Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why Can't I Find the Christmas Star?

One Christmas Eve as we were pulling in the drive-way after making our Christmas rounds, I asked my dad a question. I had been looking for the Christmas Star which the Bible said was over the baby Jesus' manger when he was born. Actually I had been looking for it for several years, I just had not said anything to anybody about it.

"Daddy, why can't I find the Christmas Star?"

"Why Pam, the sky is full of stars. What are you talking about?"

"No Daddy, I mean the Christmas Star which the wiseman followed to find the baby Jesus."

"Oh, that star. That star was only out the night that Christ was born. It was there so that men could find Jesus. If you want to find Jesus now all you have to do is look into your heart."

"Ok, Daddy."

Just Give Me a Chance

Why can't I do this?"
"Sugar, you'll just get all dirty"

"What's wrong with that?"

"Honey, I can tell by lookin at yuh that yuh just can't take what we're dishin out round here."

"Look, just give me one chance. Give me three days, if I can't cut it in three days I'll leave without a fight, OK."

"Well I have to give yuh a chance. The boss done told me ta hire yuh. I'm just lettin yuh know that you won't make it."

"That's all I want, a chance. What time do you want me to start?"

"Be here tommorrow, 7 o'clock sharp. If yer one minute late don't bother showin up."

"Yes, sir!"(with a big grin on my face)

"And don't call me sir, My dad was Mr. Randolph. I'm Ray. Just Ray"

"Yes, sir... I mean Ray"

"Gawd I need a drink!"

"Hey Ray."


"Thanks for the chance."

"Don't thank me, Thank the mini mafia man. He's the one makin me hire yuh. Now get outta here."

I danced away thinking, "this is the greatest day of my life," and it was!

My dad was a gambler that knew a gambler named Duckwald that knew a gambler named Al who owned a kennel. That is how I got my first shot at the dog business. Ray was the trainer of the kennel who thought that I was a little rich girl that couldn't cut it and didn't want to fool with me but Al told him that he had to give me the job.

It didn't help that I was an office manager who showed up to talk to him about the job in my office manager clothes. I had to prove him wrong...and I did!

It's a Myth


It is a myth. When I lived on my 100 acres, I saw snakes every month of the year. I saw snakes in the snow. I saw snakes when it was below 32 degrees. It didn't matter what time of year it was - there were snakes.

I will admit though that they move alot slower when it is cold. They kind of reminded me of snails they were so slow.

Also every snake I ever saw except for one was slithering AWAY from me. That one made up for all the rest. I was on my riding lawnmower and I looked down to see him pinging, pinging the side of my mower with his head. It could have just as easily been my leg. It was very disconcerting.

I only killed one snake. I pulled up to see my psychokitty playing with it on my porch. I decided to teach him that he was supposed to kill it - not play with it. I remember when I hit it with the hoe (to chop it in half) it was looking at me as if to say, "what did I ever do to you". I never killed another one.

Poor Little Birdie

Poor Little Birdie

My husband and I were at he park as usual when we saw a mother bird teaching her baby bird to fly. The baby was so cute. It was flying but with no control what so ever just bobbling up and down in the air.

Unfortunately they started to fly across the road. Here comes a car and the baby bird is in perfect position to get hit. All of a sudden the mama bird swoops down and knocks the baby bird out of the way of the car. Mama gets hit and dies.

We went over and picked up the baby bird which you shouldn't do because it throws them into shock but its mother just died and it was obvious that it couldn't take care of itself. We took it to the park ranger who said he would try to save it.

Most people believe that animals don't have feelings(especially wild animals ) but here was a mother bird who gave her life for her baby when she saw that it was in danger. It was noble and sad and sweet all at the same time.

Greyhound Abuse

I was watching The Animal Planet Channel last night and was reminded of the reason I wanted to start a blog. I have spent my life changing the lives of animals and bringing various abuses to to attention of others.

I was working at the Palm Beach Kennel Club for one of the top kennels. Both the trainer and helper at one of the bottom kennels quit at the same time. This is not an uncommon occurrance. Whenever this happens the other trainers and helpers pitch in until new help is brought in. However in this circumstance it became obvious that no one was coming to help at this kennel. So I quit my job and went to work at this kennel. The conditions at this kennel were the most deplorable of any kennel that I ever worked for either before or since.

It was not that the dogs were malnourished or that they had been mistreated, this was not the case. The problem was a tick infestation that was far beyond anything that I have ever encountered anywhere including any strays that I have saved along the way. There were thousands of ticks on every dog in there. There were ticks crawling on the floor and up the walls and in the dogs beds. There were so many of them that I cried tears of frustration and anger for months while I was clearing up the problem. It reminded me of cockroaches in a tenement they were so bad.

First I started to work on the racers. They had so many ticks that their toes were spread apart. It was easy to see why this was a bottom kennel. No dog would be able to race like that much less win a race. I would scrape the ticks from between their toes and make an attempt to clean them from their ears. There were hundreds in each ear. Just eliminating them from these parts of their bodies took weeks, because while I was cleaning them out the ticks were also breeding. I had nothing to kill them with but alcohol. I would carry feedpans full of ticks to the dumpster. In the beginning there was one feedpan per dog. Other trainers would comment on the ticks and were amazed that so many were coming from one dog.

I condemn the previous trainer for the condition of the dogs, he worked there for years so he was entirely responsible for their condition. I commend the helper who worked there because he did the best he could under absolutely horrid conditions. Perhaps the person who should be condemned the most is the track vet. The track vet is supposed to be there to prevent such situations from happening. I am not exaggerating about the dogs toes being spread apart. This was obvious with only a cursory examination of the animal. Also every time a dog races the track personnel read the tattoos in the ears of each greyhound to prevent one greyhound from being substituted for another. This is done by a lower level employee but if even one greyhound would have been reported then the trainer of the kennel would have been forced to clean things up.

Anyway there is a happy ending to the story. I eventually got the tick problem cleared up and I worked for this kennel until they went out of business a few months later.

If You Can Make the Power Play, Then Make It

For 13 years of my life I was a greyhound trainer. I was very good at it. I guess that is where I developed such an independent streak because I learned very fast that I could dictate the terms and conditions of my employment. Depending on what was going on in my life I could take a high paying job or a job that worked the hours that I wanted or just change kennels because somebody pissed me off. What dumbfounded many people that I worked with is that many times I would quit high paying jobs in top kennels to go to bottom kennels. People even now can't understand that money is not what motivates me. I wish it were because I would be in a much better financial state now!

Within 3 months of starting the greyhound business I was the highest paid help in the compound even though I was female. This business was so dominated by men that for the first 6 months I was in the business they hung a sign on the ladies room that said "Pam's room". I have to admit that one of the reasons that I was the highest paid help so fast is that I had a boss that like to brag that "I have the highest paid help in the compound!" but that is another story.

When that job ended it was like a bidding war started for my services. I jumped from kennel to kennel so much that the track enacted a rule stating that there had to be a 24 hour notice before you could start a new job. I was grateful for this because it gave me a day off! One trainer commented "You would quit a job for a $10 pay raise." I told him that was okay because I had quit 10 jobs (several of which I was rehired back from other jobs after I quit). He saw then the wisdom of my ways because even at $10 each that meant a $100 pay raise. (all of my pay raises were for more than $10 by the way)

The reason that I got into the dog business was not money it was the dogs. The money was just a fringe benefit. I quit jobs more than once for top kennels to go to bottom kennels because I knew nobody else would work for them or more importantly that the dogs were being mistreated in some way. (I have blogs farther back about that subject) Also before long I was finding homes for greyhounds that were finished racing.

When I first started finding homes for greyhounds people would laugh at me (this was back in the 80's). Back then almost all the dogs were killed. I am happy to say that is not the case anymore. I took one dog at a time and gradually it built up to where I found homes for close to 2000 dogs. At one time I had an adoption network that covered the east coast. USAir even flew them for free for me.(Kudos to USAir by the way).

Fortunately attitudes changed one at a time. I would have old timer come to me and say "I got a dog that I want you to find a home for. I don't want anybody to know that it came from me and don't expect me to ever do this again." I would thank them for the dog and invariably they would end up coming back to me with another one when they saw that everything worked out ok.

Alligator Attack!

One time I was going home after the races were over and I had taken care of all the dogs in the kennel. It was around 12:30 am. I was about a mile from my house and I slowed down because in my headlights right on the edge of the road I thought I saw a dog that had been hit by a car.

The closer I got I thought 'that is the strangest looking dead dog that I have ever seen'. Just when I got along side it it whipped its head around and it wasn't a dead dog it was an alligator! It was attacking my car!

It's mouth was open so wide that it easily could have gone around my tire! That alligator was about 5 feet long not counting its tail. I was driving really close to it because I was trying to get a good look at what I thought was a hurt or dead dog in case I could help. I am so glad that I didn't stop my truck and walk over to check on it. I would have probably been dead.

I was so tired as I was going home that I could hardly hold my eyes open. This alligator scared me so bad that I couldn't go to sleep when I got home. I was up until about 4:30 in the morning. Unfortunately I had to be at work at 5:30 a.m. It really sucked.

A Puppy Mill

I would like to write about my personal experience with a puppy mill. I responded to an ad in the local paper for parttime kennel help. I spoke with a very likeable old lady on the phone and with my experience there was no way she could turn me down. I showed up the next day at a nice home in a nice neighborhood. As soon as I stepped in the front door I knew there was going to be a problem. The stinch almost knocked me over and I couldn't even see or hear any dogs anywhere.

The old lady led me to her garage and I saw something that I'll never forget. There were rows and rows of cages piled 3 high full of 2 and 3 dogs minimum in each cage. The cages were on average 24x24. The woman apologized telling me that it had been a day or so since she had cleaned the cages. I knew from experience that some of those cages hadn't been cleaned in weeks. The excrement and urine from the top cages was running down the sides of the cages into the cages of the dogs underneath. The smell took my breath away and the fumes from the ammonia in the urine burned my eyes. I very nearly turned around and walked away thinking I had to go to the animal shelter about this but I also knew immediately that if I did at least 1/2 to 3/4 of these dogs would be put down. Their fur was badly matted or in some cases gone. There were blind dogs and dogs who couldn't even walk. I was speechless. In 13 years in the greyhound business I had seen some things I didn't like and even some outright abuse but never anything remotely on the scale of this!

She wasn't with me more than a couple of minutes when she excused herself-probably to breathe. I set about cleaning the raw sewage from the bottom of the cages. I was there 4 hours and I only managed to get to about 1/3 of the cages and I wasn't even disinfecting them. I was just cleaning out the uncrusted muck and shit soup trying to get as many cages clean as I could. There were at least 75 maltese stuck inside of about25 cages not to mention the yorkies and pappillions and a couple of other assorted dogs too. I knew that if I could get the lady to trust me that I could find homes for a lot of these dogs instead of a high percentage being put to sleep. That is exactly what happenned.

I stood there holding a couple of these dogs actually crying. I tried to take pictures when I went back but there was not enough light for the pictures to take. One dog in particular named Nikita(chinese crested) was there with 2 pups and she was just begging me with her eyes to help her. I vowed to get her a better home and I did, she came to live with me. I ended up finding homes for about 30 of those dogs and the lady contacted an adoption program in Virginia and gave away about 20 through them. I worked there for 1 1/2 years before I became disabled. They were getting more food because she was only feeding them every other day and I was tired of watching them eat their own poop so I started sneaking them food on the other days. She also bought new cages and other things that were needed for the kennel. Also she started giving them the grooming and attention that they so badly needed.

I worry about those dogs today but I know animal control has been called since I left and they won't do anything supposedly because the animals are outside of city limits. Another example of our government at work.

My Earliest Memories

I can remember living in Tenessee. I was around 2 and a half then. I remember driving to the hospital to pick up my sister when she was born. There was a row of grey houses with white trim around the roof. I asked my mom about this and she said that was what the houses looked like on the Navy base. She had my sister in the Navy hospital.

I can remember a little boy next door. I think his name was Richard. We used to play along the fence. I think I had a rope swing with a board and he had a doghouse (or vice versa). One day we were eating raw spaghetti. Funny what you remember but that's how it is.

We had a huge back yard. It seems like it was as big as a football field. (My mom has confirmed this). We were flying a kite one day and I remember my dad cussing and chasing after it when I let it loose. We were having a family picnic.

I remember a nightmare. I know how young I was because my uncle Bud was in the twin bed next to mine sleeping. (My mom said he came to visit when my sister was born). I woke up and looked over and there was a black woman's head on my chest of drawers. She looked like Aunt Jemima with a red kerchief around her head. She was staring straight ahead and she kept making licking motions with her mouth over and over. I hid my head under the covers and when I peeked out it was still there. I finally got enough nerve to jump out of bed and run to my parents room and get in bed with them.

I remember my dad coming home with a bandage on his forehead. I thought he was hit in the head with an airplane propeller. I asked him about it and he said that he had walked into the propeller. I asked him how he could survive such a thing. He said "You dummy, the plane was not started. I just walked into the propeller. Of course I wouldn't have survived if it had been running!"

I remember being in a little boat on a lake. My brother and I were crying because we thought the sticks were coming to get us. (it was the way the current swirled around them making them look that way) It scared us so bad that my dad had to quit fishing and take us home.

Living With Heart Disease

This is national "Go Red for Women" month which is a campaign to increase awareness of heart disease in women. The media tends to focus on the fact that heart attacks are the leading cause of death for women. I want to raise awareness of what it is like to LIVE with heart disease.

I have congestive heart failure. Although I have always been heavy I was athletic and considered by my doctors to be in good health. That changed two and a half years ago when I ended up in the Emergency Room.

I noticed that I was tiring easily over three years ago. I attributed this to the stress of working two jobs and two traumatic deaths in my family. I decided to "tough it out" thinking the fatigue would pass.

It did not pass, the fatigue grew worse. I could not walk across the room without sitting down to rest. Some days I could not get out of bed. I would wake up and start to get ready for work, then I would find myself waking up again several hours later with my clothes on the bed beside me.

I went to the doctor when I started having migraines. He discovered my blood pressure was high and started treating me for that condition. He wanted to run more tests but I did not have insurance so I could not afford them - like so many of the working poor.

My hours at work decreased because I was not strong enough to go in. I started gaining ten to twenty pounds a month - and keeping it on. My shoe size increased from a size eight to a men's size twelve.

I developed a cough that would not go away. There were two episodes of coughing that were so severe that I actually passed out for a few seconds. This progressed to shortness of breath which I thought was wheezing due to allergies - even though I had never experienced wheezing in my entire life.

Then I ended up in the Emergency Room. A doctor told me that he wanted me to stay in the hospital. When I protested he told me that if I left I would be dead in a matter of hours. I stayed.

After a whole battery of tests I was told that I had congestive heart failure due to sleep apnea. There are no blockages in my arteries. The sleep apnea caused my heart to pump so hard that it enlarged causing fluid to back up into my body.

Now I collect disability. I go in the hospital three or four times a year. I take a handfull of pills in the morning and another at night. I am on oxygen around the clock. I use a C-pap machine while sleeping in a recliner because if I lie down flat I smother. I have memory problems due to the medications and lack of oxygen.

I force myself to get out of bed. I have long hair because it is too hard to use a blow dryer or curling iron. I shower sitting in a chair. I shop in smaller stores because it is too hard to walk through a large store. I use shopping carts for support - not to carry groceries.

When I go out in public strangers avert their eyes because I look like walking death. Friends and cowokers bend over backwards to help me. At work they give me every concession necessary to keep me working. My family is in denial. Either they cannot comprehend that I am as weak as I am or they are angry about my situation.

I do not eat salt or any food that tastes good for that matter. A visit to a restaurant will put nine pounds on me in one night. It takes days, sometimes weeks, to lose it. Although I am not tired twenty -four hours a day anymore, I have about a half hour activity window before I need to rest.

Even though my heart has returned to normal size, I will be on medicine for the rest of my life. The average congestive heart failure patient lives five years. I am two and a half years into my diagnosis. I am forty-six years old.

When You Were A Kid...

did you stand by the road and throw the "international blow your horn" sign to the passing truckers? You know, where you reach above your head and pull the imaginary horn so that they will blow their horn back at you!

I Get the Bonehead Award Today

Since they have taken me off of my daytime oxygen I have been doing some really stupid things. (O2 deprivation affects the brain) Today I topped them all!

I was cooking breakfast at 6 a.m. and I went to the bathroom. While sitting there I heard the building fire alarm go off. I thought to myself, "some poor schmuck has set the fire alarm off...again." I finished my business and walked back to the kitchen and I saw the pan smoking. THEN I realized that I had set the building smoke detector off!

I walked into the hallway to see if I could turn the alarm off somehow. There was no way to do it. So I went back into my apartment and propped the door open because I knew the fire department was on it's way and I wanted them to be able to find me easily.

They showed up a couple of minutes later. I apologized profusely and they assurred me that it was okay. Unfortunately this happens a couple of times a week in my building. They are nice enough to tell us that is keeps them in practice but I know they don't need this kind of practice - especially at six o'clock in the morning.

Later on I leave for a 10 o'clock appointment. I left early so I could run some errands and I realized at 9:20 a.m. that I left a turkey baking in the oven. I had put it in the oven around 2 a.m. so it was ready to come out. So to avoid a fire and another episode of the fire department coming for no reason I had to go back home and turn my oven off. The turkey was perfectly done by the way. If I would have left it until after the appointment I would have returned home to a shriveled up bird at the very least.

I have told my doctors that I still need the oxygen. I am more tired than usual and my mind is not working too well right now. I can't argue with them anymore. I try to double check myself in everything I do but I keep doing stupid stuff. Hopefully I don't kill or hurt anybody else in the process.

Remembering Granny Farley

After my granny died, I wanted to remember her in my own way. I put on a nice dress and stopped by my mom's house on the way to granny's house. Out of the blue my mom offerred to let me have the key to granny's house so that I could go in. This was something that I did not expect to happen because my mom doesn't usually do things like that.

I let myself into granny's house and went from room to room reliving childhood memories. The rooms were all empty because my mom had either sold or thrown away everything in the house. I went upstairs to my aunt's old room which had been granny's favorite. I stayed in there quite awhile just looking out the window at the view and remembering.

I started to walk out of the room and I thought to myself "no I can't leave yet." I turned around and went back in and just stood looking around some more. Then I walked over to the window and went I looked down there was a cross. I had just stood there for about 20 minutes and I hadn't noticed it. Yet there it was. The only thing of value in a house that had been stripped bare of everything.

My granny was a typical Aunt Bea kind of granny. She was very religious. She liked to act like Granny Clampett for fun - that's why we called her granny. She was always full of love. Everytime we went to her house there was a special cake or pie and my Aunt Mary Ann would have our favorite Lipton Lemon Ice Tea. I have no doubt that she left that cross there for me.

A Man Told Me Once

"all I want is five minutes of your time!"

I told him, "if all you want is five minutes - then you're not worth my time!"

What Were You Doing 5 Years Ago?

2009 - blogging my life away, congestive heart failure

2004- taking care of my dad. he died in november 2004. i took care of him for 2 and 3/4 years. the doctors gave him a week to ten days to live when I took him home.

1999- greyhound trainer. living on my 100 acres

1994- greyhound trainer. my first litter of pups had hit the tracks and I was on top of the world

1989- greyhound trainer. I passed my trainer's test and became officially licensed

1984- quit a very good government job at P.R.I.D.E. (community action agency), started beauty school

1979- 11th. grade. , riding around with "the gang" in my little red toyota

1974- 6th. grade., my life was filled with books, monopoly and bicycles

1969- 1st. grade., me and Suzanne would run into the classroom after every recess and pull a Dr. Seuss book off the shelf and turn to the page that said, "AND THE POODLE WAS EATING NOODLES, AND THE NOODLES WERE EATING POODLES" and we would laugh our heads off at the picture of a poodle inside of a bottle eating a bowl of noodles (picture a ship in a bottle) I wish I could remember the name of that book!

1964- 2 years old, my brother, Billy, was born. I can remember living in a garage apartment on the east end of Logan. I remember taking our car to the creek to wash it and my new toy broom floating away in the creek.

My Gal's A Corker!

My Pepaw Brennan used to sing this song. He sang it with great enthusiasm.Think of a square dance type tune.

My gal's, a cor-ker!

She's a, New Yor-ker!

I buy her everything,

to keep her, in style!

She's got, a head of hair!

Just like, a grizzly bear!

Hot dog! That's where my money goes!

My Little Red Husky

When I first was married we lived in a little 2 room apartment on the third floor. One day Bobby called me at work and said, "Guess what I just saw?"

Of course I asked what it was and he told me that he was on his way into the apartment and he saw a little brown paper bag moving. He walked over and kicked it (gently) and out popped the cutest puppy. I asked him if he got it and he said, "no." I told him if he would go get it I would find it a home and he agreed.

He picked me up from work and we went home. He told me the puppy was on the fire escape so I walked over and the most adorable little thing that I have ever seen came bouncing and falling toward me. My heart melted immediately. THIS DOG WAS MINE! She wasn't even old enough to be away from her mother yet. She barely had teeth.

She looked like a tiny fox puppy and most striking of all she had eyes that blazed like fire instead of the bright blue that you usually see on a husky. She was perfectly marked with tan points to set off her red fur. I have seldom seen a more beautiful animal since. I named her Chuckles because her face was marked like a clown.

I tried to find the owner to no avail. She ended up getting sick and I had to take her to the vet but it was nothing major - antibiotics took care of the problem. We used to carry her in and out of the apartment in a pillow case because we didn't want the old woman downstairs (the landlord's spy) to see her. She always said "we were awfully clean to be doing so much laundry." We moved as soon as I could find a suitable place.

A few months later Bobby walked out of Super America (a local gas station) and told me that he thought he had found chuckle's owner. I froze. I carried Chuckles inside and there was an old school friend of mine named Lemmie Bryant. She looked at Chuckles and said, "Yep, that's my dog."

Fortunately she told me that I could keep her because we had taken such good care of her. She said that someone had stole her out of her yard (about 3 blocks from where Bobby found her) and she never knew what had happenned. We promised her a puppy someday and she was happy.

I had Chuckles until her 8th. birthday. She had to be put to sleep because she was going blind and she couldn't adjust to it. Also she had a bad case of hip dysplasia and she was in a lot of pain. It was one of the hardest days of my life.

Even the Vet didn't believe this one

My dog Chuckles was in heat. I had a samoyed mix named BJ that was under 3 months old. I THOUGHT that BJ was so young that it wouldn't matter so I left him in the pen with Chuckles. One day I looked outside to see BJ and Chuckles locked together! I raced outside to see if I could stop it, but I couldn't.

I called my veterinarian while they were still locked up and asked him if Chuckles could possibly get pregnant. He did not believe me. Even when I told him that I was still looking at them out my window. Even he thought it was impossible for a dog that young to mate. He did say though that IF they were locked together then she would most probably be pregnant. That being said, he still thought it was impossible!

I am happy to report that Chuckles got a freebie. She did not get pregnant. But I will never, never put a male in the pen with a female - I don't care how old he is!


Little Blondie

We once had a lot boy working for us that we called "little blondie". He was around 18 years old. Here are the kinds of things he did to earn the nickname.

There was a hotdog shop across the street from the carlot. They only sold footlong hotdogs. He came into my office one day and sat down to eat his lunch. He had 2 footlong hotdogs. He openned up the first one and said in complete amazement "My god, I didn't know footlong hotdogs were this long!" Completely amused I asked him "How long did you think a FOOTLONG hotdog was?" He answered, "I don't know, but I didn't think it was this long!"

I was taking little blondie home one day. I did not know where he lived. As we topped a hill he told me "You don't have to stop, I can get out right down here." Laughing I asked him "Do you want me to slow down to about 20 or just what?" He got that one though. He sheepishly told me that he guessed it would be alright if I stopped to let him out.

I did stop by the way.

Gone To The Dogs!

Today I thought I would write a little about corruption at the Dog Track. I spent 13 years in the Dog Business so I know a little about it. When I started I was going to do the big expose' and close down the track. I found out that most of the dogs are treated like kings. Some of them only get adequate care(a small percentage) and about 2 percent are abused and that ocassionally make the news. I was good training dogs. (Animals love me) I decided that I could do more good by sticking with it and changing things that I didn't like from the inside.

After I had been working about 2 years the track decided to change the surface of the track overnight. The consequence of this was that the dogs were running much faster times. Almost every race set a new track record. The problem with this was that when you change the surface of the track that drastically then it cause injuries to the dogs.

In a 3 week period over 300 dogs had to be put down due to severe injuries. Over 500 had to be rehabilitated after other injuries of varying extent. The figure of 300 put down does not include dogs that we tried to bring back after their injuries but could not because they were too severe. This means that most of those were killed also.

The sad part is that the track officials refused to listen to the dog people and used the fast track as an advertizing gimmick to attract gamblers. The track was changed back only after the dog people went to the ASPCA and the local dog pound to get help. Track officials did not want the bad publicity so they fixed the track.

I Knew...

...the first time that I stepped in the turnout pen that I was where I was supposed to be for the rest of my life. I was waist high in dogs pushing at me from every side just craving a little attention. I was thrilled to give it to them. It kind of feels like being in the ocean about waist high with a strong current pushing at you.

I would just touch each dogs head or muzzle and then they would be content to mill about the pen conducting their dog business as they saw fit. After "picking up the pen" (a nice way to say pooper scoop!) I would just stand in the middle of them and absent mindedly pet whoever wanted petting.

Some greyhounds like to walk around the whole time they are out (depending on the weather - 1/2 hour to an hour - 4 times a day) Others like to lay in the sun, even though they have been laying in a crate all day. Greyhounds are actually couch potatoes. They like to run in short bursts and then sleep all day in a very comfortable spot. The younger dogs would try to play but I would have to regulate that because if they happenned to piss off an older dog then a fight would ensue. Sometimes with dire consequences. So any behavior that may cause a fight cannot be allowed.

If a dog refuses to behave then you have to put it out alone. They hate that, so it is avoided at all costs. It is better than having a fight though. Also if a dog is injured or in heat it also has to go out separately. For the most part they just mill around and relax and stretch their legs and it is a nice relaxing time for both the dogs and me.

Occasionally a dog will figure out how to open the gate and the whole kennel will escape. Then you have to put extra locks on the gates to prevent this. One time I had a dog named Thunder. Thunder not only would unlock his own gate but then he would go over and unlock the other pen too. This is quite a fear filled situation because greyhounds get used to each other and if you mix up strange dogs that is also the formula for a fight. It was amusing though to watch him go over and open the other dogs gate and free them also. Only a highly intelligent animal would behave this way, I think.


When I first moved onto my 100 acres the house was abandoned. The grounds around it were overgrown and the house was full of furnishings. I had to throw everything out of the house so I started to make a huge pile of furniture and whatever off to the side of the house.

My first night to stay in the house I pulled up and I got out of my car. I was right next to the giant pile of stuff which was directly under the only dusk to dawn light on the property. I immediately noticed that the pile was moving.

I thought to myself, "that has to be the biggest rat that I will ever see under there." So I walked over and I started to kick at the pile. "The rat" (which I still couldn't see at this point) started to move toward me! I thought this was unusual but in my mind I wasn't going to let it win - I wanted it to know that "I" lived there now! So I kept prodding at the pile with my foot.

Then it came out from underneath the trash. Backing straight toward me with it's tail raised at a full salute was a full grown skunk! My stomach dropped to my knees. I froze in place. My desire to be queen of my 100 acres disappeared! To make matters worse I was still standing in front of my open car door. When I got sprayed it was going to spray the whole interior of my car! I was quivering with fear, praying that nothing would happen.

Thankfully it didn't. The skunk decided to walk away without assaulting me. I was so grateful that I resolved to NEVER kick at a moving trash pile again.

Nasty Clouds

When we were kids and the family would be out driving at night for some reason, whenever we would go over the mountain and there would be wisps of fog on the road, my dad would run over them and yell "NASTY CLOUDS!" We would love it when he murdered the nasty things. He said they were really ghosts.

He was also a world champion coaster. You know turn off the engine and let the vehicles inertia propel us forward as far as we could go. One time we were on our way to the carlot and we ran out of gas with about 7 miles to go. Fortunately we were going downhill at the time. My dad managed to coast within about 100 yards of the carlot. Everytime we would think the car was going to stop it would pick up speed again and go a little farther. He said it was because "I refuse to walk one step!"

Last year I tried to duplicate this feat. I did not make it even halfway.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I almost drowned once...

I was 5 years old and I went out with my dad to catch crawdads. We were at Bluestone Lake. The last thing my mom told me before we left was not to get my pajamas wet which wasn't a problem since we were wading. I followed my dad holding a plastic bowl and he had a net that he was catching crawdads in. When he would catch them he would put them in my bowl. We were going to use them to go fishing.

We were on our way back to the camp and we were almost at the bank and the next thing I know I was under water. I was not scared. I remember watching the crawdads float around me as they left the bowl I was carrying. I had no idea that I was in any danger. I was just floating in the water. I did not know how to swim and I didn't even realized that I needed to swim!

The next thing I know my dad is carrying me to the bank and my mom is screaming and going crazy and she grabs me and starts hugging me and checking me over. I thought I was in trouble because I got my pajamas wet! I had no idea what had just happenned to me. It turns out that she was the one who saw me go under. My dad had been leading the way because he was taking me around the deeper pools of water. I just took one wrong step and went under my mom says. My dad turned to me when my mom started screaming and he had to reach down in the water and he pulled me out by my foot. I was very lucky!

We never went back to Bluestone Lake again. I have heard that alot of people have drowned in that area. After that we were never allowed near water without a life jacket - except for supervised swimming pools of course.

Me and Billy

this picture of my brother, Billy and I was on my Granny Brennan's Dresser for as long as I can remember.

This was the age that my mom told me we were when my Granny Farley sent me a monkey. Billy stole it from me. The beginnings of sibling rivalry!

This is me!

this is me when I was first born. My dad had to leave for Japan 5 days after I was born. (he was in the navy). My mom says he spent every day staring at me and changed all my diapers and did all my feedings until he had to leave.

My Great Aunt and Great Uncle Stevens

This is my Great Aunt and Great Uncle, Avanell and Stallard Stevens. Avanell is my Granny Brennan's sister.
I didn't know them. I probably met them at a family reunion but I don't remember. That's sad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009



I'm pretty sure this first picture is my headstart picture. Back then you went to headstart when you were 5 years old in the summer before the 1st. grade. My teacher's name was Mrs. White. I don't really remember much about her other than she had white hair. I do know I liked school very much; enough to stop sucking my thumb during the daytime while I was there!

The second picture is my 5th. grade picture. I loved the 5th. grade. Mrs. Ferrell was my teacher and I was her pet. My best friend Suzanne had a wonderful time at school all day. (she was very artistic) That was the year the P.O.W.'s came home from Vietnam. We did not realize the seriousness of this event. We made up P.O.S. signs (prisoner of school)

Number three is my 7th. grade picture, I had just had my first real haircut. I couldn't figure out how to properly style it though. I remember one day my music teacher came up and told me how much she liked my new haircut. It did wonders for my self esteem!

Last of all I wish this one would have disappeared is my 9th. grade picture - zits and all! I loved this outfit though. I was the queen of cool in it.