Thursday night Zeke got loose again. I knew there was going to be trouble when I took the dogs out for their last walk of the evening. Zeke had his alert look. His nose was up and testing the air, and then it was down sniffing the ground, and all the while he was ranging back and forth at the end of the leash. It was obvious that some critter was around.

I knew I should have turned right around and taken him back inside, but we continued. I had put the leash loop around my wrist, which gives a solid grip. When we got to the mailbox I rethought that. I pulled the leash down off my wrist and gripped it with my fingers so I could let go quickly. We have a set of steps leading down from the mailbox and I could imagine Zeke pulling me down.

A few seconds after I changed my grip, as we were on our way down the steps, Zeke took off. I didn’t even consider trying to hold onto him. He ran barking down across the driveway and into the woods below the house.

As I have said before, there’s no point in calling Zeke; it was so late it would have disturbed the neighbors, and Zeke won’t come anyway. So I went in and figured we would see him Friday morning. Maybe.

A few minutes after I went back inside, the phone rang. It was a county police officer. He asked if I was missing a dog. I thought about it for a few seconds and then said yes. He was on Lavender Trail down towards Fouche Gap Road, in almost the opposite direction from where he disappeared. So the officer said he would bring Zeke home.

I went out to the road to wait. In a short while they pulled up with Zeke in the back seat, where the delinquents usually ride. The officer was very polite. He asked what kind of dog Zeke was and said he was pretty. I agreed that he was a good-looking dog.

And then Zeke was released into the custody of his parents.

It’s going to be a while before he lives this one down – busted by the county cops.

Friday Felines

We tried for a long time to get the mats out of Smokey’s hair but just couldn’t do it, so we took him to the vet’s office for their groomer to work on. He’s not used to a carrier and he complained on the way. He has the saddest, smallest little meow. The groomer groomed and bathed him. It was an all-day affair.

They had to cut out some of the mats, but he still seemed a little matted when we got him home. I decided to comb him again.

smokegroom1As you can see, I got out a good bit of loose fluff right from the start.

smokegroom2He usually loves it when I comb him out.


He’s a good kitty. I really manhandled him, but he just laid there. I was holding him by his rear leg here, and he didn’t really care.

smokegroom3I kept at it for a while.


We couldn’t believe how much fur we got off him, even after the groomer had worked on him.


I think we could have kept combing and getting more and more fur but I finally got tired. I think Smokey did, too, but he didn’t complain much.


More view

Neighbor John worked through the dry weather last week to expand the cleared area where the house will go, thus revealing more of what our view will be. Here is a panorama I shot before the rain started.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The extreme left of the image shows Little Texas Valley through the woods. The larger trees near the white loader will come down sometime. Some of the trees near the dump truck will also come down.

Leah says that you can’t really see the view, so here’s a crop showing the middle area where we have a view over town.


Of course things look different when you are using your own eyes.

The cleared area is larger than I originally expected. Part of the reason for that was that my estimated back property line is too far back. The surveyor’s line crosses the upper edge of the cleared area, so to maintain the required clearances as well as to site the house at the best place for the slope, we have to move our house down and to the south. So, it required  more clearing, and there will be more to come.

I would like to buy the lot that the view to the left in the panorama crosses, but John says that his brother is considering buying it. Based on what John said, the price would probably be low enough that we could swing it, but I don’t want to compete with John’s brother for the property. His brother might rethink things when he looks more carefully at what would be involved with building on that property. There really isn’t a good house site anywhere on it.

We’re going to have a lot more open area around this house than around our current house. That’s going to mean more grass to cut, although maybe it will also mean we’ll have room for some fruit trees.

Sunset, January 26

It had been cloudy all day Monday, but around sunset the clouds started to break up. This shot was taken from Lavender Trail near our mailbox.

sunset2_26jan15I walked up the road just past the edge of our property, right around neighbor Jeff’s driveway and got this.

sunset26jan15This is the best view we have of the west from where we live.