A Sad Day For a Sun Worshiper


Sad dog rain  2016The weather rolled in.  For a dog that is part yellow lab, loves to run and leap. Play in lake and pool.  When it falls from the sky, it’s just wrong.  Not even her favorite toy of a (No longer) stuffed penguin will perk her up to the happy dog that she normally is.

Honey, the honey colored dog sulks like no other puppy we have ever had.  Even the cats don’t hold a candle to the sad look of a dog that misses the sun like a flower in winter.

She can (and does) lay in the sun when it is set on “Roast”.  The only solar-powered dog I have ever owned. I have had some that would lay in the sun, but when it got too hot, the pooch would move to the shade.  Not so the chilly girl.  Heat and sun, that’s her thing.

Sadness falls with rain, as you can see.


The Tongue


Night has come, the darkness and quiet while Two and a half men play on the TV.  Well into the next chapter with the banal show flickering away, I realized it was one of the better episodes with the late-great Michael Clarke Duncan in it.

While I am imagining the world and trying to write, Honey, the big yellow love bug, climbs on the sofa and forces her way behind my back.

“Oof, excuse me, oof OOF! Sorry, I’m in your way? oof.”  Finally she is , sort of settled.

Back to typing, trying to describe a handsome…

UGH! Tongue!  In my ear!

I turn my face to the smiling countenance of the big, boulder-headed dog that cleanses my face with an oversized slurp. Knocking my glasses off.

The back of my neck, behind my ears…all the loving kisses of bribery.

*Sigh* she is not about to do anything more than sit there and let me know she is awake and I am her point of pleasure.

So five minutes of ruination of my shower from earlier. (Everything is better with saliva?) I have another >quick< shower in my immediate future after I write this.

She gives the back of my head, neck, both ears, face a licking that distracts me from this world of horror that is evolving in my head.

Okay okay!  So now she is in control of that sofa cushion, right were she wanted to occupy in the first place.

Now the next thing, how can I get her from her creation of evil smells? I mean, seriously, it’s like a noxious green cloud that exudes up from her tail– and she dares blame the cat!

Not so much the smell, it’s the tearing up of the eyes, I can’t see the screen for typos.

I’ll never win, she does this, and what do I say to her later?

“Good dog.”

Another buzzing sound from under her tail and a doggy grin when I call her on it.

I’d sigh, but that means I have to take a deep breath of the atmospheric poison she cut loose. I should tell her she is violating the Geneva Convention.

Suddenly, two gagging breaths later,  having hermit crabs as pets does not seem like such a bad idea.

The cat in the glass door.


I sit here working on a chapter with dragons and humans, cross species hybrids and the dog is sleeping, snoring like a helicopter taking off and I hear a tap on the door to my little corner of the world.

Now, let me set this up, into my little work area is a nice corner where I can look out a glass door into the back yard.  Often it’s a sigh of “Gotta go out and cut the grass, but then, I get to sit and admire the yard. A copper (real copper!) kettle that serves as a fire pit, gas-powered grill, concrete patio. A pleasant little setup.

to the other end, we have 4 doors leading in.  Two doors from the area of the house I call the “Great Room” The single largest room in the house.  One door is open, allowing traffic in and out.  The other door, normally is open.  It’s about twenty-five feet from the first door mentioned.

Spike the cat, sits at the French Door, at the bottom pane of glass and meows, and meows, …and meows.  To be let in.

Now, I am not one to say my pets are not the brightest bulb in the box, I try to get him to go around.

But he tells me he is STARVING.  And dying of thirst!  He needs out of the room to get to his food and water.

After about twenty minutes of this and me telling him (Like he really understands English) to go around, I get up and open the door.

“THANK YOU THANK YOU! It was a close one, sir.  I nearly starved to death!”

Yeah, right. Okay.

I could feel the breeze blowing through the house as soon as I opened the door, it clicked shut before I had taken my seat again.

Sitting down and typing away about dragons and university, a banging sound comes from the closed glass door.

Spike the cat, once again, was on the wrong side and wanted OUT of the Great Room.

Telling him to go around was a fail. I poked my head through the open door and he trotted over to me.

“Thank you! You are brilliant!”

“Good, now you know the way out.”

Five  minutes later, he is back at the wrong side of the door begging me to let  him out.

I didn’t bother to yell at him, I got up and opened the door and he saunters in, tail up, nodding to the other cat.

Then it dawns on me.

WHO is the one being trained here?


That’s what I thought, too. So I opened the door all the way.

One well-trained human with illusions of being in charge, it is just what the cats want you to think.

Oh well, back to writing, a dark chocolate square about one inch square (about 2.5 cm and 99% cocoa) and bourbon for the evening snack.

Uh, excuse me, I have to let the cat into the kitchen now. (even though it has two doors and one  is open…) I’ll train the cat someday.


Dear Universe: Letters from Dad Chapter 3. Fire Camp Epsilon


Chapter 3. Fire Camp Epsilon

Five years ago:

In the fire camp, designated Epsilon for being the forth in a series, Lieutenant O’Danu dug in his foot-locker for the pen he just dropped. Profanity colored the air around him as he cherished the pen that his wife and daughter had given him.

He had started writing his daughter letters years before. Before she was born even, and had kept at it every time he went out on spike.

Spike, that word that often meant overtime, but also time away from his family.

His own father had said it, often.

‟Family is everything. Spend all the time you can with them, hold their hands. No parenting is worse than bad parenting. Children do not come with wisdom, it is up to you, my son, to teach your own children what is respect to others, teach them inner peace so they may shine with the O’Danu name.”

Lt. O’Danu smiled. The old man had the voice of black clad science fiction villain, sans the wheezing, but the looks of a British super-spy from Scotland.

And he heard his father’s voice daily in his head.

Today, they had off, twenty-four hours on the line, then twelve to twenty-four hours off. The rules in this verdant part of the world were somewhat different from in his home jurisdiction, but he did not mind in the slightest.

His team was the best there was, they had put out fires in the most rugged places on earth, climbed, hiked, cut with the most primitive tools in history.

The ax, rake, hoe and shovel.

Now they were at the bottom of the world, fighting a fire caused by— what he did not know or care — and it was their job to protect the dozen villages and the huge nature reserve.

 Lt. Dennis O’Danu Shook his head at that thought. The nature reserve had more scratchy, bitey things that had toxins in them that would drop a firefighter in his footsteps if it were not for locals that accompanied the fire teams to warn them. Hot Shots, Strike Teams, Fire Crews, whatever the label that their respective departments put on them, whether it was federal, state, royal or even a few private agencies, they were all professionals working towards one final goal. Well, except for the Her Royal Princess’s Fire Control teams, they worked towards promised medals of heroism.

For the rest of the firefighters? All they wanted, was to go home.

In this nation where cats were bigger than motorcycles and serpents deadlier than a wife’s angry glare, they all held on to the brotherhood of the service while they broke their tools and sweat in their effort in this fire that covered nearly four-hundred square miles.

Nomex with the colors of his team, gold and green, the Iron Canyon Kings were a storied and experienced direct attack fire handcrew. No assignments they failed, should they need to hike in, fly in or take a boat to deploy and cut vegetation down to bare mineral soil, they did their job and went home.

And they performed such tasks with speed that no one could better for a twelve-member crew.

At last!

A shine, there between to tightly folded shirts, the hint of gold-colored metal. He stored his badge away in the side panel, so that was not it.

Reaching down, his fingers closed around the shaft of the fat ballpoint pen, a gift for Father’s Day. It was one that he kept with him, in his journals, always.

Sitting down, he had an hour before he had to sleep, he was sure he could get a page of a letter written to each of his girls at home.

‟Dear Family…”