Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A New Angel in Heaven

A friend I never met passed away last night. Anne Henderson passed away last night after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

I knew her as "Maxi" on the true crime forums I found when I first got online years ago. She was bright, funny and warm. When she was feeling well enough, she would join a few of us in our mIRC chats on Tuesday nights. She will be remembered as a wonderful caring person who loved children and animals.

RIP dear Anne.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging on Sunday

This is Sonny, our new kitten I adopted today from PetSmart. We lost one of our house cats, and Gray, our remaining cat, has been stressed out without his buddy.

Of course, Gray is not happy with me right now because he doesn't understand why Sonny is here--even though I brought Sonny home for his benefit. He has been so upset since losing his buddy, he licked all the fur from his hind legs.

There was a little hissing and hunching of backs but no biting or scratching...yet!

Sonny will be spending the night in his new carrier (for his safety and my sanity) until I can comfortably leave them alone without supervision.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ft Bliss

In this email from my brother, sounds like Ft Bliss needs a new name:

Well I don't know if Iraq could be any worse than Ft Bliss. Monday I had to get 6 shots and today I had 4 teeth pulled. My mouth is filled with cotton and the novocaine is wearing off.

Yesterday I was issued all my gear including Kevlar Helmet and Body Armor. The Vest weights about 10 lbs and the inserts weight another 10 lbs. They also issued me some worthless stuff like cold weather inserts, long johns, gun belt, Gortex Jacket, etc.

Today we had a 4 hour briefing on IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). This was really interesting and the pictures/videos were very graphic. Travel by air is definitely the safest, that's my mode of transportation.

I'll keep in touch...

Love Ya,


Ok, I'm trying not to worry about him...but I thought that I wouldn't have to start until he got to Iraq!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Oct '03: Old Fire & Grand Prix Fire

Picture from Space of Wildfires 10/2003

(From My Hooterville Holler Newsletter October, 2003)

After managing to escape evacuation in the Willow Fire in 1999—residents of Hooterville were shocked to find out there was a voluntary evacuation looming over us yesterday. The Old Fire and the Grand Prix Fire combined to become one big fire that I have personally now dubbed the OLD PRIX FIRE (for want of a better term). The name keeps changing back and forth so I’ve named it myself since the officials can’t make up their minds.

The media has totally ignored Hooterville, so I thought I would do a newsletter to keep people abreast of the status as it effects the little hamlet of Hooterville---or, me and my family, animals and my friends and their animals.

First, it’s not an easy thing to contemplate evacuating horses, donkeys, potbelly pigs, dogs, and cats (indoor and outdoor), and birds. How do you keep them separated? My house cats don’t like my friend’s house cats. My house cats DO like my friend’s bird. Big NO-NO. You can’t just stash a few extra horses in the guest room. This all takes planning!

Corrals have to be set up—water containers and feed containers and cat boxes. Things you never put on your “must take if evacuated” list when you’re trying to decide if Great Aunt Tilly’s necklace is more important than your dog’s favorite baby toy.

For now, we are all safe...friends, family and beloved pets. We’re glued to the TV, praying for our courageous firefighters and hoping they catch a break.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Candle In The Wind

Photographer Paul Michko has graciously allowed me to put one of his photographs on my blog for my brother. Thank you, Paul.

My brother Chuck is going to Iraq the end of this month. He's not in the military; he works for a defense contractor, but as we all know, civilian workers are in danger in Iraq too.

Chuck, I will be thinking about you every day and praying for your safe return.

Monday, August 15, 2005


It was early morning, almost a year ago (August 19, 2004) when I was awakened by the slamming of the back door. I came upstairs (yes, our bedroom is downstairs--like everything else about this house--it's a$$backwards) and Paul was hosing off the front porch and spraying water all over the sliding glass door.

In the over 11 years of our marriage, he had never hosed off the porch so I knew something was up. I started to open the slider and he yelled, "Shut the door!" Then he said that dreaded word: rattlesnake.

I looked down and on the right side of the slider, next to one of my baskets on the porch was a pretty good sized rattlesnake. Looking through the glass. Right at moi. Or, rather, looking at moi's backside as I ran out the back door.

Lets' back up to earlier:

Seems that when Paul got up earlier to feed the horses and headed out the slider, he saw one of my flowerpots had been knocked over. Our feral cat, Yeller was looking at something in the corner behind a small fountain, and as Paul bent over to pick up the pot, he heard a rattle (his first clue should have been wondering why Yeller hadn't run when he opened the door because Yeller, after all, is feral) and came face-to-face with the snake: soon to be known as dead-snake-slithering.

Back to the future:

Paul was unsuccessful at blowing the snake off the porch with the hose and the snake was not leaving the space he'd found between the sliding glass door and the basket on the porch, so I ran to my storage shed and brought my pond net that has a 15-Ft telescoping handle. Pay careful attention to this part in case you ever find yourself in this situation, okay?

We telescoped the handle out all the way and used the metal frame of the net to move the basket and trap the snake's head and hold it to the cement porch. I think you can figure out the end of the story.

US=1, Snake=0.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

10 Ways To Know If You Are Married To A Unicowboy

1) He has an aversion to corkscrews...thinks the best wine comes with a screw-off cap. [Technophobic]

2) Believes that women get their exercise putting the seat back down on the toilet. [Hemananiac]

3) Won’t watch a movie less than 20 years old unless it’s “Lonesome Dove” or “Tremors I”. [Thinks they’re classics!]

4) Can’t read the 8"x10” list of “honey-do’s” on the refridgerator door, even though he opens it regularly to get a cold one! [Ray Charles syndrome]

5) His idea of “living off the land” is growing his own hops! [always wants to be your “bud”]

6) Feels he’s communicating with you if he grunts at least twice during a commercial break of his favorite tv show! [but he talks during the entire show you are trying to watch!!!]

7) Always buys you tack for your birthday! [but never skips a page in your new “Victoria’s Secret” catalog!!]

8) Thinks a “weed whacker” is a DEA agent!

9) His idea of “taking out the trash” is a night at the Buckin’ Horse Saloon with you!

10) Has a bumper sticker on his pickup truck that says: “Beer Belly on Board”

Some Assembly Required

Tomorrow will be our 12th wedding anniversary, although this afternoon I had some serious doubts if we would make it that far. When we were first married I bought a weed-whacker and we nearly divorced while trying to put it together. I have tried to avoid either buying anything that needs assembly or making sure I wasn't home when said assembly took place. That can present a challenge these days when you really need or want something and you have no choice in the matter.

I bought my husband a new charcoal grill over the internet for an anniversary present. It was delivered Thursday afternoon. Our UPS driver came up the road honking as he pulled up to the house. That's my husband's cue to come outside and help the driver. They are buddies now that hubby orders tons of stuff for his leather studio, so they are on first name basis. The UPS driver announced he had 2 packages for me and one was over a hundred pounds. My husband looked back at the house and asked me what I had ordered that was so heavy. There went the surprise! Oh well, only 4 days early, so I told him it was his present and what it was. I had them leave it down by the downstairs door since it would be outside anyway.

So, this morning he went downstairs to the box and was going to open it and carry the parts up to behind the house by the deck where we BBQ. I ran outside and grabbed my little garden cart and we loaded the big box in it and pulled it up the drive to the upper level of the house and behind to the deck. Then the fun began.

I assembled my tools (yes--I have the only surviving tool kit that my sister bought me years ago when I was single) and we unpacked the box. The only parts of the BBQ that were assembled were the side and front shelves. The rest of it had to be completely bolted together.

After he put the frame/legs of the grill together I noticed that one side had a problem. The two metal pieces weren't fitting together tightly like the identical opposite side. I pointed this out to him and he said it wasn't any big deal. So he proceeded to put the axle and wheels on the frame. When we got to the part where we had to bolt the bottom of the BBQ (that holds the charcoal) to the frame, the holes wouldn't line up on one side. That was because the frame was an inch wider on one side as I had pointed out earlier.

He tried to hammer it together using a 2X4 to prevent denting the frame. It wouldn't work. He tried pulling it back apart to realign it. He couldn't. We finally tried WD40 on the joint and after several attempts he was able to get the two pieces together and we were able to bolt the bottom on the frame.

At one point he was going to put the frame up against one of the 4X4 posts of our patio cover and use it to hold the frame while he hit the other side with a hammer. I could just see him knocking out the support for our patio and I said as much. By the look on his face I could see he didn't agree but somewhere in the back of his mind the scenario must have seemed possible so he reconsidered.

Is is just my husband or do all men require total silence in order to read an instruction manual? Every attempt to discuss the project or pick up a piece of the grill was met with a 'look' or the word, "Wait!" Wait? Wait for what? I was simply holding the warming rack and seeing how it fit into the top of the BBQ. Is that a crime? Does that prevent an adult male from reading step number 12 on how to put together a BBQ? It must in my house!

Eventually we got the thing assembled, properly seasoned the cast iron grate, and he's planning on using the roitisserie tomorrow to cook a turkey. I'm in charge of trussing it in the morning.

As he was leaving the kitchen this afternoon after handing me the owner's manual, he said "File this somewhere, will you?" I don't think he heard me say under my breath, "Bend over."

Friday, August 12, 2005

My Tonka

Tonka is my baby. He's 6 years old and he has the sweetest temperament. I had him trained by a wonderful horsewoman when I first bought him. Tragically, she died of a sudden heart attack a little over a year ago. Terri was magic with horses. She trained with patience and love and I'm forever grateful to her and miss her very much. She had just started me in the round pen on Tonka when she died. I have ridden all my life but had never had a horse that was trained to turn by leg pressure or knew how to sidepass. Terri taught Tonka all these things. I have a teenager coming over now to work him out in the roundpen so that I can get back to riding. I'm aching to get back in the saddle and take our horses out camping in our trailer, but I'm also not 15 either.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Weekend in GrandmaLand!

As soon as my oldest daughter and son-in-law left for the airport for their weekend getaway, I settled in for an enjoyable time with my grandchildren.

My oldest grandson (nearly 8) and granddaughter (almost 5) and my youngest daughter and my youngest grandson (just 3) were playing happily in the backyard wading pool. Their happy giggles were lulling me into a false sense of tranquility.

I checked the list my daughter left me:

  • Close the blinds at night, open them in the morning.
  • Make sure the kids brush their teeth before bed & after breakfast (I assume she thinks I grew up prior to dentistry or Mr. Tooth Decay. Heh.).
  • Feed the dog twice a day (canned food), etc.

Speaking of THE DOG:

She warned me that Fiona, their 2-pound toy poodle (heretofore called THE DOG) was going through a false pregnancy. In other words, THE DOG is neurotic. Ok. I can deal with that. THE DOG thinks her squeaky plastic toy (egg with a baby dinosaur emerging) is her baby. The main worry is that if the kids get near it while she’s holding it, she growls at the kids. She had just had an operation and teeth cleaned and the vet told her that it might take a few weeks to get over this FP syndrome. My biggest worry for the weekend was that I would turn my back and one of the kids would get nipped. I was on guard.

Friday night was pretty uneventful. I let the kids stay up late, we had pizza and they got out their Thomas the Train set and had fun with the tracks, tunnels and bridges. Teeth were brushed and everyone went to bed. Everyone shared. So far so good.

By Saturday the two oldest (the sibling brother and sister) were fighting over the Thomas train cars, and nearly everything else. By early evening, I made a dinner run for take out, they had their baths, brushed their teeth (fed THE DOG) and I collapsed in the chair.

At 3am my granddaughter woke me crying for her daddy. She had an “accident” in her bed that I found no sign of whatsoever, but I took her word for it. I was blurry eyed but managed to wash her, change her pj’s and grabbed a beach towel to cover her bed so she could go back to sleep.

Sometime after daybreak my oldest grandson woke me to say the doggie had an ‘accident’ on the rug and he had stepped in it. That accident was very visible! Evidently, the canned dog food didn’t sit well with MS CANINEUS NEUROTICUS! Of course, she avoided the hardwood floor and chose the white carpet. My gagging woke up my daughter and the other grandchildren. I cleaned the carpet and put another beach towel down. I was running out of beach towels!

After averting this latest crisis, the kids had breakfast, brushed their teeth and resumed the sibling battles where they ended the night before.

I broke my nail loading the dishwasher between breaking up fights, soothing boo-boos, and waiting for my daughter’s plane to land. After they arrived and I showed them the tree branch, discussed the various ‘accidents’ and reasons there were beach towels all over the place, my youngest daughter and grandson and I drove home.

That evening, the kids called. My oldest grandson apologized for being a ‘bad boy'. I explained to him he wasn’t a ‘bad boy’, but he and his sister could learn to work out their differences a little better. Then my granddaughter got on the phone. "Grandma, I’m sorry I drove you crazy!” “Sweetie”, I said, “You didn't drive me crazy. Your mother beat you to it.”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Mojave Desert Rainbow

A rainbow appeared just a few minutes ago during one of our daily monsoonal thunderstorms. This picture doesn't do it justice, but it was raining and the wind was howling as I dashed out to the front porch to capture it before it left. I must have a pot of gold at the end of my road!

Joseph Edward Duncan III Charged with Anthony Martinez Murder

Sheriff Bob Doyle said Joseph Edward Duncan III's fingerprint puts him at the scene of Anthony's death.

Duncan's Fingerprints at Scene

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