2020/09/13

Balls. Big, Big Balls.

Da Goddess @ 10:45

The renters in the main house here on the property have the two dogs who live here full-time and then there’s the son’s dog. Since the young son isn’t here on a regular basis, neither is his very funny canine.

Part catahoula, part lab(?), part clown, this dog is constantly looking for things to do. That’s part and parcel of being a pup, but it also speaks of the way he’s being raised. Badger’s owner is training him to do pool/water rescues and to also be a good horseman’s dog. It’s a delight to watch.

Recently, Badger’s developed into more of a grown dog and has lost much of his puppiness. Gone are the too big feet and the comical poses. Now he has an enormous noggin (it’s planet-like in size) and a sureness of foot, which are lovely. He also has ginormous balls. His balls are so big they align themselves NOT side-by-side, but rather front to back. Big, big, huge balls befitting a stud bull or horse.

Said balls got Badger in trouble not long ago. Seems the female dog here was in heat and somehow got out. Badger boy did what nature told him must be done and the two dogs went at it like…well, animals. Thankfully, no pregnancy. But this led to the owners to FINALLY deciding to neuter and spay the two dogs. Why it wasn’t done sooner, I have no idea.

Other than the german shepherd, Lady, we had when I was very young, every dog or cat we owned as a family, and the ones I’ve had on my own, have been fixed. I was taught it was responsible ownership and a kindness to our dear companions. I still believe that wholeheartedly. Aside from reducing pet overpopulation, spaying and neutering reduce the likelihood of diseases — cancer, in particular — of the reproductive sort. For me, this is paramount. If we can spare our beloved companions from illness, we should. So, that’s what I’ve always done and I tend to look at people who don’t do this for their pets with my head atilt like Bopper, the RCA dog. I just don’t get it. There are so many companion animals living life on the streets and/or sitting in shelters awaiting a death sentence.

So. Yes, I looked at the owners here in (with? Or just…) askance. How and why do you NOT spay or neuter your dogs? Especially when you have a male and female who spend a lot of time together. Especially when you don’t want puppies.

I guess the pregnancy scare was just the thing they needed because both dogs are going in for their surgeries today (or maybe tomorrow since nobody seems to be able to remember the days of the week anymore due to quarantine brain). I am breathing a big sigh of relief.

And so it goes here in the heart of my little world. No pregnancy scares in the future for the sweet dogs who live on this land with me. No tempting balls of fluff and utter cuteness in my path. No chances of cancer of the reproductive organs for two beautiful furry friends.

Oh, and those massive balls will no longer have to go through life in one-by-one, single-file formation.

2020/09/11

It’s September 11th — 19 Years Later

Da Goddess @ 02:14

I have such a difficult time on this date. Despite having friends who have birthdays today, know people who celebrate wedding anniversaries today, etc., I just can’t get the knot in the pit of my stomach to ever fully go away.

All too easily, I recall the TV being on and the images of the most unbelievable event I’d ever seen flowing from that glowing box. It was unreal. It was horrifying. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding. I kept thinking about the people trapped in the Twin Towers, the people in the airplanes, the families, the people who were in the area. As much as I knew my life had changed in those hours, I knew theirs had changed even more drastically.

I wanted to throw up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to rain down vengeance upon whoever was responsible for such heinous acts. I also wanted to just wrap myself around my children and protect them from the ugliness and evil that man can inflict upon his fellow man.

Amidst the sorrow and anger, I also felt the power of community and the love most of us carry for our families, friends, neighbors, towns, state, and our country. I stood among the people in my neighborhood and, even though some of us were meeting for the first time, felt the warmth of their handshakes and embraces. We weren’t alone. We were in it together. There was so much more good in the world than bad. The proof was all around me.

But sadness and anger don’t go quietly or quickly. Not even when surrounded by love. They were there, yet we grieved as a group. We relied on one another for support: a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a hand to hold, and a desire to be better to each other and toward those we encountered in our lives. Mostly, that worked. It helped us through the darkest hours.

As the years have passed since September 11, 2001, we’ve lost much of that sense of love for one another. It’s as if we believe we no longer have need for it. But, of course, we need it now more than ever. We’re struggling to just stay alive these days, literally, in many cases. Lockdown, isolation, quarantine: signs of the times. Makes it harder to be there for others. But we find ways, don’t we? Food left on a doorstep for a neighbor. Phone calls. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom meetings, and many more ways to keep in touch with the people who are in need of some support. We mask up. We wash our hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently to reduce the risk of spreading disease. We find ways.

And so. Here we are: 19 years after one of the most defining events in our lives, in the midst of another defining event. Let’s remember what happened and apply the lessons we learned then to what we’re going through now. Let’s be good and kind to the people we encounter. Let’s remember how quickly they can be taken from us, whether by acts of terrorism, violence, or disease. Let’s be better versions of ourselves and encourage others to do the same. Lead by example.

Let’s also take a few minutes to remember the losses on that day and in the days since. Let’s remember who we were and who we are deep in our hearts.

Never forget.

2020/09/06

Another Shitty Day in Paradise

Da Goddess @ 12:20

It was 106° by 10:00 this morning. At noon, 111°F. We’re not done watching the mercury rise. Blech.

Yesterday, during peak heatwave, our power went out. For a couple hours. 114°+. I woke up drenched and congested and absolutely miserable. Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t happen again.

I soaked my feet and legs in the pool during the outage. I did the same thing this morning. It was so hot so early, I just gave into the cool water. I’d dunk my whole body in right now, however, I would 1. have to put on a bathing suit, which requires effort and movement, and 2. would require me to walk downstairs and to the pool, and 3. would require me having to walk upstairs after AND change clothes again. To that, I say NO FUCKING WAY, JOSE & JUANITA! This is a perfect example of why I need to be very wealthy. If I had oodles of giant stacks of cash, I’d pay someone to change me and to carry me to the pool. I would. Absolutely.

2020/09/05

How to Deal with the Heat

Da Goddess @ 09:26

The dogs have decided to play before it’s too hot to play.

Extreme heat advisory is in effect for the weekend and beyond.

I may throw myself into the pool soon.

Playing before it gets too hot.

Too Damn Hot

Da Goddess @ 09:22

At 0900 hours, it’s 95°F and is expected to hit 114°F later.

That, according to my chart, is too damn hot.

Fletch and I shall sleep through the hottest part of the day because why not?

Update: 0945 hours and it’s already over 100°.

2020/09/01

Not My Dogs

Da Goddess @ 09:06

Since the new tenants in the main house moved in, I’ve benefited from the fact that they have dogs. I get to pet, play with, and just sit quietly with the dogs almost any time I want.

Big boy Bandit and I became fast friends while his sister went to work with their mom. Bandit and Fletch have even developed a nice little friendship since he visits so frequently. It’s pretty adorable. While they don’t cuddle or anything, there’s an easy vibe of chill between them I love to see. Bandit is a mellow boy and has no interest in chasing the cat or doing more than sniffing him or occasionally giving him a lick. Fletch will allows this and rarely does more than give a short, soft meow and has only once attempted a pathetic hiss. He wasn’t perturbed at all; it was, for the most part, a demonstration that he could, if need be, become riled. Even the one time raising of his paw was done sans claw. More like “I’ll bop you one, Mr. D.O.G., if I feel you deserve it.” Yeah, even his displays of catitude are mild. He really seems to enjoy his new interspecies friendship.

Bandit’s also a big old fuzzy love muffin around me. He checks on me throughout the day, lies at my feet, and does his best to be my protector. It’s the sweetest thing. Because it’s often just me (and Fletch, of course) on the property all day, he watches over me (us) and does his best to bring joy to my doorstep. He succeeds. With flying colors. Whenever he’s not around, I miss his solid and affectionate presence. He’s really a lovely, kind, gentle soul.

Now, Bristol, she’s a different story. Yes, she’s rather laid back for a herding dog, but she does have an energy about her that’s undeniable. And while she’s always gentle and calm around Fletch, she simply prefers…me. I’m not sure what it is, but she has decided I’m cool and am her favorite non-family person.

I’ve only ever had one other dog get so excited to see me: The Smash Family dog (God rest her beautiful soul). Back in the day, Tori would turn herself inside out and upside down while absolutely losing her head whenever she saw me. One time, the (former) Mrs. Smash needed to borrow some scrubs and a stethoscope for a play and she reported back to me that Tori went crazy when the items were brought in the house, all because she could smell me on them. I was just as taken with her and this behavior always tickled me. On the penultimate day of Tori’s life, I was able to spend time with her, photographing her and just loving on her. She was very weak and unsteady, but she was happy to see me like she always had been, just unable to wriggle and be silly with her affection. I was honored to have been a part of her life, but even more honored to have been loved by her.

And now Bristol reminds me of Tori, what with her enthusiastic greetings and her inability to show even the slightest bit of moderation in her efforts to let me know she’s glad I’m around. Last night, after being away from the old homestead for less than 48 hours, she spotted me and sped over to me to say hello. Her mom kept trying to calm her and apologized repeatedly for Bristol’s excessive behavior. “I don’t know why she’s like this with you. She never does this with anyone else! I’m so sorry!” I told her not to worry and that I was pleased that the dog likes me so much. And then I told her about the only other sweet girl who acted the same way when she’d see me. We decided Tori must have chosen Bristol to be the conduit for her to keep loving me.

This morning, she approached me with the same wild, unbridled joy as she had last night. She settled down as I pet her and talked with her — Bandit patiently waiting for his turn for pets and scritches — and then she ran off after hearing the baby goats because she simply MUST check on them every time they bleat. Once she ascertained they were okay, she bounded up the stairs and gave me another ebullient hello, though slightly toned down. I ruffled her fur and gave her a lot of pets and scritches. Forty minutes later, she and Bandit have both picked their spots to lie down and conduct their sentry duties up here on my porch.

There’s just something so wonderful about knowing you’re loved by not-my-dog dogs. You know they don’t have to love you. However, when they do, it’s incredibly heartwarming and you can’t help but feel special.

To all the not-my-dogs out there, I love you!

P.S. Bristol might be preggers. I know I can’t afford to have a puppy, but I have a feeling I’m going to be in big trouble when/if there are pups.

2020/08/22

TJH: Inspire – I Can Haz Anything I Wants With This

Da Goddess @ 18:24
Fork Kitty

Fork Kitty

Sometimes, playing with your flatware is almost as fun as playing with your food. Actually, combining the two is just super awesome!

Reminds me of those mod cats from the 50s and 60s.

2020/08/13

TJH: Inspire – SoCal Poolside Sunset

Da Goddess @ 19:45

Don’t hate me because it’s beautiful here.

After a very hot and very busy day, I managed to crawl downstairs to stick my feet in the pool and listen to the landmate’s baby goats. While I was luxuriating in the cool water, this happened:

2020/08/07

Waiting for Doggo

Da Goddess @ 12:59

Mark B. Mills wrote the most perfect story. I laughed, I cried, I wanted so much more. I’m Waiting for Doggo to make another appearance because it is simply so captivating.

I have to say I hated that it was such a quick read, but I loved it, too, for the same reason.

Everything about the improbable love story fell upon my heart wonderfully and it’s a book I’ll return to whenever I need a little pick-me-up.

2020/08/05

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Da Goddess @ 09:04

I just finished I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg. A collection of short stories, it’s absolutely delicious!

Each tale is perfect on its own, but as a set: magnificent. At turns intriguing and heartbreaking and as simple and complicated as humans are, the characters are given a chance to speak for themselves, to recount their own stories in their own way.

Every protagonist is someone recognizable and familiar as if made up of the parts of ourselves and our known world. They’re us, or a part of us, and this is the common thread tying the stories together (although a couple do happen within the same immediate vicinity).

I found myself returning to the beginning and starting over again, compelled to find new clues within and perhaps discover the secret to slipping into the stories myself, getting lost in the fog alongside my new friends, holding them when they need it the most.

Deftly crafted, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is my newest and strongest recommendation to anyone who loves to read and appreciates finely told tales.

2020/07/27

Teach Your Children Well

Da Goddess @ 09:47

I have friends who are teachers. One pair, married and both have been teaching from home, while also having two kids engaged in distance learning. They’ve struggled to keep up with their own kids’ lessons as much as any other parents because they’re striving to provide their “other families” with fresh curriculum, attention, reinforcement of lessons, & sometimes even coordinating food for these kids.

The teachers I know are committed to helping another generation LEARN & build successful skills that will last them a lifetime. They’ve struggled to keep up with growing class sizes and shrinking resources. Some don’t even have enough textbooks for a classroom of 30, let alone enough books for five more periods of classes of the same size.

Now, here we are: the president wants to push everyone back to school. How are teachers supposed to enforce distancing and masks and handwashing in packed classrooms with kids who are often soft (read: resistant) on basic hygiene? Seriously, these are often kids who are lucky if they have enough clean clothes for three days a week and shower about as often.

And what about those textbooks that must be shared? There’s no way to get two kids to a book and still be maintaining proper distancing. Nor is it possible to disinfect the books in any way that would be helpful.

Our children and our teachers have struggled long before distance learning became a “thing” due to the pandemic. Now? We’re putting them in harm’s way because the president wants to make it look like we’re winning the battle against coronavirus when we’re clearly not yet there? How? Why?

After reading Dave Grohl’s piec. In the Atlantic, I gotta tell you, I’m even more worried about what this will do to our kids, our teachers, school staff, and to the families who will be put on the frontlines of this viral battlefield.

Please call, email, and write actual letters to your representatives to urge them to postpone this insanity for at least another six months. Let’s protect our children and our families, our school systems, and our communities until we know for certain that it’s safe for them to return.

2020/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 15:12

Happy Fourth of July

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner

May your 4th of July be safe and happy! And may you recall what this day is truly about.

Freedom is a hard-won reward. We can’t take it for granted or we may lose it. So, please, take a moment today and consider how special this great nation of ours is — we have fought for our right to disagree and speak our minds, as well as the right to take a day off and celebrate all manner of our liberties.

In this day and age, with quarantines and isolation, with loneliness and the loss of gathering together, especially on days like today, it’s good to remember the days of yore, times gone by, the times we thought were rough, but have turned out to be the good ol’ days, and be thankful we’re still here to celebrate and say God bless America!

Stay safe, friends. Stay safe.

2020/06/25

TJH: Inspire — Winging It

Da Goddess @ 00:46

I find a lot of interesting things on my walks.

I’ve found:

1. A snakeskin, but no snake, which is weird out here in the country. That’s the only evidence I’ve seen of there being any snakes around at all in the year and a half I’ve lived here. I’ve seen more snakes in suburbia than I have here. I think that’s odd.

2. Coyotes. There’ve been singular sightings and sightings of several hanging out in one general area. But, the most frequent sightings are of the three coyotes who stick together. I love this group! I’m assuming they’re a mama, papa, and their pup. I could be completely wrong, but the size of each makes me believe I’m right.

3. Birds. I see so many, especially crows, but also lots of hawks, bluebirds, doves, woodpeckers, orioles, hummingbirds, mockingbirds, ONE raven, and others that I can only guess at the species. I’m trying to make notes so I can look up the descriptions and possibly identify them, but sometimes I forget. Okay, mostly I forget. I’m trying.

4. The occasional surprise. Gloves, always a single glove. Dead bunnies. Dice. CO2 cartridges from those homemade soda machines. There’s always always always a ton of them at the side of the road. And this little item below:

2020/06/11

Just NO

Da Goddess @ 00:02

I’m suspicious of chin dimples. Not a cleft chin, but dimples in the chin. You know, the kind that look as if someone stuck a skewer deep into puffed up dough and you can’t see if there’s even an end to the depth of the dimple. Imagine that on your face. Or on anyone’s face. Imagine the bacteria and/or fungi living in the deep, dark recesses of that dimple. Imagine leaning in close to hear a whisper from someone with a simple full of soupy microbes and smelling the stench that comes with such a thing. Gross, isn’t it? I mean, if your belly button can collect lint and sweat and germs of all sorts, so, too, can a chin pit. And it’s on the face. Where everyone can see it, where everyone can picture the bacterial and fungal sludge simmering together to create a superbly disgusting stew of utter grossness.

So, like, y’know, I’m suspicious of chin dimples.

P.S. this does not apply to Kurt Russell, possessor of glorious dimples and a cleft chin. See? They’re two entirely separate things.

2020/06/10

Thanks, Pam!

Da Goddess @ 12:02

Many thanks to pamibe.com for posting my last two entries. I sent them to her via text and she was lovely for posting.

My internets are sketchy at best these days. The only place I can usually get a steady signal is in the bathroom…in the shower or on the toilet. One inch away from either is dead zone city. And I only discovered this yesterday.

Thank you, Pam! You’re a wonderful friend and top notch human being! Love ya, babe!

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