Thursday, August 25, 2011

Then and now.....

When we got Stryker he was a baby.....13 lbs and smaller than all but the chunkiest of the poms. Now is he is over 55 lbs. and still a baby. Not a small one...but still.....same bed...different dog. And its only been 4 months ( he is just over 5 months now ). Cant wait to see what he looks like in a year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's been awhile.....

It is mama/baby season here in the mountains....but I digress.

It has been awhile. Not just since posting, although it has been awhile for that too. What I am talking about is that one year has passed since we moved to the mountains. One year.....a short time in the grand scheme of things. One eternity in others.

There has been so much learned...and so much letting go. Letting go of the constancy of family. Letting go of a church family I fell in love with. Letting go of the "let's go shopping" spur of the moment times. Letting go of manicures and pedicures ( silly, I know but I really did enjoy those ). Letting go of my husband half the time ( but the hardest, all of the time). Like brushing your teeth with your "other" just feels wrong.

The experience has had a huge learning curve, to be sure. Ice inside the house, frozen shower, fear of being alone and doing it anyway. Snakes and bears and elk and deer...not to mention my favorite...hummingbirds!

Another digression....They are going through almost a quart a day of their sweet snack and sometimes there are too many at the feeder to count but I love them. Why, I have no idea. As has been mentioned to me, they are almost the same size and make almost the same sound and the flying B-52 cockroaches in Hawaii but they do not creep me out. Ok, they are MUCH prettier and they are birds not bugs. Anyway....

I have had the smoke of an enormous wildfire engulf the house and packed what few valuables I could into the car, prepared to flee. And now we have the monsoon rains. I laughed when I was first told that is what they were called, since in the beginning they lasted all of 40 seconds, literally. Having lived in Bangkok I had an entirely different idea as to what that monsoon meant. That has changed, although they still do not measure up quantatively or qualitatively, to those rains...nevertheless. For the last couple of weeks we have been having rain and the accompanying thunderstorms daily...for which I am so very grateful. If its wet, it wont burn. Thank you Lord, for rain!!!

I guess what I have learned is that although I am by myself here I am not alone. He is always with me. The Lord has seen me through, has been here, will be here and "we" can do this. I am so blessed to be loved by a Savior who is ALWAYS here. I can do this. And, hard as it sometimes is ( thinking SNAKE here ) I would not change anything. I do love seeing all the wonders of creation right in my own back "yard" though I do use the term loosely. What a blessing this is and what a gift.

I am mightly blessed and I am so grateful to Him for seeing me through it all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


That is the only word I have for the current occupants of the White House and I have seen quite a few "first families" come and go, not all pretty.

I remember JFK...mob connections, womanizing. Nixon and his disgrace. Ford and his uselessness. Carter and his spinlessness. Clinton and his " I did not have sex with that woman".
GW and his inability to strin together two words without messing one of them up.

That being noted not ONE of them ever gave the impression they hated this country. Never was there a hint of disrespecting the office they held. One did not see pictures of them with their feet on the Resolute Desk, chewing nicorette gum. Their wives upheld a standard of class and propriety, even in the face of horrid things going on with the men they were married to.

And now we have the great pretender. He pretends he is intelligent but cannot speak without the aid of a teleprompter ( he took 12 of them on his trip to England ). He has no clue about the economy nor how "normal" people live, having been priviledged his entire life.

All the crap about his disadvantaged early life is a flat out lie. He attended Punahou, THE most expensive school in Hawaii, went on to Ivy League schools ( not that we can see his transcripts and I guarrantee you that had there been something to brag about we WOULD have seen them ), became a "community organizer" whatever the hell that is, became a one term Senator who voted present but never committed himself to a stand on the issues, and then became president on the vision of "hope and change". Brother has it changed.

He is married to a woman who has said she is just now proud of this country yet she lives her life like Marie Antoinette on the taxpayers' dime. She is a bigger embarassment to this country than he is. Not low class...NO CLASS. Whomever compared her to Jackie Kennedy should be shot. I am sick to death of her Target wardrobe and her false eyelashes. I am sick of hearing about her "toned" arms and even sicker of seeing them. I am sick of the "boob-belts"....does she not realize they only make her fat butt look bigger?

And how about those vacays???? Spain for a few dozen family and friends...a tour of Africa with the same gang. How about Utah last week and Oregon today? and How about flying on AF-2 just to see her brother. Wouldn't you think, with the horrid employment rate, the crash of our AAA rating, the price of fuel and the general downturn of every economic indicator that she could have flown HIM out to DC to see her??? Noooo boys and girls...she takes her mom, one kid and who knows whom else to the other coast on OUR dime.

We wont mention the $500 dollar sneakers she wore to feed the homeless ( seriously?? yup ) or the $1000 purse we saw her carry exactly once. We will not talk about her eating "fried fat cakes" in Africa while lecturing us on what we may or may not eat ( has she taken a good look at her youngest kid lately ? I dont think so ) nor about her penchant for 1700 calorie cheeseburger meals at a Washington greasy spoon ( like the world class chefs at the White house cant do that ??). But I do digress.

It is none of these things, taken individually, that would have pushed me over the edge. It is, indeed, cumulative. After all, Jackie K. loved fine French clothes and loved to shop but she looked and acted the part of First Lady with decorum. No matter what was going on, she had class. She dealt with her personal problems quietly and with dignity and maybe that is what I am missing.

All the former presidents and their wives handled themselves with class for the most part, even if we found out later it was an act. The public face presented rarely humiliated or embarassed us even if their politics did. There were a few notable exceptions.
And now we have what the press calls " Obozo and the First Wookie".

Personally, I think its an insult to wookies.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Limits on loving all of His critters

It never seems to fail...John leaves and the most "exciting" things happen here. I am ok with deer, elk and once in awhile a bear. I am ok with the occasional racoon raiding the hummingbird feeder.

I am NOT ok with snakes. Here at the lower end of the Rockies we are not supposed to have any. Cough. So today prior to church ( we dont have enough priests to celebrate the Mass on Sunday so its Saturday for us ) I go out to clean the garage. This is a good thing because Stryker has learned to do his business there when he cant get outside - not that I dont try to catch his times but he has a delicate digestive system and gets the hershey squirts frequently. And I will not go into the size of the business he does except to say that compared to poms, its a weeks' worth every day. I am sure you get the idea.....

I open the garage door to spray "things" out and watch in horrified wonder as a snake slithers ( and yes they DO slither ) over to a small wood pile John put by the stairs in front of the house.
OMG...seriously??? Yup. Seriously. I am neither brave nor stupid but my first inclination was KILL IT.

Ok....however it had disappeared into the wood by this time ( seconds, not minutes ).
Quick thinker that I am, I grabbed the watering hose and tried to flush it out. Um no. There was a 3 ft. piece of rebar close to hand so I started moving the wood. Bingo. Snake. It tried to slime its way into the railroad ties that make up the walls of our "flower bed" area. I struck and stuck it with the rebar. It tried to wind its way around the rebar. By now I am close to heart attack, having already gone through the palpatation phase. Every hair on my body is standing straight up or out, as the case my be. Snake wins....although wounded, and makes it into the walls of the flower bed.

I retreat to the house. Legs shaking, heart pounding, I just know 50 of snakey's little brothers are probably already in the house waiting for me. I call my daughter in Colorado who tells me it was probably JUST LOST. Really??????

I did Google and find out that there are only 7 deadly snakes living in New Mexico, 6 of which are rattlers. Peachy. The 7th is a coral snake ( really.....we have coral here ??? who knew...) and its colors are vivid and unmistakeable. Meaning I probably did permanent damage to one of the only creatures here who eat rats and mice and other little nasties who would love to get into the garage and eat the dog food. Not that I will try and find it nor will I do a "catch and release" like I did with the mouse I caught last year. All I could think of then was the cute Disney movies about rodents ( I crazy??) and I did not have the heart to kill it..long story.

To the best of my knowledge even Disney doesnt think snakes are cute and I have found my limit when it comes to compassion for critters. Instinct kicked in and the Bible says we will strike the serpent with our heels....and had I been in stilettos maybe. However.....for the time being I will stick to rebar, the longer the better, and literally pray for no repeat appearances.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Morning visitors

Maybe I should get used to having those who actually live in the forest surrounding my home....but it is still an amazing gift to see them here.

And I am a coward when it comes to the daily dog drag....sometimes it is me dragging them away from some grass they dearly want to nibble or ( Thud ) a rock or log they want to bring home but more often than not, it is they who want me to go down a slope to investigate "something" that moved. Ummm, no.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On my own....but not alone

It was one thing to be here with only the poms as company. Having Stryker has added a new dimension.....ok several.

Poms do not need a lot of exercise. They are short of leg and tire quickly. Stryker, not so much. It was a blessing having John here to do the daily walk. I had been faithful to take Thud to the country club to walk the trails there until hubby came back in early July. John took over and I did the happy dance every day I didnt have to go ( exercise is not something I look forward to, even going so far as to avoid it whenever possible ) and I so enjoyed the break.

If Stryker does not get his exercise, he tries to eat the poms...most notably Lady. She is a complete flirt...stealing his toys, playing chase with him, even trying to play tug-o-war with him ( she really has no chance but gives it her best!) He has a real crush on her and if she isnt careful " crush " is exactly what will happen. Not cute. Thud has already grabbed her by the tail often enough ( never hard enough to make her complain mind you ) that she is almost without tailfeathers. Poor dear. Sooooo....walking is not an option, its mandatory.

Yesterday I walked Thud alone. The poms were pissed for hours. Today I walked them all. We have two double-lead leashes and the only question was who to leash with whom. Since Bikki is the undisputed Alpha she was with Stryker. She can still take him down, literally, to the floor by biting his lip or ear. She does not play and she IS the boss. Stryker does not dispute this very often and is always sorry if he does. Keep in mind she is probably 16 lbs and he is approaching 50 lbs. Then the little ones.....Lady and Loki. Lady will not walk with anyone other than me ( although if Lisa were here, she would...) and Loki just tries to keep from getting stepped on by all the others.

We did pretty well. No tangles, no squirrel or chipmunk chasing ( Stryker never even sees them...he is busy looking for good chunks of wood to carry home, which he does without fail) and now they are all sleeping. I know its good for them and suppose it wont hurt me either. (Muttermumblesigh)

Stryker has checked every door, inside and out, to see if John is hiding somewhere. How do you tell a dog his favorite person is gone? At least I know what is going on and I dont like it either....Stryker doesnt know but he is much more managable tired. Guess we will be walking every morning for the near future. Peachy.