Spring in Montana ~ 4-2-00

How you know it’s spring in Montana:

1. The deer poop thaws out enough for the dogs to eat it.

2. The driveway is no longer an Olympic luge training course.

3. The spiders begin their spring rappelling training above your pillow.

4. You can wash your car without freezing the doors shut.

5. You re-discover your lawn. It’s green.

6. The cat commences midnight strafing runs under your bed.

7. The garage is no longer your temporary meat locker.

8. One day it’s 65 degrees, the next day it’s snowing.

9. You see moths the size of hummingbirds. In your bathroom.

10. White skin. All over the place.

 

Fun With Cowboy Joe ~ 2-13-00

What would Joe be called if he lived…..

In a nursery = Hothouse Joe
With a janitor = Trashcan Joe
On a fishing boat = Cap’n Joe
In a fire station = Smokin’ Joe
On the beach = Pismo Joe
With a biker dude = Sidecar Joe
At a movie theater = Front Row Joe
On a dude ranch = Rodeo Joe
With a truck driver = Blacktop Joe
At a ski resort = Ski Jump Joe
In a church = Heavenly Joe
At a utility company = High Wire Joe
In New York City = Uptown Joe
At the zoo = Monkey Joe
On an airplane = High Flyin’ Joe
On a sheep ranch = Lamb Chop Joe
In a mom and pop motel = Bedbug Joe
With a used car salesman = Fast Talkin’ Joe
At a police station = Deputy Joe
At a campground = Outhouse Joe
At a baseball stadium = Foul Ball Joe
At a coffee shop = Cuppa Joe
At a bakery = Sourdough Joe
At a noodle factory = Won-ton Joe
At an oriental utensil co. = Chopstick Joe
At a railway yard = Hobo Joe

Well, we thought it was funny….

 

The Country Life ~ 12-25-99

You know you’ve adapted to the country life when….

1. You think doggy footprints make the floor look “rustic”.

2. Watching a bonfire is more fun than watching TV.

3. You think nothing of going to the grocery store in clothes covered with pine tar, boots covered with mud, and hat hair.

4. You get excited about wood.

5. It no longer bothers you to vacuum large chunks of unknown origin off the floor.

6. 40 degrees is balmy weather.

7. Watching the dogs gnaw each other’s ears is entertaining.

8. You never wash your car. And never want to.

9. You develop a close, personal relationship with the guy who sharpens your chainsaw blades.

10. You consider a barn coat the height of fashion.

 

Tales From Montana – The Naomi Chapter ~ 11-5-99

NAOMI’S LIFE IS TREES
Since she’s 18 now (Oh God!) we safely avoided the child labor laws and put Naomi to work stacking wood her second day here. (See OWIE, MY BUTT HURTS for the first day’s activity). Naomi proved to be an old pro at the job and helped us stack around 11 cords of wood with no injuries, except the new green sweatshirt.

OWIE, MY BUTT HURTS!
Can you say 3 hour ride to Northern Montana to ride a gondola over the mountains of Glacier National Park? Can you say gondolas don’t open until Nov. 25th? Can you say we’re back in the car…again. Also take into account the 3-1/2 hour ride to and from the airport and the many, many trips to the grocery store because Laura forgot something. Can you say butt rot???

IS THIS SUGAR RAY?
In Naomi’s continuing effort to keep her old auntie hip and fresh, she was the musical adviser for the entire trip. Every time a song came on the radio, Laura would ask, “Is this Sugar Ray?”, prompting Naomi to wear her headphones most of the time. This prompts Auntie Laura to laugh every time she sees Naomi making her headphone noises, such as “Yeah!”, or “Neener, neener, neener, neener”, or “Oh!”. Watch her next time and tell me if I’m right.

MY BUTT FROZE AND FELL OFF
Budding photographer Naomi Juedes found her butt missing today after getting up at 6:30 in the morning in 25 degree weather to go to the refuge and watch her auntie taking pictures of ducks who didn’t want to be photographed. See SUN DANCE for more details. This was not the first occurrence, since during a walk to the trailhead Naomi and her auntie encountered the WALL ‘O COLD AIR. It was 70 degrees at the house, but the trailhead canyon was in shadow, and body parts began dropping off mere feet into the trail.

REGULATION BON-TYPE FIRE
In a continuing effort to singe all the hair off his body, Stevo built a giant fire with flames reaching 12 feet into the air. Luckily it had just rained the day before (what else is new?), so a forest fire was unlikely. However, a wayward traveler, mistaking the fire for a signal, bombed down the driveway to discover he was interrupting a cosy late-night weenie-roast! Naomi kept things lively with her headphone performance.

SUN DANCE
Okay, so sometimes Laura gets a little too into the photography thing, and when she sees a rainbow over the refuge (is that a song?) and is waiting for the sun to come all the way up, she tends to get happy and do a little dance. Her blood sugar was low and Naomi forgot the doughnuts, so there. AND, the sun never made it out.

OWIE, MY EAR HURTS!
Rebel Naomi just had to put one more hole in her head, so Auntie Laura got to hear “Ow, my ear!” for the first four days of the visit. Auntie Laura’s stomach hurts when she thinks about ear piercing, so Naomi didn’t get to say much more than that.

REBEL NAOMI TAKES THE WHEEL
Sans drivers license, or even a permit, Naomi drove the Stevo-mobile! Contrary to her big sister’s belief, this is the first time Auntie Laura has seen Naomi drive. And she lived to tell the tale. Actually, it was on a deserted road in the middle of the refuge. The biggest danger was running over a nasty jogger, and Nomers did a great job of avoiding her! She even waved (yes, she took one hand off the wheel, but I was supervising the whole time).

NAOMI PRIES HER WALLET OPEN
In a surprise move, Naomi bought lunch for her auntie at the Uptown Diner in Missoula recently. Aunt Laura was heard to exclaim, “I should have picked someplace more expensive!” To compensate, she had two cherry cokes and made Naomi leave the tip.

WHAT PART OF REFUGE DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND???
Okay, I may be new to the area, but I don’t understand, and Naomi quite agrees, why people are allowed to HUNT in the wildlife REFUGE! I’d hate to be a deer who makes it down the mountain, across the highway and finally, heaving a big sigh of relief, into the refuge only to come face-to-face with some Buford the Hunter who wants to blow a hole in his chest. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT??

MARTHA STEWART, EAT YOUR HEART OUT!
These past two weeks have seen a virtual cornicopia of food burst forth from Laura’s kitchen, thanks to Naomi. Our first venture was Apple Crisp. We made enough for 4 days of desserts. Next, Cheese Sauce a la Renee. Cheddar, jack/parmesean, and all parmesean. Simply encroyabe! And the cinnamon rolls, oh! With vanilla buttercream frosting, oh! And who can forget the roasted veggies??? She needs to go home so I can fit into my clothes again!

WE ARE SO OVER JULIA ROBERTS!
Okay, there’s the pouty lip thing. Does she think it’s sexy? She does it in every movie she’s ever been in! To verify, we rented Mystic Pizza, which I think is her first big movie. Sure enough, ten minutes (not even ten, Naomi sez) into the movie, she’s pouting her lips. For some reason, this has skyrocketed her to fame. Okay, let’s not even get into her huge nostrils!

DOG ENTERTAINMENT
Joe sits on Charlie’s head
Charlie sits on Joe’s head
Joe has Charlie in a Half Nelson
Dog snorting
Butt biting
Wiener-sniffing
Head-sliming
Dog alarm clock (i.e. dog noses in Naomi’s face)
Toenails (don’t ask us to explain!)
Joe is foiled again
Mr. Winky (Boots scratched Charlie’s eye and now he winks at us all the time)

NAOMISMS
For the love of Buddah
Ow! (shower)
Agghhh! (hair)
Errr! (makeup)
Check it, check it! (music)
Hooker! (you had to be there)
Holy Schmoley!
We’re back in the car!
Here, Ducky, Ducky, Ducky!
The head bob (music)

I FEEL THE NEED, THE NEED FOR SPEED
Poor Naomi. She’s only won one game of speed so far, and her time is running out. :-( We even played with the BIG CARDS, but Auntie Laura’s superior hand-eye coordination has proven to be too much for this blossoming youngster. She will win someday, oh yes…she will!

 

My Life Is Trees ~ 10-23-99

Welcome boys and girls. Today, we’re going to talk about trees….pine trees. Can you say “Ponderosa Pine”? Can you say “what a pain”? Good! Now today, we’re visiting Laura and Steve at their home in Montana. Can you say “Brrrrr”? Laura and Steve are splitting wood, a great, big, lovely pile of wood. Can you say “owie”? This is the wood that is going to keep Laura and Steve and all their little animal friends warm this winter. Can you say “forced air heating”? That’s what Laura says!

“This is Biff Biddleburg. We interrupt this program for a special report. Live from Stevensville, Montana, we have Brittany Taffy, our correspondent on the spot. Brittany Taffy, what’s the news today?”

“Well, Biff, in a bizzare incident on North Kootenai Road, a man and woman were found collapsed next to a giant pile of wood. Written on the pile, in what is believed to be beer foam, are the words “forced air heating”. Biff, neighbors believe the couple may have had a late-afternoon dispute over the issue of how to keep warm this winter, resulting in the awful carnage you see here behind me. ”

“Brittany Taffy, how many beers do you think we lost?”

“Well, Biff, it’s too soon to tell, but judging by the amount of foam, I’d have to say more than a six-pack.”

“A tragedy, to be sure. Thanks Brittany Taffy for your on-the-spot reporting. We’ll have a complete update of this breaking news story at 10pm. Please stay tuned. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.”

…and you can see, boys and girls, that by shaking the beer can, you get much more foam than if you just tip it upside down. Can you say “toga party”? Well, maybe we’ll get to that next time! Let’s get back to those trees, shall we? See all the big trees with the big roots sticking up in the air? Can you say “their life is trees”? Good! Now, see the cute little wagon with a motor boys and girls? That’s what Laura and Steve use to move all the wood they cut up into the big, lovely pile. See the chain? That’s what they use to drag the big, lovely trees around the yard so Mr. Loggerman can come pick them up in his truck. Can you say “profit motive”? See the log-splitting machine? That’s what they use to split all the wood so they can use it in their stove. Can you say “smart move”? Good!

Now next time, boys and girls, we’re going to talk about log oil. That’s what Steve and Laura spray on the house to keep it look pretty. Now won’t that be exciting! Can you say “toxic overload”? Good!

See you next time!

 

Tales From Montana ~ 9-9-99

NEW SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENON

A virtually unknown scientific phenomenon, now known as the “Steve Vortex”, has recently been discovered in Montana. This involves the study of the unique behavior of sheets and blankets when Steve is sleeping. For some mysterious reason, when I get out of bed at 5:30 am to let the dogs out and return a few moments later to snuggle back under the warm covers, I find that the sheets and blanket have been sucked under and around Steve in a virtually impenetrable, twisting vortex of cotton. I have to yank and pull and curse to get access to the blankets. Sometimes this phenomenon actually happens while I’m sleeping, and it’s only been my quick action that has saved a hand or foot from being pulled into the vortex! Life is fraught with danger, but it’s never boring.

DOG DROOL – NATURE’S SKIN CONDITIONER

In the continuing saga of Charlie and Cowboy Joe, Joe has learned to live with spiky fur. Charlie can’t help but try to fit his mouth around Joe’s whole head on a daily basis. The upside is that Joe’s fur is silky soft! Steve and I are thinking about trying Charlie’s hooch on our skin on a trial basis. This could be a niche market….we could make millions!

AND THEY CALL CHICAGO THE WINDY CITY!

We had a bonzer windstorm the other night! Our rough count is 30 trees down on our property, mostly pine trees. These are *live* trees, pulled up by the roots, leaving huge holes all over the place. One tree near the house (a dead one) snapped off and hit the propane tank! I think the tank survived, but I’m having someone come check it out anyway. We had the foresight to put all the cars away, but no trees fell on the driveway. We’re now looking at all the trees near the house and deciding which ones should go. Needless to say, our wood for the next year (and beyond) is already on the ground. Steve just has to chop it up. He’s in the kitchen eating everything in sight to bulk up for the job! :-) Now we just need to get our wind generator built.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

In our freezer, apparently. We finally found a source for inexpensive, hormone-free, antibiotic-free beef. So naturally we ordered 120 pounds of it, and then we had to buy a freezer to put it in. So, today we took delivery of one low-energy, solar-compliant freezer and two such refrigerators (they’re small). We’re ready for our alternative energy source! And, as a bonus, the new refrigerators are that sexy European stainless steel that men love so much. Steve has been spending a lot more time in the kitchen. 😉

DOG BALLET

Well, Charlie and Joe get along so well that they are now developing their talents as dancing partners. Charlie will grab a stick and taunt Joe with it, and Joe will grab the other end and they dance around the yard together looking like a yin-yang symbol. Sometimes they are standing the same way and they gallop around the yard together, each with one end of the stick in his mouth, and they look like a couple of oxen. The other day they jumped over the creek this way. What a lovely couple! We’re planning on entering them in contests…

WANTED: SOMETHING TO HERD

In yet another tedious dog story, Cowboy Joe is part border collie and seems to need to work. He has a habit of running after Charlie and grabbing him by the ear, the jowls, or the loose fur on his neck, and herding him back to the house. It’s funny to see this 40-pound dog stretching his head up to keep a hold on this 110-pound dog and get him to go back to the house. However, it works! We figure it’s a balance – Charlie tries to eat Joe’s head, Joe gets to drag Charlie around by the neck. I think we’ll get some chickens so Joe has some variety in his job!

 

Road Tails – A Long Story ~ 8-2-99

Our trip this past week to San Jose was busy and went by fast. We got to see some folks we haven’t seen in a while and didn’t get a chance to see some others. But, the adventure happened on the way home….

We left San Jose Saturday at 5:00pm, hoping to get past Reno. We had virtually no traffic problems and made it to Sacramento in a record-breaking 2 hours (a personal best for me). We had time to stop in Auburn for Chinese food, my new addiction (that’s your fault Mare!).

The adventure started after we left Reno when we were only 10 miles away from Winnemucca, our planned stop for the night. Steve was driving the truck and I was driving his Acura, rescued from abandonment in front of our friend Bo’s house. At 12:04 am, the left rear tire on the Acura blew, a victim of UV rot. I pulled over and called a 911 to Steve on the walkie-talkie, but he was too far ahead and moving fast, and he didn’t hear me. Don’t believe the advertised range of 2 miles on those things….it’s more like 1/4 mile! I sat by the side of the road cursing, then decided to take a few deep breaths and send Steve an ESP. It worked, because he sensed I wasn’t behind him anymore and turned around to look for me. We got the spare out and it was flat. Rode into town, filled it up and got it on the car, then went in search of a motel.

We stopped at the first mom-and-pop place we saw, paid for the room and were unloading the cars when….we heard the Rolling Stones. Okay, it was some cheesy casino act doing a bad version of “Satisfaction” and the casino thought it would be a good idea to broadcast it outside the building at 1:00 am so the whole town could enjoy it. We got our money back and high-tailed it to the other end of town some 5 miles away, to the Bullhead Motel, where we could still faintly hear the mangled chorus of “Beast of Burden” as it echoed down the main strip. As usual, I was a bit stressed about sneaking Charlie into the room, but after one look at the blue-green shag carpet with big brown spots, I wasn’t worried about anything. Charlie could only make it look better!

Next morning, we got up early and headed to the Home Cookin’ Griddle for breakfast, then off to Wal-Mart for new tires. They replaced all the tires on the Acura because Steve didn’t want to worry about me blowing another tire and we still had a long day of driving ahead of us. We finally got on the road and moseyed down to Elko, and I got on the walkie-talkie and called for a mocha frappucino stop at a little espresso shop we have been known to frequent. Armed with caffeine, we headed for Wells, and our favorite left-hand turn that takes us home.

Just short of Wells, Steve suddenly decided to pull off the freeway to the bottom of an offramp and check the lug nuts on the newly installed tires. We had just heard from a patient of his a story about going in for an oil change and the mechanic neglected to replace the oil in the engine, so we thought we should check it out. The lug nuts were fine, and we turned to pack everything up, and I suddenly realized that there was an extra dog in the truck. We walked over there, and here’s this little black and white puppy in the front seat, sitting there like he owns it. We coaxed him out and gave him some water and kibble. He was skin and bones and smelled like a cow pattie. It was blazing hot and we didn’t feel like we should leave him out there, so we drove off looking for someone who might claim him. We found an elderly couple who said they didn’t recognize him and somebody probably dumped him off at the offramp. We were out in the boonies.

So, we hosed him off in their backyard and scrubbed him up a bit with Ivory soap, named him Cowboy Joe and brought him home. He and Charlie are getting along fine, and Joe is nursing a raw foot pad that probably got burned walking around on the hot ground. He looks to be about 6 or 7 months old and he’s really a sweetie. He rode with me in the Acura and spent much of the time flipped on his back with his legs in the air and his head by the gearshift. Of course, he knew I didn’t have anything better to do for the next 10 hours than pet him. Towards the end of the trip he climbed in the backseat and slept with his head hanging down into a box of vitamins. We’ve been talking about rescuing a dog from the pound ever since we moved here, but I guess we weren’t moving fast enough. Funny how events transpired to put us at that offramp so he could jump in the truck…

The rest of the trip was a blur, and we arrived home at 2:00 am this morning. Cowboy Joe is settling into dog heaven, and Charlie is being a good big brother and showing him around the property. He really wants to play with his new pal, but Joe isn’t up to it yet. I think he’s still stunned by the fact that he has food to eat. He needs to put on some weight and get some sleep. Boots, on the other hand, is amazed at our audacity, bringing yet another hairy beast into the household, as if the Big Dumb Dog wasn’t bad enough!

Just another exciting day on the ranch…

 

Tales From Montana ~ 6-26-99

DANCES WITH BATS

This is Boots’ Native American name. For those of you who have been wondering how Boots is getting along in her new home, let me assure you that she is not only having the time of her life but is earning her keep as well. While innocently trying to fall asleep one night while Steve was on the road, I heard the flutter of wings and upon turning on the light discovered that a bat had decided to keep me company for the evening. I tried in vain to shoo it out the door with a broom while Boots stalked it back and forth over the log beams. I finally went to bed and slept with the covers over my head. Next night, as soon as the lights were out so was my bat friend. Exasperated, I turned on the light just in time to see Boots of the Wild Kingdom reaching up and snagging that bat right out of the air. She brought it down on the floor and pounced on it, then dragged it away to eat. I don’t think Mr. Bat knew what hit him. I turned out the light and I could hear her crunching bones in the dark. Eewwww!

SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT

While on our recent road trip to Southern and Northern California, minds did wander as the miles rolled on, and we got to wondering if yawns are contagious with dogs like they are with people. So, being the top scientific people in our respective fields, we decided to experiment. Steve yawned. Then I yawned. Then…Charlie yawned! It worked a total of 1 time in a row, so we claimed complete success and brought the experiment to an end. Another great day for science.

KNAPWEED ERADICATION TEAM

Summer is here and so is the noxious knapweed. Our front pasture, formerly home merely to rocks and horse poo, is now a breeding ground for the noxious weed that has taken over Montana. We spent an hour the other day pulling it out of our front lawn. But help is on the way! We were told to call 1-800-Rent-A-Goat to get a critter that will come eat the weeds out of the pasture. No kidding! Charlie will be in heaven. He’ll think we got him a sister!

THAR’S A BAR OUT THAR

I mean bear. Although I’m sure there’s a bar nearby as well, the bear is a bit more exciting. We first saw him when we were walking home from the trailhead the other night. We saw him near our front gate and couldn’t tell if it was a deer or a really big raccoon. Well, when we got to the gate, we saw our 90 gal. garbage can tipped over and garbage strewn hither and yon. I heard some snuffling and snorfing in the bushes and it didn’t sound like no deer to me! Later, Stevo went out to the store and scared the bear up a tree. He said it’s a teenager. So now we have to keep everything in the garage, and Boots in the house at night. Well, you can guess that Queen of the Forest isn’t happy about that.

FENG SHUI AND THE COUNTRY LIFE

Yeah, it’s a buzzword, but it’s a good buzzword! And, it happens to work. We spent today trying to get a mostly dead tree next to the driveway to live again. We’re making a rock border and we’re going to plant lilac around it to help it grow. A little hydrogen peroxide doesn’t hurt either. I’ve read you can bring trees back by pouring a 3% solution around the base of the tree. Anyway, we’re feng shui-ing the landscape as well as the inside of the house and it’s a lot of fun. Steve and I are impressing each other with our muscles as we take turns digging rocks out of the ground. We also decided that the house on 10 acres next to us should be ours as well, so put that intention out there. We’ll keep you posted.

HI, MY NAME IS CHARLIE AND I CHASE DEER

Charlie is currently attending Deer-aholics Anonymous to learn that he is powerless to stop his deer chasing. It’s a 12-paw program designed to teach him self-control. Steve and I are in a similar type of group, Scone-aholics Anonymous. It’s not working too well for us. We are still powerless over the scones!

DR. STEVO, MIRACLE MAN

One of Steve’s San Jose patients came up this week to get treated and today, her fifth visit to date, she regained sensation in a paralyzed foot. She was so happy, she decided to merely fire the putz doctor that diagnosed her with “hysterical paralysis” instead of booting him firmly in the ass with her newly thawed foot. Stevo and I did the dance of joy (also known as River Dance, albeit much less professionally executed) to celebrate her healing. All this and he washes windows, too!

 

Charlie Days In Montana ~ 5-14-99

5:00 am: Wake up, snort around Mom’s bed until she wakes up, then lick her toes till she gets up to let me out. Hey, I had to hold it all night!

Our beautiful boy Charlie

6:00 am: Put my chin on the bed and try to reach her nostrils with my tongue. I’ve done it before…I can do it again.

6:15 am: Nurse my wounded nose. I got too close to Boots who was hiding on the bed in a down comforter foxhole. I didn’t see the claws coming.

7:00 am: Run around from one side of the bed to the other for at least an hour. Maybe two.

7:01 am: Yay! I get to go outside!

8:15 am: Investigate Mom’s chonies while she wheedles, until she kicks me out of the bathroom.

8:16 am: Fart right outside the bathroom door.

9:00 am: Run up and down the stairs past Boots until she pop-hisses, then stand at the front door hoochin’ up the window and barking at the trees.

9:45 am: Run around in circles bumping into things while Mom puts her coat on and tries to find the tennis balls I hid under the couch yesterday. They should still be wet!

9:46 am: Run around the pasture chasing the tennis balls, chasing the tennis balls, chasing the tennis balls….rest under a tree….chasing the tennis balls, chasing the tennis balls…ow! that one hit me in the head…chasing the tennis balls…

10:30 am: Lay on my fuzzy blanket in front of the woodstove and watch Mom while she runs around the house. My eyes won’t stay open…I’m…so…tired…I’m awake! I’m awake, don’t do anything fun without me!

11:00 am: Finally! Breakfast! Mmmmm….urp! Slosh, slosh, slosh…(60 sec. later) slosh!

12:00 am: I’ve convinced Mom to take me with her to the post office. Maybe she’ll let me take this big stick this time. I got a good grip on it..no, yeah there we go! Hah! Wiw it phhhfit in the carw?

12:10 pm: Flap, flap, flap…blink, blink…flap, flap,…blink, blink, blink…drool on the window.

2:35 pm: Run around outside chewing on that big animal bone I found until Mom comes outside looking for me. Hide around the corner while she calls my name. Come running five minutes later when she’s getting ready to send out the search party.

2:45 pm: Practice coming to Mom when she calls. I always get treats and it makes her feel good.

3:07 pm: Follow Mom around the house for a while till she decides it’s time for our afternoon walk. Lead her out to the stream in the backyard and show off by digging a huge tree limb out of the stream (okay, Mom helps a little) and carrying it around in my teeth like a giant pencil. Make sure it’s balanced….whoa, almost lost it there.

3:15 pm: Stick my nose in the stream up to my eyeballs to make sure I got all the sticks from the bottom.

3:16 pm: Violently snort the water out of my nose.

3:17 pm: Run away after snorting all over Mom. Bark at the giant dogs (horses) for a while.

4:20 pm: Run around Mom in circles while she gather pine needles and pine cones to start the fire. Try to get her to throw sticks.

4:55 pm: Slobber on the UPS man when he comes to pick up the packages. I wish he would play with me!

5:44 pm: Supervise while Mom starts the fire. Make sure my body is blocking her access to the stove at all times. Makes it more challenging for her…

7:10 pm: Drool subtly while Mom eats dinner. Sigh heavily and yawn to get her attention. Darn! She always gives me the broccoli, never the steak!

7: 52 pm: Chase some deer out of the back yard. Eat some deer droppings. Go in for dinner.

8:36 pm: Wake up, look around, make sure that fussy cat isn’t around….wait! She’s staring down at me from that big tree limb in the middle of the house…wish I could get that tree thing in my mouth. I don’t think it would fit…

8:37 pm: Snort, sigh heavily, get up, turn around, plop down, sigh heavily….

10:30 pm: Yawn and get up slowly when Mom asks me if I have to go outside. Walk slowly to the door while she waits for me. Pause halfway out the door while the cold air comes pouring in. Walk out the rest of the way when Mom gives my buns a shove.

10:31 pm: Bark at the trees.

10:32 pm: Pee

10:42 pm: Finishing peeing. Bark at the trees again and growl when the wind blows. You never know…

11:59 pm: Dreamland for dogs. Twitch, whine, growl, twitch, twitch. Harrumph!

 

A Moving Tale ~ 5-5-99

Twas the night before moving, and all through the house

Stevo and Charlie take off in the moving truck. Montana here we come!

All the creatures were stirring, but Boots couldn’t catch a mouse.
(She was locked in the bathroom)
The boxes were stacked by the fireplace with care
In hopes that moving helpers soon would be there.
(We couldn’t find any)
Jeffie Ting in his tennies and Steve in his cap
Settled in the next morning and started to pack (the truck).
Laura was sneezing and running around,
The neighbors brought soup and made clucking sounds.
Darkness fell quickly and so did we,
But our work was just beginning, as you’ll see.
A new morning brought mochas and a glimmer of hope,
For Brother Jim arrived gleefully (in the Boxster) and threw us a rope.
The day passed slowly and tempers did flare,
And midnight found us washing the Porsche with care.
Cars were dropped off and arrangements were made,
And dawn came so quickly it made us afraid.
The bathtub plugged up – our one final grouse,
And we gratefully said our goodbyes to the house.
The drive started well with Steve gone ahead,
When we finally caught up to him, he was almost dead.
A 24-foot truck with a car flopping around on the back,
Is a behemoth by any stretch but Steve kept it on track.
We secured the car and settled in for the haul,
Boots came out of hiding now and then to crawl. (around the truck)
Charlie was in heaven riding with Dad,
Being petted for two days straight is not all that bad.
We stopped in Wells, Nevada at our favorite hotel,
The manager remembered us from a previous trip as well.
The next day was uneventful for the most part,
Until the truck broke down on a mountain and wouldn’t start.
(80 miles from our new home dontcha know!)
We had visions of camping out dancing in our heads,
But Bill Ricks got us going to our destination and beds.
We arrived on a Sunday at 10 pm

We made it to our new home at last!

Shell-shocked zombies with too little R.E.M.
We slept on the wood floors, with only clothes to soften,
But as exhausted as we were we didn’t move often.
Monday we unloaded with the help of Friend Rob.
And unpacking turned out to be a much easier job.
We’re adjusting to our new home as the boxes disappear
And we’re also getting used to the things we can’t hear.
No zooming cars, no garbage trucks, no neighbors dog,
No helicopters, no sirens, you can sleep like a log.
The wind in the trees makes a beautiful sound,
And the snow flurries melt when they hit the ground. (brrrr!)
Charlie patrols the property by day and the fireplace by night.
Boots tried going outside but it gave her a fright.
Steve bought a chainsaw with obvious glee,
He’s surveyed the whole place for just the right tree.
Laura’s baking scones again to fatten up her man
And so far paradise is going according to plan.
The woodstove was a challenge but now we’ve got it down,
We’re just a couple of country folk who sometimes “go to town”.
We’re happy and healthy and singing a tune,
We’ll bore you with more details when we see you in June.