Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en

Living in the country, at the end of a dead-end road, the Bag Lady doesn't get many trick-or-treaters. (She does, however, get the occasional trick-or-beer-er)

One year, the cowboy's cousin brought his 4 year old daughter. We thought it would be funny to try to scare her, so the cowboy put on a mask and cape and snuck out the back door, ran around to the front and came up behind the little girl. The obligatory scream and jump and we all laughed (the little girl included) until she lost her balance and fell against the door, banging her nose and making it bleed a little. The cowboy felt terrible for having caused this, but the little girl was fine.

In the years since, the first words out of her mouth on Hallowe'en have not been "trick or treat?" but "where's Uncle?"

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Little Bobo

A few years back, we had a cold, wet spring. One morning, in a raging blizzard, the cowboy went out to check cows and discovered that one of our cows had calved. The poor calf was lying in a snowbank, half frozen. So the cowboy did the sensible thing – he scooped up the calf and brought it to the house! My fairly new, recently spotless dining room became a nursery.
We cleaned the calf and piled blankets on him and set him over the heat register. The poor little thing laid there, hardly moving, while we worked on him. He finally started to shiver, which is a good sign, then to move a little. Pretty soon he was lying up, rather than flat out on the floor.

The weather cleared up and the sun started to shine and before too long it had warmed up considerably outside. Little Bobo took notice of this and decided it was time he stood up. Well, linoleum isn’t the best thing underfoot for a newborn calf to learn to stand on.

Remember Bambi on the frozen pond? Little Bobo made Bambi look graceful.

Eventually we got Bobo onto the rug in front of the door and with a little assistance; it wasn’t long before he was proudly on his feet.
Soon after that, we took him out and reunited him with his distraught mother, made sure he got a drink of milk, then let nature take it’s course.

Just another day on the ranch.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Recipe Day!

The Bag Lady had a bounty of raspberries one year, so was searching for raspberry recipes and came across this one, which quickly became a favourite. Actually, anything made with raspberries is good, as far as the Bag Lady is concerned. Hilary over at the Smitten Image mentioned Raspberry Butter Tarts on her blog the other day, so this is for her…

Raspberry Butter Tarts

Pastry shells
1 ¼ Cups raspberries
2/3 C butter
3 eggs
1 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup flour
1/4 tsp Grated lemon rind
Pinch salt

Divide berries among pastry shells – approximately 5 or 6 berries per shell. Cook butter in saucepan about 10 minutes until golden brown. Whisk eggs and sugar together, add flour, lemon rind and salt. Mix ‘til smooth. Whisk in butter gradually. Spoon over berries – fill approximately ¾ full. Bake on middle rack of oven at 400 for 15 – 20 minutes (‘til golden) Cool 15 minutes in pan, remove from pan and cool completely.

The Bag Lady would provide a link for Hilary's post if she knew how...guess she needs a little more experience with this blogging (she hasn't even figured out how to do a blog roll, yet, but she's working on it!!)
In the meantime, she hopes that some of you will try this recipe, and if you do, will let her know what you think.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mixed Bag (Lady) Day - Life on the Ranch

It's Friday, again, and this week the Bag Lady is sharing (by popular demand!) another ranching story.

Life on the ranch is not always, as John Denver said, kinda laid back! Certainly there are times when it is, but there are also times when it can be rather hectic. And downright exhausting.
Spring is one of the hectic times. Calves are being born left and right, and ranchers are trying to make sure that all the calves survive. Now the Bag Lady is aware that there are huge ranches out there where, due to sheer volume of animals, the cows are left to calve pretty much on their own; but with a small cow/calf operation things are a little different. Losing one or two calves when you have hundreds is not quite the catastrophe that it is when you only have forty or fifty head. So the small rancher has to be Johnny (or Jill)-on-the-spot.
There are all manner of things that can go wrong, but the Bag Lady is nothing if not superstitious, so she won’t talk about the Really Bad Things. One of the things that can happen is that a big calf can get stuck, so to speak. It comes part-way out, then gets hip-locked, which means exactly that. The calf gets stuck at the hips.
Early one spring morning, the Bag Lady dragged her weary butt out of bed, pulled on some clothes and stumbled out to check cows. It was just before dawn, and it was snowing; big, fat, fluffy flakes of snow. There was also a cold wind driving those big, fat, fluffy flakes of snow sideways! The Bag Lady shivered her way out to the little patch of trees where the cows had bedded down for the night.
There was a cow she knew was close to calving, and this particular cow had, in previous years, had some troubles. Sure enough, the cow was lying on her side with her calf half-way out. The Bag Lady was pretty sure that the calf was hip-locked. Now generally, when this happens, if the cow gets up or moves around a little, the calf will turn a bit and slip right out. A lot of times, though, the cow is tired, and she won’t move. Other times, all it takes is for the rancher to give a little tug when the cow pushes, and the calf will come. This is always a Lot Easier if the cow is in a confined space, like a barn, or calving shed, rather than out in the pasture. Cattle are wary of intruders when they are calving, even when they know you.
The Bag Lady quietly snuck up behind the cow and took a firm hold on the calf’s front legs, right about the time the cow turned her head and noticed her.
The cow leaped to her feet and took off, running into the wind, with the Bag Lady determinedly hanging on to the slippery calf’s legs! Blinded by the snow, trying desperately to dig her heels in, the Bag Lady was dragged through the bush until, with a strange sucking sound, the calf turned ever so slightly and slipped out of the cow. The Bag Lady managed not to hurt either herself or the calf, and also managed to be well out of the way when the enraged cow turned back to claim her calf! This is not, by the way, the recommended method for assisting a hip-locked calf, but the Bag Lady was lucky that morning and it worked!
After making sure everything was alright with calf and mother, and wiping snow out of her eyes and shaking it out of her dripping hair, the Bag Lady made her weary way back to the house for a well-deserved cup of coffee.
Just another day on the ranch.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Party Animal

Years ago, friends of the Cowboy and Bag Lady were involved in horse racing. They had several horses in the barns at the race-track, and the Bag Lady and her Cowboy used to go to the track and help out with the work (and the beer-drinking).
There is quite a bit of work behind the scenes in the racing world. Racehorses need a lot of care – they are fed a special diet, their stalls need to be cleaned, they need to be worked and walked and monitored closely, etc.
There is always time for some fun, though. At least, in our friends’ barns. The Cowboy and the Bag Lady would visit on a fairly regular basis, and sometimes lend a hand with whatever needed to be done.
On one such occasion, after the work was done, we all sat down in the barns for a beer. There was much laughter and story-telling, and the occasional horse poking his head out of his stall to check things out.
Now our friends had one racehorse named Barney who had injured his leg and wasn’t able to run. They kept him with them at the course so they could care for him and monitor his progress. Barney was a bit of a clown, and we ended up sitting right outside his stall. He hung his head out the door and seemed to be paying close attention not only to the stories, but also to the beer.
The Cowboy was sitting closest to Barney, and set his beer down within Barney’s reach. When he reached for it to take a drink, it was gone. Turns out Barney really wanted to join the party…
Everybody looks better after a couple of beers...

Fortunately, no-one was driving home that night.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mixed Bag Lady Day

I know it's not Friday, but this is truly a mixed bag of things that hit the Bag Lady's radar.

The Bag Lady was watching the news last night (practically the only television she pays attention to anymore!) and was astonished to see a story about an attack on a dental office in Edmonton. A man wielding a broken beer bottle rushed into the office and attacked the dentist. He then bit (yes, bit) the dental assistant, and ran out of the office. He has not been apprehended. The dentist is in the hospital; the assistant was treated and released. Let’s hope her rabies shots were up-to-date…
The Bag Lady is also rather glad she retired from dentistry if that's the way people are treating dental assistants nowadays!

There was another little article on the news a few nights ago about a rescued lobster. He wound up in a grocery store tank, doomed to end up on someone’s dinner plate. A fellow and his wife came along and noticed the size of this lobster. He weighed approximately 15 pounds, and they estimated his age at around 60 years. These kind people decided that a lobster who had been around that long deserved to stay around for awhile, so they paid something like $160.00 to the grocery store to rescue him and donate him to a marine museum.
Now this lobster will live out his life in luxury (well, okay, it ain’t the ocean, but at least it’s not a pot of boiling water!), and school children will learn a little bit about crustaceans. The Bag Lady was impressed with this random act of kindness.

The World Series starts tonight. Now, the Bag Lady is not a big sports fan, but she does enjoy watching the World Series. This year she will be rooting for the Colorado Rockies, partly because she lives in the West, but also partly because of one of their pitchers. Jeff Francis is Canadian. Yup, he’s an Aw-shucks Canuck. AND he’s left-handed. This is important to the Bag Lady because she, too, is a south-paw. The Bag Lady wonders if any of you are lefties? How does it affect your life? Do right-handed people sometimes make comments about how awkward you look?

Things are looking really bad (the Bag Lady almost said heating up, but that would be unkind) in California. Let's hope the federal aid that the president has promised does some good before too many more homes or any more lives are lost.

And a photo that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the topics! My homegrown peppers drying by the stove.

Monday, October 22, 2007


The Bag Lady promised to share some of her fabulous secret recipes, and is keeping her promise. For those of you who have never done any canning, and don’t think you are able to do so because you don’t have a canner, blah, blah, blah, IT’S NOT HARD! If the Bag Lady can do it, so can you. All you really need is a very large pot with a lid, and a rack to keep the jars up off the bottom of the pot. The pot needs to be big enough to hold 6 jars, and tall enough that the water will cover the top of the jars by at least an inch. If you don’t want to try canning, send me bags and bags of money and I’ll send you some of my famous chutney!! (Or better yet, some of my absolutely out-of-this-world salsa…that recipe is going to the grave with me!!) :)

Hot & Spicy Pumpkin Chutney

4 cups prepared pumpkin
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cups malt vinegar
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
½ cup coarsely chopped dark raisins
3 hot yellow peppers, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp grated ginger root*
1 tsp salt

*or use powdered ginger to taste
To prepare the pumpkin, cut into large pieces, scrape out and discard seeds. Place pieces in large saucepan, bring to a boil; boil gently 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. OR bake pieces in a moderate oven until tender.
Remove rind from pulp. Mash pulp to a uniform consistency; measure 4 cups. Place pulp in large stainless steel or enamel saucepan, add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil gently 45 minutes or until thick.
Ladle into hot jars, process in boiling water canner at least 10 minutes**

**Fill boiling water canner with water. Place 5 clean half-pint mason jars in canner over high heat.
Follow directions for Snap lids – usually means placing them in very hot water for 5 minutes to soften sealing compound.
Ladle chutney into hot jar, leaving ½ inch head space. Wipe jar rim to remove stickiness. Centre snap lid on jar, apply screw band until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat for remaining chutney.
Cover canner; return water to a boil, process 10 minutes. Remove jars. Leave jars undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal – sealed lids curve downward.

This chutney is fabulous spooned over a block of cream cheese and served with a variety of crackers.
Now, not all of the Bag Lady's recipes are going to be this complicated - this one was a special request. The Bag Lady knows, too, that the person who wanted to see this recipe will Never Use It, but a promise is a promise!

Ode to an Email Pal

The Bag Lady has a serious issue she wants to share with you today. Years ago, when she first got a computer and was hooked up to the Internet, she decided to do some family tree research.
She found a lot of helpful information posted on a Nebraska website. There was also some information that could only be accessed by what they call a look-up volunteer. These amazing people will do research for you that otherwise you would have to travel long distances to do yourself.
One such volunteer helped the Bag Lady immensely; copying information and sending it to her via email. Not long after he sent her the information, she got another email from him. It was a chatty, brief email, quite innocuous, but the Bag Lady, being quite paranoid, was hesitant to answer. She read it and re-read it, and finally sent an equally brief and rather non-informative response. After all, she knew nothing about this person, other than his name and the fact that he lived in Nebraska. Soon, along came another chatty, equally innocuous email. The Bag Lady answered that one, too, and soon became e-pals with this terrific man. He is retired, in his 70’s, with a wife and 3 daughters and several grand-children.
They have corresponded at least weekly ever since, so a few weeks ago, the Bag Lady was starting to get a little worried when she hadn’t heard from him for a couple of weeks. Along came an email from his wife, explaining that Jerry was ill and hadn’t been able to get on the computer, but was hoping to be better soon and get back to normal. The Bag Lady replied with wishes for a speedy recovery.
Then along came another email, also from his wife, with the Really Bad News. Jerry has cancer. Not bad enough that he has cancer, but he has it in two locations. Turns out the brain cancer was easier to deal with than the lung cancer. The last the Bag Lady heard, Jerry was too weak for the big blast of chemo and/or radiation that the doctors want to give him for the lung cancer.

The Bag Lady would like to take this opportunity to thank Jerry for his kindness, and to let him know how much she values his friendship, and hopes that he beats this disease into the ground! She hopes all of you will join with her in sending a message to the Powers-That-Be, (whoever, whatever is out there, ruling our world) to help Jerry survive this and go on for a great long time.
(Jerry, I love ya' like an uncle and hope you get well soon!)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Silliness - The Bag Lady's Household Hints

The Bag Lady has decided to share some of her most closely guarded secrets for keeping your home in tip-top shape. (Well, okay, she’s making this up as she goes along…)

1. If your dog has gas on a regular basis, try giving him/her a tablespoon of plain yogurt mixed into dry dog food. (Okay, the Bag Lady isn’t sure that is going to keep your home in tip-top shape, but it might help it smell better!)

2. If you clean with vinegar, you are helping the environment, and your house will smell like pickles. (Not really…well, maybe a little.) Actually, using vinegar is a good idea for washing windows, or, mixed with baking soda to remove greasy build-up around your stove. You can clean your drains by sprinkling baking soda in the drain, then pouring some vinegar on the soda. The foaming action helps get rid of greasy build-up that may be slowing your drain. You can also use vinegar in the washing machine rinse cycle to help freshen and soften clothes. A dish of vinegar in an out-of-the-way spot will help remove odours from the air.

3. Sheesh, the Bag Lady Really Doesn’t Like Housework, so she’s almost out of handy hints! She sprinkles the filter of her vacuum cleaner with a little essential oil to help freshen as she vacuums. (Pretty clever, eh?)

4. If you walk around out in the pasture, avoiding those funny round greenish ‘rocks’ goes a long way toward keeping your house clean. If you do step on one of those, treat the ensuing stain like a grass stain (that’s basically what it is, except it’s been processed through a cow’s intestines.)

5. As everyone knows, beer (or wine) is essential for good housekeeping. If you serve enough alcohol to your guests, they won’t notice the dog/cat hair clinging to their clothing.

Okay, enough handy hints. (Whew, thinking those up was almost as hard as actually cleaning the damned house! Someone give the Bag Lady a drink…)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun For Friday

The Bag Lady wants to try to do something fun for Fridays, and has way too many ideas, so needs some input from her loyal readership (tee-hee – pretty presumptuous, eh?) She thought maybe she could share some of her famous secret recipes, but it seems as though most of her readers are fitness types, and most of her recipes are fattening!
Then she thought perhaps some kind of craft instruction, but it seems as though most of her readers are fitness types, and most of her crafts are of the sit-down variety. (Boring!) Then, she thought, well, gee, there isn’t much else in the Bag Lady’s limited repertoire, so maybe a funny photo? Diet tips? Beer drinking tips? (Oh, wait; pretty sure everyone can manage that one on their own) How-to tips? (Hmm, how to … what?). Gosh, this is harder than she thought. So she pulled out her trusty manual on how to come up with something to write for her blog. Even that didn’t help.
So she’s throwing it open to the masses (all 6 or 8 of you). What should Fridays be about in the Bag Lady’s world? Food? Fun crafty things? Diet tips? Photos from the country point of view? Secret tales of survival in the wilds of northern Alberta?

Then one of the neighbours showed up with a load of straw bales that the Bag Lady had to unload and stack and she got to thinking; how many of her loyal readers gets to run a wheel loader? Eh? Of course, twelve years ago, if you had asked the Bag Lady to run anything larger than a pick-up truck, she would have laughed you out of the room. It all started so innocently and look at her now! C’mon girls, how many of you have a secret desire to drive this:

What if the Bag Lady told you it’s just like driving a car? Except for the joy-stick that makes the bucket go up and down and tilt. Which is pretty cool unless you stick the bale fork in the ground by mistake! So perhaps the Bag Lady should use her Friday posts to share some of the ranching stuff she gets to do. Okay, you pick:
Diet tips?
Country photos?
Survival tales?
Ranching stuff?
Go into the comments section and make your choice.
In the meantime, have a super weekend. Who knows, the Bag Lady may post again through the weekend – it depends on what fabulous adventures await her on the ranch.

Mindless Mind Mash

Where do those good ideas that you get in the middle of the night go when you wake up? The Bag Lady had a new post all planned out, and probably should have hauled herself out of bed and written it down because she can’t remember any of it!

Of course, the Bag Lady is starting to have a few memory issues anyway. Is this related to age? She prefers to think it’s just because she has so many things in her tiny mind that there isn’t room for all the ideas. Of course, that doesn’t really explain why she forgets what she went into the bedroom for…

Have you ever unexpectedly run into an old school-mate or someone you knew long ago and not been able to remember their name? Worse yet, they call you by name and ask after your siblings/parents/spouse by name! It’s embarrassing, to say the least. The Bag Lady has a theory about this. She has occasionally seen someone she went to school with (way back in the last century…) and remembered their name, but usually hasn’t approached them due to her innate shyness. The one time she did approach someone, the person didn’t remember her at all. Nothing. Nada. Talk about embarrassing. That person had made quite an impression on the Bag Lady way back when. Obviously, it wasn’t reciprocal. So when the Bag Lady runs into someone who remembers her and calls her by name, she prefers to think she made a bigger impression on them than they did on her. (Whatever works, right?)

Now there are ways to improve your memory. There are all sorts of little tricks for remembering names by connecting them to something else. Unfortunately, when the Bag Lady was a wee schoolchild, she didn’t know those tricks and didn’t ever imagine she would need them, so they are Absolutely No Good to her now, are they? How was she to know that 30 years after the last time she saw Suzy Green*, she would run into her in the paint section of the hardware store, and, while her mind was totally absorbed in finding the proper wood stain for her new deck, Suzy would appear, calling her by name and asking after each and every one of her siblings, also by name? The Bag Lady was caught totally unawares, and while she did recognize the skinny little kid hiding in this definitely grown-up, slightly chubbier matron, she Could Not Think of her name! She remembered that Suzy had a sister, also nameless at that particular moment. But the Bag Lady was involved in theatre at one point in her varied life, and if nothing else, learned how to act effusive, so managed to successfully bluff her way through the encounter.

Does this happen to you? How do you deal with it? Do you come clean, apologize for your senility and confess you can’t pull their name out of that messy hat you call your memory? Or do you do as the Bag Lady did and bluff your way through?

(*name changed to protect the innocent – well, okay, I still don’t remember WTF it is!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Living in the country has many advantages, but it also has some drawbacks. Some of the advantages are obvious, such as the space, the peace and quiet, the wildlife. Ah, the wildlife.
One never knows what will come wandering through the yard on any given day. White-tail deer, mule deer, moose, coyotes, elk, even the odd bear have all passed through at one time or another. The bag lady has also seen foxes, weasels, eagles, owls, hawks and many other birds. She feeds hummingbirds in the summer and has had American Kestrels nesting in her backyard for years. She has also seen mice. Now, the Bag Lady is not afraid of mice. She does not like mice, but she does not fear them. Mice are an inevitable part of country life. They love to nest in hay bales, and are constantly on the look out for a warm place with a ready supply of food.

One such little opportunist found his way into the Bag Lady’s house. The Bag Lady went into her pantry one morning for cereal for her breakfast and her bleary eyes fell upon a tiny shredded pile of cardboard.
Hmmm, says she to herself. Where did that come from? Casting a glance around, she spied some telltale droppings. Needless to say, the Bag Lady was not happy at this turn of events. She spent the entire day cleaning her rather large and overstuffed pantry.
This Herculean task consumed most of her day. It is astonishing how much damage one little mouse can do in a short time. The Bag Lady tossed several garbage bags worth of mangled packages of raisins, coconut, cracker boxes, etc. Mousie showed a great affinity for cornmeal and managed to spread that over one entire shelf.
Everything that was salvageable was washed with a bleach solution as was the entire interior of the pantry. The Bag Lady attached a strip of wood to the bottom of the pantry door in order to ensure Mousie couldn’t get back in, then replaced the food. The Bag Lady fell into bed in exhaustion.
The next morning, the Bag Lady inspected the pantry with an eagle eye. No sign of the mouse. But he had to still be in the house, so she concentrated her efforts on finding the intruder. Her eyes fell upon the stove. Hmmm. Opening the bottom drawer confirmed her suspicions. Now the Bag Lady is pissed. She takes everything out of the drawer and cleans it, then starts cleaning the rest of the oven. Pulls it out from the wall, inspects behind it, cleaning everything as she goes. She lifts the top of the stove to clean under the burners and spies a little pile of insulation sticking out of a hole. By this time, the monotony of cleaning has lulled her into a false sense of security and she mindlessly pokes her finger at the fluffy stuff. She practically levitates when the fluffy stuff pokes back!
Out of the hole scurries a little mouse. He dashes across the stove top and into a corresponding hole on the other side. The Bag Lady loses control of her senses and grabs a long metal fork – you know the type – wire, with a shaped handle on one end, a twist in the middle and two prongs for roasting wieners. She shoves this weapon down into the hole on the side of the oven and starts poking around. Somehow, the fork rounds the corner to the back of the stove and there is a sudden huge flash of light and a rather loud noise. The Bag Lady lets go of the fork with a yelp of surprise.
After she turns the electricity back on, she un-plugs the oven and manages to pry the fork off the wire it has welded itself to. Amazingly, the oven still works, so her husband suggests turning the oven on. Once it gets hot enough, the mouse is sure to leave. So the Bag Lady and the cowboy turn the oven on and sit down with a beer to watch the show.

Of course the phone rings, so the cowboy is talking to his buddy when the mouse finally scurries out of the oven. The phone is dropped to the counter and the chase is on. Much yelling and screaming (the cowboy IS afraid of mice) ensues, and 10 minutes later the mouse has been dispatched. Only then does the cowboy pick up the phone again. Much to his surprise, his buddy is still on the other end, laughing so hard he can barely talk.

Ah, life in the country.

Monday, October 15, 2007


This will be quite a short post. The bag lady is truly bagged today. She was a very industrious little bag yesterday and put up (canned) a whole whack of pizza sauce.

The bag lady had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year and has been canning like a crazy person. (she figures that counts for something toward saving the the jars...)

The pizza sauce is for use on the pizza we make in our outdoor oven. A couple of years ago the bag lady decided to build an outdoor oven to bake bread and pizza. It took a long time (and a false start), but she finally got the job done. The result is not especially aesthetically pleasing, but it works. There was a minor blip when a very small part fell off (back to the drawing board), but it has now been repaired and works beautifully.

You haven't had pizza 'til you've had it baked in a wood-fired oven! It cooks extremely quickly (perfect pizza in around 2 minutes!) and tastes out-of-this-world. Of course, the home-made pizza sauce might make just a teensy bit of difference, too.

We have enjoyed several pizza parties - we supply the oven, dough, sauce and toppings, and everyone makes their own pizza, and brings their own beer! Fabulous, and great fun.
And yes, the bag lady built the oven in the photo 98% on her own - she had some help one day with mixing the cement for the cladding. (unfortunately, taking full responsibility for building it also means she has to take full responsibility for how ugly it is, and for when things fall off...)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Princess

A couple of years ago, the bag lady lost her dear, sweet dog who had been her constant companion for 13 years. When he first passed away, she swore she wouldn't get another dog for all those reasons we all use - to honour his memory; it would never be the same; he was irreplaceable; etc. After two long, quiet weeks, the bag lady started to reconsider. She was heart-broken at the loss of her golden retriever (truth be told, she still is), but it was so quiet and lonesome without him. It just isn't right to live in the country and not have a dog. So she started haunting the SPCA. Not a good place for someone as tender-hearted as the bag lady! She wanted to bring all the dogs home.

After a few weeks, she found a pup. An adorable little black ball of fur. Didn't take her long to decide that this was the one, so away she spirited the poor little thing. Soon, the little black ball of fluff sprouted long, gangly legs and was galumphing everywhere. She designated herself the protector of her domain. Now, some two years later, she maintains a vigil to rival Buckingham Palace against the evils that lurk amongst us. Her primary goal in life (other than chasing sticks and toys, and tormenting the cats) is guarding the yard against that most dreaded of all predatory creatures, the evil chickadee!

Yes, that is correct. The chickadee is the enemy. Those cheerfully chirping little critters who populate every backyard in this country are involved in an evil conspiracy which the Princess is fighting single-handedly. Single-handedly because she is the only one who knows it exists. She strategizes constantly, feigning sleep on the deck until the unsuspecting chickadee alights on the bird feeder over her head. Then she bursts into a frenzy of barking, hackles raised high, and chases the evil chickadee out of her airspace.

The chickadee is not alone in this conspiracy, either. The entire avian population is suspect and treated to the same considerations. Ravens, blue jays, magpies and woodpeckers all receive the same treatment. Even low-flying aircraft and helicopters are barked out of the Princess's airspace. She charges across the yard, hackles raised, barking at the intruder until it is out of sight (or across the property line) Then she trots back to her spot on the deck, grinning from floppy ear to floppy ear, to resume her vigil.

Another mission accomplished.

(names have been changed to protect the innocent!)

The View From Here

Thought you might all like a peek at what the bag lady wakes up to in the morning. (well, okay, in truth, this is what she sees from her kitchen window - what she wakes up to in the mirror is too scary for most of you!)

This is her very first post on her brand-new blog and she already has writer's block! Mostly she's doing this 'cause a few people have been bugging her to start her own blog. She warned them that it might not be pretty, but would they listen?

You can probably expect occasional posting on this page. The bag lady has many other commitments in her life (ha), so cannot devote too much of her precious time here.