Saturday, November 5, 2011

A New Job!

Well, I got laid off from "my" Garden Center after 7 & a half years. I had 1 hours' notice. I moped about for a couple of weeks, dragging myself around the house trying to unpack some old boxes, and clean up stuff and do stuff that I should have done years ago, but hadn't. Basically, I was heart broken, and trying not to spiral into the blackness of depression.

Well, my good friend Phyllis Brinkley and her nephew Aaron bought the old Currinsville Store and I went and got my alcohol handler's license, and I waited, and prayed that maybe the economy would pick up just enough so they could hire me. Well, YAY! They did ! Not full time, only part time, but if I am very frugal, I should be able to get the bills paid, and keep the animals fed and cared for in the manner of which they have become accustomed.

Since we are moving into the cold season, I must admit that it is nice to not have to trek around all day in boots with 3 pairs of socks, on cold gravel, in a drafty building without heat in sub-freezing temperatures. Working in a Deli, and getting the restaurant bar up and running does not depend on weather. As a matter of fact, unlike gardening, customers generally come into a Restaurant when the weather is poor! This is a GOOD thing!

So I have begun dragging my cookbooks out, and visiting Foodie Blogs. I used to be a manager of an antiquarian bookstore, so when any of the vendors brought in books, I was often able to get first dibs. So I have a pretty good selection of "specialty" cookbooks: Soups, Salads & Starters; Spice Island Cookbook; Regional Recipes from Famous Restaurants of the 60's; Seafood; Cheese; Friends of the Wolf; Around the World Regional Recipes; Native American; Irish; Crock Pot Cookery; 365 recipes each for Pasta/Chicken/Woks; even a sushi/sashimi cookbook! I'm going to go get my food handler's license as well. This is pretty exciting! All four of us who work here are great cooks on their own, I really think we can offer a fun Foodie experience!!

Here's to new experiences!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

49 Dead in Ohio

If you are tender souled, avert your eyes. This is a tragic story, and this picture is heartbreaking. On October 20th, 2011 a gentleman in Ohio, and ex-Vietnam helicopter gunner under extreme distress, severely depressed, with no one to turn to (in his eyes) released 50 of his exotic animals and then shot himself in the head. Ohio, pressured by the Dear Friend of Michael Vick, that animal loving football hero, yes you guessed it, Wayne Pacelle the self-admitted Hero of Animals is being pushed to legislate in emergency session a total ban on private ownership of all exotics.

Ohio, Just Don't
49 Dead in Ohio
All I can see is this picture in my mind with clashing music looping over and over. Through the rage, and the tears, I keep seeing the pictures in my mind of the people I know who live in Ohio and other states who own exotic animals. Responsible private owners who will be punitively affected by a ban law, even tho their animals have never escaped, never caused any problems, were not stolen from the wild, are well kept, well loved, healthy members of the Family. Sure, they may be considered an oddball Family, but aren't all of our Families a little different? a little oddball? A little maladjusted? A little dysfunctional? I know mine is, and really... I wouldn't want it any other way ...

These are the things I know for certain:
  • Terry Thompson was a Vietnam Vet who was still struggling with his experience there.
  • He lived a relatively solitary life. He and his recently-divorced wife considered the animals as part of the family, as their "furry children."
  • He got in over his head, and had too many animals, and was having troubles caring for them all appropriately.
  • He recently was released from prison on a weapons charge, for ownership of unregistered weapons.
  • He was cited on neglect charges in April of 2005
  • in January of 2011 Joe A Schreibvogel of GW Exotic Animal Memorial Park offered to help Terry and the County by taking the animals and was refused his assistance by Sheriff Matt Lutz.
  • Feline Conservation Federation also offered to assist when Mr. Thompson was incarcerated, but was refused by the authorities.
  • The authorities on the scene were not properly trained in management of frightened large exotics and were self-admittedly "nervous" as reported by on-the-scene reporters.
  • Most of the animals were still on Mr. Thompson's private property.
49 animals were shot and killed, and at least one monkey was eaten by other predators. People are calling for a ban on all private ownership of exotics. But what people don't seem to realize is this: Just how far do you want to legislate? Will owning a pet lizard be OK? An African Grey parrot? A friend of mine is upset about the fact that big cats are privately owned, stating that "they should never have been taken from the wild", but she owns African Greys, which, according to one source, some 21% of the global population is from the wild. Why is this acceptable but owning big cats is not? So, will exotic birds be a part of this ban? Is it the size of the animal? Without private owners and private breeding facilities, the global population of the Bengal Tiger would be effectively extinct as a result of the small number of Bengals in the wild. Non sustainable populations = extinction. I'm not saying that everybody should have one or three, nor am I saying that this is a problem we, as a society, don't need to address. What I am saying is that if you push for a ban on private ownership, are you thinking about ALL the ramifications? Will snakes be legal to own? If you have a big cat and you've never ever gotten into any trouble, and your "really big kitty" never goes walk-about in the neighborhood sampling Eau de Poodle, and your kitty is healthy and happy and part of your Family, does anybody have the right to rip that animal away from its' loving home as a result of another person's mistakes? And all those legally kept animals whose owners don't have enough money to pony up brand new bells and whistles, and lawyers, what will we do with their animals? Will you put their animals in a cage? Animals who have never known that kind of hand's-off husbandry, who have only known sleeping on couches across Mommy's lap, or laying in bed with Daddy, wouldn't that be cruel? OR will we simply kill them all because there's "no room at the Inn" all across America at the Zoos and Sanctuaries? Most small towns -or states for that matter in today's economy- don't have the resources necessary to enforce new laws with new training of employees and all that is necessary legally to enact these kinds of "emergency ban laws", nor do they have the resources to fight legislative battles in court for these untrained employees and the mistakes they will undoubtably make. In today's economy, can we afford the tax dollars all these new legislative issues will cost?

Repeatedly people have shown the truth of HSUS' real agenda. (This article is a very good one by a member of the AVMA) HSUS is a radical animal rights organization with close ties to terrorist groups like PETA, ALF and ELF. But when it comes to animal welfare laws, it seems as if we just go knee jerk, and forget all we ever learned of critical thinking. We hear good ol' Wayne Pacelle decry the horror ! the tragedy! We need to ban all animal ownership (ooops! sorry, he means EXOTIC animal ownership, ALL animal ownership, that'll come later) to prevent this from ever happening again! But will it? After all, the ban that's being suggested is only against PRIVATE ownership. Zoos and Sanctuaries will be exempted. Even though over 80% of all the incidents of bites occur in Zoos or Sanctuaries. Private owners, as a general rule, know their animals' tolerances, and don't allow them to be pushed. Don't get me wrong, most Zoos and Sanctuaries are well run animal care facilities with passionate people who truly care for the welfare of their charges. Of course, these facilities also aren't the usual recipients of bite incidents.

So I suggest that we all grab tight hold of our common sense and THINK first before any of us-and any of our representatives- run off to pass new laws "to protect the animals". And furthermore, I offer the radical idea of enforcing the laws we currently have on the books regarding animal welfare, and the "laws of the land" such as "roaming at large". Make it across the board. Make it simple. All animals will be given adequate food, water, space to excersize, and size of containment according to their species' needs. Yes, factory farms will set up a hue and cry to this kind of radical simplistic common sense, and yes, this will probably affect the price of some animal food products, like meat and dairy. But isn't this really past due anyway? (Please click here for a very short explanation of "battery hens")

If our Country had had one solid piece of a law regarding animal welfare, this incident would have been taken care of last year and January before it got to this tipping point. What if all the Vietnam Vets had been offered intense help to readjust and re-assimilate into our society rather than ostracized? I wonder if Mr Thompson would have felt so alone if he had some kind of support group when he got home. What was Sheriff Lutz' reasoning to reject the two offers of help from reputable rescue organizations? If he had accepted their help, those animals wouldn't be dead today. Why are we listening to Wayne Pacelle? Tax the heck out of those scoundrels, and get them out of the lobbying business. Those 49 animals didn't have to die. But in the interest of justice, I pray that America doesn't wind up banning all responsible private owners from living their lives in the manner which they please, in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness all because one man, lost, lonely, sick at heart, made a terrible terrible choice.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Untitled As Yet?

I saw this book available through Amazon the other day:
Part Wild The author came to our home and met with my friend Dianne, and spoke with her at length about living with wolfdogs. She met one of my mentors, Sue Cranston, who runs Indigo Mountain Nature Center She met with many other extraordinary wolfdog owners and she met honest-to-God high content "mostly wolf" pet wolfdogs, with owners who have proper containment, who train their pets to behave, and not act like heathens, who interact with them with loving care. This lady met, face to face, the "real deal", but even the Truth sticking right in her face could not dislodge the preconceived notions she has of the "poor lost wolfdog, always caught between two worlds", and "the cruel lot of the wolfdog, forced to live in confinement and always yearning to be free", etc etc ad naseum.

It made me want to scream. It made me want to shake her till her pigtails popped. And after a few days, it made me pick up one of my journals that I hadn't gotten around to writing in yet, and start to write. I mean, I figure if I bend me to it, if I write every day, and fill this book with my experiences since MY first wolfdog way back in 1987 to date, well if a pack of misinformation and preconceived ill-considered thoughts of a woman with a low content, poorly trained and socialized malamute mix would sell, I wonder if the thoughts and experiences of an animal welfare advocate and responsible wolfdog owner and the trials and errors I've lived through with my babies would sell.

My experiences are far different from this woman's. I started out with a wolfdog of the same approximate content as she did, but I actually LISTENED when I was first told that my "pet wolf" was "mostly dog". I listened, and I researched, and I went around the country and met other people's pets, from low content wolfdogs to pure wolves. There are places I still wish to go, (Indigo Mountain, for one!) but I don't do much traveling anymore, except back to my Home town for Christmases to see my Mom and my Tribe... I have my babies to consider.

I've seen a lot of books out about why wolfdogs make lousy pets, but very few about the good side of sharing your life with a wolfdog. Well, maybe it's time that changed.

I started last night. All part of my re-invention scheme!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Seven and a Half Years #BAD11

Seven and a Half Years #BAD11 (which is some kind of Tweet-speak about Blog Action Day)

Having just been let go from my Dream Job –oh wait, let me redefine that , of all the jobs I’ve done, all the work I’ve fallen into, everything I’ve been paid to do, the job I have loved the best was working at the Garden Center. It’s been leased now, and the new owners don’t have room for me… “Well, maybe next March or April” which is a soothing salve for my now-downtrodden ego, but doesn’t put chicken in the mouths of the woofers, or litter in the cat boxes, not to mention food on the table for this Winter- I find myself having to redefine myself all over again. (the shade of Yogi Beara sits on my shoulder for that sentence)

One of the things I was most passionate about with this job, and my new life of 7 & a half years in Oregon was food crops and organic methods of gardening. The town I wound up in, (a pin stick in a map from long long ago) is a very small rural town with old farmers and old hippies and young people yearning for a more natural life away from the sick smelly rat race. Or trapped here, there are those who say that too. It’s a slice of Rural America here. And as small as this town is, it has the pulse of “what’s important”. Because the stuff that’s really important gets steamed off into a thicker, more pungent gravy in a small town. A small town has less room to maneuver, less of a bumper, small decreases of economy hit harder in rural small towns. One business that goes under is one BIG domino.

So when the economy started showing signs of shivering and weakly pneumonia, I saw people who hadn’t planted gardens in years or never start coming down to the garden center to ask me about how to plant their gardens.. What to grow? Where to grow it? Why do my tomatoes have spots? Why does my peach tree have red blotches on the leaves? What’s this grey green fuzzy stuff? I didn’t get any onions last year, can you tell me what to do? And I did, I researched, and I read. My library of gardening, and gardening techniques, and organic methods is fairly hefty. Lots of old books with some outdated information, and some lost gems of wisdom.. And I took seminars, and pounced on every event that any supplier put on… Seed trials, soil improvement and elements of healthy soil, pest integration systems, anything everything that had anything to do with gardening naturally. I have learned a great deal about living, about growing, about what works, and why, and why not.

I discovered a lot of things, mostly through that age-old Task Master, “trial and error” . Gardening naturally is harder work –especially in a commercial business- than traditional chemical methods. This past year that has really sunk in, when we realized that white flies had taken root in a BIG way in the third greenhouse- the propagation house. The past ownership wasn’t much into doing anything beyond taking money for plants. CARE of plants, or greenhouse upkeep just wasn’t in their business plan. I sprayed daily, using Neem, pepper wax spray and Pyrythrin alternately, and we cleaned the house of all weeds, sterilized the benches, segregated the plants, and once Winter hit, I was going to drop the sides and bomb the greenhouses with a pyrythrin bug bomb. That didn’t happen, because the place got leased, and the new owners are chemical people. He’s registered as a pesticide sprayer. First day there, all the weeds were given their last rites with Round Up. The last 3 weeks I had purchased some white fly predators, and I gave them the last strip. So the white flies will not be given them any grief, I am sure. What pests escape the predators, the new owners will kill with pesticides.

So why did I make more work for myself? Because I was the one who had to do the spraying, and I do not have a HazMat suit to do this, and I don’t want to have chemicals around me. They are nasty, poisonous, deadly, and the garden center borders a drainage ditch of significance which drains straight into the Clackamas River. The water table is so high there, that you can’t even sink a toilet, you have to have a port-a-potty. All that poison drift, all the pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, all that goes straight into the river, and I didn’t want that on my conscience. And because we sell FOOD items, plants that make food for people, plants that will be living with us for a while until they find their new owners, and I don’t want to ingest poisons, and I sure don’t want to sell a food plant that’s been soaked or sprayed with poisons to my neighbors, because well, dang it, I sure wouldn’t want to grow a plant that I plan to eat off of that’s been loaded with toxic chemicals…

There’s enough of that around. We have seen way too much of the results of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) as we have grown in this Country. We were given milk from cows who were saturated with bovine growth hormones, and fed grain which included the crushed up bones and meals of companion pets. And we wonder why little girls of 8 are going through menses, and why cows go mad with bovine encephalitis. We try to eat better, and get e-coli from our spinach because AgriBusiness doesn’t have enough port-a-potties in their fields, so their workers use “the bushes”, which leaches into the fields of “garden fresh” vegetables trucked direct to your table. And then the attacks on small organic farms by Monsanto, and the push to use GMOs as a food source for ANY living creature (don’t eat the popcorn at the movies, *dang!* cheap GMO corn) even tho in Europe, the studies have proven time and again to be linked to very bad mojo long term diseases…. Glyphosate Birth Defects ) I’m well past child-bearing years, (long story) but why would I chance ingesting a product which has been proven time after time after time to be poisonous? WHY would anyone trust a company who repeatedly settles out-of-court so they don’t have to state how many times they have been taken to court and LOST?? I’m just afraid now to eat stuff not locally produced by people who use organic methods of farming.

Consumers need to know this: We need to be actively aware of what we choose to purchase at our stores, we NEED to be proactive about our food choices.
Monsanto & Glyphosate Toxicity studies
GMO corn study reveals health damage and cover up
We are being fed a crock of unuseable compost regarding GMOs. Mad Cow disease is a result of using meat & meats meals rendered from all sources (pets, other animal stock, downed farm animals) and fed to HERBIVORES along with bovine growth hormones in order to produce more milk, more meat, bigger better more more more than we can sustainably ask of any farm animal or food source. And why, when there is a ban on feeding ruminants any mammalian byproducts, why hasn’t the USDA actually implemented and enforced the bans, the proposed laws and consumer protection? Instead, we get to have GMO corn pushed on us by the very people who are supposed to be protecting us. Is our USDA bought and paid for? WTH??? and the bee decline has been linked substantially to 1) re-sizing combs bigger to produce more honey -mites get in over the bodies of the bees who aren't big enough to block the re-sized combs- and 2) from wide-spread use of systemic pesticides where the bees gather the pollen off flowers which have been treated with this systemic, and the bees die as well as the bad bugs which feed off the plants.

I can see, actually, why someone who believes in the status quo, who believes that chemical pesticides and herbicides are the way to go, why someone like that would not necessarily be interested in hiring a person like myself. After all, chemical methods of plant care ARE more effective, short term. It’s the LONG TERM where their shortcomings and the dangers come from, and many people in the plant industry are not concerned about the long term. They are concerned with the short term, the plants and products they can sell TODAY, this week, and to hell with the cost over the long term. I can see it, because I know myself pretty well, and I’m a big mouth, especially when it comes to something I am passionate about. I won’t be silent, I will not comply, I am recalcitrant beyond measure, and stubborn beyond reasoning. And actually, in this economy, who can blame anybody for thinking about how they can survive TODAY??

I dunno. That’s why I’m redefining myself. That’s why I’m writing this, to raise my own level of awareness. I was a professional gardener. Now I’m just another natural gardening advocate. I wonder where this road will lead me.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

So Fare Well to McGregor's Nursery

I got laid off a couple weeks back, to working just one day per week... The McGregors' were having a heck of a tough time pulling the Garden Center out of the financial spiral that the past ownership and the economy spilled it into..

So I went to work today, and at 3 -ish pm, I got told that they had leased the Garden Center, and the new owners were taking over TOMORROW. The new owners wanted me to delete the website (blogspot) and the FaceBook pages, which I did. I am sorry that I couldn't say good bye properly, didn't have much notice.

Gave up my keys, but I get to keep my cell phone until I can get all the pictures and contacts out of it.. Tried to talk my way into keeping it, but no go.

I'm glad I had made out a list of my stuff, so that I won't be TOO lost as I try to get everything out... The fridge, the microwave, all the fans in the greenhouses, the heat mats.. The big wagons, the tools, shovels, hand tools, etc... the vacuum cleaner, step ladder, all the office supplies (well, most of them.) the oak desk.. and there's a whole page of other stuff...The easel for *specials*.. I took my computers today, as I thought it might be wise to make sure that no-one would accidentally damage my files... It wasn't ALWAYS the "work computer". It started out as my website computer, with all my photo and drawing programs in it..

Man, I feel lost.. I have been working there since 2 months after I moved to this state... It was like another home.. I put my heart and soul into it.

Maybe the new owners will decide I'm worth keeping on, I don't know. Maybe they won't. The McGregors' gave them my name and number, anyway.

I just don't know what the Universe is preparing me for, or pushing at me. My friends Dave & Bobbie came over just after I found out, and later, after the shock wore off a little (a VERY little) I threw invisible me up in the air, and told God, "Here ya go! Do with me as You will"... Seven and a half years. (minus one Spring after MGC laid me off/fired me because I got hurt at work, and *couldn't do the job I had been hired for*. I still need surgery for that) So wow, just wow. Life moves on.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

World Blog Day

Once again, it's time for Blog Action Day. This year's topic is FOOD, and BOY do I have alot to say about THAT! I invite you to tune in to my Blog (you are here) on or after October 16th.

I'm in, are you ?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meow Like a Pirate Day

Meow Like a Pirate Day
In celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day
and off I go for another adventure... Day One of Job #2 at the Currinsville Deli! Friend them up! It's a nice place, GREAT food (Sarah is a baker par excellance) The sandwiches and soups are always fresh made with fresh local produce, and new stuff will be added as we grow! Come on down and see us ! It's an historic building as well, with a rich local history.

AS one door closes, another opens.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Life Lessons

Lately, if you've been reading my Blog, you will have read posts on loss.. And how I am trying to deal with the terrible losses I am dealing with, dancing with, crying with, smiling through.

And sooner than I know, it will be the tenth annual *anniversary* of the 9/11 Tragedy, a date of infamy, a date in American History where we, as Americans, reached a pinnacle of sublime connection, and then plummeted to a depth of racism not seen since the sixties. I found this Gentleman:
Don't Forget to Hug Your Children, and your Parents
Sadly I hear some element of that phrase over and over again from mourners reflecting on words left unsaid, gestures not made. And even though we all understand in our heads that tomorrow is not guaranteed, it is so hard to live a life that illustrates that understanding in our hearts.

I think I shall tune in to his commentaries more often. LZ GrandersonI get this a lot: this cynicism regarding my intent to live life with heart wide open.
To the cynic, this kind of talk is considered light and fluffy. But as someone who knows what it's like to hear the sobs of a father who had lost his only child the day before, there is nothing light or fluffy about a grieving heart.

I am still processing the loss of my Dear Friends Sam Goldstein and Kevin Manion. Every day, I still look for my Teeghkii, positive that TODAY, this will be revealed as one big Candid Camera Joke. So far, it has not.

But today, in preparation for the Rememberance of 9/11, I want to just simply tell you all one small little thing: I Love You. You are, each and every one of you, part of my Chosen Family, and I am incredibly Blessed with your presence in my life. I do not want to remember that "I should have told you I Loved You." I want to remember that I DID remember to tell you.


Saturday, September 3, 2011


I created a video in Memorium. I'm very new at this video-making thing. I hope you enjoy.
To Teeghkii, my Beloved.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Miracles

Yesterday was a true Gift. I've been blue for a while now, as my pals the Kitteh Klan would say, I Haz a Sad.

But yesterday, I saw a bit of the Little Miracle.

Do you remember the very first time you met a wolf? (or HC wolfdog?) Do you remember that moment when you met eyes, and the world just ... stopped, and there was just you and that wolf? I do...

I was in 9th grade, a freshman at El Capitan High School. There was a *Wildlife Presentation* so, of course, I had to go. I finagled my way up to the front of the crowd, sitting down on the basketball court, that wood slick and shiny with the bottoms of many a young school chum. The bleachers were full, the auditorium was packed.

And in they came. I don't remember a darned thing about the handler except that he was a man, and he was kind. He let me follow the entourage like a puppy all the rest of the day. And my Teachers were very understanding, and gave me *excused absences* for the rest of the afternoon, knowing it would be useless to insist upon my presence, I wouldn't *be there* anyway...

There was an old lion, with a lovely dark brown mane, and a severely broken canine. He was so handsome! And very sweet.

There was a Golden Eagle, SOOO majestic! his eyes so bright and sharp and keen.

And there was a wolf. My heart just stopped.. My breath just disappeared somewhere in my chest, somewhere between my little lizard brain and my heart, my breath just vanished. I couldn't take my eyes off him. My eyes must have been the size of saucers and I bet my mouth never did find the hinge to close... I knew in that moment that I would forever and always be totally in love with this magnificent being.

The man talked about each animal, about their preferred habitat, about the dangers they were facing by unplanned developments. About how wolves were very nearly extinct. Then he walked all the animals one by one all around the diameter of the auditorium, walking slowly so we all could get a good look at them. I was in the front row, as you will remember. When it came to walking the wolf around, he got halfway through the semi-circular walk, until he got to where I was sitting. He stopped in front of me, stared at me with those so-intense yellow eyes with his head slightly lowered so he and I were eye to eye, face to mask... And then he sat in my lap.

And there he stayed. The handler tried to get him to continue his walk, but he would have none of it. He laughed a wolfy laugh, and made himself comfortable in my lap. I was in seventh heaven. I just floated away in sheer and utter delight, I could feel my heart pounding away in my chest, racing about like a bevy of meercats. And my cheeks ached from the big wide smile plastered across my face. After an eternity and a day which might have lasted 20 minutes, he decided it was OK to finish the Grand Tour and thrill the other side of his adoring fans. My life would never be the same.

I followed them around the rest of the day, as the man took the three Ambassadors from classroom to classroom. The wolf hung back and walked beside me for a while.

Fast forward 40 years.

So yesterday one of my regular customers at work came over to pick up some trees she'd purchased with her daughter, and her daughter's GodMother, who is from Germany. The GodMother (I can't believe I forgot to ask for her name!) noticed my necklaces, and said "OH! You must like wolves!" and I smiled, chuckled a bit, and said, yes, I share my life with wolfdogs. She said "What do you mean?" so I told her my Kidz were wolfdogs, part wolf, part dog. Her eyes flew open wide, and you could see the luminosity around her eyes, like a halo of the face... She said she'd always loved wolves! And she'd never met one, and had always wanted to... I asked her how long was she in town, and she told me she was leaving for Germany tomorrow morning. I felt urged to offer, so I asked her if she would like to come over and meet my Kidz. :~)

Mariam, her daughter, and the GodMom just left after a nice visit.

Since Dianne's Kidz are the first that everyone sees when they drive up, we talked about them first.. How Thunder was one of the tallest Woofers I'd ever seen, and how *we didn't mention Stormy's weight around him out loud* shhhhhhhh (they laughed :~) and how Shawnee collects boys, and how she is the Queen of all she surveys... They thought Dianne's Kidz were extraordinary. (which they are)

Then we went in to visit with with Spirit, who schmoozled all over them, many photos were taken. NIhki took treats from me, and was VERY interested! But was still a bit hesitant to approach. They loved it ! NihkiRoxie is quite the looker!!

Then I took them over to meet America. America just LOVES visitors! He schmooozled them all! He adored the GodMom, and kissed her and licked her arms, and tried to lick her face, but that was a tad bit too much for her... :~) I can certainly see the point, them's mighty long and sharp pearly whites nibbling on my nose. But you could see the light in her eyes! She just BEAMED!!! She looked like she could just float away .... I halfway expected her to start crying! I have seen that happen before. I'VE done it before...

I just made someone's year. :~) It really feels so good to know that all that hard work and dedication about socialization is paying off with such wonderful dividends... It still astounds me how amazing he is. And America just LOVES the attention, he is such a schmoooze.. :~) I love my Kidz....

I really am quite fortunate with all my Kidz...And one other thing this incident brought to mind... When you live with miracles every day, miracles become common place. Watching this lady's face as she interacted with her first wolfdog made me remember what a truly extraordinary Gift I live with every day... It brought the miracle of it all right home in my lap, so to speak :~)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In The Arms of the Angels

I have music rolling around in the back of my head, I am almost grounded...somewhat rested..
In The Arms of the Angels

My heart is mangled with unresolved sorrow
Mourning for so many all at one time,
Denied a sufficient grieving for the Lost Beloveds
Now they all bear the same face in facets…
One side furry, one side winged sweetness.
I still hear the music they both made.
One side a husband, the other my red-headed friend
Good friends, Tribe. Chosen Family.
Childhood friends saving one anothers' lives repeatedly throughout the years
in one form or the other.
To lose so many so young.. When did we get that old?
And now every song holds a special meaning,
Every wing beat holds a special lesson,
I cannot help but internalize the pain, the loss, the sorrow.
And when I try to sing it out, my voice curls up inside me
Like some small wounded beast fluttering within my heart.
Its' small sharp teeth gnawing away
with only a small squeak of tears emerging from the darkness of my heart
And that’s where the music has always come from.
I miss them.
I don’t believe it.
It cannot be that they are gone. It cannot be.
They are still here with me.

>^,,^< 8-25-2011

Because I love you always..
It's been 52 days since my Dear Friend Sam Goldstein died. I think I am almost ALMOST ready to write about it.. To allow the depths of my despair, my sorrow, my loneliness, my heartsickness to trickle through the *cyber ink* of the words I shall choose to release. And also to finally FINALLY attempt to reach out to the Joy, the Flight, the deep and abiding Love I have and will always have for my Friend.
It's amazing, Sam. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya.
Sam Wheat's quote about love ... From Sam Goldstein to Sam Malstead... and back again...

Red Tail Hawk above us

In August, my Dear One Kevin lost his battle with cancer. He died two days before I got down to San Diego for Sam's Memorial.. I had planned to visit with him wile I was down there.

Kevin & Francie on Cookie Day

But as another friend told me, Here Comes The Sun


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Signed Up for the Green Challenge

Just Signed Up for the Green Challenge at the Business website: McGregor's Nursery. As it's a business website, I decided to bring the Challenge HERE, cuz it's MY website, and I can write what I wish. I'm welcomed to my own opinion here ! *laughs*

So it IS a Challenge I believe in, and the Business does many many things the "green way". We don't use many chemical fertilizers, we use a great deal of organic soil supplements such as liquid fish, liquid kelp, and the organic meals for fertilizing our veggies. We don't use chemical herbacides, but rely on hand picking those pesky weeds, spraying with vinegar and ammoniated soaps of fatty acids, and corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent. We try to be very very careful of what we let run out into the water table because we care about our Community, and we care about our Customers, our neighbors, and we care about the land and our environment.

So, I challenge you all to try to be aware of what we put into Life, and what we ask of it. Let's all try to be aware, and to make good choices! If you're interested, look up these folks. I found a lot of interesting ideas here! One Green Generation Although I have to add a little musing here: This isn't for just one generation. My Great GramPops was an environmentalist before the term was coined. Every place we ever went, it was the Family Rule that what you packed in, you packed out... PLUS ONE ITEM. We all had to pick up at least ONE piece of garbage/trash/junk/weirdness which was not left behind by us, but someone before us. Pops was awesome that way. That's where it started for me. Where did it start for you? I'd love to hear your stories!


Monday, August 1, 2011

People in Spirit

And I mean "people" as in fur people, skin people, feather people... This past month of July has been a very tough one for Wolfdancer Creek. My baby boy, Teeghkii, died very suddenly ... On July 5th. The day after one of my best friends and Ray of Light, Sam Goldstein died. 4th of July. The Family didn't find his body until the 10th, I think it was...
I laid me down next to his body and let the tears flow freely .. Here it is August now, and still I cry at the drop of a hat. I miss him so much.. and I miss Sam more than tongue can tell..

He loved Lil Roxie Nihki La Rue, but she pestered him unto distraction...

I put him in with Rhi when Bear died, because Rhi was inconsolable. Teeghkii was so very gentle and good with everybody, I knew he would be company, if not a "True Love" candidate.. Now Rhi is grieving again... We put her on CalmEase for 3 weeks to get her past the immediate grief. I wish it were as easy for me.

I am going back to San Diego for Sam's Memorial, where those of us who loved him dearly will be singing him Home to God. I leave on the 11th. It's going to be a tough week. But it'll be a healing one.

Go To God, My Dearly Beloveds. And for those still here, let me not forget to tell you how very Blessed I feel that you are in my life. Sometimes I am lonely, deeply lonely ... But I know I have Loved, and that deeply too. Hug the ones you love. Don't let another day pass by without telling them you love them.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Great Quiche Experiment. Fun with Chickens!

Last year I boarded a couple of Bloodhounds for a friend. He also had five chickens which I took care of. When he found his new home, he asked me if I wanted the chickens. I said *SURE!* So I named four of them after the Golden Girls, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Buffy is a bit of a snob, you see. But the Golden Girls are REALLY sociable! There's Sofia, a light red Rhode Island Red hen, Dorothy, who is MUCH darker red, and also a Rhode Island Red. Buffy is an Ameraucauna, she lays blue-ish green eggs that are really pretty! Easter Eggers, they call these hens..and Blanche and Rose are black hens of extraordinary beauty. I believe they are Australorps. So after I lived with these five, Greig came home "with a new beak for Wolfdancer Creek" a Black Star pullet we named Belinda, the Chicken Who Saved Oz. Then I bought two more Black Stars, Grace and Faith, because Buffy -who was low hen in the pecking order - decided she just moved up a rank, and she really gave Belinda what-for... So I thought having 2 more pullet hens would make life a little easier for Belinda.
A bit about Belinda. Her name came from the Wizard of Oz series. L. Frank Baum wrote several books about Oz. In "The Road to Oz" we are introduced to "Billina the Yellow Hen". I didn't remember her name right, I remembered her as "Belinda". Billina saves Oz from the Goblin King. Turns out the Goblin King is deathly afraid of eggs, so Billina pelts him with eggs, and saves everybody. So Belinda is the Chicken Who Saved Oz at Wolfdancer Creek.

So, then I had all these eggs.. EVERYbody was laying! I was getting a dozen a day! Luckily, I am a member of Certified Naturally Grown, a grass roots organic certification program, so I can sell them as free ranging spoiled rotten "better than organic" eggs... But still... What to do with this many eggs? Enter the world of quiche!
My first quiche

preparatory to being popped into the oven.
OK, well, my first TWO quiches

They were delicious! And despite what they say about real men and quiche, Greig gave them the "Two Forks Up" award for Nummyness.

Sadly, a coyote came in and killed Dorothy and Grace. Rose got broody, so a friend of mine gave me six little mixed eggs (Rhode Island Red/Delaware/Red Star) that Rose has been a'settin' with great glee. She is a GOOD Mommy, and every day I go and sit with her and rub her neck behind her head while she "cooos" at me... It is a strange sound, not a *bawk* but more of a murmur. I think she will be a very good Mommy when the babies hatch. We're trying to figure out where the 'yotes came in from, and will be fencing off yet another parcel. Greig mowed so the 'yote can't hide in the tall grasses anymore. So far, so good... But 'yotes are smart, and this one has my number... So I might have to shoot a coyote, something I am SOOOOO not looking forward to doing... But I have to protect my little Ladies!

In Memory of Dorothy, a chicken of rare beauty and strong personality . A True Golden Girl! Her namesake would have been proud of her. Depending on how many hens I get out of my six eggs, I think I shall name them Grace, Hope, and maybe, if there's a really strong personality in this clutch, I shall name her Dorothy. I look forward to my new babies!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Living Goes On Spring Is Springing

Yesterday at 7:30 ish am, my MauMau Gramma Tiger went to see her Sailor Man, PowPow Mac, my Mama's Daddy. My Maternal Grampa. MauMau was PowPow's True Love, and his second wife. My Grammy's first husband. They divorced when it just wasn't "done". They were very very bad for each other, my Grammy and PowPow. They really brought out the worst in each other. There is a great deal of alienation, hurt, abandonment that I am feeling. Jealousy, even. Alot of it. If I allowed myself to wallow in the dark, I could easily feel the loss, the abandonment feelings.. But I do not allow those feelings to live. They are like cockroaches, those bad ol' feelings, and they must be drug out kicking and screaming into the Light where they have NO POWER to hurt. I shall stomp them into cockroach jelly, these bad ol' feelings! and make 'em into compost.

MauMau & PowPow they were DYNAMITE together! They laughed together, played together, loved together. It was wonderful to watch. MauMau had Alzeimers, towards the end of her life, and Cousin Alicia, Buggy as we called her back then, *wry chuckle* The Golden Child, and her Family has been looking after her since PowPow died last year. Alicia is an incredibly sweet soul. MauMau's with PowPow now. She was missing him terribly. I am glad he went first, tho, to make sure the way was clear. I can see them now, playing and laughing her head on his shoulder, the sparkle in both of their eyes. These two grown-ups GIGGLED ! Giggled, I say, it was just adorably cute to watch them together! I know that some people believe that when you die, you die.. and when animals die, they die. Period, end of story, let in the worms. I do not believe that a God of Love would make it so. It is a huge comfort to me to believe that when our pets die, they await us beyond the Rainbow Bridge. It is a huge comfort to me to believe that I have *angels* on my shoulders looking after me, that the people I have loved, I shall see again. I do not believe that God would begrudge this small comfort to a grieving soul. Therefore, I will Believe.

The baby Ancona ducks got here a week early, this past Friday, but hey, why not? They are in a crate in the living room until such time as it gets a bit warmer, and we can build an escape-proof amoeba-proof duckling pen where the owls and rats can't get to our wee feathered fowl friends... I would have liked to have resized the pics, but this ol' computer is batsh*t crazy and has decided that it doesn't wanna open up my editing program. "Open, please", "NOPE, Not gonna wouldn't be prudent." *bah* The ducklings are waaaay beyond cute.

Box o' ducklings

We are One With the Water

AND I got my Walla Walla onions in! along with the Sugar Ann bush peas. The derned birds I saw in the garden had BEST not have been pecking up my pea seeds, or it's SQUAB for dinner tonight, Honey!

The first day of Spring. One door closes, one door opens. So Be It.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paws for Japan

I keep seeing the man's face and that's me, I see it now, we are all one.

World Vets is putting on a Blog-A-Thon in order to drum up help for their relief plans for Japan, and for the animal survivors there. If you should be able to donate, please click the link just above here. They are doing a very good job.

I, like most of you, have been watching the terrible stream of tragedies which has devastated Japan over these past weeks... Losing sleep over the faces I have seen on the web, worrying about the nuclear fallout... Will it come here? It's "just across the pond"... Weeping along with the people of Japan, both in terror, and in joy as they find pieces of their old lives, in particular, as they find their loved ones...

I just got word that my dearest Heart Friend Larry and his wife Yan have evacuated safely for weeks? months? they are unsure but safe. Holding them close in my prayers!

And there's this cat who lives with his Family named Maru whom I have been watching for some time now on YouTube, and one night I awoke in my traditional "middle of the night wakie wakies" thinking OMG! I wonder if Maru and his Family is OK? I asked on FaceBook, and sure enough, someone had heard from them! Maru was afraid, they said, and continues to be nervous about all the shaking about that the Earth is doing, but they are doing fine, and are safe.

And then there is Cat Island, or Tashirojima, which is a "paw pad" shaped island off of the Japanese mainland. This Island's population is almost entirely elderly with cats. LOTS of cats. They are in pretty dire need of the basics, but they survived the tsunami by being on the "right" side of the island. Here's another post from Love Meow

This woman refused to evacuate because the authorities wouldn't allow her to take her dog. She and her wee sheltie friend, Yosuke, shivered and huddled together for three days before rescuers came for her. I know there are some folks who would say that was silly, but that's me, there... There is NO WAY I'd leave my Kidz behind, NO WAY. They are all the "Children"-type Family I have. I'm with you, M'am, save me, save my pets.

I don't have television, so I have not seen the images of water and fire enveloping Japan, nor have I seen the explosions at the nuclear power plants. I suppose I could hunt up videos on YouTube, if I needed to see the damage, but I won't... The pictures in my mind are terrible enough.. The hurt I suffer empathically is vivid enough to do me without watching it unreel before me. I just can't watch it. But I can write, and hopefully, someone will read, and be moved to donate some needed monies to the huge undertaking of helping our neighbors.

When I was in 6th grade, I did a report on Japan. I immersed myself in the learning of the culture. My Daddy had gone there while he served in the Navy, and while I was in the 6th grade, he was in Korea, fighting. It made me feel closer to him, doing this report. I still have the geisha dolls he sent us. The world seemed so gigantic, so very impossible to conceive of its' hugeness, its' expanses back then. Daddy seemed so very far away, a galaxy, a universe. When I need serenity, I think about the Zen of living. How so many people people crammed together in such a small space, yet ... Freedom is in the Heart, they say without a sound spoken. Now I find myself doing another report on Japan, a mere 42 years later and the World is tiny, accessible, "just around the corner", "We Are All One", thee and I .... This one is just from the heart. If you can help, will you? Dozo and Domo Arigato.
The Rescuers


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bloom Day !

My Sweet Honey bought me the most romantic Valentine's Day Gift! A Nikon CoolPix 12 megapixel digital camera! OMG *bounce* It is AWESOME! Has macro, zoom, and VIDEO !

In celebration, I went wild at the Garden Center. So thanks again to May Dreams Gardens and Bloom Day Feb 2011, here goes:

Sea Thrift

Donkeytail Euphorbia

Zebrina Mallow


Winter Honeysuckle

Kerria - Japanese Rose.. (sorry the image is sideways, my computer is giving me fits! I'll try to correct it later as the 'puter allows)

Vinca Minor

English Daisy

Snow Cap Rock Cress

Erisymum en masse Again, sorry for the sideways image *grrrrrrrrr*


White Flowering Currant

Knautia Macedonica

MYSTERY PLANT! Help me identify this beauty, will ya? VERY VERY hugely loverly fragrant! A light sweet "White Shoulders" kind of fragrance.. Could this be my missing Witch Hazel?

Primrose double orange

All these delightful beauties are at McGregor's Nursery! Sure would love to see you!

Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I feel it ! I feel it !

But I know it's not here yet.. Spring is peeking around the door, tho...