aMusing Mondays: Taste Like Chicken

In 2005 Hubs, The Daughter, Son2 and three dogs moved into our family built home. At first, we had construction ground. Ya know, dirt, grass, dirt, grass, bump, tree, dirt, grass, etc. My father in law did all the excavating and to his credit he left more grass than dirt. This lead to a full grass lawn within a year. And that is when it all began.

One afternoon Hubs and I were cutting the grass. Every time I got off the mower, I would fall into a hole. These holes would always have an underground tunnel attached to them which was evident from the turned up dirt on top of the ground. Some of the holes were small and some, like the ones I kept falling in, were huge. I could not figure out what type of animal would make both large and small holes. Finally, I decided it had to be moles. Being from the south, that was a critter I was familiar with. However, these trails were so much longer and wider than what I had been accustomed to. I hike a lot around my neighborhood and I would spot thousands of tiny holes with underground trails attached to them. DANG! We were infested. When I hike I almost always take my dogs, Mutt, Jeff and Lucy. They love to go any place outside and I like their awareness, it keeps me on my toes.

This particular day I was trying to get home before the rain started. I was hootin’ and hollerin’ for the dogs to keep up. As I got to our driveway, I looked around for the them. They were no where to be found. Lucy was my oldest, at 17 pounds she was one of the smallest, and the love of my life. We were perfectly in sync with each other so for her to not be at my side was unusual. There had been some sightings of mountain lions close to our neighborhood and I was not about to lose one or both of my dogs like that. I had to back track. They were not on the road so that meant getting back in to the woods. I followed my footsteps back until I spotted them, well one of them. As I turned the bend, I noticed Lucy jumping up and down into the air then she would dart back and forth like an out of control wind up toy. I could see her stop and run back over to the other dog, Mutt, and soon after it would start all over again. I had never seen either of my dogs act like this before so to say I approached cautiously would be an accurate statement. As I got closer, I saw my Lucy covered in dirt. I’m not talking ’bout a little dirt; I’m talking dirt stuck to her wet nose, in her runny allergy eyes, in her ears and all over her body. It was stuck to and in every cavity she had. Then I saw why she was in such a state. My big dog, 70 pound Mutt, was digging in the dirt like a high speed auger. Dirt was flying as far as four feet back and at least 2 feet high. I watched them for a while to try to figure out what they were after. I would notice that every time Mutt would tire the little one, Lucy, would run to the big hole and start sniffing. It was not one of those dainty sniff, sniff, kind of sniffs. It was the kind that you would see on the cartoons. Ya’ know, the animal would sniff the hole so hard it would suck up everything under the ground into its nose. Hence, all the dirt on her nose, which was now caked so thick that she’d lost her nostrils. As soon as they saw me, they went into a frenzy. Mutt jumped up and started digging like the wind with an occasional pause to see if I were watching her. Lucy was running after the dirt trying to catch it in mid-air. Then all of a sudden I saw some kind of critter fly by as if it had been shot out of a cannon. Lucy was all ready in flight when she caught it. Then she ran like the devil under a bush. Big dog, Mutt, had no idea that Lucy had claimed the prize and was off enjoying the fruits of Mutt’s labor. Mutt was still digging, digging and Lucy was munching, munching. It was not long before Mutt stopped to smell the hole. Immediately her head pops UP and she looks around for Lucy. She knew she had been duped. She starts running in circles trying to find her. Soon they were both in the bushes. Out they came, Lucy was caring what looked like a big ole’ fat tailless rat with Mutt hot on her paws. I made her stop and drop. UGH! A half eaten something. It looked like a grayish, stubby tailed ratlike-thingy. I gave Lucy the go ahead and by the time we got home she had eaten it all. Poor Mutt couldn’t do a thing but watch all of her hard work go down Lucy’s throat. Lucy was looking at Mutt, with those cute twinkly eyes, as if to say, “Tastes like chicken.”

After I got home, I asked Hubs what the heck it was. He called it a Vole. It turns out these critters eat tree roots. They leave hundreds, if not thousands, of holes and trails all through your yard. It is suggested that a trap be used to catch them. Or you can use poison….UGH! Or you can do like me and turn your dogs on them. No yucky traps to empty, no killing of innocent critters with the poison, just good old fun for your dogs. You may even experience a decrease in your pet food budget. Of course, there is that little “large holes to fall into” problem. But hey, the dogs are happy.

A sad note: Kazooie, aka Lucy, died November 20, 2010. It is a hard thing to lose one’s shadow. I still love, remember, and miss her antics. The best dog I ever had. I love you sweet baby girl.

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Whacked out Wednesdays: Mooooove on Buddy!

I sort of hate to write on Wednesdays because that is my ‘can you believe it day’ or ‘vent day’ or ‘ whacked out day’  whatever you want to call it it seems so unbecoming of me.  But I must face facts, I am only human and I get peeved just as easily and as often as the next human so here is my vent Surprise of the week.   Here’s to hoping I have very few Wednesday post.

There were a couple of reasons I moved to the mountain. One- it is my hubs home and two- I wanted a great place to raise my child. One added bonus that I did not even consider was the anger free commute to work. In the city it was always stop go, stop go accompanied by several angry honks followed by a few shout outs (the obscene type of course) and on more than one occasion the birdy salutes would fly towards me left and right. The bad thing is I had nothing to do with the traffic jams 20% of the time, but I got the salutes anyway.

I had compulsive dorfenbergerthalamus when I was living in the city. It was only heightened by the fact that I knew I would be stuck in traffic and I HAD to be at work before anyone else. I don’t know why… I just did.  I had been cursed with it since High School but now those days are slowly fading. People up here live on mountain time. There is nothing, NOTHING, that opens before 10:00 even if there is a line to get in… restaurants, bar (notice no ‘s’ on the end of bar) and gas station excluded. The streets fold up at 5:pm sharp, except restaurants (they close at 7:pm), bar (closes whenever) and THE only gas station (open 24 hours). Heck, we don’t even have a traffic light of any kind we have yield signs at least that is what most people think our stop signs are. There is very little action in this town so you could imagine my surprise when on my way to a girls day out hiking trip I ran into trouble.

It was early afternoon and we decided our hike would be at Bluff Springs. Bluff Springs is about 45 minutes out of town way back in the mountain. It is beautiful back there. No sounds only nature at its best. We turn off the highway and start the long trek toward our destination. We did not get far when I heard honking and the occasional shout outs. I found myself in a TRAFFIC JAM out in the middle of nowhere. I could count at least 9 cars on my end and more behind me. Who knew this road got so much traffic? I could barely make out the oncoming cars on the uphill side of the road. What in the world could have happened? A wreck. It had to be a wreck. I mean what else would it be on a dirt road with a speed limit of 10 miles per hour? Oh well, stranger things have happened. My dorfenbergerthalamus urges were at bay. I mean the first three cars ahead of me were my hiking buddy’s so there was no reason to be in a hurry. I waited. More and more time passed and we still sat there. WHAT IN THE WORLD? The city girl in me wanted to get out and walk the half mile or so to find out but I sat tight. Finally we started to move. Hallelujah! Slowly we inched up. As I turned the bend, I saw what was jamming up my day. Round up, yep, a round up was happening right on the road. Cows were everywhere. OMGosh only in New Mexico!

The back road I was on. See what I mean? Who would ever expect a traffic jam on this road?

As I turned the bend this is what I saw. A friging cow convention. COWS

Finally a break in the herd.

Spooky, aren’t cows a little unpredictable?

AY CARAMBA! What big horns you have.

Hey! how did that get in there????

Ahh! This is more like it. A few of my hiking buddies.  As you can see, we had a few little ones with us. All in all, we ended with a great hike and a story.

Fundamental Fridays – Elementary My Dear Idiom

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Have you ever wondered where idioms come from? Not idiots, they are born.  I am talking about idioms.

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id·i·om Noun/ˈidēəm/

1. A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., raining cats and dogs).

2. A form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people: “he had a feeling for phrase and idiom”.

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Okay, the word idiom has been defined but how in the world were they coined?  My daughter hates it when I use idioms.  She complains that she has no idea what I am talking about.  Recently, I  found a few south western idioms that I am not familiar with and I too have no idea what they are talking about.

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For example: 

Slicker than two snails porking in a bucket of snot.  (There was another word used instead of porking but I chose to change it.  Where did this saying come from? )

Or how about this one –   “If ya don’t know awhere’s you’re a goin’, it’d be a good idea not to use your spurs.”   (What does that mean anyway?  I would like to think it means be kind to all, but, who really knows?)

Or  –  “sucking the hind tit”, (What the heck?  Is there an order when it comes to tits?  Is the hind tit the good one or the bad one?  And is this referring to a cows tits? I am so seriously confused)

A few of these western idioms I have never heard before, but I can understand them. 

Don’t squat with your spurs on.  (yep, that one I get)

If all his brains were dynamite, there wouldn’t be enough to blow his nose.  (Yep, I have met folks like that)

If you ain’t making dust, you’re eating it. ( I got this one)

How about, Don’t be a woman that needs a man, be the woman a man needs.  (well I got news for the idiot that coined that phrase.  If we women knew how to deal with the crap a ma….    aahh, never mind )

Now, southern idioms make perfect sense to me.

I’m going to knock you into next week.  (this, to me, does not need explanation.  Is this even an idiom?  It does not even feel like an idiom)

Even a spotted dog looks black at night.  (this means things will look better in the morning)

  That dog won’t hunt.  (meaning it just ain’t going to happen)

The southern language is laced with  hidden meanings.

Ima gunna see a man about a dog.  (that means you don’t want anyone to know where you are going and you don’t want them to follow you)

She is such a lady. (the old saying is, you should never call a lady a b!*ch but you can always call a b!*ch a lady)

And my favorite and probably the most used –   Well, bless your heart.  ( most of the time that means you are stupid or something else that I absolutely will not write.) 

In the south, a minute – is more like a few hours ( that is not too far off from  mountain time)

Around the bend – is about 10 miles from the turn in the road ( 40 miles in the  mountains)

Directly – is when ever I get around to it (they don’t say directly here in the mountains)

Feelin’ poorly – that is southern code for I am hung over. (folks here on the mountain just tell it like it is.. I got a hang over)

And, down yonder –  can be as close as a few feet to as far as the next state. (they don’t say that here either but I sure do get a lot of flack when I use it).

If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

If I were any better, I would not know what to do with myself.

If I were any better, I would still be in the bed.

OMGosh, I can’t stop.  How did I get off on this tangent???

I gota stop.

Until next time, practice your idioms not your idiot-ism.