Bear Makes Great Catch – Should Play for the Tigers!


During a recent trip to a park in Seattle known for its “waving bears,”  these motorists had an awesome encounter.  A giant grizzly, who had perfected his begging, was sitting up on his haunches, looking for an easy mark.  He was very close to the road and only a few strands of electric fencing kept him in check.

It wasn’t long before the couple in this 24 second video fell prey to his shenanigans.

They stopped the car and waved. Sure enough, Yogi waves back.  He even flashed them a teddy bear smile. This guy knew how to work it and before long, the passenger was putty in his hands.  She disobeyed every “Don’t Feed The Bears” sign and flipped him a hunk of bread. Incredibly, the bear reached out with his catcher’s mitt, like a pro, and snagged it.  CUTENESS OVERLOAD as they all share a special moment.  Click on the orange type below – to see it all go down.

Great Catch

Harriet and The Night the Animals Talked


Part 5…Harriet’s story continued from Rescue 911

Have you heard about the legend, The Night the Animals Talked? According to Norwegian folklore, the baby Jesus was born at the stroke of midnight with only Mary and Joseph and a menagerie of stable animals as witnesses to the sacred occasion. The animals gathered round and watched as the babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And then an astonishing thing happened. God gave voice to the animals that night and they began to praise Him for the miracle they had witnessed. Their ability to talk only lasted a matter of minutes – until the shepherds came to worship the Savior. At their entrance the animals fell silent.

This legend of talking animals persists in Scandinavian countries to this day. It is believed that, at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, animals are given the gift of speech.   For 20 years, every Christmas Eve when we get home from Midnight mass, I look forward to walking up the stone path to the barn where our animals are.  Ever since my children were small, I told them that the animals could talk on the night our savior was born and invited them to come with me.  They were too tired from visiting grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and stuffing their faces with holiday bread and ham and kielbasa and thinking about their stockings over the fireplace and setting out cookies and milk for Santa, that never once did they join me.

So, I’ve always taken this time, on Christmas Eve, to think about the first nativity and how Mary and Joseph must have felt.  I sit on a straw bale surrounded by goats who don’t understand, birds who look down from their nests in the rafters, and mice who, on occasion, have run over my shoe as I sit and give thanks in a deeply personal way.  I’ve taken a lot of flack for sitting out in that cold barn imagining the first Christmas.  But let me tell you, there is no more peaceful place on earth than being engulfed in a twinkling black night, filled with stars and being kept warm by animals that nibble your shoe laces and try to pick your pockets, hoping for a carrot.  Every exhale is visual in the cold air and our mingled breaths floated up and slowly dissipated.

Harriet has spent five Christmas Eves tied up in a stable.  I’d like to believe that she could talk to the other dogs she was imprisoned with.  My hope is that they all, on this special night, were comforted.

Tonight, after all the gift giving hoopla and the feasting is over, Harriet and I are are walking down the lane to our big, red barn to sit on a straw bale so I can tell her about her new forever home and the sister who is waiting and how all of her Christmases and all of the rest of her days will be merry and bright.



Anastasia Beaverhausen

Dogs are not allowed indoors at an elite pheasant and deer hunting ranch called Muy Grande Resort that we stayed at with friends in northern Michigan, near Hillman.  Since I knew the temps were going down to 31 degrees and my child my German Shorthaired Pointer wasn’t about to be kenneled on a straw bed outside, I brought Remi’s trailer so she could be comfortable and warm at night with Mommy.    Her master slept on silk sheets in this 40,000 square foot ridiculous log complex that came with a 24 hour chef and all the high end liquor you could pour.  We rubbed elbows with guests from around the country who had sharpened their storytelling and colorful yarns so well that these sportsmen could make a fisherman blush.  (The light on my bullshit detector was glowing red by the end of the night.)

The Man Cave lockers were filled with double barreled shotguns.  Yellow, green and red shotgun shells were lined up in a roll call above, in the cubbies.  Leather couches were arranged so that the men could engage in bold faced  lies as they guzzled booze–and still not miss a massive buck passing by.  Oil cloth Filson jackets and buffalo checked Stormy Kromers hung from pegs.  The whole place stunk like an Old Spice commercial.  After a few martinis, we were ready to pick from the spa menu and, as Kings of the World,  order up Sean Connery rub downs and mani/pedi combos.

Fall colors were peaking and we saw many deer  in this high fence operation scoring in the 200 range.  Every man walked around trying to hide his big boner.  This was easier for some men than others,  just ask Anastasia Beaverhausen, whose husband, she claimed, after her third Appletini, was hung like a horse.  Oh, we were bad.  We laughed and lost ourselves in luxury until…

my Airstream’s thermostat quit.  31 degrees, remember?  It was a three dog night and I had one dog.  The extra blankets I carry on board were deployed and we toughed it out.  I could see my breath.   I spent the better part of the next day trying not to bash the thermostat with a hammer as its digital E7 error code popped up with every button combination I tried.  In desperation,  I googled an online site called  It cost me $32 in tech support.

The first thing the tech texted me was, “Do you have the Dometic CC2 model?”  I went over and looked. I am not stupid.   I texted him back, “There is no writing on it.  I’m a girl.  It is a rectangle and it is white.”  So, knowing it was a lost cause, he texted me back,   “Just unplug it, wait five minutes, and plug it back in.”  Best $32 I ever spent.

Three Strike Rule


My 19 lb. kevlar canoe had been enjoying a 3,500 mile ride through both the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Badlands/Big Horn Mountain Range perched on top of my Chevrolet Tahoe and it was paddled, finally, on String Lake in the Grand Tetons near Jackson Hole, WY.

After more than three weeks of watching wild sunflowers roll by, I caught a deafening tailwind in Nebraska with gusts of up to 40 mph on top of steady blowing prairie wind.   I was rolling 68 mph on a desolate highway in the middle of the great plains when a great gust caught the canoe, she flexed, and the straps blew out.  All I could do was look in my driver’s side mirror and watch her sail skyward, up and over the opposing lane.  I pulled my whole rig to an emergency stop, one quarter of a mile up the road.  (My biggest fear was that the canoe had dented the Airstream on its way to greener pastures)

Highway flashers were on, and I was out, running back to see if the canoe was in one piece.  She was laying there provocatively, splayed out among the wildflowers, on her side, and not a care in the world.  I cussed her out and hoisted her up on my shoulder to start the trek back to the truck on “The Walk of Shame” in the 97 degree Nebraska sun, counting my lucky stars.  This time I strapped her down extremely tight and added another line in a criss-cross for “insurance.”  Several cars went by, but not one car stopped to offer any help.  If I were 30 years younger and wearing a pair of daisy dukes and a wet tee shirt, I guarandamntee ya I would have had help.

Un-freaking-believeable…after merging back onto the highway, it was only ten miles before the Bitch blew off again in the God forsaken Nebraska wind.   I knew I had cinched her down tight and right.  So, in disbelief, I set the flashers again and headed back out into the scorching heat and rattlesnake grass to see if my luck held out.   There she lay, tickled pink,  three football fields back, laughing at me in the tall prairie grass.  The Whore.

I was hot and I was pissed.  I said to no one there, “Why you green Bitch…one more time, and I don’t care if you are broken or not, you are staying in the ditch.”  Because Eff-U.  It was a scorcher in the sun, I was sweaty as Hell,  and my trucker mouth was going 100 mph.

That’s when I heard a little whinny.  A horse.  It was a chestnut brown gelding with a strong Roman nose and a triple 7 brand on his left hip.  His mane was rich cocoa colored and tattered.

There was a flash of a lone star belt buckle as a cowboy I had just passed on a cattle drive dismounted.  He had a greying mustache and deep lines around his steely blue eyes.  I caught the scent of sweaty leather and rolled tobacco with each wind shift.  Without a word (cowboys don’t talk much) he picked up my canoe and started back toward the flashing lights.  I drooled along after him–and his horse!

Together, we put the boat back up top and after looking at my set up, his hands went to work on a knot that he said, “Would do the trick.”  (I think that is all he ever said)   When it was done, I walked around the truck, inspecting.  Before I could thank him proper, he had vanished.  My eyes followed a galloping dust trail in time to watch him stop, look back, and  reach up to tip the sweat stained brim on his Stetson.  That’s when it dawned on me that I had met the Marlboro Man.

Somewhere out there, under a Stevie Wonder sky, pierced by all the stars in the Milky Way, is a man who just doused his evening campfire, confident that this little lady made it home just fine.



Casseroles Need to Die


When compared to traditional dinners featuring a roasted meat, potato, and a vegetable, casseroles don’t stand a chance. Have you had a pork roast slathered in tuscan oil and topped with fresh herbs complimented by a roasted sweet potato and green beans baked with Lipton brown gravy and onion soup mix sprinkeld on top?  OMG

Invented at the same time as TV tray tables in the 70′s (another mistake) –casseroles have worn out their welcome.  They all involve cheese as a flavor cover-up and  feature five ingredients or less.  Kill me now.

Break out two chicken breasts on the George Foreman grill and sautee some mushrooms in butter on the stove top to pour over the them.  Done.  What could be easier?  Add Idahoan instant mashed potatoes and nuke a package of  frozen niblets corn.   Beat that Mr. Casserole.  The gauntlet is thrown.

The casserole is grossly over rated.

For the love of God, stop.


Birth Days


How sweet is it that my youngest son and my mother share the same birthday?  May 16.  How coincidental is it that my brother’s son and my father share the same birthday too?  October 16.  In our family, Grandma and Grandpa both have grandsons born on their birthdays.  However, my nephew ratchets it up a notch:  he has the same exact name as my father.  Good times on for future generations!


THE BIRTHDAY CAKE  ~by Victoria Chase

What goes into a birthday cake?

Sift and stir, and beat and bake

A cake that must be grand and fine

For a great big boy of nearly nine!


“What will he be when he grows up?”

High hopes are raised on the rolling board!

Fond, foolish memories that mothers hoard,

And love too full for a measuring cup!


Quick fear for the hurts the future holds,

Fierce anger, too, for the men of might

Who leave a world of pain and fright

As a heritage for nine-year-olds!


What goes into a birthday cake?

Sugar and salt, and smiles and tears,

Butter and eggs, and hopes and fears.

Sift and stir, and beat and bake;

That’s what goes into a birthday cake!


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