Saturday, May 21, 2016

Morning Camp

When you camp out, one of the sweetest activities you have is to build a fire, in the evenings to light the night, in the morning to warm you up after you crawl out of your tent.

Kermit and I get up around five-thirty, mumble around doing what we have to do, and then hit the streets (and/or the river walk) by six, and creep in the northside gate around a quarter to seven or so. On select mornings, Bernie has a stack of kindling in the chiminea ready for ignition on the back patio, and my tea water on simmer at the back of the stove.

I must say that on mornings like today, when the temps are still in the 50s, that morning campfire feels mighty good. The sun comes up and adds to the thawing effect on our old bones, whispering to us that soon there will be no point in a fire, that if we are at all cool at 7am, we should count ourselves lucky.

Yes, I will. But I'm very lucky now, too, to sit and sip tea by the morning camp.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Awakened at 2 AM

We were awakened by John booming something about an accident on the street, sometime around 2 am. Bernie went to investigate; I blearily got up and took Kermit out, as puppies have to go when they're rallied from sleep, even if they don't usually get up until six. By the time I got out front, the truck that made those tire tracks in my neighbor's grass had been pushed back off our rosemary bush.

Apparently the driver had fallen asleep.

Right. In point of fact, he had been drinking, according to Bernie and John, who had conversed with the fool before the police arrived and arrested him for DUI. (I missed that drama as well. Thanks, Kermit.)

The wreck knocked down the fence; the truck got hung up in the rosemary bush -- a wild, unruly shrub that I've been itching to yank out for years. Glad I didn't, as it kept the truck from killing my tomatoes and baby shade trees behind it. A couple hours after I took this picture, we did indeed take out the rosemary -- the truck had snapped it off at the roots.

Amazingly, the simple construction of the fence allowed it to be pushed over before it broke, so Bernie was able to pull it upright and pound it back in with a mallet. It looks like it did before. Rustic, maybe, but pretty durable.

Can't say the same for the neighbor's car.

That driver sideswiped her car from tail-lights to headlights, and pushed it up onto the sidewalk. That crunching sound was what woke John up.

Did the driver actually fall asleep, or did he pass out? Judging from how long the destruction went on, I'd say the latter. Shame on him for driving when he was that drunk.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Kermit and Eperis - Dogs

Well, why not take some pictures of our dogs -- especially when they are actually behaving themselves instead of wrestling and crashing around the house? This day, they were tussling and roaring so loudly that we just opened up the back doors and let them take their rowdiness outside. And did they? No, they did not. They settled down on the pool deck and sunbathed quietly.

Kermit is proving to be a wonderful puppy. Based on some physical characteristics, and opinions of other Labrador retriever owners, we've revised his estimated age down a bit. He's only about eight months old.

However, our daily walks are getting much better. He doesn't drag me much at all, and I've become more confident about walking with him. We wake up before six in the morning, and then walk for about 40 minutes before breakfast.

His worst trait? He's still pining for the kids in the family that abandoned him. He sees or hears the kids at school up the street and he just goes into a frantic mood, trying to go to them and find his lost kids. I simply cannot walk him on the street where the school is, except on the weekends.

On Sunday mornings, Bernie and I have been taking Kermit with us when we go to 7am Mass. It's shady and cool where we park, and he can easily wait in the car. The early Mass is a quick one, no music or frills. After Mass, we take him to a dog park in Modesto where he can run loose and chase tennis balls or meet other dogs.

The big surprise is Eperis. Once Kermit entered the household, Ep stopped being a scooty little snotball, and has stepped up his game and become a responsible role model for the younger dog.

When they do get to chasing each other around the yard, Ep likes to evade Kermit by jumping into the pool. Kermit doesn't know how Eperis manages to run in the water yet, but I think in another month Ep will have lured him all the way in.

And of course, Eperis cannot be outdone in cuteness. He knows exactly how to get a belly rub.

There, I've blogged about two good dogs. They're a lot more fun to look at than James Franco.