Thursday, December 30, 2010

FOREWORD TO "LET NO DAY DAWN..." by DeFOREST KELLEY



FOREWORD
by DeFOREST KELLEY



(“Dammit, Kris, I’m an actor, not a writer!”)


(written in 1995)



My first meeting with Kris Smith was on a beautiful, clear, crisp spring day in May, 1968. I was serving as Grand Marshall of the Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival. My wife, Carolyn, and I were riding in an open convertible. The streets were lined with people.


Suddenly I noticed the shining face of a teenager running alongside our slow-moving car waving a sign which proclaimed, “We Love DeForest Kelley.” We managed to make some hurried dialogue with her as our driver kept pace with the other parade vehicles.


Sometime later I received a letter from Kris, along with an essay describing her experience meeting us on that festive occasion. I was so impressed with her writing ability that I sent the essay to a national motion picture magazine—and they wanted to publish it. I wrote to inform her of this, and to express our hope that it might lead to something interesting for her future.


At a later date we learned that Kris has always had a great love for animals (a devotion we share) and we were delighted to find that she has put her talent to use to benefit animal welfare in various national publications. Today, while pursuing her goal to become a screenwriter in Hollywood, she continues her dedication to animals at Shambala, Tippi Hedren’s wildlife preserve near Acton, California, the facility which provided her gorgeous “serval son,” Deaken, a much-needed place to stay during the lengthy transition from Washington State to California.


Carolyn and I have been privileged to meet Deaken, both at
Shambala and at home in North Hollywood. Deaken must have known that “Mom-Cat”Kris approves of us, for he immediately greeted us with enthusiastic head rubs and licks, which Kris says she had never seen him do before to anyone but herself.


I refer to Kris as “the best Mom-Cat I know” for she has a touch of magic with animals,wild and domestic. She is deeply concerned about their welfare in the wild and in captivity, and about our own environment and welfare on this planet.


As you will see within these pages, Kris possesses a real talent for expressing her feelings regarding matters that tug at so many concerned hearts.


But make no mistake about it: Kris has a “wild” sense of humor, as well. She is known among some of us as “Krazy Kris.” She’s crazy, all right—crazy like a fox.

Hodgepodge PIx... Wild (and Not-so-Wild) Animals I Have Known...

 Deaken @ 3-4 Weeks of Age... awwwwwwww!!!
(before his ears stood up and his color changed!)



 Darwin (aka Doc),  a dear friend of mine...

 Deaken and a Best Buddy, Rowdy Catboy

 Deaken Close-Up
(Oh, how I long to kiss that sweet, sweet face again!)
(Someday I shall... when I cross Rainbow Bridge!)

 Popcorn (Poppy), photo by Mrs. DeForest Kelley
 Archie, age 13

Ashley, age 13

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh, My Aching...EVERYTHING!!!

(FYI: What looks like dried mud on Laverne's coat is her "winter underwear." I didn't groom her before taking these photos. It's a lighter-color undercoat.)

I had five (count 'em...FIVE) yards of crushed rock delivered to my back yard yesterday. It's for the goat pen.

I spent an hour and a half yesterday pushing it into the pen via wheebarrow (a distance of about 35-40 feet one way); then I spent two hours this morning doing the same. The chore also included "mucking out" the parts of the pen where I had strewn straw to keep their hooves clean and dry until I could get the additional six inches of crushed rock in... so there were about 10-12 wheelbarrows filled with that sodden mess in addition to 40 or 50 barrows of crushed rock during my two solo adventures as a Goat Protector and Defender. 

Not long after I took off my "goat clothes" for the day, the four grandnieces (ages, 12, 10, 8 and 6) came over, so I asked (tongue in cheek) if they would like to help me shovel crushed rock into the wheelbarrow "for the goats" (whom they love and whom we had just walked). Much to my surprise, not one, not two, not three, but all four said "YES!"  Oh, my...

I was bushed, BUT I figured they'd last (if I was lucky) 20 minutes and I knew I'd be glad for whatever help they could give, so I gave them all buckets or shovels and had them fill the wheelbarrow (twenty shovels per barrel). I figured I could handle another 20 minutes of work without croaking...

Wellllll... to make a long story very short...  they loved the task. Adored the task. Did not want to quit. They didn't get tired. So, once again, I pushed crushed gravel for yet another hour and 15 minutes...  maybe more...until my pusher was bushed and I had to call a halt.

Tonight I feel like I've been hit by a Mack Truck and then run over by a military tank.  I need a chair to help me get up from the couch...

But the good news is that Laverne and Shirley are high and dry tonight. HALLELUJAH!!!

The girls and I didn't get it ALL done to a depth of 6" but, between yesterday and today, we got 80% of it put down to that depth.  (The girls and I did about 20% of it today.) Tomorrow (IF I'm ambulatory; I recover pretty quickly for an old broad), I'll probably  put in the balance.

The entire floor of the outdoor portion of the pen has some new gravel in it; the last 15-20% only has a sprinkling of rock, though... perhaps a half inch...just enough to salve my conscience and make me feel like Wonder Woman Mom-goat.  I wanted us to get that far before I called it quits so the goats wouldn't have ANY wet or sodden areas beneath their hooves since I had taken out all of the straw prior to putting down the rock.

It's supposed to get real cold tonight. It may snow. Knowing the goats have crushed gravel down and an indoor area to bed down on clean, dry, warm straw makes me feel a lot better...well, except for my body, that is.  IT wants to know what the hell I was thinking, to go from a deskbound writer to an earth mover with so little advance notice... What can I say?  From the moment the rock got delivered, it began calling my name and giving me the guilts: "Hey, Mom-Goat... what are you doing leaving us lying here in your driveway when your precious goats are languishing...languishing...in less-than-perfect conditions? If they had a phone, they would call the Humane Society on you..."   (And the Humane Society would laugh their arses off when they responded and found two very happy goats HARDLY in any immediate danger of ANYTHING other than being spoiled half to death.) (Guilt doesn't have to make SENSE, you know.  All it has to do is suggest a minor, puny anomaly, and all hell breaks loose trying to convince me I am a lousy Mom-goat!!!)

I expect to lose ten pounds this week. If I don't, it won't be for lack of enough exercise... that's for sure!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

WOO HOO! One of the BEST Reviews Yet of LET NO DAY DAWN....

"Literary Value



"I see other reviews here [at Amazon] that talk about the poet's obvious love for and experience with animals, and these come through profoundly in her writing. But I want to comment on the book's literary value. If you have high standards for poetry, you'll be delighted with what you find here. This isn't just cheap verse - it's quality stuff, with original imagery and compelling insights that make you look at animals in a fresh new way. I'm a former English teacher and expected this book to be a disappointment - another amateur's attempt at poetry writing. But I was more than pleasantly surprised. This book has taken up permanent residence on my 'favorite'" bookshelf."


Jessi Hoffman

Thank you, Jessi!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!

On this joyous sacred morning, before the grandnieces and their parents and grandparents call me over for the opening of presents and the partaking of a very special breakfast, I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year...

May God richly bless you today and in all the days to come...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Here are a Few of the Best Ones -- Let Me Know if You Want More!


FLASHBACK-- HOW LITTLE LAVERNE WAS BACK IN JULY!!!

Click on the images to see larger...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pictures to ... FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA... LOW

It's official: I have lost my mind. You'll have rock-solid proof in a day or two, but trust me on this, okay?

Here's how I know I'm losing my grip on sanity...

I went to the Dollar Store yesterday to get some jingle bells for Laverne's and Shirley's collars so that when we walk for the next week or so, they'll sound Christmas-y. I thought it would be a nice touch. You see, the neighbors love the goats and like to know when they're nearby so they can come out and see or pet them, so I thought jingle bells this time of year would do the trick. (Some have "Christmas presents" for the goats -- apples, grapes, yummies like that...)

But...

When I got inside the Dollar Store, I noticed a special sale: two faux felt antlers (for humans) for $1 with tiny, tiny bells on them. Thought I to myself (redundant, I know), "I wonder if the girls would consider putting up with an extra set of 'horns' for a few days... so I can pass them off as 'reindeer'?"

Hmmmm...

So I bought them, thinking, "No way... but it can't hurt to try.... and they're just a buck."

I brought the goats' "holiday costumes" home and carried them out to their shed. They don't mind the bells at all, so I'm home free on that idea.

Shirley doesn't mind the fake antlers -- she doesn't even seem to notice she has a "headset" on. (With the horn-filled cranium goats have, this makes sense.)

But Laverne  hasn't let me put the antlers on her yet.  She's happy with the bells on her collar but fake antlers... not so much.  She just won't stand still long enough for me to put them on her.

Shirley is a much more sedate goat. She probably considers me semi-sane and lets me get away with craziness like this.

Not so with the redhead; she has my number. She recognizes craziness when she sees it, because she's crazy, too.  We're kindred spirits, Laverne and I. I feel the same way about wearing fake antlers; it's fine if others want to wear them, but they're just not my style. Laverne and I prefer fools' caps...

I'm going to try again tomorrow and Christmas Day with Laverne. If I have success with both of them, I'll have Jackie take a photo of the the three of us together; I'll be the antler-less one... you know, the Mom-goat. If I only have success with Shirley, antler-wise, I'll document that, too.

So stay tuned.  At some point either this entry will get updated with a photo or two, or a subsequent blog entry will...

Because face it... you gotta see this!  It's... cute... or crazy... or whatever you choose to call it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Been a Busy Girl!

I hope your holiday season is shaping up to be warm and wonderful and in the presence of those you love most in all the world. That's my Christmas wish for each and every one of you.

I've been busy working on Elance projects but have a break at the moment, so thought I'd drop by to share a few thoughts... if I can find any to share!

This past weekend my sister Jackie hosted Childrens' Winterfest here in Tacoma, WA on the PLU campus. Every year for the past 20 years PLU (Pacific Lutheran University) has hosted up to 400 families who otherwise would have no Christmas because of extreme poverty. I volunteered for the event last year and this year.  I helped set up for it, tear it down afterward, and I was one of the story readers for it (there were three others).

We four story readers took turns reading because we were in a noisy auditorium where a lot of other things were going on -- kids meeting Santa, eating cookies, getting their faces painted, picking out books to take home, finding gifts to give to their parents, choosing stuffed animals, making cards for their loved ones, picking up socks and scarves and knitted hats, etc.-- and it didn't take long for our voices to wear out in surroundings like that.  We needed story readers because after the kids made the rounds in the auditorium, some of their parents (in other areas of the building) hadn't yet finished choosing presents for the kids we were entertaining, so we needed to find ways to keep the wee ones occupied while parents completed their shopping. 

Everything at the event was free.  It was a heartwarming day and the parents and kids were super appreciative that they would be able to have some semblance of a Christmas this year.

I've been walking goats whenever the weather permits. Casey, Jamie and I wrangled them this weekend so I could trim their hooves again.  I would lay the goats on their sides, Casey would hold them down, and Jamie would feed them grain so that holding them down would be possible.  I need to invest in a goat "cradle."  They're getting too big to manhandle this way, and since they both have horns, it's only a matter of time before someone will get hurt(by accident) if we continue to try to trim their hoofs this way.  A goat cradle (or whatever you call it) allows a handler to place them into it; as soon as they're in it, they relax. Their feet are sticking out at an angle where I can get at them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

HOLDING AMERICA HOSTAGE IS B.S.

What I want to see is the DEMS/Obama go back to the bargaining table and say, "I want everything you've mentioned in this deal AND I want you to end the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest... you know it's the right thing to do... and if you're a Christian as you profess to be, you know that 'whatever you do to the least of these' (the most unfortunate and beleaguered people in society) you are doing to Jesus."


It's a travesty that these right-wing GOP standard bearers can claim undefiled Christianity and then behave this way. It's a bad deal. It's a good deal IF the GOP will drop the insistence on tax breaks for the wealthy. They already have the freakin' Citizens United ruling that turned corporations into people with NO contribution limits (while people like me are held to $2400). Now they want moRe tax breaks so they can throw more money at defeating Obama/Biden in 2012. It's B.S.


I know what the Prez has tried to do... I honor that... but it's still a miscarriage of justice. I'm with Jim Wallis of Sojourners on this one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

OMG! I Forgot All About This Until Just Tonight!

I was chatting to a Hollywood friend this evening and he reminded me of something I had completely forgotten: I was encouraged by several studio professionals to get a demo voiceover tape produced while I was down there! 

(Smack myself in the forehead with the palm of my hand and call me an amnesiac chickenshit!)

Here's the story...

While I was living in Hollywood, I did one voiceover "on the fly" for a casting director at a major studio because an actress called in sick and everyone else was "on the set" and ready to roll.  It was just one line...

I was an administrative assistant on the hit comedy TV show she was casting at the time. When she crooked her "come hither" finger at me and told me what she wanted me to do, I asked her, "Why me?"

She said, "Because every time I walk by this office, there is a different voice coming out of it, and it's always YOU! I know you can do what we need." 

Fair enough. (I do tend to "act out" whatever I'm talking about, so the comment made sense, although I hadn't really thought much about it before she brought it to my attention. It's just the way I talk; I'm animated!)


So I went to the soundstage... and... much to my surprise... aced the gig.  

One of the studio technicians, looking mighty pleased and surprised, told me, "You should do this for a living. You're a dream to direct. You nailed it."

His compatriots nodded. The casting director smiled and said, "See? What'd I tell you? You can do this... and you should. You're a natural."

Well, that felt really good, so I took several voiceover classes... tentatively... because it seemed far too good to be true...

My voiceover coach, Nigel Neale, quickly discovered that I had a perfect "teenaged boy's voice" and that teen boy voices were hot items in Hollywood animation. ding ding ding ding ding. I knew that Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Woody Woodpecker were both voiced by adult women with great teenaged boys voices, June Havoc and Mrs. Walter Lantz respectively.  

Nigel said I should get a demo made and then move to Seattle to get discovered, because it would take me five years to be discovered in Hollywood (because voice demo tapes are stacked to the ceiling in every casting director's office in Hollywood.) It never even occurred to me that I already had an "in" with someone inside the  industry: the casting director who had hijacked me just weeks earlier! (What a dumbbell I can be at times... I just NOW thought of this, YEARS after the horse left the barn!)

I told Nigel, "I just moved down here from Seattle. I'm not moving back there to get discovered!"

Anyway, he said he would produce my demo for me at a steep discount because he, too, thought I had what it took to be a voice actor.

I never had it done.

When I got back to Seattle in 2003 I discovered that Nigel Neale had moved to Seattle too and was now teaching voiceover at the University of WA... so I went to another of his classes... and again he offered to make my demo tape for me.

I still didn't get it done. 

I was so focused on finding a "real" job that I put the voiceover thing on the back burner -- so far back that I forgot all about it!

Well, as you know, after doing some "real jobs" for a number of years up here (secretary, administrative assistant, activity director, copywriter-for-hire, etc.) I decided to throw caution and low pay to the wind and hang my shingle at Elance as a freelance copywriter... be my own boss...

It has worked out moderately well.  By this, I mean that I haven't starved to death yet.

Cleve reminded me again tonight about the voiceover option. If he hadn't, I probably would never have thought of it again.  Incidentally, Cleve is also the guy who told me about Elance. He has  been my biggest fan and most stalwart supporter/encourager since the day I met him. He works in the entertainment industry and knows his stuff... knows what will work and what won't creatively.. and he's telling me to GO FOR IT; don't let the door hit me in the butt on the way out!

There are a bunch of high profile video game producers in Seattle. They need teenage boy's voices and other voices... and Nigel says I'm BRILLIANT as Ariel the Mermaid and other cartoon characters, too... and I can do straight announcing, too...

So now I'm slapping myself upside the head. I'm self-employed! I can go to auditions and gigs in Seattle at the drop of a hat. I need to get that demo tape done.

Cleve even said he'll pick up the tab so I REALLY have no excuse!! 

Voiceover artists get $400 an hour!  I get $45/hour as a copywriter.

What am I waiting for?  I don't have to have a "feast or famine" life. I can have an "add on" career that is part-time and very, very lucrative...

So guess what?  I'm going to make a few calls on Monday (a long weekend is coming up) and see if I can find Nigel again and get this going.
It's time!

What a kick it would be to make a living writing copy and books and voicing video games and radio and television commercials!   Wish me luck and please keep me in your prayers... 

I'm going for it... FINALLY!

Friday, November 5, 2010

WHOA!!! I just found out, by googling my name (which I do occasionally to see what else has popped up about me that I may want to know about) that the letter President Reagan wrote to me has been republished in the book REAGAN: A LIFE IN LETTERS. It's on page 69 of the hardcover edition. I still cherish his letter -- and the one I wrote that elicited a 100% personalized response, answering each topic point by point! I was FLOORED to get a response...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Emal from Antje Probst in Germany... *sigh*

Dear Kris,



Since I bought your book "The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley," I follow your blog "Almost Famous...".


I am very impressed by the way you tell people where you stand and that it is important to fight for the right things. In your words is so much enthusiasm, that must catch everybody! But you always find the right words to say the things gently, so everybody has the chance to form their own opinion. In MY opinion this is a gift that only great writers have! And for me, you are one.


If I would be an American, I knew what to do on Election Day next Tuesday.


By the way, I hope President Obama will get all the support he needs. I also think he is a real good president for the United States.


I cross my fingers, that you reach a lot of people and that you (and he) will be successfull next week!


Best wishes from Germany,


Antje



P.S.


I hope I could express understandable what I want you to tell. Sometimes my english is not at its best (I am a social worker, not an english teacher;-)).






P.P.S


If I didn´t tell you before:


I love "The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley" and your idea behind that wonderful treasure!


Another THANKS for that!!!


<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I think Antje did just fine writing in a foreign language.  Endearing. I didn't change a thing....

THANK YOU, ANTJE!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Only Five Days to Election Day... HALLELUJAH!!!!!

My God, it is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get to November 2nd. I'm exhausted. I've been making calls, attending rallies, and frowning at all of the mud-slinging that has been going on... and it's increasing lately. 

I sincerely hope people will turn off their TVs and radios and visit the candidate's and issues' websites and reach a conclusion the way a well-advised jury would. 

Vote for the people and issues you trust most "beyond a reasonable doubt." If their platform (which you can find at each candidate's website; e.g. Pattymurray.com) matches your insights, goals and patterns, vote for them. 

If you have developed doubts because of the hail of negative ads that are trying to scare you, go to the sites of organizations you do support and trust (Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, etc.) and see who and what they're recommending you should do when you vote.

Also please spend at least three uninterrupted hours on a cable news station that you usually DON'T watch (e.g, if you usually watch CNN or MSNBC, see if FOX News brings up any issues that you may want to consider further). If anything you hear on the "rival" network sounds too good or too scary to be true, check it out at politifact.org or factcheck.org.

I'm concerned that voters are all in their own little boxes being fed information that is skewed at best and screwy at worst. I don't see how we can make good decisions if we live with blinders on.

Remember: other people of good will and robust intellect are supporting people you don't support. Find out why. If they're just spewing hatred, vitriol and unsubstantiated rumors, you need not listen further. But if they have sensible points and arguments, LISTEN TO THEM, not so much to have your own mind changed as to have it expanded, so that after the election is over you won't be in an "us vs. them" mode and develop an enemies list.

Your friends, family and associates matter. Their political "take" on the world is just another of their idiosyncracies, whether it's charming or irritating. Let it go! They're fellow Americans and lots of people have died to give them the right to believe what they believe and to say what they say. Celebrate that!

Reasonable people disagree.  Reasonable people also listen, weigh, consider, separating the wheat from the chaff.

This is a very important midterm election. You already know where I stand, if you've been reading my Facebook page and blog entries, so you don't have to read much more of this blog entry. 

All I hope you'll do is lock yourself into a room where you can pray and think and calm yourself enough to find your peaceful center, reject the crap that has been flying out of your TV screen for weeks, and figure out what's the next best act for our beloved country.

I know what I think.  If you know what you think, your job is done as soon as you cast or mail your ballot. 

If you're still undecided, DO NOT sit this election out. Consider what we have and what the alternative will look like. (2000-2008 is a gauge of that; the Republicans promise more of the same.)

Remember that it was the 2000-2008 years that caused the catastrophe that the present Administration is now digging us out of.  These are facts; hard realities. We had a surplus when Bush took office. By the time Obama took office, we had already hemorrhaged more than four million jobs and lost millions more before Obama's policies could apply a tourniquet and stem the loss. So what we have now is not of Obama's doing. TARP is almost completely paid back.

Health care reform will save many, many billions of dollars over ten years even as it better protects consumers (that's us).

Wall Street reform will make sure we never have to bail it out again at the expense of Wall Street.

Credit card companies now have to tell you the truth and inform you when they plan to jack up prices.

Women, your gender no longer makes you a "pre-existing condition" when you're pregnant, get cancer or develop a serious condition.

Young adults, you can stay on your parents' insurance policy until you're 26 and more established financially. 

Students, far more of you are getting grants and all of you who are, are getting larger grants so America's future won't fall through the cracks.

Women, you must now be paid the same amount as men are paid for doing the same job.

There's more, but you can find it at http://www.barackobama.com/ so I won't belabor the point further.

To me, the choice seems crystal clear. I've listened to what the other side is offering, and it doesn't seem they've learned a thing.  It's to a point now that an even more conservative fringe element has emasculated the GOP and caused it to succumb, to "adapt or die."

It's a serious choice.  It's a serious matter. Don't sit this one out. 

Women and people of color, a lot of people worked, bled and died to give you the right to vote. Don't sit it out and spit on their graves.

Final thoughts to Remember and Practice:

The people you disagree with politically are not your enemies. The people you agree with -- and their representative talking heads -- are NOT sporting halos or walking on water. 

So grab a chair, take a neutral stance for a time, and look things over carefully.  I think you'll be surprised at what you discover.

We all want peace and an America that works well. Which party seems to be the most grown up, reliable (even when the road ahead is steep and slow-going) and stable?

Let's elect and keep grownups. Let's look for and keep smart people. Let's be sure that the people we elect to positions of power have ALL Americans' fundamental best interests at heart... not just a select few.

Become a better-informed voter.  You usually have to "study up" to succed at anything else that's future-altering and worth doing: driving, working, marrying, parenting...

Let's make American politics work the way it should. Let's send or return grown-ups to Congress. Backyard bullies need not apply.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Totally and Completely Love This...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geyAFbSDPVk

The man at his very best... The leader I love, trust, follow and support.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Link to an Interview with Karl Urban

Karl mentions De Kelley with great fndness and respect toward the end of the piece. Enjoy!

http://thechronicleherald.ca/ArtsLife/1207086.html

Yes, You Can!

For readers of this blog. I was asked a question recently, and I want to answer it publicly:

Yes! You can use info from any blog I write as long as you give credit where credit is due and post a link back to the blogsite.

Thanks!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To Keep Bedbugs From Establishing In Your Home...

A bit of information that you might like to know about. We have friends here in our community and one of their sons is an entomologist (insect expert), and has been telling them that there is an epidemic of bed bugs now occurring in America . Recently I have heard on the news that several stores in NYC have had to close due to bed bug problems, as well as a complete mall in New Jersey .



He says that since much of our clothing, sheets, towels, etc. now comes from companies outside of America (sad but true), even the most expensive stores sell foreign clothing from China, Indonesia, etc. The bed bugs are coming in on the clothing, as these countries do not consider them a problem. He recommends that if you buy any new clothing, even underwear and socks, sheets, towels, etc. that you bring them into the house and put them in your clothes dryer for at least 20 minutes. The heat will kill them and their eggs. DO NOT PURCHASE CLOTHES AND HANG THEM IN THE CLOSET FIRST. It does not matter what the price range is of the clothing, or if the outfit comes from the most expensive store known in the U.S. They still get shipments from these countries and the bugs can come in a box of scarves or anything else for that matter. That is the reason why so many stores, many of them clothing stores have had to shut down in NYC and other places. All you need is to bring one item into the house that has bugs or eggs and you will go to hell and back trying to get rid of them. He travels all over the country as an advisor to many of these stores, as prevention and after they have the problem.


Send this information on to those on your e-mail list so that this good prevention information gets around quickly.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hear and See VP Joe Biden's Comments from Yesterday's Tacoma GOTV Rally HERE!

http://www.yfrog.com/froggy.php?username=washdems

I Just Had a Terrible Thought...

If the DEMS don't keep control of Congress and keep moving us up and out of the ditch we're in, literally millions people who are now hanging on by JUST a thread (and I'm among them) and praying for deliverance will have the carpet pulled out from under them with absolutely NOTHING to look forward to. In addition to being strapped financially, they'll be strapped emotionally and perhaps spiritually, wondering how God could allow such a thing.

I think if we don't maintain hope and recovery, the suicide rate will skyrocket. I don't think the GOP is thinking about that at all.  In fact, I wasn't even thinking of it until sometime late last night when I was still smiling from the hope and present and future plans we heard at the rally.  It suddenly occurred to me, "What if the electorate voted to REVERSE/REPEAL everything this Congress  has done (despite lockstep opposition by the GOP) to put us into forward motion again... What if, after all this, we end up back at square one where the big wigs are calling the shots, repealing oversight and regulation...

It would be utterly devastating to a population that has been thisclose to despair for so many years.  I think losing this time could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

The rich folks can take care of themselves with a few pinches to their pocketbooks here and there.They aren't on the verge of catastrophic failure -- at least, not any more, since we bailed them out on the backs of the rest of the working people. And instead of expressing gratitude and a little humility, the bonuses are soaring again, they're pouring billions into scaring people into thinking it's the DEMS who orchestrated the nightmare we're just now coming out of.

Yes, there is some blame to share... but the lion's share has been the doing of the elites and their demand for increasing profits at all costs. How rich do the richest 2% of Americans have to be before they think about the rest of us as something other than "human resources" and consumers? 

How long will be before the powers that be no longer call all the shots?

They don't, you know.  WE do. It is our votes that control THEM, and only our votes. I think it's time to vote for what will benefit the greatest number of Americans.  Democrats work on behalf of ALL Americans, not just a small segment.  It's time the GOP and uber-rich did, too. 

My hat is off to Bill Gates Sr, Bill Gates Jr, Warren Buffett, and the others who realize that with every blessing comes a responsibility to our fellow human beings on this planet.  It may be old-fashioned in this new "What's in it for me?" world, but it's good to be good.

It's time for voters to get a little more selfish and vote from a perspective of "What's in it for me?"  The GOP and their rich lobbyists have been doing it for years.  It's time to level the playing field and tell the present Party of No and the Party of Tea "HELL NO!" -- in a nice way, of course: WITH OUR VOTES!!!

Thanks to Gwen Davis for These Two New Photos!


Gwen Davis is the other lady in this photo...
T'was her camera that captured the fun!

More photos of the day by Gwen are available here:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=52910569&op=1&view=all&subj=674337914&id=10733829#!/album.php?aid=2675500&id=10733829

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Met VP Biden Today!!!!


Photo by Dr. Molly.. thank you, Dr. Molly!

OMG! OMG! OMG!

I met Vice President Joe Biden today very briefly, but very wonderfully.  A doctor in the crowd took a photo of VP Biden shaking my hand and talking to me (photo taken from over my left shoulder); she's supposed to email it to me. When she does, I'll include it here.

VP Biden took my hand and held it for 10-15 seconds while he spoke with another person (was I counting? No... was I noticing? YES!), then he looked at me and when I said, "God bless you; thank you for all you do for us," he responded, "Thank you, but you know we can't do any of it without you."

OK, I'm a goner. He's a real guy with a Gleem smile and a great heart.

I always presumed that, but being near him for about five minutes as I awaited my turn confirmed it for me... in the way that standing and watching DeForest Kelley for several minutes did it for me in 1968.  I'm pretty intuitive from afar, but close up I can be almost psychic. Joe Biden and Patty Murray are the full meal deal; they don't just talk the talk; they walk the walk.

The details:

I drove to Tacoma to the Get Out the Vote Rally for Patty Murray and the DEMS on the UW Tacoma campus.  Every notable Washington State DEM was there except Norm Dicks: the mayor of Tacoma, Senator Maria Cantwell, Governor Chris Gregoire, Adam Smith, Senator Patty Murray and VP Biden.

There was a huge turnout. I met up with friends in line and we got very close to the front of the audience; some of my group ended up in the "stands," the rest of us were within 20 feet of the podium... later I stood right next to the barrier, following all of the speeches, which is when "the moments" happened.

The speeches were great... Patty's speech was terrific... VP Biden's speech hit the event out of the ballpark and across Puget Sound, over the Olympic Peninsula and far out into the Pacific Ocean.

These people really care about the working middle class. I'm quite "up" on things; even so, some of what they said was just gut-wrenching. I wish I had it all on tape. It's in my heart lock, stock and barrel, but it would be nice to have the words playing in the background while I make phone calls to turn out the DEM vote.

The news media takes snippets of a rally -- sound bites -- and spends five seconds on those.  Standing through an entire rally event and seeing the faces and watching others react whose lives have been impacted by the various problems makes us all one community, united in purpose and resolve.

Biden was riveting. I've heard lots of his speeches in bits and pieces but rarely one from beginning to end.  This one was exceptional.

He and Patty "get it." They're both from working class families that fell on hard times and they realize the legitimate role of government in helping people survive through tough times. He spelled out what the Obama-Biden administration inherited (a helluva dangerous mess; my paraphrase, not his words) and what they've done to  make sure the nation could survive the failed policies of the previous administration.

But then he drilled down, breaking the crises into bite-size chunks (foreclosures, upside down mortgages, failing banks, and all the rest) and put a human face on each of them.  At every point, various event participants would call out, "That's right, Joe !! It happened to me!"  "Me, too!" Suddenly we were all "family." And we're all hurting in one way or another.

Mostly we're scared about what will happen IF the GOP wins this year. They've promised, right out loud in front of cameras, that they'll keep doing what they've been doing... (OMG!!!!) and we're  going through what that created right now! And even worse, with Tea Party aspects being added, it'll be even WORSE than before. Talk about the abuse of Big Government; they want to end abortion even in the case of rape and incest; repeal the Health Care Bill; give tax breaks to the wealthiest at the expense of the rest of us; and do literally dozens more anti-middle class dastardly deeds while having us foot the bill. It's craven. It's bizarre. It's twisted, wicked and awful.

But you know what? The rally wasn't primarily about the GOP; it was about US--about what we (you and I) can and must do between now and November 2nd to keep America from being railroaded toward another Great Depression and extreme social repression.

We need to pick up the phone and get out the vote.. talk to our neighbors, friends and families and get out the vote... Facebook and Twitter to get out the vote...work every moment we can to get out the vote.

Our future will be decided on November 2nd.  The choice is clear to me: Fear and hate or faith and love.  Faith and love is on our side. I saw that today in the eyes of the people who came. There were thousands of them... most will be joining us to get out the vote.

It's gonna be a wild ride. Buckle up. Let's see if America is ready to cave to fear or rally to further hope and progress.  I'm praying without ceasing...

Links to more photos from today from the Tacoma News Tribune...

http://tacoma.planetdiscover.com/sp?aff=1100&keywords=Biden&submit.x=31&submit.y=8

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Counting the Days to November 2nd...

Much like the Second Coming of Christ, as much as I want Election Day to get here and be gone, I know the voting population is beginning to flock into the Democratic fold, so I'm just holding my breath that they all get back here before the powers that be  (that's us, if we'd only "get" that!) pull the trigger and "Make It So!"

I want as many faithful Americans of all stripes on the DEM side as we can get by November 2nd; the alternative is just too, too scary...

The talking points from the other side seem to be resonating with people with the least amount of education,people who won't bother to research the truth and recognize that lies are being told and scare tactics are being spread to keep them from voting in their own best interests!  MOST of us don't make $250K a year; gazillions are being poured into the races by the uber-wealthy to convince people TO VOTE AGAINST THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS!  It's utterly appalling...

And some of the voting age population is ignoring all of it, not in the least interested in who wins and who loses at this critical time in American history.

Well, I guess those foks -- the uninterested and the uninformed -- will get the government they deserve by default. I just pray there are more of us than there are of them... because we deserve better than what may occur if voters stay home this year thinking they're relatively happy with the status quo. The scary part is, if they do that,the status quo (moving measurably out of the ditch, getting America's image elevated in the world, getting jobs back) will no longer be the status quo!

I implore every thinking American to take this midterm election seriously.  We're at a pivot point that can derail all that has been accomplished to date...

Those who want to see that happen... well, I don't have any words for you that don't seem judgmental and negative, so I'll keep them to myself.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gotta Love It!

From a fellow phone bank volunteer:

This evening I got a lovely 80 year old woman on the phone who was a Republican ..and we talked for a bit as I told her about the Democratic candidates I was calling about and she said she would be voting for all of them..and added Andrew Cuomo and Barack Obama (next time)..so I said, "If you are a registered Republican, why are you voting the entire Democratic ticket..and she said "I may be a Republican but I do have a brain!"

Gotta love her and love this work!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm Agitated

I'll be glad when the election is over. I am so agitated by the misinformation, lies and mean-spiritedness that is happening that I may have to turn off the TV and stop looking at Internet punditry until November 4th. 

When I make calls to encourage DEMS to turn out to vote in November, I get all positive and hopeful again. They're fired up and ready to vote, which is great (and the exact OPPOSITE of what the news is saying) so I expect a good turnout and DEM victories in the areas where they're most needed.

I just want it to be over so I can get back to normalcy emotionally. Of course, if the GOP prognostications prevail, nothing will be normal or better... we'll end up back in the ditch in short order in all likelihood... and that will tick me off because it will mean that the people who voted for Obama in 2008 sat on their hands instead of voting again this year for his agenda and for the people in Congress who support it.

VP Biden, former President Clinton and Michelle Obama will be here in WA in October to rally the DEM voters to turn out (especially the first time voters from the 2008 election), so I expect WA will return Patty Murray, Adam Smith, Norm Dicks and other DEMS to their respective seats. I think this state will be fine as a result. I just worry about the rest of the country because we're all in this together...

I pray that the scales will fall from Fox viewers' eyes and that they'll decide to really look into what they're being fed by going to snopes.com or factcheck.org and separating the truth from the lies before they go to the polls this year. Fox viewers are not being well-served; they're being indoctrinated. They need to watch more than Fox to get a more-substantial view of reality. I watch all of the cable stations including C-Span.  It's hard for me to watch Fox for very long because they're so obviously skewed to the GOP and to the far right... which is NOT where most Americans are... and when they start bashing Obama and DEMS it infuriates me because they twist facts, repeat gossip and lies, fund radical so-called "Christian fundamentalist" candidates, and foment completely unnecessary fear.

It's just awful. I fear for this country and its citizens; I really do. The rest of the world admires and likes Obama (except for our enemies). We're so blinded by punditry from the left and the right that we can't see what's real.  The right is frightened because of Fox's lies about Obama; the left is frustrated because Obama hasn't done "enough" to address their pet issues.

News Bulletin to Both Sides: The guy isn't Superman. He never claimed to be; his most earnest supporters (including me) saddled him with that moniker and gave him that hill to climb. But he is making progress against enormous odds, lock-step opposition, and bald-faced lies that are being spread about him. In spite of it all, he's holding his head up, offering hope and a way forward.

He deserves our respect, our support, and our prayers. He ISN'T the enemy. He's who we put in place to carry the burden -- and he's carrying it well despite its enormous weight.

Congress needs visionaries to support him -- not naysayers who hobble him.  I pray day and night that we'll give him the support he needs to hit this out of the ballpark for us.  He sure is trying!

FABULOUS! GET FIRED UP, AMERICA!!!

http://www.barackobama.com/live/#volunteer

IT'S TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN -- AGAIN!!!

call.barackobama.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES!!! STARTING TODAY!

Starting today, millions of small business owners will be eligible for up to eight new tax cuts, and within weeks, thousands of businesses will finally have access to the credit they desperately need.


The bill also includes key provisions the President has fought for since the beginning of this year:


-- Small businesses receive a tax write-off on the first $500,000 of new equipment investments;


-- More than a million eligible small businesses will be able to make key long-term investments that are subject to zero capital gains taxes;


-- Entrepreneurs who take a chance on a new idea can deduct the first $10,000 of start-up costs; and


-- The self-employed can deduct 100 percent of the cost of health insurance for themselves and their families from self-employment taxes.

Fabulous Book for Progressive Christians...

Get it, read it, share it. Great Christmas present.

Friday, September 24, 2010

VP Biden is Coming to Tacoma Ocober 8th! WOO HOO!


I'm excited!  VP Joe Biden will be in Tacoma on Friday October 8th with Senator Patty Murray for a Get Out the Vote Rally at UW Tacoma.  I plan to go and help out. I would LOVE to meet him.

I tried to get to Cheney Stadium the last time he was here and  couldn't get within a mile of the place, so I had to come home and watch it on C-SPAN.

I want to meet the VP of the US! Don't know that I will, but just being  in the same room wirth him will be good enough...  I gotta be sure my camera is working that day. Right now it isn't. I need a new battery, methinks!

How Ugly Will the Midterm Elections Be/ Only as Ugly as we Make Them!

Those who voted for Obama have not "abandoned" him or the DEMS that support him who are up for re-election this year on November 2nd. We understand about the lock-step opposition and how he has, in spite of it, managed to run more than 100 "wins" up the flag for the American people. We didn't vote him in with such fervor and joy only to cast him to the wolves during the next six years. We're not summer soldiers and Sunshine patriots. We're in this for the long haul.



I think the GOP and Tea Party are in for a rude awakening when, once again, DEMS, Independents and Republicans who voted for Obama vote AGAIN for his stalwarts in Congress during mid-terms. The leader of the free world is bringing us out of a very deep ditch that he had no part in digging.


The alternative -- not supporting his supporters in Congress -- is unthinkable. It's getting ugly on the other side. Ugly and scary.


It's time for us to step up to the plate during these midterms and vote again for what's right. It was right in 2008 and it's still right in 2010. Don't lose hope now. Hope and effort are what drive the train!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Health Care Reform is Doing for Families Across America

Let's put names and faces on this issue...

http://co102w.col102.mail.live.com/default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0

Wanna go back in the ditch and have all this taken away? Vote Republican/Tea Party. It'll happen. This is not a scare tactic. The GOP came out just today saying they'll repeal health care reform... not amend it... not improve it.... but REPEAL it.

Unless you're rich -- and even if you are rich -- by going backward to "the GOP days" you can go bankrupt if you get sick. Millions have.

The choice is clear this November.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Met Senator Patty Murray Today!

Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA and Kris Smith Sept 20, 2010
Photo by Nikki Bizzarri Regional Field Director People for Patty Murray

WOO HOO!  I drove to downtown Tacoma this morning to phone bank for Senator Patty Murray and other DEMS. Usually I make calls from my home phone but I got a tip from an Organizing For America regional manager that Senator Murray would be stopping by Tacoma to thank her supporters/helpers, so I got dressed up and went down. (I also emailed about ten other stalwarts and gave them the same heads up I had received; three of them showed up, too... any who didn't have to be at work this morning...)
 
Rep. Norm Dicks was there, too, so I got to thank them both for their service to the nation and to Washington State.
 
My first words to Senator Murray were, "Thank you for all you do. It has to be a real pain these days in Washington D.C."  She smiled and said, "But it's important." I said, "Yes, I know it is. I just don't know how you can take it sometimes these past few years." I was referring to the lock-step opposition of formerly sane and approachable GOP members.  I'm sure she knew exactly what I was referring to.
 
I quickly told her I'd like to give her a small gift if it was anything she would truly like, and told her that DeForest Kelley was my mentor in real life and that I wrote a book about him that I would like to give to her.
 
At the mention of De's name -- I didn't even have to identify him as a TREK star -- her eyes lit up a little, I assumed with fondness (I wonder if she ever met him or if she was a fan) and she said, "Oh, yes, I would like a copy!" So I told her I would inscribe it to her (I had brought a copy along in case she said yes), which I did as she met and thanked other volunteers.  Inside the book I thanked her for her service to the state and country and then signed it "Live Long and Prosper (Jer. 29:11 New Vulcan Translation.)  I think she'll get a kick out of that when she gets around to opening the book...
 
The picture that Nikki Bizzarri took turned out GREAT. She says it's mine to do with as I wish, so here it is!  I'll also put it on my Facebook page...
 
Let's get out the vote and get Senator Patty Murray back to Washington D.C. She has an impressive record and is willing to put up with the bad to achieve the good -- which makes her a saint in my book.
 
I planted a Patty Murray sign out front when I got home...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering September 11, 2001

1
In some ways it seems like only yesterday; in others, it seems a lifetime ago.

On September 10th, 2001 I was looking forward to the imminent release of DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories. I had just completed the foreword (the last part of the book, oddly enough) and sent the complete manuscript to the publisher for finalization and printing.

Terry Lee Rioux was staying with me while she traveled across L.A. interviewing people for her then-in-process bio of De, FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST. The view out the window was bright, warm and beautiful.

We awoke September 11th to a ringing telephone. One of Terry's contacts (her agent, I believe) was calling to ask if she had the TV set on.  No, Terry said.  "Turn it on" she was told.

We did.

And from that moment on, my world stopped. I saw two airliners crashing repeatedly into the North and South towers, saw one of the towers going down and, not long after, live, the other. It seemed a scene out of a disaster movie, but it was real. People were dead and dying, some of them jumping out of the Trade Center upper floors to escape the heat of the burning buildings. I saw one praying as he fell. This was real. I was flabbergasted, completely undone, aghast... mouth open, tears streaming down my face.

I watched, hour after hour. Warner Bros. shut down for days and then re-opened with new, Israel-like security meaures in place. The next time I went in to work there, getting inside the gates took a lot longer because studio guards were placing mirrors beneath each vehicle to be sure none carried explosives and looking into trunks and interiors, too.

I organized a candlelight vigil at the condo where I lived. That evening, many veterans and immigrants, including a Muslim woman with her head covered, came to share in solidarity for the gaping wound we were all experiencing.  Another Arab world immigrant was in tears. She told me, "We came to America to find peace and rest from all this. It has followed us here."

Suddenly I realized how lucky we were that this kind of thing hadn't happened in our daily lives before. Too many other countries deal with the aftermath of terrorism every single day.

I am grateful that we have not had another attack like this one -- that those responsible for masterminding 9/11have been backed into caves and are hobbled by the vast outpouring of international military and intelligence support that America has received. Something we're doing is working... at least for now.

I know we won't be out of the woods until non-prejudicial (e.g. beyond nationalism and tribalism) education and tolerance becomes universal, until people realize we share a planet with a diverse population which is largely in much greater need than we are.

Uncivilized (uneducated) people do uncivilized things. Desperate people do desperate things. Hateful people do hateful things.

But there are more of us than there are of them. If that weren't the case, the cause would have been lost generations ago.

It's our job to help, love and encourage the ignorant, desperate and hateful and let them know that their methods of communicating displeasure are counter-productive and will only create more pain for them. And we have to truly listen and respond appropriately to their needs as well as to their methods.. the way we do with our still-under-construction youngest children (as yet uncivilized).

I don't know all the answers. I just know that we need to be willing to listen twice as much as we talk. If we'll just do that much, we're bound to learn a lot about how to proceed.

Right now, it seems few are listening. Most are shaking fists. On both sides.

As Dr Phil would say: "How's that workin'?"

It's time to grow up. We still don't have a civilization. What we have is a poorly-contained brawl.

We can do better.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Goat Walk W/Out Leashes

Today I took Laverne and Shirley on a walk in the neighborhood without leashes attached. They didn't get more than 30 feet away from me at any time, even when they were cavorting. How cool is that?

They're herd animals and I'm their "Mom" -- at least for now. We'll see how long that lasts!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Morning... Coming Down from the Mountain...

I've been in Eatonville for three days house- and critter-sitting for a couple of friends. My sister is holding down the fort at home -- the cats, dogs, goats and fish (one betta, ten goldfish) are in her capable hands until I get back this morning.

The critters I'm sitting -- two horses (a quarter horse and Arabian) -- three little dogs and two big dogs -- are terrific. The dogs are all geriatric and need extra help. One needs help maneuvering the stairs after she goes potty outside, another (small dog) is blind and deaf, one of the big dogs is deaf (or almost) and the other one is crotchety with a lot of people, but not with me. All are healthy, just seriously old, having lived well beyond their life expectancies. It's a joy to care for them. It really is.

I've been reading most of the weekend. I've finished TO KILL A MOCKINGBORD -- started that last month and put it down.  I wasn't able to work from this couple's PC because it  MAY have some kind of virus, so I didn't want to open any attachments or send anything out to anyone... so I have a little bit of catching up to do when I get home for one Elance client.  I've pretty much stopped working weekends for the most part, but since I had to skip Friday, I'm going to work a little today just to be sure the one client is tucked away and happy on Monday morning...

It has been cool and overcast for two days, but not rainy. I like it.

At home I've been filling in a ditch along our property line with drainage rocks to create a second "french drain" behind the goat pen because otherwise the goat pen will get seriously soggy in winter, and goats are susceptible to hoof rot if they have to live in muddy areas. It has been quite a workout! I've transported almost five yards of rocks in a wheelbarrow about 50-75 feet back from where the rocks were dumped. True, I'm taking "granny loads" (15-20 shovels per load) so I don't crap out prematurely, but it has still been quite a task, especially on days when it's been hot.  I worked at least two hours every day last week (early morning before 9 a.m.).  I'm almost done now.  Should be wrapped up in another couple of hours, max. I guess I'm down to perhaps one square yard of rock; maybe a little more.

That's just about all the news that's fit to print for this time. Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Political Lies are Ramping Up Again... It Must Be Silly (Campaign) Season Again

I just got a baseless rumor that President Obama "canceled" the National Day of Prayer this year and was found praying with Muslims.

OMG!!!

And the rumor came in an email from a lady I love and respect, so it floored me. I pointed her to snopes.com and truthorrumor.com to show her the reports are not true.

What scares me is that this crap is getting into mainstream reporting -- even though it has been thoroughly debunked -- and perfectly reasonable folks are beginning to fear it's true.  If you repeat anything long enough, some people will begin to believe it.

Please remain vigilant, people. If something sounds too good, or too scary, to be true, check it out at snopes.com or at factcheck.org before you forward it on. By spreading misinformation and disinformation far and wide, you're doing a disservice to our nation and world.

Look for the truth. It exists. If an ad makes a claim against a politician running for office, visit the candidate's website, the Congressional Record, snopes.com, and/or factcheck.org and see what they have to say before you believe what their opponent has to say. There are two sides to every story, and when you blindly accept just one side, you're prejudging and discriminating.

I listen to Fox TV and to MSNBC at least once a week. They have express agendas and viewpoints (opposite ones).  If anything seems too far out to believe, I always check it out. Fox wins, hands down, when it comes to misinformation and disinformation.  MSNBC and CNN get higher marks, even though MSNBC is as "shrill" as Fox. 

The facts matter.  When we demonize each other, we demoralize and destroy the fabric of our nation. We're all in the same boat; let's try to remain humane, sane, and unprofane when it comes to "the loyal opposition."

'nuf said.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Political Thought for the Day...

If you're not 100% happy with our President or your other current DEM representatives...just spend one sleepless night thinking about the alternative!!!  Be sure to vote in November!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

So Well Said!!!

"The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment." -- Jon Kabat-Zinn

Ponder that and don't squander your next moment. Live life the way it's meant to be lived -- FULLY!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Just Love My Goats!

I've never had goats before, except that I trained one for part of a summer in Colton, CA in 1977 or 1978. I knew I'd like having goats but had no real idea I'd love them like I do. They make me happy to an almost silly degree.

This weekend I brought them out onto the lawn both days, unleashed (because they follow me around like puppy dogs -- actually, far better than puppy dogs) while Jackie was hosting (on Saturday) an outdoor barbecue for her bank branches and (on Sunday) the regular Sunday family gathering. Sunday I brought out both cable spools and placed a 2 x 6 to span the 10' space between them. I didn't even have to suggest to the goats what that meant -- they immediately jumped onto the spools and started walking the plank.  Whenever I turned a spool onto its "side" (so it rolled easily from place to place), Laverne launched herself onto it like a little circus pony and helped me "roll" it to another location. 

Goats entertain themselves endlessly when they're off leash. Laverne vaults around the back yard as though possessed, engaging in mock panic attacks at top speed, then stops on a dime and looks around to see if anyone has noticed, then runs off again... 

Yes, yes, I'll take video soon of all of this and put it on here and on my Facebook page so you can see it for yourself. In fact, I may post the result on YouTube. (That will be a first for me.) 

Buffy continues to think she's Lassie or Bullet. She gets at Laverne's heels and chases her into her pen.  Shirley, though, has Buffy's number and lowers her head to let her know she isn't impressed by two pounds of puffball and bluster, so Buffy leaves her alone pretty much... but Laverne thinks it's such fun to run, I guess, that everything is a lark to her.  If she can get a wee pup to chase her, so much the better!

Because of our goats, our grape arbor has seen better days. Grape leaves are Laverne's and Shirley's favorite treat (after COB -- corn, oats and barley, which they can't have much of on a daily basis) so Casey, Lizzie, Isabella and Jamie pull them down and use them as training aids to get the goats to stand on their hind legs with their front legs on the girls' hips or chests while they feed them a leaf or two... or ten.  It's  a good thing we don't make use of the grapes, because I doubt we'll get many this year. The vines and leaves used to engulf the entire grape arbor trellis from ground to top, but now there is just the canopy left. And the canopy will remain mostly because no one can reach it. We'll see what happens to the dozens of teensy weensy grape clusters now that so many leaves have disappeared. I have a feeling it probably won't be good. But who knows.  Maybe a little pruning (a little?!!) is actually good for grape arbors.  We're going to find out this year!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Newest Photos -- Enjoy!



In Order of Appearance:

Liz and Casey with Nice Neigh-bor
Casey and Liz walking Laverne and Shirley
Jamie and Isabella making sure "I Can't Hear You..."
Trampoline Fun (Video)

If you watch the trampoline video, the horse Punkin will make a brief appearance. (She nuzzled my arm while I was filming so I figured she wanted her piece of the action...)

I had to get training collars and chain leashes for the goats because they were dragging me all over the neighborhood in regular collars and I was getting rope burns (and the rope was fraying).  They learned to walk properly real fast after I got the training collars!

And yes, I take them off whenever someone isn't walking them! Don't worry!