Sugar Momma

Last time he went out, he slept in a cave. So a simple fire should be a piece of cake.

Ever since his wallet filled with identification, cash, and pictures of his wife burned to the ground in an outpost cabin in Canada along with his U.S. Passport, I’ve been making calls to the United States Consulate in Vancouver to figure out how to get my husband back into the States.  I’m kind of thinking about leaving him there, but someone has to take out the garbage on Wednesdays.

What I learned from the agents is that I am married to a man who is technically destitute.  They have a label for people overseas who have lost their passports and money and now John has been labeled destitute.  He doesn’t know this yet.  When he gets out of the bush and heads to the U.S. Consulate in the rental car that (I hope!) is full of gas, he will learn the ugly truth.  He will have to stand in the “destitute” line:  I can’t get enough of that word –and he will figure out real quick who his Sugar Momma is.

Yes, I’m laughing.   In hindsight, he probably should have paid more attention to the American Express slogan, “Never leave home without it.”  Hopefully the outfitter he is with is still feeding him and will probably fill up his car with gas and give him lunch money and tell him not to talk to strangers.   Sugar Momma is working the deal on this end, and somehow, this big swamp buck hunter will get home in one piece.  No fear.

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

When my husband goes on a hunting trip, we have a deal.  Don’t call home from the bush unless something is wrong.  I’m confident that when my man is dressed in camouflage with pockets full of bullets and his tootsies are flanked in Sorel Conquest boots, that something is going to die.

He left Michigan two days ago.  Today my phone rang, his ID popped up, and my heart sunk.  I answered the phone with one question, “What’s wrong?”

He was out on the mountain range in British Columbia, about five hour’s drive north of Vancouver, hunting a lynx.  His guide noticed blue smoke on the horizon and left John to “go check it out.”  It was a warmer day and he was dressed lightly:  no need for the heavy parkas, the Kelty backpacking frame, or things like money and identification.  They were off grid, catching cats.  In the meantime, John spotted several sheep, a bobcat, and some wild horses.

When the guide returned, his face was ashen.  The entire outpost cabin had burned to the ground.  All they had left were the clothes on their backs and nightfall was coming.  Both men made it back somehow to the outfitter’s homestead in Lilliooet, where they lit a fire and started making calls.

My husband is very resourceful.

He will find clean underwear.

He will find or make all necessary outerwear.   He will come home with a lynx.

As long as he has a firearm and no broken bones, I’m good with it.

Tomorrow I will start calling his not-so-favorite entity: the federal government, to find out how to get him back into the country without a passport, any money, a driver’s license, or a credit card.    I sure hope they don’t look at his Facebook posts or this could be a very long process!

#totallyscrewed

I Want to Be My Dog

June 2011 30275

Every day I love on my dog, Remi, and whisper sweet bits and encouragement into her ear.  Can you kiss a dog too much?  Then there are days when I cup her flabby cheeks in my hands, look into her eyes with pure adoration, and get rewarded with an audible “toot” and a nasal assault that makes me jump off the couch and run.

We begin and end each day the same way:  cuddled up under a mountain of blankies, stuck together like peas and carrots.  Now I’m not saying I’ve never sought revenge with the ‘ol Dutch Oven trick, but overall, we get by just fine.  Most mornings start out obnoxiously.  I play dead, hoping she will go back to sleep, and she escalates bad behaviors that begin with staring at me while I’m fake sleeping, pawing at my boobs (which generally gets me to at least move in an act of self-preservation) and ends up with her trying to sit on my head.  She knows no shame.

We go out to check and feed the chickens and goats.  This is when she takes a hot, steaming dump in the side yard, close enough to the pathway, that I get to smell it.  Then we go “running”.  She runs, I drive.  Once she has ticked a couple of miles, I can escape to run errands, drive tractors, or go to work.  If she even thinks I am leaving her behind, she cowers down at my back tires, pulling a Helen Keller, and doesn’t respond to any commands.  I have to go out there, tell her to knock it off, and give her a quick boot in the butt.

Here’s the problem:  the whole time I am away, I want to be back home with the dumb-dumb.  I want to feel her soft head against my cheek, hold her in my lap, or breathe in her incredible great smell.  Does anyone else love to smell their dog’s ears and paws?

Slo-Mo Run

Finally, I roll up the driveway and, there in the window glass,  I spy a white, wiggling body and an intent brown head staring at me with huge chocolate eyes.   She is saved. Each time.   That’s how dogs think–that you are leaving them forever.  There is a flurry of hugs and kisses and greetings in my Mommy sing-song voice followed up with a stop at the treat jar and fifty shades of fetch.

Reunited, we settle into evening routines.  Remi watches me cook, hoping I drop something, and I always do.  If it is summer time, we go out to the lake after dinner and she goes swimming. Mmmm…wet dog smell.   In the winter, we go for another run with the car.  In between, we go camping as much as we can and hike the north woods together.  She has a little plaid jacket to wear around the campfires on cool nights and a life jacket to wear when we are out fishing on the boat.  Then there are days when we paddle our canoe.  She is my Lieutenant Dan. 

Of course, Daddy is her hero.  She sees him 1/10th of her day, but as soon as he walks in the door, I’m reduced to douche bag status.  She hopes he is going bird hunting.  Every day.  Every time.  watch?v=3TB5p6D-V9s&feature=youtu.be

It dawned on me that Remi has the perfect life.  She even has a big chest and a little behind that would make Pamela Anderson jealous.  There are no little kids in our home to pull what is left of her tail, there’s an endless supply of love, holes to dig, fields to run, and lots of vacations.  In my next life, I want to be my dog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Good As It Gets

Had a hot date with a coupla 20 lb. King Salmons last weekend, river kings,  which were spawning in the Big Manistee River on the west side of the state.  These fish are about four years old and are returning up stream to spawn and die after having lived and matured in Lake Michigan.  They are silver and shiny (like Airstreams!) when they are growing but by the time they swim up river, they become dark speckled, splotched and blackish as their flesh rots away in the dying process.  The life cycle of salmon is gruesome.  Google it.

Lance, proprietor of Scout Trout Charters, just might be the best river man on the waters up there.  I say that, because he handled his boat and the waterway AND my meltdown with grace.  Yes, I had a full blown meltdown/breakdown.  These fish broke me.  They beat me up and  I cried like a little girl when I lost ANOTHER one of them after a good fight.  I tried not to let it happen.  I bit my lip.   I tried to think happy thoughts.  Then, flushed with humiliation, heat rising off my cheeks, the dam broke and the crocodile tears just kept rolling down.  Did I mention Leroy?  He fishes with Adam in the big Lake Michigan tournaments.  It was a “special” moment for him too.   I might be smiling in the pictures, but it was a rough day.

The guys tried to give me a “charity rod”–one where they had done the actual hooking and were willing to let me reel the fish in. You know, “just the tip, just for a minute, to see how it feels.”   I shot Lance “the look” and he backed right down.  Because no. Because hell no.   That’s way too lame for a grown woman who owns her own bass boat even if she is beet red, busted, and sniffling with snots.

The difference between pan fishing and salmon fishing is like the difference between a high school football player and an NFL player.  Salmon fishing is true sport fishing.  The rest is all practice.  The rods and reels are awkward and heavy.  River salmon fishing is a combination of catching a drift as one does with a fly rod but also casting using a bait caster.  For me, everything was on the wrong side of my body.  The reel was on top and needed to be cranked with the right hand–totally opposite of a spinning rod.  I lost more fish than I got.

In an act of conservation, we let all the ladies go to lay their eggs.  We kept three big males, each between 15 – 18 lbs.  That’s six sides which feeds 12 people and that’s as good as it gets on this trip.

I lied.  The best part was afterwards, when I climbed into the back seat of Lance’s truck, and saw this sticker.

Going Up?

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Elevated English

Every now and again, using my honed and boned up arsenal of persuasion words, I ratchet it up notch just to get a little tingle up my leg.  It is a high to successfully use my brain in conjunction with my mouth.  I should do it more often.

Throw in a few practiced looks and the occasional wink, and watch how the receiver then ups his word game.  Keep it going and the unprepared will eventually falter (wherein all snickers must be retained).

Extrapolate, Excoriate, Exacerbate and Masticate…

Innocuous, Synergy, Visceral

Fluid or Fluctuate, not Change.  Change is a nickle word.

Heinous, Innocuous

Let’s be Pithy

Supercilious

ubiquitous

The eff word is abused, misused, over used and bastardized.  Any back door Santa, adept with a word arsenal,  knows dalliance or osculation will do.  You get more with a little sugar.  Enjoy the ride.

 My Words of Mass Construction! 

 

 

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;

And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 


And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

                                                                                  ~ W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

     

I relate to this poet in that day or night, his mind is always on its way “home” to a quiet lake where he yearns to be.  Earlier today, Remi and I left civilization behind and braved the spring gusts to commune at  Walden’s Pond.  It is a four acre lake hidden on our farm.  There Remi dug holes until her white underbelly was camouflaged by dirt.  She splish-splashed her way along the frigid shore, hunting the plops that frogs make.

There I found a place to quiet my mind and marveled at the new life beginning to spring.  We found tiny buds sprouting on prickly bushes and delicate purple petals bursting past the marsh grasses up toward the sun.  Sadly, I found the remains of a yearling that did not survive the state record snowfall we suffered this year.  Even in death there is beauty in the woods  when considering that this deer, through flesh, blood and bone,  has given strength to other animals in the circle of life.

One day I will live the dream that is this poem, leaving behind schedules, conflicts, and scheduling conflicts! to live out my golden years in a bee-loud glade.  My canoe will rest on the bank and, under it, you’ll find my trusty fishing pole.

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