Friday, May 29, 2015

Sheep, Alpacas and Dogs

There is a website called Only In Humboldt that is so true to life here it is scary. Now that we are back living behind the Redwood Curtain (named because we are surrounded by redwood forests), it has been great fun to remember why this place is eccentric, crazy, and unique.

Today, I was driving home after dropping off my son at his 'hippy school' when confronted with a man out walking his sheep. Not herding sheep, mind you, but an older, sane-looking man with a single sheep strolling down the middle of the lane. But don't worry, his pet was leashed.

One of our favorites from a couple of years ago were the hippies who owned two alpacas. The animals lived in their yard in the middle of town. They were also leashed, for their daily walks through the town plaza. Of course, the home of the humans was painted pink with rainbow colored signs of peace, love and happiness painted in huge letters all along the outside of the house.

I guess the owners were full of love for those alpacas. When the humans moved, they left the alpacas behind, free to fend for themselves. Who knew that alpacas were so independent? Anyway, the hippies were ultra-loving. When an animal rescue organization came and took the pets to their center, the previous owners were 'happy that the alpacas found a good home'. That is so sweet, just makes me want to cry.

We see loads of hitchhikers here. Most of them on the freeway, thumbs out, hitching off the highway shoulder. We are quite curious as to who stops on a freeway to pick them up, risking a car accident and ticket from the police. But we assume one must because they keep trying for rides.

We especially like when we see those hitchers have their dogs walking with them. Most have leashes, so safely is never a concern.

My favorite in this subject was the young man I saw recently who gave up hitching and was bicycle riding on the side of the highway. That's a lot easier on his feet. I'm sure the dog he was carrying in his arm was also enjoying the ride. I wonder if that dog was leashed?

Well, I am off to walk our dog. Unfortunately, we don't live close enough to the freeway for a little jaunt along the sides of the busy highway. Hmmm, maybe tomorrow I'll drive to the sixty-five mile an hour road to walk Sydney. Sounds much more exciting than a neighborhood walk.

Heather Leigh,
Boring, safe, dog walker

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fertilized Tree and Attic Birds

There is a maple tree on just about every front lawn in our new neighborhood. And guess which house has the energy swag to concoct the greatest amount of fresh leaves on their tree? Yah, you right. It's our house.

Our tree, our house, our front yard, has the tree with at least twice as many Spring leaves as all the other maples. Do you think the other trees are peanut butter and jelly jealous? Oh, you know they so are. And, of course, being the spiritually healthy, loving family that we are, we decided that it was because the place that we chose to make our home was naturally the highest spiritually active vibrational yard in the 'hood.

Cause we is bad ass.

And then we was not so bad ass.

Last week, the plumbing in the house was going awry. The plumber got out his drain cleaning snake thing they use, and pulled out a huge wad of tree roots. There were maple tree roots in the pipes.

Turns out, our sneaky, greedy, deceptive, gorgeous tree had infiltrated the underground pipes in the front yard. Our high-frequency, spiritual love tree was sucking up toilet water to self-fertilize. Turning poop into leaves.

So where does that leave us? Eating a good helping of spiritual humble pie.

The next shock to my system came from dear old Dad. There are four door knob sized holes on the front and back outside walls of the house, just below the eaves. Perfect size, location, and shape for our fellow birds to lay nests in. Which, those little birdies have done.

As they are perfectly formed and sized for swallows, I assumed that some previous owner was such a bird lover, that they carved these holes specifically for the baby birds and their mommas and poppas. Aww, isn't it grand and lovely when humans are so sweet, generous and kind like that? I was in love with a past owner whom I will never meet. Eternally grateful for the kind sentient being that so loved his/her fellow creature that bird nests were provided right into the structure of this place.


But then Dad had to be the spoiler. Turns out, those holes are there to air out the attic. And it gets worse. Mean, old, nasty screens should be installed over those ventilation areas to KEEP BIRDS OUT!
Can you believe the atrocity of human kind? The distorted, appalling, wicked notions of home builders? Just breaks my heart thinking about it.

But, I figure, to heck with the way things should be. I spent the better part of the morning watching a momma and pappa bird bringing wiggling worms to the open mouths of their babes. From my vantage point of the open sliding glass door, I could easily see four baby birds, mouths wide open, awaiting delivery of their morning meal. It was like the cutest thing EVER!

So there, home builders! Your desire to ventilate brought more than simple clearing of dank, smelly air from the attic. It brought me an entire morning of connecting with nature.

So maybe I am not so spiritually incorrect after all.

Heather Leigh

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Snorting Goats

Hello, my name is Heather Leigh, and I am an addict.

Okay, so I'm not making fun of the whole AA thing. Nothing cruel like that. But, what if the deep, ingrained desire to write was treated like an addiction? I mean, think about it. All the signs are there:
* Stories call out to me to be written
        --like the sirens from Homer's Odyssey--except that my sirens are elephants and leprechauns)
* I wake at night with plot ideas that won't let me sleep until they are written down
        --like all-nighters for barflies
* Smuggled in my purse is a writer's notebook, for quotes by friends and family
        --like a flask in a flasher's trench coat
* When in the writer's zone, I can't hear you
        --like an acid tripper dancing at a Rave Party

And what about my family and friends? If I'm in this deep, why have they not done an Intervention? It's because writing is socially acceptable. If they only knew that it really is just another form of madness, writers would be in straight jackets, unable to use pens or computers. Thank the God of Socially Accepted Addictions that normal people don't know the truth.

Okay, so this subject is completely different than the above stuff. But, how do goats walk in straight lines? Have you ever noticed their eye placement? They are seeing everything from how we see peripherally. It would be like trying to see your ears as you walk. Could you do it? I barely can. Does that mean goats are smarter than humans, or that they are more coordinated?

WARNING: Don't pretend to see like a goat while driving. Many good people have been killed by Goat Driving.

Okay, just one more completely different subject. What is it that makes parents want to bond with other parents by putting down their kids? If I had a quarter for every time a teacher strongly insinuated that my kid had some unique trait that was inexcusably horrid, I would have at least ten dollars by now. Maybe eleven. But the funny thing is, once I question the teacher as to what happened, turns out it was a bad day, a one-time thing, or a misunderstanding. And parents of teenagers? They are often worse than their kids--eye rolling and everything--about how 'teens are'. It's like us adults are all in on some anti-offspring cult. When I say I like my kids, and they aren't so bad, suddenly those adults agree with me. Weird, huh?

In order to wrap up this blog and bring the beginning into the ending, I'll go back to the first subject. Pretty smart, huh? I'm what's called a functioning writer.

There are many of us writers who carry around the Writer's Journal. BEWARE! It can be quite annoying to be stopped mid-conversation to have your witty, bittersweet, or clever saying written down. You are allowed to let the writer know before the chatting begins that you will not stand for interruptions. Kind of like telling a cocaine user to not snort at the kitchen table.

Heather Leigh,
writer addict with poor goat coordination