Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Puppy Video

I took this video yesterday and I think it's the greatest. Last night when I was crying in bed, I watched it and it made me smile.

I hope it makes you smile too. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes, he's still gone.

Weren't you wishing I'd post about how he came home last night?

I was. I keep looking out the window and the door expecting his happy ass to be there at any minute. I've been joking about what I would do if/when I see him again but in the end, I'll probably just cry some more.

Yeah, I know. He's a dog. But still, a part of my nest - the little place on earth I've created for myself where I'm happy. Now I just think about where he should be and where he's not....waiting for me on the bathroom rug while I'm in the shower, leaping off the porch every morning in the goofy way that only he can do, dropping his ball in my lap, falling asleep on the bed with me but then moving to the floor at some point in the night.

I console myself with "what else can I do?" I've talked to neighbors, I've made posters and will post them at various places tonight/tomorrow. I've notified the Animal Shelter and the vet nearest us. I've driven around. I whistle for him every chance I get, even at 3 a.m.

He's in God's hands. I know He cares too, if not for any other reason then for my benefit.

Despite the hole in my family with Marley being gone, I still have Jada and her six *adorable* babies who follow me everywhere, chewing my socks and jumping on my legs until I pay them attention.

They all greet me on the porch when I get home and our evening/morning routine commences as follows:

1) Fresh food and drink outside while I get dressed in puppy-play clothes.
2) They all come in, play, play, play, and then crash on their dog bed in the living room. Or, if I'm watching TV, a select few will jump on the couch and scratch at my legs (crying the whole time) before I lift onto the couch where they fall asleep on the throw blanket.
3) One wakes up. They all go outside. Even at this age, they all go into one special place in the yard to pee/poop. Then it's back on the porch whining at the door, waiting for me. If I'm lucky, they'll play outside for awhile and then take Nap #2 on their bed on the porch. Otherwise...
5) We basically do this all evening until bedtime.
6) I let them out one more time to eat/drink and then bring everyone into the laundry room for bed on their blanket.
7) They usually wake me up at 7 and I open the laundry room door and they all follow me outside where they pee/poop and eat breakfast. Then we play. And then I leave.

They're not even 6 weeks old yet but they're smart enough to whine at the door when they're thirsty because they know their water's on the porch. I'm amazed at the intelligence of these dogs every litter I have.

Here's a video I took this morning. It shows their persistence and their absolute adoration of human beings, which is obviously cultivated into loyalty and obedience as they get older:

Bonus on the video is an example of what I mean when I say "crying." Imagine all 6 of them doing that at the same time. Now you know why I give them what they want.

Here are a few pictures that I took this morning too:

Pray for Marley, wherever he is. Pray he comes home.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Marley's missing

Here are some thoughts that run through your head when your dog's missing at 9:15 p.m.:

- I've never gone to bed without knowing where he is
- I wish he were here to do that annoying jump-on-the-covers-before-I-can-get-them move that he always does before bed.
- Is he cold?
- Is someone else loving him?
- Is he dead on the side of the road?
- He wasn't there to follow me to the bathroom at 3 a.m.
- He wasn't there, period.
- Was that him on the porch?
- Who will play ball with me and go swimming?

So last night I barely cried - like two tears. But then this morning, I tossed the covers off and really thought it was a bad dream. Until he wasn't there beside me, he didn't follow me to the bathroom, he didn't want to be let outside and he didn't do his whole other-wise annoying running off the porch and sailing into the yard.

Then I cried. And cried some more. I drove around looking for him and cried. I called the vet and started crying to her. I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday and cried. I read text messages and cried. I looked out the front door window where he should have been and cried. I got dressed and cried.

And I'll probably cry some more when I get home tonight if he's not there waiting for me.

Damn it, Marley. Come home. I'm tired of crying.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I am Here.

Where do I start, right? After over a week of not blogging, I feel like I'm trying to reconnect with an old friend. You know how it is, the conversation is awkward at first, you don't know where to start, where to end, what to tackle first. But then it just comes out.

So here you go.

The Spewing Blog.

The most appropriate thing to start out with is: how was your Christmas?

Mine was fabulous. My family (mom+three siblings) arrived the Friday before Christmas and spent a glorious week together. A week?! Can you believe it?

While I was abundantly thrilled to have them, I think my house was happier. While I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Mom and the others were busy weather-proofing my house.

That's right. I think you know you're an adult when WEATHER STRIPPING excites you.

Anyway, they stretched this awesome plastic over the windows (the kind that you blow-dry and it stretches tight, sealing off any air coming in or any warm air leaving.) Then, they bought blinds and hung matching curtains (the wonders!) and bought another heater.

What could have possibly been the Greatest Christmas Disaster, was avoided when Propane Man arrived on Wednesday, Christmas Eve Day. Mom called me at work and told me he was there.

"Go see what he wants!" I said. "I just bought propane!"

Yeah, I had 7 percent left in my tank, which means that one more day and we would not have had water, no oven, no stove, no heat...nothing. Nada. And Christmas dinner would not have been.

But thanks to the quick-thinking Propane Man who said he was "just in the area" and "thought he should stop by," our Christmas Dinner Extravaganza carried on.

There are three notable things that we all will not soon forget about our Christmas Week together. Those are:

Neighbor's Geese
Neighbor's Howling Dogs

All three combined made for some rough sleeping. Especially the geese. We'd all congregate in the kitchen the next morning, eyes bloodshot, hair a-mess, saying to each other, "Damn geese." (no, not really...but there were plenty of times we thought maybe geese would be a better option for dinner then the silent ham in the fridge.)

We played a lot of games, watched a lot of movies, opened a lot of presents and ate a lot of food. It was pretty perfect and I hope yours was too.

Now it's Saturday and I'm left with the feeling of luck that on the professional level, we made it through Christmas. Now it's Death Valley for newspapers - the week between Christmas and New Years...nothing is happening. NOTHING.

On this Saturday, I'm sitting at my desk, finishing some things up for Monday and then it's off to home again, which I'm pretty much looking forward to.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Neighbors and Geese

I actually wrote this blog title down so I wouldn't forget to blog about's that important. While I don't usually like blogging twice in one day, this has to go online.


I've been slightly worried that the puppies barking and whining and carrying on will be some sort of disruption to my neighbors who aren't all that close but close enough to hear six puppies screaming bloody murder. So I'm careful to tell them "shhhhhh" when they start to cry in unison and if one really won't shut up, I bring it inside and lecture it about being a good puppy and a good neighbor and all that.

They listen really well.

Payback is a bitch, or so they say, and while I have no real complaints about my neighbors there have been plenty of nights I've been kept awake by their howling and yakking dogs. I haven't complained, though, because, I mean, they probably do deter unlovely wildlife from hanging around our area and let's face it, my dogs aren't perfect either. (see post below.)

So we have this silent agreement (in my head, anyway.) Your dogs bark, my puppies squeal. We'll call it even.

Two nights ago, it was so not even.

I had all my children tucked quietly into bed and I had dozed off myself. The neighbor's dogs had called a truce with whatever it is they bark at constantly and had gone to sleep.

Ya'll (yes, I spelled that intentionally), wouldn't you know it, it was the damn geese that scared the ever-lovin' out of me?!

I sat up straight in bed and tried to figure out what in the holy name of Mary and Joseph was making such a horrible racket.

Apparently, the geese had a quarrel. May the loudest one win.

But it's completely unfair. I don't have geese. My geese can't compete with their geese. We can't have geese-squealing-in-the-middle-of-the-night contests.

I give. You win.

Facebook Freak

You know you're on Facebook too much when.... hand your empty hot-apple-cider-cup to your brother and ask, "Will get me an update, please?"

Yeah, that was me. Total blooper moment.

So...for those of you who aren't on Facebook, this was my status last night: :cookies are baked, presents wrapped and the puppies and their crapping mother are outside tonight. for the record, jada will hate me in the morning. HATE me.

The part we're going to worry about now is the part about the puppies and their crapping mother and how badly she was going to hate me.

I can count on one hand the number of nights Jada's spent outside, away from me and the comfort of my down comforter-laden bed. But she'd crossed a line.

Pooping and peeing in the office at night, which, for your information, the office is the only carpeted room in the house. The first time was okay, I could understand that it might be an accident. The second time was because apparently I didn't let her out in time and the third time was more than enough.

The puppies have been hanging out on the porch during the day so last night I moved their big pen onto the porch, threw their blankets in and bid them good night. I put their mother in with them.

No more poop/pee to clean up.

I went to bed but I could her pissed-offness on the porch. Whining. Scratching at the pen. But I was heartless and fell asleep.

I was up at 6 this morning to finish my baking. I let her out of the pen and she ran in the house to get a drink of water. I'd laid back down in the bed and was listening to her drink. Then nothing. And she didn't come jump on the bed.

You've got to be kidding me!

About the time I jumped out of bed, she was finishing up her gigantic morning piss in the office. Then she strutted outside.

She won't be sleeping outside tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dump Drama

Just when I think I have this whole dump situation figured out, I get thrown a monkey wrench.

Day of all days, today I decided to clean out my fridge in preparation for the onslaught of holiday food, cooking and baking. I put the three trash bags (not all from my fridge) and left the house for work, to make a pit stop at the dumpster.

It was closed.

Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And today's Wednesday. Not a good day to clean out the fridge and be productive in the trash-dumping area.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gas station man

I have this gas station I frequent on my way to work and it's not the most convenient stop. On my way to work, it's on the left hand side before a big intersection. So when I'm leaving the gas station, I have to cross four lanes of traffic and turn immediately right, if that makes sense.

The store manager, Alfredo, is really nice.

For some reason, it always helps me to go in there before work to go through our little ritual-of-words that includes things like "Good morning," "It sure is going to be cold today," or "How are you?" Nothing special. Sometimes he throws in a "That color is really pretty on you" or as I'm leaving, he cautions me to be careful, that snow is coming, and to stay warm.

This morning, I made my pit stop. As he was ringing up my coffee, he asked me if I had all the Christmas shopping done for the kids.

"I'm almost done with the shopping," I replied, toying with the idea to just let him believe I have kids or tell him the truth.

I went with the truth.

"I don't have kids."

"That's a shame," he said. "Someone pretty like you with no kids."

He handed me my change.

"You are pretty," he added.

"Thank you," I said. And told him to have a good day.

He told me to expect a snow storm and to stay warm.

On one hand, I wanted to say thanks for rubbing in the fact that I don't have kids.
But on the other hand, the bigger hand, I couldn't. Mostly because he was right and on most days, I agree with him.

His comment this morning just capped off the week I've been having, which maybe, if I get around to it, I'll fill you in on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Popping in to say.... feet are cold and the dogs are annoying me.

I love puppies, don't get me wrong. But until the last one leaves I'll be getting up multiple times through the night, listening to crying and trying not to allow their smell to permeate my entire house.

Until they're three weeks, I'm fairly lenient. After that, it's fair game. And this morning was the breaking point.

It wasn't the puppies who sent me over the edge. It was their mother. She had to go numerous times last night and when, at 5:30 this morning, I didn't want to let her out anymore, I didn't. So she shit all over the office. Not exactly her fault, I know. But still, very frustrating.

I laid blankets down on the porch, hauled them all out there and put up the baby gate. I told Jada that if she ran away, she might deserve to after keeping me up all night and leaving me unpleasant surprises. But in all reality, she won't run away. She can't jump the fence and she won't leave her babies.

Yes, it's kind of brisk outside but it was nearly 60 degrees when I left so I'm not too worried about them getting too cold. I'm more worried about Jada knocking over the baby gate and puppies roaming all over the porch.

And yes, my feet are cold.

Very cold.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008's what I do

warning: this post will contain an assortment of ideas, updates and general ramblings of Me. But for your convienence, they've been categorically organized. Good luck. Oh, and this will probably take all day for me write.

CHRISTMAS ~ Actually getting my Christmas tree has been somewhat of a problem. I had intended to get it Saturday but I went shopping Saturday. Then it was Sunday but after church, work, Wal-Mart and watching the first half of the Cowboys/Steelers game, I just wanted to go home. So Monday it was. I left work early (at 3 p.m.) and tracked down a very fine Christmas tree at the one and only Wal-Mart. I had stopped by the nursery to try and do what I felt was the proper thing and that was "buy locally" but the only live Christmas trees they had were potted. Um, okay. Who wants a potted Christmas tree? She told me that people buy them and then plant them in their yard to remember by-gone Christmases. I told her I wasn't that sentimental.

So Wal-Mart it was. And I found the perfect tree. My only concern was getting it in the back of my car (a.k.a. station wagon) but it went. I made sure of it. :)

Decorating the tree was awesome and I sat back in Christmas wonder to take in the beauty of the creation. Beautiful moment. :)

PUPPIES ~ In true puppy fashion, they're annoying the crap out of me. They'll be three weeks old tomorrow and they're at that age where the only way they know how to communicate is by crying. They cry when they're hungry, when they're eating, when they hear me come in the house, when I'm changing their beds, when they're trying to play, when I'm holding them, petting them, talking to them....cry, cry, cry. And they're too little to scold so I just close the two doors that are between them and the rest of the house and wait for them to fall asleep. Then, it's peace.

But they really are cute and growing so fast. They're starting to play and they really hate it when I go back to the puppy room (a.k.a. the laundry, a.k.a. my closet) and then leave. Boy, that pisses them off. They want attention all the time.

I had hoped to be moving them outside onto the porch but I haven't done it yet. I haven't figured out the weather here, it changes so quickly. And I don't want them to be outside and have it be 60 degrees out when I leave and then hours later have it be in the 30s and snowing (like it did Monday and Tuesday.) So for now they're chilling in the laundry room in front of their electric heater (which I unplugged today) and I'm enjoying the daily task of cleaning blankets, floors, pens, etc.

I've gotten a few calls about them and the people seem fairly interested so that's a plus.

WORK ~ Work is good. Last week was semi-brutal because I was solo Wednesday through Saturday and of course, shit hit the fan. The mines laid off 600 people, there was a shooting and something else happened Friday that I can't remember. But now that our sports editor is here, I feel as if there is some semblance of a schedule. And I'm not working 60 hours a week.

LIFE ~ Pretty broad, huh? :) But life here is evening out, it feels like. I have friends and people who are inviting me out. Tonight I actually have TWO things to go to. :) One is the birthday party for the police chief and the other is trivia night. So I'm pretty stoked. I've also found a church and am working on getting settled in that, networking, etc.

It's all a matter of perspective, really. And it takes a lot of work moving to a new place, if you want to be somewhat social. It's about putting yourself out there and making yourself available to the people you want to be friends with.

SNOW ~ We got our first snow of the season Monday night and everyone was laughing at me because I called it "a snow." I mean, I consider 2 inches a pretty good come-down. But they all are like, "oh, that's nothin'. what are you, a pansy?" I kindly reminded them I spent three winters in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin. No, I'm not a snow pansy. But I still contend that 2 inches of snow is a pretty good amount, especially when most of it was still on the ground on my way home last night.

But for the next week or so, temperatures are expected to rise into the high 50s and low 60s. I should know...I've only been talking to meterologists for two days.

Here's my thing about writing weather stories. First, just to get it out in the open, I really don't like writing weather stories. But I love talking to the weathermen. Their terminology cracks me up and their direct quotes are the best. However, I've done some thinking about why I don't like writing the stories and I think it's because I feel as though I'm telling the public what they already know.

"Snow fell this morning." No shit.
"It was cold early this morning." REALLY?

But as long as it keeps raining and snowing and storms blow in from the Pacific and two-part storm systems fly in from Arizona, I'll keep writing weather stories.

CHRISTMAS PARTY ~ I'm super stoked about that. I'm hosting our work Christmas party at my house and I do enjoy having parties.

Well, friends, for now that's about all I have. :)
Have a great hump-day.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas spirit

If Christmas tree decorations, Christmas cards, stockings, poinsettas, garlands and red hot candy candles are indicative of the Christmas spirit, I've totally got it.

Admittedly, I was slightly concerned this year about the Christmas Spirit because I'm living alone. Totally and completely alone. As in, my house is void of any other human besides myself. So I approached the whole idea of Christmas decorations and a Christmas tree cautiously because I didn't want to send myself into Depressed Mode.

But as time has progressed and the weather's dropped colder and carols are being (annoyingly) sung again and again on the radio stations, I completely and thoroughly have been sucked in. Alone or not, I have the Christmas Spirit.

And in an effort to be ahead of the game, I've written my Christmas letter and will mail it out Thursday. I've gotten some Christmas shopping done but I have my list made. I've purchased all the goods for our work Christmas party, which I volunteered to have at my house. I've got the garlands up, the stockings up, candles lit in their cute Christmas-y candle holders and a WELCOME mat all decked in snowflakes and red. Really, I'm quite pleased with myself.

Today's task is to find my Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On finding the dump...and actually dumping

My trash has built up for a month now so the need to take it away was imminent. It has been for a few days, actually, but every morning that I allow myself thirty extra minutes to get to the dump, something's happened and I've had to either speed off to work to catch a breaking story or....sleep an extra 30.

For those who aren't familiar, because I live in the county, I have to use a "dumping station." Basically a big dumpster that people who live out in the middle of BFE (or BFF, if mom were reading this) pay (with their taxes) to have. I hadn't found mine yet but I got directions from someone who knew where my dumping station was.

In true New Mexico fashion, the directions weren't exactly clear. Something about being on the right, before the store, big metal bins on the side of the road. One thing I realized today, there are many, many big metal bins on the side of this road. I mean, many. Many that made me slam on my brakes and wonder if the discolored dumpster was the one I was looking for. The travel trailer next to it and the subsequent junk around it clued me in on the fact this probably wasn't it.

Okay, so maybe the directions were crystal clear but for me and my brain directions are processed and immediately jumbled to the point of non-sensicalness. All I really knew (and understood) was the dumping station was on Hwy. 35. Surely I could handle that.

Apparently not.

I loaded up my seven bags of trash and left the house at 8:10 this morning thinking that this gave me plenty of time to dump the goods and get to work on time.

I drove and I drove.

Good news was I was on Hwy. 35 so I knew it had to be around there somewhere. But I couldn't find it. Thirty minutes (in one direction) I decided to turn around. (YA THINK!?!) I amaze myself.

I stopped at the little store in the middle of BFE and asked her for directions. She pointed me in the direction of left and said I'd stay on that road for 2.5 miles, something to do with an A-frame house, a chainlink fence would be around it, if I made it to the Mormon church I'd gone too far and it opened at 9. All very good information.

Information that my mind wadded up and threw in my face.

I drove the 2.5 miles, which, conveniently was in the direction of my house.

I passed a chain link fence surrounding a brick building, propane tank, and some other stuff. It didn't look like a dumping station to me but hey, the chain link fence part was right (but why did it have "high voltage" signs on the fence. whatever) I turned around and pulled in front of the locked gate. It was 8:45.

I pulled out my trusty new Blackberry and proceeded to make it to level 13 on the stupid-game-that-I'm-addicted-to. At 9 the gate hadn't opened, I hadn't seen a soul and was beginning to wander (aloud) why I didn't see dumpsters.

This must not be it.

I continued driving. Ahhhh, I saw someone sorting trash into bins on my lefthand side. That MUST be it.

And it was.

I followed the attendent's directions, backed my car up to the dumpster and tossed my trashbags in.

Ya'll, I drove past that sucker three times. And it's 5 miles from my house.

So by the time my morning tootle finding the dump station was over, an hour had passed and I proceeded to work.

I passed a sheriff's deputy car headed in the opposite direction. Not too strange.

Then another and another and another. Then two more. And an ambulance. Now that's a little ridiculous.

I called the sheriff's department and was informed that there had been a shooting and they weren't sure if it was "accidental or intentional." I turned around.

A picture was all I was after. So I drove back in the direction of my house, couldn't see any deputies. I stopped someone on the road and asked them. They said the cop cars had gone in the direction of A. I stopped at the corner market and narrowed their location to a certain subdivision, which I proceeded to drive around in for 10 minutes.

Don't let the word subdivision fool you. It's basically farm houses and mobile homes on dirt roads that are closer then a 'holler' together.

In the meantime, I called the sheriff guy back and asked where the guys had gone. He "didn't know." Bull-effin-sh*t. Don't lie to me. I wanted to rough him up over the phone but I restrained myself.

An hour and a half later, I was in the office, pictureless and wouldn't you know it, I JUST got the information 45 minutes ago (and partial information at that.)

Here's what happened:

By Holly Wise
Sun-News Bureau Chief
SAN LORENZO — A dispute between a father and son Thursday morning resulted in the son being taken to the hospital with gunshot wound, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The investigation was ongoing at press time, but preliminary reports indicated that a father and son were arguing on Century Drive in San Lorenzo. The father reportedly shot a gun at the ground and the bullet hit his son’s foot. The son was transported and admitted to Gila Regional Medical Center.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department and Gila Regional Medical Center Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident.
Identities of the two involved were not released Thursday. More information will be available later today.

Basically, someone was shot while I was driving around looking for a dump and I didn't even hear the gunshot. Are you kidding? Must have been the mountains and the way the sound echoed or something.

Today (and yesterday) I was a total newshound and I loved it.

Now I'm tired.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For your viewing pleasure

The puppies are twelve days old and they're getting bigger! The first one opened his eyes last night and here's a video to prove it:

I noticed this morning that a few others have little slits so by the time I get home, they should all be opened.
And let the fun begin!
You guys won't believe the transformation from this age to a week from now. It's amazing.
Of course, you'll be updated.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On strange dreams and sleeping alone...

Some nights it's probably a good thing I sleep alone and last night was one of them, although I'm sure my bed partner last night would beg to differ.

And if you're curious about my aforementioned bed partner, here he is, waiting for me to get out of bed:

I can't remember the crazy dream I was having last night but it involved elements of slimy puppies in bed with me. Now, if it were cute, cuddly, rolly-polly puppies the dream would have been fine. But these were slimy puppies and I think they were dead.

Anyway, I woke up feeling something on my shoulder and the next thing I knew, I was batting and swatting it away, all the while getting tangled up in the covers and wondering (in my sleep-haze) why slimy puppies were on me.

It was Marley's foot.

He woke up as startled as I was, wondering why I was hitting at him and trying to get away from him as quickly as possible.

He slept on the floor the rest of the night.

I still don't remember what the dream was or how it originated but hopefully it won't be a recurring dream, for Marley's sake. It didn't scar him too bad, though, because I woke up to him curled up at my feet.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Home Again

I had a wonderful four days of being home with the family and spending the last ten days with various and sundry members of the clan.

Now it's back to my life. And it feels...quiet.

But since it's been more then a week since I've posted here, I figured I'd hit a few highlights of the last few days:

1) I have a Blackberry Curve and I'm in love to the point that I don't ever want to part with it. Let's just say I keep a hawk-eye on my purse and if I get nervous about where the BB is, I put it in my pocket so I can feel it whenever I want.

2) My hair is dyed a cherry chocolate red with orange highlights.

3) I jammed my finger playing football. Three days and $112 later, it's not broken. But it's black, swollen and crooked. It's crooked in the right way, though. It curves down so I can still type with it in a stiff, henpeck, fluid sort of way.

4) I'm wearing the best pair of Maurices pants ever.

5) My new dog should be here in a couple weeks.

6) The puppies are all healthy and growing strong.

7) I don't have to work an obscene amount of hours anymore thanks to the arrival of the new sports editor.

On that note, I'm going home.
Get this: it's 5:15 and I'm going home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baby Talk

I know you are all as crazy over puppies as I am (*smile*) so here's a video to help pass the time.

I was on my way home yesterday and looked out over the mountains and realized this was the most of the Black Range I've been able to see. Must have something to do with precipitation and the way the clouds were. Anyway, I pulled over and snapped this picture. These are the mountains that my house sits at the base of.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Check, check, check, no check

Hire a sports guy - check (did that Monday)
Buy my dream German Shepherd - check (did that Tuesday)
Cry angry tears because I couldn't get my pilot lights to stay lit - check (did that Wednesday)
Deliver 7 Aussie pups - check (did that Thursday)

It's amazing how, out of all those glorious things, it's the one piddly thing in the middle that drew my emotion Wednesday night.

Okay, so I'm a girl.

But at that moment, when I'm laying on my stomach in front of the hot water heater, flame thrower in hand, trying to make sense of the directions and
it's not working, and I really just want to take a bath and enjoy the luxury of, oh you know, hot water - at that moment angry tears burned my eyes and I grumbled about the "f*&^ing directions" and the "damn hot water heater" and I think I even (gently) tossed the flame thrower on the table in hopeless retreat.

So I can't do everything. And lighting pilot lights is one of those things.

"Where is a man when you need one?" was the real question running through my mind. When you actually need one for all the handiness that makes them, well, different from me, you can't find one.

My co-worker mused over lunch:
"Holly, I just can't figure it out. I mean, you stay up all night to deliver puppies, you're a ranching girl, you cook, and you STILL can't snag yourself a good cowboy? Not even to light your pilot lights?"

Yeah, that's how bad it's gotten, Sam. I can't even get a damn pilot light lit.

As if my honey-do list wasn't long enough after 25 years of...waiting, I've got one more thing to add before the order is shipped:


The interpretation is yours to make.

While you're making it, I'm heading home to make a truce with the flame thrower I (gently) tossed on the table last night and try this whole thing over again. You know, with as much flame and propane as I've been mixing in the house over the past two days it's a wonder there hasn't been an explosion on my road.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I found a lake...

I love lakes.

After spending the past 5 years living 20 minutes from 175,000 acres of lake and spending as much waking (and sleeping) time on or near it as possible, you won't be surprised to hear that I almost cried yesterday when the dogs and I topped a hill and saw this:

Honestly, we all thought we'd died and gone to heaven.

I promptly dug my book out of my bag, grabbed the dog's leashes and my (pink, 5-mega-pixel) camera, let them out of the station wagon and away we went. The first thing Marley did was take a swim but he did it so promptly I missed getting his first swim in....3 months...on film. So you'll just have to take my word that he was a very, very, very happy dog as you can kind of tell by this (slightly stoic) expression on his face:

While Marley thought about swimming across the little lake to visit the fishers...

...Jada was embarking on lake adventures of her own, staring at the bubbly green algae that abounded where we were:

For those who are curious as to what this New Mexico lake looks like in its entirety, the following are for you:

So after the dogs played and I'd read some, I decided to check out some trails around there, thinking, in my old Kentucky ways, that I was sitting on acre upon acre of public land to be used and enjoyed by, well, the public. But it wasn't so:

As you can tell, Jada is very confused as to why I stopped and turned around. We did walk on the side of the mountain where there were no signs. I was cautious, though. People in New Mexico like guns.

I felt slightly confined because it seemed every way I'd turned that day for a good hike it was thwarted. Before we found the lake, I drove to what is called the City of Rocks State Park, which is about 25 minutes from my house. I'd been told by a friend that you had to pay $5 to park; it outraged me when she told me and it certainly outraged me when I saw the sign for myself. I mean, my taxes are already paying for the whole park and I have to pay $5 to park? Are you kidding me?

But they weren't.

So I snapped a picture, pulled over on this side of the stupid sign and let the dogs out to pee. A ranger was promptly over in his Polaris thingie asking if I was going into the park. No, sir, as a matter of fact I'm not.

Mostly because:
1) I didn't have $5 on me and
2) I wasn't going to pay it

Besides, the City of Rocks looked stupid anyway:

But the good news is: we stayed at the lake for almost 2 hours and then went home where I continued reading my book on the porch:

And the dogs slept near me and I think Marley is saying 'thank you' here:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photo of the Day

I took this picture with my trusty little pink 5 megapixel digital camera that always stays in my purse. Thankfully I took it with me to the game because the people who I thought were going to be there taking pictures for me weren't.
Not too bad of a shot for an $80 camera.
This was snapped right before I had to move before getting side-swiped.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Time Out!

We take a moment from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this message: Holly is losing her mind in the office.

Not really.

What I thought could possible be a day off has turned into a 9 hour work day and I'm sitting here trying to pull on my football hat and churn out a good ------------------------------------->
For the ones who know anything about sports and what my life has centered around for the past 3 weeks, you'll know what that last word is.

Illustration of how I felt about my day off not being a day off ----------------->
In better news, Brooke called me at the ass-crack of dawn this morning, which roused me out of bed, which proved beneficial because I got errands done before coming into work. Otherwise I'd have slept way too late. Thank you Brooke!!

This is something I'm very happy about --------------------------------->
If you're going to be hanging out with at all in the next, oh, 2 months, you're going to be hearing a lot about puppies! And actually, even if you're not able to hang out with me in person, you're still going to hear a lot about puppies (Kristin!) :)

My plan for tomorrow ---------------->
My team and I are covering 3 first round state championship high school games. Wow. We're good.

Do you know what's coming? ------>

Yes, The Nose came with me all the way from Kentucky!!! -------------->

I'm going to finish the football preview and go home. ------------>

In other news, and I don't have pictures to back this up, I had to cook dinner for my dogs last night. Two days in a row, I forgot to go buy dog food so when I got home at 1 a.m., I made them stove-top oatmeal and mixed in lunch meat and cooked bacon/bacon grease. They were quite pleased with the concoction and I CANNOT forget to get dog food tonight on my way home!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photos of Me

I had this idea last night when I got home to shoot some snapshots of my (sometimes boring, most of the time crazy) life. So I did. And because you all care, here they are:

The first thing I do when I get home is take off my shoes, and, as you can see here, I'm not very good at taking them off in the appropriate places.

The pile of paint, which is indicative of the creativity that took place last week.

Cooking my celebration dinner - a celebration because I found out last night I can hire a sports reporter! So it was home-grown rib-eye steak, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Marley was really confused why we weren't playing -

And last night, I broke a cup - one of my favorite coffee cups from mom.

I did the dishes...finally.

This is my audience while I'm cooking, washing dishes or doing anything really. I move from room to room and my entourage follows me. Makes me feel popular. :)

My completed meal - it was heavenly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A large portion of my weekend (and that being 12 hours on Saturday) was spent doing what I seemingly do best...driving.

And since Blogger didn't do what I asked, you'll have to look at the second picture first and then the first to really understand what I'm talking about.

When I got home Saturday after a long day of driving, talking, writing, driving some more and trying to figure out the ins and outs of football-telling, I sat on the couch and pounded out a quick column. The following is from that column, which I think best describes the feeling I have when I'm driving in New Mexico:

By the time I've reached Datil, I've crossed the Continental Divide three times (if I counted right) and feel as if I'm sitting on top of the world. In Kentucky, I used to have that feeling but on a much smaller scale. We'd be horse-back riding in the woods for hours and then all of a sudden, the trees would part and deliver us into a meadow full of green grass and a tranquility that the mountains didn't carry.
When I get to Datil, that's what I feel like.
The highways have carried me up a couple thousand feet through mountain ranges and rock edifaces to this: the high plains, where the mountains I was once in the middle of retreat to the background to allow the peacefulness of this massive meadow to take over. On one side, some of the mountains look like sand dunes; they're void of trees or grass and the afternoon sun glints off their tops, making them appear like gigantic gray caps. On the other side, there are more mountains but these have green junipers and cedars. In between is acre upon acre of plains.

Now, that's how I feel about traveling in New Mexico, poetically speaking. Later in the column, I get to the nuts and bolts of how I really feel about it:

Hwy. 117 is the type of New Mexico highway who's job is 1) be a road and 2) test the toughness of its passengers. Loose gravel, no center lines and sporadic roughness are just some of the things it uses to test your endurance. One of the rancher's wives actually said that the road conditions was one thing she saw deter people from living out there.

And if written words aren't enough, here's some video proof for you:

It's really not as bad as I'm sure my voice makes it out to be - there were lots of factors that day that made the trip less then appealing:

1) I was sick
2) I was tired
3) I was driving alone

But despite those factors, the trip is always rewarding because a) it is beautiful...and that's pretty much all there is to say about it. It's pretty beautiful country.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dreams...and things I don't want to do again in the near future...

I was chatting tonight with my co-worker, Sam, while I was trying to finish my football stories (which I should be doing now) and I was telling him about my dreams last night, one of which involved him. So, for the sake of saving my fingers some typing, I copied and pasted:

the one you were in - we were out doing a story at a laundry mat and this younger couple comes in with this little kid with them. The kid was following them but she could barely walk, she was that little. So the couple starts making out and I start holding the baby. Then the couple leaves and the girl looked at me as she was walking out and smiled and said that the baby wasn't hers
so I said to you, "Sam, I'm going to keep her" (she was beautiful) and you were like, "Holly, you can't do that. You could be arrested for kidnapping."
so you made me go tell the police but I didn't want to because I didn't want her to go into foster care.
the end.

then another dream was that I was driving my car and this guy was in the back seat and I guess he hijacked me or something. So I stabbed him in the thigh with my pen. And when he grabbed my arm I kept stabbing his wrist until he bled to death.
the end.

then...I had this horrible dream about a neighbor (like not in the same neighborhood as me) who's little boy fell down the steps in his house and I could hear him crying. Then I heard his mother pick him up and throw him down the steps again until he died.
the end.

They were the kind of dreams where I woke up after each one and just laid there as still as possible hoping they weren't true. I'm hoping for a better night tonight!

And to add to the complete randomness of this post, here's a list of things I hope to never do again in the near future:

- stand in 34 degree weather watching a football game that I have to write a story about later and have absolutely no clue what is going on. And wouldn't you know it, the TWO SECONDS I take my eyes off the field and divert them to the stands, I hear this commotion on the field, I look and all I see is one of our guys flying through the air and I hear the crowd screaming cheers. So I looked at the time and jotted this on my notepad: 12:15 - something good happened.
(I later learned it was a blocked punt - whatever the hell that means.)

- drive 555 miles in one day in BFE by myself.

- cover elections, two district champion football games and tootle the New Mexican wilderness in a matter of, oh, five days.

In brighter news, I saw the sun rise over the New Mexico mountains this morning and watched it set over (different) New Mexico mountains this evening. There is nothing as beautiful as that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

LakeSide Memory

Welcome to my office.

Earlier this week I was looking at my piles of old newspaper wondering what I could do with them to preserve them in a more artistic manner. Two attempts at newspaper crafting later and we have the above products, of which I am most proud.

All of these are articles or pictures and some of my columns from the newspaper I used to work for. I only chose the ones that 1) meant the most to me or 2) caused me the most trouble. I really enjoyed reflecting while I sorted and glued, hodge-podged and sprayed acrylic sealer.

I also finished painting the office last night and I'm in love with the color.
Mostly because of its name.

I knew, after I decided on the newspaper art, that I wanted the walls to be a greyish color. I was looking at Wal-Mart and found this color called "Lakeside Memory."


I bought the paint because of the name.
And it totally matches, I love it and because I have so many lakeside memories, it was completely and thoroughly appropriate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Year of the Bathroom

I've been waiting for inspiration on what color to paint my bathroom and last weekend it came to me: blue, which is a far cry from the orange I had in my mind but could never bring myself to purchase.

So I went to Wal-Mart and picked out my blue and not just any blue: Insignia Blue. I put the first coat on Tuesday, I finished it last night and stepped back in artist wonder.

The first thing I noticed was how blue it was.

I walked across the street yesterday to my friend Amy's office and was explaining to her my painting projects. I was trying to describe the color blue of my bathroom and I spotted an Obama/Biden sign leaning up against the back wall.

"It's that blue," I pointed.

"Oh," she said. "Obama/Biden blue!"

So if you need a mental picture of just how blue my bathroom is, think Obama/Biden Blue.

This morning I also thought that it looks like a New York apartment. Partly because the walls are textured like the adobe they are and the blue is like In-Your-Face-Obama/Biden-Blue.

In other painting news, I managed to splatter a second coat of Roasted Tomato on my bedroom walls after my brother pointed out that he could still see the white on the other side of the first coat.

He's right. The second coat looks AMAZING.

I also purchased enough of the Va-Va Voom red for a second coat on the living room. It's going to look so good.

And this morning I painted half of my office after receiving divine inspiration for that two days ago. Like the bathroom, I'd been waiting for the right idea to strike me and I was so excited when it did. But you'll have to wait to hear what it is until the project is complete - it's so blog-worthy it's going to get its own the bathroom.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Student or no student

I've been complimented in round-about-ways the past couple of months and despite the fact that the compliments make me want to stand on my tip-toes and say emphatically, "But I'm a big girl!" I also realize that when I'm 85 years old (or even 40) I'll be paying money for these compliments.

As I've made myself more accessible to the town by attending various organizations board meetings, the board president usually squints at me over his/her spectacles and asks, "Are you covering this meeting for a class?"

I used to respond in a way that would make them feel less like an idiot when they realized my real occupation but now I don't care about that anymore.

It happened again last week at a meeting and the woman who knows everything about everything made an assumption that I was there covering the meeting for a class at the local university. The evil side of me didn't waste any time in shooting the following words out of my mouth: "No, I'm the bureau chief of the Sun-News." She looked slightly stunned as she stuttered out something about it being great and how glad they were to have me and I slightly smiled inside.

This morning I went to Wal-Mart and picked out paint my office and bathroom, the trim and enough for a second coat in the living room and bedroom. At the checkout, my checker-outer-lady said, "What are you painting?"

"My house," I replied cheerily.

"Your..." she trailed off. "I thought you were a student."

"No," I said. "I work at the Sun-News."


So those are my thoughts tonight at 5 as I sit here waiting for 7 to come so the polls will close and I can go wait for the results to be counted.

Monday, November 3, 2008


My (crazy, funny, awesome, humorous-sometimes-serious) family was in my town this weekend and I am once again reminded that out of all the families to be born into, I'm really glad I picked mine. :)

Okay, so my choice really had nothing to do with it at all but I really am (since this is the Thankful Month) thankful. Yeah, we've had our ups and downs, our highs and lows but at the end of the day, we can all sit down and watch a ridculously stupid un-scary (but it was supposed to be TERRIFYING) movie, laugh at mom when she screams and covers her head with a blanket and discuss the option of sperm donation as a money-making endeavor for my brother in college. (that option was unanimously ixnayed as probably not the best choice.)

Admittedly, I did not take hardly enough pictures this weekend but here's a few to provide a snapshot of my (dangerously wild) family.

Micah with his wig at the museum striking a pose that is slightly disturbing but funny.

Katie and Daniel at the museum store. They went into one of the many venues in SC that has randomness and bought each other a "present." So Katie ended up with the Hot Stuff oven mitt and Daniel with his wig that he actually wore quite well.

Micah found the perfect accessory to go along with his wig.

Sometimes I don't know what's waiting for me when I leave the office. The other day it was this Coachmen with people inside watching TV. Earlier they were sitting on their step eating dinner.