize profusely, beg for forgiveness and divert my husband away from the whole conversation.

aMusing Mondays – Wishy Washy

A while back my washing machine started making funny noises.  It would cough, crawl and leave little wee wee spots all over the floor.  Mutt would head straight out the doggie door as soon as she saw me with the clothes basket.    This kind of stuff freaked her out.  Well, I didn’t need a crystal ball to tell me a new bill was in my future.  I decided to go all out.  I got a brand spanking new front end loader with, get this, the matching dryer.  Kelly Rippa would be proud of me.  I too can come home from a long days work, strip, throw the “worn all day” clothes in the dryer’s REFRESH cycle and out they come smelling clean just as her commercial promises.

Mutt was so excited to see them pull out the old machine and very curious as to what was coming in.  It took 4 guys to get them in and set them up.  Apparently, the washer has 800 pounds of weight attached to the bottom.  Delivery dude said it’s needed to keep the machine from doing cartwheels while in the spin cycle. Hmm.   As soon as they left, I grabbed the clothes basket and out the door went Mutt.  I turned it on and saw that it would take TWO hours to wash!  What is that all about?  How can this be energy efficient?  My old rock and roll washer only took about 25 minutes to wash anything.  I sat and watched it for a minute then came to the conclusion it was saving on water, not electricity.

After a while, I noticed Mutt was no where to be seen.  I went to call her at the back door and caught a glimpse of her in the laundry room.  She was sitting in front of the washer watching the clothes through the front door window.      She was mesmerized, in a trance of some sort.  Soon it kicked into spin.  She stood up with her back  hackled.  She was ready to bolt.  Her head was just a-weaving back and forth.  It started making a whistling sound as it hit full spin and that was all it took.  She high tailed it out the dog door then turned to announce her disappointment!  She must have barked for 10 minutes.  Eventually, she crept back in slowly and quietly, as if the washer could hear her walk. Tippy-toeing back to the laundry room, she quickly peeked in several times.  After her curiosity was satisfied, she took a seat and waited for the next show.

The other day at work one of our vendors came in with a few goodies in his truck.     He tells me his hummingbird feeder bottle brushes are perfect for cleaning out the lint vent of your dryer.  Well, I’ll be dang. I thought this was a marvelous idea and took one home to try it.  I could not wait to see how it worked.  I pulled the filter out and stuck the brush in, swished it side-to-side then pulled it out.  It looked like a fuzzy hamster had attached its self to the end of the stick.    I looked down the hole and found even more lint.  I poked it way down in there again, then without warning… Swoosh!  It was gone.  It was as if something just jerked it out of my hand and sucked it down to oblivion!  Mutt was mildly entertained by my reaction.  I know I should have panicked or at least worried really hard but all I could do was laugh.  The more I studied my situation the harder I giggled.  Every time I took a breath, Mutt’s tail started wagging uncontrollably.  We were having a moment of laughter together.  It was awesome.  Finally, I regained my composure and came to the conclusion it could not stay down there.

A screwdriver was in order.  After a brief search, we- Mutt and I- were ready to tackle this problem.  I started unscrewing every screw I could find.  The filter housing would not budge.  After talking it   over with Mutt,  (see photo) I decided the answer to my problem lied within.    I poked my head in the dryer’s opening and proceeded to unscrew all the screws I could find.  I still could not get it to come out.   “DANG IT”, I yelled and at this, Mutt was all about finding out what was happening.  She struggled to poke her head in too.  I started laughing again and I could feel her whole body swaying back and forth….we laugh a lot.  She soon got tired of all this work and giggles and tried to remove herself.  But her head was wedged in and she couldn’t get it out.  Her eyes said full panic mode!  I could not move either.  I am not as skinny as I once was and she’s a bit on the hefty side, as well.  Front-end washer and dryers are placed on pedestals to make it easier to load and unload.  However, once you get stuck in one it makes it hard to get your balance just right so you can get back out.  She wiggled and tugged until she was free then I heard the dog door and again her disapproval.  I finally found the last remaining screw and removed the housing.  The brush was resting right at the top.  I quickly replaced the filter and shut the dryer door.  As I was cleaning up, I saw three little screws.  Oh boy, what to do?  Without a word to anyone, I took my broom and sweep them under the dryer.  Hey, if I need them I know where they are.

aMusing Monday’s: Monkey Whisperer

I hesitated to write this entry because I have been told never write about politics, religion or grandkids.  Feel free to pass on this week’s story, if you would like.  I just had to blog about their visit……

They looked like two rag dolls when they crawled out of the back seat.  They’d been riding for two days and it showed.  They looked at me, raised a hand, walked to their bedroom and fell out on the bed.  They were hot, sweaty, and hungry.  I never got a hug from those grandbabies (7 and 8 years old) until they got a second wind.  Then all heck broke loose.  Lots of hugs, lots of kisses and one very important question,  where is Zooie, aka Lucy?  It almost broke their little hearts when I told of her passing.  GK1 loved that dog more than he loved people and that included me.  They would spend hours together just sitting on the couch.  It was tough for both him and me.

I wanted to take them Geo Caching but the forest was closed due to extreme fire danger, so I did the next best thing.  I wrote a story about a ghost knight, their aunt Cait wrote riddles to find the caches; Poppy and I hid stuff all over the neighborhood before they got here.

The knight was on a quest when something got him.  He asked the boys if they would complete his quest.  “Well, heck yeah!” they said.  I gave them a GPS and their first clue. I started up the old Speed Buggy (my tricked out golf cart) and turned them loose.  They loved following the coordinates to each destination.  They also loved the clues more than the treasures they were finding. In the end, they found a bag of army men to help in their quest, a full set of armor, a bow and arrow and a small but semi deadly –not really–sword.   They chatted with a trusty steed and found their reward of a treasure chest filled with nuggets of gold (chocolates) along with 20 crumpled up one dollar bills. My reward? Smiles from ear to ear!  Poppy enjoyed a few grins too.

When the quest was all said and done, I let each one of them do a little driving.  They did well with a relatively small learning curve.  The one problem they both had was turning the corners at a speed that would not leave a passenger or two along the road side.  We drove all day.  They were well on their way to becoming experts.  In fact, Gk1 was so comfortable with his driving skills he sit back relaxed and drove with only ONE hand.  This did not go unnoticed by Gk2.  Gk2 looked at me and asked,  “Doesn’t he look cool?”     He decided that brother was so good,  he could just do all the driving. GK2 had more important skills to work on – like turning this rolling cart into a jungle gym! Good lord, the little curtain climber was walking all over the sides and back of the buggy, all the while, his brother was keeping a steady pace.  Gk2 was so comfortable he was hanging off the edge with one hand. “Look MoMo, one hand!”  He started to get on the roof to fly.  I said no.  He wanted to walk on the bumper in the front of the cart.  I asked him what would happen if he fell off while we were rolling.  He thought for a minute and said, “hmm, I guess I would become a speed bump.”  That tickled me.  We rode until the sun started going down then headed home.  We were just about ready to turn the corner when all of a sudden Gk1’s driving foot got a little too heavy.  I heard a thud, gravel and an aaawwh!. I turned around just in time to see Gk2 in the gravel road spinning like a top on his belly.  Arms were stretched out far, like a cat heading for water and feet were flailing in the air… He spun twice.  I yelled stop.  He gets up without a tear.  I brought no attention to his scraps for fear of an all out melt down.  Bath time would reveal the boo boos and soap bubbles would take care of the rest.  After a few minutes of trying to keep his manhood intact, he crawls into the buggy.  We get to the driveway and he looks at me to say with a little quivering lip,  “Hey MoMo,  I have been told I am the Monkey Whisperer.”… The cart stopped at these words.  There was a few seconds of silence, then we all roared with laughter all the way up the driveway.  Just think, this was only day one.

aMusing Monday…..Oh My, Hurry Hurry Honey

One evening a couple of years ago, I was sitting in the living room watching TV. My husband was in the den fully engaged with something on the computer and my daughter was in her room doing homework, well that is what she was told to do. As I sat there watching TV, I heard a huge thud on the large picture window, which was right behind my head. My first thought was, ‘That was a huge bird.’ Then I thought it was a bat but it was the middle of winter no way would a bat be out now. I then settled on an owl. That had to be it. It was a big thunk certainly as big as a very large owl. I got up to satisfy my curiosity. And to administer any kind of help I could give to that poor, poor little creature.

I flipped on the porch light. I immediately noticed the porch was illuminated but the door area was dark. Dang maybe one of the lights burned out, no bother, for now my attention was on the little owl. I ran around the couch and over to the big window. I looked out but I didn’t see it. I looked and looked but nothing was out there. That seemed impossible to me. That owl hit that window so hard it made me think the glass could have shattered or it could have been knocked out. Maybe it was under the wicker couch on the porch….it had to be. While looking for the bird I saw that the light near the door had not burned out. It was as bright as the other two lights that were shining on the porch. Weird!

I decided to go on the porch and check under the couch. Not only was it cold, we still had snow on the ground. That little creature would freeze to death if left out there. I ran around the couch again to the door. All of a sudden I noticed the door was still dark. What the heck? I leaned back to view the picture window…. lights were on but yet the door was dark. My dogs were GOING crazy. I leaned into the beveled glass to try to see what the problem was. All I saw was my dog’s hair reflecting in the glass. I decided I would deal with the light issue as soon as I got the bird taken care of. I turned the lock on the door knob and preceded to open the door when all of a sudden this huge shadow moved and light started pouring in the front door’s beveled window. OMG what just happened? I left the door shut and ran to the front window again. And there it was! No, not a bat nor a bird not even an owl, it was a huge black BEAR!!!!!!!!!! And it wanted in my house! More precisely, it wanted me! I ran to the den shouting BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! my husband was still so involved working on the computer that he never even looked up….”okay” is all he said. UGH! I ran back to the porch window. The bear was now standing straight up and looking at me…ME! I screamed BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! and ran to get my daughter. She was all involved in her ‘homework’ which was really a computer game and her response was “okay mom in a minute”. I ran back to the window. I did not see it anywhere but I did noticed the door was dark again. I ran to it, all the while screaming BEAR BEAR BEAR THERE IS A BEAR ON THE PORCH. OH MY HURRY HURRY HONEY!…. no one responded. I checked out the beveled door’s window. OMG that was not the dog’s hair reflected in the glass. IT WAS THE BEAR’S HAIR AND HE IS TRYING TO TEAR THE DOOR DOWN! Now I am screaming so loud even my dogs can’t compete and they head for the bedroom with tails tucked. I look out the window again…bear is on the move…to the BACK YARD! I have a doggie door. It is not big enough for the “BEAR” to get in but its head or paw could get in. I run to get the dog door cover located behind my husband’s chair and slide it into place.

It was about then my hubby looks up and says, “What are you doing?” I scream “A BEAR, A BEAR IS TRYING TO GET IN THE HOUSE!” “What?”, he says with a dazed and confused look on his face. Then it hit him and he sprang into action. He ran to the front window and said, “There is no bear out there.” “DUH! I KNOW THAT!”, I said, “It went around the back!” He runs to the back and opens …..THE DOOR! He is nuts and I am not waiting to see what happens.  I run for the bedroom with the dogs. Along the way I pass my daughter in the hall and yell, “A BEAR!”. After what seems like at least 15 minutes all was calm when I came back out. There was no bear anywhere. I guess he went to our neighbors. Daughter was back in her room and hubby was back working on the computer. They were notimpressed.  And you know why?  Because they NEVER saw a THING!  The dogs were still traumatized and in hiding under the covers and I was left with an exciting memory of an owl, I mean “BEAR!”

Who knew that bears wake up early around here?

Oh! and the next morning I saw the big old paw print that he smacked the window with. It was at the same height as my head would have been sitting in the chair!!! Thank God for thick glass.

Until next time

Lifeisabowlofkibble

“Well behaved women rarely make history!”  Mae W.