Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Great Owl Attack

When I lived in the swamp in Loxahatchee, Florida, there was an abandoned trailer on the property. One day I decided to explore it. It was completely abandoned except for a little weather and nature that had blown in the broken windows. When I went into one of the bedrooms and looked on the closet shelf there were two of the most adorable baby owls.

Their feathers were still down and they had the biggest eyes on such a tiny body that I had ever seen. Their mother had secreted them in a corner on the closet shelf. It was a wonderful place to hide babies. They took my breath they were so pretty. I knew not to touch the nest, in fact I didn't go much past the open door to the bedroom. I didn't want to leave my scent and have the mom abandon them or something.

I was leaving the trailer and I was almost at the front door which was in the kitchen. There was an open pantry on the other side of the room. I heard a noise coming from it and I turned to see a HUGE mama owl swooping out of the pantry and coming at me with both front feet forward and her huge talons extended for me!

There was no time to think. I shot out the door and slammed it closed behind me. It had barely latched when I heard a giant thump against the other side of the door. Mama had hit the door in her zeal to kill me and protect her babies. I was afraid to move and I pinned myself against the trailer and waited.

I was scared that she was going to come flying out of the trailer to find me. I waited a few minutes until I was sure that she wasn't going to make an appearance. Then I hotfooted it home. Relieved that I made it out alive.

Friday, May 27, 2011

So, Do you pee in the pool?

Having a non smoking section in a restaurant is like having a non peeing section in the pool?

Our lifeguards are so busy texting that you have to text 911 if you see a kid drowing!

Did ya ever walk though a warm spot in the water?

CELEBRATE FREEDOM - that's what I did today

I celebrated my freedom anyway.

Remember to thank a Veteran.

Did you know this is one of the lonliest weekends of the year at the V A Hospital. They make every effort to send everybody home on Friday that they possible can. Those veterans that are left are in the worst health and many times have no one to help them. Take the time to stop by and visit someone. Take them a pack of cigs or some toiletries or candy or best of all a phone card. Then they can make long distance calls to home if they need to.


Dukiebird was our 3rd. dog. First was Cleopatra Floppyears Brennan the beagle. Then there was Ringo. Ringo was a stray that my parents stopped and picked up beside the road one cold and rainy night. Later Ringo had puppies. We had given all of them but one away when she was hit by a car and met a tragic end. We kept Dukiebird.

We loved Dukiebird but it turned out he was a mean dog. He wasn't mean to his family though. (us) One time he cornered Jeff on the gym set. He couldn't come down to mow our grass until somebody put Dukiebird up.

As kids we couldn't understand why we couldn't have a mean dog. Especially if he wasn't mean to us. Poor Dawn. She was the little girl next door. Apparently Dukiebird jumped up on her and scratched her one day. This prompted my mom to take Dukiebird and give him to a man on the other side of town - way, way out in the country. We blamed Dawn for this and made her life unmerciful for awhile. Least ways until her Daddy died in the mines. Then we let up on her.

We missed Dukiebird so badly that my mom went back and got him after a couple of weeks. We were some happy, cheering kids in the car that day. It didn't last long though. Dukiebird committed his third strike and was banished from our happy home forever. I was left with a lifelong affinity for bad dogs (and men?) after that. I still love a mutt with medium length fur that is black with tan trim.

That's what Chico looked like. Chico was a bad dog too. Fortunately he liked me and when he became too much to take his owners gave him to me. One time my brother and I were having a dispute over a car. I knew he was going to try to repossess it in the middle of the night, so I chained Chico to the bumper. My brother may do a lot of things but one thing he would never do is harm a dog. That night I heard my dogs go nuts. There were footprints in the snow leading up to the car. They ended at the point where Chico's chain started.

That was one time I foiled one of my brother's sinister plots.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

4 out of 5 highway construction deaths last year were due to speeding drivers

That means that 4 out of 5 of those deaths were completely preventable.

This message actually got through to me. I have finally slowed down in construction zones.

Ugly Men

There should be a law that ugly men should have to wear beards! That is why God invented them in the first place.

Ole Grandad

When I first moved onto my 100 acres, I built a quickie turnout pen for my dogs. Everyday I would take a couple of them at a time for long walks. I had to keep them on a leash because it had been years since they had been allowed to roam free and I didn't want them to take off and get lost.

Everyday we would go by a brushpile on the way to more wide open spaces and I would think to myself, "that would be a good place for a snake." We walked past the pile for several days and each day I thought about it. One day we were walking and I stepped over a cable and so did my dogs. We went a few more steps when I thought, "that cable wasn't there before."

I turned around to look and, sure enough, the cable was moving. It was huge! It was a very long snake. It was so long that it stretched all the way across the road into the brush at one end. On the other end it was going into a hole. It was at least 4 inches in circumference and neither end looked any smaller that I could see.

I hotfooted it out of there with my dogs. I didn't stick around to see exactly how big "ole grandad" was. I couldn't take a chance on one of my dogs getting mixed up with him. I don't know if I ever saw "ole grandad" again. There was one time on my riding mower that I came across a snake. It was moving away from me and it went on and on and on. It was quite disconcerting even though I was never in any danger of being bitten.

I was afraid of snakes before I moved onto my 100 acres. I saw so many of them that I'm not afraid of them anymore. They all had one thing in common. EVERY snake I saw was moving away from me when I saw it. They were all trying to get away from me - except for one. I guess I almost ran over him with my riding mower and I looked down to see his head pinging away at the side of my mower. Another foot back and he would have been biting my leg! That was the only time I was ever in danger of being bitten that I know of.

They Said I Was Wrong

I've been wrong a lot in my life but now about 2 of the most important things I ever did.

I got into the greyhound business back in the 80's because I wanted to do the greyhound expose' and expose the big, bad dogtrack for it's treatment of animals. I quickly learned that for the most part most of those dogs were treated like kings. I also learned that I was good at it and I could make more of a difference on the inside. So that is what I did.

When I started they were killing ALL the greyhounds. When they were finished racing, if they weren't breedable (98% aren't) then they were put down. A polite way of saying, "murdered". I started finding homes for them one at a time. I would beg for the chance to save one, at first I was told, "they don't make good pets." Then I was told that the legal responsibilities were too great. I met any arguement they had with,"but I can do it."

One by one I would find homes. At first the old timers would come to me and whisper, "I have a dog for you, but if you breathe one word about where you got it then I'll never give you another." I assured them their secrets were safe with me. By the time I got out of the business (thanks to others like me - I wasn't the only one) most tracks had their own adoption kennels and there were adoption groups all over the country vying for the dogs. (most groups make a pretty penny on adoption fees) I never charged anybody for a dog and I found homes for a couple thousand of them. Some kennels were even donating the money it would cost to put the dog down to the adoption agencies to help them out as well.

I was right.

The other thing I was right about was the way I raised my pups. I moved onto a 10 acre swamp in Florida so I could raise them the way I wanted. Most greyhound pups are raised in 100 or 500 foot runs that are about 10 or 20 feet wide. I raised mine in a circular field that was almost as big as the track. One partner I had got so mad that he sold me half interest in his pup for $100 because he said I was ruining the dogs! He told me many times he regretted that mistake.

I didn't skimp on nutrition. They were fed full fledged race food from the beginning except that I didn't mix it with hi-pro, I mixed it with puppy chow. My pups looked so good by the time they were 10 months old that old dog men were chewing their lips with jealousy when they saw them.

The proof was in the pudding as they say. Out of 29 greyhounds, I raised 10 that went to double A (highest grade). I had 2 in stakes races even though they didn't win. Out of the nine that didn't make it to double A they made the money back it cost to raise them (about $4000 a dog back in the 90's). All except for 3 that is. They turned out to be fighters. Fighters are dogs that like to get beside the lead dog and pound the hell out of them with their muzzles. It interferes with the race and the track rules them off if they do it 3 times. It is sad because most of them are fast, but you can't let them interfere with other dogs in a race either.

So I was right about that too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I was so scared I stopped in mid pee

I didn't know that was physically possible.

My husband and I had just remodled an old trailer. We had moved into the middle of a swam in Loxahatchee, Fl, to raise our greyhounds the way we wanted them to be raised. We had to put in a complete new floor and a whole new bathroom.

I was christening the toilet.

I looked over and on the side of the bathtub was the absolute biggest spider that I had ever seen in my life! It scared me so bad that I stopped in mid pee! It was easily bigger than my hand and that was just the body - each leg was probably about 8 inches long! It was large and brown and spindly. It was a brown recluse spider. (highly poisonous)

The moment I saw it every muscle in my body tensed up. I froze in place on the toilet! I clenched my muscles so hard that there was no longer any urine flowing into the toilet! Apparently my vocal cords were also clenched shut because when I tried to yell for my husband for help - only a raspy whisper left my mouth.

I was sure that he couldn't hear me even though he was just in the next room. I kept repeating "Bobby" over and over but basically nothing but air was leaving my body. Thankfully he heard me and came running. I couldn't say anything but I didn't have to. He saw the problem the second he hit the bathroom door.

He cursed as he looked for something to kill it. I couldn't move. I was afraid if I moved one muscle the "thing" would catapult itself straight at me and it was only about 2 feet away from my leg! Thankfully he killed it! I was so relieved I was almost in tears.

You know how a spider shrivels up when you kill it? This one was so big that it was still bigger than my fist when it was lying there in it's crispy, contorted mess. Thankfully he killed it with the first hit. We soon learned that brown recluse spiders, in addition to being poisonous are also highly aggressive. If you don't kill them the first time you go after them then they will come after you.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How the mechanic at the Huntington, WV, Firestone tried to take advantage of me

I took the van in for a routine oil change and tire rotation. The mechanic came in and told me that they ran a system check and he had about $800 worth of work he wanted to do. Most of which I had never heard of and I don't know everything about cars but I definitely know about routine maintenance.

One of the first things he told me was that the radiator fluid was filthy. I told him that didn't make sense. When he asked me why I told him because I had hit a deer about 3 months previous and I had to have the radiator repaired along with the fan and some other minor body damage. He actually looked me in the eye and said, "Oh No! Do you think they actually put your old radiator fluid back in the van?"

"No," I told him, "that's impossible."

"Why?" He asked.

"Because I left all of it laying on the ground where I ran over the deer. There wasn't any left in the radiator to reuse."

He knew I had him then. He admitted that all those repairs came up automatically on the company computer based on my vans mileage. He had to admit that there was no way I could need my radiator flushed. He tried to get me to do the other stuff.

I told him, "No."

I Walked 3 Flights of Stairs Today

I won't be doing it again alone for awhile, I can tell you that. I still came out of it pretty quickly after I got on my breathing machine.

I am going to do it again tomorrow but I will have someone with me because I couldn't get any closer to passing out if I tried. Since my recovery time was so good though, I WILL do it under supervision next time.

The sad part is it was just a couple of years ago that I would have trotted up that many stairs without thinking about it. One time when my dad was in the hospital I pulled up and there was a fire alarm going off. I knew if they needed to evacuate patients they wouldn't have enough staff, so I hit the stairs and started running for the 5th. floor. I had to actually stop and rest after the third floor and I couldn't figure out why. I know now that it was one of the early indicators of my heart going bad, I just didn't know it at the time.

When I was at Ohio State, I lived on the 20th. floor. I used to go to the bottom level of the bassement (there were 3 levels) and then I would run 23 floors back to my room. Of course it was hard but it was definitely doable for me. What gets me is people were telling me at the time I was too fat. I wish I was the size now that I was then. I think I wore a size 11 jeans and an extra small top. It was my big hiner that had people telling me I was too fat. I had a J-Lo butt years before she did!

I Declare Lauren the Winner of American Idol!

Is It REALLY Necessary?

I have been watching female softball pitchers lately. They are still pitching the same way they did a generation ago. I know this because I was a softball player.

I wonder if it is really necessary for a female to do that roundhouse windup when she pitches?

I know that it used to be but girls aren't raised like they were even a generation ago, as we were raised differently from our mothers. Many girls are true athletes from a young age. Two generations ago girls just dabbled in sports. In my generation a concerted effort was made to get girls involved. Title nine was passed when I was in grade school. They told us it would make a huge difference in women's sports...and it has. I can tell a trememdous difference in today's female athletes.

I'm thinking that this one last throwback in women's pitching isn't necessary. Girls don't naturally throw that way. They pretty much throw the same way guys do until somebody tells them, "hey, you're a girl. You have to do it like this."

Maybe it is time to change the way female pitchers pitch.

I wonder if this means I have matured or something?

I have never made it a secret that I'm hard to get along with. My close friends will tell you the same thing in a heartbeat and the reason I know they are close is because the will tell ME that in a heartbeat as well. I've been on one of my downward spirals lately and Eddie and Necia were suffering because of it. For once I was able to recognize what I was doing and I apologized to both of them today. They accepted because that is what friends do.

The only other friend I have like that is my friend, Kathy. She is my stable pony, she has a calming influence on me. This week we have been friends for 11 years. We will celebrate by exchanging a "bead" that we are both currently addicted to.

I have had longer friendships in my life but they were always based on what drugs they could get for me and what drugs I could get for them. Once I quit doing them the the friendships just kind of withered away. I don't regret those friendships, they were just based on something different than what I base my friendships on now.

Then there were my childhood friendships. Do those fade for everyone as well or just me? I think everyone. I believe that is why marriages don't last anymore. When marriage was first instituted in the beginning of time people only lived 25 or 30 years. Now we live well into our 70's and beyond for the most part. The things you need when you are young are generally different from what you need when you are older. Some people make it but I think most people just change too much.

I am finished being reflective.

Uncle Don Was A Hero!

Everybody has a crazy uncle and mine was my Uncle Don. I loved Don. He never wore a shirt because he was built like that guy on the back of the comic book who would kick sand in the dweeby guys face. He wasn't mean though, that is just what he looked like and that was in the 60's before men started juicing. He just came by it naturally.

He and my dad used to play checkers for each other's wives. Don never had any money so Edna was all he had to bet. (that was a joke before some of you go nuts over that) He loved animals and kids and always had a joke to tell.

One time he got caught having an affair with the neighbors wife. Her husband came home from work early and found Don hiding in the closet. Don took off running and hit the creek to get away from William. William took a shot at him and shot his finger off. When Don would tell the story he would say, "he shot me like a dirty dog, he did!" Then he would chortle with laughter. It never occured to him to be embarrassed, I don't think.

One time, Little man (Don's oldest son) bet the guys at school that Don was so strong he could lift the house up. Don didn't want to disappoint so he stapled his fingers to the house in an effort to give himself more traction. Unfortunately it didn't help. He did make a pretty penny betting people he could pick up the Volkswagon though. He was known for his strength.

Don was a hero. When he found out one of his daughters was dealing with an abusive husband, he IMMEDIATELY solved the problem. He marched into her house and told her to leave with the kids. He educated her husband in the proper treatment of women. She never had to fool with that man again, except to get a divorce.

As an adult I made a trip back to WV from Florida one time. I decided to stop and see my aunt and uncle. Even though they were divorced, he lived in a trailer behind the house. I ran up and hugged him when I saw him because it had been years. He was thrilled to see me. However, his girlfriend wasn't thrilled about it. (she was my age and had never seen me) She stood there bitching and we just laughed and totally ignored her. That was his way.

I went to see him when he was dying of cancer. He was so sick that he couldn't speak but he held my hand and let me know he was glad I had come to see him. I was glad that I had that chance to say goodbye.

Things I've Learned Over the Years

1. Just because the bottle says perfume - DOES NOT MEAN IT SMELLS GOOD!

2. Big dicks hurt

3. Little dicks don't get the job done (although a good man knows how to compensate)

4. If something smells bad - DON'T STICK IT UNDER MY NOSE AND SAY "SMELL THIS". I promise I will take your word for it!

5. Don't have sex in the takes a long time for a 5 foot popsicle to thaw.

6. If you use a pen and it doesn't write - throw it in the trash can- don't put it back.

7. If you see me on the highway - get the hell out of my way!!! (I cuss everybody who has the audacity to be in front of me. It is great stress relief. However it is highly embarassing when somebody notices you doing it - hehe)

8. Go ahead and say what everybody else is thinking - they will thank you for it later (usually)

9. It usually takes more energy to figure out ways to get out of doing something than to just go ahead and do it.

10. Everybody wants to help, until they have to contribute time or effort or money.

11. A little kindness goes a long way, however if you want to get the job done quickly then being a bitch works so much better.