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It Never Ends/ July 11/17

Okay everybody who longs for a little property outside of the city with maybe a small affectionate donkey and a dog and a cat, let’s not even consider chickens.

Billy my donkey came down with a condition on his legs and heels called at times rain scald, sometimes rain rot, sometimes ‘grease heel’, and all of it is just as off-putting as it sounds but must be treated. Washed down with hot water and soap and then sprayed with iodine. Poor baby. Every. Damn. Day.

Then called the vet after more than a month of this and he said leave it alone and I will give him antibiotics and a steroid shot.

Okay, 700-pound donkey, 11 tablets of high-powered antibiotic have to be crushed into powder every morning in a baggie and then rolled into peanut butter.

So I am on my way down to the corral with the bowl of antibiotic-loaded peanut butter, set it down briefly, and Girl Dog came along and ATE IT.

That’s enough high-powered antibiotic for an 800-lb animal and 35-pound Girl Dog ate it all in one gulp.

That’s Girl Dog — the white one — with cousin Susan holding her back from charging at wild hogs in a pen. She just got all healed up from being hooked by a wild hog, 12 stitches– so I frantically texted the vet, Wiley Skelton, he said she had to throw it up, give her 3 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, which I did. No result. He said try three more, so I did, finally she threw up everything but her toenails and her tail. Saved!!

He said it would have ruined her kidneys.

So. Back to crushing antibiotics for donkey. Girl Dog exhausted and sleeping on the cool floor inside the house. Nice cool morning when I was going to give Buck a bath and go for a ride totally gone. In the future the medication/peanut butter goes in a closed Glad bowl until I get it down Billy.

Then another break in the hose down to the water-trough, had to cut into it and insert hose joint.

Now, finally, time to work on a new book and answer event requests by email and maybe find Jaynell to see if she is still cutting hair and get a haircut and buy 3 bales of hay and unload at the corral and this evening if it is cool by maybe seven-thirty give Billy a scrub-down with hot water and mild soap. I used to joke about giving that donkey away but now he and I have become more acquainted with each other, constantly working with him. He has been really patient through all this treatment and has even become affectionate. Adversity makes friends I suppose. Well, so maybe tomorrow morning I will give Buck his bath and we’ll go for a ride.





Sunday July 9/2017

This was an article in our little Texas Electric co-op magazine, given to me in church this morning by our soprano Caroline McGee. This was the little girl —18 months old, granddaughter of Elizabeth Fitzgerald —  captured by the Kiowa on the Elm Creek raid of 1864, which started Britt Johnson’s story. Thanks Caroline!

Happy Independence Day! July 4/2017

When the Declaration of Independence was signed the Thirteen Colonies had been at war with Great Britain for more than a year.

It was a statement of principles. Under these principles and Thirteen Colonies would then set up a system of organization. That would come later and only after a decade, I think. They first tried the Articles of Confederation before they worked out the Constitution.

Constitutions are important because they set out the rules of the game and a method by which the rules could be changed, with the consent of the governed.

These were astounding and thrilling ideas.

At the time my ancestor Edward Giles was a magistrate in North Carolina, and he had been a magistrate (one of fifteen) on the Court of Quarter Sessions under the British Crown for more than ten years. He by that time had two sons and several daughters. He continued to sit on the court (after all, people die and need death certificates, they sell land and need land titles, they need wills witnessed and they must be married) but according to an invoice issued from the Continental Congress he supplied several wagonloads of corn to the North Carolina troops. I imagine his son Nathaniel fought, but we can find no record, which is not unusual. It was guerilla warfare down there in the hills.

The Court of Quarter Sessions moved from house to house and town to town to keep ahead of the British, invading from South Carolina, but still they held their sessions. If they had been caught, since they were on the side of the Patriots, they would have been hung or shot. Edward Giles, by this time probably more than sixty years old, sat as a magistrate along with his colleagues and kept the business of the county on an even keel. This would be Mecklenberg County.

And so that’s my little story about the Revolutionary War. If Edward Giles heard of the Declaration of Independence, as a magistrate he would have studied it carefully. But I think copies were hard to come by and distributed mostly in the New England colonies.









July 2/2017 Reading sci fi

This is an image from old Soviet-era sci-fi, from the thirties, I think. I can’t read the guy’s name, it’s in Cyrillic. Great image. I have no idea what story it was attached to.

Will try to go back and find his name in Latin alphabet. I imagine the story lauded the socialist system, praised Stalin, the heroes/heroines were acceptable to the Writer’s Union censors, or else. Have been going through a lot of sci-fi e-books looking for good writing, not doing too well, but there are certain trends.



Happy Canada Day to all friends up in the great white North July 1/17

And I remember well the night it was -60F. in Sioux Lookout and there were actually people who skied home at one a.m. from a party. They skied across Frog Rapids. I forget their names. I was not one of them. I thought people would like to hear about this now that it is hot summertime and the very idea of sixty-below temperatures is mildly amusing to think about.

Happy Canada Day Garnet Angeconeb and Woody and Jeff who are babysitting the Nootka Light Station off the coast of Vancouver island.

Heat Wave June 23/2017


It has been hitting 102, 105 for days. My stock tank at the Longhorn Gate rusted out in two places on the bottom and I was losing water for days without knowing it. Then a pipe broke down at the reservoir tank and it was showering everything within twenty yards. Got the well service people to fix that and rolled out the rusted tank myself and replaced it with one I had up here at the house for water for the deer. I don’t have to travel anymore until September!! A relief. I can fix stuff and look after stuff and keep my little property in order. June and Wayne are gone to Belize, Evelyn and Pat back in Louisiana, the rest of us languish here and hide inside until evening or early morning.

But it is supposed to end tonight. I see on the radar that a long line of storms is moving down.

English football chants 6/15/2017

And so this interesting subject came up because of the news of Roy Lamer, the English footballer who counter-attacked the terrorist attacks in a pub during the latest London Bridge attack. That’s three times I used ‘attack’ but can’t think of anything else at the moment. They yelled Allahu Akbar and he yelled F–you, I’m Millwall! and lived. So it appears that the Millwall football club chant is ‘You don’t like us, we don’t care!’ Which I thought was fantastic.

Words to live by

So I looked up football chants on YouTube and they are often hilarious, non-PC, sarcastic, self-deprecating and flat-out funny. Who thinks them up? How do thousands of fans all learn them and chant in unison? One losing team chanted

We lose every week

we lose every week

You’re nothing special

we lose every week.

One losing fan-crowd started chanting ‘Let’s pretend, let’s pretend, let’s pretend we scored a goal!‘ and then they all cheered as if they had scored a goal. And ‘Harry Potter, he’s coming for you!” And a non-PC one was against a player on the other team;

Adebayoooor! Adebayooor! His dad washes elephants and his mother’s a whoooore!’

(these were Tottenham fans) (I can’t believe they weren’t arrested or cleared out)

Chants about the news: ‘Jihadi John he’s f—-ing dead, they dropped a banger on his head!’ and one savage one about a player caught with a very underage girl; ‘F–k off Adam Johnson, you’re going down for noncing, you’re a peeeedophile, you’re a peeedophile…” Another one sung to the tune of Lord Of the Dance against rivals from Park,

“Park, Park, wherever you may be, eating dogs in your home country, could be worse, you could be scouse, eating rats in your council house…”

I think a ‘scouse’ is slang for somebody from Liverpool. It seemed to be cross-cultural insults.

One comment on a Youtube vid of chants answered the question of how they start;

“Many are posted on internet forums, others just startup in supporter’s pubs near the stadium, there’s hundred of melodies that fit those chants…” and of course there’s a culture of derisive chants that must be thousands of years old, just like the chastushki of Russia; spontaneous, just-thought-up rhyming insults from one group to another. And I saw on the vids that often men would turn and sing up to the fans in the seats up behind to lead them. Americans have no traditions like that, more’s the pity.

The best one; A contingent or squad of bobbies came walking along the front ground-level of the bleachers/stadium, checking on the crowd and the fans began to chant

We paid for your hats

we paid for your hats

What a waste of council tax

We paid for your hats!

But the best of all was a group of guys — called ‘football hooligans’ in the Youtube title — who began to sing Deeply Madly Truly in harmony. It was beautiful. It was a capella. They had to have practiced. One guy started out solo and then all the others fell In. It was lovely.



June 6 2017 — June 6, 1944 D-Day

I correspond with a wonderful ninety-plus year old lady in Australia, born in England, was a Land Girl during WW2, after the war married an Australian and lived the rest of her life in Australia — Daphne Murray. Her husband was governor of New South Wales for a number of years. She wrote me of her memories of D-Day a few years ago:

“I am never going to forget D-Day in June 1944. My father commented at breakfast that there were a lot of planes about and when he went outside he came back indoors shaking. He thought we were being invaded. My mother, always practical, said, ‘Don’t be silly George, they’re ours, they’re going out to sea’. I can still see that great armada heading East, NEast and South East, all at different levels, but moving slowly, a most menacing sight, and the radio was on all day. I had four brothers in the war and three brothers-in-law, we were a fighting family, lots of cousins too.”

I could quote her letters all day but this was important for today.

And as I said last year, I will put up old photos for D-Day of Germans surrendering, because that’s what it was all about.



June 4 2017 Space, astronauts, and Earth, so far the one and only


I met Leland Melvin at the Tucson Literary Festival and he was a delight. He had done many things in his life but this was his first book. Just finished reading it.  Highly recommended.


Also this one: absolutely absorbing.


It’s been a long time since I could not wait to get back to a book. This one has many caveats as to why and how a planet could sustain life and water is only a small part of it. A planet that is ‘tidally locked’ means only one side of it faces its sun, and the consequences of that are explained in ways easy to understand. Radiation is another factor…it’s a great read.

June 1st 2017 — The Titanic

This is kind of funny but also — acerbic.


A lot of visitors and events, at all of which I forgot to get out my cell phone and take pictures. Cousin Susan came to visit and then stepson Jim jr. and DIL Nadine. I borrowed a horse from April Baxter for Susan to ride, and we had a good ride, and then he wouldn’t load. I didn’t get any pictures. I forgot. And then we went to the St. Jo’s dinner with many friends and I forgot again. And then we tried to load that horse to return him to April and he wouldn’t load and I didn’t remember my cell phone was right there.

And then Jim jr. and Nadine and Susan and I went on an arsonists’ binge and burnt all the downed limbs etc. that Jim jr. and I had cut and it was a great interesting fire down in the pasture and again I didn’t bring my cell phone to no pictures.

Then they all went home and I tried to load that horse by myself and he went totally crazy, rearing back against his halter and striking out and I just got out of the way and finally his halter broke and he went galloping down the road, and of course I didn’t think to get a picture.

Then April came today with a helper and we finally got the maniac loaded and no pictures. I forgot.

BUT!! Susan and I visited with June Chism and Wayne and Nancy — June and Nancy had been riding but that was the day we couldn’t get Scout loaded and so we just drove out there for lunch with them — I remembered!! Because they had set a hog trap and had caught about four adults and seven or eight babies. WE went out in June’s Mule to see them. So here’s a picture!!

June and Susan looked fairly alarmed because the hogs were charging the sides of the cage when they saw us, trying to attack. Dogs: the white one is mine, Girl Dog, and June’s part-lab Jackson.


Several seconds pre-charge. Girl Dog was charging back from the other side of the fence despite the fact she just healed up from 12 stitches in her abdomen from being hooked by a wild hog. So we dragged her back into the mule and Susan kept hold of her while I (at last!) had presence of mind to take pictures.