Warrior Princess

January 19, 2016

Dazzling Universe

Filed under: Bless the Beasts, Faith and Spirituality, Uncategorized — ggirl @ 12:52 pm

howing wolf“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ~Martin Buber  

It turns out that not only animals possess verifiable intelligence.  Dragonflies have exhibited some level of what we would define as intelligence as do octopuses.  Recall that octopuses are mollusks, like clams.  And yet they learn quickly in their native habitat and in laboratory settings.  They can also, in the correct circumstances, display both affection and dislike for humans.  This is not the case with fellow octopuses.  Interaction between them will generally end in death for one of them.

Intelligence and compassion are everywhere.  Whenever I learn about another unexpected instance, I feel my own heart expand to embrace this certainty.  There is, without a doubt, also sadness.  At this moment in history, we humans, as a species, only value that which increases our own profit.  If there’s money involved, we will thoughtlessly, ruthlessly destroy it.  We know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.  Not so for everyone, of course.  We are also loving, thoughtful and emotionally generous.

Despite sadness, something inside of me is exultant whenever I learn there is intelligent consciousness everywhere.  Even in a mollusk.


July 10, 2013

The Horses

Filed under: Bless the Beasts, Faith and Spirituality, Uncategorized — ggirl @ 8:12 pm

wolf looking back arctic“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business? – Tom Robbins

We sat at the river’s edge, 150 artists and musicians enjoying the tepid, slightly damp evening.  Some arose to wade in the river and have a seat on a fallen tree.

Halfway through the meal, as the sun was setting, someone said, “Horses!”  There they were not ten feet away from me, five beautiful horses pausing to nibble on the grass.  As suddenly as they appeared, the horses galloped off towards the stable.  Magical.

May 17, 2013

The Day After My Father’s Birthday

Filed under: Bless the Beasts — ggirl @ 5:25 pm

gray wolf lounging“They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.”  Edith Wharton

The day after my father’s birthday, I came upon happiness.  I worked on my Spanish lesson, walked the dogs and did some yoga.  I listened to music while I watered the garden.

I did not think about living in State purgatory, nor did I think about tomorrow.  I did not clean my house.

Perfect day.

September 25, 2008

Stop Loss

Okay, let’s pause for a moment and review. In the past ten years, I’ve

*lost my father to suicide
*lost my oldest and dearest friend to a heart attack
*lost another old and dear friend because our relationship had become toxic to me
*lost my Malamute
*lost two beloved cats
*lost my breast
*lost three years of my life to breast cancer

and now I’ve lost my therapist of 14 years. If the universe is trying to teach me something about loss, I hope I figure out the mystery some time soon. I’m not up for any more losses (as though any of us has a choice).

I really think I get it, though. Life is about loss. Sooner or later, we will lose everything and everyone we love. Refusal to accept that fact is the very definition of suffering. I understand that down to the marrow of my bones.

I’m trying to keep an open mind and open heart so that, if there are lessons I haven’t yet learned, they will reveal themselves to me. Of course, I’d just have to move on to another set of lessons I haven’t gotten yet. That’s kind of scary.

I’d really like to just coast for a while.

May 1, 2008

Crazy Employee Strikes Again

I had a migraine yesterday and I feel the onset of another one any minute now.  Must write now or never.

Wednesday morning, I spent about an hour closeted with Owner in his office with the door closed.  Seems Crazy Employee managed to get me involved in another one of her schemes.

When we rescued Crazy’s puppy, we took her to the vet our company uses so puppy could have the required vaccinations.  I had given them my corporate credit card when we took the other rescued dogs in, so I knew these charges would be applied, too.  Crazy took the dog home and, about two weeks later, brought her back to the vet to be spayed.  Late that same afternoon, Crazy came into my office looking meek.

“Could I ask you something?  I don’t really want to talk to Owner about it.  He makes me nervous.”

That’s good.  She should be afraid.  She should be afraid of me, too, though.

She’d spoken with the vet who informed her that, when they performed the surgery, they also discovered that the puppy had a dental problem that was best resolved early.  The vet tried to get in touch with Crazy, but failing to do so, had fixed the problem.  The surgery bill was $500.

Crazy wanted to know if I thought it was Owner’s intention to continue to pay all the puppy bills.  Absolutely not, I told her.  I suggested that she speak with Owner herself, but I had no reason to believe that would be even remotely okay.  Once again, she didn’t want to speak with Owner.  Crazy said she understood and that she’d make arrangements to establish a payment plan with the vet.  That conversation took place at the end of March.

When Information Superhighway looked at the statement we received from the vet, there was that charge.  She brought it to Owner’s attention, knowing it had to be related to Crazy’s dog.  Owner then called me in to discuss what I might know about it.  I recounted our conversation and went to my office to get my credit card so we could ensure that it was, indeed, a Crazy Land card.  Of course it was mine.

Owner trusts me without hesitation.  When I was in charge of things for around a decade, I could have robbed the company blind had I been so inclined.  We’ve been friends for over 3 decades.  He knows he need never question my ethics.  Nonetheless, I could feel my face assuming the expression of icy rage that scares the hell out of people.  I couldn’t wait to get out of the office and discuss the situation with Crazy Employee.

Owner called the vet’s office to clarify exactly what had happened.  We were told that they called Crazy just that morning and made her set up a payment plan.  The charges will be taken off my card.  Owner told the vet to always get direct approval from him or me for any future charges of any kind.

He was greatly relieved to not have to talk with Crazy.  If Owner had a nickname for Crazy, it would be Loathsome.  He has a list in his head of the numerous examples of her bad behavior based on her profound sense of personal entitlement.  There are even some things he doesn’t know about.  I finally staggered out of his office, still furious.

Technically, Crazy had indeed lived up to the assurance she gave me that she’d take care of the charges.  However, she didn’t do that until the bill came due here.  I should point out that Crazy actually sees the bills before they get to the Superhighway.  She knew disaster was imminent.

I decided to take a walk and calm down.  On the way back, who should I run into but Lillian and another of her gentlemen callers.  One of the neighbors had called Animal Control the day we were trying to help the old dog and I was terrified she’d think I’d made the call.  I just kept looking at the sidewalk and hurried into the office.

By then, I’d decided to let the Crazy thing go.  Owner has his list and I have mine.  I’m not sure which one of us she should fear the most.

April 29, 2008

It’s Tuesday and I’m Already Exhausted

Yesterday started somewhere around 4:00 a.m. for me. My mom had a colonoscopy scheduled and was told to arrive at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Late Friday afternoon, the hospital left a message telling her she needed to pre-register, but by the time she got the message, that department had already closed down for the weekend. She thought perhaps they wouldn’t do the procedure unless she pre-registered, so I suggested that we plan on getting there a little early.

I am not a morning person.

We agreed to get there around 5:30, but I was anxious about whether my alarm clock would work, so I woke up around 4:00 and never went back to sleep. There’s nothing wrong with my alarm clock. I have issues about being on time and I’m always afraid that the electronic devices that run my life are going to fail me in some critical moment.

I was at the hospital for a couple of hours, then I brought my mom over to my house around 9:00, took a shower and left for work. Things were going as well as could be expected when I got a call from our receptionist saying Crazy Employee wanted me to come downstairs and look after the dog from next door. The dog had been lying by the side of the road and she’d coaxed it to a grassy area between my office and Lillian’s house. He was unable to go any farther, unable to stand up on his back legs.

Owner came downstairs with me and we tried to get the dog to stand up. We brought him some water and a couple of large bowls of kitty food. The poor creature wolfed down the water and food. I tried to slide my hands under his hips to help him stand up, but that didn’t help, either. There was a high potential for me to get bitten, so I abandoned the effort.

Finally a young man, whom we believe to be Lillian’s son, ambled out of the house and over to where we were attending to the dog. I noticed track marks on his arms. The first thing he wanted to know was whether anyone had a cigarette. If I’d had a cigarette, I’d have been smoking it. I explained the problem to Son.

“He can get up. He just doesn’t want to,” he said. I repeatedly assured him that wasn’t the case. Son retrieved a cord from inside the house, slipped it around the dogs neck and tried to get him up. Couldn’t do it. I asked if Lillian was around. She was asleep, her son said.

After several attempts, I suggested that maybe the dog needed to rest. I told the son we’d keep an eye on the dog from our upstairs window. He mumbled thanks and walked back to the house. I got the dog more water and more food. I called a number of mobile vets, but no one was able to come. Even if they’d had time, the dog doesn’t belong to me and I have no desire to try to get Lillian to agree to treatment (even though she wouldn’t have to pay for it). Also, I’d almost guarantee that the dog has never had a single rabies shot. Vets won’t work with animals who haven’t have rabies shots.

This morning, I was afraid I’d drive up and see the dog, dead where I left him. He wasn’t out there, so I got the Golf Pro to look out of my window to see if he was in Lillian’s back yard. He was lying in his usual spot. Crazy Employee came in a little while ago to tell me about how they got him back. It’s really more than I can think about right now.

Nothing makes me angrier than children and animals being mistreated or neglected. Clearly Lillian has appeared in my life to help me find more compassion in my heart. I have a lot more work to do in that area, apparently.

April 22, 2008

Andy Trauma

Filed under: Bless the Beasts, Marriage, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 12:32 pm

We may have to find a  psychotherapist for our dog, Andy.  Yesterday, Hubby went to work at noon and accidentally left the little boy outside.  My mom didn’t make it over for her puppy-sitting stint until around 1:00.

She arrived to find Andy crying.  Sheba wouldn’t take her treat from my mom until Andy was inside.  This is totally unheard of.  Under normal circumstances, she would have taken the treat and run to get into Andy’s crate so she could be there when he entered the room.  Andy hates it when she’s in his crate.

After my mom let Andy in, he sat by the sofa and cried for a while.  He was so upset that he couldn’t take his treat.  When he was able to pull himself together to drink some water, he had to take a little cry break in the middle.  Finally, he started to feel better and went directly into What Can I Do To Be Bad Boy mode.

We have a perfectly wonderful backyard where Andy chases birds and squirrels.  There are three dogs that live behind us and a small terrier who lives at the side.  We have some overhanging bushes that all of our dogs have loved to run through and a garage that has an exit door at the side near the back fence.  It’s a veritable universe of canine fun potential, but Andy’s accustomed to coming and going as he pleases.  He’s also used to having his Woo outside with him a lot.

When Hubby got home, I told him about how traumatized little Andy had been.  Hubby felt guilty and dispensed treats all evening.  This morning, Andy wouldn’t go out until the Sheba Woo went with him.  When she came in, so did he.  I need that pet psychic lady from television to come over and talk with him.

February 5, 2008

Permanently Monday

Why did I not see this coming? Today is Monday. Guess who isn’t here. Crazy Employee. Guess why she isn’t here. That’s right, the puppy.

Crazy’s old dog (a Lab) and the new puppy “hate each other.” She has to figure out a way to keep them “permanently separated” before she can come to work. I guess that means we’ll see her sometime in May.

February 4, 2008

Crazy Employee, The Pimp and Meth Head

One of our office neighbors is a woman named Lillian. Lillian does not understand the concept of birth control. She’s had several children in the past ten years. All were immediately rescued by Child Protective Services. She’s also , by one means or another, come into possession of three or four litters of puppies. Lillian is no more capable of taking care of little dogs than she is of little humans. I’ve personally rescued (sometimes with Owner’s help) three litters. Around nine weeks ago, the latest litter showed up.

They’re rowdy puppies and they all weigh around twenty pounds. I listened to them while they played or cried for mom and, every once in a while, I’d stand up and look out my window to watch. I tried not to get emotionally involved while I waited for the inevitable moment when they’d crawl under our privacy fence in search of food. A couple of weeks ago, I heard one crying. I was annoyed that Lillian wasn’t checking on the puppy; it was a cold, rainy day. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I looked out my window but couldn’t see anything. Then I crawled up on my desk and, when I looked down, there was a chubby little dog caught under the privacy fence. She was too fat to get under.

She and another of her litter mates managed to crawl into our patio area. I grabbed them and Owner called the vet. I delivered them to the vet where they had some food and water, then lay down to take a nap. Unfortunately, not all of the dogs made it over; there was one left. I knew how lonely it must be without her sisters, but my attempts to entice her to my side of the fence were failures.

Crazy Employee wanted one of the rescued puppies. Kind of. She vacillates about everything, including the dogs. She made an appointment to pick up one of them last Saturday, but she didn’t show up. These puppies are incredibly cute. They didn’t make it past Monday. Loving humans saw them at the vet’s office and took them home. Crazy Employee was out of luck and a little miffed.

Yesterday, my first day back from Houston, Crazy came to my office the minute she arrived. She complained about not getting the puppy and noted, at length, how abused she felt.

“Let’s go get the other puppy,” I said.

“It’s too scary,” she said.

People at my office believe Lillian is a crack dealer or a prostitute or both. They’re ridiculously nervous about interacting with her. I rolled my eyes. Crazy said she’d get some cash at lunch and we’d attempt a buy when she got back.

While Crazy was still at lunch, Mr. Moneybags’ daughter banged on my door and yelled that the remaining puppy and mom were out in our parking lot. Moneybags told her to let me know. I didn’t pause to put on a coat. I raced down the stair and out the door. I saw the puppy headed towards Lillian’s house. I kept running. Just as I got to her driveway, the puppy sat down on the porch in front of the door. I was almost certain I’d be able to grab the little wiggly thing.

Just at that moment, though, a red PT Cruiser backed into the driveway. It was Lillian. We have no idea where the car came from; she’s never had one and we didn’t even know she could drive. There was nothing to do but face the music.

“Hi Lillian!” I smiled. I waved and smiled some more. “I saw the puppy out in the street and I was afraid it was going to get run over so I was trying to make sure it got back in the fence.” I smiled some more.

She got out of the car and I walked over, hoping to be disarming.

“You know, I’m so glad you’re here. I have a co-worker whose daughter just had a birthday and we saw how cute your puppies are and she was hoping maybe you’d sell one of them to her.” Yes, I was talking fast, barely taking a breath.

“Aren’t you the person who climbed over my fence?” Sometime before breast cancer, I’d noticed that the adult male dog was tied up and unable to get to water, so I climbed over the fence and, just as I got the dog untangled, Lillian came out the back door.

“Only once,” I said apologetically. “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

She told me it was okay and we resumed negotiations. She wanted to know how much money my coworker would be prepared to offer.

“I don’t know. She’s at lunch right now, but if you’re going to be here for a little while, I’ll bring her over when she gets back.”

“Have her call me.” She gave me her phone number and I went back to the office.

As I was recounting my adventure to my mom on the phone, Crazy Employee arrived. I got off the phone and caught Crazy up on what happened and suggested she give Lillian a call. Crazy was scared.

“Oh Jesus. Come on, Crazy. What’s she going to do? Say no? Just call her.” It’s at moments like this that I start to wonder if maybe I’m being a little pushy. Crazy was too ashamed not to call. No one answered. The entire office was involved in this escapade by now. The Information Superhighway suggested we go back over there. Everyone else agreed. I allowed public opinion to influence me and we went back over. Of course, Crazy didn’t want to go, but there was no way I was going to do all the heavy lifting (in a manner of speaking) alone.

I told Crazy I thought she should start the negotiations low and work our way up to $20, which was her limit. She had ten ones and a twenty, so I told her to give me the $20. I put it in my back pocket. No need to let Lillian know we had thirty dollars. I figured that, if need be, I could offer up my part of the cash as a “loan.”

We walked over and I knocked on the door. I waited. Meanwhile, Crazy Employee wandered around the side of the house to where I had previously scaled the fence several years ago. I didn’t see any puppy, but I didn’t want Crazy over there.

“Don’t you dare get that puppy, Crazy. Get away from the fence. We can’t take the puppy after I’ve had this conversation with Lillian….”

“May I help you?”

I turned around to see a pale, emaciated white woman in a jogging suit. She had sores on her face. Meth Head. Great. Caught in another difficult situation. Crazy stood there, speechless.

“Oh hi! I was just talking to Lillian about maybe buying one of her puppies. Crazy here has a daughter and I was going to show them to her.” I smiled and tried to look nonthreatening. Meth Head told me Lillian had gone to the store and would be right back. I thanked her and we walked back to the office.

As we walked in the door, Superhighway told me the PT Cruiser was back. Lillian was home, so we headed back over. Once again, I knocked on the door. This time, a man looking suspiciously like a pimp answered the door.

“Oh hi! I was just talking to Lillian about her puppies….” I smiled a big, stupid middle aged white woman smile. I wondered whether I might have to play the breast cancer card. This guy actually did look a little scary. He turned and went back inside. Crazy and I looked at each other. Then, the door opened and he started to come back out, but instead, he turned around and shut the door again. Another couple of seconds passed, then Lillian and Pimp came back out with the dog.

“Hi Lillian. This is Crazy, the lady I work with that I was telling you about.”

Lillian held the puppy and told us she had named her Pitiful because she cries so much. She went on a bit about how much she loves Pitiful. I told her that she didn’t have to worry; Pitiful would be going to a home where she would be loved and she’d have kids to play with….

“Do you think I don’t love my dogs?” Uh oh. I backpedalled furiously.

“Oh no! Of course I know you love your dogs! I just meant…” I’d lost her. She got back to negotiations. Crazy asked her how much she might want and Lillian countered by asking how much she was prepared to offer.

“Ten dollars?”

“Ten dollars?! No. That dog chewed up my going to church shoes last week and those cost me $23. If I could get my $23, I’d be willing to let go of her.” Lillian abruptly turned around and walked inside the house, leaving Crazy holding the dog and me trying to think of some friendly banter to make with Pimp. She came back a minute later, holding up some shoes.

“Oh no! Bad puppy,” I said. “You know, I think I have some extra money.” I felt around in my jeans pockets and came up with the $20. Finally, Crazy did the right thing.

“Are you sure you don’t mind,” she asked. I assured her it would be my pleasure. Money and puppy changed hands. I thanked Lillian several times and, just for good measure, thanked Pimp, too.

Crazy and I took the dog to the office where everyone immediately fell in love. I needed to leave soon because I was exhausted, but I had some trouble getting Crazy into her van and on the road to the vet’s office. Puppy needed de-worming, flea treatment, vaccinations. Finally I got her into the van and we delivered the dog. Crazy’s picking her up at 4:00 today.

I am so tired. And I haven’t even told you about the nipple. I guess that will have to wait until Monday.

October 24, 2007

Jasper Bottomhugger: The Continuing Saga of Crazy Land

Filed under: Bless the Beasts, Office Hell — ggirl @ 12:50 pm

“I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.” ~ Mark Twain

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent primates.)

Owner of Crazy Land and his wife, The Gatherer, have been friends of mine for over 30 years. Owner was friends with Hubby when they were in high school and I was introduced to him just as he started dating The Gatherer.

The Gatherer’s father (before his recent death) was a successful businessman. One of his hobbies was hunting for wild mushrooms every year during a brief period of time in a specific place after heavy rain. This earns him the nickname of Mushroom Hunter. He didn’t even eat them after he spent hours wandering around in the brush looking for them. Hunter gave them away, as did Owner, who always went along for the search. It was the thrill of the hunt that captivated the Hunter.

Mushroom Hunter and his wife, Patience (who’s still living), acquired a Capuchin monkey about ten years ago. When he came to live with them, Jasper Bottomhugger (hereafter referred to as J.B.), was just a baby. His new “parents” stocked up on Huggies, baby powder, wipes and immediately ordered some outfits specially made for him from a lady in Abilene. I understand he looked fabulous in them.

Eventually, Hunter and Patience abandoned the Huggies when they noticed the diapers were chafing J.B.’s tiny monkey butt. I’m not sure how the potty training went, but I’m assuming they eventually mastered it. I’m certain Owner would have told me had it been a continuing issue. After a while, the outfits weren’t as important, either, because J.B. began acquiring more expensive trinkets.

His first big gift from Hunter and Patience was a Jeep Cherokee. J.B. was allowed to play in the Cherokee whenever his monkey mind was so inclined. When Hunter and Patience took J.B. on his frequent trips to Dairy Queen, they always went in Jasper’s Jeep. Unfortunately, DQ was one of the only restaurants they could take J.B. for a snack or dinner out. The Health Department is so picky about allowing monkeys in eating establishments.

During his formative years, the hours between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. were reserved for J.B. bonding. Mushroom Hunter left his lucrative business for family time. No one, including their two daughters, were allowed to call and interrupt the primate love fest.

J.B. still lives with Patience and, no doubt, misses The Hunter terribly. Since the Mushroom Hunter died, Owner doesn’t spend much time at the family farm. Hunter, along with Owner, were the silver hairs in his life. They were his role models. Sometimes I feel a little sad for him. Then I remember Patience’s dedication to J.B.’s happiness and his many amenities, some of which involved massive additions to the family farm. I’m sure he’s fine.

There are plenty more Jasper Bottomhugger stories to explore. They belong to the chronicle of Crazy Land. Stay tuned.

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