Monday, January 2, 2012

Down the road with Smooch and Stephen King

Mornings just aren't long enough in weather like this to do everything that needs doing. All the important stuff – like barn chores, walking Smooch, and going to town and back – have to be done "on the freeze," as we say. Wait too long and you risk getting into violent arguments with the muck cart, having your shoes sucked off, or your truck mired hopelessly in the mud.

Saturday morning, Smooch and I sacrificed our walk and headed to Walmart at 5:00 with three critical items on our list: a card reader to make my new camera work, a salt brick for Mr. P, and groceries. As much as I whine about Walmart, there's something to be said about being to able to buy all of the above at 6 in the morning at the only place in town that's open. Anyway, the new camera is working now,
Mr. P has another reason to hang around, and I won't go hungry this week.

Sunday morning, Smooch and I headed out on the freeze for our first walk of the year. We took Stephen King's new book "11-22-63" on my ipod. I'm not a fan of Stephen King by any stretch of the imagination, but when I read the reviews of this novel, I couldn't resist. Holy moly, what a great story. I'm about a quarter of the way through it and can't put it down.

Our first stop was Mr. P's tree. It's been a few days since I've seen him, 
but he left teeth marks on the salt brick, so I know he's around.

He's also made a few more deposits in the bank at the base of his other tree. 

Smooch: Mom, I think aliens are landing in the pasture.
Me: No, hon', that's just a reflection from dust on the lens. 
Smooch: You need to take better care of your equipment.
Me: One conscience in this family is enough, thank you very much. 
Keep your thoughts to yourself and help me look for Mr. P.

Much of the snow melted Saturday – it was a balmy 54 degrees.

It was 26 degrees Sunday when Smooch and I were walking. 
Somebody had driven down the road "on the thaw" and left an impressive set of ruts.

It crossed my mind that we might find "somebody" stuck in a ditch if we walked far enough.

Alas, we made it once around the fence line, then things started to get squishy and we called it done, 
which was really too bad because I wanted to stay out there for many more chapters.


  1. So now you're paying Mr. P for his poop? Lol. I'm not a huge King fan either--except of his musical tastes-- but you might want to check out The Stand, Bag of Bones, & Duma Key. Esp. The Stand, I go back to it nearly yearly to reconfirm my faith in good versus evil, as well as for the pleasure of the characters and descriptions.

  2. I'm loving the saga of your relationship with Mr. P. At one point you were wondering if you might have to shoot him; now you are buying stuff for him at Walmart. I'm so glad you decided on peaceful coexistence, but then I don't have mysterious creatures moving around in my dark yard at night. I think.

  3. I am reading 11-22-63 (the old fashioned way ;-) ) as well. I am past the halfway point. It's still a fascinating read! So different from King's usual stuff.

  4. Love the picture of Smooch sitting in the "blue" snow:) Beautiful:)

  5. Glad you were able to get to town and back--I guess the freeze/thaw situation might be one of the few downsides to living 7MSN.
    Every now and then, Stephen King kicks out a really good one. The Green Mile was amazing.

  6. I know exactly what you mean when you write about "on the freeze" and "on the thaw". lol.
    Those are mighty impressive ruts!

  7. I'm not a big Steven King fan either, but I LOVED "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon". Ahhh...I see you are spoiling Mr. P! We have a scrub jay in our front yard. He shouldn't be down here in the desert...he should be up in the pinyon forest, but I put out peanuts and acorns for him every morning! He is very loud and complains if his food isn't ready by 7:00 a.m.!!!

  8. Your photos of Smooch are some of the finest of a dog I've seen. He exudes intelligence and loyalty and good looks. You're lucky you found him. I don't know the story about your acquiring Smooch, perhaps you'll tell it if it's not already in your archives. I'll take a look. Happy 2012 to the 7MSN Ranch folks and critters!

  9. you know I love me some Smooch and those are some stunning pics of her!
    interesting that Mr. P has a spot for his poop instead of just going "where ever." Very sophisticated :)
    Walmart reprents all that is great about our country and all that is wrong with our country! But how great to be able to get what you need at 6 in the am!!!

  10. Carol in Colorado1/2/12, 8:55 AM

    Wow those are some ruts Smooch is sitting in. I love your terms "on the freeze" and "on the thaw". I will have to remember those when driving on the dirt back roads at my daughter's place. Glad Mr. P is sticking around for further adventures at 7MSN.

  11. So do you have to pay for porcupine poo?

    I didn't realize porcupines were into sodium. Amazing. Is there a reason you know it's Mr. and not Ms.?

    We have caliche roads in El Paso (where I grew up) and in the thaw they are skating rinks. Many a friend ended up in the irrigation canal when they got a late start in the day.

  12. "One conscience in this family is enough"....I say the same thing to Tanner all the time!

    Also, now that the adorable Mr.P has made it onto your header, you may want to periodically check the wiring on your vehicles. Porcupines do like to chew on such things.

  13. We have not had the freeze yet so things are mucky at best. Ugh!

  14. I'm impressed that you can head to a grocery store at five in the morning. I would have to get up at 3 AM to be able to get myself dressed and the keys in the ignition by five.

  15. Smart of you to get the e edition of King's book, Linda........I just finished my hardback and it was so cumbersome, but I loved the book.....boy, can he write, and I never thought I would read him either !

    I think I'll check out The Stand'...........thanks, Shadowlake !

  16. I'm not much of a reader, but Hubby has read every Steven King book multiple times. The man can practically recite them! Great shots with the new camera!

  17. Love the pictures of Smooch. It's really wierd but we have just about the same amount of snow here in Manitoba this year. And the freeze thaw thing.

  18. Glad to get the Stephen King book recommendation. And loved the photos of Smooch in the sparkly, lovely snow! Wish you'd gotten another glimpse of Mr. P!

  19. You would not believe how beautiful your new-camera photos display on a Smartphone! Un-freaking-believeable.
    I *am* a Stephen King fan - but traditional hard cover books only. And you really need to read/listen to his "Dark Tower" series - beginning with "The Gunslinger". Can't believe you haven't done that one yet!

  20. Out of curiosity; when and where did Mr. P come from? I find him adorable as long as his quills are tamed down. I've had too many dogs with too many quills in their mouths to really want to get up close and personable....however, I did see a cute video of a baby porcupine eating a piece of watermelon and the sound he made were hilarious.

  21. Do you know about Teddy the porcupine? I'm as addicted to him as Maru. The latest one...

  22. i love this post and now i will have to find that book. i know it has been a year since this, but it was showing at the bottom of today's post. Smooch is so darn handsome....