Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Autumn Wishes

As the holidays approach, we pause to take stock - and are thankful for so much.

Many thanks to regular readers, friends, family and colleagues. May you be blessed with all you wish for in abundance.

For those outside of New England, I thought I'd share a little love in the form of foliage...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bear With Me

Well, there was.

Mrs. Author is a food pusher. Take a look around our home and you'll notice that most of us are well fed - perhaps too well. Once we have had our fill and cries of mercy emanate from the dinner table, Mrs. Author's love of feeding spills out of the house - to the joy of forest inhabitants that surround us.

A cursory glance at our back deck reveals a most unsavory sight. Bread, birdseed and suet litter the landscape like the remnants of a Roman feast. Look a little closer, however, and the workings of an entire ecosystem come in to focus. Squirrels, mice and the like flit about the rubble, cheeks exploding with new found culinary delights. Birds (the intended recipients of treats) dive bomb the crowd in a frantic effort to secure scraps. Raccoons sweep through the rubble, sending smaller creatures scrambling for cover. It's a bona fide feeding circus.

For months I have protested this feeding for fear that we might end up with larger visitors of the sort that evoke stories of evisceration, laceration, amputation - all the nasty tions. My protests fell on deaf ears. My fears were well founded.

The evening of July 27th found us parked in front of the tube catching up on local news. I was just coming down from a harried, hectic day at the office, content to spend quiet time with the family. Unfortunately, discontent was on the menu and heaping platter of it was served up to me as I wandered past the kitchen window..... and stared directly in to the eyes of a very large, hungry black bear.

I'll only go so far as to speak for myself here, but I think it safe to assume a sort of universal reaction to a near six foot tall, multi-hundred pound killing machine standing at your back door. I jumped behind my wife and screamed for my mother. Then I grabbed the camera.

Despite the foreboding sense that a multitude of tions were about to be unleashed on me, I steadied the camera in an effort to capture the essence of the magnificent beast that occupied our back stoop. The fearless creature took no notice, and went about the business of dismantling our birdfeeder to gain access to the heroin like substance that had called him from the wild: suet, with berries.

Lest you think suet with berries sounds harmless (or downright silly) consider yourself warned. You may as well throw a honey covered quarter of beef in the back yard. Either way, you are going to have company. The kind that ends up in the news. As did we.

The irony of this was not lost on me: the same hungry, opportunistic bear who interrupted my Friday night news viewing experience had me on TV the next night speaking with reporters. Mrs. Author was there too - fussing with her hair, pleading with me to stop mumbling about my previous protests against leaving food out for wildlife. We explained that the bear had spent around 45 minutes with us. I tried to convey to the reporters how unfortunate it was that my camera ran out of tape just prior to my having delivered a devastating left hook to the intruder. They weren't buying it.

*new- video footage!

After eating every crumb of food it could find, the bear wandered in to the yard of our neighbors and stopped in front of a large plastic ball left out by their child. Following a sniff and a nudge, he placed an enormous paw on the ball, immediately flattening it, the air escaping in a whoosh. Satiated and amused, he then meandered over to the pond, took a quick dip, and slipped away in the cover of the surrounding forest, never to be seen again. Yet.

I have considered asking Mrs. Author to walk the dogs at night. We'll see how that works out, but in the meantime, I can claim one accomplishment: our yard is a food-free zone. No more screaming birds, angry raccoons or nine pound chipmunks. And if things seem a little lonely- perhaps even boring, that's fine by me.

There is an upside to this story. The dogs witnessed these events from a safe distance.

Truffles: "Darn straight, I was under the bed!"

Sola: "Brownie points genius."

Author: I do seem to remember that. That's ok Truffles. Enjoy your evening outdoors...

Yes, that's suet.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Doodles

Saturday was Nigel's birthday. It was a smashing good time - gobs of treats, company, a good movie. Once we hit the hay, Nigel started round two. I heard his claws clacking on the kitchen floor and thought nothing of it since our dogs are late night snackers.
By morning it was obvious things had gone awry. A trail of empty beer bottles and a disfigured peanut butter jar let to Truffle's playpen, where I busted Nigel (still in full-on party mode) with one of Mrs. Author's gossip mags.

Nigel: I'll never live this one down.

Author: I won't let you. I snapped a quick pic just before you fled the scene.

Nigel: Remind me to eat your socks.

Stone Cold Busted

Author: It's too late for threats, your goose is cooked. Remember buddy - keep it simple. One day at a time.

Nigel: I've had enough. Who dumped a truckload of sand in my mouth? And for God's sake please pass the Advil.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Forbidden Fruit

We're all guilty. Who hasn't felt the sinful tug of desire - for a better car, house, job, expensive trinkets, what have you. We've all stared over that fence of desire at (apparently) greener pastures. And like many before us, most of us have hand our hands slapped reaching for that cookie jar.

Truffles is no exception. Her desire for the taste of feline fur is near legendary in these parts. If and when our cat feels brave enough to explore the floor, Ms. Truffles jumps right over that fence, and lands squarely in...browner pasture. She gets schooled.

Boo (cat): I have all my claws. And a can opener.
Author: ?
Boo: So I can serve up a can of whoop ass as required.

Author: Ah yes, we have witnessed this on more then one occasion. It's a simple process. Cat appears. Truffles attempts to make pancake of said cat. Cat cracks its knuckles and we cringe. What follows is a cacophony of dog cries, claws slicing at flesh, white and brown fur filling the air like so much pollen. It's a remarkable sight, and-

Truffles (Fudgepants): I don't find it remarkable at all. My nose was only meant to have two holes in it.

Author. You should know better. Follow Nigel's example. Once a tolerator; now a total hater- Nigel does not trust Boo, and eyes him with guarded suspicion. But he keeps a safe distance.

Nigel: I'm happy to preserve my good looks. Think I'll have another beauty nap zzzzz

Author: Good plan. Fudgepants is slowly but surely learning the value of restraint. Of late, she's taken to lustful observation.

Oh, baby.

Not that we expect a lasting peace - Fudgepants is far too young to have learned all her lessons for now. We still keep the panini maker locked up.

Boo: Thanks for that!

Author: Most welcome friend. And so we wait. And we watch. And as the fur flies, we are reminded there are some things, no matter how delicious/beautiful/shiny they may be - that we are not meant to obtain.

Sola: Snicker
Boo: Bring it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We're BACK

Well, sort of. After months of 80+ hour weeks at work, things are becoming sane again - and there is much catching up to do! The last six months have been a blur - much like Sola with her Frisbee.

It's time to write again, and I'll be adding to these pages in the coming days and weeks. Big thanks to all of you who have checked in, and to those of you who have reminded me to share. We'll be back soon - back with a vengeance!

Until then, be well...