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2012/02/27

Scheming little bastards


There is a concerning reality that has materializes over that last year or so.  I have mostly ignored it but I think I now must take control of this and get myself back in control. The Damn Dog have taken over and are working as a team against me.  I know this sounds a  bit paranoid and maybe there is meds that can help but I know they are in control.  Their scheme is quite  brilliant, and cunning, that’s why it has taken me so long to catch on to them.  When it comes to food the ploy is, take my attention then move in for the kill.  
I have my  morning bagel and coffee; this is a morning ritual even when I travel I take my bagels with me and eat them untoasted.  I will get my coffee and hot toasted bagel then head for the couch to watch the morning news.  I sit the coffee and bagel down on the end table so I can sit and turn the TV on and get comfy, I then fend off dogs.  Now while I am fending off dogs one of them will jump in the chair on the other side of  the end table; nab the bagel and run like hell. I get up and chase after the offending dog: I will not allow them to enjoy the fruits of their ploy.  Often I must chase them to the basement  where they will jump on the bed and go back to the wall and start to swallow it, because they know I must crawl across the bed to get them. They will get some of the bagel but not all.  Now I am mad as I head back to the kitchen and toast another bagel. Off to the sofa with a new bagel, after a few bites I reach for my coffee and find the little bastards drank it while I was chasing one of the hooligans.  Another ploy is if someone sets something on the end table hair tie, napkin, pencil etc; they wait till your nice and comfy, feet tucked  snugly  underneath  you then grab and run.  Now this turns into a game of catch me if you can.  When I put the dogs out they come back in two groups the cold group is first one to come in, then the, I need to check every inch of yard out group.   Now when I return to let the, I need to check the yard out dogs, in; I turn around and there it is, poo right behind me.  As I clean that up and go to the kitchen there is another poo waiting for me. I clean that one and go back to the hall way and someone else has done the same thing two inches from the first one I cleaned up. Now all of these thing seems as if the dogs are trying to make me crazy and just drive me out of my mind.  Now I took a trip this past weekend and realized they are not driving me crazy to get me certified but to get me to work for them. They use every opportunity of my aged mind problems to get me. We stopped to eat lunch and they got my bagel the whole bag. I put all food in the floor storage of the van but forgot them. I am always trying to stay one step ahead of them to minimize chaos. So in my planning for the trip I thought of every naughty thing they could pull on me and took something to counter act it. So as I am turning in for the evening I get my bag and open it and start sifting through all the jammies, shirts, pee bands, pee panties, pads, toys and other doggy items to find I did not pack one thing for myself other than clean socks. The girls are just getting a good laugh out of this. So I took off my shoes, changed my socks and went to bed in my cloths. In the morning I got up brushed my cloths off and packed the van.  Now as for convenience this was great but for hygiene and comfort I do not recommend brush and go.
I have finally dropped over the deep end and only think of how to keep them content.  I work for them: I must say their scheming worked and I never saw it coming.  

2012/02/26

The trip to Jade's forever home




Our journey started out 1.5 hours late, no explanation other than  herding 4 kids and 11 dogs out the door takes a miracle on good days. We had to make a quick stop in Toledo OH to drop off a box to a friends house. Now all was going well till I took the wrong exit and my quick turn around in the middle of the road caused a disaster. Marley was sitting on the middle row seat and Chilly Willy was standing on the floor in front of him, when he decided to get rid of the half a dozen hair ties he ate and with that came the left over dinner and other unrecognizable stomach bile. Chilly Willy was drenched in the goo and the girls started screaming and he took off, jumping from one seat to another leaving a trail of stomach bile in his wake. As the girls tried to grab him he just kept jumping.  He slimmed the girls my new purse and countless objects on the floor. My oldest was sitting in the front yelling this is a disaster. I said " I am sure it is of epic proportion".
I could not stop, so clean up was done on the move and I was directing it from the drivers seat as I hurled us down the freeway at epic speeds.  I pulled in my friends home and the doors flew open and the kids jumped out and started calling dibs on the bathroom to clean them selves off.  
Back on the road again our conversation turned to the up coming visit of my friend Tina.  She takes the most wonderful pictures, so I said "I want to have Grandma come over so Tina can take a really nice picture of her for her 86th birthday."  So little one pips up and says ya Ma I'm going to take a lots of pictures with Tina's really good camera, and we can dress up and go eat. I said"OK". Then she says " Ma you have to dress up really nice because we are going to us Tina's good camera." Ya, OK I'll put on a really nice sweat shirt."  This comment got me yell at for the next 10 mile.
As we started into the foot hills of the Mountains the oldest complains her ears were plugged and she has a cold on top of that.  I said " open your mouth wide and yawn." No, that didn't work so I told her to put her hand up to her mouth and hold back the air as you try to blow, and with that I gave a quick demonstration. When from the back seat comes I can't do that I will pee and then I want to fart at the same time.  Thanks, but that is way more information than I wanted to know, as everyone breaks out in laughter. So on we went to Kentucky to deliver Miss Jade to her new forever home.  When we got close I called to let them know we were almost there. As I described my location it was apparent that I was not were I should be, as they didn't know where I was by my descriptions. I then hear my reality, are you on 75? I should be on 71 so what I thought to be a few more minutes turned out over an hour more. 
We receive a warm welcome and it felt like we were friends for ever.  I knew Miss Jade had the perfect home.  The Damn Dog were invited into the house I told them are you sure you know what your saying.  I was assured that the house was dog prof and not to worry.  Well the Damn Dogs lived up to the name and did not disappoint in there behavior. We ate and had a wonderful chat but time was marching on and it was dark, my fav for driving in unknown territory. The fact that they had to meet me to get the last 5 or 10 miles to their house left me thinking I was going to need more than a GPS to find my way back. I was give great instructions to find my way out, they were detailed in every way. I left with confidence that I could maneuver the 6 or 7 turns to get out of the subdivision.  What I did not get was the first turn after the driveway was a stones throw from their home, not  a block or so down.   One by one block, we looked for the street to turn on and after each one the kids would say it must be the next one Mom, until we hit the dead end.  We turned around and went back looking for the street we must have passed, when I look up and see we are passing their house and I said, GAWD I hope they are not looking out the window and see us they will think I'm an idiot.  I went down a house or two to turn around in hopes I would not be caught lost in front of their home. We found the road and then all went well and we made it back to the city to survey our choices of hotels. Looking for just the perfect set up so we could sneak 10 dogs into the hotel.  We found our target and proceeded with plans to get them walked and into the room with out detection. I have to say it was way to easy and it looked like smooth sailing from then on out.  Everyone had on pee bands and pee panties on, so no tell tail sign to be add to my credit card later.  Every one settled in and my oldest and I stayed up she did home work I played on internet. After midnight we went to bed knowing we could sleep in a little in the morning before heading back. About two in the  morning I was woke up by the dogs barking.  I get them quiet and tried to go back to sleep when I heard J@#$#$ C@#%@, uh uh uh Oh MY GODDDDDD, thud thud thud,   woof woof. I shushed the dogs, when it started again the moaning was intense then would came the Oh my GODDDDD.  Woof woof as I shushed the dogs again I knew that neither of them God or J. C. had anything to do with what was going on in that room. I have to admit they had stamina or Viagra. The dogs and the neighbors kept me up till after 4 AM.  The next morning I was complaining about them to the girls and they said they didn't hear them only the dogs woofing all night.  I said "How could you not hear that all night?"  I kept complaining about my lost of sleep from the Viagra induced party next door when one of the girls said " Mom you're just jealous" Now there is no way to reply to that so I choose to zip it and leave it alone. The drive back was uneventful and we all enjoyed the 50 degree sunny weather. 

2012/02/24

Greetings

Greetings are a must at the house, good morning, Hi girls/everyone I’m home, good night etc. It’s one of those thing I believe in because you need to recognize people and it shows respect. Not to mention you never know what a day will bring.
When I arrived home after work the greeting at the door is deafening . Every dog so excited to see me it’s as if they had not seen me for weeks instead of hours.  After wading through a sea of dogs and other special things they have left at the door for me, I made it to the kitchen and it was empty (Shock)  and I find one of the girls curled up under a blanket on the couch . I said “Hi how are you and where is the other girls”  The normal response is “I don’t know” why I even ask must strictly be from habit. She “said Hi” and I went about getting something to drink and fend off the dogs that are still excited. After a few minutes I went to my room and went on line, I’m still fending dogs off (I must get those nails cut). The phone rings and one of the other girls brings it down stairs for me and says” Hi Mom it’s for you”.  It’s the oldest and she is home from College and is in town at the bus station wanting a ride home.  I jumped in the car and head out to pick her up and on the way I see the exchange student walking home and pull over for her.  She opens the door and says “Hi Mom where are you going?” I explain I have to run down town and pick up B and did she want to ride with me.  OH! no thanks Mom I need to get home, Thanks see ya later.  I get to the bus station and pick up B. We are yaking away trying to solve world problem when we arrive at home and again we are greeted as if we have been gone for month. Again wading through a sea of barking jumping dogs I would say it’s more like a shuffle because I don’t want to step on feet. Again Hi were home,  Three girls yell back.  We start in with getting something to eat when the 4th girl comes out of the study where she was working with her tutor and walks over plops down on the couch without a word.  I yelled in at her and said ”Hey Miss Thing did you forget something”? She wonders out to the kitchen with the rest of us and said “NO”  are you sure.  No, I mean Yes. Are you really sure you have not forgotten something.  When she pipes up and said” No mom I did not forget to say Hi I just have not seen you till now” Ya likely story.
Hell even the dogs have greeted me way more than I would like. Then the kitchen erupts into loud sparring banter, Yes, I am home sweet home.


2012/02/21

Sleeping with the dogs

I love to have the dogs sleep with me that being said when the numbers grow that love then turns into exhaustion. Now, one would just kick them out of the bed but that is not as easy as it seems.  They roam around and get into things and that is even worse. I do have a king size bed but it still does not matter when you have 12 dogs that all want what they want and that is glued to me.  Now the perimeter of my body is just so big and cannot accommodate all the dogs.  It starts out as an exhausting effort to just get in the bed. I make my bed every morning and the dogs scritch and scratch  till they pile the blankets into the middle of the bed.  Now the dogs are buried, burrowed and all over the top of the  pile.  None of them want to be moved so they flatten themselves out and roll over making them heavy and awkward to pick up and of course they go to the head of the bed where I have to crawl up to get them, as my bed is in a niche between the wall and the fireplace entering  from the bottom and crawling up to the head. As quick as I get one or two off and go for more they jump back on.  This can go on for eternity if I allow it.  So now I have to use my outside voice to let them know I mean business. I grab the blankets and un-wad them and get them straightened out so I can get into bed. The mass entry into bed then set off chaos, some are romping and playing, some are arguing over a spot they want and the rest are all in my spot.  I have to grab the side of the blanket and roll them over to the other side so I get in and then yell at them to stop growling at each other.  Once I get in I hold the blankets up so they can all craw under them, sounds easy.  One has to make a gazillon turns in each direction before she can get under the blanket. One wants to be last in bed so he sits in Archie chair waiting for the lights to go out before he gets in, less drama I guess.  There are the outside leg sleeper, The inside leg sleeper, the stretch out and don’t any one touch me sleepers, the ones that need to be in the crook of your neck , the ones that have to prop their heads up with some part of my body and so on and on. The outside leg sleepers are the good ones they put their backs next to yours and that 101 temp radiates a gentle warmth  that is soothing to the vintage body. The inside leg sleepers are the worst they put the feet in you back, butt torso and were ever else they can  find. Stretching can be pain full for the vintage body and rolling over does not seem to bother them the fact that I am laying on their legs does not affect them. So now I have to pull legs and feet out from under me and they will not move so I take my foot and push them away from me .Not having any hair they slide real good. One, will only sleep between my knees after he is sleeping I can roll over and he will not move but do not try this before he is asleep as this adds several minutes on to the settling process. Gertie has from the time she was born slept in my arm pit.  I know three years later and she can’t sleep without being in the arm pit of some one.  The new girl Julie wants to sleep on my neck, this does take some thinking outside the box to make this all work so I can move in the morning. Stiff neck sore shoulders and back ace are common symptoms of sleep with a lot of dogs. On top of all of this the new girl Julie snores and she is sleeping on my neck.  The buzz saw can cut a few cords of wood a night.  So I pray I fall asleep before her. In between all of this is the grumbling and bitching from them all.  Just as we all get settled and sleep now seems possible Cabot leaves Archie chair and wants in under the blankets. Now he is an alpha so he just plops on whoever is where her wants to be. My GAWD will you all stop and go to sleep, is a common phrase used in this nightly ritual. Now I have tried to kennel them but Oh Hell no they cry all night.  The Hooligans can be kenneled and will not fuss to much so on those nights I need my sleep I will kennel them.  It cuts down on all the friction and there is less prep time involved in going to bed.  Then just as sleep is starting to take over one of them farts.  For a 10 lb dog the gas that emanates  from them is lethal. You cannot tuck the blankets in so it does not escape so one must fan the covers now everyone thinks it time to get up.  Some nights are much worse and some I take a pill.


2012/02/19

Naked K9



I have worked in rescue for many years now.  I am a breed specific rescue in that I specialize in the hairless breed mostly Chinese Cresteds but will help other small breeds in need. I worked for other rescues but found the politic of the rescue to stifling and over whelming.  So I struck out on my own with three friends to start our own rescue. That was almost three years ago and all I have ever wanted to do was rescue, foster and re-home dogs.  It is what I am good at. Now I am not a person who lives or works well in structure and when I grow up I want organizational skills. So for folks that are highly organized and structured I am at least a night mare to work with.  My organization did not flourish and now find myself having to step up to the plate and make it better. I am the leader so I need to lead.   To say the least this is a terrifying to me.  In my restructuring I sought help from a group of people who love this breed and over the years have come to know each other through a form called Chinese crested crush.  I only know them as an on line screen names and am often confused when they refer to themselves with their given name,   This group of people from around the world have supported me and helped me through some difficult times that they never knew about but where there for me.  I now find myself reaching out to them for yet more support to get this rescue off the ground and helping dogs. The out pouring of help was a God send to me.  As I am so challenge when it comes to the inter working of a rescue.  They brought with them the expertise I needed to get this going. I know how to make money, I know how to work with dogs and help them with the old baggage they carry so they can have a chance at a new life but the  Organizational, political part is not my expertise.  These ladies come from three different country to help me and that will free me up to do what I am good at.  Working with the dogs. We have the same goals to help dogs and they can do it best behind the scene where there is no glory as it were the place that no one know is a vital part of rescue the heart beat, the part I can not do.  I am the front line person the one everyone see and knows.  But in fact I can not do this with out them and the others who helped in the beginning.  The name less part of rescue but ever so important part. To all of you my friends who now have rolled up their sleeve and dug in for me. The folks that have supported me, a local friend and her son who keeps me in dog food and a form called Crush.  Thank you from the Bottom of my heart.

2012/02/17

Warm and Fuzzy friend

My co-worker is a wonderful person and we get along well.  She says what is on her mind and loves confrontation.  I on the other hand do not like confrontation and avoid it at all cost. Our minds seem to work on the same wave lengths, mine is just calmer, and we both share sarcastic humor.  So we are having one of our many convict calls, for those who are not familiar with the term it is using a phone to talk to someone on the other side of a window. We were discussing the finer qualities of our grouchy co-workers, as she has just had some warm and fuzzy interaction with one.  She then referred to  herself as a warm and fuzzy person with just a few prickles under there.  I said “ So you’re OK as long as  you’re Not petted in the wrong direction or you’ll get quilled.,”  
I mean what are friends for, Ahey

2012/02/15

Pay back is coming......


Because lessons in life are not easy I never sugar coat them.  I do not run the kids around town I make them take the city bus.  For most Mid Westerners  we drive door to door so this is what the kids think my job is, NOT... I tell them buy a car and drive your selves to the door of any where you like.  So to night they gave it right back to me.  I hit a small animal a month ago and it damage the lower front plastic bumper of my van.  I have had it in the shop being fixed since Monday morning.  I borrowed my Moms car for the three days while mine was being fixed.  We took my Mom drivers license from her because she now has a heart that just likes to stop and we don't want it to just stop while she is driving.  My brother drives her where ever she wants to go.  So when I showed up tonight with the van the kids started  in how did I get the van where is Grandmas car? etc.  I explained I left work and picked Grandma up and went to the body shop and got the van and Grandma went home in her car.  They all started in why was Grandma driving where was Uncle Jim and so on.  I told them just because Grandma does not drive she still likes to go places so she just went for the ride and Uncle Jim drove the car home. This then set reality into motion.  One girls says I can't wait till you get old. What? I am already old. She said " no, old when you can't drive and you need me to drive you some place I am going to tell you to take the bus. Now the others all jump on that one. Ya, Ma and when we are on a trip and you tell me you have to pee I am going to tell you to hold it. Just pinch it, I,m not stopping. Now my visuals have started and we are all laughing  I guess they won't sugar coat either.

2012/02/14

Alaska, the trip home.

We had a long trip back to the lodge and we ate a pack lunch they had for us on the bus.  I went straight to bed and woke early to the sound of someone rocking  the chair on the porch.  I looked out the window to see a bear playing with the rocking chair.  I would have love to sit and just watch him but with my proper bear training I knew this was not a good idea and just  lay back and listen to him as he walked along the front porch smacking chairs.  I slept in and almost missed breakfast.  I never new missing a meal would cause me such anxiety.  I spent the day wandering along the lake front collecting lava rocks that floated everywhere.  At one point I was crossing the river on the floating bridge and saw a bear sitting up to his neck in the lake just sitter there.  I watch for a long time when I saw a plane on approach  headed straight for the bear.  Again I felt the dread of seeing something bad happen.  But at the last moment the plane veered off as he must have seen his head sticking out of the water.  I found that these big bears have such human like actions they are very interesting to just sit  and watch they can be humorous as well as frightening.         
My last days at Brooks were the most relaxing time, I felt more comfortable with the bears and to just watch the wild life itself, loose and doing what it does without human confines’ was so rewarding .  I boarded my sea plane the next morning for a short hop to a remote air strip on the other side of the lake where I took a small bush plane back to Anchorage
When we landed at the small air strip the plane taxied up to shore  I again prepare to  get wet getting to shore.  One of the people there came out in waders to help us off the plane this time I got out behind the wing and had to walk forward to get off the pontoon. I ducked  to go under the wing brace and with my hat on did not know I was not clear when I raised my head right into the brace. Well I got more than my feet wet this time I fell in.  Even the cold water did not make the stars go away but it may have kept me from passing out.  It seemed like I was in slow motion as my head hit and I fell, I really thought I knocked  my lights out when the cold water shocked me back to reality.  Now the embarrassment of hitting my head and falling in the lake made me keep telling everyone I was OK.  I got my gear and grabbed some dry cloths and headed for the bathroom to change.  I took one look in the mirror and almost fainted again as the blood was running down the side of my head and neck.  A little blood on the head and face looks like gallons.  I cleaned up and stuffed my hat with tissue so it would soak up the blood.  I did not want anyone to know I was really hurt.  There were only few folks there so avoiding people was really easy.  What the hell could I have been thinking.  I got on the bush plane and sat with my wound to the window so the others would not notice it.  My head felt like I was hit with a hammer and the tissue was now blood soaked and it was starting to drip When we arrived in Anchorage.  My flight back to the lower 48 was four hours away so I rented a car and drove around till the blood just took over.  I had taken a roll of paper towel from the bathroom and was trying to clean up so I could go into the pharmacy  and get something for the pain and see if I could get something to stop the bleeding till I could get home that night.    I learned that nasal spray is the best thing to stop bleeding.  It shrinks the blood vessels slowing the blood flow and allowing  the blood to clot.  Now my higher power was taking care of me that day because I had a concussion and the loss of blood was taking a toll on me.  But I was determined to get on that plane and get myself home.  I ended up in the bathroom of Mc Donald’s applying   nasal spray to my head that was a thick goo of blood and hair.  (That was when I had hair.)  I tried to get my head down in the sink to run water over it when two ladies came in and saw me.  There was quite a lot of excitement and I am trying to tell them I am OK, they wanted to call 911 and insisted on knowing who done this to me.   By the time I got them calmed down and told them I hit my head on the wing brace of the plane, one ran out and got her friend the nurse who was waiting at the table for them. Now the three of them are making a hug fuss over me and helping me with the nasal spray that by the way burns like hell when it hits the open wound. I thanked them and told them I must go catch my plane.  I got the car back and went to sit down and wait till the plane boarded when I became ill and light headed.  Again I did not want anyone one to know so I sat there as if all would be OK if no one found out I was an idiot waiting for a place to pass out completely.   Once on the plane the flight attendant noticed my hat was bloody ,even though it was green and just look wet if you were not paying attention, she was.  It was a struggle to get her to leave me on the plane.  To keep my wits on the long flight home I mentally beat myself up for not going to the hospital and praying I would be alright.  The shock of the injury has now completely wore off and the pain is unbearable.  The attendant did get me an ice pack and aspirin ,by this time the blood had slowed to a slow ooze.  But my head hurt and all I wanted to do is sleep.  I did keep myself a wake and made it home where my family got me to the hospital.  To this day have a groove  in my head that I can lay my finger down in it.  I have no idea how I made it through that.  I still think that there is no age limit on idiocies as I have proved this to myself.

2012/02/13

To all my friends on Valentine's

There is a place in my heart that I keep highly guarded and protected.  It is a place I keep my kids and my dogs a place where all my love is for them.  They often do not see this place but it is there for them only. My friends are many and I treasure each and every one of you for you have shown me that there is kindness in this world that I often do not see.  Doing the things I do keeps me on the dark side of life, bringing in the kids and dogs that society has over looked and forgotten.  You my friends keep me from being swallowed up by it all you have supported me in every way.  You circle the globe and many of you I have never met but you are in fact as dear to me as the ones I have known for years and years.  I was always told that I could count my close friends on one hand in my life.  But for me I need a country to hold you all.  You have reached out to me in times of need and times of darkness and never knew how much I needed you.  I often never tell if I need, but you  just show up at the right times and I feel blessed that you are there for me.  Even to just say Hi.  I reach out to all and let you know that sometimes all we need is to know someone has thought of us to keep us going.  I encourage everyone to just say Hi how are.  You may never know how important to someone that maybe.  We do not need to have a sweetheart on Valentine’s day to show we care.  For all the people who read my blog and know me through rescue,the social media or have known me for years, I thank you all for your support and caring you have showed me.
Without you I cannot do what I do.  May you all find love and happiness on Valentine’s day and though out the year.

2012/02/11

So you know your loved????

So you know you're loved when your kids can post pics like this on her face book.  Its like saying don't hate me you mean mama.  I love my kids they speak there minds.  and suck up at the same time.....

2012/02/10

Alaska part 3

After my long and I do mean long breakfast I and 7 others got on a small bus to take a 23 mile ride to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

In 1912 largest Volcanic eruption in the 20th century occurred here but because it was so isolated the local tribes had left the area along with the animals so there were no deaths. It took a few years to get an expedition from Nation Geographic’s into the valley to see which volcano had erupted and to access the eruption area.  They saw innumerable small holes and cracks in the volcanic ash with steam spewing from them. Not knowing that it was the supper heated rivers in the valley escaping. They named it The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The supper heated ash did cool and the steam vents dried up.

Now this ride again takes hours because the road is dirt and not smooth or straight. As we approached the outpost at Three Forks you could see the ash covered valley floor stretching  out for miles.  We got our instructions and set our watches to meet in 6 hours to take bus back to Brooks Lodge.  It took 30 min to hike down to valley floor but once you get there it is like stepping on another planet.  The harden ash was so many different shades of pink ,grey and yellow.  The rivers have cut deep gorges through the ash cover landscape that makes crossing impossible in many places so I could not explore as much as I had hope to.  But the part of the valley I did hike kept me awestruck, at how the ash had transformed this place  This was the only day in Alaska I did not see any animal

Newest member of the Damn Dog house


The Damn Dog house has change again.  We now have an exchange student from South Korea . She came on Wednesday and because she is going to school in a different school district she must use the city bus to get back and forth.  Thursday morning I gave her directions to get to the nearest bus stop which is about a mile, so off she went and we all went our ways to get to work and school. It is 4:28 in the afternoon and I am putting my coat on when the phone rings and it is her coordinator from her organization telling me she called and said she was lost.  I got her cell number and called her to find out where she was.  She was so apologetic saying she got off at the correct stop but must have taken the wrong street and she ended up over a mile away in the opposite direction.  “No worries “I said, I’ll come get you and then laughed.  When I arrived at the  corner where she was I started laughing and could not stop.  She jumped in the car and started apologizing again.  I said “It’s Ok, but I bet you feel silly now.  She looked me in the eye and said” does this mean you’re going to put me in your blog”   I can’t even drive from all the laughter,  and I said “Yes it does”.  Now as I see it she fits right into the mix at the Damn Dog house.

2012/02/09

Alaska

Alaska

Alaska part 2

The train ride back to Anchorage took us along the Chugach mountains and going as slow as you do you can see some magnificent animals, like the Dall sheep eating along the cliffs high about the train and then Beluga whales swimming up the Turnagain arm of the Cook inlet is unbelievable to see.  Beaver dams dot the landscape creating the most interesting pounds. Again I laid over in Anchorage and next morning took a small plane to King Salmon where I flew to Brooks Lodge.  There is no air strip there so you fly in on a sea plane, mine had seating for 6.  The plane I flew in looked and felt like it was my age.  I jiggled and shook all the way there, and the air turbulence did not help any. I swear the wings on that plane flapped just like a bird.   
                                                    
We landed in the lake and taxied to the shore but of course you need legs like stilts to jump to dry land so needless to say these short stubby legs didn't even come close, I only got wet up past my calves just below the knees. Now you're ushered into bear school, do not pass go do not collect 200 dollars and taught proper bear etiquette.   We were not frisked but told to give all candy, gum breath mints etc. over to them.  Failure to hand over all food could put us at risk of being a bears dinner.  The Bears of Katmai park were there for the Salmon and because they lived on Salmon unlike the Bears of Denali that ate berries and other vegetation with an occasional meat feast  they were twice the size ranging around 800 lbs.  to 1400 lbs.  OK, now they have my attention.  Because in my mind’s eye the bear I encountered on my second day looked to be the size of a VW bug. We were given a bear button to wear at all times to prove we had been to bear school and if we failed to have it on we could be ask to leave the park.  There were only three meals a day served in the mess hall and 2 hours for each meal.  You missed the time you missed the meal.  No snack machines no soda machines. I left and went and picked up my luggage and found my cabin.  They were log cabins equipped with wooden rocking chairs for sitting and enjoying the view and a passing bear.   I dumped my gear and grab my camera and off I went.  Now I thought staying 50 feet away from all the bears was not a problem I had no intention of getting close, brought my zoom for that.  This proved a little harder than I thought.  They were everywhere. They had viewing platforms that had gates to keep the 1400 lb bears out.  Ya, now I feel secure.  I found my way to the waterfalls where the bears sit and catch the Salmon as they are trying to jump the waterfall getting up stream.  I waited for a while but did not see any action so I walked the banks of the river until I came up on some anglers fly fishing.  I stood and watched for a while till a bear came out of the brush and grabbed a fish that was hooked on the anglers line.  Out came the knife and lines cut and fishing was over for them, so I went back to the falls.  There was a couple from England there all set up and waiting.  I struck up conversation as we all waited for bears.  It got late and dinner had started and it was an hour hike back so we started packing it in for the day, did not want to miss dinner.  


When from across the river a bear appeared we all grabbed our cameras and started clicking away when the bushes right next to use started to rustle and shake. In a wink of the eye we had more action than we knew what to do with.  There had been a bear 10 feet away, for who knows how long just sitting in the bushes along the bank next to us not moving a mussel till he saw the other bear.  Hell broke loose between the two and of course the only thing all the three of us could do was stand there with the deer in the head light look. they were fighting in the bushes and the noise was deafening you could smell the stench of fish on their breath that’s how close we were  The exit to the platform was right next to the bushes where the bears were fighting. The bushes shook and you could see a patch of brown fur flash here and there but the bears themselves where not in full view.  Then came a loud almost scream like sound and the bears took off one after the other. Now I am starting to count all my, crap my pants moments, and thinking I have never felt this exhilarated in my life as I had on this trip. As scared as I had been I could see how people could become adrenaline junkies.  We talked a mile a minute about the bears as we huffed it back to the mess hall. But alas we  went to bed without our supper, nothing but water. I was the first one to the mess hall in the morning and my new found English friends were right behind me.
More to come.

2012/02/08

Alaska


I have a side of me that craves excitement and adventure.  Now as my Bucket list has not been completed but I have done a lot of the things on it.   Going to Alaska is one of my most memorable, observing Grizzly Bears in the wild, hiking the Valley of Ten Thousand  smokes, seeing a  glacier calving and riding the wave caused by it and to feel a big Grey Whale swim under the boat you’re in and splash you with his tale as he comes out under the other side.  So at the ripe old age of 50 I trekked off to Alaska. My trip started by taking the train from Anchorage to Denali to climb
Mt. McKinley.  This part of the trip was not to go to the top but hike as far as I could in 4 hours and come back. I never made it to Mt, McKinley as they had a snow storm and we could not get to the Mountain.  Half of Denali was closed so we were turned back.  I did enjoy the breath taking beauty of the area and spent the day hiking around the outskirts of Denali Park,  where I witnessed the horrifying act of survival in the wild.  A mother Moose and her calf where attacked by a Grizzly The Mom did try to fend off the Grizzly but then ran for the river with baby in tow.  They both made it to the river where mom got out far enough to be safe but the calf did not make it.  The Grizzly took it down on the shore of the river and dragged it into the brush. I took this opportunity to get my butt out of dodge.  I have to admit that this was not something I wanted to see nor have the trip of my lifetime start out this way. The scene of carnage did cause many sleepless nights but I have since dealt with this and moved on from it.  It did make the rest of the trip nerve racking as I was always on hightened alert of every little thing around me.  I think it made my trip better as nothing got by me even when I was being awed by the beauty of the landscape.  I spent the next two days hiking the area without incident. I then took the train back to Anchorage which in miles is not far but the train travels at 10 mile per hour so it does take 8 hours to get there.  I laid over there for the night then took the train South to Seward, AK  where I chartered a boat to take me to Holgate Glacier and all points in between.  Whale watching was amazing, seeing a large pod of Killer Whales hunting seals, I was worried I would witness another act of survival  in the wild, but I was spared this and was able to enjoy seeing these amazing creatures, Not long after the Grey Whale surfaced and it seem to be intrigued with the boat and hung around for quite awhile where it swam around us, under us and at one point I thought he was going to capsize the boat. But he did not and splashed the hell out of me.  He surfaced right next to us and then his tail came up almost on the boat and smacked the water and soaked us. Now that in itself was great but the after effect sucked as now I am frozen, literally my jacket was frozen. I had to spend most of time on the bridge next to a small heater to stay warm.  The captain was nice and let me take the wheel for a few minutes.  My coat never dried before we got to the glacier so I froze up again while taking pictures.  Then after a while the glacier started to crack and moan as it began calving. The sound is so ominous and haunting, and the more it cracks the more adrenalin starts to flow and my stomach was doing flip flops as the thought of how much was breaking off and then the water displacement, holy cow, tsunami. The line from Jaws came to mind.  We’re going to need  bigger boat. We were back far enough to be safe but as that ice fell in the water and the wave started to come at us, I sure did hope this guy knew what he was doing, because at one point the wave was taller than the boat, or at least in my mind it was.

This was definitely a crap my pants moment.  I only remember grabbing the  railing and holding on for dear life.  Now the captain did get a good laugh at my expense not knowing he just blew his tip. But it was an exhilarating experience that I would do again. 


The wild life at sea was just fascinating, the little Puffins, the sleepy Walruses piled on a small out cropping of rocks, reminded me of a pile of Cresteds on my lap. Eagles perched high in the trees along the cliff walls watching for their next meal to swim by and a huge pod of dolphins that swam all the way back with us to the inlet.  The wild life there was incredible on land and in the sea. 

  stay tuned for part two.

2012/02/06

Hey! Look what I found


The fact that I blogged about my own bra embarrassed my older daughter so I thought hey I can get one of the other girls with the bra at the circus last year.  I am guaranteed reprisal on this one, by at least one of the girls if not all.

My newest daughter had only been here about a month or two and her English was not very good at all.  She did not know my sense humor yet or how to take me.  I decided to take all the kids to the circus that was only going to be in town for 4 days.  I had not been since I was kid but remember fondly my dad got tickets every year to take us all to the circus.  Back then watching the trapeze performers had me on the edge of my seat and to see fire come out of some ones mouth was just a miracle. I knew the girls did not understand what  a circus was but told them they would have a good time.  When we got there the kids want to run around and see everything so I gave them the camera and told them that they had to be back when lights dimmed.  I sat and rested myself as it was a Thursday night and I knew we were not getting home very early.  Behind me were some loud obnoxious teenage boys, totally stomping on my last nerve of the day.  The lights dimmed and the girls came back.  The entertainers were a newer version of the ones I remember  from my childhood. There was a couple of clowns on a trampoline that were pretty funny and often made some off color jokes about the size of women’s breast using the biggest bras known to mankind as props.  They used them on their heads and put them on their butts, backs and chest.  I thought the clowns were funny and laughed a lot at their antics and the girls did too but they also were embarrassed because of the teenage boys sitting behind them making all the loud remarks.    Intermission came and off the girls went to do whatever teenage girls do in a mass of people all trying to do the same things. Then they came running back after a short time and was laughing and embarrassed about something.  One of them  starts giggling and trying to tell me something but I never really got what happened, it ended up being a malfunction of some kind with her own bra and wanted to know if she could take it off.  “Yes” I said and off she went again with the other girls in tow.  The second half started before they got back and they had to disrupt the whole row of people to get to their seats making everyone get up as they walked by.  The malfunctioning bra was hid under her sweater and as she plopped down next to me she wades it up and tries to conceal it in her hand and she gives it to me.  I said “ I don’t want it put in your pocket”.  No! Mom it will come out of my coat and It won’t fit in my jeans pocket. She says “here put it in your purse”, as she is grabbing my purse off the floor to shove it in.   I then proceed to make a stink about her bra in my purse. She clearly is wanting me to shut up because she did not want anyone to know what she was doing.  So I gave in and let her deposit the bra in my purse.  And act or two had come and gone and I looked down the row to my new girl who was 4 seats away and not looking like she was having fun.   I realized she could not hear me unless I yelled and that was not going to work, I then tried to use had jesters to see if she was OK. That was not working either so I just looked her in the eye and reached down in my purse and grabbed the bra and yanked it out of my purse and flung it in the air above my head and said look what I found.  Now the owner of the bra is completely mortified and the youngest is in shock, and the new girl is sucking air and trying to hide in the seat.  By the time they got the bra away from me and in someone else’s possession, the three of them had all scootched to their left  as far as they could in their seats to get as far away from me as one can get in the seat next to you. Then I got the giggles because the boys behind clearly had a good laugh and made comments.

2012/02/03

Spelling

When I allow myself to get really hungry I over eat and make myself miserable. So tonight I get home and yell get in the car, now, if your going out to eat with me. This will cause my house to quake as kids come running from every room. So off we go to the all you can eat  buffet. We all look like pot belly piglets as  we waddle out of the restaurant and the moaning was out of control when one of the kids says mom is there a word  s e e c  NO. why?  She "says yes there is, its s e e c"  Now one of the other girls says No! there is no word spelled like that.  She said "see is". No see is spelled s e e. She said that what I said.  Then the other girl and I both yell back you said s e e c. No I said "s e e cI am way too miserable to keep this argument up. So I yelled back again "there is no word spelled s e e c"  She starts laughing at us and said no Mom I said s e e is see.  now we are all laughing and the last thing I want to do is laugh on a full stomach. Spelling lessons...

2012/02/02

Socks

Often as I am trying to save myself steps I cause myself a lot of extra work and grief.  I have my morning ritual and this is done out of habit so I don’t have to think much and I can work my way thought the morning and get myself to work where I must use all 6% of my brain I am told I use. (I don’t want to waist it on mundane things I do every day for life). Now on occasion I catch myself actually thinking and get in trouble.   So this morning I am thinking I should go into the laundry room and make sure my jeans are dried. Oh, and while I am there might as well get everything I need to wear that day and take it up stairs to the shower, then I won’t have to come back down stairs.  To get to the shower I must go through the kitchen and I have not gotten breakfast yet.  I’ll just lay my cloths on the end of the table where I can grab them after I am finished with breakfast. Things are moving along well I now have my cloths and I’m on my way to the shower. Good thing I thought of that so I did not have to make the extra trip down stairs.   All is still going as normal until I get to the finishing touches of getting dressed, my socks, where in the world are my socks?  I go back to the kitchen and search around the table, nothing.  I then retrace my steps from the basement, then to the laundry room, Nothing…   So I am thinking the Damn Dog grabbed them and hauled them off somewhere.  Now I am unmaking my bed looking for socks, nothing. Retraced my retrace as if I may have over looked them the first, second and third time I ran up and down the damn stairs. I tore through the clean clothes on the table in the laundry room and then sift around in the dirty clothes on the floor, nothing.  Back to the table up stairs, hey maybe they fell behind like other pieces of clothing that got lost. I pulled the table out from the wall, Nothing….  Now my frustration is off the charts and I am cussing as I ransack the house looking for the socks. I went in the study to look in the dog kennels, as they drag things off and leave them in the kennels. I yanked the bedding out of 7 kennels and nothing, then I put the bedding back in 7 kennels a long with a dog to boot. I now am running behind and if I don’t leave now I will be late.  I run back to the basement and get another pair and throw on my shoes and sock and run like the devils’ on my tail getting to work.  Well I didn’t quite make it, I’m a couple minutes late, now to make it to my desk and get going before someone notices. 
I get my coat off and reach in my purse to grab my glasses and pull out my socks.  I hear someone laughing and I look up and it is my co-worker and she says did you need extra sock for all the crap you’re going to walk through today.  NO! But I spent a hell of a lot of time this morning looking for these things.


2012/02/01

My new bra

Shopping is worse than a root canal without Novocain.  That being said, it takes me forever to go to the store and buy what I need.  I will put this off till  the coming of the second ice age.  Just before we went on vacation last Thanksgiving I broke down and bought myself a new bra. I would have bought more but they only had one in my size.  I knew it would have to last because it took me two years to get myself in the store to buy it, I was not coming back any time soon.  Well it disappeared right after the holidays and I have not found it till today.  I have been wearing the old ones that are to say the least some fabric between me and the cloths I am wearing.  I guess I could place a band aid on center of each breast and it would accomplish the same thing as these old bra’s have.  And gravity has not been kind over the last few decades.  I figured I could get through the winter months because I always wear big sweat shirts and a layer or two of t-shirts under it.
It was by total accident I found it.  I reached up to get a glass I had put on the top of my computer cabinet and accidentally pushed it over the back.   After a little furniture moving I got myself back behind the cabinet to clean up the glass that broke and what should I find, the new bra with the plastic adjusters for the straps chewed off well at least one is gone the other is like a chewed up nylabone. I was glad I was trapped behind this thing because I had kill on my mind and I could not do anything about it so I cleaned up the glass and pushed the furniture back.  Now I have new bra and  it still can’t hold anything up.   My GAWD these dogs are killing me.