Thursday, September 17, 2009


I'm waiting for cannelini white beans we grew this year to boil on the stove. I'll pressure cook them until tender and make a white bean and garlic dip for this evening. I spend the morning in a snit after reading of the death of Mary Travers and Henry Gibson. Weary of people I'd consider contemporaries, small mole hills become mountains. The f'ing dog gets into the bathroom wastebasket and strews tissue paper and trash over the bathroom and living room. I'm online checking e-mail.

Yesterday I thought I developed bi-polar symptoms. There are "aw-shucks" moments with the cat and dog and then the polar opposite. The aw-shucks times are the cat and dog lying side by side listening to geese flying overhead and answering calls from the two domestic geese who hang out near the river. The pair are escapees from a farm and tough enough enough to fend off coyotes and predators. Mandy,the pup and Poochie, the cat follow me up the lane behind the house toward the horse corral. The Pooch lags behind avoiding frequent lunges from the pup at his ears. Mandy is hot on the trail of a critter scent. The Pooch rounds the corner of our property and Mandy heads for the manure pile in a fenced off area next to another horse corral. I make a note to myself to avoid snurfles from Mandy for the next hour as she noses through wonderfully aromatic horse shit.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Mandy runs screaming, yipping at the top of her lungs from the manure pile. The cat runs up to Mandy trying to figure out what is wrong with her. I grab the puppy and hold her. She's biting at her behind. I assume she was stung by a hornet or wasp in the flowers around the manure. Dawn rushes out of the house and walks the hundred yards toward the middle of our expansive " back yard". Then, I slap my forehead. Mandy brushed against the electric fence. I pay no attention the the single wire running near the ground. The cat slinks below the wire, hip to the current pulsing through it.

Mandy is busted twice to her dog house and penned up area yesterday. She runs down the lane which is our driveway paying no heed to my exhortations or threats. A little further down the lane it turns and connects with the state highway. The county is quick to spend stimulus money widening the highway, making it safer for winter traffic. Dump trucks, road graders, pick-up trucks pulling long cattle trailers and an assortment of beer and milk trucks run highway 131 daily. Pucci, the cat runs with me out of concern for the puppy as I intercept her at the top of the hill. When she's allowed to run free, she seems contrite, yet I check the windows frequently, for signs that she's nearby.

In the evening Mandy's learned that she can leap on my lap as I sit in the recliner, if the leg rest is at the right angle. She snurfles my ears giving them a quick wash and jumps down to gnaw at a rawhide toy. I ask the dog to come out with me at dusk to help round up the cat. Either from her barking at bats flying in circles over the front yard or because of her mile a minute crazy running in circles, the Pooch quickly appears to check out the commotion. Flies have been amassing on the window and door screens toward dusk. It's a prelude to the fall Japanese beetle invasion. I pick up the cat not wanting to wait for him to decide if he wants to come inside for the night. It also saves him from a quick nip at the ears by Mandy. No matter how quickly I try to get both animals inside, in the morning I spend fifteen minutes swatting flies and vacuuming the floor of carcasses.

I stifle an urge to find my Peter, Paul and Mary album. It's one of the first albums I bought as a youngster along with early Rolling Stones and the Kingston Trio. Chop wood , carry water, the Zen advice when you're stumped with a problem or stuck in a rut works well for me. I toss chair covers in the wash, vacuum cat hair off a side chair, sweep up nacho crumbs from last night's movie experience-Frost and Nixon, turn another chair against the wall so the cat isn't tempted to use it as a scratching post and put away beef jerky I made a few days ago. I check the kids outside. Both are quiet. Aw shucks.

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