Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Graceful Queen

Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rum spiked egg nog, merry christmas!

Lilly decided she wanted to srike a pose up in a tree like her brother did. She can be master of all she surveys too!!!! "Just gotta find the right branch..."

"Holy crap!!!! That branch was dead! Aaaaah!!" At the last minute, using her inborn ninja capabilities, Lilly grabbed a hold before falling... GASP.

"Maybe I should just let go.. it's only a four foot drop." Oh. Okay, yeah, that's not so bad.

"Wait! Maybe I can pull myself up. Hey, bro, lend a hand will ya? don't just stand there laughing."

Uh oh. That just got her swinging. Pheonix gets closer for the show.


Let's go for that royal pose another time, shall we? Lilly makes a dang pretty picture, but she can be clumsy. When I knock stuff over I call it pulling a Lilly, and in fact, as I was sitting here typing this she jumped onto the shelf above my head and knocked a cup of pens over, which rained about me and barely missed my head! But you know, she catches mice and birds so she can't be all thumbs and left feet. I think it's more that she doesn't care if she knocks stuff over. I mean, who put it in her way in the first place? Dang humans. Taking pictures when we should be helping!!!!!!

After that she was over the whole, "let's go for a jaunt in the snow" thing. But, it being Christmas and all, she at least got to come home to a tuna feast.

I didn't tell her I was having salmon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hermit Ranch in the White Mountains

The majestic felines of Hermit Ranch enjoy all that life has to offer. They sit in the sun, watching the birds play, and plan their next meal.
"I'm ready for my close- up now."

They stalk said meal in the branches of pine trees, stretching their muscles, testing their mighty limits. This stunning male can hold still for minutes. If you don't count the tiny twitch at the tip of his handsome tail.

Feng Shui Lilly: since all meals are provided for the cats, if they don't feel like hunting they can spend time contemplating the universe's place in their lives (because they sure as heck wouldn't sit around pondering their place in the universe). Or maybe she's just telling the servant that she is NOT ready for her close up at this time so back up or "I KEEL U".

And sometimes, while surveying their kingdom, they strike a mighty pose and declare their superiority to the world. Hermit Ranch: home to the greatest species on the planet.

Guest Edited by Pheonix the Supercat

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I still love it. I take pictures of it. Lots of pictures of just white, so that when I put them on my computer I wonder if maybe I was shooting with a white lense cap on. Pheonix is tolerating it with no more than his usual complaining. (He has a large sense of self entitlement. I'm pretty sure if it was up to him it would only snow in the dog's yard. Still, he also has a giant ego so he knows he's way tougher than a little snow.)

However, the snow melts and clumps fall off of branches, making scary noises. "What was that? Don't worry, I'll get it. Rawr!"

"ZOMG what was that???"

"Oh. I knew it was my shadow. I was just testing. Gotta keep my reflexes sharp you know. Okay, my feets are cold now."

See, I KNEW those snow boots would come in handy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


No, not "finally, the big fat slacker put something on her blog". Finally it SNOWED!!!! They canceled the Thanksgiving snow (yes, "they" are that powerful. Why else would gas be ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS a gallon when it was over four dollars just a few months ago? Because "they" want to mess with our heads. I'm just kidding) Of course, it's supposed to be sunny for the next couple weeks... COLD but sunny. The snow will at least stay in the shady places, but still, I want more!

So does Nikki. Every single time I looked at her she was burying her muzzle in the stuff. Lil' knucklehead.

Pheonix and Lilly have gotten extremely bulked up, and don't seem to be fazed by the cold blanket of white. That's just his usual level of complaining. Are those the CUTEST LIL' PAW PRINTS EVER????!!!???? Leo, on the other hand, seems to have chosen to just stay inside 'till spring.

I looooove having seasons. It's just so exciting and beautiful, and variety is, well, you know how the saying goes. Oh, and by the way? Not a big fat slacker. More like a relaxed, slimmed down vacationer. Hee hee. I have lost almost thirty pounds since I moved out here!! Where's my chit? I want a chit. You know, a little reward chit that says 25 lbs on it. Like sober people get. Yeah, so I can say, "lookit my chit. I rule!" Or maybe it could say, "184 to 159". Except then people would KNOW how much I used to weigh. Oh wait. Heh. Well it's the 159 that matters now. At 5'7" I'm QUITE content. In fact, I was still losing weight so I almost had to go buy some ice cream. I don't care what "normal" is, I like having a little meat on my bones. And really, that's the only thing that matters about my weight: MY happiness with my body (health, shmealth).

Oh. And snow. Could I get some more snow up in here????? 'Cause I'm trying to get me a white christmas, yo. A warm, happy, fluffy snow christmas where I can drink all the eggnog I want. ;)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Remember back in April or May when we had a late late snow and we ran out to bleed the lines? Drain the water ways and what not? (Bleed the lines just is a cool sounding expression and I had to use it. Actually now it sounds kinda gross. Anyway.) Weeeelllll we had an early freeze- this was the first week of November.

Sucks, but fascinating too.

I threw in my foot for a little size reference here... not that helpful if you don't know that I have giant feet. Size ten and proud of it, baby! Hmm. I seem to be wearing flip flops, which could be latent California in the blood stream. On the other hand, I used to talk schmack about the crazy peeps wearing shorts and sandals in the winter- and there's a lot of 'em in Cali, but I was never one. So now that I live where it actually snows in the winter I choose to pick up this habit? /Shrug. Who knows?

Actually, I bought some fantastic snow boots and they keep my feet nice and toasty. Not that it has snowed yet.... grrr. It was supposed to around Thanksgiving but it so rudely did not. I'll just keep hoping... and restrict my flip flops to indoor use. At least till April. Or May.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some Cool Night Sky

AAAAAAH the sky is falling!!!!! Hmmm. So there were two planets and a moon (don't ask which planets I don't remember) out the other night, and it was dang beautiful. I HAD to get some pictures but I couldn't find the thingy that connects my camera to my tripod. I tried to hold reeeeal still but...

Eek, now we're going sideways!!

Ok that obviously wasn't working, so I went over to the woodpile and set my camera on it, but I couldn't really see out the viewfinder too well so now instead of the sky falling it looks like I'M falling and snapping a shot on the way down.

At this point I heard a very loud scraping growling noise off in the darkness. Close. I'd turned off all the house lights so I could get better pictures, and I couldn't see more than 30 feet. There wasn't enough moon for light, but along the driveway are some solar powered lights. They fade away as the night wears on, and were barely a dim yellow at this point. Suddenly I didn't care so much about the awesome view.

I made myself not run, but I walked backwards very quickly to the house. Like I'd turn my back!! I slammed the door closed (and locked, you never know about them coyotes- and zombies of course) and turned the porch light on. I was scared to look but scared not to, you know? I sort of expected there to be a monster staring back at me when the light came on. I went to the windows to see if I could take pictures from inside, but no good. Plus I didn't really want to get close to the windows.

Now, you'd think that would be the end of it, right? I wouldn't go back outside just cuz of a couple planets? Right? Would I? You got me. I totally went back out into the boogey man infested night... with the porchlight ON. Which ruined all my shots so I never got a good one anyway. At least I also didn't get eaten.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm not Superwoman... part 2

It was 30 degrees out. I could see a hard glitter of frost on the ground. The rock in my hand was like a block of ice and my fingers were going numb, naked in the cold night. The growling continued unabated. The adrenaline was leaving my body a shaky mess and terror was gnawing it's way into my belly; worse, it would begin to leak out my pores and drift towards the thing growling in the dark. A signal.

Clarity returned and I knew I had to get back inside. A rock? I needed a gun for this type of heroism. Or would that be lunacy? Could the others in the pack be creeping in around me? I knew that even if I did get a second surge of adrenaline I was certainly no match for a wild predator, let alone seven or eight of them. I suddenly felt very squishy. My flesh would rip easily in the jaws of a coyote. The stand off had to end, and I was really hoping for only one conclusion. Me, safe and warm inside with my kitties and a fresh brew.

By now my toes were numb and I was shivering from the cold as well as the energy drain and the fear.I renewed my yelling at the coyote, but it was real words this time- mostly curses. And I started walking slowly, sideways, back towards the house. Somehow there was a stick in one hand that I didn't remember grabbing. It was very light weight, practically useless as a weapon, but I didn't let go of it or my rock. I kept my eyes strained at the darkest shadows to catch any sign of movement, but the growling was fading as I neared sanctuary.

I never ran, but I made it. The warmth was almost painful, and it was hard to unclench my fingers from the rock. My shaking was violent now, the delayed reaction like all the fear of the last ten minutes (or was it an hour?) injected in one concentrated instant. I said "holy crap" about fifty times. When the shaking slowed I called up a friend I knew would be awake at that hour. I had to tell somebody, I needed the calming words of a pal. As I told the story to him, the words took the last of my trembling, and my bones slowly warmed.

I know it was stupid. I'm not superwoman, and I can't take on a pack of coyotes in hand to hand combat. I knew that out on the frosted hill, and I still know it. Next time I'll take a gun. That's right, I said next time. It's one thing to be stupid, but it's another entirely to be a coward. When a loved one's life is on the line, you lift that car off your baby even if it breaks your back. And you don't regret it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm not Superwoman...

What does it mean when you wake up, stumble toward the coffee maker, and find a dirty rock and a branch on your kitchen counter? It means you blame the coyotes for your cats disappearance.

It was late, a little after midnight. I was enjoying a cold can of Miller Light- okay you're right, way too strong a word there. I was drinking a can of Miller and dreaming of a bottle of Gordon Biersch. I was at my computer(of course) when I heard them. Howling and yipping, a whole pack of them, making those yelping screams they do when they've caught something. Maybe something warm and furry, or maybe just a trail. I hear them often, all over the hills that are their territory. I always look, but I've never seen them as a pack, only the occasional loner. And let me say for the record that Arizona coyotes look like wolves. They make the coyotes back home look like little foxes.

This time they weren't off in the distant forest. They weren't in the surrounding area at all. They were in my driveway. You know the standard tale used to illustrate a person's powers when adrenaline flows freely: mother lifts car off baby. Well, when I heard them that close, there was certainly no thinking involved. I'm sure there should have been, though, because the adrenaline the blasted through my system was was accompanied by pure liquid rage. Goodbye rational thought, hello to the woman whose cat just disappeared, the cat she saved from death by injection, the cat who slept tucked under the covers with her.

I barreled outside, roaring and waving my arms above my head like a crazy person. In the half moon light I saw them, dark shapes fleeing in every direction, some to my left, some to my right, some towards the neighbors and some for the hills. I chased them for about 300 feet, (total complete random guess there) and stopped when there was only one left. One that wasn't running.

I still had my beer in hand- I didn't remember running out with it. It didn't feel like a particularly good weapon, so I stooped down and traded it for a rock. As I felt for a big one I realized that crouching down made me look smaller. I kept my eyes locked on the shadow where the last coyote was. The moon light hid it, but I could hear it's growling loud and clear. I yelled at it, unintelligible wordless rage... but I was feeling fear creep in around the edges. I knew that wasn't good- as much as adrenaline could save me, fear could kill me. So I threw the rock and grabbed several more. The coyote backed down the driveway and out of range, but it kept growling and wouldn't go further. It was a stand off.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Maggie May

Maggie disappeared one month ago. She hated the outdoors unless I was there, and still would meow continuously until we went back inside. She slept under my covers every night. I know she loved me and would never leave, so I am having a hard time pretending that she went off to find her way in the world. However, denial is my favorite coping mechanism, so I just don't think about it. Still, I had to explain why I went aggro on a pack of coyotes, so now you know.
I love you, Maggie. Maybe now you and your sister are playing together again.