Monday, October 31, 2011


The boy bangs on the door.
I have gone to great lengths to be sure this does not happen.
But nature called and I took a few minutes to use my bathroom.
I hurry to the door to let him in.
Roxy goes crazy... careening off of everything...
indluding me, knocking me on my butt.
Later I see that her head hitting my shin has left a big bump.

I jump to my feet and limp to the living room,
which is at the back of the house...
trying to get the dog under control and the boy away
from the front bed room where the man is trying to sleep.
Roxy cannot contain her joy at a visitor.

The man flies out of the bed room...
wild eyes and insane bed head.
Roxy takes one look at him and gets worried fast.
He has never hit her and hardly raises his voice.
But even the dog can see Papa Bear is grumpy.

The boy and the man do not get along well.
Its because ex likes to play them against each other.

The man ignores the boy and goes to get Roxy's
training collar.
She has not had to wear it for a few weeks.
She is not happy to see it.
He wrestles it on her and hands me the control.
"Any more of that shit and you zap her."

Then he stomps off to bed.

The boy and I visit for a few minutes.
He is always polite and friendly to me.
But all I really want is for him to leave.
Finally he does and takes the cans with him...
but not before he stands next to the bed room and says
the absolute worst thing.

He wanted the cans to buy a video game.

The cans are a problem for me.
The ex begged the man to "talk" to the boy about getting a job.
He's 22 and should be supporting himself.
I happen to agree.
But this is a ploy she uses to borrow money.

They have had this "talk" several times.
It ends up the same.
The man tells the boy to grow up and stop being a leech.
The boy has his feelings hurt and complains to mom, who sides with the boy.
You can't get more counter productive if you tried.
And she has set the man up to be the bad guy.

Recently, when the man's daughter also complained about 
the boy not having a job...
that he is eating them out of house and home...
causing stress in her marriage...
because they all live together...
the man decided no more cans for the boy.
Maybe he will get tired of not having money and get a job.

When the boy called me, he was on the way to take
his mother, the ex, to the doctor.
The way the conversation went, 
I assumed he needed the cans for gas money.
I could not say no when they needed money for gas.
Mom needs to see a doctor.

So I carefully put the cans in front of the garage and sat down to wait.
I figured that I could let him quietly take them 
and then explain to his dad when he woke up.

Well, guess I fucked that up huh?

I can't make excuses.
I can't say I didn't remember, 
because I did.
I know the man overheard that he wanted the cans for a game.
His boy is very loud.

Now I look like I directly did the opposite of what 
I knew the man said we would not do.
 I absolutely did that.
But I honestly believe it was for gas.
He has asked for the cans "for gas" in the past.
His mom is off work for several weeks.
Money will be short.
He never mentioned a game.
He said he had to take his mom to the doctor.
I did the ass out of you and me thing... 
and assumed he was picking the cans up to get gas on the way.
But he never said
"I need them for gas money."

The man won't be up for hours.
I will try to explain and it will sound lame.
I tell you what...
this will not happen again.
No more cans for that boy.

Boy do I feel like an idiot.

Sunday, October 30, 2011



I've found out that some of my new family do not celebrate Halloween...
because it's
"Satan's holiday."

Oh dear.  
Well, they are entitled to their opinion and I will respect that.
Yet I disagree.
No doubt there are some sick-os out there who will use it that way.
There is no day out of the year that can't be made evil.
It's only evil if you make it evil.

Besides, it was originally nothing more than a day of 
celebrating the harvest...
a lot like our Thanksgiving.
It did not get its "evil" attachment
until hundreds of years after the British Isles
became Christian
and monks decided to write down the area's folk tales.
The monks interjected the idea that all things
supernatural... faeries, gremlins, etc.
were demonic beings...
and embellished the folk tales to include a devil-based nature.
So it goes.

I had a great weekend.
Duck game at Autzen on Saturday.
We won.
However, our defense was a bit off.
It was good to see the return of our injured players...
Darren Thomas and Le Michael James.
Though neither played as much as we are used to seeing.
Afterward to Todd's for BBQ.

Sunday we spent the morning hunting.
We climbed UP.
Very steep paths that left my shins aching.
Bambi and all his relatives are safe from us for another year.
No deer for the freezer.

The freezer still has high hopes...
Todd can hunt through Weds. for buck.
Then he has a week of doe hunting.
I've got my fingers crossed...
and a rumbling in my tummy!

To secret agent woman-
I forgot to answer your question...

"What is November 16th?"

That is the day that all people who love and care about
a certain Silly Rabbit celebrate her birthday.


Now then... I'm off to buy candy to give to the kiddos...
because I love the trick of seeing their eyes light
up when I compliment their costumes
and drop a sweet bit of something into their bags.
As far as I am concerned,
Halloween is a day to make children happy.
I don't think there can be enough of those days.


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Yearly my dear blogging friend, Suldog posts his "rant" on "Thanksgiving Comes First" and invites others who are like minded to join in with a post of their own on the subject.  I am happy to do this.
You can get up to speed with him here:
Thanksgiving Comes First - The First Round-Up  
In short, the issue at hand is how Christmas is vomited all over our store shelves, media, etc. before we even get to Thanksgiving.
I do agree with Suldog. I began seeing Halloween and Thanksgiving stuff before the weather was cool enough to call it fall... back in August. To me, that is when the pushing of holidays before their time comes into play... when I am still trying to hang onto summer.  I suppose its appropriate if you plan on creating all sorts of holiday decorations or gifts and need the supplies and that much time.  But it seems to me that this sort of thing should be restricted to craft stores and the like. Not in general stores and in the media. Sheesh!

When I was a kid, I admit that I began my school year with holidays in mind... as in school has begun and that meant that soon there would be a costume to make, goodies to gather and then the beloved "days off from school" would begin, a turkey feast and wind up toward the main event of presents under the tree and more goodies to eat.

Like most kids, I was into the "me" mode and what I got from holidays. I was not yet impressed by the gathering of family as much as the getting. That would come later when as a parent I found out the giving and watching of joy on the faces of children and others that I loved were a way better treat. But even as a child, I understood that there was an order to the holidays.  They rolled out, you ticked them off in a count down to Christmas.  Then after Christmas there was a new count down to summer that began with the "candy holidays"... Valentine's Day and Easter.  Once I made it to Easter, summer wasn't far off and another old school year would be gone.  Yay!

The point is that in my own kid way, I did keep my holidays in order, no matter the reason.  There was a comforting pattern to my year that always followed true.

It had reason and it had traditions that were fun and pleasing.  A stablizing set in stone pattern to be expected and followed no matter what else may happen.  Patterns, schedules and order are good things. Even for the ultimate impulsiveness of childhood. Holidays were a sort of anchor.

Somewhere along the line, those set in stone reliable holidays began to be fused together. Right now, this week I have already seen Christmas in every store that I have entered. 

I'm not there yet!  I've still got Halloween, Vetran's Day, November 16th and Thanksgiving to create and celebrate. I don't want to be planning my Christmas yet.  It is not time.  It won't be time until December 1st.

I am raging against the machine. It chews things up and spits them out. By the time I need a winter coat, they have bathing suits on the shelf and the coats are packed away. Why should I have to begin choosing a month and a half ahead what I want to hang on a tree that hasn't even been cut yet? 

I've noticed an increase in toy commercials for children and adults. Its only going to get worse. I want to enjoy each holiday in their time, not be steam rolled over by them in advance and exhausted to the point of not enjoying my holiday due to overkill.

Though I will admit, as a parent, I have in the past begun Christmas shopping... and putting things on lay-away during summer months. Otherwise, I could not have afforded to put things under the tree. Perhaps I am partially to blame for the retailers pushing things too early as a consumer willing to plan so far ahead.

But those days are gone. My rug rats have their own babies to plan for and my time of worry that I will fail to bring about that joy on Christmas morning has passed behind me. In my defense, I did not buy what the retailers pushed.  I bought clothes they would need for winter and the rest of the school year. I did wait for wish lists in December to pick out things they desperately wanted.

  Then retailers began to reduce the time for lay-away to their schedule for pushing items for the holiday. That ended lay-away for me.

I have joined Suldog in his war against the shoving of holidays down our collective throats. I will follow my own traditional schedule, marketing be damned. If a carol comes on my radio before December 1st, I'll switch channels and even send an email about my displeasure in a polite and firm tone. I will not begin my Christmas baking before December 1st.  I will not begin my Thanksgiving baking before November 1st. I will celebrate November 16th on that day and that day only!

I will stand my ground and take my traditions back.

Any questions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I found this lovely compass rose here:
Which, I must add is an interesting blog post.

Being a person who gets lost easily...
and still dares to venture out,
I have come upon an observation that I'm not sure it true or false.
So here it is right or wrong.

When I ask a female how to get somewhere,
they give me suggestions of landmarks along the way
and trust that my address and the landmarks will show me the path.

Males will also give me landmarks sometimes,
but they add in actual "directions".
By this I mean
North, South, East, West, etc.

I know that they mean well and feel that this will clarify things for me.
If I had a compass in my head...
and I'm sure that many people do, yet I do not...
it would make things easier.
Yes, I can find the sun and I know it rises in the East and sets in the West.
But I don't always know where that is in relation to where I am at
when I need to know it.
(Noon, clouds, night...)

(BTW... moss grows on many sides of a tree, so forget that old saw about it only growing on the North side of a tree!)

I had an interview with a nice man about a job.
He said
"The building complex is very large, so you'll want the building in the North-most 
corner of the complex."
Not wanting him to know that I don't know North from a hole in the ground,
I said 

I have actually been lost there before...
it was the big red brick building complex that I ended up at
the very first time I came to visit the man here.
I had to call him to come and lead me to his, now our, home.
I could find my way to the complex blindfolded in a snow storm now.

I asked the man how to find North here.
He pointed across the street.
But this street is not that street.
Later I got the bright idea to ask him for his compass.

I am picturing the sort of compass one would have gotten in a Cracker Jack Box.
What he brought me wasn't.

It does things.
He promptly launched into a lesson about how to use its 
marvelous functions.
He may as well have been Charlie Brown's teacher.
Way too complex for my purpose.
But I listened and tried to understand it
because he obviously delighted in his directional machine.

All I cared about was the Cracker Jack Box prize part.
When he handed it to me,
I held it and pointed in the direction I thought it was pointing North.
The swell gizmo is very sensitive and you must hold it level.
Who knew I couldn't tell level any more than I could find North?

The man looked crestfallen.
He sighed.
He said
"Baby, when you are facing the front doors of the main building...
North is on your Left."

I do know my Right from my Left.
No one had to mark the toes of my Red Ball Jets
with a big "R" or "L".
That was a direction that I could not only take,
but successfully follow.

Now wasn't that sooo much easier?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mystery House

My house is a bit of a mystery to me still.
I moved into the man's house and it is full of his stuff...
much of which I have not seen.
He collects things.
Lots of things.
Not like a hoarder...
but in an orderly way that fills up a great deal of our storage space.

I came across this great game the other day!
Being a sci-fi fan I was thrilled to find it.
It was his when he was in high school.
Very complex as games go.

The enemy are bugs, so you play on this sort of hive grid.
It has a rule book that rivals any of my appliance manuals.
At least its not in three different languages.
That thing up there is one of the brain bugs.
Very cool.
It also has a bazillion pieces and thingies.

All in tiny boxes with careful labeling.
The man says it takes hours to play.
I am tempted to learn how.
But I don't know.
And complicated?
The man ran off to copy the game pads into the computer...
so I guess that decides it.
One of these nights, we will play.
He always wins at strategical games.
I feel doom coming.

But it is very cool isn't it?
I'm also impressed that he never lost a single game piece.
And that its in such good condition.
I think the only item I have from the 70s
is my Mickey Mouse watch.

I'll let you know how the game goes.
I think I'll let him be the hero...
and I'll be a bug.

So do you have cool things tucked away?
Or are you more like me...
tossing way more than you keep?

Monday, October 24, 2011


I have not posted in over a week I think.
Not at all normal for me.
One thing occurred to me the other day...
despite the fact that fall is my favorite season...
it is also the precursor of seasonal depression.

I have not always suffered from seasonal depression.
It began a few years after I moved from Cal to the north of Or.
It went away again when I moved back south for eight years
and I thought that it was some other inexplicable event.
Then it came back when I returned to the northwest.
I thought ah ha!
But then when I moved to the southern end of Or
for a number of years where it still snowed and rained...
it vanished again.
Only to return when I moved to the northern end of the state again.
Hummmm... okay then.

I have come to believe that it is triggered by the amount of rainfall.
Cold has less to do with it than I imagined at first.
My original experiences with snow required a two hour car ride,
hot cocoa and inner tubes.
Valley dwellers had to go in search of snow with only two exceptions 
in my young life... and they were pitiful representations.

Last year I had no trouble with it worth mentioning.
I am sure that was the excitement of a developing new relationship...
and my trips here to the land of less rain.
I had hoped that I had seen an end to all that blahness.
Because that is what it is...
No high, no low,
with a lack of motivation or creativity.
This year it has returned once more.
Hence my absence.

But I do know how to deal with it.
Its a matter of eating right and moving.
Not moving away...
I mean the simple act of getting up and moving around enough to elevate those glorious endorphins,
then tagging those things that want to sit in my brain and stew,
despite a lack of importance.
I can worry a thought like Roxy worries a good bone.
Getting rid of them is simple in theory...
just get up and do something that changes my thought pattern and focus on it.
Less simple when you add in the "meh" feeling.
It takes effort on my part to act on it.

I think too that the new schedule in our lives holds some responsibility.
The man's graveyard shift.
I see him for a few hours in the morning and maybe an hour and a half before he leaves for work.
He seems to be always tired.
Then Roxy and I are alone for the night.
As soon as that door shuts behind him as he leaves,
Roxy is in her bed.
I have to lure her into my room with the promise of a nice big warm quilt to lay on.
Bribery works.

Even the weekends are affected by this schedule.

Anyone who wants to see the man, waits until then to show up...
which eats our time together.
If they all came at once, it would not be so time consuming.
They don't.
Hunting appears to be our best time together.
We have not seen a single deer...
but we spend valuable time with each other.

Then there is a void to my week days...
since everyone waits for his weekend to visit...
I don't see anyone during the week days.
I am a people person.
I am used to days filled with the riot and uproar of children...
mine or the school's.
No riot here.
It's too fecking quiet all the time.

I need a damn job.
I'm doing good right now on that front with interviews lined up.
But there are no guarantees there.
So I decided to volunteer at a hospital where I'd like to work...
reading to children and any willing adults stuck in hospital beds.
That begins next week.
I have no doubt that it will do the trick.

This week its back to my fanatical walking and keeping my diet right.
I also got a book to read for the evening hours that I am alone,
while the man sleeps.
But any speck of daylight to be had
will be used for all its worth.

Now I'm off to play catch-up on your blogs.

Why is this bear so happy?

Because he didn't sit on his ass...
he got up, got out and caught a fish!
Smart bear.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Happy birthday to the one and only 
My amazing pirate and trickster granddaughter turns 10 today.
This gal has a kicking sense of humor and a Sneaky Pete
way of creeping into your heart.
I had a good laugh yesterday...
usually my unemployment pay day.
Went to check to be sure that my check was indeed there...
and it wasn't.
But there on the site was a notice that made me giggle.
It said
"Due to a processing problem, checks will be processed a day late."
A processing problem?
Of course there was a problem...
They had Columbus Day off and no one was there to 
process anything!
I'm guessing that they don't want to remind us that while
we are waiting for our meager pittance,
they are having a paid day off.

This morning we found out that there will be
another new grand baby soon...
the man's daughter is expecting.
This will be her third child.
So we'll have two new babies to enjoy!

The crew from College Game Day is in town.
They are filming for this weekend's
Duck game.
Arizona State vs the Ducks.
It's a night game and we will be there.
Of course by then all the filming will be over...
except for the game.

It looks like the rain has forced the grass to grow.

Guess what I'm getting ready to do?

I get to use my new mower one more time before
putting to bed for the winter.
My brain is kapoot.
That's it for thoughts today.
It should be full by tomorrow when I can empty it again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Timmy's in the well!

The man came home, ate and went to bed.
I spend my days now with Roxy for the most part.
When its raining,
she tends to ignore me and goes to nap in her bed.
Rain is back for my neck of the woods to stay until next spring.

I spend most of my time in the shop.
Out there I can carve and not worry about getting chips on the floor.
I've got a TV and sound system.
Its cozy.
Meanwhile I don't have to worry about being quiet so that the man can sleep.

A few days ago Roxy went outside,
then quickly ran back into the shop to dance around.
I thought she wanted to play.
I was preparing to set down my carving when she began to bark.
She rarely barks unless a person is in the yard.
She insisted that I follow her.

"What Lassie?  Timmy's fallen into the well?"

I followed my crazy dog outside.
No stranger in the yard.
The problem seemed to be under my house.
She was running frantically from vent to vent to
bark, look at me, bark some more and then snuffle the air through the vent.

Now as I type, 
she is currently snuffling along the place where our deck meets
the house.
She sounds like a freight train.
She keeps looking at me like I should do something.

The day after the Rotor Rooter Man was here,
Todd came over to show us the hunting map for our new spot.
Roxy followed the guys to Todd's truck for something.
And vanished.
She has never tried to go anywhere...
except for the day when I was hacking my way through the Amazon on the side of the house to get to the access door.
She was closed off from me by a gate to the side yard.

Roxy is quite a jumper.
We knew this, so when she jumped the barrier to the shop,
which is fairly low and showed up in the berries from the other side,
I knew what had happened.
That was the day she became fascinated with the vents.

When she vanished,
I decided to check the berries on that side and found that 
someone had left the access door open.
I was sure she was under the house chasing whatever she thinks is in there.
The man and Todd both tried to find her with a flash light.
No dog.  No other critter.

After that began a search of the neighborhood by cars.
No dog.
I was very worried and upset.
She was gone for hours.
As it turns out, the neighbor kids decided to invite her into their house.
Roxy was kicked out when their mom came home.
She wiggled back into the shop...
and warm, dry and happy despite the rain.

I was very unhappy.
We know that Roxy loves people when she is with us.
What if one of the kids had played too hard?
She is not allowed around children unsupervised.
She can be dangerous with those jaws.
Its our responsibility to keep her from getting into a situation that will cause her or anyone else harm.

Right now Missy Moo, as we call her,
is on notice.
Obviously we cannot trust her not to run off,
even though no harm was done and she came right home as soon as she was able.
The man had a serious conversation with the neighbor and their kids.
Not mad at them, but cautioning them not to assume that all dogs are going to stay friendly.
The mom gladly backed him up on that.

I don't know what's up with my wacky dog these days...
her foe under the house and leaving the yard like that.
Who knows what she smells under the house...
but every day now is a "Timmy's in the well!" day.
Once she gets me to go out and look, she is fine.

I just hope its not a repeat of the raccoon issue...
but that's another story.