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DustyRoad last won the day on November 11

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About DustyRoad

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    American Southwest
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    Learning how to be patient and endure.

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  1. The lady has been pining for turkey so that's what happened today: we baked one and had at it. After the deed was done and I cleaned things up I treated my puppy boy to the drippings and stowed away a little something for the other dogs (I'll add it to their meals tomorrow). He and I have been together close to three years now and this dog never ceases to amaze me. He's a moose … he'll pass two hundred pounds this year at the rate he's going. Anatolian Shepherds (his mom was one) can sometimes grow to tremendous size and my puppy boy is a great example of one. They're athletic working dogs, bred for independent thinking which explains the canine parkour these dogs engage in frequently. If I lock the gate and I happen to be sick … or suffering in some other way … then he finds a way to overcome the gate and the fence in a way which leaves me shaking my head (he jumped up on the roof of the barn and ran across, jumping down on the other side which gave him access to me). You know what? I'd need a welded cage to keep that guy put! Oh yes, he got in trouble for tearing a gate off the hinges. Argh! He bent the hardware which made it useless … off to the store to buy more. He was a good boy and stopped doing that, opting to tear fence off fenceposts instead. He'd grab hog panel with his teeth and give it a pull … you know how dogs love to pull! He's an oaf! I wanted to be mad at him... really, I did. No, I couldn't be mad at him because when it comes to me he's still the same puppy we brought home three years ago. He stole our hearts right away; he was one of a few snow-white littermates (mom and dad were snow-white themselves). He has all of the traits you want in a livestock guardian dog … he gets along just fine with the goats and they like him just fine. Most of the herd grew up along with him. Here's a good way to sum up his personality for the reader: he loved the meter reader when he came to visit. He loves the guys that we're giving odd jobs to do and enjoys pestering them for attention. Yes, that's the reason why I have to keep these dogs behind fences when work is being done outdoors. They're persistent and will wiggle and poke their way into whatever you're doing because you're supposed to drop everything and give them a tummy rub. The lady has used him to walk when she's in great pain from a fall. She grabs hold of the dog and leans her weight on him while they walk … he matches her pace as long as she leans on him … it's neat to watch. He's wonderful with her! I decided to put my puppy boy on permanent yard duty so he's close enough to us both for the antics to cease. This has indeed calmed him down greatly, to the point where his adult personality has finally emerged. He enjoys plopping down on the porch to serenely watch the world go by. He's a sweetheart.
  2. Agreed! Amazing how Christ, when he was walking here a very long time ago, set the woman of John 8 free. There's also the case of the Samaritans and the woman at the well (she had five husbands) of the fourth chapter of John's gospel, where we read how many believed in Christ because of her testimony. He's the same today as he was 2,000 years ago.
  3. They're good for three zaps max --- after that the plastic catch fails and you can chuck it. I've used them here and they work fine but let's keep in mind the sort of mouse trapping I have to do. The mousepocalypse begins when I hear the little creeps squeaking at night! Time for traps! Now you know why the ravens love me.
  4. On the serious side of things I did some volunteer work for an animal shelter when I lived in Southern CA. Most of the occupants were dogs and cats but all manner of creatures showed up on their doorstep, like the occasional litter of rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and so forth. Here's the biggest issue with keeping them as pets: even under the safe conditions of captivity rodents don't live that long. A healthy rat can live to the ripe old age of three though most die not long after their 2nd year of life. Respiratory ailments like pneumonia and cancer are common killers. Captive mice look at roughly the same lifespan.
  5. Buddy squeaketh no more; yea, Jawz fell upon him and killed him until he was dead and lived no longer.
  6. Time for a confession: I have a hard time with jokes. Some of them are easy but others leave me wondering: should I laugh or should I cry instead? My dear friend and brother in the Lord shared his favorite joke in the world once. He wasn't aware of it but this one took me a while to appreciate. Here it is: "When I die, I want to go like my grandfather: in his sleep, not screaming and yelling like his passengers."
  7. This is probably a bad time to share a joke I heard a while ago, I guess. I'll check back later.
  8. Hello! … said the raven? Now is as good a time as any to share another story from the life God has given me. The bulk of my neighbors aren't of the human persuasion and so they either walk around on four legs or in the case of my feathered friend the raven, soar on the winds which buffet and shape this place. These birds navigate the storms which arise up here making it look all too easy! I'm aware that ravens along with crows have garnered a less than savory reputation as feisty scavengers which indeed they are in the suburban as well as urban setting. It's my pleasure to inform you that here in the high desert, the ravens have distinguished themselves as good neighbors. They prey upon the burgeoning rodent population as well as snakes when the situation presents itself. Once again in defiance of established norms (they can be agricultural pests!), the ravens here don't visit the gardens or the greenhouse. They leave the produce alone. A super-colony of ravens --- the only term I can think of to describe this horde of permanent residents --- dominates the skies here and so I live inside of their territory. They aren't put out by my presence at all and in fact seem fond of social calls. The birds have treated us (the lady and me) to a secret assortment of their calls, sounds neither of us have heard from birds like these before. Cheerful ravens? Oh yes! They're delightful and wonderful to have around. They possess a sense of humor which I discovered for myself (the point of this rambling story). Ravens who talk aren't unheard of so what were the odds that out of hundreds of these feathered next-door neighbors, one would prove to be a talker? The benefit of hindsight guides my narrative. Every once in a while the raven perched on the fencepost was this tremendous bird, easily twice the size of the others. He was beautiful to look at and he was very interested in the lady and me, no doubt because we feed the colony during mouse invasions (they're awful out here). He'd ruffle his feathers and emit the most pleasing warbling call, a song we've since identified as communication between mates. This raven and his mate chose to nest in trees next to the house every year; we listen to them calling to each other in the trees during warmer weather. That is how I theorize the raven mastered the vagaries of the lady's voice, becoming so adept at mimicking her that he fooled me on multiple occasions. He and his mate lived just outside of the window for years, observing us day and night... he even learned my name! The typical scenario: there I am, peacefully tending to affairs when out of the blue I hear the lady calling my name outside. I drop everything and head out there, tracking her down only to find that she never uttered a word. Was I feeling okay? Was I worrying too much about her again? A few days later it would happen all over again and so there I was, standing before the lady who clearly wasn't behind the summons. Why would she pull a stunt like that in light of everything we'd been through? Nope, I knew she wasn't behind this, Worthy. I had my suspicions... I was certain of one thing, the latter being my hunch at the time: I wasn't imagining what I was hearing and I suspected the ravens might be behind it! Oh ho! It started adding up: There was always a raven somewhere nearby: check! This was within the ream of possibility for these birds: check! It's easy for a raven to conceal themselves in the juniper thickets which choke this place: check! The big one was fascinated with me: check. The prank would happen once every few days. After the list above was simmering on the backburner of my mind I stopped falling for the ploy and worked to discover the location of the prankster. I would expose this fiend and bring him to justice! This required subterfuge on my part, of course. It wouldn't do to give the operation away and so I had to play the part, running around looking for the lady who was clearly in distress! Hehe, it didn't take long to root him out... 'Twas the raven calling out my name in yonder thicket for I caught him in the very act. Once he spied me spying him the gig was up and so my feathered friend whooshed out of the juniper and sailed to perch on top of his favorite fencepost. He looked at me and went through the routine again, screaming out my name in the lady's voice. Ruffling his feathers, he took flight and sailed away into the sky. LOL! Fast-forward a few years later when I emerged outdoors on a glorious Spring day to greet the dogs. "Hello!" I said while they made their joyful beeline for me. Just as my puppy boy arrived the giant raven suddenly swooshed mere feet away with his underside facing us. He looked right at me as he zoomed by and said "Hello!," swerving up to land on top of fencepost nearby. "Hello!" the raven said again, taking off to swoosh away to another more distant perch. After landing he cried out "Hello!" before taking off one last time, sailing out of sight just like that day when I exposed his prank years before. Yes, cheerful ravens.
  9. The Trespasser It's been a fortuitous morning here where I live. The youngest of two livestock guardian dogs I reared cracks me up with her antics (that one's a character!) and so here I go, remembering that summer day over three years ago when a fellow who was up to no good met the dogs who watch over this place. Oh, and he met the goats they protect too. Earlier during Spring he had been politely but resolutely informed to never return and that his face in the vicinity wouldn't work out so well for him on account of the dogs and how they felt about his stock and trade. They know who's welcome and who's not and they also distinguish the differences between someone who is friendly (they love meeting new people), lost and/or confused (folks get lost out here frequently), or a thief who is seeking to advance their professional development (a shiftless skunk, in other words). The dogs didn't like this man precisely because he is the latter, friends. They sniffed this out long before we did! Here's the story of how three of these dogs (and the goats, not to forget about them) handled an attempted incursion by this shifty dude on their own without harm being to done to all creatures involved … crooked or otherwise! On that day I was roused when all three dogs engaged in alert barking. These livestock guardian dogs only bark that way to capture my attention so whatever it was, I needed to head out there and deal with it ASAP. I'm so thankful that I didn't follow through and remained concealed, Worthy. Oh yes … I simply could not believe my eyes while I watched it unfold and through it all I witnessed the magnificent heart of these dogs on display … oh, and I also watched the goats play their part, too! I walked outdoors and immediately caught sight of the commotion at the gate and so I assumed a concealed position from which I could evaluate the situation. Ah, there he was: the fellow who was warned to stay away, hehe. He decided to pay us a social call and so he was standing there calling out the lady's name over and over again. Between this man and my concealment in the juniper (they grow like weeds but provide excellent cover) were the three dogs and they weren't pleased at all. They were confronting this shifty man with only one fence separating them (uh oh!) and so right away I started evaluating them instead of the guy. Oh yes, those dogs could sail over the fence in the blink of an eye. I know what they're capable of. They exonerated themselves marvelously that day, Worthy! After he was certain no humans were present on the property the dude's demeanor changed. He walked up to the side of the gate and started climbing over the outer fence when suddenly, all three dogs exploded in a display of foaming mouths and horrific barking! I almost blew my cover because they scared the daylights out of me! My heart was hammering in my chest when I noticed the effect this was having on the Trespasser... He shouted in fear! Fumbling his perch upon the boundary fence, he tumbled down on to the gravel road (ouch), knocking his head on a crossbeam on the way down (ugh!). He scrambled on his hands and knees like a madman to his truck in a cloud of dust and pebbles, cursing and crying for his life! The moment the Trespasser reached his truck on the road, the three terrifying dogs were still once more. They returned to watching him quietly. I … must … not … laugh. Nor should I walk out into the open and mercifully send this man on his way because no doubt about it, this was something which shouldn't be missed. No way! I remained concealed, the realization of what was going down giving me a horrible case of the giggles. It's a good thing I learned how to swallow the giggles when I was a private in Basic Training because it sure paid off that day. The thief looked at the dogs and pleaded his case with them at the gate. "Oh come on!," the fellow cried out. "You used to like me!" He decided to try it again. There the thief went to that particular spot which is easy for humans to pass through and the moment his body contacted the fence, the dogs surpassed their previous display of ferocity which of course sent the man howling and cussing back to the passenger door of his truck! Just like the last time, the dogs returned to silently watching when he relented of the attempt to enter this place. He stood there for quite some time really, mumbling inaudibly to himself and carrying on like a lunatic. He kicked the gravel road … he kicked one of the tires of his truck … he staggered in front and leaned against the grill looking at the dogs while they watched him. Keeping his eyes fixed on the dogs, the thief walked over to that spot and, reaching out to touch the fence with his index finger, stopped and quickly withdrew when the youngest of the three (the most human-savvy by far) growled at him for it. Tossing his hands into the air with disgust, the thief returned to brooding at the hood of his truck until some unexpected visitors arrived to complicate matters. Yes, the goat herd on the trespasser's side of the fence overheard the dogs carrying on and so they arrived from their leisurely afternoon dining (they're awesome at destroying weeds!) to watch affairs from a distance. Goats are insufferably nosy and enjoy watching the dogs who protect them do their thing. They also know that humans either carry food on them or they can offer them access to food which they like eating very much. Oh yes, goats enjoy tasty food and on this day the Trespasser was fair game to the herd who had been watching things from a distance (I wasn't the only one that day, lol!). They had to find out if this would-be thief had any food! Onward the goats came in a chorus of jingling bells heading straight for the Trespasser who was beside himself with grief at the gate. The dogs weren't so hospitable in their treatment of his request for entry but once he caught sight of the goat herd coming straight for him, the Trespasser cried out once more with fright! "AAAAAAH!" "Oh no, shoo you goats! Shoo! Go away! Noooooo! This place is crazy!!!!" he cried, and by this point I should mention that I was audibly laughing though I doubt he could have heard me by then. Each time he shooed the goats away they turned right back around in their classic circle tactic and came right back to him. Yes, they wanted to know what he was carrying in his pockets. Was there any food in his truck? Is it okay if some of us climb on your truck, mister? We're goats and goats like climbing on things whenever possible! And oh yes, goats also like humans because we know humans have FOOD!!! The thief rushed for the driver's side of his truck, ranting about how this entire place was cursed and insane. He took off in a great cloud of dust and gravel, leaving those poor goats wondering if he ever did have anything tasty to eat. The dogs, of course, proved themselves beyond reproach and together with the goats (lol) they provided me with this fine tale to share with you all on the forum. I'm so glad I remained hidden so all of that could play out.
  10. Hi @ContinuingCorletta! It wasn't that long ago when I was faced with such concerns myself. What's fun, and what isn't? Here goes … I've shared a few stories of life out here on the forums, events which as zany and outlandish as they might seem are nevertheless the truth. "The Trespasser" is probably the best example of how things transpire out here sometimes... yep, insane. Remembering that day still reduces me to tearful laughter! One of the five dogs who lives here happens to be a super-sized clown. He loves me so much he pulls all manner of stunts which often leave me howling with laughter. He learned how to open doors as a puppy and so what does he do now? He opens doors for other dogs, of course. Another one of those five dogs has decided that it's her duty to follow me everywhere and pester me for attention. She's so terrifically cute (like a teddy bear), how can I resist? It's impossible to get any work done outdoors if she isn't prevented from stalking me. Halp! This is the life God gave to me sister so I'll add my voice to others and answer yes, there's no doubt that the Lord intends for us to have fun. As for what fun should look like? I live in a farm setting so that's one example of what fun looks like. Watching the dogs and the livestock chase off a trespasser or confronting my adorable canine minion when she decides to abscond with car keys, boxes of Kleenex, or a sleeve of crackers is what I do for fun out here! I don't like giggling at the misfortune of others unless the one who experienced that is laughing about it themselves. Laugh with those who laugh and comfort those who weep. I'm not aware of any hard, fast rules Corletta, so I think we ought to judge things as we're led by the Lord.
  11. Many of you have been praying for the lady and me so I thought I'd offer a report before resuming the day. It's short-sleeve weather with the temperature in the 60's. When the sun shines up here, it's strong. So much has happened since I've joined Worthy I couldn't possibly write it all down. That represents two months. Two months! Soon after I joined the forum it occurred to me: how long has it been since my birth in Spirit? I never wrote the day and date down (didn't think it was necessary) and so I was stumped … until I recalled everything that led up to the Lord doing this. Aha! I had a lengthy phone conversation with the man who preached the gospel to me ages ago. That was in early June according to my call log so it's been a little over five months. I've been a Christian since then. During this time I've discovered something else worth mentioning. Of course I read the scriptures many times before … didn't understand them at all. Just because my eyes captured the words and my brain found them intelligible doesn't mean I had a clue. Which leads me to the only passages I seemed to get. I have a special place in my heart for Agur the son of Jakeh. What he wrote in the 30th chapter of the book of Proverbs constitutes the only part of the scriptures I grasped: The words of Agur the son of Jakeh; the revelation: the man says to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal: “Surely I am the most ignorant man, and don’t have a man’s understanding. I have not learned wisdom, neither do I have the knowledge of the Holy One." Agur's words were the first planted in me but the book of Job was where the Lord led me after he saved my life. I spent two years revisiting Job, never making it past Job's first lament (chapter 3) because the words left me speechless. I reeled because the words were somewhat like my own... I feel a bit dense for writing that God delivered me because in reality, he delivers me. I'm in his hands so my gross incompetence (I couldn't find my way out an outhouse in the woods driving a bulldozer) and frailty don't matter a bit … because the Lord continues to deliver me and I live according to his will and power, not my own. God's grace cannot be expressed with our words. We can try, but we know how they fall short. You have brought me and the lady comfort, friends. The Lord answers your prayers! She tells me that she's not going to give up and this is music to my ears. I know she belongs to God … like you do. Here's some of the fruit of your prayers. Medicare finally provided transportation so the lady can reach her appointments reliably, leaving me free to focus on keeping the place in working order. This helps immensely! Ah, but one day her usual driver didn't show up … you'll love who took his place. After she came home that day I heard all about the clean-cut, friendly and professional driver who had bags stuffed full of clothes and blankets inside of the car. He looked for homeless people and thrust those into their arms. This guy is a Christian. Yes! I'll get right to it so you can share in this with me. Here's what he said to the lady when they parted ways for the day: she's a Christian but doesn't know it yet! Yeah, I slipped up and told her that myself before. God is so good.
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