January 21, 2013


I apparently have some really bad beagle karma swirling around me lately. First it was the disappearance of Wilson eight months ago, a heartbreaking mystery that remains unsolved to this day

Strike two was running over my grandfather's elderly beagle, Fancy. Yes, given her deafness and seeming oblivion about cars it was only a matter of time until someone ran over her, but still, that someone was me. Luckily, she's alive and in good spirits but not using her hind end.

Now it's Jango. Did I ever even get around to introducing him here? Jango is the friendly beagle who's been living with us for six months or so after he showed up, and stayed, at my parent's place. He was no Wilson, but he was cute and sweet and gentle with Eden. See, I'm confused as to whether or not to speak of him in the past or present tense because now he is missing as well, for almost a week, the day before a 10-inch snowstorm and Arctic temperatures. He was wearing his collar with ID tag so we were sure we'd be getting a call soon, but....

This is really just getting maddening. Don't get me wrong; I'm sad he's gone and worried as to his fate, but mostly I just can't believe this is happening g again. I've had eight dogs in my life - three of which died after being struck by cars, two died of old age (there's a novel idea!), one is living out her last days with my parents, and then there's the vanishers. Losing a pet by any means is never easy, but I've always had a body to bury, a sense of closure. I don't know what to do with these disappearances! Do I hold out hope? How long? Do I assume the worst? Which worst? I've got a very vivid imagination. Jango could have been stolen and sold to a medical lab for experiments. A neighbor could have him tied in a back room pretending to know nothing all the while. Maybe our cat Foxy put a hit out on him. Maybe he's headed West in search of gold. Who knows! Realistically, I'm waiting for the snow to melt so I can search the roadsides for a body, but probably I'll never know.

Either way, strike three...I'm out.

January 09, 2013

Minor Miracles

Stop me if I've told this one before (or I guess stop yourself from reading). I know I've written this in my head multiple times while showering, but I'm not sure if its made it into print yet.

Anyway, I seem to have a magical bottle of hair conditioner, one that never ends. Granted, I only use it once a week at the farm I work on, but still, I've been working on this one medium-sized bottle of conditioner for a couple of years now! It's not even one of those jumbo "family sized" ones either. It's one of the small and expensive "natural" kinds. (I have a "no animal testing" criteria for my hair care. I just don't see the need for any rabbits to have their eyes burned out by chemicals so I can have more shine or bounce.) Its not even to the stand it on its head or give it a good shake down point.

Every time I shower I'm reminded of the Old Testament story about the woman who was going to have to sell her kid in to slavery until Elijah (?? Don't fact check me here, I'm going for the gist not the verbatim retelling) made her crock of olive oil never ending so she was able to sell a bunch and keep her kid. I think my bottle of conditioner has been similarly blessed. Not to be ungrateful, but if I could pick one thing to be never ending, I don't know if conditioner would have been my choice. Yes, it's nice since it is slightly more expensive than the discount brands, but how about the never emptying gas tank on my car? Or the never ending dog food bucket (we feed that dog too good)? I'd be happy with never ending olive oil too - healthy, tasty, numerous uses. Not that I'm not happy now. I'll take my blessings however they come. And if you ever need a little moisturizing designed for all hair types, you know who to talk to.

January 07, 2013

First night in the yurt

Last night was Eden's and my first night sleeping in the yurt, made possible by the loft Joe built and the newly installed and functioning wood stove ( see photos below ). Joe has been sleeping in the yurt for a while, unheated because he's tough like that. Apparently he gets a better night's sleep alone in the freezing cold than he does sharing a little double bed with Eden and me. We've been looking forward to the larger bed out in the yurt, but I'm a pansy and wanted a little heat on these winter nights as well.

After what seemed like endless obstacles, we finally got all the parts and pieces necessary to get our cook stove installed, just in time for some visiting friends to be our first overnight guests. They were coming from balmy LA, but they're also seasoned world travelers, so they did just fine.

Anyway, my first night in the yurt was a somewhat sleepless temperature rollercoaster. We lit a fire in the stove a few hours before bedtime. There's still a lot to learn about how to efficiently operate the stove as well as how the yurt heats up as well. By the time we went to bed, I was guessing it was in the upper 50's in the yurt, though Joe was guessing 60's. For my comfort level I was happy to keep my socks on and burrow into the mounds of blankets Joe has been using out there. I was glad I'd put Eden in fleecy pjs. The windows and plexiglass dome were clouded with condensation, but I could still make out the stars just over my head. Somewhere in the night, I woke up in a puddle of sweat. Eden's pjs were also damp with sweat, so we kicked the blankets off. I remember thinking "yay, so it can get really warm in here". Due to the way I sleep on my side to be able to nurse Eden with minimal wakefulness, I always have one arm that is out from under the covers and often falls asleep. The next time I woke up during the night, that arm was a numb popsicle! I could tell that the fire had died out in the stove, though I have no idea for how long. So, back under the blankets we went.

Overall, I think it was an OK night's sleep, but I remember waking up a lot and being glad when it was time to get up, and very happy that Joe (who'd gotten up at 5:30 to meditate) had built a fire in the cabin so it was nice and warm when we came in. To add to the restless night was the fact that we'd watched the "Hatfields and McCoys" movie just before bed so my dres were full of shoot outs. I'm also a much lighter sleeper when sleeping with both Joe and Eden as I'm conscious about every twitch Eden makes so I can tend to her and minimize any disturbance for Joe. We'll get it all straightened out with time I'm sure.

Next step on the yurt project is putting a finish on the floors and then finishing out the kitchen!