Isolated log cabin. Secluded home with view. Barely tolerable house with fantastic float plane garage. Outhouse. Heated outhouse.
Wake up! Wake up! Buying Alaska is on over and over and over again. The warm Italian coast show was over hours ago.
Hibernating much overrated.
Maybe the cat is right. If you’d get up, you’d not have cold.
Molly here. Staff is a lump on the couch.
The Alaskan snow pack and tissue drift here: alike, but different: avalanches possible.
No doubt a direct result of the cat bashing Staff on the head repeatedly demanding dinner.
Has nothing to do with my leap onto the couch to warm Staff who has cold.
The cat. Blame the cat. Molly is here to help.
What? Remove the blanket corner from my mouth? A little damp. The cat did it. Oh, it does appear to be hanging out of my mouth. After an early life on the streets, it’s normal to try and hold on to what you have. Besides Staff discourages the mouthing and mauling of sleeves even out of affection.
Odd Staff has been sprawled on the couch all day.
Not much available space, so let me just drape a leg or two over there, and a chin here…so I can see if – yes, the eyes do open.
Warmer now? Cold gone? Walkie?
Well, it appears Staff is moaning something about needing up.
Yes. I can help do that! Dogs are known for their happy tales!
Take the tale of an old Beagle in rural Texas.
Having only recently found a forever home, Buddy was not going to risk losing his Person. How could he be sure the frantic men in the Big Red Moving Box were OK? So he leaped onto the rear running board and clung on for 20 miles as the ambulance raced towards the hospital until another driver flagged them down. Whew.
Note to Staff: Buddy gets to honk the horn.
I could honk the horn, too, but Staff won’t let me behind the wheel.
Have you noticed how good I have gotten at turning on the overhead lights?
I think you need to settle back down – that honking you are making is pretty weak. Never be good enough for the Moving Box. Better practice my paw work just in case? No? OK.
Ready for another up?
Some puppies just got the move-in date a little mixed up. Almost a disaster.
Some of us know how difficult life on the street is especially in frigid weather. So when the pack heard there was a shelter opening up, they ran right over. Although the accommodations weren’t quite finished, they young pups decided best to huddle inside anyway. Maybe the security guard winked and just let them be. Despite an unexpected blaze, the entire pack was rescued by firemen, placed in the fire truck, and are now safe and snug until forever homes can be found for them.
Something nudged the dogs to that place. Now all that’s needed for a happy tail ending is for their luck to hold and forever arms to hold them. Their temporary lodgings are here.
Hopefully the homeless men and women this shelter was being built for will also find safety and a warm happy life. It is the season of good will towards man and beast.
Warming up? Still got cold?
OK. How about shelter dogs nobody wanted rescuing others?
Now that’s worth a wiggle. A real treat. Dogs rock.
What? Taking up all the room? Well, dog rocking does tend to move objects over.
I have seemed to have sunken into a horizontal position along the couch back.
Pretty warmish here now. Cold gone?
Time to fix dinner? Great. Nothing like the oven to chase off a chill.
What? Head cold? Why didn’t you say so? I thought only the blanket-covered parts had cold.
That darn cat. She’s in charge of sitting on heads.
Always says she’s on top of things. (Snort.)
At least change the TV channel on the way to the kitchen. Snow blind by now.
Either The Amazing Race or an NFL game to get the blood and paws moving!
Or CSI: Miami. Much less cold there than Alaska.
Nothing like a house warming, right?
Smiles à la carte.
Yours in paws,
Molly, the Marvelous Malamute
Go ahead with your square-eyed glassy glare.
Your lines of power.
Cut off at the knees, you think I am gone.
Yet, clearly something of me remains.
Essence not scrubbed.
No matter how hard the scullery-made tries.
No matter the attempts by The Machine.
Some stains never fade. Some meanings linger.
There to be seen
As a warning.
As a promise.
Do as you will, but nothing gold can stay. Including purse loads tossed to influence: fodder for sheep.
Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. (Robert Frost)
Only a shadow?
If you wish.
But still there. No matter.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
No one likes holiday air travelers. Not being Road Warriors, they don’t know the routines.
Their too many carry-ons are too big. Their shoes take forever to get off. They don’t think the security regulations apply to them (Lady. No one cares how much you paid for that bottle of perfume. It ain’t gonna fly.)
Holiday air travel isn’t for amateurs. Deflates energy quickly.
Expert flyers whoosh past rough landings at staging areas and command the chilly skies with ease.
Lift off for them is all business.
But now it’s clear the flight deck for holiday spirits and “good will towards man”.
(I heard that choking sound and snorting.)
They are already showing up: the odd, the pretty plastic people, the ones full of hot air.
So get ready to duck. Literally. Noun and verb.
In full-blown Christmas style, they are bouncing into place.
Sky high with enthusiasm.
Any and all can cause a flap or two, but it’s the season, so resign and redesign yourself for the unmanageable, unpredictable holiday frenzy.
Crowded air space and cities’ blinding, blaring Christmas displays simply too much?
Take the advice of the feathered flocks and fly far far away.
Or even better, rest in your own little nest.
Flights of fancy,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
This is one of the local flocks of egrets. There must have been 40 of them totally concentrating on breakfast. Ignored a woman jogging right past them. Oblivious to a bike rider cruising along the other side of them. Molly was enthralled and we sat watching them for a long time. Finally some gossipy bird noticed the dog and decided they should all go over to the field down the road. Molly was crushed over some whispered “eau de dog” bird-brained comment.
Human quirkiness gone too far this time.
We foolishly indulged the doggy git-ups as a canine raincoat may be sensible at times and the Holler-ring dog costumes did provide moments of amusement.
However, this new outdoor folly totally baffles Us. What is Staff thinking?
Dressing plants now?
There have been rumors of palms reaching out. Begging, We guess.
Yet, We have not heard of any foliage requesting party clothes for Gobbling Fest.
An attempt to impress the neighbors with early Ho-Ho-Ho-ing yard decorations?
Inflatable puffalumps were so popular last year, but We must speak to staff.
They should purchase ready-made yard decor. False economy here.
The Realm does have a reputation to uphold.
While appreciative of their creative efforts, We must discourage. Observe:
Is this supposed to be the Christmas Madonna?
We understand she came from a poor humble family, but must Staff be so literal with this shabby interpretation?
Wouldn’t Mary, Queen of Heaven be a more appropriate display for the Realm?
We do not think adding a crown will be enough of an improvement there.
Now We to assume these are an attempt at the Three Kings? Unwise!
Staff must be sampling the Gobbling Fest wine early.
More like lost ghosts of the Holler-ring Vegetable Invasion.
An elf hat? Confusing a Hippo tusk for reindeer antlers? Or a very awkward candy cane.
It’s not possible they’ve kidnapped Marge Simpson and are holding her hostage, is it? The bundle does seem to be moving….
We are distraught at Staff’s incompetence.
Perhaps the early freeze is a blessing.
We shall suggest that imitation snow drifts are totally unnecessary with the real thing quite possible.
Simply too much.
Come. We require quiet darkness to erase these nightmares from our minds.
Follow Us to the Our inner sanctum meditation loft in Staff’s apparel chamber.
We shall allow you to soothe us with soft chin tickles.
You may stand on the stool to reach us and We shall reward you with paw-paws on the top of your head if your pats are worthy.
Why are you stopping? Oh, how silly of Us. Of course.
By all means pause and leave your tribute in the appropriate spot.
So delighted you are aware of protocol. We shall be motionless in approval.
We are waiting. Tired of waiting!
Plunk down a couple of cans and be done with it, Fool. Stop wasting your precious Royal Audience time.
Such a bad precedent, clothing plants.
Before you know it, all the plants will be demanding blankets and whining about coming inside during cold weather just like dogs.
Bad idea, We say.
Before long stores will be have a special plant department just like the clothing and accessory aisles for dogs.
What? Stores already have sections devoted to plants? With seasonal blankets for them? Special foods? Everything for needed for flower beds? Plants have furniture?
Oh, it is worse than imagined.
Sigh. We must intervene to avoid further madness.
Humans seem willing to exploit the strangest ideas if money can be made.
We must forbid interaction with Staff at this time for your own protection.
One must avoid becoming infected by their silly ideas of plant couture.
Our paw is waving.
Dismissed with pleasure. Ours, not yours.
And don’t forget to leave the tribute of an open can of food in the doorway.
What? Well, you may leave another.
It is the season to
curry favor share one’s plentiful bounty.
The paw is waving. Again.
Adieu, mon cher.
I am RC Cat and I approve this message.
Blame the chill or whiteout conditions for rapid-fire dundering. Muses on call in case of flare ups or inflammatory utterances. Never know what will slither out from under that solid-looking reality.
Medusa’s challenge: Snakes alive.
Did I miss it? Did they have a cattle call for, uh, snake auditions?
And did the applicants read all that forked tongued fine print?
Signed the consent forms so no wiggling out of it? (Hint, get an agent, serpent, for your own protection.)
The Discover Channel is recoiling for viewers: Snake eats man alive.
Reptile’s revenge? A match for the ages.
More on the story including the Discovery Channel promotional video: “Man will be eaten alive by Anaconda”.
An Anaconda can easily swallow a deer whole. Watch that impressive snacking in this Business Insider article.
So is a snake proof suit strong enough to hold off the snake’s constrictions? How’s the guy gonna breathe in there? Going to tie a rope to his feet as an exit strategy?
My question is will the snake be supplied with life long acid reflux treatment afterwards?
Enough slithering. Onward to dithering.
Little old ladies. Gotta love them. Cute as a button. Give them a pass.
Not so cute was what happened last week to diners at a local restaurant. A drive through attempt where there was no drive up window.
Not smash and grab buffet anger at all the shrimp being gone, only an accident.
She was trying to park in the Special Person parking spot, but hit the gas instead of the brake. People were diving out of the way like minnows avoiding a carp. (VIDEO)
After pushing a couple of guys into the buffet with her big shiny black SUV, she slowly backed up a bit, then came back for a second serving – lurching forward again. Human calves scrambling.
Later the nicely dressed 72-year-old worried, “Oh, I just want to run away and hide.”
People forgave her. An accident. Could happen to anyone.
But wait! There’s more!
Then they found out about the other lawsuit with the other traffic incident.
Apparently last year, the same little old lady in her big shiny SUV was driving on a major freeway in the fast lane, but admittedly “wasn’t paying attention”.
Ran smack into the car in front of her shoving it into the car in front of it and that one into…Well, you get the picture. Multiple car accident.
No tickets were issued by police for either incident. Those were “unfortunate accidents”.
As a result Texas Dept. of Transportation will not be contacting this nice lady inquiring about her ability to drive without running into things.
Kids, grandkids, look, you probably got her this massive SUV to protect her, but what about the protecting the rest of us?
A little intervention?
Hey, what lady wouldn’t like a personal chauffeur? You might find it cheaper to hire UBER to standby rather constantly paying for car repairs and lawyers.
Steal the keys. Call her a limo. Tell her she’s just too precious to risk!
Or get some app developed to give the public a head’s up when she’s hitting the streets.
Gotta love little old ladies. (We’ll all be driving that way sooner or later.)
Speaking of old stuff.
Before online shopping, there was the Sears Catalogue.
The Sears Christmas Catalogue was huge – inches thick – a struggle to haul it to the couch. Everyone’s favorite Wishbook to drool over and mark up before writing to Santa.
Mom, dad, and the children all found everything their hearts desired: from washing machines, to hammers, to slippers, to cookware, to party dresses, and all the toys from Santa’s North Pole.
One stop shopping. (That Sears Santa in the store always looked so real!) Bygone days.
A revival of that wonder book? Vintage style redo?
A Bass Pro Shops 2014 Christmas catalogue showed up last week with an outdoorsy version of that Coke Cola Santa on the cover. (Those are sleigh bells strapped over his shoulder, right? Whew. Had me worried for a minute.)
While thinner, the catalogue mimics the Sears one awfully well.
Flannel shirts, gadgets like rechargeable heated insoles, tackle boxes (even in Mermaid pink!), fishing lures, boats, four wheelers (for kids and adults), sausage and cheese gift boxes, dishes, lamps and light fixtures, recliners and couches (lodge style designs or camo, your choice!), bedspreads, lots and lots of camo clothing (even in cute pink!…Although the Mountain Stalker Elite Series of parkas and overalls makes me a bit uneasy with that name…)
Of course what’s Christmas without that Daisy Red Ryder BB gun?
“You’ll shoot out your eye!” Now that’s tradition!
(We are just skipping right past the rifles for bigger boys)
Crossbows. Archery is cool, now, right? Mainstream.
Nostalgic. So much like those old catalogues.
They didn’t forget. Something special for mom.
There on pages right next to Pendleton wool blankets, there they were.
Lace babydolls and ladies’ nightie sets.
Black Widow brand. What else for an outdoorsy crowd?
Big grins. Something for everyone. One stop shopping Sears-style.
(Wonder if they have snake wrestling gear. Near the noodling videos, do you think?)
Glad traditions endure despite weather, snake assaults, and an occasional bad holiday driver.
Can’t detour a muse (and dunderheads never notice – just mud it on through).
Sleigh me now. Time’s a dragon. Got fires to tend.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Typical. The other is always better
Got straight hair? Crave Harpo curls.
Any-color-but-this syndrome. Just one gene – one tiny gene – and what should have been….
Try explaining why it was out of the question to spend the entire college fund for child-to-be on a little genetic tweaking.
“If only you had cared enough, I could have been a star. Or at least less mundane, ordinary.”
(Insert parents grinding teeth here. Should have considered plucking out that drama queen gene.)
That’s why, at any age, galas and costumes are so important.
A chance to try on another skin. A chance to actually be who you really are inside.
An image that can change as the costumed “reality” doesn’t quite meet expectations. Bummer.
If had only that exquisite outrageously expensive outfit had been purchased .
That’s the problem. Obviously.
Hope eternal. Next year…(When you have your own money, Cinderella.)
Obviously, it’s not only humans that are afflicted with
bad judgment faulty logic genes.
Case in point: (Eavesdropping a bit, hear?)
Oh, for the colorful life.
To swoop, swish, and swirl in the wind instead of being stiff and stuck standing straight and tall.
Graceful instead of being pointed out all the time. Avoided frequently with no one getting close.
Crepe myrtles, the creative performers in the landscape.
They can bare it all. Shed their colorful garb and reinvent themselves year after year.
They blossom and flirt.
No wonder little yucca wants to turn a new leaf and branch out.
“Mom, couldn’t we at least get a name change? Yuckie is pretty hard to live down.”
Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
I don’t know. Something about this little plant’s effort is endearing. Kids. They upstage every time.
As long as I can find Orion, it will be OK.
Three little stars in a row.
Ursa Major. Little Dipper. The North Star. Venus on the horizon. All having their place, but not in my sights.
While many look westward to Hollywood for brilliance, I rather like these.
No breathless confiding personal twitter feeds.
An unsettled season ahead: winter already blustering and the holiday frenzy starting.
Forced marches to the mall. (shiver).
Halloween clowns quick-changed into red velvet and green felt with jingles instead of blood-red fangs and snarls with oozing slime.
The frights keep coming, though, with the never-ending perky seasonal tunes.
Similar glazed eyes in the crowds.
Will the horror never end?
Maybe with a little assistance of your presence.
Mystery shopper or shopping mystery?
Escape. That’s what’s offered. A way out of herds’ gift buying treks.
Kick back enjoy some sunny Caribbean island time in Island in the Clouds by Susan Toy.
Nothing like finding a body in the pool early in the morning. A breezy mystery set on the Island of Bequia, this book is a perfect way to banish winter cabin fever. Hey, the main character thought that leaving the Canadian cold and his secret past for island living was a way to uncomplicate his life…and maybe avoid jail. The irony.
Written in a casual humorous style, the characters are interesting and well-developed. Dialogue as real as what comes out of your neighbor’s mouth. I couldn’t stop laughing…well, not at the bodies, but the actions/reactions to them, yes! A murder mystery tied up in a well written package.
If you’ve been to the islands, you’ll smile along. If not, you’ll be booking tickets determined to experience it for yourself. (And the palm trees at the start of each chapter is the perfect wish-I-was-there tropical touch.)
Roughseasinthemed wrote a terrific review of the novel. Can’t improve on perfection. Read that review here.
A perfect gift for the “Winter-outside-is-frightful” crowd. Warm scenes, warm characters, and warming laughter.
Here’s where to purchase it, read the first chapter, find more reviews, and discover more about this delightful author.
Susan Toy’s busy with a WIP, so expect another tale to set sail soon.
Can’t wait. Never enough island times.
While considering flying and airports, roll up to the gate with Jethead.
No, it has nothing to do with Airplane Headrest Hair Style Rescue.
Another get-a-way on the runway.
You always wanted to know what the pilots actual think? Here’s your chance.
First, to get you jollied up before/after dealing with airport security:
Flight Crew Like You: Airline Cartoons from the Insider View (Vol.2) by Chris Manno.
An Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year, 2014. (see Amazon write-up here)
As one fan commented, “The cartoons are genuine belly-laugh humor for anyone who flies, whether row zero or the Victim of Row Twenty. Marvelous stuff.”
You can preview cartoons on Jethead’s blog.
A terrific stocking stuffer as well as a carry-on bag necessity for holiday travel.
Once the plane’s in the air (and the grip on the armrest loosens) coast along with Mach Speed Tumbleweed
Cruise through a pilot’s reflections in 25 short essays.
Soaring thoughts. Life in general looks different from the friendly, yet sometimes dark skies.
Touch down for a Jethead essay sample. (And while there, glide around to see what pilots think about Ebola.)
Called the Jonathan Livingston Seagull of our time, the books not just about airports, rowdy passengers, or weathering the bad . See Amazon’s thoughts.
A great travel book, it’s a gift that will make the trip more than just going from point A to point B.
And besides, you know about weather delays, right? Be prepared to settle in for the wait.
Chris Mano is a talented writer we expect to see more of with a novel and a non-fiction book in the works.
How can you not like a guy that writes poetry on Twitter?
Air traffic control isn’t the only one keeping an eye on this one.
But you have to come down to earth sometime. And do something about it.
Cecilia Gunther never in her whole life expected to be building a sustainable organic farm. But there she is. And a very long way from home.
Stuff happens, she realized.
Being the oldest of a family whose mother died young, well, she worried.
Worry about words unsaid to her little sister.
An idea became a conversation which became a book: Letters for My Little Sister.
Amazon Editors’ Favorite Books of the Year, 2014, this one is a collaborative effort from almost 70 women. “Real stories, real experiences, from real women. Letters, essays, and poems about Menopause.”
Read “little sister” Gabrielle’s letter written in response after reading the book written for her.
That suddenly cranky woman who’s constantly fanning herself when everyone else is freezing? A long distance daughter?
Yeah, this is a perfect gift for her.
Read the reviews and you’ll see.
There were only 30 copies left last week. If Amazon says they’re out, contact Cecilia at thekitchengarden.com . She may have a few tucked back on the shelf. (Although she’s already gathering and prodding writers for the next anthology.)
Three stars rising.
Had the presence of mind to offer you a chance to grab the perfect present without being tense.
It’s going to be a circus out there soon. Detours not such a bad idea.
Find some good GPS or guiding stars.
Book some time away from the garish tinsel, poor plastic copy, and celebrity product hawkings.
Choose dark skies for bright stars and cool conversation.
Until then, to all, a good night.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.