Skunk Attack!

     On one of the coldest days of the year “Puppy” did the unthinkable to me again!  Per our usual routine, I get dressed for the cold, go out to the garage and fill up a bucket with sweet feed for the cows.  Puppy races out of the garage and heads for the tall grass in the pasture as I walk along the fence  line scattering the feed.  I notice the cows are not coming through the gate opening to eat.  Strange.  They are usually running over each other to get to the sweet stuff!  Hmmm maybe it’s because puppy is out in the pasture with them.  Nope that can’t be it, they usually just run at puppy to make her go back on the “safe” side of the fence with me.

     As I turn around to see where the dog is, she begins to bark excitedly.  Oh HELL NO!  Puppy is standing nose to nose with a skunk and barking into it’s face.  I start running for the fence yelling “NO” at puppy and slapping the bucket to scare off the skunk.  The skunk must have been in a “roid rage” because it chases after puppy.  Puppy continues to bark and runs around the skunk in ever-widening circles.  It’s all fun and games for the silly dog until the skunk lets loose with the ever popular scent.  YIKES!  Puppy catches the scent in the face, she quickly drops to the ground rolling around, shoveling the ground with her snout like she’s part gopher.

     Meanwhile, the emboldened skunk has discovered a new target…ME!  As I stand gawping at the unfolding scene, the damn thing runs across the pasture and through the fence on a direct line to me.  I finally realize I’m going to get hosed if I don’t move really fast.  I turn to run towards the rock wall fence around the front of the house.  The skunk can’t jump a three foot fence….right?  Yeah…well…apparently neither can I.  Just like in some silly “B” movie, the stupid girl runs a few steps and….falls in a gopher hole.  Puppy finally can see well enough to try and run interference for me.  She runs in front of the skunk and….we BOTH get hosed!  $onofabiatch!!  Fortunately, I was at least smart enough to have my back to the situation (I was still trying to get back up on my feet) but the smell was still overpowering enough to make me start gagging.

     I guess puppy decided since she had been sprayed twice already, playtime was now over.  While I crawled away on my hands and knees retching, puppy caught the skunk and broke it’s neck.  You can see her in the picture surveying her handiwork.  I finally get over the retching, get up, and in 30 degree weather begin stripping off clothes to put in the burn barrel.  I don’t care which neighbor may see this, I just have to get rid of the stench!  Puppy timidly follows behind me, knowing full well a BATH will be next.  She hates being bathed, but she doesn’t hate it enough to leave the skunks alone!

     I grab the leash hanging in the garage and lasso puppy before she can escape.  Kicking off my boots at the door, dragging puppy through the kitchen in my underwear, mom doesn’t even have to ask what happened.  The smell arrived before we did.   I get puppy into the shower with me and repeatedly soap and rinse us both.  We were in the shower for over an hour.  As I was scrubbing us both down, mom came in and insisted on hearing this story.  She had to leave the room to contain her laughter.  I yelled out to her that since this was supposedly HER dog, why in the hell do I always get stuck cleaning her up after she catches a skunk.  Of course, this time I had to clean BOTH of us.  So now we are all in different parts of the house not talking, puppy because she got a bath, mom trying to hide her hyena laughter, and me writing this and swearing I STILL smell skunk!  And as if that isn’t enough, even I know that the skunk didn’t behave normally.  They rarely chase after people….unless they’re rabid!  How fitting would it be to have a tombstone that reads simply, “She was Rabid!”

Puppy’s Luck Runs Out!

wpid-wp-1411534144681.jpeg     Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, my poor puppy got bitten on the muzzle by a pygmy rattler.  This afternoon, while mowing the front lawn, I saw a snake go curl up betweeen two trees.  I made the mistake of yelling “Oh Shit!”, which brought puppy on the run.  She didn’t see the snake I was pointing at and actually ran over it twice.  I backed up the mower, turned it off and ran to the garage to grab a shovel.  As I rounded the corner of the house, I could see puppy had finally seen the snake.  The snake struck at her twice before I could get to them.  I yelled at puppy to move as I drove the shovel down into the middle of the snake.

Puppy thinking the snake was disabled, snatched the thing up and shook her head vigorously from side to side, repeatedly whiplashing the snake.  She always does this to snakes, I think she hates them as much as I do.  Thinking all was well, I take the shovel back to the garage while puppy played with her snake.  As I came out of the garage puppy ran by and stopped in the grass to rub her muzzle.  That’s when I saw the blood.  Hoping the blood was from shaking the snake, I lead puppy through the garage into the kitchen to have a look.  I quickly grabbed a hand towel and wetted it down.  Kneeling down to puppy’s level I try to wash the blood off her muzzle.  UH OH!  The blood washed off, then kept reappearing.  Thinking I was imagining it, I try to scrub her muzzle again and she yelps.  NOT GOOD!

Mom, sitting in the dining room notices what I’m doing and asks what’s going on.  With a trembling voice I said, “Mom, I think pup has been snake bit!  The bleeding is not stopping, so it’s her blood and I think it was a rattler!”  Mom instantly starts crying, thinking puppy is going to die.  Oh hell, I don’t have time for this.  Somehow I managed to get the name of the vet out of mom, hurrying to my room I grab my phone and look up the vet’s number.  I call and tell him my dog has been snake bit, probably by a rattler.  He gives me directions to his office and asks how long ago this happened, I tell him it’s been maybe twenty minutes and I’ll bring the snake with me to be sure.  After hanging up, I chunk my phone into my purse, find puppy’s leash and away we go.  By the time we reached the first gate in our drive (50 yards from our house) I notice puppy’s muzzle has swollen up so much she’s having problems breathing and her left eye is almost closed.   I quickly send a prayer up and start telling puppy she’ll be okay as I’m doing 60 down the 3 miles of gravel/dirt road.  Once we got to the highway, I checked puppy and floored it.  We reached the vet in record time.

I jumped out, grabbed puppy, my purse and the 5 gallon ice cream container that I had put the snake pieces into.  We rushed into the vet’s lobby, I put the snake in it’s container onto the counter and turned around to see the vet scooping puppy up in his arms.  Wow, she NEVER let’s anyone pick her up.  The poor baby was trembling on the table as the vet inspected her muzzle.  He first gave her a shot of anti-venom and then told me to hold her head because the next shot she really wasn’t going to like.  It was an antibiotic shot, and she somehow got her head away and bit the vet before he could fully administer it.  So after puppy bites him, she tries to jump off the table with a needle still stuck in her.  Fortunately, I got her in a head lock before she could bail.  Then the vet tells me that this shot is thicker and there’s more of it as he continues to inject her.  Poor puppy cried and bucked against me the whole time he administered the shot.  At last we’re done and the vet goes to inspect the snake.  He confirmed it was indeed a pygmy rattler.    He also told me that though the pygmy is not as long as a normal rattler (hence the name pygmy),  they do tend to be thicker with much more muscle.  I told him when I hit the thing with the shovel, I didn’t hear a rattle and I couldn’t see it’s head.  But the fact that it was shaking it’s tail like a rattler and I remembered the markings from a prior encounter, I had been pretty sure this was a rattler.

As the vet prepared the follow up meds he continued to chat about the pygmy rattler.  He has been here since 1981 and according to him from 1981 to 1996 most of the snake bites he saw were due to copperheads.  From 1996 to now, he hardly sees copperheads anymore.  He thinks the pygmy rattlers have moved the copperheads out and taken over.  I personally don’t care, they’re both snakes (ICK) and they’re both poisonous!  By the time we discussed the follow up meds (4 pills per day for a week), puppy’s swelling had gone down enough where she was breathing normally and I could see her little brown eye again.  The vet asked puppy if she was going to let him make up with her, as he reached down to pet her, she ran behind my legs and hid.  Guess she wasn’t in a forgiving mood.

On the trip back home, puppy sat on my leg, leaning onto the center console, soaking up all the petting I gave her.  I was just thankful she survived it all, and I get to keep my little buddy a while longer.  When we got home, puppy followed me into my room and I allowed it, because I knew she still didn’t feel good.  Usually, at night she sleeps with my mom in her room, but tonight I figured I would try it.  Puppy parked herself on the couch in front of the TV and wouldn’t you know it?  Fat Bastard decides today he wants to terrorize puppy.  Simon jumped up on the back of the couch and leaned down to swat at puppy’s floppy ears.  Damn, this won’t work.  Puppy, of course growled and snapped because she didn’t want to be fooled with.  So, Simon got what he wanted, puppy was led out of the room and into mom’s bed.   Yeah, she’ll be spoiled anyway, mom was happy to have her little bed partner back.  This dog has saved me from so many snakes, I was glad to return the favor!


How To Blow Up A Phone


The pic is of my Android phones.  The one at the top is the one I “blew up”. Notice how puffed up the battery is, even after I manually tried to smash it down, this was the end result.  Now, notice the phone at the bottom, see how nice and flat the battery is?  I bet I could actually get the back to fit back on properly.  Who knew this could happen?  Better yet, HOW did this happen?  Wait…did you REALLY just ask that?  Oh yeah, for me it was as simple as……

Grocery shopping ..ugh!  I will only take half of the Demented Duo, because Harold has a tendency to wander off.  However, mom takes FOREVER just to get into the car.  No matter how much I warn her “The longer you take, the hotter it will be coming back!”  She still takes two hours to gather up all her stuff and load it into her walker.  Invariably, I end up running back into the house to fetch something she has forgotten, such as her purse, or water.  I have learned to take the Ford Explorer on these excursions because mom’s walker usually gets dirt into it when in the back of my pickup.  Not to mention all the kleenex she stuffs in the walker ends up flying all over the road.  Both vehicles have that lovely Oklahoma Air Condtioning–you know, roll down all the windows and pray.

Mom was finally ready to be loaded into the Explorer around 11:30am,  I silently grind my teeth on the way out, knowing the temperature is already 92 degrees outside making it about 120 inside the car.  I put my purse with my phone in it on the back seat, something I’ve done a hundred times.  I then load mom into the car, and put her walker in the back seat.  It’s a 10 mile drive into “town”, 3 of which is on dirt and gravel road.  Due to the distance and the fact we have no a/c I generally load a cooler to hold the milk and other refrigerated items we purchase for the trip back.

After an hour and a half of shopping we head home, again with my purse put into the back seat.  Once we get home I unload mom first into the garage and then begin unloading the groceries from the car.  It only takes about 20 minutes for me to put everything away and go back out to the car to retrieve my purse and anything else mom might have left behind.  I walk my now heat exhausted, sweaty self back to my air conditioned room to cool off.  The first thing I do is sit down and take out my phone to check messages because I can NEVER hear this phone ring when it’s in my purse.  Here’s where the real trouble starts.

The first thing I notice is I can’t get the damn phone out of the protective shell/holder I use.  Thinking that’s odd, I force the shell off and the back of the phone breaks off with it.  WTF!  I pick up the phone case and notice the little tabs at the top are broken off.  When I turn the phone over, I see that the battery has puffed out and there’s NO WAY I’m getting the back on again.  Unless…I put my weight on it and push the battery flat again.  Another brilliant “Lucy” idea.

I guess the Android phone is like most these days, the battery is NOT supposed to be removed and is made of  something totally different than the old flip-phone batteries.  It looks like one of those little hand warmer bags you can stick into your gloves in the winter.  It’s pliable to the touch, not rigid like a “real” battery.  Obviously, I had been out in the heat too long.  Because I was actually thinking that all I had to do to fix the phone was somehow get the excess AIR out of the battery.  AIR??  REALLY??

I really needed to get this phone fixed, I didn’t want to go through Labor Day weekend without it.  I figured if I couldn’t fix it myself, I could go the next day to a Verizon store.  As long as I got there early, I shouldn’t have to worry about people taking off early for the 3-day holiday.  Its a plan!  In the mean time little miss do-it-my-damn-self tried some good ole redneck fixin’. Keep in mind my heat exhausted brain, was still on the “get the air out” track.

At first I tried using the phone back to push the battery in, holding the phone between both hands, I acted like a human vise pushing on the front and back trying to mash the phone back together.  No good, my hands aren’t strong enough.  Next, I put a towel on the floor to protect the phone screen, place the phone face down and kneel on one knee onto the phone.  Damn, even my entire body weight doesn’t do it.  It DID push the battery down some though.  Hmmmm.  I’m hot and tired and just want to go shower and go to bed.  I figured my weight for a little while pushed the battery down some, how about some weight on it all night.  Hell, I could wake up in the morning and all is normal.  Another plan!

Looking around my room, wondering what I could leave on top of this phone all night, I spy the tool box I forgot to take back out to the shop.  The tool box is fully loaded and weighs about 60 pounds, as long as I use the towel and carpet to protect the screen it should work fine.  Right??  Not ONCE in my demented, heat exhausted mind, did I consider this is still a BATTERY.  They DO explode!  So, like a complete idiot, I arrange the phone face down on the towel and carpet and put the tool box on top of it.  The next morning I was up at 6am to check the phone.  I pull the toolbox off and see that the battery has actually gone down quite a bit.  But, it’s still not right, and through all my efforts the battery has begun to shift around because it’s basically held on with glue.  With a sigh, I go off to the kitchen to fetch a ziploc bag.

As I put the phone pieces into the bag, I FINALLY realize how lucky I am this phone didn’t explode in my face while I had been torturing the battery. I had to laugh, God really does watch over me.  I look up the nearest Verizon store, which is in the Tulsa Hills Mall.  Nice little trip from Bristow. I call to be sure they will be open and then go to tell the Duo my phone story.  After hearing all the ways I tried to mash the battery back in, mom turns to me and says, “Oh and you think I AM the one that’s sick in the head!”  Ummmm, yeah.

I arrived at the Verzon store at 9:30am, I walk in holding my Ziploc bag of phone and approach the counter.  There are 5 people at this counter working on various things, one young lady steps forward and introduces herself and asks me how she can help me.  My reply was to put the bag onto the counter in full view of everyone and say “I think I have a battery problem.”    These people acted like I threw a grenade at them.  My salesperson yells, “Oh My God!”   And I hear other comments of “Holy Shit!” and “I have never SEEN that before.”  As if performing some bizarre line dance, all 5 of the counterpeople step back in unison until their backs are literally against the wall.  My sales lady finally blurts out, “Can you even turn that on?”  I replied, “Sure it works, it’s just really inconvenient to try to use it while simultaneously holding the thing together.”

The rest of the counter personnel didn’t relax until they saw me take the phone out and turn it on.  While it was booting up, they all came over to check it out.  The manager even took a picture, to use as a teaching tool.  By this time I was used to fooling with the phone and was amused at all the fuss.  All I could think was, Man I can sure clear a room!  After a few hours, I still didn’t have an actual phone, but I got a new tablet to take home with me, so I had some entertainment for Labor Day.  The sales people all kept saying I blew the phone up.  In my mind when something blows up it literally explodes into little pieces.  Thank GOD that didn’t happen.  Apparently, the extreme heat in the car (repeated exposure) finally blew the phone up.  The phone was over 2 years old, so it was time for something new.  As it turns out I ended up with an exact replacement phone, an upgraded Droid Maxx phone, AND the tablet for the price of the $99 keyboard case that fits on the tablet.  Much easier to type these stories on than the Droid phone!  Tomorrow I think I’ll see if I can’t blow up my truck! Maybe I’ll get a new Caddy…hey, I can still hope!


Do Not Over Fill


     Ever wonder why they write manuals with such simplistic instructions?  I mean really, what kind of moron does it take to over fill the oil?  And what damage could it possibly do?  Hello.  My name is Larraine and I AM that moron.
     OK.  I’m not REALLY a moron, but you have to admit from reading my stories, I DO make the occasional bad decision.  Like the day I decided, after several days of rain, the lawn HAD to be mowed.  When I first came here a year ago, I put in a new battery and spark plug and the riding lawn mower started right up.  I have been using it twice a week since then.  On this particular day, it was 95 degrees outside with HIGH humidity.  I had begun the day separating the Demented Duo after they got into a huge argument.  To escape their craziness, I headed outside into the heat to mow the lawn.
     I check the mower for gas, noticing I hadn’t cleaned it off the last time I used it.  Thinking I have to remember to clean the dirt off when I’m done, I top off the gas tank and climb aboard.  It won’t start!  Sometimes the wires under the seat get shaken loose by the rough terrain.  I quickly check them to be sure there’s a good connection (damn safety features).  Again I climb aboard and again it won’t start.  WTF!  I’m hot an sweaty already, my glasses keep sliding down and I’m in no mood for more problems.
     I decide to check the oil.  Aha, here’s a problem it doesn’t even register.  I traipse to the back of the garage and grab some oil.  Getting frustrated by being bit by mosquitoes and my glasses sliding down.  I take off my glasses (BAD decision) and spray myself with Cutter’s to deter the insects.  Finally, I get a funnel and pour in the oil.  As I’m doing this, a little voice in my head said “Maybe you should put your glasses back on!”  I ignored it.  After dumping half the oil in, it began to overflow.  Awww shit!  Now I got a mess to clean up.
     I treat the oil spill like I do a gas spill, get a clean rag and wipe it off the engine.  I put the oil cap back on and shut the top of the mower down.  I climb aboard and Presto…it starts.  After running for all of 5 seconds the mower starts smoking like it’s on fire.  Thinking it’s just burning off some oil I missed cleaning up, I let it run.  Soon the garage is full of smoke and I have to turn the damn thing off.  Geez, just my luck, NOTHING comes easy here in Green Acre Hell!
     I open the “hood” of the mower to find oil splattered all over the engine, the wiring, and even the headlights.  What a mess!  I dig out the owner’s manual and see that you can pop the drain plug and let some of the oil out.  I quickly grab a pan and turn the drain plug counter clockwise as instructed.  Nothing happens.  Going back to the manual, I discover that I need a special tube and a pump for the drain to work.  OK fine, I find the stuff and finally the oil starts to drain.  One look at the midnight black oil, and I decide I might as well drain it all out and change the filter while I’m at it.
     I leave the oil draining (BAD decision) and run into town to purchase air filter, oil filter and oil.  Upon my return I see the oil has over run the pan and created a huge puddle on the garage floor.  With a heavy sigh, I fetch some kitty litter to soak up the oil.  I quickly change the air filter out, and spend the next hour trying to get the oil filter off.  Finally, in total exasperation I do it the old fashioned way.  I stuck a screw driver entirely through it and unscrewed the stupid thing.  At LAST, everything is changed out, properly filled, and the engine once again cleaned off. 
     I climb aboard, start it up and drive out of the garage, still smoking.  Damn!  I shut the mower off and notice a flame towards the front grill.  Uh oh, I smother it with a rag and see it’s the muffler filled with oil.  In the end I had to remove the front grill and the muffler and thoroughly clean both.  Nothing like wasting half the day to stupidity. 
     FINALLY, I get the mower to stop smoking.  After 3 passes around the side yard I’m confident I at last solved all the problems.  Now to get this lawn mowed before the storms come in again.  All of a sudden I hear a “pop” and the mower stops moving.  NOW WHAT!!  I try shifting gears and revving the engine.  It makes a sound like a mosquito on helium, but still no forward motion.  I put it in neutral, shut off the engine and push this 450 pound bitch back to the garage.  After consulting the manual again, I figure out I have thrown the drive belt.  I have to lift the seat, take out the battery and try to get the belt back on.  Have you ever seen how many belts are on a riding mower?  It looks like 5 of the serpentine belts in your car.
     After three tries, I cut my forearm pretty bad, but got the belt back on.  After putting the battery back in, I took the keys out and threw them out into the unmown yard.  Childish?  You betcha!  This girl was done for the day!  As I’m walking through the house, Harold is about to ask me if I got the yard mowed when mom slapped him in mid-sentence.  Mom, even with dementia KNOWS when I’m walking the edge of my temper.  She wasn’t about to let Harold push me over.
     After tending my wounds and cooling off for 2 hours.  I went back out at 5pm and finished the mowing.  It was totally dark when I got in, all sweaty, dirty and stinky.  It was around 9pm and mom had waited up to heat up dinner for me.  While she was nuking my dinner, she gave me a big hug and kissed my dirty face saying “I know it’s hard, nothing ever seems to go right and it seems like something is always breaking, but I love you and I’m glad you’re here.  Does that make you feel a LITTLE bit better?”  Now how could I say no to that?  I had a rough day, but I went to sleep in peace after my mommy kissed it and made it all better.  Do we ever really outgrow that?

Cow Racing


     I hadn’t seen our cow for two days.  So I went hunting for her.  I found her deep in the woods with a new baby.  All I could do was smile and yell “You have a baby!”  Yup, I’ve officially “gone country” when the sight of a new baby calf makes my day.  The smile quickly faded as I realized this must be the reason I had seen the same couple of coyotes circling the pastures.
     I knew it was going to rain the next couple of days and I was worried about the baby.  I called my brother (he used to do this stuff for fun) and asked what I should do.  He told me to get some cubes and see if I could lead “mama” to the barn and the calf would follow.  I loaded the 50 pound bag of cubes into the truck and headed back to the woods.  I tried rattling the bag to get mama’s attention and yelling “Yo Mama”, (yes, it felt as ridiculous as it sounded).  It DID get her attention, and she came out about 20 paces.  I closed the distance between us, carrying the bag of cubes and forgetting puppy was at my side.  None of the cows or bull we have are socialized, the Demented Duo (my parents) have neglected them for too long.
     I continued calling “Yo mama, come on mama”, as I rattled the bag and dumped some cubes on the ground.  I then backed up a ways so she could eat without feeling threatened.  As soon as “mama” got to the cubes and started to eat, puppy for some reason decided to run at her barking (jealousy?).  The cow lowered her head (yes, she has horns) and charged puppy.  Oh hell, stupid dog!  I yelled at puppy, who looked totally dejected as I loaded her into the cab of the truck.  I poured more cubes off the back of the truck and drove to the edge of the woods.  As expected, “mama” followed the food trail.  I got a good look at the baby during this process and realized he’s only a couple of days old, if that!  Poor little fellow is still very wobbly on his legs and decided to lay down and nap.
     “Mama” followed the truck, but only to the tree line.  She kept glancing anxiously back to the baby and finally went back to him, after eating all the cubes.  Damn!  I should have known this wasn’t going to be that easy!  Uh oh…you KNOW I’m going to come up with another “Lucy Hair-brained Idea”!  It seemed logical that baby can’t follow mama, he’s still too weak.  So if I TAKE baby, mama will follow and I can get them up to the barn where they’ll be safer and closer.  It’s a plan!
     I drove the truck with puppy back to the house.  It occurred to me that I don’t even know if I can lift that baby.  Hmmm, a definite wrinkle in the plan.  Well, I can wait until “mama” wanders off a little grazing, and get close enough to truly size up the baby.  It took all day, before I saw “mama” grazing out in front of the house.  I quickly calculated, that’s about 5 acres between her and the baby. Perfect.  I snuck out the back of the garage, puppy right at my heels.  Slowly and quietly as possible, we made our way out past the barn into the woods on foot.  On the way we passed several downed trees and brush piles, I realized if we got caught out there wasn’t a decent tree that I could shimmy up that wouldn’t break off.  This could be a problem, naaah…five acres is a long way, surely I can get out of mama’s way without any trouble.  How convenient I didn’t think about the broken ankle (torn ligaments) I have been nursing for almost a month.  Hey, I was on a mission!
     Puppy and I finally reached the baby.  Mama did good, he was laying down in a spot surrounded by about five trees sleeping.  He woke up when I started petting his little head, and the ever-jealous puppy started sniffing all over him.  I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face, he was so cute with his all white face and a red circle around one eye.  The baby never made a sound, as I petted and sized him up.  I quickly figured out, I could MAYBE lift him into the back of the truck.  But, we had come out on foot and there was no way I could carry him all the way back.  Oh well, we will have to try again WITH the truck.
     I stood up, preparing to leave when I heard “mama” let out a bawl that sent chills down my back.  She had spotted us, I still don’t know if she was mad at me or puppy.  Either way, she was pissed!  I looked at puppy and said, “Let’s go, she’s gonna f**kin’ KILL us!”  As we took off running for the barn, “mama” charged around the gate and ran into the woods, putting her on a direct line at us.  And putting her between us and the barn, and us between her and the baby.  I screamed at puppy “We are sooo SCREWED!”  All I could think of to do was keep moving and keep as many trees between us as possible.
     I never knew a cow could run so damn fast!  It was a matter of seconds, before she had us trapped behind a tree, still a long ways from the barn.  In my mind’s eye, I could see her tossing me into the air like a damn rodeo clown and catching me on those horns.  I wondered just how much this was going to hurt, if I survived.   “Mama” kept bellering at us, pawing the ground, every time I moved left or right she did the same, head lowered, ready to take me out.  I started talking to her, nonsensical crap that I hoped would soothe her anger.  “Baby’s OK mama, I just wanted to check on him.”  “He’s so pretty, I had to pet him, please don’t kill me.”
     Puppy had been right behind me all this time, I guess she finally figured out we were in a serious fix.  Puppy ran at the cow, letting her charge at her, while I moved stealthily in the opposite direction.  Trying to keep at least one tree between us as I moved away.  Unfortunately, puppy ran to me and “mama” trapped us again.  By this time our positions had changed to where our backs were facing the barn, and hers was towards the baby in a defensive posture.  Already out of breath, I threw up my hands and yelled “Alright enough, we didn’t hurt him, go on see for yourself.” “Mama” glanced back and realized she could get back to the baby and sauntered off that way.  I kept backing away until she reached the baby, and then I yelled at puppy “Run for your life!”  We had a 50 yard lead, but I had seen just how fast “mama” could run.  I was yelling “Please God, don’t let her follow!”  I was scared once we started running, “mama” would chase us down again.  Fortunately, “mama” was too engrossed with inspecting the baby for any damage she thought we caused to chase after us.  Me and puppy got through the corral by the barn, locking the gate behind me, I slowed to a walk and laughingly told puppy “That was just too close, let’s NOT do that again!”
     After going into the house and telling my mom all about our narrow escape, she couldn’t quit laughing.  I believe the baby is safe right where he is.  Even though it has been pouring rain for two days, I have taken the truck twice a day and left a bucket of cubes for “mama”.  She STILL hasn’t forgiven me,  because I’m only allowed to get so close before she lowers her head threatening to charge me.  Every day me and mom laugh about it, the kind of nervous laughter that always comes after a really close call.  What the hell was I thinking?  That I could actually outrun a pissed off cow?  I have seen enough nature shows showing large animals charging, next I’ll be in a foot race with a rhino or elephant…DUH.


     When someone mentions “plumber’s butt” most people visualize some oversized, sweaty, hairy guy bent down on all fours with about 4 inches of his ass crack showing.  Or maybe some redneck with a huge beer belly, that has to buckle his belt well below that belly, thus giving us a 24-hour mooning.   These days, with the “sagging”, thongs and “tramp stamps”, plumber’s butt is no longer a cause for ridicule that it once was.
        I do not understand this generation’s need to show their ass.  I know I’m dating myself here, but seriously?  I remember laughing and pointing at some guy showing his ass when I was younger.  Having plumber’s butt opened the door for people to poke fun at that person and sometimes even stuff objects into their crack.  (Yes, I’m guilty of this!). It’s a perfect place to put your pen, pencil, ruler, scissors etc.  Whatever is long enough, so you don’t actually have to touch the person’s butt.  NEVER in my worst nightmare, would I have thought I could have plumber’s butt!
        Never say never!  Since moving to Green Acre Hell, I unfortunately, have plumber’s butt.  How does this happen?  It started slowly, as I worked outside all winter, with so many layers on I didn’t notice I was losing weight.  This spring, I noticed I had dropped two sizes in my jeans.  Cool, I’m getting in shape!  What is NOT cool, is even though my jeans fit, I get plumber’s butt.  Working outside in 80 or 90 degree heat, you sweat.  Your jeans start sagging from the additional water weight and before you know it your constantly tugging your pants up.
        Now, since I’m working out in the middle of the woods, I didn’t worry too much about flashing the coyotes or bobcat.  Seriously, who are they gonna tell?  The realization that I had some SERIOUS plumber’s butt going on, set in with the first bee sting just above my butt-crack.  Holy hell, that HURTS!  No more denial for me, I have become that person I used to make fun of….bummer.  The bee sting has since been followed by mosquito bites, ticks, and a variety of debris like twigs and leaves when I mow.  It has been really disturbing to me, the frequency of these events.
        Today, I thought I would be smart and think ahead.  Knowing I was going to be bent over taking apart a lawnmower, I had my mom spray my backside with Cutter’s to ward off the mosquitoes.  Cutter’s contains deet which is supposed to ward off all insects, much like the “Deep Woods Off”.  It DID ward off mosquitoes and flies.  Unfortunately, the bees seemed to love it.  So I spent the day, in 91 degree heat, literally dripping wet with sweat, tugging up my jeans, swatting bees away, taking apart the lawnmower in direct sunlight.  Know what else likes Cutter’s?  The sun!  This stuff is kind of greasy once it’s sprayed on, so it’s like rubbing on baby lotion and seems to direct the sun’s rays right to it.
        Around 2:00pm I started feeling nauseated, so I stopped and went into the house to cool off.  Going into the bathroom to wash some of the grime off, I took a good look at stupidity in the mirror.  My arms and neck were cooked!  Redheaded, fair-skinned people do NOT cover themselves with an oily substance and go out in the sun.  At my age, and having some serious sunburns through the years, you think I would have learned this by now!  My arms and neck don’t hurt and will eventually turn brown.  However, the 2-inch high, redneck tramp stamp, across my plumber’s butt BURNS LIKE FIRE!  This is the MOST ridiculous thing I have ever seen!  And no, I’m not taking pics of it, so don’t even ask.  The next time you see a man OR woman with plumber’s butt, please don’t criticise, empathize.  Because you just KNOW they’re headed for trouble!
        I sincerely apologize to all the people afflicted with plumber’s butt, I’ve made fun of over the years.  Not saying I won’t poke fun in the future. Because if I saw something like what I now have in public, no WAY would I not make fun…LOL.