Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Came back from a wonderful weekend camping up on the peaks to the news that on Saturday, Coconino Humane Society (the local pound) had to evacuate all 60 odd animals to my work because of a fire that was closing in. When I was lolling about under the stars everyone at work was flat out trying to accommodate all the extra beasties into the shelter.
I got a call from my boss Sunday arvo, just inquiring whether I was home yet or not. I was, cleaning out the Drawer of Everything, so how many lumps of recycled alfoil, Aussie 20cent pieces and non working pens do you need anyhow?

View from our balcony. Smoke plume behind Mt Eldon.

She then asked whether I could come out to the Fairgrounds to help out as another fire had started and our place was being evacuated! Santa Vaca!
This new Schultz fire has now burnt 10'000+ acres and basically the area we were camping and hiking in. Eeekk. Yes, we put out our campfires.

Weatherford Trail Saturday, mostly burnt Sunday

So over 160 animals, ours and Coconino's were all moved to the buildings where they house the livestock during the County Fair.
Plus we are the shelter that houses all the pets from the people who have to leave their houses because of the fire.
So they all had to come there aswell.
Who evacuates the evacuators?
Its Wednesday night now, and we may be able to go back either tomorrow or Friday. There are staff there 24 hours, one to keep an eye on things and to take in any evacuated public pets.
I have been working the day shifts on the clinic side, lucky there is not any really sick animals because we would not be able to give them the proper care. I am the lead Vet Tech, so I'm the go to gal for any health related issues, which I mostly say 'Let me go get a vet...' if there is one on site, if not its 'well bring it over and we will isolate it till the vets turn up'
In a way its been mostly pleasent. The days have been fair and working outside is pretty nice. Everyone is wonderful and working hard and long to keep this all going. The sheer amount of donations (no nooo more blankets please) and there is a solid group of volunteers who come 3 times a days to help clean, feed and walk the dogs. The cats are just chilling in the pigeon and fancy chook coops.
The Salvos feed us every day and between that and just people dropping off supplies we have enough tucker to withstand any damn fire that's thrown at us.

Coconino Humane were able to move their critters back, so its just us, a few strays and the public.

We have managed to move a a good number out into foster until this is over. I have three little tykes (from a litter of 5), who were the most non socialized, scared feral pups I have ever seen when they came in a week ago. Now they won't leave me alone...little buggers.

The other 'interesting' part to all this is that on Sunday is our huge 'Pets In The Pines' adoptathon at Wheeler Park downtown. This week was to be preparing for that. Last year between us and the other rescue groups there was over 50 adoptions and the vaccine clinic was non stop. So Sunday is going to be other challenge, that I know we will rise to. For sure!
Then collapse in a exhausted heap.
We have had awesome publicity from this so there is always good from sheer bloody madness.

The Az Daily Sun has all the reports and photos.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Heidi and Rorschach duking it out. The play like this for ages. Unfortunately I didn't get the bit where Rorschach power leaps for Heidi's throat, hangs on and then runs off with a mouth full of fur.
Cracks me up.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Hal is home, back to the Mother Land and back to the Mother. I hope he is dealing with the transition, he seemed to deal with the American lifestyle pretty well. He did not do so well in school, not because he is dumb but because he was silly, and did not hand his homework in on time. That was partly our fault but really it rests on him....we could only help so much. But over all for life experience I think It was a plus.
He is a great person and will become a wonderful adult. He is very good, compassionate and loving with us, the younger ones and animals, which I think is a pretty good sign. Unless you are Dexter and can fake it real well.

We had to get him to LA to fly out, so he and I took and few days to there. The Last Hurrah!
Thursday afternoon we boogied over to Las Vegas. Its about half way and weird enough for a visit.

There is another slightly quicker and waaaay more boring route, which I took back home.

We stopped for a look at Hoover Dam. The honking huge bridge, that will bypass driving across the dam and make the trip even quicker now meets in the middle. Its a definite engineering feat.

The got to Vegas and checked into Excalibur. Ice cream castle in the middle of the desert. I booked tickets to The Tournment Of Kings, dinner and show. Heh, it was about as cheessy and silly as you can imagine. Lots of cute knights romping around on horses, jousting, shouting, sword waving, stunt falls off horse back and the big baddy Dragon guy had a flamethrower glove. Awesome fun! We got a whole game hen for dinner.
After the excitement of the show we wandered up and down the strip. I've been there a few times now but still the sparkly lights sparkle me. But by god my feets hurt by the end of it. Wearing slip on jogger thingys that the dogs have eaten the inner soles out of. Not the best plan for long pavement walks. Was even too tired to go and put $5 through the pokies.

Next day we drove to LA, only got a little lost but still got to La Brea Tar Pits in plently of time to check out the bubbling pools of tar and the stricken Mammoth family.

The sheer amount of bones they are still finding is staggering. The wall of Dire Wolf skulls is still the winner.

We stayed with friends and due to their awesome directions I didn't get lost to their house.
Spent the evening eating pizza and playing the Wii. Bought tickets for Magic Mountain....Alyssa just had to mention it had the most Xtreme rollercoasters of any of the theme parks.
'Ohh great ugh' I thought 'but must be the cool old aunt and suck up my ooogglyness over the thought of rollercoasters'
I went to bed early leaving Hal and Jesec killing zombies in Left For Dead2.
Magic Mountain on a Saturday...crazy. Looong lines for some of the rides.
You know what. I learn something new about myself. I like rollercoasters. After the first eyes shut, gibbering in terror experience, all the other ones were a spine tingling hoot. Even kept my eyes open.
There was one 'The Ninja' that always had short lines and we liked so we went on that one 3 times. 'Tatsu' I really liked, Hal not so much because they tilt you till you are face down and whizz you around. 17 stories high and 62mph. The video brings it all back...cool.

Anyways much fun was had and we even made it to the airport in time. They let me through customs as an escort to a minor so I saw him onto the plane with a little sniff.

Next day I drove 7 hours home through the most desolate of nothing (and that includes the towns) back to Rob, the peaks and to the cool.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Home after a weekend of camping, swanning around in skirts, making rabbit stew and shooting flintlocks 1750's style.
Good, good fun.
This weekend was the Buckskinners Rendezvous in Williams, about 1 hour from home.
It was a small event and everyone was friendly and helpful.
We have friends -Bill and Jan- who have done much SCA but are more into the mountain man, French Indian War, American frontier reenactment these days. Their 15 year son Teeg was there and he and Hal got on really well and ran around being cute little frontiersmen together.

No son of mine is going to be a 18th century bootblack
They have the full camp, a spare tent and some clothes for us.
A couple of weeks ago we ordered some clothes from Jas Townsend, a store that supplies clothes and wares from the period 1750 to 1840's. I got two skirts, a bodice and chemise. Rob got a shirt, long socks and garters. We also ordered breeches but they weren't ready so he will have them for next time.
Walk softly and carry a big stick
We finally got to fire the Flintlock. Finally.
Rob and I shared it and it fires real nice like. Hal had his own for the weekend. One of Bill's son's spares.
Lock of the Flintlock
We did a walkabout target shoot. Metal targets set up in the woods. I hit 5 out of 12, Rob got 6 and Hal got 1. There were some close misses. Pretty good for our first time.
I actually tied scores with the other women so I was pretty happy with it all.

I hit this....I rock!!
Loading it is fun but I can't imagine doing it quickly or correctly under any kind of pressure or stress.
Powder, patch, ball....that's the mantra.
Don't do it in the wrong order and don't leave the ramrod down the barrel.

Coz go boom
Hal looked so cute in his outfit and was really good in listening and following orders about gun safety and procedure.
Hal and Bill
He picked it quickly and after a few shots I stopped watching him so intently.

On target
One of the shoots was a bunch of small pouches hanging by string. You had to shoot the string to get the pouch and a potential prize. If you shot the bag itself you were disqualified.
What did I do on my very first shot!? Put a neat hole straight through a bag.
Oh wells...I was chuffed I hit that small a target.
So I went back to camp and helped cook a very very nommy Rabbit stew for dinner.

Cleaning the gunne is a fairly time consuming process. Many, many cleaning patches down the barrel to remove all the residue gun powder. But it's part of the whole experience and its not too much of a hardship sitting by the fire and chatting away as you do it.

Cleaning with boiling water
Sunday afternoon they had the awards. Everyone had to bring a blanket prize and the various winners got to choose. Hal got to choose because he was a visitor and a good sport. One of the more experienced women (who is a crack shot) won a real percussion pistol but gave it up. She was impressed and wanted to encourage more women shooters. So me and a couple of the other women got to pick a card. Highest wins. Two of us tied so we drew again and I got the highest card. So now I am a proud owner of a $300 (ish) gun. Woot!.

The gun that I won...My precious
We are keen to go to more events. It's like the SCA but with more boom.

1750 family