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October 23, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Trafficking in amusings

Snowy roadway at night.Minnesota (Tony Webster/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Any question to why they left? (Tony Webster/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Why is it you never see one of those Missing Senior Alert signs for someone driving a Corvette?

Bound to be lots of reasons. Hmmm, how about

  • Jr took the car keys awaaaay ( and probably the car…)
  • Maybe those run-run-runaways left a “don’t try and find me” note…or you’ll be left outta the will

Why would a police supervisor talking to media about an incident involving one vehicle shooting at another say “We don’t advise anyone discharging a weapon from inside a vehicle…”?

  • Uh, exactly what do you advise about cars and discharging weapons?
  • You would think the law enforcement officer would be more like ” Don’t shoot at people when you are driving or in a car”. Or “Stop being a fool, you might hurt/kill someone.” Or just plain “Idiot”.
  • Long for the less embellished verbiage. No wonder messages don’t get through.
  • (Road rage after 2 drivers played bumper cars for real. Story here. We went by this mess shortly after it happened today.)
Night street scene. Kalakaua Ave. (Verygreen image/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Day break can break your routine. (Verygreen/Commons.wikimedia.org)

This is the post you get when you drag up before dawn – coerce the dog to go out in the dark…and “get back in here, now. Nooo, get out of the bush.” – try to convince the cat she will not starve before you get back and finally (always 30 min early or 30 min late with this town’s morning traffic) getting to the Big Med Center – and be happy to find one parking space – one – open despite the early arrival. (“Look just back in and put the bumper in the bush and it will look just like a compact car from the front. It is so not over the red do not block fire lane line…)

Back home (Cat did not die. Lovely dramatic recreation of Juliet’s last moments, though. Applause.) Sr Staff is resting mildly drugged comfortably.

And there’s a cool front thunderstorm arriving.

I am easily amused. (Good quality to have)

Have a great weekend!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Palm Beach street scene with palm treed ( Image by qwsy qwesy/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No mystery where the Corvette would be headed. Leave Gramps alone! (qwsy qwesy/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

October 22, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The Downfall of Fall

Dog on floor. (© image. Copyrighted, No permissions granted, All rights reserved)

Such a ballet of effort. So little appreciation. (© image)

“They should have let you keep it.”

“I would have shared with you.”

“We watched from the window. Held Our breath as you periscoped up to check out the top of the bush for possible escape routes. The seemingly nonchalant circling. A long stalk worthy of many ‘bravos’. And We had worried you were paying no attention to Our instructional lectures. Your pounce worthy of the greatest cat hunter, even if you are a dog. We raised paw to window screen in tribute to your success. Sigh.”

“Staff was frenzied. I though it best to sit when asked…and to drop my hard-earned prey proudly at their feet. A bit miffed about being hauled off by the collar and shoved undeservingly into the house.”

“It didn’t run off to chase another day. Darn. Scooped unceremoniously and taken out the gate.”

“I would have shared with you. Even if it was still. And not catnipped. I know how much you cherish your fabric mouses. I thought this one…”

“A soft cheek pat as reward for your thoughtfulness – even if intercepted. Now. Think. That hole under the fence. Is there any possibility that another…?”

Fall is the hunting season.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Cat sitting in window expectantly (© image. Copyrighted, NO permissions granted, All rights reserved)

“We warm their feet when cold. We cheer them when sad. We entertain them with ‘Guess what I will eat for dinner today’. And they cannot let us have a small bit of wildness and game? We shall petition for treaty revisions.” (© image)

 

 

October 20, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Early arrival.

Spooky face in dark window. !892 Fairy tale ill. by Batten ( USPD, pub.date, artist life/Gutenberg project/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The early trickster gets the candy corn. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

There’s always one. Showing up early to get first pick of the Halloween offerings.

Usually grabby, too. A mistake to leave a “help yourself” full candy bowl on the porch. Such requires manners – or restraint – or an adult very close by.

His approach told it all: nonchalantly slipping across the fronts of the houses…flowerbeds, no obstacle – though his steps, quiet and, oddly, cautious.

Even in the dark, no one watching could miss the frantic waving of the flowerbed’s prairie grass as it was forced to part….

What sort of Halloween creature was about to burst through?

Be still my pounding heart.

The suspense.

The alerted dog barking. RC Cat 4-wheel drive scrambling into her inner sanctum shelf.

Sr. Staff spring from the bed to see what was the matter (reminiscent of the old “…there rose such a clatter…”…only months early)

But what to his wondering eyes would appear?

Certainly not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. But something moving lively and quick….under the porch bench and past Molly’s pile of sticks.

Quick as dry leaves before a wild hurricane fly, Sr Staff flew to pull up the camera footage. Then he laughed when he saw, in spite of himself.

The little masked bandit spoke not a word, but went straight to his work planning his route and noting available landscape fruit

Then with a wink of his eye, he disappeared into the dark like the down of a thistle.

Was it a dream or did he exclaim as he faded from sight,

“Trick or treat is coming. I’ll be back on that night”

Raccoon on driveway (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted )

Nothing to see here. Just a little casual sauntering going on.(© image)

A little sleight of ham

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Raccoons, the masked bandits that steal hearts as well as garbage. (Well, one man’s trash is another’s treasure.)

Celebrity Raccoons:

  • Rocket, the wisecracking little warrior from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and comics. Comic book writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffen created Rocket in the mid 1970s as a nod to the Beatles’ song, “Rocky Raccoon.”
  • RJ, the Twinkie-loving con artist raccoon from the comic strip “Over the Hedge” by T. Lewis and Michael Fry;
  • Ranger Rick, the mascot for the National Wildlife Federation.
Raccoon approaching porch (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Is my mask on straight? (© image)

 

 

 

 

October 18, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bones, Groans, and Horrors

Pumpkin carved by squirrel. (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

“What? You left it out for me, right. It’s the prefect rendering of a Cyclops. You’re welcome.” (© image.)

Missing bones, assembling records, and unpleasant cutting.

All that’s missing is an eerie Blue Moon and a wolf howling in the dark. (Molly suggested the last. She fancies herself as an Author of Tails. Granted, she does know hairy situations.)

Yesterday gave a hint: needed to turn on lights in the kitchen. Sunny spots normally rotation around the house, but the morning was grey. (“Foreshadowing!”, Molly helpfully offers.)

Happy now I sweltered in recent heat to get the winter flowers situated.

(Molly chimes in, “In pots – say  ‘in pots to cheer winter doorways and offering convenient shelter for lizards and convenient for dogs who…oh, not that – and new plants under the palm to cover the bare spot where previous bloomers got crushed during a lizard hunt’…Oh. Wait. Don’t say that.”)

Flower replacements under palm after prolonged lizard hunt (© image,copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved.)

Flower replacements in fresh ’tilled’ soil. See? Nothing to see here.(© image.)

Today, blustery cloudy winter’s approach stalks us with a variety of chills adding to the horror.

We’ve been rushing to get stuff done like annual checkups before the Flu season and any reoccurrence of COVID. (“Measles, Chickenpox, mumps. Don’t forget those,” the Paw One insists. “The children are boxed together now, but happily skipped boosters and vaccinations. Possibly a Spin the Wheel and Win a Disease Blame show for every household.”)   

Las week should have been routine and without stress, but no. Blame EMR – Electronic Medical Records: great promises, in reality, only a mirage.

(A paw poke and a suggestion, “Tell them your idea of noting all medical events on door frames along with the customary height markings for residents…maybe horizontal width marks for adults?”) 

Would be more functional. And dependable (“If no one paints.” Big doggy grin. “No problem with that here.”)

So we’ve spent a good part of the week reconstructing medical history/records complicated by records not being kept in one place anymore.

The pharmacy/drug stores do most vaccines now.

(“Add a snarly face. Medicine is big business and Corp. offices wants docs doing big things- ones worth their time and billing. Not interested in doing all those stupid needle pokes that pay so little, have a shelf life, and take up storage space.”) 

Walgreens… (What? No, they don’t have walls stacked with Greenies. You don’t need to go with us next time. Please Molly. It’s hard enough to maintain thought.)

Walgreens only keep records for 2 years. No big deal. Good patients immediately go home and record the new entry in your online EMR folder, right. We did.

Only, now those entries wasn’t there.

And not just those were MIA.

One doctor’s office says they dump records after 5 years. (That was in the very very fine print at the bottom one of those forms you have to fill out every time even though you filled out the exact same thing last time.) Even better, the form said “We encourage patients to keep their own record of their medical history” WHAT? I thought the whole purpose of EMR..(“That’s your problem. Uh, yes, thinking. Complicates things.”)

Sr. Staff’s Specialist Doctor’s office called about sending over the do-ahead pre-procedure forms and his EMR records – which is good because they were mostly wrong. (“First clue was they called him by the wrong name on the phone…unlike dogs, humans insist on being called one name and do not respond well to incorrect names or nicknames like ‘No, No, Bad Dog’ “).

Got the name corrected (“Do we really trust Sr. Staff with these people?”), but half of the medical history were missing and some of it belonged to someone else AND the phone person perkily say they dump records after 10 years. Great.

Some of this medical condition stuff means follow-ups for the rest of your life….so you would think…are you not telling us something? Not funny. (Molly slowly rolls over a big black permanent marker…”How about if we just write his name in big letters across him and added arrows to the targeted area?”)

Skeleton holding box with 4 men in suits. Universal film. 1942, Night Monster (USPD: pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Case dismissed. Don’t blame us. We told you to keep your own records. It was in the fine print. Always always read the fine print.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, my blood pressure is up. (And my doc, not happy.)

But at least his Derm biopsy came back good. (We live in a very sunny environment. Even dogs have routine checks. Molly is fine, too.)

(“Do I get to go to playgroup that day? Not all day. No dumping me there all day. Don’t want to be associated with The Daycare Bunch. It’s a status comfort level thing. Yes, I’ll be happy to babysit be a companion for RC Cat instead for that morning instead.”)

Winter flowers potted and ready to righten grey days (© image. Copyrighted. all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

The Winter flowers – in manageable sizes. Counting on that mild winter prediction for big the flower beds of hardy plants. Just can’t get into it these days…busy enough replanting the grass in spots where Molly goes worm digging. (“Just checking to make sure they are on the job, Mom.”)(© image.)

The Bones part? 

Well, it’s closing in on Holler-Ring Halloween and this year will be different. No bones about it.

People have been getting creative with candy delivery systems: long PVC/carpet tubes for social distancing candy slides (instructions here for chute with Skeleton…there’s always one family that has to go all out. There’s easier ones like the pumpkin one or the striped one.)

I’m waiting for the remote control car costumed up as a pumpkin or creature moving from porch to kid on sidewalk. (“Better have a retrival wire in case some little ghoul thinks the whole car is his treat and takes off for a trick.” Grrrrr) 

Naturally some techie will perfect his Halloween bat drone candy drop. (“If you catch it, can you keep it – like tennis balls?”)

There’s a couple of Haunted Woods social distancing spooky drive-thrus locally. (One even features free COVID tests. Really. Does the horror ever cease?) Or get spacey with NASA’s event Galaxy Frights.

There’s the locally encouraged Halloween-at-Home with the lights low, fireplace making shadows on the wall, and a spooky story –

And I’ve got just the one for the mostly grown-up and ones wiling to risk nightmares: The Bone Hunger by fellow WP blogger, physician-turned author Carrie Rubin.

Starts out with that leg with the tattoo found in the park by a young doctor during a hike….and he recognizes the leg! And of course you know whom the police suspect…after all he has that bizarre incident in the recent past…and does anyone really trust the CDC people anymore?

Nope. Not going to give you hints, but beware as you are reading along, suddenly it’s “WHOA. Who is this?” A passage in an entirely different voice. Is it the killer?…a serial, crazy, cold killer?( and I do mean brrr…OK, that’s a slice of a hint).

Guarantee this one will keep you turning the lights up brighter and brighter and jumping at unexpected sounds. Leaves you  wondering about all things medical and human.

Actually, all things considered, this year is in shaping up to be one of the scariest Holler-Rings and holiday season ever. What are you doing to get ready?

Hmmm. Blue suede shoes go well with a Halloween Blue Moon, right? Now where’s that Ouija board?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

What the horror

Sometimes you have to wonder – with floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, wild fires, floods and plagues

Perhaps forced focus through the fog of human self-made misery to what is important.

Not what happened hundreds of years ago, not what may or may not happen a year or four from now caused by people you don’t even know and never will (and they certainly won’t know you)

But what is happening immediately in front of you. Here. Now.

Reboot. Put aside. Reevaluate. Thinking.

Try being human. Harder than it looks.

wild fire approaching neighborhood of friends in Longmont, CO. (© image. Copyrighted, no permissions granted. ALL rights reserved.)

It was a restless night at a friend’s home in Longmont, CO. The early morning cooler weather and drizzle offered some hope. Oct 18, dawn (© images)

Morning. Oct 18, 2020. wild fire approaching neighborhood of friends in Longmont, CO. (© image. Copyrighted, no permissions granted. ALL rights reserved.)

Wild fire seen in the distance. Longmont, CO. (© image)

 

 

October 15, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Things That Go Bump

Night moves. (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

Night moves captured. They say nothing good happens at 2 a.m. (© images)

The wind chimed

The dog barked.

The cat yawned (But what would you expect?)

Ghostly Night moves. (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

A ribbon of mist hauntingly writhing up and down up the driveway (© images)

More ghostly Night moves. (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

As the spirit moves. What does it want? Or is that who?(© images)

Flowing ghostly Night moves. (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

Ghostly vapors, but are they seeping in or drifting out to see? (© images)

Silent flows the ghostly Night moves. (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

Silent flows the ghost of night. No web of spider. No barbecue. Not even a smidgeon of fog or smog. No explanation rings true.(© images)

Something whispy this way flows. Night moves. (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

Something wispy this way flows. Nocturnal fingering of the door. A longing? A hunger? A call from beyond? (© images)

RC Cat: "Night moves? Something wicked? PFFF. I told staff to weather strip the front door. Escaping AC is expensive. But does any one listen to me?" (© images copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.

RC Cat: “Night moves? Something wicked? PFFF. I told staff to weather strip the front door. Escaping AC is expensive. But does any one listen to me?” (© images. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted.)

At this point what can you say.

It’s 2020

All zeros and too’s.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

 

 

October 12, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The Fallen. Holler-Ring Battle Ready

 

Leaf space alien caught in door. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserve3d. No permissions granted)

Holler-RIng intruder caught in door. Did the monster bring a sidekick along or its’ child? (© image)

It’s not moving.

Yes. It’s moving

It’s not moving.

Molly Malamute: Yes, it is. You’re just blinking. Or not watching. Or just have to be right.

RC Cat: Dunderhead. You are like Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch. Delusional.

Molly: You don’t have to spit. You are the one fretting that Holler-Ring is approaching

You ordered reconnoissance for signs of the Orange Vegetable Invaders.

RC Cat: Cabbage head. You should report yourself. It’s a darn leaf.

Molly: It may look like a leaf – when actually a cobra in costume.

Holler-Ring is the season for pretending to be other than what you are.

RC Cat: A Cobra? It doesn’t have tires and it’s tiny.

Molly: It flew in here up the drive and it’s trying to get into the garage!

RC Cat: It’s a leaf trying to keep from getting blown away.

You can see the veins.

Molly: Yes, the veins are disturbing.

Possible indication it’s an alien being lost from its’ spacecraft.

NASA isn’t denying it any more.

odd ominous clouds. (© image, copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

That weird cloud could seriously be hiding a UFO. (© image)

RC Cat: Those Greenies have fermented and have you seeing little green space men.

Your dog walks must be an experiences in alternative reality.

Molly:  Don’t worry RC Cat, I, Molly Malamute, shall protect the Realm. 

Not a single Orange intruder got throughs the door last year.

No reptile-ish alien will invade this or any other year.

I’ll put it in 4-paw drive when the door opens and pounce on that leathery danger before Staff can wrap the leash around the porch pillar to stop me.

RC Cat: Great. I’ll leave it to you, then. Just remember, don’t drag the remains into the house expecting a special treat.

Close, but no chicken chew for that orange palm tree date you tried to pass off as a miniature Orange Vegetable Intruder. We were not amused…neither was Staff.

Molly:  Staff was wrong. I was not playing keep-away with it. I was simply running around trying to find you in case it was something, not nothing.

RC Cat:  Nothings seems to be your forte…as in logical thinking. In any case, We expect a report of any actual Orange Vegetable Intruders or and pitiful Unfortunate Children huddling in hedges.  

Although with so many children being unboxed this year – and not boarding the large yellow transport boxes, perhaps the pitiful little migrants are able to mingle with the neighborhood kids, hop aboard one of the constantly child-driven circling fleet of golf carts, and slip into homes without issue. Forever homes found.

Which is good as there seem to be few inflatable whooshing yard objects to hide in or behind.

We always pondered whether those giant blow-hard whooshing things were some sort of advanced guard homing devices calling the Unfortunate Children or even the Orange Vegetable Intruders.

They all seemed to arrive about the same time. just too much of a coincidence to Us.

Scarecrow Halloween decorations. (© Image, copyrighted, all rights reserved, No permissions granted )

“Ah, a pair of Unfortunate Children. So few this year. These two look as if they have made themselves as appealing as possible – difficult for traveling orphans. Hopefully the homeowners will notice their whimsical appeal and bring them safely in before harsh winter arrives.” (© Image)

Molly:  Or the whooshing things could have been signaling outer space. Staff says it takes a long time for signals to be received.

Travel instructions might have just been received this year, so it could be space aliens have finally arrive and are trying to slip in unnoticed under the cover of Holler-Ring.

RC Cat:  Space out, all right. You just entertain yourself.

We feel the sunny window calling and it would be rude to ignore.

Molly:  It’s moving, RC. Moving.

There’s a lizard headed towards it. One of my porch lizards. A David and Goliath event unfolding! Watch it’s coiled head, brave little lizard!

RC Cat:  Great. Feeling safer all ready.

Hey, if the lizard can’t destroy it, maybe you can call up a squirrel. They’re a nutty bunch that almost equals you.

Later, Realm Defense Field Commander. Later.

We must soothe our aching head with mousies ponder this in solitude. 

We do hope individuals remember the protocol of the Realm:

Tribute of an open can of food should be stacked neatly in the doorway.

What?

No, there is NOT an excessive number of cans already stacked.

Holler-Ring is imminent 

This includes any potential alien space invaders who happen to be pretending to be leaves.

Adieu, mon chere.

crown symbol with message "I am RC Cat and I approve this message"

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

Confused about Holler-Ring or the pitiful orphan children? (Or need a reference anthology to fill the time)

The Saga begins:

 

 

 

 

October 8, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Posting not welcomed.

Cowboy and cowgirl gazing into each other's eyes. (Screenshot. Urban Cowboy)

“Yes, Babe, you aced the audition. That hats sits right well on you. I’ll  get you into commercials – real ones. Not YouTube.” (Screenshot. Urban Cowboy film.)

Disclaimer:

  • If you don’t ride lawn ornaments horses, this may run right past you
  • If you have never known a world without social media and Facebook, this may be a complete puzzlement.

In a current “Go your own way” Verizon data plan commercial, they show various cute people doing cute things like: cool, rugged guy hefting a mountain bike on top of a rough, rocky trail, a social media influencer girl going viral trimming bonsais trees, and an urban cowgirl all dressed up in a dude ranch Rhinestone Cowboy special (a “More hat than cattle” sort) riding down a downtown city street.

Each of them waving cell phones and taking selfies. Fun!

Such pretty adventurers.

Only…

The teen riding the horse is clearly posting. And I don’t mean on the cell phone.

Posting.

In Western dress.

In a Western saddle.

Only way she managed to hold the reins correctly with one hand was that the other hand was busy taking selfies.

While rhythmically, English riding form proper, posting up and down.

Horsemen know this is a no-no.

You post when riding English.

You don’t post when riding Western.

And never the twain shall never meet. (Except for saddle soap)

English saddle on brown horse. (Alex brollo/Commons.wikimedia.org)

English. (Alex brollo/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Western saddle with parts labeled. (Saddleonline.com/Sam SMith/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Western.(Saddleonline.com/Sam Smith/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Seat and saddles are different.

English saddles feature shorter stirrup lengths with legs folded up. Crane-like. Great for jumping.

Western saddles have a horn used as a stop when roping (not for hanging onto) and the stirrup lengths are long so legs stretch out for comfort on a long day’s ride.

Note to Marketing: saddle up next time with a few details – no matter the scenario.

Oh, I know. The theme was “Go your own way”.

Credibility – though your target audience may be what’s reining here.

fancy cowgirl at nightclub/ Pam from Urban Cowboy film (image screenshot/tumbir)

Reel cowgirl. “What? It’s bubble tea.”(Pam. Urban Cowboy screenshot/tumbir)

All I can say is your pretty rider may part ways with her pony riding like that….looking at cell phone instead of horse’s ears and watching the road ahead: Posting the image and missing the ride…and what’s about to happen.

As charming and noble as horses are in fiction and movies, real life? Totally unpredictable.

All it take is one blowing paper cup, a fluttering gum wrapper – even a small pebble on the road they have seen and passed without ceremony for weeks – ANYTHING – that looks suddenly weird to them and it’s off to the races and hang on, Sissy.

Not the brightest creatures. They blame it on their eyes being so far apart and on opposite sides of that long nose. Ask them. Everyone rationalizes things these days.

Nervous cowboy couple. Travolta and Winger in Urban Cowboy screenshot )

“Quick Hon. We need to git before they catch on that the mustang you were bragging about is a Ford.”(Travolta and Winger in Urban Cowboy screenshot )

So, in closing. pay attention and try to get along…with little doggies or not.

  • Always polite to say the names of streets and places as the locals do (after all, ones that live there are the “experts” and you’re just the visitor/newcomer.)
  • Don’t go around after moving to a new place saying, “Back home we did it this way.” (Nobody cares and if it was so great, why did you leave?)
  • Saddle up with the old rule: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” That includes riding horses. (And people will smile at you because they like you, instead of smiling to cover up what they really think of you.)

The dusty guy hefting the bike was probably only doing so because of the blown tire from racing along the rocky path as directed.

He, no doubt, could have told Marketing if they had asked.

A place for everything and everything filmed correctly in time and place

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(If you’re curious about actual Rodeo Houston fashions from 1940-2013, click here. Shiver: Double knit polyester leisure suits…)

Cowgirls on parade. Cowgirls in fancy parade dress on horses with western saddles (Norco Cowgilrs Rodeo drill teamPrayito/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Cowgirls can be purdy and ride proper. (Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team in a parade. /Prayito/Commons.wikimedia.org)

October 5, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hold on to what you’ve got

Moth among irises. (Image ©. copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Striking Banded Sphinx Moth spotted drinking inconspicuously among irises. (© Image)

One doesn’t ask a Lady

Dressed in velvet

Venturing out early

Hydrating before the night scene

Or trying to sober up from last night’s nectar?

Nothing like a designer’s masquerade for cover

 Life being what it is

Distant view of Banded Sphinx Moth among irises. (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Wait! Wait! They said there refreshments were available on the runway. Oh we were hoping that security would keep back fans and paparazzis. (© Image)

Large Banded Sphinx Moth hanging onto iris blades irises. (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

No, I am not exhausted and wobbly. Moth Pilates. Important to stretch during flight breaks – like hanging on  monkey bars to make the spine feel better. Restful and restorative. (© Image)

Banded Sphinx Moth enjoying water drops on irises. (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Ah, refreshing. Grateful for the water, but not to the point of showing my pink underwing petticoat beneath the outer ruffles. (© Image)

Side view of Banded Sphinx Moth among irises. (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Prepared for take-off and resumption of flight. Will have to remember this rest stop. Exit stage left. (© Image)

Banded Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha fasciatus).

An unexpected visitor

Some still dress up for flights

Luckily the ground crew’s attire was overlooked as service was good.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

October 2, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Driven to Whoa.

Had to renew driver’s license – in person.

I knew it was coming – also I knew there would be a meteor strike, hurricane, pandemic, Zombie Apocalypse, riot, flooding, road construction where all the exits are closed or have moved, a massive car wreck blocking the road on the way  – or a combination of all of the above – to make the experience even more fun.

Nothing like long lines with 3-6 hrs waits in the heat at the “new improved” consolidated regional Super Center for driver’s licenses…even if you managed to snag an appointment time on line. Those solidly booked for months and months.

When the Governor closed everything, people cheered the only good thing: no one could get driver’s licenses renewed for as long as the emergency declaration was in place.

And even after that people would have 60 days grace period once it was over.

Mask. Spooky rear window decall (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Cult of the Mask? Mask up or die? Virtue signaling or extremist, difficult to say. People are so angry and narrow-minded now. Not worth the risk. We changed lanes. Of course this was perfect to set the mood for the morning event.(© image)

Only it’s not over and may never be

And these darn computer generated no doubt, letters keep arriving about “your license is about to expire…” with a completely contradictory statement also on it about…pandemic…emergency declaration…60 days grace period…etc. etc.

So why mail the letter if…

Pandemic recommendations are to avoid crowds, avoid small closed rooms full of people, and avoid surfaces touched by a lot of people.

Whyyyyyy couldn’t they just let me renew online one more time? One more time! I promise to show up in person next time, but no.

Even though the Federally mandated “special security” seal indicating you presented required documents to prove your identity has been put on pause.

But, no.

They want to see your smiling little face…and documents and fingerprints and all the rest to complete their not so little data hoard.

Witch in the back window. Halloween wiper decal sign ( Image: MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

Spotted you and your little dog with expired tags, too! Ah-HaHaHaHaaaa.” (Halloween waving arm wiper sticker. Image: MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

For a while I just shove the problem back. Why worry over nothing. Not driving anyway.

Any idea that it had anything to do with concerns over the aging eyes is totally out of line.

I have one far sighted eye and one near sighted eye – always worked fine up to now…only last eye doc visit seem to indicate they were becoming more same sighted eyes.

But nothing to worry about.

Recently, preferring to face a problem, get it over with, and not worry about it, I pulled up the DPS DMV website.

There had been rumors that some DMV offices were open.

Whispers said the one in our county was open half day and was super fast if you got there early ’cause no one knew about it. It was said you could actually schedule an appointment online. Even better, all forms were there so they could be filled out ahead of time

So I ventured a click – and was stunned to see weeks and weeks of open morning only appointments.

Yes! First appointment on a Wed. I’d roll out of bed in the dark, throw on clothes and tell the dog we’ll morning walk later. 

  • Covid cases are really really low. With any second wave, along with flu season arriving, there might not be a better chance.
  • Sooner or later the Governor’s going to tell people grace period is over (So you slackers, get moving…all 10-18 months worth of people crowding in to get licenses.)
  • Besides it’s gorgeous weather so who else would possibly go to DMV when they really didn’t have to?
  • In addition, this way the bad picture can be shrugged off as COVID haircut.
Grim Reaper Demon Wizard waving arm wiper sticker (Image: MIYSNEIRN / Amazon)

“Come on down. Of course it’s safe. We wouldn’t be open otherwise. You can trust your government agencies…”(Image.MIYSNEIRN / Amazon)

Of course there was construction, a massive wreck on the causeway bridge so the 25 min dash was more like a hour, but preemptively planned for difficulties, so no problema…with transit

The rumors were right about only 6-7 parking spaces. Who thinks 6-7 parking places are sufficient at the drivers’ license office?

And there was a line of 8 people already waiting for the door to open…and not all standing on the social distancing spacing lines.

But I had an appointment and filled out forms, so it still looked good.

The line went faster than expected – not uneventful.

  • One woman stormed off when they wouldn’t let her in without a mask.
  • Another Mom and teenage first time driver angrily left when told first timers had to make an appointment. Mom’s exit was far worse than the daughter’s.
  • Another mom (with whimsical waist length rainbow hair) furiously departed when told she could come in, but her 8th grade daughter (with cute turquoise hair tucked under her baseball cap) would have to wait outside.

The rest of us clutched our papers. Worried about unexpected pitfalls.

“Does anyone here have an appointment?” (Oh, yea! Hands up!)

“What are you here for?”

“Do you have any COVID symptoms? Have you been around anyone with COVID symptoms? Let me take your temperature.”

“Do you have the required documents? Passport?”

With all the forms filled out, I got to step up to the line and read the eye chart. A real old fashioned eye chart! Comfort level much improved.

I hate those lean over and stare into those attached to the counter View-Master type featuring lighted letters to read on one side at a time. Those seemed germy even before COVID.

YEA! Only had to read the bottom line with one eye twice. Whew.

View-Master Model G (USPD released/Commons.wikimedia.org)

In case the reference was a mystery. View-Master Model G is a stereo-scope that used cardboard discs with cellophane film images in full color around it. Seems like some were 3-D. These used to make my eyes hurt as I tried to focus.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Other than my reading glasses fogging up at the check-in to the DMV computer kiosk (which oddly is done after all the rest), it was pretty fast…2 counter spots, not much waiting with only the 2 employees and 2 people allowed in at a time.

De-masked, smile, click, and done….

After weaving way through some unhappy people sort of line-lumped outside the door.

Giggled over the hefty, gold chain ladened, wanna-be rapper who parked his vehicle with California plates absolutely in the middle of the filled tiny L-shaped parking lot driveway. (Dude. Yawn. We have actual big time rappers locally. You may have been hot snot in Cali, but…)

Normally, since already on Galveston Island, it would be a nice beach stroll, maybe wander The Strand and some antique shop, take a few pictures of wharfs, dunes, or historic houses. Then a nice seafood lunch.

But it’s not normal.

Still, the driver’s license is updated: a small normal better than no normal.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Hey I got an idea, if we have to show multiple documents and photo ID proving who we are to get a driver’s license, what about something like that for voting? (Says the victim of long term voter fraud using my name. Raising awareness and fighting voter fraud since 2011)

Dinosaur eating a car moving rear window wiper decal (Image MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

I think this one’s mine. (Image MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

Hockey mask killer waving arm windshield wiper decal ( MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

Signal to the world you’re worried about a second COVID outbreak? Taking time to wave you down, if you’re so driven, here’s where you find Hockey mask killer waving arm windshield wiper decal. They have Santa and reindeer, too. While Molly Malamute was disappointed in the growling German Shepherd, and paw waving Husky, we give paws up for the tail wagging Dalmatian and the really cute beaver.(Image: MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

September 30, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Be still my hart

He sits all full of himself preening at the end of the driveway. Must think he’s James Dean reincarnated.

The desperado. A new hunk in the neighborhood.

Aloof and arrogant – but we see him side-eyed looking to see if We are looking.

Of course, We are flattered. Probable age difference, you see.

But they shuffled snd fretted over Elizabeth R in her later years, too.

Sr Staff complains he’s leaving calling cards at night dripping down the front door.

Ah, paper towels cannot wipe away correspondences of the heart.

Molly Malamute says he slips onto the front porch – patiently sitting on the welcome mat – in case We happen by.

vintage seated woman. Actress May Allison, 1919. FIlm Fun mag. (USPD, artist life, publication date/Commons.wikimedia.org

Is my collar on straight? Sigh. So near yet so far. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org

How delightful to be pursued with such courtly manners.

One of good taste as he’s shown little interest in that hussy Niala who has no problem creeping out her cat door and walking the streets. She can flip her tail trying to look adorable, but he pays no mind.

The young have to learn how to play hard to get.

On closer examination, he appears to have weathered much in life, but is now content: Assurances given – a treaty made – so a place to call forever home across the street.

Though We gaze at distance through glass, a camaraderie felt.

We shyly offer a paw salute – a soft one pressed on the glass.

Familiar with chivalry, he is pleased, accepts, and acknowledges with dignity.

Older than his proud steps portray.

With the nights still mild, he patrols – not yet ready to curl up on his hearth. “In time, it will be time,” he says. 

Pensive cat. (© image, copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted.)

Appreciation of affection from afar comes with age.(© image)

Each night We stretch out on the office windowsill and wait. 

He crosses the yard and neatly sips at the water bowl under the window.

Then gathers himself into stillness and watches the fence across Our Outer Realm.

Our heart thrills to see him at his best: from stone still to faster than lighting. A performance worthy of Catalympic Trials. No cat could snatch a mouse faster.

Young again, he prances – yes, struts – past showing off his trophy with such a charming grin.

“For your entertainment,” he says out of the side of his mouth. “This one for my housekeeper, but the next one, the very next one, my dear lady, the next one for you.”

Sir Chevalier, Sir Walter Scott would find no need of embellishing.

crown symbol with message "I am RC Cat and I approve this message"

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

 

September 28, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Pack n’ play

Big yellow Vintage ice cooler. (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Big yellow. Chillin’ in storage. Still able to brighten the day royally. (© image.)

For ghosts, call Ghost Busters. But for boxing, call me.

Expertise the result of natural Spatial Intelligence, genetics, or just from of lots and lots of practice stacking and packing, I’m the one.

Some people bought cars for classy looks, Dad bought for how much space in the trunk and between the front and back seats.

Each summer we’d lock up the house and pack everything needed for a 4-6 week camping trip around the national parks.

Canvas tent, camp stove, Amy surplus folding canvas cots, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and groceries take up a lot of room. Oh, yeah, we had clothes and two pairs of shoes each, too.

One summer we had one of those rectangular car top carriers, but no matter how tightly the canvas cover was strapped and tied, it flapped. My dad did not like flapping. Multiple stops to re-tie. Killed the mileage to be covered before dark.

Every nook and cranny of the car was utilized. It was simply a matter of seeing all items as puzzle pieces that, if fitted correctly, would all go in neatly – and sit quietly. No rattling was permitted. Dad was known to stop and reconfigure until all rattling ceased.

1966 Ford Fairlane 500 Stationwagon parked on side of road (Davelimmer/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We begged for a roomy station wagon, but no. (Davelimmer/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Being the shortest in the backseat, the Big Yellow cooler was snugged on the floorboard in front of me.

I didn’t mind because you could put a towel or something over it to make a platform. The backseat became a peninsula rather than an island  – more seatscape to control. You could stretch out legs, curl up over it, or use it like a table.

Big Brother slyly always tried to convince me I got the better end of the deal…and he thought I bought that story.

I didn’t mind. Smiled to myself. When it got hot – and it always got hot in cars in the summer back then – I could drape bare legs on either side of the Big Yellow Box or hug it with bare feet and enjoy the cool-ish sweat running down the sides.

Brother did sometimes snark I was melting the ice inside faster, to which mom usually said he could have it on his side if he thought it would be better.

No sale.

Vintage car in desert. Actually vehicle with mannequin in. Nevada nucelar testing site. (USPD. by Nat.Nuclear Security Adm./Pub. date,/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Let me look at that map. I think we should have turned right instead of left back there.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Dad gifted Big Yellow to me when we bought our first house.

It comes out for patio parties sometimes, but is protected in storage most of the time.

 I smiled at it Friday when gathering up some packing materials and sturdy boxes that were needed – not for me, but for rescuing history before a relative’s home is left for the last time.

I’ve been wrapping and packing some china and fragile items that are about the same age is the Republic of Texas. These I will pack to try and make sure they arrive safely to their next guardian. (Fingers crossed for the marble top of the antique console table)

I volunteered to do that. But that’s all. Already sorted, screened, and supervised what immediately went out in the first load.

Others can pack what little remains in that house for the final moving van before the new owner shows up. And they can deal in person with the antics of She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named who is bound to show up. (Who in their right mind hammer texts people starting at 4:30 am? Block. Block. Block.)

Yep. I think this calls for a Big Yellow Box patio appearance. 

Cerveza para todos!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s an out of the box story about a road trip that possibly included beer, selfies, and not exactly the viral fame they were looking for:

“The infamous Jeep Wrangler Stuck on the Dangerous California Razor’s Ridge Bike Trail Has Been Saved” (The Drive). “…Both of the rig’s passenger-side tires were off the narrow trail with the steering wheel cranked left, and that’s where it sat for at least 36 hours…”. I agree the bravest of the SoCal Jeep club rescuers was the talented guy who volunteered to get into the drivers seat. Talk about one who is gifted!

Jeep periously balanced on rocky ridge (Image: The Drive)

One summer I was sure our loaded car was going to end up exactly like this while driving the dirt road up Pikes Peak. (Infamous Jeep perilously balanced on rocky ridge. Image: The Drive)

September 22, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Double Take

Rinse and repeat.

To any avid reader of fiction or weary hurricane watcher, it’s all about the deja vu view.

Obviously the drama, the high stakes, the conflict, and the sly foreshadowing swirl all about in both.

A great book – or a well tolerated storm – often floats on the characters bookended in each.

Squirrel on water skis (Ebay image of book cover)

Yes, it’s a squirrel on water skis. This is all I could think of when I saw the following picture.(eBay image of book cover)

Tropical Storm Beta flirts with the Gulf Coast and here we go again: Tropical Storm Beta.

Pretty much able to do storm prep sleepwalking by now.

Just going down the same familiar path – like a book where you’ve already guessed the ending.

Child. Utah 6 month old water skiing. (screeenshot Salt LAke City Fox13/Humphrey family video)

Seriously. What else could come to mind? (Screenshot Salt Lake City Fox13/Humphrey family)

The rain arrives and the real quandary remains: what to do stuck inside. Stuck inside again. Again!

Seriously. What hasn’t been already viewed during the months of COVID lockdown is pretty slim.

Are there any home remodeling shows, Dog Whisperer, travel, buying the you-wish-it-was-you real estate episodes, or TV/Netflick series reruns that haven’t been revisited ad nauseum? (No, I am not watching any football, baseball, basketball as those are mere shadows of themselves right now.)

Forced to return of the glorious days of yesteryear: old movies…full of double takes

Group of men in vintage clothing. Marlon Brando. (Screenshot Guys and Dolls)

Bad boy Marlon Brando about to tempt fate – risking it all for a gal who is way out of his league and from a different world. (Of course anyone in a NYC sewer would be tempting fate, then or now.) (Screenshot Guys and Dolls)

Vintage Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando are cool. 

To find them both in a musical, “Guys and Dolls” (1950 stage/1955 film) was a surprise:

  1. Because Sinatra is really skinny
  2. Brando actually did sing all his songs.
  3. The Cuban night club avant-garde dance scene  – with Brando dancing. Sharp. What can I say?
  4. It’s a period piece – a window into the past of fashions, cars, and culture. The “Pet Me, Papa” night club act must have been quite risqué for the time. Today’s Cancel Culture probably hate that performance which may be why it’s hard to find these days, But darn it, it’s sweet, funny, and cute. Lighten up people. “Entertainment” doesn’t have to preach a message: fun is fine.
  5. Who couldn’t smile with the performance of “Sit down. You’re rocking the boat
  6. And this show is the original source of the song “Luck, be a Lady Tonight”( Video of Brando singing as he rolls the dice on a big bet in a dark NYC sewer)

That scene of crap shooting is where it dawned on me.

Gang of boys. The Jets of original West Side Story. (image LA Theater Review)

Same old story: a girl breaking up the gang. (The Jets/LA Theater Review)

Was “Guys and Dolls” the inspiration for the sets and choreography in the 1957 stage/1961 film musical “West Side Story”?

  • Michael Kidd choreographed the dances of the “Guys and Dolls” movie.
  • Jerome Robbins created the original dance moves for the “West Side Story”, the NYC gang rumble in a dark subterranean setting

You watch a few scenes and you decide. Lots of similarities.

If intrigued, watch the “Guys and Dolls” movie here.  (You gotta love that poodle. Shows up twice.)

Couple talking. Frank Sinatra (Nathan Detroit) and Vivian Blaine (Adelaide) in Guys and Dolls duet "Sue Me".( Screenshot )

Looks like a storm brewing. But she finally does get him to the altar..and the poodle shows up. (Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit) and Vivian Blaine as Adelaide (Marilyn desperately wanted that role) in Guys and Dolls duet “Sue Me”. Screenshot )

Watching snatches of the vintage musical, reinforced the old concept that “Everything under the sun has already been done”. Everything is just variations.

Variations of Boy meets Girl…and suddenly the future looks different.

Lyrics From “Guys and Dolls”: “Love is the thing that has licked ’em”, When you see a guy reach for stars in the sky
You can bet that he’s doing it for some doll” (Enjoy the entire song with Sinatra – and the poodle- here)

Sound familiar?  “Maria”, “Tonight”, One Hand; One Heart”. More parallels to Guys and Dolls’ “A Woman in love” and “Adelaide”?

Nothing like a challenge and a little conflict to make a good story.

Fictional plots may be stormy in parts, like hurricanes, but that doesn’t seem to keep people away from either. 

Always a story line in the making.

Whatever floats your book.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

OK. Here’s the real story of the iconic 61st Street Fishing T-Pier and Hurricane Beta

Interview with the owner here. He cut away part to save the rest.

And now, the end piece with was ripped off last night?

Floated on the waves and beached around 69th Street…and is a new tourist attraction…

Yep. Even as the storm gets closer. So Texas.

Iconic 61st Street Fishing Pier (KHOU screenshot)

Waves cover the walkway of the 61st Street Fishing Pier as they roll in Sunday. It was a matter of time. Beta is supposed to dance across town here on Wed.(KHOU screenshot)

 

 

September 18, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bad operator

Clouds are undependable.

All full of themselves: offering promises they can’t keep. Drama guaranteed – but not reliability.

Stormy sky with strange dark clouds (© image, copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

I see you. All fluff and bluster with no action raining down. (© image)

And the clouds parted.

(You expect some words of wisdom now? OK will this do?)

Quote about stupid people not being bright ( calendar)

Yes. (calendar image)

Who knew sunshine was endangered? 

  The Sunshine Protections Act  

The world is really lucky someone noticed. (Florida’s U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio)

Maybe it’s not too late.

Maybe we can collect some of the remnants of vanishing sun, encourage and pamper it until strong again – and release it back into the wild during January when it’s really needed.

Of course a Congressional committee must be formed to find out who is responsible for the crisis.

No one wants to be left in the dark over these things.

“Do it for the children!” That usually works

Rubio’s trying that: “One small step we can take to help ease the burden of the COVID pandemic on families.”

Scott tags teams with “… more time for people to enjoy all Florida has to offer.” Like Disneyland. Kids love Disneyland 

Hesitant to point out ….you know you can get bullied so badly these days by not parroting the popular mantras…I though we were all into Following The Science (I think that’s a new game show). Changing the clock really doesn’t make any more or less sunshine…But will waiting on confirmation of that by the ones in charge before saying it too loudly…don’t want to hurt the feelings of the Fact Challenged.

Besides it’s dark enough here. That darn tornado requested never showed up.

(Can I reorder?)

(Background post: “Tornado, requesting direct hit”)

Sunset streaks across the sky over the water (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Sunset streaks across the sky over the lake (© image)

Blog operation note: I’m a bad blogger.

  • Not replying to readers’ comments in a timely fashion
  • Slipping invisibly through your posts without even leaving a calling card (“Likes” are so non-engaging, sort of disloyal. I waver about those. Sigh.)
  • Disheartened – not with readers, or blogging, or really even WP. It’s worse.

Unfortunately the tornado approach didn’t work (Too risky calling up a hurricane even for this)

Still dealing with the Toxic One-who-shall-not-be-named. It’s draining, distracting, and disruptive.  Only for a bit longer. After that: then hasta forever. Adiós.

I escape outdoors as much as possible away from phone, texts, email, – and don’t even try tossing a rock over the fence with a note attacked – or ask a “friend’ to do so – or try borrowing a “friend’s” cell phone. On to all that.

It’s that much fun.

All I can say is “breathe”, Karma works, and I know there’s a God because treadmills were invented.

Thanks for wandering by. Hope all your clouds have humorous shapes and your stored data floats safe.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Sunset wrapping across the sky (© image. copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

The rest of the sunset ribbons wrapping eastward across the sky. Taken from the bridge leading to a small private island with gates. Clouds pay no attention to gates….well, maybe Bill Gates.(© image.)

 

September 16, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The boyfriend’s back

Sean Connery. 007 leaning agaisnt car (image: Official James Bond 007 website)

He has an air of European sophistication about him. (image: Official James Bond 007 website)

For the longest time, she could only watch from a distance and sigh.

Few met her standards. Being something of a 10 herself.

Stuck inside. Sheltered beyond tolerance…sort of…Isn’t everyone these days?

He was always impeccably groomed – even when just headed to the mailbox.

Not a dandy or fop with attitude.

More Bond, James Bond. A whole different breed.

That elegant tuxedo. That soft black hair that even a breeze can’t resist ruffling.

The solid way he steps out – not prancing, totally dignified.

Those obvious good manners when he passes people. The complete attention he aways directs at his companions.

Double sigh. A real dreamy guy.

Bond. James Bond. Movie poster/still (USPD. pub.date, artist life)

Nothing like a tuxedo to ooze cool.(Movie poster/still /USPD. pub.date)

She waits by the window hoping he’ll stroll by…perhaps glance her way.

Probably totally oblivious to her existence.

A girl can hope.

Molly has a new boyfriend: an older Gentleman down the street named Norman.

Norman is a terribly handsome Bernese Mountain Dog.

At 7 yrs, he is somewhat flattered by Molly’s attention, but was a bit aloof at first.

Awkward. Pretty sure it’s not the age difference. Fear, perhaps

Bernese Mountain Dog. (AKC website image)

You can easily see why Molly Malamute is enchanted by Norman. He looks exactly like this. (AKC website image)

Molly has always been the pretty party girl, but a little overly enthusiastic at times.

“Oh,” she said, “Bernese tend to be cautious. Being so affectionate and tenderhearted with feelings easily hurt, he must want to go slow until he’s reached a comfort level.”

She does have instincts and became very docile: non-threatening  poses- laying down to be smaller as she does with her petite dog friends.  Shyly, only giving a small polite sniff when he didn’t stiffen so much at their early encounters.

Norm is usually glued by his person’s knee even without a leash.

That dog has the best dog manners around…which makes him even more charming. He always – always – glances up at his person and clearly says, “Is it all right?” before acknowledging another.

An elegant gentleman with something of a story all his own.

According to Norm’s teenage girl (who always has time to pet Molly), he belonged to a cousin who works all the time. Norm’s entire world was a crate. Because Bernese Mountain Dogs bond very closely to their person, when left alone – feeling abandoned – they tend to act out…destructively. So jailed. A small world.

Eventually extended family members persuaded the lovely owner, who loved Norman very much, but had little time to spare, that his life was barren, cruel, and that constant confinement had begun to badly affect him.

Norman was afraid of everything – and had panic attacks. He did not want to go out for walks. He was too worried to leave his crate. A large dog with a caged emotional mind.

But, lucky dog, a new leash and a new life.

Dog looking at you. (© image. Copyrighted, no permissions granted. ALL rights reserved)

“Mom, I’m bored. Can’t we go outside yet? I bet all the other dogs are outside. Please?”(© image)

Molly noticed Norman out reluctantly for a walk one day and was desperate to go meet him.

After all he was so handsome – and big enough to play with – bigger than she! (and at her sturdy 85 pounds, that’s rare).

And they’re the same colors – like Twinsies…Sort of..He’s always show ring silky, shiny clean without muddy paws. Sigh.

Just like a kid who has heard the ice cream truck, Molly pleaded with staff to go out. Could barely get harnessed up fast enough.

The first time we ran into each other at the mail box, Norm seemed to panic and wanted avoidance at all cost.

But his teen walker, motioned for him to be still…which he reluctantly did..at the far end of his leash.

Molly slowly and gingerly slipped forward for a nose to nose touch. And that was OK.

But feeling confident, she raised a paw for a high five – and poor Norman almost freaked. But he survived.

We left it at that.

Molly pranced off looking as happy as she possibly could saying, “He’s playing hard to get. Isn’t that cute!”

It’s been a few months now. Even with the summer’s heat when large, double-coated dogs don’t venture far from AC, there have been a few brief meetings between the two dogs.

Everyone’s happy that Norm is relaxing and gaining confidence in social situations. He actually perks his ears up when he see Molly a bit down the sidewalk.

He’s quick to look up at his owner to ask and receive permission to bounce over and talk…He’s really cute.

(007 movie still/poster USPD. pub.date, artist life/All poster)

Molly thinks they make a cute couple.(007 movie still/poster USPD.pub.date)

Molly of course, is now playing coy.

Spots Norman at a distanced, tugs and tugs on the leash in his direction, but once he’s noticed, she shifts gears and nonchalantly, casually, saunters over..like the girl who goes “Oh, hi. Didn’t see you there.”

Then a little close circling tango.

A small retreat behind staff legs with “Oh, watch that  nose, mister” – said with a beguiling smile.

Yesterday she was on cloud 9. He puppy bowed her. Puppy bowed!

Careful Molly. He may not be quite ready for a Malamute high five, but he’s come a long way.

Seems you can only live twice.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Dog. Molly Malamute smiling ((© image Copyrighted, all rights reserved, No permissions granted)

Norman’s pawsome, right?  (© image)

 

 

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