A woman's view of hunting…with men

guns, dogs and birds

The End of Summer

The end of summer usually brings a sigh of relief. It means that the oppressive heat and humidity of summer is almost done and cooler brisker days are ahead. The long dry spells that normally stretch through July and August will be gone. Here in the Midwest we’ve had three summers in a row that have been hot and miserable, with a drought that started in 2011 and didn’t really end until this year. But not this year, 2014 started off with a long cold miserable winter that just wouldn’t quit. It dragged on for months, stomping on spring and kept its hold on Mother Nature forcing late blooms and delayed planting.

This year after winter finally withered away, leaving spring a mere shadow of its self, summer came waltzing in lightly warming the days. We had ample rain early on staving off the need for watering the garden vegetables I planted. The days were really quite pleasant with temperatures reaching the high eighties with a few days in the low nineties, not the normal high nineties with days creeping into the hundreds. This summer has been a very nice gift from Mother Nature. Maybe she felt bad about the miserable past winter.

The down side to a cooler summer meant a late start on the vegetables I planted. It was well into July before my cucumbers, zucchini and squash started bearing fruit. I had lots of blooms but no fruit. I was beginning to think nothing was getting pollinated. I wondered where the bees were. I learned that because of the long hard winter and the milder summer it was taking longer for the ground to warm up enough for hot weather vegetables and fruits, like peppers and tomatoes, to get started. My cantaloupe didn’t start making baby cantaloupes until almost September. I will probably have a ripe cantaloupe about the time of the first frost.

Normally I look forward to the changing colors of fall foliage, but not this year. I want more summer. I want more time outside in the garden. This year when I look out the window and see the leaves starting to turn color I feel a sense of loss and a little sad, like something inside me is shutting down and dying. This was a great summer, one that I spent almost every weekend outside working in the yard and I’m not looking forward to the bitter cold and biting winds. I am not ready for fall not this year.

Maybe I feel this way because I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a sense of loss I don’t know, because I try not to let myself dwell on depressing things. Maybe I feel this sadness because I feel great and am working out, getting back in shape and am afraid of the other shoe dropping. You know the feeling that if you are this happy then something bad is going to happen, just to balance out the happy. Crazy, huh?

Maybe I’m just overthinking it, I don’t know. I just wish that summer wasn’t over yet. I guess I need to move to the Caribbean, it stays pretty nice there all year long.

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September 27, 2014 Posted by | breast cancer, Creative Writing, nature, short story | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My New Nickname

I have a few nicknames that Mitch has given me over the years, “Speed Racer” when I spun out at the airport and crashed going too fast on wet pavement, or “Dances with Ladders” after my latest tryst carrying a ladder down a hill (it didn’t end well). But today I can add a new nickname to my list. This time it’s the dogs that can take credit for my new nickname.

On our morning predawn walk today things started off as always, Charlie and Orso sniffing and peeing on everything wandering back and forth on both sides of the street making the most of their time and bodily fluids. I was distracted thinking about a million different things, calling the doctor to rewrite a prescription, what I was going to wear to work and what to take for lunch, you know everything that goes on in your head as you go about your day. Granted, it was all my fault, I know better, when walking the dogs in the dark I have to be on guard constantly for critters large and small that might cross our path.

Just as we had crossed the road to head down a long tree lined dark stretch of road, Charlie and Orso either saw or caught the scent of something ahead. I didn’t see or hear anything but they did. Charlie was on my left side and Orso was on my right side, when Charlie jerked around and circled behind me yanking my left arm behind my back to come around and stand next to Orso, both lunging and growling at something. Jerking my arm around behind my back with enough force and the combined force of Orso lunging forward with Charlie meant my body had a choice, dislocate my shoulder or spin around and follow the leashes. In reality what happened was a combination of both. I would like to say that I pirouetted around like a ballerina, but in reality I jerked around lost my balance and very ungracefully ended up sitting down hard in the middle of the street with my feet splayed out in front of me.

The dogs turned around to look me in the face with what looked like embarrassment that I was so clumsy. How could they possibly be tough dogs facing the unseen danger ahead with this woman who can’t even stay on her feet? I on the other hand was not so pleased with their attempt to be guardians of the roads. I stood back up dusted off my behind and made sure nothing was broken or bent. Evidently whatever was out there fled in terror, not so much from the ferocity of the dogs, but because of a small woman flaying around like a madwoman.

My new nickname, “Sits in the Road”.

September 19, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, Dogs, humor, short story | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thursday Poetry

The Face in the Mirror

Looking in the mirror she sees a stranger
The reflection looking back is no longer beautiful
The eyes that once sparkled now hard and cold
The lips usually curved up in a smile now in a downward turn.

The anger and resentment within seeps out
Hardening the heart and soul
A tear slips down her cheek
As she ponders how she came to this end.

She misses the days past filled with hope and laughter
The excitement of each new day
Now dreading the days and what they hold
She turns away ashamed of what she’s become.

September 11, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, fiction, Poetry, short story | , , , , | Leave a comment

Late Summer Photos

Today started off with early morning storms and the afternoon was cloudy and humid. A perfect day to take my camera and the dogs for a walk. A few late summer wildflowers are blooming away.

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The neighbor’s car watched us go by without looking too concerned

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Another neighbor’s bumper crop of peppers, I never have this kind of luck with peppers

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Their tomatoes are doing even better, I am so jealous. They have a green thumb, I have an Orso.

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, Dogs, nature, photo shots, short story | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Exercising With Your Dogs

You hear it all the time; get more exercise in by walking your dog. It’s supposed to be a win-win situation. The dog benefits by getting needed exercise, stays slimmer and burns off energy. You are moving more working your muscles and getting your heart rate up also staying slimmer and wears you out. Of course we all know how well my walks with dogs go in the morning. My heart rate definitely raises and I work lots of muscles, upper body and locked legs doing the “no, no, no” extensions when confronted with wildlife.

Yesterday in a further attempt to get back in shape after three surgeries in a twelve month period, I decided to start doing Yoga at home. I loaded the Yoga DVD in the DVD player, pushed the coffee table out of the way, unrolled my yoga mat and sat down for the opening breathing exercises. I was immediately face to face with Charlie who wanted to help me by sticking his nose right in my face to make sure I was breathing correctly. I pushed him away but he pushed right back and got even closer. He was determined to help me breathe. I tried to ignore him and stood up to move to the next series of moves. I dropped to plank and Charlie dropped down right next to me too. I sank into cobra pose and Charlie scooted closer. I moved into downward dog and Charlie rolled over onto his back right underneath me and whacked my face with his paw in an attempt to get me to pet him.

This was turning into more effort to avoid him than in doing the yoga moves. Cat/cow was equally a challenge because now Orso had decided that watching Charlie annoy me to distraction looked like lots of fun and jumped off the bed to come and join in helping me exercise. As I arched my back for cow and looked up I got a great big wet slobbery kiss from Orso right in the face. Yuck! That almost caused me to drop on the floor and squish Charlie who was still underneath me being a huge pain in my backside. I pushed Orso aside, tried to move into child’s pose and ended up putting my knees on Charlie’s tail. It did not make him happy. He jumped up causing me to jerk and lose my balance falling over into the coffee table, cracking my elbow on the table’s edge.

That definitely got my heart rate up.

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, dog ownership, Dogs, humor, short story | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Summer is Here Now but Just Wait

We’re having the usual August heat wave, which seems so much more miserable because this summer we have been very lucky to have had very pleasant temperatures in the eighties instead of the usual nineties. But just in case we’re feeling sorry for ourselves and wishing for some cooler temperatures I just want to remind everyone of what is coming sooner than we want.

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Charlie Always on the Hunt

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Just saying, it may be hot now but way too soon it will be cold and miserable.

August 23, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, Dogs, nature, photo shots, pictures of dogs, short story | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Poetry Tuesday

What We Miss

When we close our eyes
A wink
A smile
A tongue sticking out

When we stop listening
A giggle
A sigh
A whisper

When we turn away
A tear sliding down a cheek
Arms reaching out
An embrace

August 19, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, Poetry | , , | 2 Comments

Almost Fatal Attraction

I almost died this morning. No, not really, I’m exaggerating but it sure felt like it for a moment or at the very least I could have ended up with a really bad case of road rash, maybe even a bruise or two. And as is almost always the case, it was because of the dogs. Those miserable mongrel beasts that I feed, walk and let sleep in my house as well as my bed. Let me put it in perspective for you, I am five foot two inches tall and weigh in at a little over a hundred plus pounds, I’m not giving exact weight that’s only for the scale and me, but you can see that I am not a super big imposing person. The dogs on the other hand come in at one hundred and seventy plus pounds together, with Orso at a hundred and one and Charlie at seventy one pounds. Plus they both have way more muscle mass than two other people and me put together. Even though they are both senior dogs, Orso is eight and Charlie will be ten on Halloween, they can still get to afterburner speed when they are so inclined.

Our morning walks are always in the predawn hours when the creatures of the night are still out carousing and the morning animals are starting to stir. Most mornings I can hear owls calling out to other owls and a few of the early birds that are just waking up. It’s quite common to see raccoons, opossums and deer in the dim light. Because of that I am always on high alert making sure I see anything before the dogs hone in on it, causing them to bolt and charge after the object of their desire, thus making me a boat anchor dragging behind them. This has happened too many times to count. I’m pretty sure I’ve paid for more than one vacation for my chiropractor all from walking the dogs.

This morning started off very sedately, that’s how it always begins by the way. I get lulled into a false sense of security, a cool morning with fresh air and a slight breeze with the dogs sniffing and peeing on all of the bushes and trees strutting down the street like we are the only ones out this time of day. We had walked out to our time limit spot and had turned back to head home so I could jump in the shower and get ready for work. We had topped the hill and had headed down to round the curve in the road when Orso saw something and lunged forward to give chase with Charlie reacting a split second later. I was caught totally off guard, thinking about what I was going to wear to work, not paying attention and almost lost my balance. I came very close to actually falling down before I regained control and jerked on the leashes to yank them back. Orso turned and looked up at me with a very contrite look on his face and sat. Charlie on the other hand looked at me with a look that said, “It’s all the big dog’s fault, I was trying to save you. I would never have done that.”

It took a few minutes for my adrenaline level to get back to normal and my heart to stop pounding in my chest. I never did see what was out there in the dark that caused Orso to want to chase after, but I will definitely be watching a little closer tomorrow even though it won’t be there.

August 13, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, dog ownership, Dogs, nature, short story | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rainy Sunday Photos

This morning started off with a few showers and cooler temperatures. As soon as the rain stopped I went out with my camera to capture a few shots. I need to find an umbrella for my camera so I can go out in the rain and get some really great shots.

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August 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 5 Comments

Dreams

Looking up at the night sky
Black with tiny lights filling the void
She dreams of faraway places
Free of pain and suffering.

A body racked with disease
The life force within waning
The pain taking its toll
Joints swollen too stiff to move.

She wishes for release from this tortured body
To soar amid the stars
To be light and free floating
To smile one more time.

August 4, 2014 Posted by | Creative Writing, fiction, Poetry, short story | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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