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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nuclear cat

As if Mutt wasn't uncertain enough about felines. Richard and Carrie have a radioactive one. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

my best friend. ever.

 he seriously sleeps like this sometimes. there is a story about plucky duck. it's sad though. another time, maybe.
 halloween. cleopatra, if you didn't guess. no matter, the humiliation is the same.
 he loves the van. it is his real home. sometimes when i don't know where he is, i will find him sitting next to it, just waiting.

Mutt is so patient, so zen. he asks for so little, and gives everything. i posted once before about him, just waiting:

and here:

and for those who missed it, here is how i lucked into the best dog in the whole wide world:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

vandwelling, heat and dogs

i just saw this on a blog i read when i actually get around to reading blogs. it is a reminder of the challenges of living in a van with a pet and keeping them safe. the temps inside the vehicle were a sobering reminder of what happens inside a vehicle in the sun, and how quickly it can happen.

one advantage of vandwelling is that i can follow seasons and climate according to our comfort and safety. i absolutely hate the heat, so avoid it if at all possible. if i can't relocate to a cooler region, then gaining elevation is an option, and will be experimenting with that in the future, after i relocate to the southwest.

even here in the northeast in the summer, i do most of my shopping at night, thanks to walmart and other 24 hour businesses. if i do have to go somewhere in the daytime i leave the engine running using my spare key, and leave the air on. i still keep my business short, because i worry about an AC malfunction or the engine stalling (never has, but there's always a first time)  i set a timer on my phone to beep me after 10 minutes, in case i lose track of the time, and i wear a neck lanyard with info and photos about my vehicle and my dog, so if i should become incapacitated, someone will know to get to Mutt. it also contains vet and emergency contacts who are instructed on how to recover Mutt and get him home safely.

this issue has had a lot to do with the types of things i do on the road. i don't go anywhere dogs aren't welcome, which would be most tourist attractions, some national parks or campgrounds, theaters and malls, restaurants...that sort of stuff.  but that's cool, because none of that holds a candle to the pleasure i get from hanging out with Mutt. he is just the best thing that happened to me since my kids, and dogs lives are too freakin' short. i don't want to miss a minute :-)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Part II of part II

Okay, so this night has been a long one.

I started out in a walmart parking lot in yuma, where we were rousted about 3 a.m. We ended up going to the border crossing at algodones, hoping to scope it out and maybe make the dash across on what is to be the coolest day of the week. 

Just before 5, 3 stray, skinny dogs came by, and I fed them some cookies out the window. When the border patrol drove by, I rolled the window up, and stuck the box of cookies under my seat, which of course was the wrong thing to do. After he ran my plates he approached the van and had me pull out the cookies. I had a pic of one of the dogs on my phone to back up my story, but I felt kinda bad, because he was just a kid, and what a thankless, dangerous job they do. 

I drove into CA. to a gas station where the realities of gas prices hit home. Came back to AZ for gas and to plan my next step. It may be too late in the year to leave mutt in the car and to cross the border for glasses. I need to price mexican auto insurance for the day, maybe drive across, or rent a motel or find a kennel where the dog will be safe. Original plans had me doing this when other vandwellers were around to dogsit...... I'll keep you posted.
-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

more babies

a few weeks ago, everytime i opened the door to go outside, i was being startled by a wren who flew shreiking past my face and up into the pine tree. i generally did a little shreiking myself, because i'm usually not quite in the moment, or thinking too much, if you will. i couldn't figure out why he was always at my door, until i went to water the flowers one day.....
and discovered this. they were just barely getting their voice, so i would have discovered them sooner than later, as they went on to do a little shreiking for themselves. loudly. there was nothing to be done for it, as i was afraid to relocate the watering can for fear of the babies being abandoned. so instead, to spare my nerves..... i posted this inside the kitchen door......
the babies have since moved on, and there is peace on the porch once again.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More Babies!

my cousin Julie stopped by for a quick visit recently, and brought her bottle-fed baby pygmy goat. What a sweety!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Saw this by the house the other day. Had to snap a quick one and get away 'cause the mom was waiting in the underbrush.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

dallas and the pilgrimage to stevie ray

i spent the night in a truckstop in dallas texas, despite moans and groans from the wizard about the stupidity of the idea. there was a heavy police presence there, though, and the night was uneventful, if you discount the fact that they had outdoor speakers that blasted hiphop all night long. things got more exciting the next day, though. don't be shocked, i am not kidding you.

this is the truckstop's resident stray. he was afraid of his own shadow, and clearly needed the stuffing loved out of him. we gave him a rib bone and some bread and biscuits. then i went to get a shower, but there were like 9 people in the line, so i went back out to sit with mutt while i waited. it was a good thing, cause when i got there

the car that had been parked by us all night long had caught fire, and i found a use for the extra gallons of water i had been tripping over since san antonio.
here is the guy putting out his carpeting. when he lifted the floor mat, you could see pavement :-( this was not a good thing, cause he had just sold the car....his only home....because he needed the money, and some guy was on his way to get it.

royce (my new friend) had had trouble starting the car, and wanted to be sure that it started when the guy got there, so he got a spray can of that stuff that helps you start it, and proceeded to use the whole can, just in case. i had had to roll the windows up on the van, such was the cloud of noxious fumes that ensued. well, it started all right. started right on fire.....

of course, in the middle of all this, vickie calls to see if i was ready to meet up, and i was afraid she would think better of the whole idea when she heard the commotion, but she believed me when i said i usually only experienced one disaster a day, or felt pity for me.....cause she met me anyhow :-)
the first thing we did was the "i'll show you mine if you show me yours" shuffle. her van is very cool. then again, every van i meet has some unique quality that makes it stand out. such is the nature of the creativity of vandwellers. but vickie had come up with solutions to problems that were very unique and may be the solution to some of my issues. first of all, were the clips. remember the clips? she had an actual box of clips, neatly labeled and tucked away in one of her totes. her totes are lined up against one side of her van, neatly wedged behind the rear captains chair. on top were cushions covered in gray vinyl that matched the interior of the made the interior seem even bigger, and very soothing to be in. she could rearrange the cushions and the totes in different ways, depending on her needs. i know she had explained this on vandwellers, but it was much cooler than i had envisioned it. the very best part was the fact that each of these cushions fit into the window wells in the back of the van, making creative use of that space when she needed the cushions out of the way.

but it wasn't just van stuff i learned from vickie. she took mutt and i to a nearby park, where we walked and talked and got to know each other. i learned some things about myself in our conversation; validation about some decisions i had made in my life some time ago that i needed to hear. the universe just gives me gifts like this when i least expect it, and usually through the most delightful people. thank-you, vickie.

we went to a have something to eat at the white rock coffee shop. dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio, and mutt was given a huge biscuit and a warm welcome by the staff. one very cool person was devin, who ended up chatting like magpies with me, and conversation managed to turn to the fact that he is a songwriter who wants to live in his truck. i told him about vandwellers, and i hope he joins soon, if he hasn't already........i do hope i didn't frighten him off.....
this next series of pictures shows how sneaky mutt is trying to get a little licking action in....not on purpose, but on accident, like if his tongue falls out of his mouth right about the time his snoot is near your face.....ron can tell you about this.....
anyhow, if you look close in these pictures you can see his tongue being affected by centrifugal force, because it's surely not gravity that sends it accidentally upwards towards devin's mouth
who obviously knows where mutt's tongue has been last and reacts accordingly.
mutt sees vickie open her chicken salad sandwich, and looks longingly in her direction.....
but when she is not forthcoming, goes back to devin, full of remorse. it was alot of fun, and vickie ran into a couple people she knew, and all too soon, it was time to go.

one other special memory for me will be when vickie's daughter sang me one of the songs she wrote. i began crying before i even heard the words, her voice was that beautiful. thank-you melanie. i look forward to the cd.

i spent the night in the same truckstop, because i had hoped to doctor the burns on royce's hands again, and check the extent of the blistering on the palm. he didn't have medical insurance, but vickie told me where he could get care. but royce and the car were both gone. i hope he is safe and warm, wherever he is.
the next day i finally found the grave of stevie ray vaughan. i am not one big on monuments or memorials other than the ones in our hearts, but i was strangely moved by the first sight of the grave. he was not only my favorite guitarist, but a brother in recovery.
i was asked once if i could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why? the first thing that popped out of my mouth was "stevie ray vaughan, to tell him not to take the chopper". i miss his music.....
the grave was recently visited by los lonely boys, or a big fan of theirs.
i hadn't planned on leaving anything, but was moved to leave a bead (see inside the "o"). at the eastern primitive rendezvous, we used to have AA meetings at gator's tent ( or any of the many tents with the sign of the triangle) and we used to get a trade bead, kinda like the 18th century's answer to the chip. i had a small medicine bag of them, and decided to leave one for stevie. i think he mighta liked it.

then we got the hell outta dallas.

Monday, January 26, 2009

heading for warm

well, the first week of the trip has passed in a flash. i was determined to get to warm as quickly as possible, but did take some time to meet up with a few vandwellers on the way. i got to meet judith in north carolina, and she is sweeter and gentler in person than she is online. her place is tucked into a quiet piece of woods, and mutt was delighted with a little off-leash time there. i got to see bernie and mar again....i had met them at the mini vandweller convention in early november at john nomads place during my first kayaking adventure with michael. while at judith's we spent time touring and comparing our different is always such a learning experience and very inspirational to see how everybody is set up. judith seemed to like the astro rondyvan for it's compactness and good gas mileage. it sure was cluttered at the time from my frenzied pack job the day before.....

the next day i met possum in south carolina for breakfast at perkins. it is amazing how comfortable i feel with people i have never met in person before, having only established on-line friendships, but possum and i were yakking like the old friends that we were, chowing down and surfing the fastest wifi i had ever seen. it was so good to finally meet up, possum!

now the trip gets a little fuzzy here. i drove straight through the day and evening. it turned out that by altering my trip south to I-10, i would be able to meet up with phoenix near baton rouge. i know i passed through atlanta that night.....the skyline of the city was breathtaking. what i can't remember is if i made baton rouge that night, or if i had a stop in between. either way, i finally met up with phoenix at the tiger truck stop, where i had my first cajun food. it was good, except the part where he told me that the crayfish etoufe had frogs in it! ewwww. our visit was, as always, too short!
something about gas pumps makes people spit out their gum. look at this gum universe. i never see that anywhere else. this truck stop is called the tiger truck stop for a reason. there is a tiger there. things in cages really grieve me, and i had to be convinced by phoenix not to set the tiger free. the next morning, i was excited to see a sign that said "save the tiger" but when i got closer
it was nothing about saving the tiger, it was about saving the profits they made by having an exotic animal in their truck stop :-(
tony has never known anything but captivity in a tiny cage. he has no tiger family, no companions, no purpose. while i was there, he simply paced, around and around, in an endless circle to nowhere. it was a stark reminder of the gorilla in "ishmael" who banged his head slowly and endlessly on the bars of the cage, not knowing what freedom was, but instinctively knowing there was something else beyond this existence.....
i hate cages of any sort, but a zoo would be a blessing for tony, with more room to move and other animals around. i hope they lose their bid to keep the tiger in grosse tete.
okay, on to happier stuff. i was having a hard time keeping the kayak from shifting to the right and off the siderail of the roof rack. a little duct tape, and a hammer, and that baby hasn't moved in over 2,000 miles :-)
the "islands" in truck stops are mutt's oasis. we always park with the sliding door next to one, so we can look out at something besides asphalt. this one was in mississippi, and one of the prettier ones i've seen.
and finally, texas! in a truckstop outside of houston, i traded out my mukluks for my teva sandals! one of my first "vandweller" dreams actually involved a horse and saddlebags, where i would roam the west with what i could pack on the back of my horse. of course, i was in grade school, and mad to meet johnny yuma, but the same essential theme repeated itself throughout my life, trading the horse for a bicycle and panniers, or a stick and a bandanna, a backpack, or a took a few decades, but i'm living my dream, and it makes every day kinda breathtaking.....

stay tuned, because on my way to austin, i stumble across my first cowboy and the coolest house of worship i have ever seen......