Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Anthropologist in me

Recently, I saw on the news, where there has been a new tribe discovered in the Amazon jungles of Brazil.. Deep, in the Amazon jungle. Then, I was listening to MPR yesterday and the gentleman being interviewed, was very candid in that the trip to these peoples village, would not only take months to get there and with a large entourage, but could also become a deadly one at that, for so many reasons.

I would love to go! What an adventure, what an experience! To find in this day and age, such a primitive people. National Geographic! Just hand me a camera and get outta my way! ( I wish it were so simple)

It is very intriguing to me to know that there are still villages of a primitive people that have never had contact with the modern world, or, contact with any other race, or person other than within their own tribe.

Can you imagine how these folks live? How their children are born, raised? What their day consists of?? How they cure their sick, and heal their injured?? What and how they eat, prepare and store their food? It would be so interesting to be able to observe the lives of these people without being detected. (As I understand it, if you are detected, you are hunted down and killed!) Probably a good thing that they do this, as while I was listening, the fella being interviewed, was also telling about how detrimental it would be for modern man to descend upon these people. They have no immunities to anything that we, even as individuals would bring into the jungle with us. The common cold, could wipe out the entire village!

It all seems so fragile and pristine, but on the other hand, these folks have gotta be pretty tough to live the way they do! Just think of the dangers.

But, for the moment, this tribe will remain safe from disturbance of any kind from the outside world, and thank goodness for that. Anthropologists no longer attempt to contact those groups, but instead demarcate the land and wait for them to make contact. There are said to be at least 100 uncontacted tribes throughout the world. The Metyktire ( as the tribe is called) about 87 members in all, is believed to have been formed by a group of families who fled deeper into the forest when the pioneering Indian defender Orlando Villas Boas appeared in the area in the 1950s.

To me this is all soooo interesting! Exciting! Soooo cool! I am very excited about the prospect of people still, in this day and age being able to retain their culture, their lands, their way of life!

It is sad though, that now that the news of this tribe is out, and those that stumble upon it have had their 30 seconds of fame, that we will no longer hear of this tribe. I commend those that will protect them, and fight for their privacy. But I wish, when/if the day came that this tribe did allow members of modern society to encroach on their little village, that I was among the first to be invited.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Phew! What a week! I didn't think it was ever going to end. Dogs flying at me every which a way!

Last week, was my "long week", where I work a straight 5 days including Saturday. There was a rabies clinic at the store on Saturday from 9 to 12 and everyone in Sanford I think wanted to get their dogs nails done! Kind of hard to get all your scheduled dogs groomed in a timely manner, when you have 5 more every 30 minutes walking in unannounced, wanting to get their dogs nails done. Of course, I saw dollar signs every time one walked in, so far be it from me to turn them away. I must have made an extra 50 or 60 dollars over and above my regular commission, (not including tips) for what I already had on the books in toe nail clip revenue alone! Not going to argue with that! Course it was the time it took up, that really hurt me. Of course, every one wants to talk, and tell Fluffy's life story, or ya get the 1 yr old strapping ( OK lets be honest, obese, strong as an Ox and fighting on every foot) lab that's never been out of the back yard, and all the sudden has been dragged into the car and taken to a big busy store with lots of other dogs all over the place, and then given a shot, and then dragged into my shop for a toe nail trim, (which is some thing else that they've never had done!) and it all just becomes a blur.

Cut to quitting time, which according to my back couldn't have been soon enough. I still have to load 200 lbs of feed into the truck, and clouds are looking pretty dark. I had a few errands to run after work, so needless to say, the sky fell out on the way home, and all my feed got soaked. When I ran into the storm, which the nice lady at my last errand stop, had informed me when I asked, that the storm had passed, and the weather report said no more rain, so instead of putting the feed in the back seat before leaving there, ( which is what I had "thought" I should do before I drove off) I just left in in the bed of the truck, then proceeded to the highway. Well, 2 miles down highway 1 the bottom fell out. No where to stop and pull over and move the feed bags, so I just drove on hoping Id drive out of it soon. No such luck, it just got worse. I could barely see the road, and had gone from a carefree 70 mph to a careful 45 and couldn't see the road! Feed be damned, I wasn't getting out in that stuff and transferring the feed. The bags were so wet by then, they'd have probably busted the second I tried to lift them, granted I even could as their weight probably doubled with the soaking they'd gotten. It poured the entire rest of the way home, and me in unfamiliar territory, in the dark, I was, a mess by the time I got home. I didn't want to get out of the truck after I pulled into the yard it was still raining that hard. And Oh the thunder and lightening. Scary. Right over top of us, and I feared for the horses out there hiding in the woods from it all. The sheep were smart, (Ha ! I know the word smart and sheep all in the same mouthful does seem a bit confusing,) but they had enough good common sense to get under the shelter anyway, so I was glad to see that. Mind you, I'm not complaining about the rain, we surely need it, but it could have waited till I got home and had my feed unloaded! Now what to do with 200 lbs of wet feed? Its still sitting in the bed of the truck, drying, and I haven't figured out what I need to do with it yet.

On the agenda for this week, is kennel repair and re-work. I'm wanting to take one of the older less sturdy kennels down and put up 2 new ones. I have the materials, but the help?? Well, that's another story. But, I put up the last ones together by myself, and built the lambing shed practically by myself, so its not an impossible thing. Just would like to see a man step up to the plate and help his wife. Course a good sized 13 yr old boy, could be of some assistance if he so desired as well, but I think the TV would have to be on the fritz before that would happen on a voluntary basis. Some days I feel as if I just live here with two capable but lousy roommates, and that I could do better if I was just on my own. Been there, done that. Didn't fair so badly come to think of it! But, I digress.

Bruin has been put back in on pasture with the sheep. I couldn't say he was over joyed by it. He was getting to like the air conditioner and banana Popsicles. One thing I noticed about him last night is, that he must not sleep a wink at night. I heard him barking all night long. After several trips out there to see what he was barking about, I just figured he was simply letting the world know he was back on duty and they'd better not try coming onto his place. The sheep must hate him for disturbing their sleep all night with his barking. I rather enjoy his bark. It is rather melodic, and isn't loud or harsh sounding to the ears. Just constant.

Andy is happy to have his freedom again. He had started to hematoma in the sack, from his bouncy little self, so he went on strict crate rest and walks on the leash, until this weekend, and everything has gone down nicely and is looking good.

I did pick up my book again, several times in fact, but still haven't gotten it finished yet. It is, rather boring to me. The authors ask the same questions and get pretty much get the same answers, with very little variance. Its really not a "How To" book in as much as its a "how do you?" book. Some good info, but nothing Ive never heard or read before. I could pick up most any other stock dog training manual and read the same stuff. So, I'm not saying it isn't a good book, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have numerous other books here that Ive already read, and they all pretty much say the same thing. Oh well.

So, Kyle passed his grade again this year. I was a bit worried, as he's not had such a great year this school year. The transition from grade school to Jr. high, I think had him a bit taken a back. However, he placed in the top 44 percent of the school district, so I am happy about that. Says to me that even if he choose not to do alot of the work this year, at least he knew the material. 8th grades going to be even tougher, so I think we're going to spend some time this summer working on his social skills. He is really jazzed about the prospect of getting into a drama class as an elective. He had tried out and made it for several plays in school last year, and has been bitten by the acting bug. Good, maybe he'll be the next George Clooney and can support me and my sheep and dogs in my old age.

A mother can always dream cant she??

Friday, June 6, 2008

Working Girl

My training program, has been pretty slack since I move to NC. Ive had Lex to carry out any sheep duties, so I pretty much let the younger dogs just sit. Didn't do much with them. in the way of training. I have finally decided to get back into the groove of things and get Stella going, and start to correct some things with Chris.

I don't think there is anything that will spur a person on to "get out there" more than seeing progress, or when a dog finally starts to "get it" through consistency of work and training.

And that's whats happening with little Miss Stella at the moment. Ive had her out most days, (well late evenings) this past week. Seeing her start to get it together has been exciting and I cant wait to get her back out each time. The relationship between Stella and I has come a long way since I got her as a 9 week old pup. (she is now 21 months) Ive had her up for sale several times, and have just out right not liked the dog more often than anything for quite some time. She can be a very annoying, hard headed, free spirit of a little dog.

She really took on some major changes since she finally went through her first heat back in March. Its like she is a different dog. She's attentive, and listens, wants to please, and is a joy to be around. I probably have to admit I enjoy taking her with me places and having her out loose in the house with me more now than any of the other collies. ( Shhh, don't tell Lex!) She's quite animated and fun, yet, if I just want to read or do something on the computer for a few hours, she"s quite happy to just lay on the floor by me and chew a cow hoof or nap.

Working wise, she had been difficult to get started. Partly because of me not being consistent enough with work/training, and partly I think due to the fact that neither of us cared that much for the other for awhile. That's all changed now, ( couldn't really say how or what happened, ) but I'm sure glad I didn't end up selling her. Night before last, we had some major break throughs while working sheep, and I have been refreshed by this little dogs enthusiasm and willingness. The willingness part especially.

Chris and I are headed over to a friends house some time this weekend to do some packed pen work to help her relax a bit more doing up close work. My friends BF is coming over to visit till Sunday, but she said she still has to get her dogs out and work them, and that she'd call me when she did and we could work with Chris. She's only about 20 miles from my house which is great, seeing as fuel has jumped so high recently. I feel that if Chris can get over being so grippy and start using her brain when in tight places with sheep, that we can progress pretty quickly from there. She is already half trained, so getting past this will free us up to proceed to bigger things. I may bring Stella too, as my friend told me I could use her small field (not really a round pen) to do some work as well. Ive been working with Stella on my pasture and not in a round pen, so it will be interesting since she is doing so nicely to see how well she goes in a new surrounding with different sheep.

I haven't picked back up my new book lately. ( Top Trainers) I don't know if that says much for the book or not, maybe I expected some thing different, or more, I don't know. But I'm going to be off work till Tuesday, so I'm going to make an effort to pick it back up and get it read while I'm off.

Andy and Bruin are doing great today. Back to their normal selves. The way they were neutered, is different from the way Ive had/seen dogs neutered in the past, and that may have some thing to do with it. The clinic sent them home with pain meds, but I haven't seen a need to administer them, they seem to feel pretty good. I was a bit iffy about having the rabies done on them while they were there, but it was policy, and I wouldn't say I wasn't appraised of this before they went, I just forgot they had told me that. But, no ill effects, so I shouldn't be such a worry wart. Roy's episode just still has me a bit spooked about the Rabies vaccine. Bruin seems to be thoroughly enjoying being indoors, especially since its been so hot out, and Bobby is spoiling him some thing terrible. Tonight they were sharing banana Popsicles and Bru really likes them!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sleepy, he/she's

So, took the dogs in this morning for their surgery. Andy was delighted to go, and greeted everyone there, including other clients, not just the staff, like they were all his long lost BF"s. He's such a happy idiot. Bruin, on the other hand seemed to know some thing was up from the second I put him in the truck. When we got there I let him out of the truck, and he eyed the place suspiciously. Took a few tentative steps to the front door of the place and then locked up and refused to move. I kinda had a feeling he would as soon as I opened the door and he saw the slick floor. About 2 months ago, he got to spend a night indoors, because it was suppose to be tornado warnings and severe weather and I didn't want him outside. At any rate. We all retired for the night, leaving Bru to sleep under the kitchen table per as his usual when he comes in. When we got up the next morning, he was sitting in a corner of the kitchen looking sullen, and refused to come out. After trying to coax him with food and sweet talk didn't work, I didn't have time for him to be acting like such a pansy, I had to get to work. So I just got behind him and pushed him across the kitchen floor onto the carpet in the living room. As soon as his feet hit the carpet, he was upright and Mobil immediately, and we easily proceeded outside and into the sheep pasture. As I was driving to work I had time to ponder this strange event with him. He'd never had a problem walking on the linoleum in the past. So I decided to bring him back in that evening for a bit to watch him and see if he was still upset about the kitchen floor. What it boiled down to, or so I thought, was that he was having a problem passing the vent in the floor. I though perhaps he'd gotten his toe caught in it the night before and it scared him, because he wasn't having anything to do with going in the kitchen anymore. He hadn't been back inside but once briefly when we had a bad hail storm since then, and still just layed on the carpet not attempting the kitchen floor. Still I thought it was the vent. Until today. Its not the vent at all, its slick flooring. He must have slipped on our kitchen at some point while we were asleep and had gotten scared. Poor fella. So now he holds a grudge for all flooring that doesn't have carpeting. Needless to say, once he stepped foot into the vets office and found that the only carpet in the hole place consisted of a small square rug in front of the entrance door, that's where he put on the brakes, and refused to move from that spot. Well, at least he was inside the building, so I dropped the lead, and went to fill the paper work out for them. Knowing Bru as I do, once his mind is made up, your not going to convince him otherwise, so I knew he wasn't going anywhere. After I finished with the paper work, they were ready to take him back. Hmmmm, don't think he's going to help out there. We ended up carrying him back. Instead of putting him in a crate, ( once in, I was positive he wouldn't come back out because of the no carpet thing) so we opted to just leave him on the floor on a blanket. Upon leaving, I jokingly pointed at him and issued the order for him to "stay." When I came back this evening to pick them up, the gals laughingly asked me what his release command was, because they couldn't get him to move an inch the whole time he was there, no matter what tasty tidbit they offered or how much they coaxed with baby talk. Needless to say, they ended up (2 strapping gals) carrying him to the truck for me. No easy feat even for 2 strapping gals. He weighed in this morning at ( dead weight) 94 pounds and he just will be 8 months in a a few days.
Both boys were happy to see me when I got there, and ready to go home, but they didn't seem to have any miss givings or fear of the folks in the clinic. Sure sign that even given the fact that they had the surgery, that they were treated well, and enjoyed the experience, (as much as they could, given the loss of part of their male anatomy) I personally had a good experience myself with the service I received and the staff, as well as seeing that the practice was immaculate and smelled good. ( well it smelled good till Bruin got there) He was so nervous, he got a bad gas attack, and the whole front office had to be fumigated after he went to the back. Phew, he was rank! It was 1 or 2 or 10 of the green heavy lingering kind. Both are home now and sleeping off their hangovers, but seem to feel pretty good overall. I don't foresee any complications, I checked out the incision sites on both, and they look good. Neither seems to interested as of yet in bothering with licking, so all seems to be good so far. I'm happy that all went well. 104.00 dollars for 2 rabies shots, (Andy"s ran out in April and Bru hadn't had one yet. They require rabies shots or proof of vaccine before surgery, ) and 2 neuters on one 60 lb boy and one 94lb behemoth. Cant beat that!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Snip, Snip.


I am so tickled. Awhile back I found a clinic that does discount spays and neuters. I don't particularly care for the word "discount" when applied to some one cutting on my dogs, but that's what they call it, so, for lack of a better word..... When ya first call them for an appointment, they put you on a waiting list, and from there it takes them about 3 weeks to give a call back with an appointment. Got my call back last week. So I'm taking Andy the Std. Poodle and Bruin the Great Pyr in on Thursday for the snip snip. With Andy at 18 months and 60 lbs and Bruin at 7 months and 1oolbs it would have cost me nigh on 600.00 dollars at my regular vets to get them both done. I can find better ways to spend 600.00 bucks (like towards fuel!) So I'm very glad to have found this place. Really, I didn't "find" it. Its not like they were tucked into some deep dark hole in no-mans land, its new clinic, and this city sure did need them. I groom in a pet store, and you can not imagine what I see people trying to pawn off on the owners every day. Some days I think they're going to run out of cutsie designer names for all the mixed breed puppies that are "accidentally" bred and need homes. Can we say; FIX YOUR DOGS!!?? KEEP THEM LEASHED<> BUILD A FENCE! KEEP THEM INDOORS!! QUITE ALLOWING THEM TO RUN RAMPID !! CHUGS AND MALTIWEINERS ARE NOT WORTH LOADS OF MONEY!! It is so sad all the stories I hear every day about how Fifi, the 9 yr old poodle mix was "raped" (yea right) by the neighbor's bulldog! I'm sorry, but Fifi is 9 yrs old! You couldn't find the time/money in 9 yrs to spay your dog??!! Those are the times I just have to get out of the store, go back into my little hole in the wall shop and close the door. Sadly, it happens all to often.

I don't mind folks breeding dogs for a purpose, or to better the breed, I think in a lot of instances, some of those that do, have the right idea about what they are doing and how they go about placing their pups. Those however that just constantly breed their poodle to their neighbors schnauzer to get snoodles to "make lots of money," just make me sick. But, in the same breath, I have to admit its a lot of those types of dogs that keep me in business, so from where I stand, its a bit of a double edged sword.

Im gettin off track. Back to the New Clinic.

I am taking Andy and Bru in to work tomorrow to get their baths so they wont smell like my pond ( Andy) and sheep doo ( Bruin). Andy lives in the house with us, so he isn't to bad, but Bru....he's been living out with the sheep, and as much as I prefer the smell of my sheep over say the smell of goats, I don't want to spend the next week with a dog that smells of sheep doo. Bru will enjoy his stint of being a house dog for a few days after his neuter. When he was a pup (well, he's still a pup, I guess I should say when he was smaller and younger) he was allowed to come in the house, and go for rides in the truck, periodically, so he is house trained and acclimated to riding in the truck. Ive heard stories about folks that have LGD"s that haven't been out of the field or off the farm for years, and struggling with a 200lb dog that doesn't want to go with me, or get into a truck, or walk into a strange place can not only be a hell of an under taking for a couple of adults, but it can also be very stressful for the dog, so I have broken a few rules about how to keep an LGD and its working out just fine, he stays with/guards his sheep, but he will also come to us willingly, load in the truck willingly, and walk on a leash without lagging or dragging, and not be so unhandled or unhandlable, that a simple trip to the vets promotes a total and complete meltdown for the dog. Besides, knowing Bruin as I do, I feel that if he hadn't had this type of upbringing and socialization, he could become dangerously aggressive if pushed beyond his patience/tolerance limits and either hurt himself, or a person. Anyway, I too look forward to him spending a few days inside, as I miss him. He has a wonderful soul, and is such a doll to be around. Very low key when in the house, he just finds a cool spot under the kitchen table, and chillz.

Just glad to be getting him done before he learns he can jump the fence and go looking for love.

Andy is a wonderful example of the breed, but I'm not into breeding poodles, and as long as he's fixed, I wont have to worry about folks asking me all the time if they can breed him to their Golden Retrievers and Labradors! If one more person stupidly asks me, I'm afraid my response is going to get me fired.

The Clinic has been getting some great reviews. Ive read several write ups on them in the paper now, and Ive asked many folks that have utilized their services, and they have all said the place and the folks there are great. I like hearing that. I have spoken with them numerous times now myself, and am confident in their professionalism and knowledge. So the kicker to all the great stuff Ive been hearing is, that it will only cost me 45.00 dollars each to get the boys neutered!

Lex and Roy are scheduled for the end of the month, and I have a friend bringing one of her dogs down then, to have hers done as well. I am so glad, not just for me, but for the whole community, that this Clinic has come to town.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blogs and blogging

Sure has been a lot of criticism about folks blogs recently. Shame too. I don't understand where if a person decides to share a bit (or alot as the case may be for some) of themselves with the world, that all the sudden folks are allowed to become critics and spelling/grammar teachers. Or accuse other folks of "spying" or get in little "jabs" at others through their blogs, or claim that a person isn't funny? enough or interesting? enough to have a blog? This all just seems odd to me that instead of using good judgment, and if ya don't like some thing, just don't go there, that they continue to indulge in the things they find atrocious. Whats up with that??!!

Which in turn, may make bloggers feel a need to defend themselves against their critics, or try to change their style of writing to better entertain the masses. Not fair! No one should have to defend themselves or change themselves simply to share a bit of knowledge, or spirit, or candor, or to relay a message that says, "Hey, you think you got it rough? Here's how my day went." Or, " I had a particularly wonderful day and things that matter to me went well and I just want to share it ."

You see, that's what to me a blog is all about. Writing about things that are pertinent, or "matter" to the one that is writing this stuff down. Its not there to entertain, though some I must admit that I have seen, give more opportunity to laugh at than others, depending on what you find humorous. It gives a person a selfish moment, ( that in this day and age where we are all scurrying around so busy trying to please everyone else in the world to start with, that we should indulge in a bit of self indulgence, I think its a healthy thing for the soul) where we can talk about ourselves, our friends, family, what happened at work, that we dislike the price of a container of ketchup at the grocery store nowadays, or anything we decide is important to US, the writer, at any given moment. And if by chance we decide to share what we feel is important to us with the masses, then I feel that indulging in the art of sharing is a pretty unselfish reward, and should not be taken for granted, or picked apart, or criticised. For those that feel they need to be the grammar cops of the world, you can all go take a flying leap! I live in the South, and this is how we talk! For those that don't like what I say, or think I'm not interesting enough or funny enough, well then, get out of here and don't come back. But DON'T give me your Holier than thou speeches about spelling, grammar, funny/not funny, interesting/not interesting lectures.I'm not interested. I'm here for me. I'm here blogging because I want to, not to impress anyone or get my point across. For those of you on the other hand, that are here just checking out what Im up to and have no grand expectations of being entertained, "Hello, and Welcome" "Glad ya dropped by," "Nice to see you!"
But, now that my little rant is over with, I will say, that I did use to have a blog that I use to share with only a select few. I shared it with a few old folks that I felt needed to laugh now and then, and did, try to be entertaining and tell a story for their sake. And to be honest, it had some pretty good reviews! But then, what do a bunch of old fogies know eh? Here is a sample of just a few posts from my old blog. Funny? Entertaining? I don't know, but I do know I had a good time writing them, sharing them, and it gave me a good feeling knowing that maybe, I, little ole insignificant me, might have given some one a reason to smile in an otherwise shitty day. So those who take their blogging so seriously, get after it, entertain the masses and have a great time supporting your ego's and thinking your going to get a Pulitzer. But leave the rest of us to our own forms of communication and creativity.

Ya ever chase a goat?? Well I did and the rotten little buggers, they like it! My son went out a couple of weeks ago, to play with our goats, (they were new at the time, and a novelty)Now, I'm lucky to get him to look at them at all. I have found, that Goats aren't dumb. In comparison to my sheep, they are smelly little Einsteins with dangerous horns, and a bad attitude toward anyone wanting to put them some where they don't want to go. Sheep, such stupid, placid creatures, couldn't think them selves out of a pen with the gate left wide open! Ask me, I know!! But goats, now they are the thinkers of the hoofed world. Smart, agile, quick, and they have a sense of humor that I have yet to grasp. Lets get on with this. So he goes in to the pen to play with the goats. Leaves the gate not open, just unlatched. The first billy goat gruff See's this, and waits till the boy is enamored with another of his cell mates. A sweet little baby girl that "acted' as if she was openly enjoying the attentions of the boy. Truth of the matter is, she saw the unlatched gate too, and was just a decoy, a part of the plan. Distract the boy, while the first goat pushes open the gate, and the remaining 2 jump over the boy and are on their way to freedom. I, am out in the yard, doing little odd jobs, and look up to see 3 goats frolicking around all over the place, with my son winded and red faced trying to catch them. Well, I couldn't help myself, and had to stand and watch this little game go on for several minuets before I felt obligated to yell at him about leaving the gate unlatched. Ha! And you thought I was gonna say go help him. Well, I watched for a while longer shouting directions and encouragement to him then finally decided that if the goats were gonna get back in the pen, that I was gonna have to step in and help. So, Here I go. I step towards one. He leaps away. OK, I'll concentrate my efforts on a smaller, less fast one. Nope, she ain't having it either. They have gotten a taste of being chased by the son, and now me. Oh what a wonderful game! (At least to them it seemed that way) Judging by the looks on their faces, it must have been. I especially loved the part where they would let you get right up to them, almost touching them, ( mind you it would take 15 minuets of pretending you weren't looking at them to get that close) and then, just as I am about to catch it. Hippity hop, and its off again. Laughing at me!!! I'm serious! You could see it laughing! My son and I chased these goats for what seemed an eternity. All the while, my dogs are in their kennels barking madly, and all I do is yell at them to Shut Up! These are working border collies. Dogs that have been trained to round up my live stock for me. Where is my brain you ask at this point?? I haven't a clue. I yell at the dogs again to shut up, and continue to play this game of tag your it with these damn goats. I am at this point thinking If I ever get my hands on you, I'm making stew outta your ass. To hell with chasing these stinky little devils in a goat suit. GET ME MY GUN!!! I start towards the house, pass the kennels, yell at the dogs again, Shut the *!* Up! I yell at them again, and just for good measure I kick the gate. Ouch!! I shouldn't have done that with sandal's on. Well, ouch wasn't exactly what I said, but for editing purposes.... and I keep on walking/ hopping, my toe is bleeding. Just about the time I reach the front steps of my porch, a little voice inside my head goes off. Its a wonder I heard it at all what with 6 dogs barking their fool heads off. " "Hey Stupid" it says to me. I stop, look around. "Yea, you. Stupid. What are you doing?" Well, I say to myself, .... Self, I'm going to get the gun and stop these *!* goats in there tracks, and then I'm gonna make some stew for supper.( I figure if I put enough garlic salt on it we wont taste the goat anyhow.) Besides asking you if you've ever chased a goat, let me ask you this. Have you ever just smacked yourself? It hurts, I know first hand.And more than the stubbed toe too! So I smack myself, right smack between the eyes ( I think it wouldn't have hurt as much if I had removed my glasses first) and turn and look at my dogs. (Through one lens, as the other has been smacked out) As soon as I turned to look at the dogs, silence falls over the yard, (except of course for the blahing of the sheep, who have been watching whats going on and have now become the goats cheering section.) All dogs butts hit the dirt, tails wagging furiously bringing up clouds of dust from their wagging tails. "Pick me, pick me" they seem to be willing me with their minds. Here I am with 6 herding dogs, and "I'M" chasing the stupid, (oops edit stupid) conniving goats! So, I let my oldest dog out first. She has always gotten the job done for me. She runs right past the goats, straight to the sheep pasture and stands expectantly at the gate to the sheep. I chide her and try to convince her that its the goats I want her to get for me. Well, she looks at me like Ive got two heads, with a look on her face that clearly says, "I am a sheep dog, and will not be trifled with chasing "those smelly creatures!" And she wouldn't either! Wouldn't even look at them. True to her form, she is a "sheep dog" and nothing more. So, Back to the kennel you go sis. Then I pull out the 3 yr old. Shes like Mikey. She'll do anything. Fingers crossed, and Id have crossed my toes too if they didn't hurt so much from kicking the gate. I send swift Chris to pick up the scattered goats. Low and behold, bingo! She gets it. This little dog is a multi tasker. She will be going pee, chasing the ball, herding the sheep, and getting a drink all at the same time. An over achiever if you will. But today, for her and only because of her, we didn't have goat stew for supper. She saw what needed to be done, and did it. Had them goats in their pen in about 10 seconds. And just for good measure as the last one was flying in, she got a well aimed bite on the butt on the one that opened the gate and started this whole bloody game. Guess who got a hamburger from McDonald's for supper?!

Last evening, sitting on my front porch in the sultry summer humidity of the sticky south, picking my nose , edit! ole guitar, and wondering.... whats that smell?? No, edit that. Thinking, damn its hot, and trying to finger out the cords to an old Sir Elton song,( yes, you can play Elton on a guitar) Looking out over the un-vastness ( new word..."Un-vastness" meaning small, meager, un large, smallish...( where the hell is Websters!) of our quaint little 10 acre farm, I looked out across the woods, and see two of the biggest damn bucks you ever seen! Ah ah Ah, I know what your thinking... south, big bucks... no, these were of the hoofed variety. Its my damn blog, I can say what i want. No politically correct here. Anyway, I saw those bucks, and I'll tell ya what the south has done to me. Do I run to get the camera? Do I sit quietly and enjoy the calm quiet serene setting? No, I throw down the ( set down) my guitar, run in the house, and grab my 6 mm rifle with the high powered scope. What I nice shot I think as I shoulder the weapon and peer through the scope. No spots on them big boys, so no childhood reminiscing of Bambi here. The southern mentality has taken hold of me now, and here in the south, we call them Blambi! Ahhhh, so sad by true. I cant take a shot at them,(sneaky ass fish and game might be prowling around within earshot) and its only bow season at the moment. Good, at least that stops me from doing the unthinkable. Unthinkable, ONLY because its bow season. Not unthinkable because of the many other unthinkable reasons. I got what is currently and commonly known and admired around here as Buck fever. I like taxidermy. I have lots of it (dead animals) all over my home. .....and I want more. None of what I have did I kill myself.( unless you want to include the dead beetle I stepped on still on the kitchen floor) It was all bought and paid for without ever getting my hands blood stained. This, does not sound like the tree hugging girl from Utah that I once was. I feel like I should be a prime candidate for a Jeff Foxworthy skit. You know, where he says... You know your a red neck when??..(You include dead beetles as taxidermy?) I am in shock, awe if you will at my sudden and utter disrespect for life. My freezer is full, I don't need it for food, besides, I hate the taste of venison. Hell, I even hate to smell it cooking. I sat back down in my chair, (ya know, here in the south we include upside down 5 gallon buckets in the chair category,) and start to think about this most unfortunate turn towards redneckedness that I seem to have taken. I chamber a shell. It feels so macho and I love the sound and feel of the bolt action. I Look through the scope again, they are still there, drinking from the pond and taunting me with those big horns whilst having no clue how close they are to.....yes, Blambi. My breathing becomes quicker, I start to sweat, Scratch that, sweat more than I already was and I start to tremble. What a rush. Out of no where, right in my sights, a pretty little butterfly flits on through. Pausing for a slight second just to hover in my cross hairs. Wow, this scope is high powered, as I can see even the hairs on its legs and the dust on its wings. I set down the rifle, and watch, smiling as it floats across the yard. I was proud, and amazed that I didn't run and get a butterfly net to capture and add this little fella to my taxidermy collection. Theres hope for me yet.

Well, here I am again. Its been a long week, and its only hump day! Glad to be off this weekend. My humor has escaped me this evening, and I'm sorry for myself for that. Been working dogs this evening, and between them and the silly tups, I'm just give slam, slap out. (A lovely little southern term) Went fishing yesterday at the pond, caught a mess of fish and gave them to a neighbor. (Let him clean them) All in all, it was very relaxing, except for when I caught "the big one". Word to the wise. Never , ever, when a 12 yr old sweetly says "here mom, let me help you with that", ever let him "help" you put your prize fish ( by the "Heft it scaleometer, a 6 pounder) that it took you 10 minuets to land on a little bitty pole, help you put this prize fish on your stringer. 12 yr old boys are jealous little dark creatures, prone to being deceitful, and will "seem" helpful, but in reality, are scamming little shits! Long story short, my "big fish" some how made it back into the pond, to be caught again, another day. All the whilst I am saying "DONT HELP ME!!" I really don't know which of the 2 was slimier, him or the fish. Now anyone that knows me, or has fished with me, including my 12 yr old son, knows that I take my fishing very seriously. When I catch a nice one, you can hear me squealing 3 counties away. Catch and release is a foreign language to me. I caught it, its mine! So the loss of this fish devastated me. How could I go home now, after everyone 3 counties away heard me squeal, with out the "Big one?" I fished furiously again for him till almost dark, to no avail. Loose your fish, equals loose your bragging rights! Ho me. ( another silly little southern ditty) I wanted to whack him with my pole! But instead, made him jump (pushed him) in after it. Ha! That'll teach him. ....Ya think? NOT! He had too much fun wading through the water, mocking, calling here fishy fishy. All the while looking back over his shoulder looking at me and grinning. I wanted to sell him to the Mexicans, but knew, Id have to pay some one to take him, and I just don't have "THAT MUCH" money! I need to win the lottery before he gets much older

And my personal fav, a rant about my wonderful (and you know I mean that) husband.

I have a headache tonight. A friend tried to give me her suggestion about how to rid myself of it, something about rolling around on the floor wrapped up in a peanut blanket?? There are few things I roll about on the floor for, and that certainly isn't one of them. I told her I thought it was probably more from lack of sleep than anything, and before any of you degenerates start thinking perverse things, I'll set you straight right now. I only WISH that would have been the reason, but as it was, I didn't even have a moment to dream about such things. My husband works days, but works in the maint. department in a place that works round the clock. 3 shifts. Some times, he has to go into work, at odd hours. Last night, it was midnight. So, like a good wife, I stay up to see him off to work. Then, just as I shove him out the door, I realize ...Its Sunday night! Yea!! British comedy night on the local PBS station! And me, with the remote all to myself for the remainder if the night. And, I am off work tomorrow! ( husband is suppose to work till 9am) So, I get myself a soda, and proceed to sit down and watch some purple haired Brit, and a few old codgers try to get a giggle out of me. May be harder than you think, as they are always re-runs and Ive seen them all a hundred times already. Why then, do you ask, do I continue to watch them?? Beats the hell outta me, but I do.Wanna make some thing of it!? I warned you I was cranky to start with. Anyway, I finally turn the TV off about 2:30am. Crawl my butt in the bed, ahhh. the whole bed to myself! How lovely. And fall directly hard and fast asleep. Mind you, I had to be up at 5:30am that same morning, and worked all day too, so sleep is well deserved at this point. So here I am, sleeping like a puppy, and in my dreams I seem to be hearing some thing. And I keep hearing it until I become fully awake. Its my phone. I look at the received list on it, and there are 12 calls in the last 5 minuets! All, from my husband! It is 3:15am! Of course, being "the good wife" I am concerned, so I answer the 13th call politely. Do ya want to know why he called me at 3:15 in the morning??!! To tell me he was coming home early! Oh, like I wouldn't have figured that one out about the time I no longer had the whole bed to myself. Let me tell ya some thing. I have a 110lb German Shepherd that sleeps beside my bed, and worships the ground I walk on, not to mention protects the room I sleep in. If some one other then my husband would have come into my room at 4:00 in the morning, there wouldn't be much left of them by 4:05. And my husband knows that, so his lame excuse of wanting to "just let cha know" kinda pissed me off. So now, I got him on the phone telling me all about the work he had been doing, ( like I care) I don't even want to hear about it when the sun "is" shining, and he knows this! But he insists that I listen to him drone on about nuts and blots and clamps and screws while he's driving home. Well, I didn't put up with that for about 10 minuets, and promptly reminded him of the hour, and warned him that I was going back to sleep. The drive took him about....well, about enough time for me to fall fitfully back into sleepy land. At 4:00am, I am awakened again! By my husband, again! I ask,(whine) why are you waking me up!? He says, "just wanted to let ya know I'm home." Well lets have a freakin celebration!! Jeez! So, as he is telling me that he is home, the dog, (who hasn't been feeling so good for a day or two, cause he ate his and everyone Else's rawhide bones the other day,) decides to have runny poop all over the bedroom carpet. Again, as I am drifting back off to la la land, my husband feels the need to announce to me what the dog has done. BFD. Clean it up ya big baby! Which I should have gotten up and cleaned it myself, but at this point, I'm really tired and about half pissed off at the world, so it wouldn't have done him or that dog any good for me to have to get up. It just wouldn't have been pretty. So he cleans it up. Well, all gets quiet. My husband, for reasons unbeknownst to me at the moment, decides to sleep on the couch. Fine with me, I still get the whole bed to myself. Ahhhh, sleep, wonderful glorious, so wanted, so needed, back to the wonderful abyss of sleep........ But whats that smell!?? Awe, its nothing, go back to sleep I tell myself. And then I agree with myself. And I do.... for about a minuet. Cause.... whats that smell?? Its awful. And yet pleasant too all at the same time...... No, no its not. Its horrible! My husband, in his infinate wisdom, cleaned up the dog poop, took the poopy bag outside, but then cleaned up the spot where the poop was, with Peppermint scented soap!! So Im trying to get back to sleep and all I can smell is peppermint and dog shit! A combination that should never ever be duplicated I assure you! UGH! Gag me! And it was! So I get up out of the bed, go into the living room, and low and behold, there lays my husband fitfully snoring away on the couch! Oh yes, I do want to kick him. So since theres no room on the couch, I slink/ stomp ( hoping to wake HIM up in the process) back to the bed room, turn on the bath room fan and open a window in hopes that it will some how eradicate the putrid scent, pull the covers up over my head, and once yet again try to find that oh so elusive thing called slumber. At this point, it is 4:30am. At 5:30am, I hear my son somewhere in my dreams? calling "mom?...Mom?...MOM!!! He now seems to need me to see him off to school. His bus picks him up at 6:20am. I am, at this juncture, understandably, undeniably, cranky and a bit difficult to awaken, so it takes several tries. Each with which, I become more and progressivly more volitle. Finally, I make my apperaence at 6:00am. Look him over, critisize his choice of putting on yesterdays clothes, make him change, hand him a cold poptart, and dont let the door hit you on the........kiss him good bye, and shove him out the door to catch the bus. 6:20am. I have had a total of ...what?, maybe 2 hours sleep? Im going back to bed. Husband is still drooling and snoring all over the couch, but the smell in the bedroom seems to have made its escape. So back to bed I go. 7:30am. Guess who's awake now? Its the husband again, waking me again! "WHAT THE *!* DO YOU WANT NOW!!" I ask in my oh so lovingly wifely way, and you know I did. "Oh," he says, "I just wanted to let you know that Im goin to go back to work this morning." And this means what!?! to me?? Like you dont go to work every morning!! "Please do!" ( well,close enough to what I said, sorta)Ok, so I lied, but you, nor he at this point really wanted to hear what I had to say in that instance. ( again, however I say this to him in my ever so loving way, and you know I did) and close my eyes to try to find just one hour of pure unadulterated, undisturbed, unscented sleep. 8:30am. Its him again. The man I married. Why, at this point I am wondering, exactly DID I marry him??!! The word widow is one I am swiftly considering, warming to, thinking about, and becoming rather fond of. This time he feels the need to wake me to announce to me WHILE IM SLEEPING that he is indeed now, going to work. Where is my gun! Now this, is the reason the keys to the gun safe have been taken away from me. I wondered why he called it self preservation when I asked him why he took them from me. "Go, go now please, before I ".....theres a cast iron frying pan on the stove....he see's me eyeing it and makes a hasty retreat out the door. Ahhh, alone at last. Now I may get some sleep. Usually, while my husband drives to work in the morning, he calls me from his cell to "talk" to me while he is driving to work. Why? I dont know, but he does. I figure that with the send off he got, that probably I wont be getting that call. So I head back to bed, secure in the knowledge that this is the moment Ive been yearning for all night, and am finally about to recieve. I fall into the bed and am not there 5 minuets and Im out like a light. 9:00am. Theres that damn noise I heard last night. And there it is again. I open one eye. Its the damn phone again! If I aim it just right, I'll bet I can make 2 points with a rim shot into the toliet. No, I answer it. Who do you think it is,.. I implore you? It is,... yes, the soon to be divorced, decapitated, denutted, deactivated, decomposing out in the southern most regions of the world husband. Just letting me know he got to work alright. Amused, I am not..... "and you have a nice day too Honey" I sweetly coo into the phone to him. And you know I did. 9:05. Im gonna get me some sleep come hell or high water! I get up, unplug every phone in the house. Rip out the doorbell,(just in case some well meaning Jehova witness doesnt have to make an untimely, un scedualed visit to the energency room or worse) and leap into bed knowing in my inner most heart of hearts, that NOW, no one can bother me till I get some, oh God please let me get some sleep. 9:30am. Remember those 2 dogs I was telling you about? Well, there are 6 more of them in crates down the hall. They have been in those crates since last potty call last night. First it starts out as a whine. Then, the odd bark here and there. Within 20 minuets it sounds as if some one has deposited a whole pack of howling wolves in the room where those crates are. Creschendo rising. Along with my boiling point. I give up. I just give up. I get up, get dressed, and let out the dogs. That was yesterday, as it is now 2:00am today, and I sit here exausted hammering out my frustrations, sleep deprived. And I still have the headache. And you have a wonderful day too sweetheart. And you know I mean it. Good night.