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By Karen Van Noort
11/06/2010

"A Tornado went through here!!!"


Last Monday; October 25Th, Dana and I had business to attend to in San Diego. We spent the night there and came home the evening of Tuesday; October 26Th.

Since our big dog; Trouble is so good at digging and eating things, we always put him out in his kennel, while neither Dana or I are at home. If we go to the grocery store, he goes to his kennel. So of course, while we were out of town, we put Trouble in the kennel, until we get home. After we got home Dana went and got Trouble and brought him in. Dana said Trouble must have been mad, because his dog house was clear across the other side of his kennel, it was in the S.E. corner, instead of in the N.W. corner, sitting inside of his little wading pool. I thought that was strange, he had never done that before.

Dana also mentioned that the two traffic cones that he sat out in our drive-way, to to keep people from running over our garden hose, were dragged about 10-15 feet from where he had put them and they were headed in a South-Easterly direction. These cones are about 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall and weigh about 8-10 pounds each. We had our friend John, come over and take care of the animals while we were gone. I told Dana that John is such a Jokester, he probably did all this stuff to see if we noticed anything.

Then we got to looking at Trouble, normally his long hair is all smooth and going in the same direction. We decided he must of went for a swim in his pool, because he looked like a porcupine, hair standing out, and going in all different directions. After all this time I have only seen him stand in his pool, I had never seen him actually lay down in it before.

The next morning Dana had been in and out several times. I decided to go across to the kitchen which is totally separate from our back cabin where we live and sleep. The kitchen is about 45 feet away, and we have a metal walk-way that connects the two cabins. I take a step out the door and I see that the roof on the kitchen is damaged, it looks shredded and on the Northern-Eastern side the corner of the roof is standing up a good 8 inches. The North-West side was tore up but not as bad as the N.-E. side.

I was wondering why Dana hadn't mentioned the damage, while he was in and out of the back cabin. So I started looking for him and about that time, he came out of the garage, then he stopped and his mouth sort of dropped open. I asked why he hadn't told me about the kitchen's roof? He said that he hadn't even noticed it until now.

The roofing paper and the tar paper was torn back away from the plywood, and on the North-Eastern side the plywood looked like it was lifted up, this is the side hit the hardest. Dana was able to fix it all, after going to town to get a few things to take care of it. We decided, with all the things that had happened: with the dog house thrown across the kennel, Trouble's wild hair-do, the traffic cones being dragged in the direction of the kitchen cabin; we must of had a Mini-Tornado go through here!!! I guess that Trouble must of had a WILD Ride while we were gone. He is OK, so I'm happy about that. I just wish that he could talk human, so he could tell us what happened here. Did anyone else around here have any problems during that time frame with the wind? Let us know. Karen:)


09/04/2010

"BIG TROUBLE PART II:
Little Cabin"


We have left the big dog with our friend and neighbor Judy, while we go out of town for Xmas. After a couple of days out of town, I decided to call Judy and see how things were going with her and the big dog. It wasn't going well!!!! She had taken him off the chain, he ran right to her fence, dug under and went right back to our place!!! She brought him back to her place several times but he digs a new hole and returns back to our place each time! I mentioned that she should probably put him back on the chain. Judy didn't want to put him back on the chain.

A couple more days go by, I call Judy again. She sounds frustrated, she can't make him stay at her place, so she now goes to our place & puts water and food out for him and just leaves the big dog at our place. We decide to cut our trip a few days short and return back home. It seems clear that it isn't going to work out, giving him to Judy. We come home to a disaster in our front yard! Judy's dog Jordan; the one that had just recently passed away, enjoyed having dolls & stuffed animals that he would carry around with him all the time, it was really something to see. It seems that the big dog stole some of Jordan's stuffed toys, brought them back to our place & destroyed them. You can see a small area of the destruction we came back to:

What a mess! We are kind of at a loss what to do with the big guy. We had talked to a few people to see if they wanted a nice big dog, but no takers. The other pictures I took of the big dog I felt didn't do justice to how big he is. Hopefully, this picture of him standing in the front yard when we came home will give you a better view of his size:

That night after returning back home from our trip, I was sitting in my chair, watching TV, wondering what in the world we were going to do with this big guy? Next thing I know, he walks right up my recliner, lays down on me, puts his head on my shoulder, lets out a big sigh and falls into a deep sleep. After about 5 minutes, I look over at Dana and I said: OK, that's it!!! I want to keep him! Dana just looks at me with that resigned look on his face. He says to me: You do realize by keeping him, we will have to change the way we live? I said: yes, I know, but he's worth it.

First thing Dana had to do the next morning was to go around Judy's fence line and fill in all of the holes the big dog dug to get out of her yard. There was about 10 different holes, that Dana took care of. Then we go shopping for a bigger doggie door for him to fit through easier, that was an all day project for Dana to cut a bigger hole in our wall and put the bigger doggie door into. I couldn't believe all the tools Dana had strung out all over the floor.

In the mean time, we are still trying to child proof our place, and two weeks later, Dana has to take me on a unplanned trip to Wal-mart to get me a new pair of shoes!!! The big dog ate the last pair of shoes I had! I actually wore those to get more shoes, but half of the heel area was missing on one foot, but I was able to wear them long enough to get to Wal-mart to get my new shoes. To make things worse, I wear a wide shoe. Wal-mart didn't have my size, in women's shoes, so I ended up with a pair of men's shoes a size or two too big. They were the smallest men's shoes I could find in a tennis shoe that I liked, hey they don't hurt my feet so I'm happy with them, considering not wanting to go barefooted. Ever since we moved here 7 years ago, when I need a new pair of shoes, they don't usually have my size! Sometimes it's on the 5Th or 7Th trip to Wal-mart before I will finale get my size of shoe! It's very frustrating, to take months to get a pair of tennis shoes that work with my feet! I have the same problem with Big 5 also.

The next thing we had to do was build the big dog his own kennel, we could put him in if we went to town, or if we were away for a few days.

We were talking about all the trouble we were going through for this dog. That's when it dawned on me to name him "TROUBLE". I think he deserves a better name, but right now we are calling him Trouble, for lack of a better name. Dana had to go to town to buy cement and sand to start on Troubles kennel. We decided that because of Troubles "Incredible" digging skills, the entire floor of his kennel would have to be cement. Trouble only likes to potty in one single spot in the back yard.

We would chain him out front while we went to town and when we come back he is just beside himself. We didn't know what was going on, we would turn him loose inside the cabin and he would run as fast as he could to get out side to his spot to go potty. While he was chained up out front, he would hold it, instead of going to the bathroom there, he would wait until we got home. Because of this, when we were working on his kennel, we built in a three foot square dug out area about 8 inches deep then we cemented the bottom and brought dirt in to fill the hole from his special potty spot. We had to hire two men to come in and help build the kennel. The cement area is 13 foot by 13 foot. The kennel it's self is 12 ft by 12 ft. 6 ft high with a shade over the top.

A couple of years ago, some one gave us a Xtra large dog carrier, that we have placed into Troubles kennel and he likes it. He gets into it and lays down like it's a dog house. Dana bought Trouble his own little hard plastic pool that we have in Trouble's kennel which he plays in every time we put him out there. He is now about 75 to 80 pounds. We sometimes call him; the comedian, because he is hilarious, he makes us laugh all the time.

Well, this is a short version of our life with Trouble so far. I've left out a lot of stuff, but I was trying to keep this story as short as I could. There may be more about Trouble in the future.
Karen:)


07/03/2010

"BIG TROUBLE"

I remember the day well; it was Friday, December 4Th, 2009. It was a nice sunny morning and I was in the kitchen washing dishes. A car pulled into our drive-way, the horn honked a couple of times. I didn't bother to see who it was, I knew they most likely wanted Dana anyway. I heard Dana talking to someone, then a few minutes later he came in and told me that there was a little ole lady out there and she had a big black dog in her yard and wanted Dana to come to her place to see if he knew who it belonged to. So off Dana went, my Knight to the rescue. We both figured it was our neighbor Judy's dog (Raven). He escapes, then UN-escapes all by himself on a regular basis.

A short time later, I saw Dana drive by our place with a large black dog sitting in the passenger seat of our pick-up, facing forward, looking through the windshield, like he was a human. A few minutes later Dana was back and he wasn't alone. He knew instantly that it wasn't Judy's dog (Raven). Dana thought the dog might belong to Mike down the street from Judy. The dog wasn't his either. Dana said he brought the dog home, because he was afraid the dog would knock the little ole lady down & she would break something.

He is a handsome dog, we think he could possibly be a black lab mixed with some border collie. He has long, jet black hair, white on his chest, chin and all four paws, with beautiful large Amber eyes. He was pretty thin, he weighed probably 45 to 50 pounds. He also had a collar with rabies tags on it. The little ole lady told Dana she had already put a call in to San Bernadino county to see who the dog belonged to but had left a message on a recorder and had yet to hear back from any one. Apparently no one bothered to call the little lady back. Monday we placed our call to the county...they are closed on Mondays! In the mean while I haven't slept much during the night since Dana brought this dog home. He whines, he howls, he barks and did I say he whines all night long!!! Dana sleeps with earplugs and misses out on everything!!

During the time we've had this handsome fellow in our custody, he has dug large holes in our tiny back yard that you can put a recliner into & never see it again. Every day the topography of the back yard changes. I'm a nervous wreak!! I haven't been sleeping much, and I'm scared every time our two small dogs go out into the back yard! I fear that the big dog may have dug under the fence and that our two little ones (Miniature Poodle & Chihuahua mix) will get out and that will be the end of them! But so far he has never dug under the fence. In fact, he has not tried to escape, at all! It's like he wants to be here?

Tuesday rolled around, Dana called the county and actually got a real person on the phone. We gave them the rabies tag number and we got the dogs name which I couldn't believe someone would name their dog that, his name is: DARK FUDGE!!!!!!!! We got a number to call, which ended up we went through several numbers and several more people before we got a hold of the owners son. I wanted to get him back to his owner ASAP. I liked the dog but he was a bit too much for me, plus I was exhausted, just from him being with us those 4-5 days. We got directions & took him home, he really likes to ride in a car. He lived about 5, to 5-1/2 miles from us. We dropped him off then went to town to get some groceries.

I was so relaxed, I didn't realize how wound up I had been, until after we got him back to his home. It was nice and peace-full for 3 days I think. Then one afternoon I'm sitting in my chair reading and I hear this familiar whining noise at the front door. I get up open the door and guess who comes running inside!!! It's like he was saying "Honey I'm home"!!! I thought: OH, NO, not again! I go out to the shop and tell Dana: HHEESSSS BAACCKKKK. Dana just stares at me and says NNOOOO, he can't be!? I said yes, he is. Dana drops everything gets his wallet and keys, gets the big black dog puts him in his truck and he is off!!

Dana returns home alone. Thank God. He said when he was dropping the dog off, the owners son says to him: "Wouldn't you just like to keep him"? Dana said: "NO, we have too many animals as it is". Two days later, I just finish vacuuming and put the vacuum away, and there is that familiar whining sound at the door. I open the door, I can't believe it, he is back!!!

He doesn't have his collar anymore, so if some one did find him they can't contact the owner. Dana and I both wonder if they just took his collar off and turned him loose? I can't believe that someone would do that to such a beautiful animal, especially their own! This dog has an amazing nose, to be able to track us back to our house twice, over 5 miles each time! Does that mean he actually likes us?

We can't keep him, he is too big for our tiny cabin. Judy called Dana, her sweet Golden Lab Jordan, had passed away, would Dana be able to bury him for her? Dana and I are thinking, maybe she would like another big dog? HHMMNN?? We were planning to go out of town for Xmas, we will see if she will baby sit him at her place and see how that goes.

Since he is back at our place for the third time now, and from what the owners son said the last time Dana took the dog home, we didn't even bother returning him to them again. No way would we dare to take him to the pound, with today's economy, I figured they would just kill him. Dana went to town, bought the big dog a new collar, also got some dewormer for all our dogs, since we think he could have worms, our two dogs could catch it? He also picked up some raw hide chewy things for all the dogs. This dog is a big puppy, we think he is somewhere around 15 - 20 months old, and he is sooo full of energy.

He likes to dig and chew on anything he can get his mouth on! When this dog lays down, he takes up the entire floor space in our little front room. I was watching TV, and felt this sort of vibration coming through my chair! I look down, and the dog is eating my recliner!! The next morning I get up and notice he has ate a 2 ft. hole in my beautiful South Western design, cover I keep on our Futon!! I rip it off from the Futon, march out to the trash can and throw it in. At least he didn't eat a hole in the Futon, which I was grateful for. I come back in the house, he has my cute little green frog foot messager that Judy gave me for Xmas a few years ago. I take it away, so far he only ripped off one of the eyes, so it's fixable.

We would go to bed each night, hoping we had picked up & put away anything that would be in danger while we were asleep. I guess we were trying to child proof our home? We would wake up each morning, afraid to see what he has destroyed now.

My sister Dianna and her husband Bruce was in town so we went out to dinner, this is the first time we've left him here inside the house without a human to keep an eye on him. We come back from dinner, Dana's favorite shoes were in pieces across the whole front room! Dana doesn't say a word, he just starts picking up the pieces of his shoes and putting the pieces in the trash. We were constantly trying to make sure nothing was down where he could get to it, but there was always something he would get. Since he has been here with us, the both of us can not leave the house together! Someone has to always be here with him at "ALL TIMES". On those times, when we both have to go, we've chained him outside to our big pole that the yard light sits on. He ate the nylon rope! We bought a 12 or 15 ft. metal cord for dogs. He ate his nylon collar off!! He doesn't leave though, he is still here when we get back home. If we go some where, I always have to be back before dark! I'm afraid a pack of Coyotes, would get him, and since he is chained up, he wouldn't be able to defend himself.

Since our dogs are small, we have a extra small, pet door that leads out to the back yard. We had been opening our back door to let the big dog out to the back yard and to let him back in. Then one day I was wondering how he got out side? I didn't let him out. I asked Dana if he had let him out? No. Well; maybe I just forgot that I let him out? Then I was sitting at my desk, and I happened to see the big dog, get down on his belly, and he literally crawled through that little opening!! I couldn't believe it!! Our Chihuahua mix is 4-1/2 - 5 pounds. That makes this dog 10 times her size!!!! Do you see how small the pet door is?

We are going out of town for Xmas. We were taking the two smaller dogs with us, and had made arrangements to take him to Judy's and leave him there while we were gone for about a week. We had already decided that we were going to give the dog to Judy when we came back home. This was just a trial to see how it would all go.

The car was all loaded, the two smaller dogs and I were already seat belted into the car, Dana just needed to walk the dog over and put him in Judy's fenced yard. Dana is walking back, he gets in the car, his car door is still open, and here comes "TROUBLE", galloping up our drive-way, with this huge grin on his face! He leaps through Dana's open door, climbs over Dana and leaps into the back seat where the other two dogs are, he is sitting there with this big grin on his face, waiting to start on his trip! Dana and I both looked at each other; said a few choice words, but they can't be repeated. Dana takes him back to Judy's, but this time puts him on Judy's dog chain and we leave.

End of part I


03/07/2010

IT'S ALIVE, TOO?

This is the second half of "It's Alive". So here we are in Las Vegas, we are checked in to a Time Share resort. It's the first time we have been to one. We go up to our room, it's on the 18TH floor! I don't think I have been that high up in a building before. We are walking down the corridor to our room, I'm thinking WOW, these doors are spaced far apart. We get to our door, & it has two different room numbers on the door & one electronic device to slide your key card into. I'm thinking that this is different. We slide our key card into the device & we walk in, we are in a little tiled entry way about 5 ft. square. On our right is a door & to our left is a door, both with a electronic device for your key card. I look at the right door key device, it has a plastic card in it so that you can't open the door, the plastic card says "DO NOT DISTURB".
Right away, I have a flash back of that old ALFRED HITCHCOCK drama, "REAR WINDOW" go through my mind!!!! We just barely get here & I am already on "High Alert", I don't know why that little sign bothered me so much. We go into our room, it turns out to be a one bedroom apartment. Then I think oh yes, Time Share: Duh!!
Then I remember: about 12-13 years ago, my work had sent me to Las Vegas for about a week & had put me and about 10 of my co-workers up at well known hotel. To cut the story short, there was a murder two floors above me. The door had a Do Not Disturb sign, and after a day or so the maid finale went into the room & discovered a dead body!!!
The section we are staying in at the resort, had just opened up, so they are trying to work out all of the kinks that don't work right. We came back from dinner & are sitting on the couch watching TV, and Dana says: What is that noise? Me; I don't hear anything. Dana says it sounds like a exhaust fan. We get up search through the kitchen, there is a exhaust noise coming through a vent in the center of the kitchen. We search all over for a switch to shut it off and we can't find one. We go around the whole kitchen turning on and off every switch we can find and nothing makes it stop!
Later that night I'm in bed trying to go to sleep, Dana is in the front room reading. I hear this loud crash!!!! I jump out of bed & look out the window, thinking a car crashed or something, it was really loud. I didn't see anything, Dana hadn't said anything, so I crawled back in bed & then the smoke alarm started tweeting like a bird. About every minute it would go off. I thought I am not going all night with that. So I got up & called maintenance, & with-in 10 min. they had it taken care of.
We made it to the meeting the next day, after the McDonald's fiasco. As it turned out they did not invite us there to show us how to "Use" our Time Share. They wanted us to buy more Time Shares!! The lady, who was assigned to us was very pleasant. She had a really cute accent, she was from Sweden. She told us right off the bat that if we weren't interested, just tell her straight out and we would be free to go, no hard feelings or anything like that. So we sat there for awhile and listened to her, then we told her we weren't interested in buying more Time Share. She pretended not to hear us. After a while we told her again, then she got up and brought someone else over to talk to us, we told her we weren't interested. Then we got passed over to a third person, who we also told we weren't interested. Then we got grilled for not wanting another Time Share. They tried to make you feel guilty for not buying more of a Time Share. Then we were grilled as to why we wouldn't buy more of a Time Share. I finale told the lady that we had bought a Time Share 4 or 5 years ago and hadn't used it once, so why should we buy more?
They finale let us go, our nice Swedish girl walked us back to the lobby where we had met up with her, it was about a 3 minute walk, we had to cross a street & I could feel the frost coming off of her in the 110 degree heat of Las Vegas. She didn't try to talk to us all the way back. I felt really uncomfortable.
We go back to our room, the room next to us still has that "DO NOT DISTURB" sign in the electronic key slide. I'm still worried that there may be a dead person next door. Later that night, we were sitting on the couch & I swore I heard a female screaming!! I asked Dana if he heard it? No. I ask if he had heard that loud noise last night. Yeah, it came from our neighbor with the do not disturb sign. So I jump up & I am tip-toeing across the front room & I get close to the wall & put my ear to the wall. I don't know if it's because I have big shoulders or because my shoulders and neck are messed up, I was having a really hard time trying to get my ear next to the wall. I had no idea it would be so hard to do! I could see Dana sitting forward on the edge of the couch watching me. I thought he was going to tell me to stop being so nosey, but he didn't. After a minute or so of seeing my difficulty, Dana says: why don't you get a glass & hold it to your ear? They do it in movies all the time. So I tip-toed into the kitchen got me a glass and tip-toed back to the wall. I stood there for a minute or two and didn't hear a thing, so I tip-toed back to the kitchen & put the glass back. Dana asked me why I was tip-toeing? I don't know,..... maybe because I'm being sneaky?
Later Dana is saying that he can't stand that exhaust fan noise and he is going to call maintenance to come & check it out. He calls & the person on the phone has him check the stove, to make sure that isn't it. It isn't, they will send someone up shortly. I'm walking around & looking at stuff, then it HITS ME!!! It's not an exhaust fan!!! It's the air conditioner!!! It's a air conditioner vent!! I run into the front room & tell Dana that he needs to hurry & call maintenance back & tell them to never mind!! I tell him it's the a/c. Dana rolls his eyes & makes a dash for the phone! Then there is a knock on the door! It's too late!
I tell Dana: "OH, MY, GOD!!! We are as bad as the Beverly Hill Billies"!!!!!! We are so used to our swamp cooler, that we don't know what the sound of an actual a/c unit sounds like any more. I am totally embarrassed now. Dana lets the maintenance man in, and luckily the man took the vent apart & found some paper in it, & it was making the noise!!! I couldn't hear the noise, but Dana could. So I felt better that the maintenance guy actually did find something wrong!!
After we got home for a week or so, after our trip to Las Vegas, I kept expecting to get a call from the Las Vegas police, about hearing any strange noises in the room next to us, but never did, so I guess all was well. And yes, the Do not disturb sign was still in the door when we checked out.
Does anyone out there have any weird or silly stories to share? Send it on in to Bob, and share it with us, I would love to hear it. Karen:)


08/08/2009 IT'S ALIVE, IT'S ALIVE:

Our Copper Mountain Community, in July, Dana and I had our 16TH Anniversary, and Dana's Birthday. As a gift, I bought Dana a GPS. Neither one of us are very technical, which I am afraid will become apparent.
Dana and I had bought a Time Share back in December of 2005. We had NO idea how to go about using it, and we haven't used it to this day.
Through this Time Share, we were invited to Las Vegas for a 2 night stay for Free, as long as we attend a 45 minute minute seminar. Before we went to Las Vegas I asked Dana if he knew what this 45 minute thing was about? He said no, he didn't know. I was thinking to myself, maybe they saw that we had never used our Time Share, so they wanted to meet with us, to explain it all to us.
We were scheduled to spend two nights in Vegas, on July 21ST & 22ND. We needed to be checked in no later than 7 pm on July 21ST, or forfeit our room and would also have to pay for the room out of our own pocket, even though we didn't get to stay there.
It was a chore just getting there! We left our house at 11 am, knowing that we would have plenty of time to get there. I programmed the GPS to find a route to Vegas from our house, it said it would take 4 hours to get there. After about 60 miles or so we heard on the radio that the route we were going to take Calif. route 95 N. was closed due to some diesel trucks wrecking and spilling diesel fuel.
When we stopped for lunch, Dana got the ole map out and figured out a new route to take, which was the Arizona route 95 N. I didn't know how to redo the GPS for that so I just left it alone. Well, we know that the GPS isn't alive or anything, but as we continued on to our new route, it kept telling us to turn right here, and turn right again. When we didn't it would say recalculating route. Then tell us: (this is an example) in point 3 miles, turn left and turn left again. Each time we just kept going because we new we couldn't go the way we originally planned. We were trying to find the way to this new route we were supposed to take and we some how missed it!! We were going a round and a round in circles. We finale figured out that there was a business loop, and a non-business loop.
The DARN THING JUST WOULDN'T SHUT UP!!! It kept nagging at us. So after about a half hour of it telling us to either turn right, and turn right again or turn left and turn left again. I said to Dana, well if we turn right and right again; that is a U-TURN, so why doesn't it just say make a "U-TURN"? Dana says I don't know, maybe it's not programed to say it, or it doesn't know that is a U-TURN.
So we finale got on the right road, and this GPS thing says: "MAKE A U-TURN HERE!!!" it sounded like it was really "TICKED OFF" at us!!! It was the first time it actually said the word u-turn, it was just after I made the comment about u-turns. My mouth dropped open, I looked over at Dana, his mouth had dropped open & he looked at me, we both started laughing. I asked Dana to tell me what he just heard, to make sure I didn't imagine it. Dana said you got me a GPS with attitude, it sounded like it was really mad at us!!! We shut it off! I couldn't believe it. I said I thought these things are pre-recorded or something?
It ended up that our route took us over the Hoover Dam, I had never been there before, so it was really neat. We couldn't stop to enjoy it though, we were suppose to be checked in by a certain time or forfeit our room. Our 4 hour trip had turned into a 7-1/2 hour ordeal!! We made it to the Hotel at 6:40 pm.
The next morning, we were going McDonald's for breakfast then to this meeting that was scheduled for 10 am. Our room is on the 18Th floor, the elevators are really fast too which is nice. We are in the elevator, heading down, Dana said he forgot to bring some paper that we are supposed to take to the meeting, so he is going to leave me on the first floor then go back up to the room to get the paper.
The doors open up and this blond chick in cut-offs gets on, I tell Dana I will wait for him inside the exit door. I walk out of the elevator lobby, turn left heading for the exit door, a lady is standing there around the corner vacuuming. I get to where the exit should be, and find out I'm on the 2ND floor!!
I turn around & head back to the elevators, there are three elevators, & I'm telling myself that I hope Dana didn't realize what I just did. Just as I'm raising my hand to push the button, the elevator doors open, & there is Dana laughing! I get on, & Dana is bent over holding his stomach, laughing so hard tears are running down his face. I'm sort of mortified & the only thing I can come up with is; What? He takes me back to the 1ST floor, I look around before I step off the elevator, to make sure that's where I really am, then I walk off ignoring, Dana.
I walk around the corner, & there is a lady in the same place vacuuming the floor, just like on the 2ND floor, it's like deja vu!! I get to the exit door, there is a bench inside, so I sit down on it, and look out the door. There is this girl out there sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette. I'm thinking to myself, she looks exactly like the girl who got on the elevator when I got off on the wrong floor. So I'm thinking twins!!
Dana walks up to me still grinning, I point to the girl and say: she looks just like the girl who got on the elevator when I got off, so there is some identical twins running around here! Dana looked over at the girl & said no, that is the same girl. I was confused. I thought the girl went up in the elevator, but Dana said she got off on the first floor. I'm feeling pretty stupid by now.
I had found the closest McDonald's to the place we were staying and programmed it into the GPS. It was supposed to be about 3 miles! So we are driving along, it seems to be taking a long time, over 5 miles later we get to the McDonald's. I was telling Dana that was more than 3 miles.
When we left McDonald's the GPS took us a different route. It was about 10 minutes faster. So now Dana is saying the GPS is mad at us for not listening to it the day before and is punishing us by taking us out of the way because of it. On the way to McDonald's it had us turn I don't know how many times, we both kept saying we should have been there by now, we should have been there. On the way back, I just pushed for it to take us back where we started from and we only had to turn -1- time! It took us 5 min. to get back to where we were staying.
That GPS is weird!!
My son, James said we should name it "CHUCKIE". But is has a female voice. Any one out there have a suggestion to name a female GPS?
Thanks, Karen :)


04/04/2009

THE GREAT ESCAPE

Our Copper Mountain Community; Dana and I had been talking about taking our wild cat "Mama" to get her shots for a couple of weeks now. Because she is a "Wild" cat, we can't just put her in a cat carrier and take her to the Vet, like you take your domesticated cat. In order to protect both the animal and the person giving the shots, they need to be able to get up close, to give the shots with-out taking them out of the cage. You can't do that in a cat carrier! We haven't tried to get Mama back in a cage, since the time we had Mama fixed a couple of years ago. She is behind on getting her shots, so we really need to get her in to keep her protected against diseases.

I don't know if it's because of the economy or what, but the S.P.C.A. no longer rents traps. Dana had to go to Hemet, Ca. to Harbor Freight to buy our own cage/trap. It doesn't look as sturdy as the ones we rented from the S.P.C.A. For several months now, we've had two male cats hanging around our place. They are both beautiful, but they are constantly fighting each other, so we would like to capture them & have them fixed and get all their shots also. The males are both bigger than Mama, so if we get Mama to the Vet in this cage, it may work for the two males also. I don't know if any of you have ever had any dealings with a "Wild" animal? They are not like a domestic animal when they get hurt or scared. They are about 10 times more explosive and violent than a domestic animal, and you never know what will set them off. Even though Mama will let me pick her up & hold her, I am always careful to not make sudden moves and not scare her.

We got our cage and made plans on what day we would be taking her in to get her shots. The night before, Dana brought the cage inside and put it in our bedroom. This cage is about 3 ft. long; it takes up a lot of room. I asked Dana why he doesn't leave it outside until the morning. His answer was: he didn't want the cage to be cold for Mama. I started laughing! Mama has 3 inch long fur, I don't think she will notice if the cage is cold.
The night before putting Mama in the cage, Dana informs ME that "I" will be the person putting Mama in the cage! I hadn't really thought about it, I just assumed that it would be Dana doing it.
I said; ME? Why ME? I thought that you were going to do it? Dana replied that "he didn't want Mama to get mad at him".

Dana's comment made me think back to several years ago, when we had taken Mama & her two kittens in to be fixed. We came home and put the cages in our kitchen. We were supposed to keep them quiet for a couple of days to let the anesthesia get out of their bodies and give them a chance to start healing from the surgery. As we were putting litter boxes into their cages Mama got out and Dana tried to catch her. Even though she was still under the influence of the anesthesia, she literally ripped and bit Dana up good. So now, I'm wondering if he is still remembering that, and afraid this could happen to him again.

Here is a strange thing I've been living with for several weeks now. On March 12TH, Dana & I did a quick two day, turn around trip to New Mexico, to pick up a Burro camping trailer for our daughter Gina. We were back on the night of the 14TH. Since that trip our animals have all changed.
Mama, now comes in by the front door around 7 or 8 pm. She climbs up onto my lap & lays there purring. She has "NEVER" done that before. When she first started doing that I looked over at Dana, like do you see this? Dana has a funny look on his face, and shrugs his shoulders. He said I guess she is telling you that she loves you? Before our two day trip, Mama would sneak in after we went to sleep, then climb up on the hot water heater and fall sleep right there. But now, after coming back from our two night trip when it's time for bed, Mama has decided that she is going to sleep on my pillow!!! I don't want her to sleep on my pillow, so I have gently pushed her off the bed several times and she keeps hopping right back up! I finale thought I had got her to stay off the bed, but I woke up later with her asleep right next to me. She has been doing this every single night since that two day trip and I don't understand what is going on with her.

Dana made the comment; maybe Mama will get mad at you for putting her in the cage, and she will decide not to sleep with you anymore. I thought about it for a minute, then decided that was a good idea.
OK, so it's about time to get Mama in the cage. Dana has me put on one of his heavy duty Levi jackets, and some leather gloves. I'm nervous; I don't know how Mama is going to re-act to me trying to put her in a cage. I'm thinking to myself: (I should probably stuff a pillow in the front of this jacket, I should also put on my full face motorcycle helmet, and to round things out, maybe I should put my oven mitts on over the leather gloves as a little bit more protection).

I have Dana set the cage up in our front room, then we re-hearse for a couple of minutes, about me shoving Mama in the cage and Dana shutting it and locking the door so she can't get out.
When we figure that we got that down pat, Dana puts a big plastic tarp in the back of our Jeep, just in case Mama decides to spray the inside of the car. In the car we put; my sunglasses, cell ph., my asthma in-haler, and a small cooler of water. We are all set, all we have to do is get Mama in the cage, put her in the car, lock the house and we are off.

I get Mama and walk in to the house, Dana is standing by. I'm petting & talking to Mama, then I bend down and into the cage she goes. Dana locks the door. I tell Dana; that was just too easy!
We lock the house doors and put Mama in the back of the Jeep. Dana puts a white sheet over the cage, hoping it will keep Mama calm. We get in, fasten our seat belts. Mama is making all this noise and it sounds like she is bouncing around in the cage. We back out of our parking space, Dana puts the Jeep in gear and we start to take off.
I hear this strange sound, I turn around, and YIKES!! There is Mama out of the cage, YIKES!! All the hair on her head is pushed up from both sides & literally comes to a point on the top of her head, if it wasn't so scary it would have been funny. Mama is sitting on the back seat with this wild eyed frantic look on her face!! Double YIKES!! I yell at Dana: SHE'S OUT!! He hits the brakes & looks at me like he can't believe it and says: WHAT??
Before I could say anything else, Mama flies up in the air between us. I have no idea how she did this, but as she was flying between us, she makes a left handed turn in mid air and flies right past Dana's face and smacks really hard into Dana's window. She slides down the window and is now sitting on Dana's arm stunned. Dana is trying to pet her to keep her calm. We knew we wouldn't get her back into the cage, so Dana opened his door and out she flew. We didn't even make it a whole 10 feet before Mama made her escape!!
All the doors are still locked on the cage, so I'm thinking that Mama was somehow able to squeeze between the cage walls & the door to make her escape.

I guess we really hurt her feelings. We didn't see her for the rest of the day. Later that night, I awoke to Mama sleeping next to me, so I guess that she has forgiven me. We are going to get her in to get her shots, but before we do that, we will have to do some kind of re-enforcement to this cage. It is just too flimsy as it stands for now. Does anyone out there have any: taking the pet to the Vet stories to share? Send it in to Bob, we would all like to hear what your experience was. Thanks, Karen:)



02/21/2009

Our Copper Mountain community: For weeks before Christmas I was wrestling with myself; what to get Dana for Christmas. Then I remembered Dana saying that his feet are getting cold when he first goes to bed, & that he can't sleep if his feet are cold. So I decided to get Dana a electric blanket for Christmas.
Dana's present took me back to when I was a pre-teen. My sister Dianna & I shared a full sized bed. We got a electric blanket for Christmas one year. It turned out to be a nightmare for me, and now that I think about it; probably for Dianna also. This blanket only had one controller, for two people! NOT a good idea!!!
I was usually hot, Dianna was usually cold. We fought over who was going to control the blanket. I think we, finale decided one of us would have it for a week, then the other person would get it for a week. When Dianna had control of the controller, I would wake up sweating in the middle of the night.
Sometime during the night I would get up & turn it off. This eventually came down to us waking up in the middle of the night & getting into fist fights over the controller & how high it should be set. What a nightmare!
Dana was very happy to get his "Dual" controlled, electric blanket. We ran into the bedroom, ripped off the bedspread & threw the electric blanket on the bed. Then we spent several minutes trying to figure out where all the wires went, & which control worked which side of the bed. I discovered that when you had your side of the blanket turned on; that controller would light up.
The first two nights that we had the electric blanket, I would turn both sides of the blanket on to warm up the bed about a half hour before bedtime. Dana, couldn't believe how good it felt. He would then turn the blanket off as he got into bed. He just needed his feet warm. Dana told me that he had never had a electric blanket before. I don't sleep very well & will wake up several times a night, & sometimes get up & walk around for awhile then go back to bed.

This is when I noticed that things had started getting weird!!!!!!

While I was awake in the early am hours, I would see that Dana's controller was on. It didn't seem cold enough to me, for Dana to be cold & turn his side of the blanket on. So I would walk around to his side of the bed & turn it off. After going through this routine for over a week, I decided that he must want it on, & stopped turning it off. During the day, I would forget to mention to him about his controller being on.
The next thing I know, Dana is telling me to stop turning his controller on, because he is waking up sweating. I said, I'm not turning your controller on! I thought that you were turning it on in your sleep. I've been turning it off every night for the past 10 nights, but then I figured that you wanted it on & I decided I wouldn't turn it off anymore.
We just looked at each other. This continued for several more nights. Dana tells me; that it has been funny, but now I can stop playing around, to stop turning his side of the blanket on in the middle of the night. I couldn't believe this! I told him I wasn't touching his controller, & I am not joking. We are to the point of starting to get mad at each other.
I'm flashing back to my child hood & my first electric blanket & the fights Dianna & I would have. I figured I must be cursed, when it comes down to having a electric blanket, since all it does is cause me trouble!
Well; one night about 2:30 am, I was laying there in bed wide awake, & I felt the bed shake! So I slowly raised up & was leaning on my elbow & looking down at the bottom of the bed. Our cat "Lil' Brat" had just jumped up on our bed. He slowly slinks along the edge of the bed on Dana's side, steps over onto Dana's nightstand, steps on Dana's electric controller (which turns it on) & climbs up onto windowsill above Dana's head, and just sits there staring out into the night!! He was the culprit!!!!!! I didn't know that Lil' Brat sat in the window at night! He didn't set in it during the day. Now I knew what was going on, & that I wasn't crazy!!!
The next day I told Dana what I had seen during the night & we both had a good laugh.

It's amazing how the smallest of things can be turned into such a big problem. If anyone out there has a story to share, please send it in to Bob. Thank you. Karen


11/01/2008

The Sega of the Road runners continue, in our Copper Mountain Mesa Community home. Jr. and Romeo-/-(A.K.A.) Mr. Wiggles had three beautiful babies! It really surprised me that the male parent helped out so much!! He would take turns sitting on the eggs while Jr. was away hunting. Romeo also helped out with the hunting and feeding the chicks. I should have written everything down on a calendar, from the date the first egg was laid to each chick hatching. I thought I would remember the timing of such big events, but I was wrong.

I think each egg was laid about a week or so apart, so that they didn't hatch at the same time. The chicks looked to be nearly the same size as the parents were when the parents brought them down out of the tree from their nest. About the only way I could tell the chicks from the parents, was the chicks beaks were smaller, and the way they behaved you could tell that they were juveniles. They sort of reminded me of toddlers; they were very mischievous, and didn't always listen to the parents. They would run, and chase each other, like they were playing tag! They even played hide and seek. Makes me wonder how they learned that? Maybe that's where humans learned those games, by watching the animals having fun?

Every day the parents would take them all around and try to teach them how to hunt and what they should be hunting for. The parents took turns coming to us for pieces of meat to help feed the chicks. By watching the parent feed the chicks, I realized that the parent can distinguish the difference from each chick, and remember which chick they just fed! By being able to do this, the parent makes sure each chick has been fed instead of feeding the same chick over and over.

I also discovered the difference in the chick's age while I was throwing pieces of meat to them. The oldest chick would pick it up and eat it. While the younger chicks would just stand there and look at it like it didn't know what it was. The parent would have to come over to them and pick the meat up and shove it down its throat. The chick was happy to be fed; then it was demanding more by thrusting out its open mouth, bowing down and flapping its wings.

About two weeks after bringing the chicks down out of the tree, Jr. vanished!! I don't believe she would have left her chicks, in the middle of teaching them how to live. So that has left me very sad. However, my hat is off to Romeo! He took over all the teaching and feeding. During all of that I never once seen him eat anything for himself, it was all about the chicks. Those chicks ate a lot! Romeo was looking rather frazzled, taking on all the responsibilities by himself. Dana and I had so much fun getting to be apart of these amazing, wild creatures lives! They have all seemed to have moved on. Every once in awhile, Romeo will drop by for a piece of meat, and we are always happy to see him again.


08/30/2008

The Roadrunner Sega continues here at our cabin in the Copper Mountain Mesa Community.
The baby roadrunner, (Jr.) that was brought to us by her mama, back in March, has become an adult. As I last told you, she has a mate that I call Romeo. Dana likes to call him (Mr. Wiggles), because in his mating dance to Jr. he wiggles his tail-feathers around in a slow circular motion.
Together, they built a nest in a fruitless mulberry tree right outside the front door to our living quarters. There was a big ruckus for about 2 weeks with the Cactus Wren's pitching a fit. That tree had been their home, for at least the past 5 years that I know of.
The roadrunners have either won, -or- they had several feathery meals. I don't know which, and I don't want to know. Dana gave me one of those things that you use on the motor of cars; to look into tight, hard to get to spaces. It's a small round mirror (2 inches across), on a metal antenna like, telescoping extension thingy.
While Jr. and Romeo were away from the nest, I extended the mirror and stuck it up above the nest and I could see a small egg!! I got all excited and told Dana about the egg. A week went by, and I was able to use my mirror again on the nest. This time there were 3 eggs in there! I couldn't believe it! I figured for a first time parent they would lay just one egg, not three!!
As it turned out, they must have laid 4 eggs, because I saw Romeo take one of the eggs out of their nest, walk across our yard and throw it against a rock! I thought; Oh my god, what is he doing? The only thing I can figure out is that the egg must have been a dud or something.
Yesterday, both parents were away from the nest, hunting I guess, so Dana and I stood there looking into the leaves trying to see where the nest was. When we located the nest, to our amazement, staring back at us was three (3) chicks!! I was amazed! I just figured if they were lucky, they would have had one chick make it, but they have 3 live chicks! Romeo, helps Jr. to get food and feed them, I think that is so cool. I don't have any pictures to show you, my camera is in the shop.
Does anyone out there have any knowledge about roadrunners? I'm trying to figure out if they mate for life, and if it's normal for the male to help the mother out in making a nest and feeding their chicks? Please let me know.



07/26/2008

Hello, I hope everyone in our community is doing fine & staying cool!
I thought I would give you an up date on the roadrunners around our place. The baby roadrunner that I had 3 pictures of in my last story has grown up. My husband Dana, named it Jr. Jr. hangs out around here on a daily basis.

Well one day a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on a chair out on my kitchen patio talking to Jr. Jr. was standing about 4 ft. away looking at me, when all of a sudden, this larger roadrunner ran up to within a couple feet of Jr. It had a small lizard hanging out of it's mouth & was giving Jr. the eye like it was love at first sight. This bigger roadrunner paid no attention to me at all! I felt like I was invisible and it only had eyes for Jr.

Then the roadrunner started cooing to Jr. then swinging it's long tail feathers around in a circle. Then for the first time it hit me! Jr. is a girl!!
Jr. turned & ran around to the front of my kitchen and the other roadrunner which I decided to call (Romeo) followed in hot pursuit. I ran into the kitchen to see if I could see them out the window. I saw them alright!! I got an eye full. As I suspected Jr. is a girl. So now I'm thinking that I have to tell Dana that his boy, is actually a girl. I'm thinking that her name will have to be changed from Jr. to Juniorette or something like that.
Around July 17, 2008, Jr. & her mate (Romeo), decided to build a nest in one of our trees, about 10 feet in front of our front door. They were picking up small skinny branches about 2-1/2 ft. long and trying to walk around to maneuver them up into the tree. It was too long for them to handle. So I got all of these skinny branches & broke them into about 1 ft. pieces & they started using those for their nest.
Next thing I know there is a war going on! A pair of Cactus Wren; (birds just a little bigger than sparrows). They have incredibly "LOUD" mouths! The Cactus Wren were not happy because that was their tree. The birds have been yelling for almost a week now, but they don't faze the roadrunners. However, they are driving Dana & I nuts with all that noise! I told the Cactus Wren; you better be careful & go find another tree, because you are just about the right size to end up on the roadrunners food menu, and I would hate to see that.
It appears that Jr. is now sitting on her nest. So stay tuned for part three. Karen


04/17/2008

Living out here in the desert, you come in contact with many different kinds of wildlife. It seems that we have made friends with a couple of roadrunners around our place. They started hanging around here about three years ago. I would be out hanging clothes and when I finished and turned around I would discover a road runner sitting there just watching me. The other day I was out working in my garden. We have a 3-foot wall built around it and I hear this noise and look up and there sat a roadrunner on top of the wall watching me.

We got to watch a mating ritual about the middle of March. We presume it's a male; it caught a lizard and was following a female around with the lizard hanging out of its mouth, like he is trying to entice her with the food. The male would call to the female and do a little dance where it slowly swings its tail feathers around in a circle. It's fascinating to watch and a little comical. They sound a lot like doves, when they are calling or talking to each other. They can also vibrate their beaks real fast and make a loud clicking noise. It seems like the female is always trying to avoid the male, and he keeps following her and calling to her. I've read that the roadrunners can live to about 7 years old. They seem to be very curious, (or nosy) about what we are doing and will follow us around to see what we are up to.

This year a mama roadrunner has brought her baby to us. She was strutting around in front of us with the baby following her. She looked so proud. It was hilarious watching this little chick trying to walk. The best way to describe it is if you picture: a scuba diver walking down the beach with his fins on his feet. It appears that the roadrunner has to grow into its feet. Most roadrunners look alike. The adults can weigh from 16 oz up to 24 oz. Males of course are the largest. About the only way I can tell one road runner from another is if they are facing away from me and they happen to rise up their tail feathers. They each have their own distinguishing "white" markings along the tail feathers themselves. So far I haven't seen any markings that are alike. They each also seem to have their own individual personalities.

One day while it was cold I took a picture of a roadrunner, it looked like it was praying. I later found out that on their backs they have special black skin and over that black feathers that absorb heat from the sun. When they are cold and the sun it out, it will turn it's back to the sun and spread it's wings to expose it's special black skin and black feathers to the sun in order to absorb the heat. They have four toes on each foot, with two forward and two back. Their foot prints looks like an awkward X when they walk.

It looks like the baby is a permanent resident to our place now because I see it everyday. The mama roadrunner is still feeding it, even though the baby is now her size. I do see the baby out hunting on it's own in between being fed by the mama. It seems like kittens and puppies the baby roadrunners like to play also. We'll watch it run circles around a bush, then it will break off and run zigzag, then it will test its wings.

We've never had a problem with rodents eating the wires on our cars, no problems with snakes. I guess it's because the roadrunners keep everything under control. Having roadrunners around seems to be good luck and a lot of entertainment for us.

If any of you out there have any funny -or- (strange) stories you would like to share, make sure you send it in to: www.coppermountainmesa.com


03/15/2008

Have any of you ever wondered about that picture of me, at the beginning of my stories? Well, I guess that I can tell you how that came to be. It's kind of.... embarrassing!
I had been emailing Bob on & off for several months, never talking on the phone and had not yet met him in person. Bob mentioned that he would like me to write stuff for his "Website". Not being a computer wizard like Bob is, I got my wires crossed & thought that he was talking about his column in the newspaper, which as I found out later, that wasn't the case at all.
I thought "WOW", I didn't know that I could write that good. But what do I know. I figured that Bob sent his newspaper stories in to the newspaper around Thursday or Friday, over the Internet. So I wrote my first story & emailed it to Bob, on a Tuesday and I didn't hear from Bob, so I thought that he didn't like my story about Lil' Brat.
I always check my email in the mornings right after I get up. This one evening I think it was a Thursday night, about 9 pm I decided to check my email, and I had a email from Bob that he had sent to me about 4 pm that day. He said he liked my story, and wanted a picture of me & Brat A.S.A.P.
I don't have any recent pictures of me. Since I've gained all this weight, I haven't allowed anyone to take a picture of me in the last 10 years!!
Any way, I was so excited, I started running through the house saying: Oh my god, Oh my god. I ran in to the bathroom & start applying make up! I told my husband Dana that he was going to be my photographer. He took pictures of me in the front room sitting in my chair. With and with out my glasses on. I have a digital camera so you can check out the pictures right then.
I didn't like any of them. I decided we should try the bedroom. Dana took some of me standing in front of the wall, then I had him get up & stand on the bed and take pictures of me there!! (NO, Not me on the bed)!! He was taking them on a angle is all, with me still standing in front of the wall!! By this time, Dana had taken about 30 pictures of me, I didn't like any of them & he was getting fed up with this whole thing. So I told him to never mind that was good enough. So he went off to finish watching what ever TV show I had interrupted.
I downloaded all the pictures & went through them all, and didn't like any of them. Then I got to thinking about those commercials on TV, of people taking pictures of themselves!! I didn't know if my arms were long enough or not!!! But I gave it a try. It worked!! But I had missed myself on a couple of shots so I guess those people must have practiced "A LOT" to have got such good pictures of themselves.
I got out a tape measure & measured Bob's picture in the newspaper where his column is. It is one inch tall & about a 1/2 inch wide. So I went back to looking at the pictures of myself and I thought my head looks too flat, I could use some height to it. So I took my hair & twisted it up & stuck one of those holder/comb things in my hair. I didn't even try to brush it out or anything before I did it. Bobs picture is so small & black-n-white, I thought nobody will know the difference anyway!!! I took more pictures with my hair up & there were a few pictures where I actually got my whole face in the shot. I guess Dana had seen the camera flashes going off so he came in the bedroom to investigate just as I was taking a picture of myself. We both started laughing, I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face.
After we calmed down I downloaded the rest of the pictures I took. After sitting there looking at all of those pictures, I realized they all looked like mug shots & started laughing again. After looking at all the pictures, I just picked one out by closing my eyes & moving my fingers around until I decided to open my eyes & see what picture I had picked. I thought well, it's going to be black & white, a inch tall & half a inch wide, it'll look just fine. YOU HAVE NO IDEA, how shocked I was when I went to Bob's website & seen my picture. It was in FULL COLOR & much BIGGER, than I thought it was going to be!! The first thing I said to myself was: "OH NO!" Then I started thinking to myself; How do I always get myself into situations like this?
I keep asking you to send in stories to me but I realize I don't tell you where you can send them to, so.. If any of you out there in computer land have any stories that you would like to share, send it in to Bob at: CopperMountainMesa@hotmail.com He will see to it that I get it. Thank you. Karen


02/15/2008

While the weather was so nice for those couple of days, I took our two dogs for a walk giving them some exercise too. Then Dana borrowed a small tractor from an acquaintance and I worked a small piece of land with the tractor where we are going to "try" to start a garden this year. I have never ran a tractor before, so this was a first for me. The tractor only has a thing on the back so that you can drag stuff around, so I spread the manure around that's been sitting there for the last couple of years curing or what ever it does. Then on Wednesday, I took our rototiller and used that on the ground we will be putting our garden at.

I've been troubled....... from when we first moved out here we would see 8 or 9 tortoises each spring and summer, along with rabbits, black tailed hairs and rat tailed squirrels and the Antelope ground squirrels. But there doesn't seem to be any at all. So that is bothering me. Have you seen any lately? Where have all the animals gone? We even started feeding them since we knew that their food sources had dropped. But even with that, they have completely disappeared from around our area.
Karen


01/06/2008

When my husband and I moved out here 4-1/2 years ago, we discovered that someone was already living on our property. This turned out to be a beautiful, long haired, grayish/brown cat with darker tiger stripes, green eyes and a pink nose. This tiger striped cat had very short legs and a long body.
Well, about 6 months after we had settled in to our little place, my husband and I was sitting watching TV. We had our front door open, with the security door closed; to keep our domesticated little furry critters inside. We heard this pitiful, soft, "meow" and we both looked out the screened door and there was this beautiful long haired cat with the short legs, that we had been seeing around our property, but it would run and disappear whenever it saw us or each time we came home in the car. It's face was pushed up against the security door, looking in at us.
We thought this was very unusual, because the cat had never let us get within fifty yards of it. We figured that the cat could be hungry, so we got some of our cats dry food put it in a dish, along with a dish of water. We sat the dishes out away from the door and it turned out to be what it was wanting. We figured that the cat wasn't getting enough food to eat, so it came to us and asked us for help.
    We continued to put food and water out, we would leave it up on a table top on the patio of our kitchen. Well one day the cat showed up with a single kitten! That's how we found out that the cat was a female.
The kitten was beautiful!! It looked like it was Siamese. It had short tan hair and big blue eyes. Well, the kitten disappeared. I don't know what happened to it. Then several months later, the mama cat showed up with three kittens and was having them eat the food we were putting out for her. Each time my husband; Dana would talk about her, he would say; Mama cat done this; or the Mama cat did that. So eventually, we just named her Mama.
    It took me a year and a half to be able to get close enough to Mama to try and pet her. She would only let me touch the top of her head and this is only when she was eating. We rented a trap from the S.P.C.A. and eventually caught her and her two remaining kittens and took them to the Good Samaritans in Thousand Palms and had them all fixed and got all of their shots for FREE.
    We have a pet door so our domestic cats and dogs can come and go as they please. One night we were sitting in our front room watching TV and in walks Mama!! My husband and I turned and looked at each other with a big :0 look on our face. We had to teach our domesticated animals how to go in and out of the pet door, but Mama has mastered it all on her own.
    Now Mama comes in almost every night and while I'm asleep, she gets up on my pillow and does my hair for me! I'll wake up in the morning with my hair all teased up and sticking out about a foot in all directions!! It must feel good while she is doing it, because I sleep right through it most nights. Some nights I'll wake up and Mama is laying on my pillow, with her head laying on my head and she is purring up a storm. Then we both fall asleep just like that. The noise is probably what woke me up in the first place, but I don't really know.
    Since Mama has started doing this hair ritual thing three or four times a week, it is now my husband, Dana's job to brush my hair out in the mornings when it is really bad. He laughs at me when I get up out of bed and tells me: (Mama was really busy last night). I tell Dana that he is just jealous because he doesn't have any hair for Mama to fix.
    I could do with out the hair fixing bit, but I think this is really cool: We go from this wild cat, who is terrified of us, to this trusting, loving, wild thing, who if she was human, she would have been a great beautician in the 50's or 60's (the BIG hair) days.


11/10/2007

It's almost Thanksgiving and I'm sure our little community is getting ready for the big weekend. Family & friends coming together & sharing good times and good food. I wanted to share with you my story on how I met Bob Deloyd.

My husband & I would buy the Saturday, news paper from the Hi-Desert Star, mostly so that we could read Bob's stories. He wrote a piece about UFOs that got my attention. So I decided to write to him about that. Well, we emailed each other on & off for about 6 months, never talking on the phone or meeting in person.

Then I started having problems with my computer. I sent out a email to people telling them I was going to be out of commission for awhile because I was putting the computer into the shop. Bob emailed me & said that he could fix it. So we made plans to meet. I have a small desk in my bedroom where I keep my computer. Bob shows up, we go to my desk where the computer is & Bob gets right to work. When I'm working at my computer, my two dogs (Sherlock and Sabrina) will get up on the bed & lay there and watch me. And this time was no different. So Bob is working on the computer, I'm sitting sort of behind & to the side watching Bob work. Then suddenly there is this awful smell!! I don't know where the smell is coming from, but I'm sort of looking at Bob, & slowly backing away. Bob, starts looking around at me, kind of funny like. I'm looking back at him. I don't know if he thinks I'm making that smell or what. I don't know if he's making that smell & is worried that I'm smelling it, & thinking it was him. Bob works on the computer for two or three hours, and during this time that smell kept coming & going. I would see Bob raise his head & sniff the air, & look at me out the corner of his eye. I was looking back out the corner of my eye.

I started thinking of that old Lynyrd Skynyrd song "That Smell". I don't know why, but when certain things happen I seem to think in terms of certain songs or movie themes, they just start playing through my mind. I don't know if that happens to anyone else, but it happens to me a lot. Later Bob mentioned that maybe we were having a problem with our sewer. It's out back & all the windows to the back were closed, so I didn't think that that was what was causing that awful smell. After Bob left I kept getting a whiff of that smell, so I figured that it wasn't Bob after all. Then I figured that maybe it was our sewer system. Then I realized I didn't smell that smell while I was outside, just inside. As it turned out it was my dog Sherlock making that smell!!!


10/13/2007

Well folks; it seems that I have received my first response on my call for "Fun Stories", and what response it was! I laughed so hard, I almost fell out of my chair, while trying to read it!! Their story has reminded me of a few things that has happened to me that I had forgotten. These forgotten things may appear in my future writings, so stay tuned and I suggest you may want a seat belt attached to your chairs, when you read their story!!
Here is Frank & Debby's story of one of their adopted children:

Hi Karen,
My wife and I really enjoy the pet stories so please keep them coming. This story is about our dog "Punk" a black lab retriever whatsit mix. Very early one morning my wife Debby and myself were kicked back on a bench waiting outside the Animal Shelter on Sun Mesa and Sunfair Road for our lover pitt pup "Hooters" to return from her overnight being fixed ordeal.
A movement caught my eye as an adorable little fat bellied black puppy not 10 inches long came proudly trotting around the corner dragging his fat belly on the ground carrying a red Toosie Pop in his mouth. Little did I know at the time what a prophetic omen that was going to turn out to be.
I scooped him up and it was love at first sight as he dropped his Toosie Pop and smothered me with puppy kisses.
The pup was followed by two small lurking boys who said that they just found him abandoned out front. Disinterested they hovered about with a little too much interest in the pup to suit me. I've been out here a long time and I know that something wasn't quite right with their statements and actions.
The shelter didn't normally take many dogs brought to them so it was a very sad well known fact that folks just abandoned unwanted pets at the shelter in hopes that the shelter will be forced to take them in or somebody in the area will find and adopt the strays. But not this time, something was rotten in Denmark.
After engaging the boys in conversation the boys seemed to know way too much and I finely got the truth out of them. The boys brought home a Lab/Pitt mix pup and their mom wouldn't let them keep it so they brought it to the shelter in hopes of finding it a home. Well, the boys truth and well placed intentions were rewarded. We kept the pup.
Unbeknownst to us the wonderful lady that runs the Shelter was lurking in the back ground and heard the entire exchange and was highly amused when she walked up to us with a broad smile on her face and told my wife and I that we were a push over. She invited us into the shelter and gave the pup his first set of shots and made an appointment for us to get him fixed for free.
There is a program funded by "Actors for Animals" that for transportation fees will fix Pittbull or Pitbull Mix for free and she heard the boys with her own ears say that the pup was a pit mix. He didn't look at all like a Pitt but who were we to argue.
We took the pup home to be raised by three licking, lover pittbulls. My wife and I have always let our animals sorta name themselves and as time went on Debby came to me one day and said, "That black thieving dog of yours is a punk." So his name became "Punk".
Punk was the most affectionate, lickingist lover dog a person could imagine. Being raised by three pittbulls Punk did have a few quirks though. Once he let go of his feelings of guilt he got in touch with his inner sociopath. He was always getting into mischief of some kind. Ya see...being a retriever with an identity crises he ALWAYS HAD to have SOMETHING in his mouth. Otherwise the pittbulls would eat it. They ate EVERYTHING. Yup! You name it from sticks to choia Punk had it in his mouth. Punk SLEPT with stuff in his mouth. I'm sure in SOME societies that would be considered normal but I thought it a bit odd.
One more thing or should I say two... Punk was a MAJOR THIEF. The pittbulls taught him how to hunt and steal sad to say. Punk and his posse Butch, Sundance and Hooters together had the power to channel my imagination into ever souring levels of suspicion and paranoia. More on THAT later.
Punks other hobby was chasing everything. After he got run over twice. You would have thought that he would have gotten a clue the first time. Nope! Not Punk. After hiding under the porch for a week Punk-an-Pitts were at it again.... We just HAD to have four legged children. Go figure! Our lives must have been way too peaceful.
The second time Punk got run over he came home left him with a front leg bent at 90 degrees and a look that said "NO PROB Dad it's just a scratch, I can still run on three legs watch. A frantic trip to the vet and $800.00 later.... As soon as he gets well Iím gonna kill him. This injury left Punk with some peculiar after effects.
Punk would fart farts that would raise the dead an instantly empty out a cabin. It was a scene straight out of the Key Stone Cops, as my neighbors put it, to watch two people four dogs and three cats come piling out a one room cabin swearing and gasping for breath and stand there waiting for the fumes to clear on a cold windy winter night. Even Punk would be sitting there waiting for the all clear with this "WHAT!" look on his face.
Punk has worked out an early warning if ya pay attention. The moment he farts he will get up and frantically try to vacate the premises. It's hilarious at night when it's pitch black and he makes three frantic whimpering trips around the cabin half asleep bumping into EVERYTHING. Yeah, I know... If you think this is the most humiliating thing that could happen to ya just wait, Iím sure Punk will top it. Now I assume full responsibility for my actions... Except for the ones that are someone elseís fault... LIKE PUNKS!
The dog is a damn thief. He can't help himself. He's just gotta breath air and steel stuff. It's not personal cuz he travels far and wide and steals crap from EVERYBODY. When the weekenders show up its PANDEMONIUM.
What does he steal you ask? What cha got? Its ALL game. This dog has brought me home 3'x5' carpets, floor mats for my truck then went back a day later and got the passenger side. I've gotten weird crap like a PAIR of goat horns from god only knows where. Cell phones and the case a day later. FULL cans of oil, full bottles of drinking water, tools of all kinds, full cans of coffee, multiple packages of mushrooms, a pineapple, boots, shoes, socks, dresses, bras, diapers, dishes. You name it, Punk took it. I suppose ya have to honor his personality flaws for without them he wouldn't have a personality at all but thatís tough to keep in mind as I go from neighbor to neighbor asking them if they are missing anything. Once I make my rounds I bask in the knowledge that I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself for what my thieving dog has done... Unless I want to stay out of prison that is. Now my neighbors come over to my house when something comes up missing.
Punk and the Pitts love to go for rides so I took them with me to fill up the water trailer at Pole Line and Lear one hot August day. Not thinking about leashing him up the Punk cuz the Pitts just hang out and I thought the Punk would hang out too. It was a mistake. The moment he seen a rabbit out the truck window he went hot on the rabbits heels. Ya would have thought that I never feed the dog. Not true! He's fatter than hell. He's just gotta do the Punk thing.
I waited for hours before I had to leave without him, I was heart broken. I looked for him for days, had school kids looking for him along with radio stations and news papers. No luck! It's August,110 degrees, no water, no food and I lost him four miles from home in the Mojave Desert. GOOD LUCK!
This was one time my intuition didn't make up for my lack of self judgment. Days led into weeks and I was sure he was gone. Then one day four weeks later I come home to find Punk sitting there with a rabbit in his mouth next to the water trough. This dog has something special looking out for him no doubt.
Since then Punk has restricted his activities to close to home. Ya know, getting to know the innermost secret stash places of the people around me. They reward me in many ways for keeping him in the yard. Punk is happy, alive and well.... SO FAR!
Frank and Debby Francis


09/22/2007

I have noticed that the people here in our little community have many different kinds of pets. I thought it would be nice to share with you, the story of my pets & how we became a family.Here is my story of how we came to share our lives with our small terrier mix, which we re-named Munchkin.

My husband, Dana & I were living in Clovis, California at the time. It was the last weekend in April 1994 and the famous Clovis Rodeo was going on. We had been to the Rodeo parade and decided to return home & do some things around the house. I was looking through the newspaper and happened to see an adorable picture of "The dog of the week." She had this wild looking blondish, strawberry colored hair, that stood out every which way. The article said that she was three years old, and her name was Muffins, she did NOT get along with other animals. After staring at her picture for awhile, I jumped up & said to my husband: come on, we are going for a ride! On the way I explained to him, where we were going and why and that I had to get there before they closed. Dana could not believe I was going all the way across town to see a dog. Upon arrival at the S.P.C.A. I asked to see the dog of the week. They said she was being kept in the puppy section, since she was so little.

When we walked up to that cage, I swear, all three of us fell in love with each other at first sight. I wanted to take her home right then. They informed me that I couldn't do that! I was told that because she is the "dog of the week", we had to enter a drawing that started at 8:00 am the next morning, Sunday. They would then draw a name out of the box at either 8:30 or 9:00 am. The person whose name they draw, gets the dog. I could not believe this. I told the lady: that I was here to adopt & adopt now!!

Needless to say; at 7:30 the next morning, there I was, hoping that nobody else would show up to adopt the pet of the week. About nine people showed up to put their names in the box. I thought I was going to be sick, trying to figure out what my odds would be with all these people putting their names in the box. Then they drew the persons name out of the box. They called my name, I was looking around for that lucky person, waiting for them to start jumping for joy, and nobody did. Everyone was looking at everybody else with a confused look on his or her faces. Then Dana called me over, he had this big smile on his face, then he said come on, let's take our little girl home. (You could have knocked me over with a feather)!!

I didn't know until after we got home with our little wriggling, bouncing, bundle of joy, that while I was busy walking around in nervous circles before the drawing, Dana was visiting with every person who put their name in the box, telling them of the double tragedy I had gone through six months earlier, when my little friend Snoopy died and to top it off, I had to put my friend Buffy down also. So, secretly, everyone went over & took their name out of the drawing box so that I could have her! I already knew that I had married a wonderful person, but I didn't know how truly wonderful he was until then. I also discovered that YES, the world does still have good people out there. THANK YOU, all you nice people out there, who ever you are!!

At times with her wild hair sticking out all over, Munchkin didn't look real. She would sit still for long periods of time & not move. I don't know why she did that; but it made her look like a stuffed animal. Do you remember the "Star Wars" movies? The big fella, Chew Bacca, he was a "Wookie". Well, our little Munchkins fur was like the Wookies, same color & sticking out all over. During the time we had gotten Munchkin, we were traveling a lot, because of Dana's racing with the off road race car. We always took our dogs with us. People would come up and tell us how cute Munchkin was and ask what her breed was. After several years of this, I decided to start pulling a prank on the people asking about her breed. So I came up with my patent answer: she's a "Mini Wookie". The people would say; I never heard of that breed before, can you write it down for me, I want to get one of those. I was always happy to oblige them.

Munchkin got along just fine with our Akita & two cats. So I couldn't figure out where they said, that she didn't get along with other animals. Sad to say, our little bundle of joy passed way in May 2004. We had our little Munchkin for 10 fun, exciting and happy years.


08/17/2007

Let's talk pests, I mean pets! If you have a fun story please send it in, I think the people in our little community would enjoy reading it. I have several pets myself. Here is a short version of our life together with "Lil' Brat."

One hot morning my husband, Dana and I walked out to our garage to work on our racecar. In the "Drivers seat", (which should have warned us right then) was this beautiful kitten, sound asleep. It was so tired it slept right through us using the impact wrench to take the tires off the racecar.

The kitten was at our house for two days, before our neighbor two houses down, came by to talk to my husband. He saw the kitten, and exclaimed it was his daughter's cat and they didn't know what had happened to it. He took it back home where it belonged.

The kitten came back! Now that we knew where he lived we took him home again and again. And he came back! We took him home at least three dozen times, and each time he came back. (Not once during all of this did we ever feed, water or pet him). We just could NOT get rid of this kitten! He was like Velcro or Super Glue. He was sticking to us and that was his story!

The neighbor, who was now moving, said "I think you have a new cat", that kitten has picked you to be with, he certainly doesn't seem to want to be with us. He gave the kitten to us.

For some strange reason, this kitten had adopted us to be his family! He has been with us through; three moves, two kidney stones, one broken leg, and too many other things to mention. He just wouldn't leave us alone! He reminds us everyday; why we named him "BRAT" and (believe me) he lives up to his name on a daily basis. This August, we celebrated our 14-year anniversary with BRAT!