I  

      "Cognito, ergo sum"       

           

  MAGGIE CÓRDOVA        

    (Book 1 / Part 1 / Chapter 1 / Thursday)        

                                                                 -ZETA ORIONIS-                                                                                                                                          "Why me?"

                    

                                            7:30 A.M. / DAY ONE / MARCH 20, 2014

               

 "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot  change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom   to know the difference."                                (Reinhold Niebuhr)                                                                                                   Hello! My name is Maggie. I'm a girl Dog.  I'm almost three years old now.  I don't exactly know when my birthday is but I think it's coming up soon.  Too bad my boss, Mr.   Steve; doesn't know that.  There are times when I really wish I could talk. Then I could tell him   all of the things that I've been thinking about lately.  I do have so much to say!                              

        Thank You God for this beautiful morning!  The scents are strong, Birds are chattering, the Sun is casting long shadows leaning toward me; and wispy white clouds are hanging over the desert to the east.  Next door, Heathcliff, our neighbors Rooster; just crowed.

        For most people January 1 is "New Years Day."  But not us!  My boss Mr. Steve considers today, the first day of "Spring;" our New Years Day.  Me too!  I want to do what he does so he'll like me.  I've noticed how Mr. Steve doesn't enjoy celebrating that much any more.
                                    

        Oh my God!  I just smelled those two Joshua trees out there in the desert.  I've never, ever smelled them this early in the year.  Maybe it's a good sign?  Mr. Steve named them the "Twins" because they grew up so close to each other and kind of look like each other too.    

       This is going to be a good day I hope.  I can just kind of tell.  Right now I'm back here on the "Patio;" sitting on this old "Couch" I named "Elvira."  I gave her a name mainly because my boss Mr. Steve gives things names.  I guess another name for a couch is a "Sofa."

       To my left, up near the wooden roof of the Patio; are "Chimes" hanging down.  Oh! They're ringing and making their beautiful ringing sounds because a slight breeze just blew in from out in the eastern desert to my front.  Hey Holy Spirit!  Is that You?  I want to think so.  

       

                      

        As You know Holy Spirit, I kind of want to believe in things like "Omens."  At times I think I smell, hear, see, taste or feel when any of You Guys send me messages.  So maybe smelling the Twins on the very first day of Spring, or hearing the chimes now; are good signs?     

       Ah!  Heathcliff, our neighbor's Rooster; just crowed again.  His voice makes me feel calm for some reason.  Sometimes I get kind of nervous about things and have a hard time relaxing.  But I'm getting a lot better about not worrying so much.  I sure feel good this morning.  

       I wonder if Heathcliff knows this is the first day of Spring?  I'll bet he does.  I noticed how he started announcing the day way earlier than usual this morning.  Heathcliff is now a part of our mornings and it wouldn't be the same without hearing him over there next door. 

      

                     DAWN                                       BLINKY                                        ROSIE

      

        Ah!  Our neighbors Dog "Dawn" is barking next door but it's not her alarm bark.  Dawn is light brown and weighs about seventy pounds; ten pounds more than I weigh.  Dawn's right eye doesn't work.  Her former owner hit her right on the head with a belt I guess.

       Dawn was the leader of our neighbors "Pack" of three Dogs but one morning and suddenly little thirty pound "Blinky" took over.  Blinky's a brave boy Dog.  Mr. Steve calls him "Short Biggie" and Dawn is "Big Shortie."  They defend their land "At any Cost" as they say.  

       A Dog named "Rosie" also lives over there next door.  She's old so walks slowly and rarely barks.  At one time Rosie was pure black and weighed over one hundred pounds!  But now Rosie has a lot of gray and is getting skinnier and skinnier.  But she still tries to guard!  

                     

        Oh my God!  I just noticed "Andy" and "Helen" the Ground Squirrels over there standing on that one big boulder.  It's so good to see they made it through the long, cold Winter.  Mr. Steve says most Squirrels live up in trees but not our Squirrels.  They live in "Burrows."

         You can tell that Andy and Helen are best friends.  Sometimes they even wrestle and play.  I think they like to celebrate because of how they chase each other around.  I can tell that Andy is always "Watching Out" and protecting Helen.  But she's tough too that Helen.

       Celebrating is one of my favorite things to do, except for eating and running fast!  I even like to dance sometimes.  My boss Mr. Steve calls it my "Irish Jig."  Mr. Steve is fifty eight so is now old.  He joked with his friend Mr. "Rick" that he read; "sixty is the new thirty."

  

                                                                                                               JOSHUA

                   

           Hey God!  Smelling the Twins makes me think about how Joshua trees were named by 19th century "Mormon" settlers.  I guess Joshua trees reminded them of the "Old Testament" story of how that guy "Joshua" lifted his hands up in prayer.  That's what Mr. Steve heard.

       I guess Joshua was "Moses" assistant God.  When Moses died You had Joshua replace him. Mormons have lived in our area of the "Mojave Desert" for one hundred years; or a "Century" as they say.  Mr. Steve thinks that most Mormons are "basically decent" people.

       We had a cold Winter but now it will warm up.  I heard Mr. Steve tell his friend "Randy" he likes when the cold weather gradually starts to "Thaw." That means the days will start to get warmer.  It will get really hot in Summer!  Andy and Helen the Squirrels are gone. 

      

   

        I feel good sitting back here on the Patio.  Elvira's comfortable!  Straight ahead, to the east; I see our three Sheds, from right to left; "Manny," "Moe" and "Jack."  They're about fifty feet away.  The Sheds "Primary" color is "Navy" blue, their "Secondary" color white.

       Mr. Steve keeps a lot of things in those three Sheds.  Jack is the big Shed on the left and Mr. Steve sometimes uses it as kind of a second "Office."  Inside of the house he converted one of the three "Bedrooms" into his main Office.  I'm still afraid to go deep inside the house.

        A while back Mr. Steve's father joked about how, in an emergency; you could actually live inside Jack the biggest Shed.  But I prefer open areas better because then you can't be trapped.  I hate being "Boxed In."  One of our neighbors Ducks is quacking over there next door. 

  

    

          This is so great!  I just noticed "Fannie" and "Freddie" the Crows standing over there in the dirt.  They're kind of like Andy and Helen the Ground Squirrels.  When you see one you see the other.  They're what's called "Inseparable."  Mr. Steve's parents are like that.

          Heathcliff just crowed again.  Our mornings just wouldn't be the same without good old Heathcliff.  Ah!  I like taking deep breaths of new Spring air through my nose.  And smelling the Twins makes me think about other times when I picked up their distinctive scent.  

        Now I hear more of our neighbors Ducks quacking over there next door.  This is the time of morning they get fed so those Ducks are excited because they're hungry.  I'm full!  We had a big Spring celebration breakfast this morning.  I have a really good "Royal" blue food bowl. 

                                                                 PHOTO BY REBECCA HOWARD           

                                                                     

        Mr. Steve and some of the members of his family visited the country of "Israel" in June of 1985.  In the "City" of "Jerusalem" they heard a "Muezzin" call other "Muslims" to prayer.  Mr. Steve jokes about how Heathcliff the Rooster is kind of like our personal Muezzin.  

        I guess, in the religion of "Islam;" the Muezzin's "Call to Prayer" is called the "Adhan." That's what Mr. Steve was told one time by this man who was from the country of "Egypt."  His name was "Ahmed."  There Heathcliff goes again!  This day is beginning well.   

        On that same 1985 trip Mr. Steve's "Tour Group" also visited the country of "Italy."  From what Mr. Steve told his friend Mr. "Cliff," 1985 was a time when there was a lot of "Terrorism."  So there was more "Security" than usual.  I'll write more about that trip later today.  

                                                                                        

                                                              MICHAEL BUFFER (1988)

                                                                                                                                               PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

   

        Well God!  Here I go.  Time to "Buckle Down" as they say.  I'll be the first Dog in history to write a book.  As a "Photographer in the 1980's Mr. Steve took pictures of this one Boxing "Ring Announcer" named Michael Buffer who used to say; "Lets' get ready to Rumble!"  

        As You know God, in fact; I'm hoping to write three books over the next three days.  That's a "Trilogy."  I heard my boss Mr. Steve use that word and I never forget words.  I've made three really long "Outlines" that will guide me in writing all of my three kind of long books.   

         A writer Mr. Steve has read is from the country of "England" and is named J.R.R.Tolkien.  He wrote a trilogy of books called "Lord of the Rings."  Over the next three days I'll write more about "Tolkien."  He even fought against the Germans back then in World War I!   

                                                                                                          

          Hey God!  I'm writing my books for many reasons.  First, I want to impress my boss.  And I also want to prove that females can be as capable as males.  Mr. Steve's father believes; "If the females in our family had not been the way they are we would not be where we are." 

   Thirdly, I'm going to to try to write my books because I can leave a partial history of our family.  That way future generations will know at least a little bit about their "Descendants."  I    have no memory at all of my "Ancestors" so I'll just kind of adopt Mr. Steve's family.                  

         Mr. Steve graduated "College" with a "B.A." in "History."  He also studied "Philosophy" and "Political Science."  I'm now interested in those things too.   Oh my God!  I just thought of something!  Maybe I can teach others!  I guess B.A. stands for "Bachelor of Arts."  

    

       

        Looking to the east the main color I see is light brown or what my boss calls "Khaki."  But the main color I want to see is blue because that's my favorite color.  Mr. Steve's favorite color is green so now it's becoming my favorite color too.  Green is a good color alright.

        Since he's been a kid Mr. Steve has done artwork. And his job now requires him to be more aware of colors and things like that.  Mr. Steve told his friend Randy one time about how many people see the color khaki as "Non-Descript."  That's because it's not bright I think.

        Another "Dull" color is "Gray."  Mr. Randy joked that modern cities are mainly gray.  The outside walls of our house are gray and so is the Patio floor below me.   Another name for khaki is "Tan" I guess.  "Beige" is defined as "grayish-tan."  I sort of like the color khaki. 

          The long "Gravel" Driveway that leads from the front of our house out to the road is gray. Over the next three days I'm planning on writing a lot about what's called "Symbolism" in the different colors.  That's mainly because my boss Mr. Steve is interested in that subject.  

       Glancing down at the gray Patio floor below me here on this couch, I just noticed a long line of "Ants" marching bye.  We have three types of Ants who live around here and I can see from up here that those ones are those little "Grease" Ants.  I avoid Ants.  They sting!

       Writing my three books will be hard God.  But I can to do it if You Guys up in Heaven help me.  Mr. Steve's been called a "Quick Study" and I am too.  I learned fast what "sit" and "stay" and "lay down" meant.  And I know other words now too; like "food" and "dinner."

        

 

        About two years ago my boss Mr. Steve what they call "Rescued" me from a field I was then living in.  My first owner had dumped me out in the desert so I was "Homeless" as they say.  It was not fun.  Thank You God for having Mr. Steve go over there and get me.

        I haven't had bad dreams lately about being homeless.  In fact, last night I had a pleasant dream about today.  I remember that one time when those three boys hit me with a rock.  It hurt a lot.  Sometimes I still dream about it.  But I'm not mad at them any more.  

        One time Mr. Steve told his friend Mr. Randy about how when I first came here to live I was kind of "Spooked."  I still have a hard time trusting, even though I'm getting better about that now.  But I still won't turn my back on anyone; except my boss.  No way!  Uh! Uh!

  

       We live in a "Country" called the "United States."  And another name for our country is "America."  I guess there are fifty different American "States."   The State we live in here on the "West Coast" is called "California."  I just took a deep breath through my nose. 

       In order to write my three books I'm going to use all of these "Notebooks," "Dictionaries" and "Encyclopedias" we found up front in the "Garage."  One Dictionary is to look up words in "Latin" and others are for the languages that came from Latin; like "Spanish."

       Thank You God for all of these totally amazing pens and pencils that we found up there in the "Garage."  I'm really going to use them in the next three days.  "Human Beings" are smart. How did anyone even possibly think of how to create or invent a thing like a pen? 

     

       Mr. Steve's parents are originally from the State of "New Mexico."  Mr. Steve's father is a "Combat Veteran" of the "Korean War" which started in 1950.  That was only five years after the end of "World War II."  Boy!  I can really smell the Twins out there right now. 

       After Mr. Steve's dad was what they call "Discharged" from the "Marines" in 1954, he got married.  Mr. Steve was born in 1955 and his brother "Rock" showed up two years after that.  Mr. Steve's parents moved their family from New Mexico to California in 1960.

        Once Mr. Steve's parents "Settled" in California they had three more kids.  "Sam Jr." was born in 1961, "Celina" in 1962 and then "Susan" in 1963.  All now have their own families.  Mr. Steve never married or had children.  In a way, I'm sort of like his "Adopted" kid. 

                                   

                                                           MR. STEVE'S PARENTS  

        Over the next three days I'll write about many different "Topics" or "Subjects." But one of the main things I'll write about is Mr. Steve's family.  Our last name "Córdova" can be traced in New Mexico all the way back to the year 1692 "A.D."  Our name is world famous!  

        In 1960 when Mr. Steve's parents moved from New Mexico, they came to a big city called "Los Angeles;" which is located about seventy miles to the southeast of where we live up here in the desert.  Mr. Steve and his brothers and sisters were "Raised" in Los Angeles.

        I hope to someday smell a city.  That would be so great!  All I know is a "Town."  We live in "Piñon Hills" which has about seven thousand people in it.  We're located in this place called the "High Desert."  My boss Mr. Steve moved up here to Piñon Hills back in 2005.  

     Oh!  I smell a "Rosemary" plant.  Is that You Blessed Mother?  If it is I'm so glad that You showed up.  I'm really going to need Your help over the next three days.  I'm kind of scared that   I might've "Bitten off more than I can chew" as that old saying goes.  You know that.                    

       According to what it says here in this one Encyclopedia, Los Angeles means "The Angels" in English.  Wow!  It says here that Los Angeles "covers" an area of about four hundred and sixty   "Square Miles."  It's four million people make it the second biggest American city.                        

    Hey Blessed Mother!  I guess Los Angeles, which began in 1781; was named after You.  The original name was; "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula."  And  that means; "The Town of our Lady the  Queen of the Angels from Porciuncula."                         

   

 

      Boy!  In Spanish sometimes they have long names.  I notice in German it's the same thing, only its all combined.  I'm so glad I have these Dictionaries.  No way I could just sound out and    spell all of the words myself.  No way!  Uh! Uh!  That would be totally impossible!                         

    It would be such an honor to have something like a city or town named after you.  Our last name Córdova is what's called "Derived" from this one "Ancient" city back there in the country of "Spain."  But on this "Map" of Spain I notice how that city is spelled "Córdoba."                     

   When these Encyclopedias have maps to go along with the writing it's easier to understand things.   On this map of Spain I see where the city of Córdoba is.  Boy!  I'm so tempted to start     writing about our last name right now but I'd better just wait.  I really like maps.                          

                    

                                                        

     Oh!  For the first time this year I smell "Sage!"  I have a feeling this is going to be a special year.  I love the smell of Sage.  A friend of Mr. Steve is named "Dave."  He now lives back there   in New Mexico; in the town of "Taos."  He once mailed Mr. Steve New Mexico Sage.                      

     I guess that guy Mr. Dave is part American Indian.  Like my boss, he plays the drums.  But Mr. Steve says Dave is a "real" drummer while he's just a "Bedroom" drummer.  For most of     his life Mr. Dave lived out here in Los Angeles I guess.  Ah!  I just love the smell of Sage!             

      The actual part of Los Angeles where Mr. Steve and his brothers and sisters grew up is called "Sylmar;" a "Suburb" located in the northeastern corner of what they call the "San Fernando     Valley."   This one Dictionary says how in Latin Sylmar means "Sea of Trees."                             

       

            SAN FERNANDO VALLEY         

                      

         I guess "San Fernando" means "Saint Ferdinand" in English.  Sylmar's "neighbor" is the "Independent" city of San Fernando.  And just on the other side of San Fernando is the town of "Mission Hills."  That's where the actual "San Fernando Mission" is located. 

         Mr. Steve says if California were a country it would be the 6th largest "World Economy."  But California is way too crowded with people and Cars he thinks.  Thirty nine million people live here!  The whole huge country of "Canada" has only thirty six million he says.   

        Where we live it's not crowded.  Mainly it's desert.  We live in an area called the "Foothills" of the "San Gabriel" mountains; on the north side.  Sylmar is in the foothills on the other side of the San Gabriel mountains; the south side.  I really like looking at our mountains.  

       

       

        I'm back here on our Patio but I'm thinking about our front yard on the west side of the house.  There are some big trees up there.  The gravel Driveway is lined with Joshua trees.  I'll bet right now there are a lot of Birds flying around up there in the front yard.  

        Mr. Steve owns a house and two and a half acres.  My job to guard these two "Fenced-In" acres.  But I also "Keep an Eye On" the "Undeveloped" half acre to the east, which my boss also owns.  That's behind the three Sheds.  Thank You God for this land to guard.

        Rabbits, Squirrels, Birds, Lizards and other things live out in what my boss calls our "back half acre." One night a Mountain Lion went bye.  I'm afraid of the desert but Mr. Steve isn't.  "Bugs" also live in the back half acre.  I guess another name for a Bug is an "Insect."

                                                   

                                                                  THE BIG TREE                                                 

                                                                          

          About twenty feet from me sitting over here under the Patio roof is a big tree.  I'd say it's about thirty feet tall.  Around the bottom are "Boulders" with dirt between them so the water won't flow away whenever Mr. Steve waters the tree.  I noticed he called it a "Basin."

       Right now the basin is full and looks like a miniature Lake.  The emerging sunlight is pretty reflecting off of the water's surface.  Sometimes Bugs, Lizards and things like that come to drink when the basin if full.  One of our neighbors Ducks is quacking over there next door.

       Hey God!  Thank You for inventing water.  I love water!  When I was living out in that field there were times when I felt like I was "Dying of Thirst" as they say.  Mr. Steve says we cannot waste any water because we're in what's called a "Drought."  Boy!  That sounds bad.

                        

 

         Oh my God!  Now I know this is going to be a lucky day.  "Angeline" the Quail is over there standing with five new babies!  This is so early in the year.  We have three groups or "Coveys" of Quail who live around here.  Angeline and her new babies belong to "Able Company."

       Mr. Steve named our three groups of Quail; "Able," "Bravo" and "Charlie" Companies.  It is so early for a girl Quail to have her babies.  Angeline's a leader of Able Company.  Two sisters named "Laverne" and "Shirley" lead Bravo Company.  They're brave!

       A Huge boy Quail named "Chosin" leads Charley Company.   Angeline will take her babies to the front yard where Mr. Steve spreads "Bird Seed" and "Chicken Scratch" on the ground below his Office window.  He also fills that "Bird Bath" with water.  Angeline is a big girl.  

          

ARTWORK BY MIRIAM MCNULTY

        Yup!  There they go.  Angeline is now leading her babies around the northeast corner of the house.  That's to my left at the end of this long Patio.  Quail kind of remind me of little Chickens. I guess Birds are "Descendants" of one "Form" of the two "Types" of "Dinosaurs."  

        Right now a little Sparrow just flew in and is drinking water from the basin around the big tree.  If I know Birds it will drink water but be alert.  There are things, like our neighbors Cat named "Cher" for instance; who would like to "Ambush" and eat that Sparrow.

         That Sparrow just saw me over here and flew away fast.  I don't blame that little Bird.  You can't be too careful when you're food for everyone.  I'd hate to be a Lizard because it seems like everyone wants to eat you.  But Lizards are fast runners and are good at disguise too.  

  

      "SERENGETI"

       

            One morning Mr. Steve's friend Cliff was here.  He noticed Bugs and other things coming to drink water from the full basin around the bottom of the big tree.  He joked about how it looked like a "mini Serengeti."  The "Serengeti" is an area on the "Continent" of "Africa."

        This Encyclopedia has a picture of the Serengeti.  The caption below says; "Gazelles, Zebras and Wildebeasts share from a Water Hole" in Africa.  Usually those three things would not be hanging around together but being so really thirsty makes them "Take a Chance."   

        I think I understand what Mr. Cliff meant when he joked about the basin being sort of like a mini Serengeti.  One time I saw with my own eyes a Lizard and a Snake drinking water from the basin right across from each other!  Mr. Steve is my witness!  It was so hot that day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                       ZEBRA                                                                            LIBBY

                                                                                                                                 PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

 

       I just glanced over to my right and see our neighbors Horse named "Libby."  She's old and I can smell her even from this far away.  Libby's "Corral" is about one hundred feet from where I'm sitting here on Elvira.  Oh!  Libby is now looking over here in this direction.

        I wish I could smell and see a real Zebra.  A Horse with black and white stripes!  Oh! This is interesting.  It says here that "Serengeti" means "Endless Plains" in the "Maasai" language.  I wonder if my boss knows that?  Mr. Steve has taken pictures of some Zebras.  

        Looking to the east at our back half acre, I know a "dirt" road called "Primavera" is the eastern boundary of Mr. Steve's land.   I just noticed some Flies in front of Moe the middle Shed. I really don't like Flies that much.  They're so annoying.  Nope!  I don't like Flies.

                                                                                                            

HALLWAY INSIDE THE HOUSE

 

      Because I'm still afraid to go all the way down the "Hallway" in our house I can only listen to music when Mr. Steve comes outside to do what they call "Yard Work."  And that's because as he works out here he listens to this incredible, amazing machine called a "Boombox."  

     How could anyone ever have invented such an ingenious thing like a Boombox?  It would take a genius to make that.  To think it's powered by energy that comes out of those miraculous little things they call "Batteries."  You can learn a lot by listening.  I like to listen.

       My boss Mr. Steve thinks it's often more important to listen than talk.  His father taught him that.  But one time it cost him a job because the girl doing the hiring "Was Looking For" a more "Talkative" or "Chatty" person.  I guess Mr. Steve found that out a few years later. 

           

                                                      ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741)

 

        Mr. Steve has songs he likes listening to in the morning.  One is called "La Primavera" just like the name of our back dirt road.  It was written back in the 18th century by that one Italian "Composer" named Antonio Vivaldi.  La Primavera is Latin for "The Spring."

        The sound of that guy "Vivaldi's" song La Primavera is still going through my mind.  It's such an "uplifting" song.  That's what Mr. Steve thinks and I totally agree.  Just hearing it now in my head makes me feel better.  Oh!  I think I can smell a new Spring Sage plant.

       This is kind of sad!  In my Encyclopedia it says that guy "Vivaldi" was buried in what they call a "Pauper's Grave."  That means he was really poor.  Boy God!  I hope I'm never a pauper.  That would be so bad.   I guess Antonio Vivaldi was a "Baroque" composer.    

       

       Hey Lord!  I guess Antonio Vivaldi was a "Roman Christian Catholic" just like us.  So he believed in You too.  But he was a "Priest" or "Cleric."  Over the years Mr. Steve and his father have given money to bury people like Vivaldi who died what they call "Destitute."  

        I notice how, in the painting of Vivaldi in this Encyclopedia; it shows him wearing a "Wig."  I heard Mr. Steve tell his friend Randy one time how in those days no one took baths so people had "Lice."  So they just shaved all of their hair off and wore wigs instead.

        Mr. Steve told his friend Rick one time about how he thinks many Americans "Take things for Granted" as they say.  They just assume there will always be enough food to eat and water to drink and take baths in.  But history shows over and over that "Nothing lasts Forever." 

     

         I knew I was smelling a Lizard around here!  And now I just noticed it over there standing in the dirt.  And it's doing some of those Lizard "Push Ups."  Up and down, up and down.  I like to watch Lizards.  That Lizard better be careful or it will get eaten by something.   

       Even though Piñon Hills doesn't have as many Cars as in a city, I do notice how some people sometimes drive way too fast out there on the road that runs in front of our property.  A lot of people drive "Trucks" I notice.  Mr. Steve has an old 1977 Truck he named "Rex." 

      I guess a "County" is a section of a State.  We're in "San Bernardino" County. Mr. Steve told his friend Randy that San Bernardino County is big in size but "Los Angeles County," where he and his brothers and sisters grew up; has way more of a "Population" of people.

  

      

       I just looked up the word "Sanctuary."  And according to this Dictionary it means; "A holy place of refuge and protection; particularly in a Temple or Church."   Hey God!  Piñon Hills has turned out to be kind of like my own sanctuary.  No one can touch me here!

        Throughout my three books I'm going to write about the country of France.  One thing I'll look up is that story about a "Hunchback" who lived up in the Bell Tower of a giant "Medieval" "Cathedral" in the city of "Paris."  The Hunchback is protected inside that Church.

       Oh my God!  Fannie the Crow just suddenly swooped in from "Out of the Blue" as they say. He landed on that Lizard before it could run away and killed it fast with his sharp beak.  He'll   now go with Fannie to a place where they can divide up and eat the Lizard "In Peace."  

          

                                              HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

                

         Mr. Steve likes "Horror" movies.  One "Silent" movie is about that Hunchback.  Mr. Steve says the Actor who played the Hunchback was good at putting on "Make up."  His Niece named "Stephanie" is trained in make up.  I want to see that movie on the Hunchback.

        I guess in the movie about the Hunchback the people are mean to him.  But one girl feels so sorry for him and helps him.  When I was living out in that field this one lady "Felt Sorry" for me too and put out food and water for me to have.  I was sort of like that Hunchback. 

        Boy!  I'm so tempted to write more about that Hunchback now.  Mr. Steve says he rang the huge bells of the Cathedral so that made him lose his hearing.  I guess a Cathedral is a really big Church.  Anyway, I'll just have to come back to this subject tomorrow in book two.  

                            

                                                         VICTOR HUGO (1802-1885)

                                                                  PHOTOS.COM / JUPITER IMAGES         

               

        A painting in this Encyclopedia shows a French writer named Victor Hugo.  He lived in the 19th century and wrote the book the movie about the Hunchback was "Based On" as they say.   I'll learn and write about other "Authors" my boss likes throughout my three books.

        Boy God!  It would be so terrible to be a Hunchback.  Later in chapter three I'll write about this little guy named Homer Lea.  He wrote two influential books about military history and was a Hunchback.  He was accidentally dropped on the ground when he was a baby.

          Hey Blessed Mother!  This is interesting.  My Encyclopedia says the name of Victor Hugo's book is "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."  And in French the Cathedral is called "Notre Dame de Paris" or "Our Lady of Paris."  So the Cathedral was named after You!

                   

   

         Hey Lord!  Thank You for letting the Romans kill You so You could help us down here.  I'm in part going to try to write my three books in all of You Guys honor.  I hope up there in Heaven Everyone will "Smile Down" on me for the next three days.  That would be so great! 

        Oh!  That one Jackrabbit Mr. Steve named "Jack" just whizzed bye right now.  It's good to see Jack even though I'm so tempted to go chase him.  Jack didn't even notice me over here on Elvira.  I wonder if Jack is a boy or a girl?  Mr. Steve thinks Jack is a boy Rabbit.  

        I can't wait for Saturday Lord!  That's when, according to my outlines; I'm going to learn a lot more about Your blanket or "Death Shroud."  Mr. Steve said it's in Italy where Vivaldi lived. Boy Lord!  I'd love to smell You on that old blanket.  I really love my three blankets!

    

                                                               SHROUD OF TURIN

        

        Oh my God Lord!   This one Encyclopedia has a picture of the "Shroud of Turin" You were buried in!  And it is You!  You're image was probably burned right into the cloth when You went up to Heaven I'll bet.  Anyway, I'll look it up and write more about it on Saturday.  

        This couch Elvira is so comfortable.  I now I kind of like giving things names the way my boss does.  I just looked up the word "Nickname" and it means; "A substitute, descriptive name given in fun."  Oh!  Andy and Helen the Squirrels just ran out into the desert.

        Many years ago Mr. Steve bought Elvira from his friend "Mark."  Mr. Mark and his wife "Kim" were moving with their sons "Taj" and "Dylan" over to this one place called "Hawaii." I know what an "Island" is.  I looked it up a while back.  I'd like to smell an island. 

  

      Our town of Piñon Hills is part of what local people around here call the "Tri-Community." That means Piñon Hills plus these other two small towns called "Phelan" and "Wrightwood."     Phelan was named after a "Politician."  I'll write about him tomorrow in book two.                     

      We live in the southwest "Mojave Desert."   A map in my Encyclopedia shows how we're in between Los Angeles and this city called "Victorville;" which is about thirty miles to the east of   Piñon Hills.   Boy it's so great having these maps!  You can learn a lot from maps.                           

     Aha!  I knew someone was watching at me.  It's a Lizard standing on the wall of the house; over there next to the Sliding Glass Door going into the "Dining Room."  Lizards are sometimes  sort of kind of hard to see because they're so good at what Mr. Steve calls "Camouflage."                         

   PHOTO BY RYAN LEE   

          

        Hey God!  Thank You for creating the world.  Looking to the east I see some of those Cholla cactus' almost glowing in Your sunlight.  They look so pretty in the morning but their looks can be what they call "deceiving."  If a cactus spine stabs you it hurts like a needle.

        Mr. Steve believes in the "Duality" of many things in life.  He thinks most things have two sides or at least the "potential" for two sides.  With good comes bad and with bad comes good he says.  And the bigger the good the equal potential for bad comes; and vice versa.  

        Cholla cactus are called "Jumping Cactus" and I know why.  If you're near them they seem to jump right onto you like a "Magnet."  Mr. Steve used a twig to "flick off" a Cholla cactus.  He told Mr. Randy Cholla cactus remind him of "Velcro."  That one Lizard is gone.  

        

                                                       CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882)

 

       Hey God!  My boss Mr. Steve knows about that man from England named Charles Darwin.  As You know, in the 19th century Charles Darwin developed his "Theory" about the physical world that You created.  He called his theory "Evolution" or "Natural Selection." 

       Mr. Steve had a friend named Mark Ritter.  He died a few years ago.  But before that he was able to go to the "Galapagos" Islands; which Charles Darwin made famous.  I guess Mark Ritter knew a lot about "Reptiles" and things like that.  Mr. Steve has some of his books.

       According to this English Dictionary the "definition" of "Temporal" is; "Of or a part of the physical world."  But a second meaning is; "temporary, transitory."  I'll learn more about those two things over the next three days.  Oh!  Heathcliff the Rooster crowed again.

                            

 

        Hey Holy Spirit!  Just "For the Heck of It" as they say, I looked up the word "Spiritual."  And it says here in this Dictionary that one definition is; "Of the spirit or soul."  Another one is; "Not physical or corporeal."  And a third meaning of Spiritual is; "Sacred or Holy."

        I remember that time when Mr. Steve and his friend Mr. Mike were about to take a "load" of dead Joshua trees to the "Dump."  They talked about what they call "Defense Mechanisms."  Charles Darwin wrote about those.  Cholla cactus' jump on you to defend themselves.   

        I've noticed that when Mr. Steve works he wears "Gloves."  That's mainly because there are a lot of things around here with sharp edges or points.  Boy!  Gloves are so amazing.  I wonder if there's such a thing as gloves for Dogs?  We should invent them and might make money.

       

                

           Oh!  Two Crows are flying bye up in the sky.  I'm pretty sure it's "Blackbeard" and "Anne Bonny."  Blackbeard is missing his left eye and Mr. Steve thinks he might have lost it fighting for the right to be with Anne.  But now they're a couple "For Life" so to speak. 

       Wow!  Looking to the east God, toward the horizon; I think I sense You in the Sun.  I feel so good right now.  The warmth gives me energy.  Ah!  I just smelled the Twin Joshua trees again.  And that suddenly reminds me of last year at this exact same time.  I smell Sage.    

        Boy Crows like to fight over over food and things like that.  Sometimes girl Crows will help the boy Crows fight.  They also have really sharp claws and beaks too.  Blackbeard has a white hole around where his eye used to be.  I don't like fighting.  But I'd fight hard if I had to.     

  

      

        Oh!  I just noticed Fannie and Freddie standing on a branch over there.  I didn't even see them come in.  I've noticed a few times how, when Crows are a couple; they flap their wings at exactly the same time as they fly.  It seems at times like Crows can read minds.   

        Fannie and Freddie had a huge boy Crow named "Samson."  Mr. Steve had already named him "Goliath" until his girlfriend "Delilah" showed up.  So he became Samson like in the "Old Testament" Bible story.  And this one big Gopher Snake is now named Goliath.

        Mr. Steve keeps our two acres pretty clean.  And I'm glad he does because there's nothing worse than stabbing your tongue on a cactus spine or "Sticker" stuck between your toes when you're trying to lick it out.  Freddie just noticed me sitting over here on Elvira.   

    

     

        "Piñon" means "Pine."  Mr. Steve says at one time there may have been more Pine trees around here but not anymore.  The "Climate" might've changed he thinks.  Some call our desert a "harsh landscape" but we like it.  We do have a lot of dirt and rocks around here.

     One of my favorite things to do, besides eating of course; is running fast.  I often run fast if I'm in what my boss calls "Guard Mode.  He calls it "Making the Rounds" when I go around the "Perimeter" of our property.  I smell that Cholla cactus over there to my right.                              

      During Winter people come to "Ski" in Wrightwood.  I wonder if a Dog could learn to ski?  I guess "Skiing" is sliding down a snow-covered hill on skinny wooden boards attached to your       feet.  It sounds kind of fun.  My boss told Mr. Mike his sister Susan and her sons ski.                     

  

    

       I knew I was smelling a Mouse!  And there it is over there standing in the gravel.  Wow!  You hardly ever see a Mouse during the daytime.  That little Field Mouse better be so careful because there are a lot of things around here who would love nothing better than to kill and eat it.             

      That little Mouse probably knows it's the first day of Spring.  So it's taking a big chance and coming outside.  I haven't seen our neighbors black and white Cat "Cher" today.  She loves to     eat Field Mice.  And so do Snakes.  I'm afraid of Snakes.  They seem kind of mean.                        

      I wonder if that big Gopher Snake Mr. Steve named Goliath survived the Winter?  I hope so even though I leave him alone.  Gopher Snakes seem like Rattlesnakes but aren't poisonous and they don't have those rattles on their tails.  Gopher Snakes have skinnier heads too.                       

   

  Oh my God!  Just when I was thinking about him who do I see?  It's Goliath that Gopher Snake and I'm pretty sure he's noticed the Mouse.  He just crawled under Manny the far right     Shed.  And the Mouse hasn't picked up Goliath's presence.  I should warn the Mouse.                   

     Besides his large size you can always tell it's Goliath by the two dark lines on his face.  They go from the top of his head and around either side of his eyes.  And one thing I've noticed is how  Gopher Snakes have rounder eyes than Rattlesnakes do.  Goliath is about four feet long.              

      Mr. Steve's friend Mark Ritter knew a lot about Snakes.  He told my boss Mr. Steve one time about how there are six types of Gopher Snake here California.  Mark Ritter once had a "Bull"   Snake which is one of the types of Gopher Snake I guess.  I can smell a Cholla cactus.                    

         

     

        Oh!  What I thought was a chirping Finch is actually one those impostor Birds that imitate other Birds.  That lady Miss Susan told my boss they're called "Mocking" Birds.  I wonder why they do that?  The Field Mouse is gone.  It probably smelled Goliath under Manny.   

       Birds are flying around looking for food.  I agree with that old saying about how "The early Bird gets the Worm."  Mr. Steve likes old sayings so now I do too.  We had a good breakfast this morning.  Of course it was mainly "Dry" Dog food.  I wonder what Worms taste like?

        Mr. Steve at times mixes what are called "Leftovers" in with our regular dry Dog food.  And this morning he put in the best meat I've ever tasted called "Spam."  He probably put it in there mainly because today is our New Year's day.  Oh!  Goliath is going out into the desert. 

     

          Eating breakfast this morning I thought about the first time I ever tasted dry Dog food.  I was living out in that field and a lady "felt sorry" for me.  She put out a container with dry Dog food in it and another container filled up with water.  I really love food and water!

         Hey God!  I promise that I'll never complain about dry Dog food again.  But sometimes it gets kind of what they call "monotonous."  Now I really like dry Dog food.  Whenever I feel like dry Dog food is boring I'll just think about when I was homeless out in that field.

         I remember that one time when I was eating the dry Dog food that lady put there for me to eat.  A one-legged Crow kept watching me.  Crows are smart and clever.  A Crow will come in and steal your food if you're not careful enough.  I don't trust Crows that much.

       

                                                                     PHOTO BY ROGER VAN GELDER

 

        I'm pretty good at acting mean.  I growled at the one-legged Crow when he kept eyeing my food.  Mr. Steve had a one-legged Crow.  It was given to him by a man named "Wilt."  Wilt was the family "Auto Mechanic" for many years.  Fannie and Freddie just flew away.

        I guess that guy Mr. Wilt one time came to work and found a Crow with it's left leg stuck in one of his machines.  So he had to cut off the leg to save the Crow.  He kept the Crow in a cage and eventually gave it to Mr. Steve.  The Crow lived with Mr. Steve until it died.

        One reason I want to write about Mr. Steve's life is to talk about people, like Mr. Wilt; who have influenced him but are now dead.  Mr. Wilt was originally from the State of "Texas" where  Mr. Steve's brother "Rock" now lives with his two sons "Rocky Jr." and "Jacob."

                                                                                                  

                                                                     WILT / DONNA                       

     

         From what Mr. Steve told his friend Randy that one time, Wilt was a good Auto Mechanic and was fair in his prices.  He was a good, decent person who was a hard worker.  His wife was named "Donna."  Mr. Steve Mr. Mike how that lady Donna was "no pushover."   

         When the one-legged Crow died Mr. Steve buried it.  He was tempted to cut off the leg and keep it.  A while back Mr. Steve met this older "Native-American" man at the local Library in Phelan.  He's a "Shoshone Indian."  Mr. Steve told him about that one-legged Crow.

         That Shoshone man said he would've cut off the leg of the Crow and made an "Amulet" or "Charm" out of it.  This would "Venerate" the Crows strength and courage in life and maybe "impart" those things to whoever wears the Amulet.  I know I'd sure wear it!  

                                      

                                                           RITCHIE VALENS (1941-1959)

      

        That guy Wilt's wife Donna makes me think about Ritchie Valens.  He was a 1950's singer from a town near Sylmar called "Pacoima."  He had a really good song called "La Bamba" and I guess wrote another song called "Donna."  I want to hear that song Donna someday.

        Earlier I mentioned how I'm still afraid of going all the way down the Hallway in the house. So I only hear music when Mr. Steve does Yard Work and brings his Boombox outside.  Most of the time he plays music but sometimes he listens to this thing called "Talk Radio."

        Some songs make me feel like dancing.  One is Ritchie Valens song La Bamba.  Another one is "The Third Hoorah!" by a British band called JETHRO TULL.  JETHRO TULL is one of my favorite bands because they play a "Flute" in their songs.  I love the sound of flute!

                   

                                                                      JETHRO TULL                                                  

    

        Hey Lord!  Later this afternoon I'm scheduled to write about that band JETHRO TULL.  Mr. Steve saw them in a concert at the "Forum" in 1973 when they played their album called a "Passion Play;" just like what they call Your death.  Anyway, I'll write about it later. 

          Even though I haven't really heard a lot of their songs I just like that band JETHRO TULL  because they have a flute in the ones I have heard.  Someday I might try to learn how to play the flute and be the first Dog able to do it.  Mr. Steve will then like me even more.

        A strong breeze just brought in the scent of the Twin Joshua trees.  Oh my God!  A Squirrel just ran bye exactly like last year when I was smelling the Twins.  Sometimes it gets pretty windy up here in the High Desert.  I don't like the really cold winds.  They hurt my face.

                                                                   CANNED HEAT

   

       Later this afternoon I'll also write about this other band from Los Angeles called CANNED HEAT.  CANNED HEAT'S song called "Going up the Country" has a good flute in it and the singer has a unique "High-Pitched" voice that sounds really professional.

       In 1972 Mr. Steve met Bob Hite of CANNED HEAT.  He had a long beard and weighed over three hundred pounds.  Bob Hite lived in this place called "Topanga Canyon."  I'll write more about that one time when Mr. Steve met Bob Hite later toward the end of the day. 

       CANNED HEAT'S song "On the Road Again" has a "Harmonica" in it.  I also like the way a harmonica sounds but not as much as flute.   Mr. Steve likes CANNED HEAT'S songs Going up the Country and On the Road Again but likes even better "Let's Work Together." 

                         

                                                    MR. STEVE PLAYING DRUMS (1984)

 

        As I mentioned, Mr. Steve plays drums.  He likes to play along to CANNED HEAT'S song Going up the Country because it gives him a chance to play the "Snare" drum more.  The same is true for JETHRO TULL'S song The Third Hoorah.  It also has snare drum too.

        Mr. Steve says CANNED HEAT'S 1960's drummer was "Left-Handed" and had a "Light Touch."  He was "Mexican-American" like Ritchie Valens.  Boy!  I'm so tempted to write about Ritchie Valens right now but I'd better just wait and do it according to my outlines.   

        One time Mr. Steve met a California Indian lady who was "Tatavian."  She said the name "Pacoima," where Ritchie Valens was from; is "Gabrielino" Indian for "Running Water."  The Spanish who came to California in the 18th century called the Tatavians "Fernandeno's."   

                

             

       Mr. Steve and his friend Cliff one time talked about how Ritchie Valens died young in an Airplane crash.  Mr. Steve says Ritchie Valens was afraid of flying in Planes.  I am too!  In fact, I'm still scared to even ride in a Car.  A "Flock" of Birds is flying bye right now.

       Seeing those Birds up there makes me feel good God.   I'm so glad You created Birds.  Our lives wouldn't be as good if there were no Birds around here.  Right now, looking out into the eastern desert behind the three Sheds; some Birds are darting around out there.

         One thing I will say right now is how Ritchie Valens and his mother are buried at this place called "Mission Cemetery."  Mr. Steve's parents already have "Crypts" there.  And those Crypts are about thirty feet from where that guy Ritchie Valens and his mom are buried.

             

                                                                                                                                             PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

     

       I guess Ritchie Valens real last name was "Valenzuela."  For almost twenty years Mr. Steve's family bought "Season Seats" for the Baseball "Dodgers."  Tomorrow I'll write a lot more about that.  And I'll write about this guy from Mexico named Fernando Valenzuela.

       Oh!  Andy and Helen the Squirrels just ducked behind a bush near the back fence.  Running right behind the Sheds is a fence that divides or separates our two acres from Mr. Steve's back half acre.  A"Gate," which is like a door; is between the two small Sheds.

       Mr. Steve uses that gate to go into the desert.  It's amazing how Rabbits or Squirrel can run at "Full Speed" and go through the two vertical "Slots" on either side of the gate without hitting their heads.  "Vertical" means "up and down" while "Horizontal" is "side to side."

                                                                               

                                                             STEVE BANKS (0000-0000)

 

     Mentioning the Mission Cemetery makes me think about Mr. Steve's boss Steve Banks. who died a few years ago.  1999 was a really bad year for my boss. He made dumb mistakes and lost almost all of the money he had saved up.  But Steve Banks helped him get out of it.

       I'll be mentioning Steve Banks over the next three days.  He's buried at a Jewish cemetery that's right across the street from Mission Cemetery.  Mr. Steve spoke at his "Funeral" and had a dream one time where he told Steve Banks he's helped others in Steve Banks name.

       A "Traditional" Jewish burial has people shovel dirt on the "Coffin" of the dead person.  As he threw dirt on Steve Banks coffin Mr. Steve heard Alemany High School's Football team over there practicing.  Life just keeps going.  Mr. Steve went to Alemany for two years.  

          

        From first through eighth grades Mr. Steve went to a Catholic "Parochial" school named "Saint Ferdinand."  It, like the San Fernando Valley and the city of San Fernando; is named for Spain's King Ferdinand III.  The San Fernando Mission was built in the late 18th century.

        Some of Mr. Steve's teachers at Saint Ferdinand were women called "Nuns."  In those days, the 1960's; Nuns wore black and white "Habits."  When he was seven years old Mr. Steve met Rick at Saint Ferdinand.  Rick was eight.  They've known each other ever since.

        Because of "Peer Group Pressure" Mr. Steve and his friends pretended to not pay attention to the Nuns.  But "In Reality" those ladies made a "Lasting Impression" on my boss.  Not only is Saint Ferdinand a school but it's a "Parish" too.  That means it has a "Church."

                                                                      SAINT FERDINAND CHURCH 

                                        PHOTO BY GARY FREDBURG                                                                                                                             PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA                                                                             

   

      Hey Lord!  Mr. Steve's family have been influenced by Saint Ferdinand Parish.  I guess this lady named "Sister" Rita Joseph was my boss's 6th Grade teacher and was the first person who   told him the difference between "Objective" and "Subjective."  I smell a Lizard nearby.               

       I guess subjective means each person has an opinion about something.  I like blue but you prefer red.  But objective means there is no opinion.  "It is what it is" as Sister Rita Joseph used to say.  Two plus two will always equal four.  There is an absolute correct answer.

      Sister Rita Joseph also explained the difference between "Sympathy" and "Empathy."  I can sympathize or feel sorry for you but if I've experienced what you're going through then I can empathize with your situation.  I've "Walked in Your Shoes" so to speak.  I see the Lizard.  

  

 

     For some reason, looking at the eastern desert behind the three Sheds makes me wish I could have met that lady Sister Rita Joseph.  She died many years ago but I'll keep her memory alive in my three books.  The Lizard is standing over there, just to the right of the big tree.

       Sister Rita Joseph said; "No group has a monopoly on good or bad and there are only two types of people, "Decent" or "Indecent."  Mr. Steve had a dream where he apologized to Sister Rita Joseph for all the mischief and pranks he and his his friends did to her.  

       In the dream Mr. Steve told Sister Rita Joseph he'd "qualify" her belief about people.  He thinks people are "basically" decent or "basically" indecent.  Those with a "Conscience" don't always do right and "Sociopaths" don't always do wrong.  Everyone is "Flawed."   

               

                                                LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) 

          Besides Vivaldi's song La Primavera, Mr. Steve has other songs too he likes to hear when the Sun comes up.  One is by that German guy named Ludwig van Beethoven.  His "6th Symphony" is called the "Pastoral."  It's a long song I noticed.  I smell a new Spring Sage plant. 

       Mr. Steve's Niece Samantha learned to play two "Beethoven" songs on the "Piano."  One is called "Moonlight Sonata" and makes me feel sad. Mr. Steve called it a "lamentation." And the other song is called "Für Elise."  I guess it's about this one girl Beethoven liked. 

         I feel like writing about that guy Beethoven now but Ill just wait and do it according to my outlines.  My boss told Mr. Mike that Beethoven "Went Deaf."  That means he lost his hearing. Tomorrow I'll write about this girl named Helen Keller who was blind and deaf. 

                                                                       

                                      RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949) WITH FAMILY

             

          A song Mr. Steve sometimes plays in the morning is "Thus Spoke Zarathustra." According to this Encyclopedia it was written by a German composer named Richard Strauss at the end of the 19th century.  The strong smell of Sage just blew in from the eastern desert.

       Later today I'm scheduled to write about this movie Mr. Steve likes called "2001, A Space Odyssey."  It's partly about one of those things called a "Computer."   The computer's name is "Hal" and I guess he becomes even smarter than the people who made him.

       Hey God!  I've only heard Richard Strauss's song Thus Spoke Zarathustra three times but I can see why my boss likes it.  It makes me think of Your awesome power when You created life down here on Earth.  Mr. Steve likes the "Timpani" drums played on that song. 

  

                                           FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE (0000-0000)

                                                                                                    

          Oh!  This is interesting.  According to what it says in this Encyclopedia, Richard Strauss was "inspired" to write his song Thus Spoke Zarathustra by that German guy Friedrich Nietzsche.  I'll write more about him over the next three days.  Mr. Steve knows about him.   

       For a time I kind of felt sorry for myself as being a "Victim" of my old owner who dumped me out there in that awful field.  But then I heard my boss Mr. Steve tell Mr. Cliff about that one quote by Friedrich Nietzsche; "That which does not destroy me only makes me stronger!"   

       I so want to agree with what "Nietzsche" said!  Hey God!  Too bad Friedrich Nietzsche also said You were dead.  And in the 20th century that idea influenced many Germans to do some bad things.  But I'll learn more about Nietszche later.  I hear Dawn barking next door.

   

       Right above me up there near the roof of this Patio is a Bird nest.  It has three baby Birds in it but right now they're asleep.  Their parents, who Mr. Steve named "Bonnie" and "Clyde;" are out looking for food to bring back for their babies to eat.  I smell a Cholla cactus.

       It's kind of gross how baby Birds eat.  When their parents come back to the nest they then throw up what's in their stomachs and the baby Birds eat it.  Yuk!  I don't think I would like to eat that.  No way!  Unless I was starving of course.  Then I would eat anything.

                           

                                              CLYDE BARROW / BONNIE PARKER 

   

        A year ago Bonnie and Clyde the Birds built their first nest up there near the Patio roof.  It just so happened that my boss was reading an article from a Texas Newspaper his brother Rock brought out here to California.  It was an article about the real Bonnie and Clyde.

        I guess the original Bonnie and Clyde were what they call "Gangsters."  They were from the State of Texas just like that man Mr. Wilt.  Over the next three days I'll write about the 1930's and the "Great Depression."  Most people like Bonnie and Clyde were poor then.

       "World War I" ended in 1918.  World War II started in 1939.  The 1920's are now called the "Roaring Twenties."  The American "Economy" was so good.  But the 1930's were the "Great Depression," where the economy in a large part of the world turned really bad. 

     

       Over the next three days I'm going to write about the two World Wars and also the years between them.  Mr. Steve thinks those "Between the Wars" years leading up to World War II are very important in history.  So I now want to learn about those years too.  

       As I mentioned, the 1930's was the time of economic depression.  Almost everyone was really poor.  People starved and things like that!  So of course anyone who "Lived through It" as they say; was deeply effected by it.  Our families were no different.  A Crow just cawed.

       Hey Blessed Virgin, as You know of course; someday I want to be a good partner with a boy Dog.  I could have babies and we'd raise them together.  That would be so great!  You know I'd help that boy Dog a lot.  My boss Mr. Steve says we have strong females are in our family.      

          

      GRANDPA/ GRANDMA TRUJILLO                           GRANDPA / GRANDMA CÓRDOVA

 

       The Great Depression definitely affected our family.  That's what I heard my boss Mr. Steve tell his friend Cliff.  All four of his Grandparents never forgot living through the 1930's.  People were even starving.  It was really, really bad.  Almost everyone was poor. 

       I'm writing my three books for more than one reason.  But one reason I kind of want to do it is to show that females are as capable as males.  Mr. Steve's father says that if the women in our families hadn't been as capable as they were we would not be where we are.

       Over the years Mr. Steve has dealt with many "Couples;" often for "Business."  He likes it when he can tell the wife something and be confident it will get clearly through to her husband. His own mom is a person like that.  Talking to her is just like talking to his dad.  

                    

                                                             MISSION CEMETERY

          

        In all my three books I'll write about the Mission Cemetery where Mr. Steve's parents have their Crypts and Ritchie Valens is buried.  It's a Catholic cemetery near the  old "San Fernando Mission;" where for years Mr. Steve and his parents were "Tour Guides."  

       Over the next three days I'll learn about is the subject of the twenty one "Alta" California "Missions."  I guess those Missions were kind of like big, giant Farms operated by these Spanish "Franciscan Priests."  In Spanish "alta" means "upper" and "baja" means "lower."  

       Boy!  It's so great to have all of these Dictionaries.  I really like looking words up.  A lot of words are kind of hard to spell; especially in the other languages.  But once I spell a word I never forget it.  Thank You God up there for giving me such an extra good memory.

                                           

                                    SAN FERNANDO MISSION ("CONVENTO" BUILDING)

                                                                                                                                          PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

  As Tour Guides at the San Fernando Mission Mr. Steve and his parents learned about the Missions established in the 18th century by Father Junipero Serra and the guy who replaced him when he died named Father Fermin de Lasuen.  I smell some Joshua trees.   

        In the mid-1700's the Spanish came up to what is now our State of California.  Before that only "Native People" or "Indians" lived here.  The Spanish had "Settled" or "Colonized" New Mexico about one hundred and fifty years before that.  I'll write about it later. 

       As I mentioned, the Catholic Priests who ran the Missions were members of the Franciscan "Order." They were called "Friars" or "Padres."  In Spanish Padre means "Father."  There's a Baseball team called the San Diego Padres.  Mr. Steve has been to their Stadium.    

                                                      SAINT FRANCIS (1181?-1226)

       According to this one Encyclopedia, that guy Saint Francis was from an Italian town called "Assisi."  This is interesting.  It says here Saint Francis is; "One of the most venerated religious figures in history."  Fannie and Freddie flew bye.  You can tell they're a couple.

       If I had one of those "Time Machines" I'd go back to the 13th century to meet that guy Saint Francis.  He's what they call the "Patron Saint" of animals.  That's what my boss Mr. Steve said and that's what it says right here in this Encyclopedia too.  I'm an animal!

       Hey Saint Francis!  I sure hope you're looking down on me and hearing this message.  Please help me over the next three days so I can honor us animals.  That would be great.  Then I can do a good job and my boss will be proud of me.  But I can maybe also help others too.    

                                                      CELINA CÓRDOVA (0000-0000)

       Mr. Steve's two Grandmothers and his sister Celina are buried at the Mission Cemetery. My boss and his family go there to clean and put flowers on all the graves.  This other famous man named Bob Hope is also buried at the Mission Cemetery.  And so are other people.

          Today is Thursday.  So right now I'll bet my boss is in his Office working.  Since 1999 his job has been to call what are called "Auto Dealerships."  He tries to sell them "Apparel" and these other things called "Promotional Products."  That means things you put your name on.  

       Apparel is just another name for things people wear; like clothes and hats.  Mr. Steve says he mainly "deals with" these guys, and a few girls; called "Parts" and "Service" Managers.  But at times he works with "General Managers" or even the actual owner of the business.

 

       As I mentioned, 1999 was one the worst years of Mr. Steve's life.  He was dumb and lost most of his money.  So he really needed to make money.  Steve Banks hired him in September of 1999 and helped Mr. Steve "Get back on his Feet" as they say.  He'll forever be grateful.  

       That Jewish cemetery where Steve Banks is buried is "Elevated."  So you can look down on the Mission Cemetery across the street.  Hey God!  As You know, as he threw some dirt on Steve Banks' coffin Mr. Steve looked at the Mission Cemetery and thought about life.  

       Mr. Steve spoke at Steve Banks funeral.  He felt obligated because Steve Banks helped him get out of his bad situation.  I'll write about 1999 in my three books.  A while back Mr. Steve had a dream about Steve Banks.  They hugged and "Exchanged Pleasantries" so to speak.  

       In that dream my boss thanked Steve Banks and told him he helped a girl and her babies in Steve Banks' family's name.  Steve Banks was happy to so hear that.  Mr. Steve's mom has been telling her five kids to do that for all of their lives.  I think I want to do that now too.   

                                                                                                                    HINDU LOGO

          Hey Lord!  Over the next three days I'll learn about other religions.  Mr. Steve says that in "Hinduism" they believe in the "Concept" of "Karma."  That's kind of like how You said; "You reap what you sow" or that old saying; "What goes around comes around."   

             For most of his life Mr. Steve "Attended" private Catholic schools.  So from 1st through 8th grades he went to an "Elementary" school called "Saint Ferdinand."  Alemany High School is also a Catholic school.  Mr. Steve went to Alemany for 9th and 10th grades.  

       A Crow just flew bye right now.  It's moving to the northeast.  That reminds about how Mr. Steve would sometimes play a joke on people who came to his house when he lived with the one-legged Crow that guy Mr. Wilt gave him.  I smell the Twins out there in the desert.

       From what I heard my boss tell his friend Mr. Mike, when he had that one-legged Crow he would wait for his house guest to sit on the couch in Living Room.  Then he would go in the other room and quietly open the one-legged Crow's cage.  That Crow would come out.

       The look of surprise on peoples faces when suddenly a one-legged Crow would hop into the Living Room was funny Mr. Steve told Mr. Mike.  Some girls would scream and jump up and try to run away.  Most of the guys would first laugh and then think it was so funny. 

         A while back my boss Mr. Steve  had a dream where he found out that his one-legged Crow was a girl.  He had never known for sure.  Mr. Steve at times has dreams about people who are "deceased" as they say; like Steve Banks, or his sister Celina; or his Grandparents.

         Thank You God.  I haven't had any of those really bad dreams my boss Mr. Steve called a "Nightmare."  The worst one is when I'm trying to bark and warn my boss that there's a person trying to come onto and invade our land.  But no sound comes out of my mouth!  

         I get nervous thinking about bad dreams.  It's so good to wake up and realize it was only a dream.  I used to have more nightmares, usually about being homeless; but most of the time I have pleasant dreams now.  I'll write more about dreams over the next three days.  

        There are few businesses in Piñon Hills so to get food and things like that Mr. Steve drives to Phelan; which is about eight miles away.  That's where this "Stater Brothers" Grocery Store is located.  We have a "McDonalds" in Phelan!  That Lizard just ran down the wall.

         The biggest "City" to us is over twenty miles away.  It's called "Hesperia" and is to the east of  where we live.   Another big city called "Victorville" is about thirty miles from Piñon Hills.  To the southeast is the really big city of "San Bernardino."  I want to see a city someday.

    

   

          Hey God!  As You know of course, my boss Mr. Steve seems to see a lot of significance in the number "3."  And because I want to please him so much I now look for things in three's too.  Oh!  Three Birds flew bye.  I sure hope that's a good omen.  But, it probably isn't.

         As I mentioned, I'll use these Notebooks to write in for my three books.  And I'll look things up in my Dictionaries.  Some are for other languages.  I used my Spanish Dictionary to look up the name San Bernardino and, as I expected; it means "Saint Bernard" in English.  

         Over to my left, just on the other side of Elvira the couch; is a pile of books that are called Encyclopedias.  Mr. Steve used to use them to look things up but now has this amazing machine called a "Computer" to do that.  A green tarp is covering up those Encyclopedias.

         Hey God!  Thank You for all of these "Pens" and "Pencils."  I have a whole "Cigar Box" of them I can use.  I think this cigar box might be special to my boss.  But it was way in the back of that one file cabinet out there in the "Garage."  How did anyone even invent a pen?  

        It's kind of hard holding pens and pencils in my right paw but I'm starting to get more used to it.  Over the next three days I'll practice using them in learning to write.  I might even try to write with my left paw.  Mr. Steve can do a lot of things both right and left-handed.

       If I can become the first Dog in history to write a book Mr. Steve will be so proud of me.  If I can learn to read and write then he'll never, ever want to get rid of me.  For a short time he was thinking about giving me away because he thought I might be a little bit too "Wild."

         About seventy miles to the southwest of  Piñon Hills is the giant city of "Los Angeles."  Mr. Steve and his four brothers and sisters grew up there.  Mr. Steve moved up here in 2005.  He has two acres that I guard.  It's my biggest job or duty and I "take it seriously" as they say.

                      

   

       Looking straight ahead from my couch Elvira, I see three what are called "Sheds."  A few years ago Mr. Steve had them built and now keeps things inside of them.  From right to left he named them "Manny," "Moe" and "Jack."  Jack is the biggest Shed on the far left.

       Mr. Steve joked with his father one time about how, in "Dire Emergency;" we could all live in those Sheds; especially the big one on my left named Jack.  It's pretty big.  I've stuck my nose inside the Sheds to sniff around but I'm kind of afraid to go all of the way inside.

        Behind the three Sheds is the eastern desert.  Mr. Steve owns the two fenced in acres I guard but also half an acre of "Undeveloped" desert directly in front of me.  Sometimes he goes out in the desert and walks around.  I'm afraid to go out there.  I prefer being behind a fence. 

                              DAW

           I hear Dawn barking over there next door.  Dawn is so brave!  I admire her.  Ah! Blinky and 
Rosie are now barking too.  Maybe I should go see what's going on?  But no God, as You know of course; I can tell it's not an emergency.  Thank You for sending me that message.  

       Too bad Rosie is getting so old.  She moves slowly now.  She's big.  As I mentioned, I'll bet Rosie once weighed one hundred pounds and was pure black.  But now she's sort of skinny and may weigh sixty pounds "Soaking Wet" as that joke goes.  I like Rosie.  She seems nice.  

       As I said, Dawn has only the one good eye.  Her old owner hit her with a belt and the buckle popped out her eye.  That's what our neighbors think.  She and our one-eyed Crow Blackbeard have to cock their heads to the side in order to see you with their one good eye.  

       Even though she's not the leader anymore I must admit Dawn is still a really good guard.  I sure wouldn't want to be one of those "Burglers" trying to sneak onto our neighbors property.  I know for sure Dawn and Blinky would attack and bite them hard as hard as they could.   

       I do admire Dawn even though she sometimes barks sort of mean at me.  But I kind of bark mean back at her too.  Mr. Steve yells at us and tells us to be friends and not be mean.  I think we both now get the message even though it's kind of fun to show Dawn I'm brave too.

       Mr. Steve says our neighbors think Rosie is about sixteen year old.  She hardly ever barks anymore.  Sadly, Mr. Steve thinks Rosie will most likely die pretty soon.  I guess each Dog year is equal to seven people years so that means Rosie would be one hundred and twelve.

       Because Blinky only weighs about thirty pounds Mr. Steve nicknamed him "Short Biggie." Dawn is "Big Shortie."  Rosie was named after this one song by that one Australian band called AC/DC.  I'll write more about them over the next three days.  I smell a Cholla cactus.  

                

                                                                              AC/DC

 

       My boss Mr. Steve has drawn "Logos" since being a kid.  He drew the AC/DC "Emblem." I guess "A.C." stands for "Alternating Current" and "D.C." means "Direct Current.  Tomorrow I'll write about this one guy named Nikola Tesla.  He also saw importance in 3.     

       In his Bedroom I guess Mr. Steve has a set of drums.  Sometimes he plays along to songs by bands like AC/DC.  I've only heard one AC/DC song called "Thunderstruck" but it was so good.  It has some really good guitar in it.  Someday I want to hear more AC/DC songs.   

       Hey God!  Looking to the east; the Sun is slightly above the eastern horizon.  As it's warmth sinks in on me down here I think I can better understand why so many cultures have worshiped You in the form of the Sun.  I'm going to write about that in my three books.  

                           

                                                  AKHENATEN (1319? B.C.-1336? B.C.)

 

        Later today in chapter four I'm going to look up and write about this one man from ancient Egypt named "Akhenaten." He was like a King but also a God too.  He was the "Pharoah."  Hey God!  That guy Akhenaten worshiped the Sun.  Was it You he was worshiping?

        In this Encyclopedia there's a good painting of that guy Akhenaten.  The "Caption" below says it shows him and his wife "Nefertiti" holding their babies.  And God!  The rays of the Sun are coming down on them.  I guess Akhenaten's first name was "Amenhotep IV."  

        Hey God!  As You know, the ancient Egyptians were "Pagan" and worshiped many Gods.  But Akhenaten decided to worship only one God; the Sun.  And I have a feeling it was You all the time.  I want to feel You right now in the Sun's heat which is coming in on me.

       From what I heard my boss Mr. Steve tell his friend Randy, some people think Akhenaten was the first what they call "Monotheist" in history.  That means he only believed in just You God!  Mr. Steve thinks that guy Akhenaten may have influenced the ancient Jews later.

  

TUTANKHAMEN (1332? B.C.-1323 B.C)

     

       I remember when my boss was telling his friend Mr. Mike about that other Pharaoh named "Tutankhamen;" or "King Tut" for short.   Mr. Steve and his mom are interested in the subject of "Archhaeology."  They think King Tut was probably Akhenaten and Nefertiti's son.                 

    Boy God!  Is so tempted to write about King Tut right now but I'd better not.  I'll just wait and do it in chapter four as scheduled.  I can't wait!  I've been looking forward to learning about King Tut for months.  I hear Mr. Steve has some good books about ancient Egypt.                          

                     

         Our three Sheds are named after this "Auto Parts Store" that Mr. Steve has been buying things from "Over the Years" as they say.  In my three books I'll talk about of the "Vehicles" he's driven.  He had two 1968 "Chevelles" and one was what they call an "S.S."

       Even though I was scheduled to write about it later today I've decided to write about Mr. Steve's three current vehicles.  One is a 1993 "Ford Escort" named "Barney."  When she was about six years old Mr. Steve's "Niece" Samantha named that little "Hatchback" Car.

       I see, smell and hear a lot of Birds right now.  They're up early looking for some food they can eat.  Oh!  For the last few minutes some Crows have been circling over the eastern desert.  But now they're diving towards the ground.  I'll bet something is dead out there.

  Earlier I mentioned how Mr. Steve grew up down there in Los Angeles and his parents are originally from New Mexico.  In 1960 when they moved out to California Mr. Steve was five         years old and his brother "Rock" was three.  I can hear those Crows fighting.                         

    The area of Los Angeles where Mr. Steve's parents moved to in 1960 is called "Sylmar."  It's what they call a "Suburb" of Los Angeles located in the northeast corner of the "San Fernando   Valley."  I'll write about the "Valley" in my books.  Los Angeles means "The Angels."                   

    My Latin Dictionary says Sylmar means "Sea of Trees."  I'll bet that's because there used to be a lot of Olive trees growing there.  As I just mentioned, Mr. Steve and his parents were Tour     Guides at the San Fernando Mission.  There are still a few Olive trees at the Mission.                     

      Mr. Steve's father is important to the history of the northeast Valley in the 1980's and 1990's.  He and others got the "Olive View" Hospital rebuilt after that one big, huge earthquake from     1971.  And they got a permanent "Campus" for "Mission Junior College" later.                               

"SYLMAR" EARTHQUAKE ("VETERAN'S" HOSPITAL)

   That 1971 earthquake destroyed the house Mr. Steve and his family were living in.  It also destroyed other houses on that neighborhood too.  Mr. Steve told his friend Mr. Mike about that  earthquake.  People were killed at a Hospital Mr. Steve's father used to go to I guess.                    

       Sometimes I'm pretty sure I can feel small earthquakes.  I've never been in a big earthquake where buildings fall.  Even though I'm still kind of afraid to go into most of our house I can just   tell that our house is really strong.  My back is to the east side of the house right now.                    

                               LEE IACCOCA / MR. STEVE'S PARENTS (1988)      

PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA        

  

       Mr. Steve's father is a "Combat Veteran" of the "Korean War," which started in 1950; five years after "World War II"ended.   He was "Discharged" in 1954 and married Mr. Steve's mom. Mr. Steve was born in 1955 and Rock in 1957.  Combat just means fighting I guess.                       

       From what Mr. Steve says, his parents still live in a big house down there in Sylmar.  And his Niece "Samantha" lives with them.  She has Mr. Steve's old Bedroom there.  Samantha's mom,   Mr. Steve's sister "Celina," died back in 2009.  I'll write more about that later.                              

  Over the next three days one subject I'll keep coming back to is a man named Christopher Columbus.  Mr. Steve thinks he was important.  He was probably Italian.  In 1492 he sailed three wooden Ships all the way from Spain over here to what would be called the "New World."             

CHRISTOPHER COMUMBUS (1451 A.D-1506)

ARTWORK BY MONICA NORIEGA

     

     A painting in one of my Encyclopedias shows that guy Christopher Columbus and a good map behind him shows the route of his first of four "Voyages" he eventually made over here to     the New World.  That first voyage back in 1492 "changed the world" Mr. Steve says.                     

    It took me about six months to put my three what are called "Outlines" together.  They'll guide me in my writing.  But if I think of things as I go along I'll just add them in.  I can what's   called "Improvise" in the same way some bands do; especially Jazz musicians.                               

    To go along with my three outlines I also made a good list of important dates in Mr. Steve's family; like "Birthdays" and things like that.  And I just noticed here in this one Encyclopedia     that Columbus died on May the 20th which is Mr. Steve's Nephew Austin's birthday.                     

  

AUSTIN/ MOM SUSAN / DALTON (2013)   

   

        Mr. Steve's sister Susan, and hers sons Dalton and Austin; live what they call "Back East" in this one State called "Connecticut."  I guess it's kind of near "New York City."  But they come here to California too.  I like when they come up here to visit us at our house.                                  

         I'll write about my boss's life and also about his family in my books.  Mr. Steve is the oldest of five kids.  When his parents first moved to California in 1960 they had only Mr. Steve and his   brother "Rock."  But in Sylmar they then had "Sam Jr.," "Celina" and "Susan."                          

       In August of 1977 Mr. Steve and his brother Rock made a trip back east.  I'll write  about that trip tomorrow and on Saturday in books two and three.  They spent time in New York City   and then drove to "Gettysburg" where that American Civil War battle was fought.                          

                         SAM JR. AND FAMILY                                   

      About twenty five miles to the east of Piñon Hills is the town of "Littlerock."  That's where Mr. Steve's brother Sam lives with his wife "Yolanda" with their three kids named; "Mathew,"   "Sammy Jr." and "Raqquel."  A lot of Birds are chirping out in the eastern desert.                       

    Not only will I write about members of Mr. Steve's family, I'll also write about everyone's Dogs too.  Sam's family have two Dogs named "Ozzie" and "Tito" who are good guards just like us.  Susan and her boys have a smart Dog named "Bella."  I'd like to meet Bella.                            

BLACK SABBATH

     Mr. Steve says Ozzie the Dog was named after Ozzie Osbourne, the original singer in that British band BLACK SABBATH.  I like BLACK SABBATH songs, even though I've only heard two.  One is called "Paranoid" and the other was about children in a graveyard.                           

        Over the next three days one thing I'll write about is what they call "Heavy Metal" music.  I guess my boss Mr. Steve still plays Heavy Metal songs on his drums sometimes.  But he also likes to play along to "Country" and "Western" music too.  He likes all kinds of songs.                                

ROCK'S FAMILY

      I'll learn more about the State of "Texas" in the next three days.  Mr. Steve's brother Rock lives there with his sons "Rocky Jr." and "Jacob." Rocky Jr. is a good "Tatoo Artist" and is with a girl named "Amber."  I'll write more about their family in my three books.                                

       Mr. Steve says over there in Texas they have these things called "Tornadoes" where the wind is so strong it can blow your house right down.  We have these little "Funnel Clouds" here in the desert but nothing that strong.  But we do definitely have heavy winds sometimes.                          

  THE ALAMO

      I'm tempted to look up and write about this famous thing called the "Battle of the Alamo."  It happened in 1836 and that's when Texas was a part of the country of "Mexico."  But in 1836    they broke away and became their own country for about ten years. I smell a Lizard.                   

      Looking up I just noticed a long, white what looks like a "Cloud" up there in the lightening  sky.  But I know it's not a cloud.  It's this thing called a "Vapor Trail."  Vapor trails     come out of the back of those amazing Jet Airplanes that fly bye our house way up there.                              

ANTONIO LÓPEZ DE SANTA ANNA (1795-1876)  

     I'll just wait to write about the "The Alamo" tomorrow in book two.  That's where we put in my outlines.  I'll look up this man named Antonio López de Santa Anna.  He was the leader of     Mexico back in 1836 and I guess was in and out of power eleven different times!                            

      That vapor trail up in the sky is still there.  About fifty miles to the northeast of Piñon Hills is this place called "Edwards Air Force Base."  That's where Planes are kept and could be where     the Plane that made the vapor trail is from.  Mr. Steve worked at "Edwards" in 1996.                   

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE

      Mr. Steve is interested in the subject of what's called "Aviation;" especially Aviation in times of war.  In my three long books I'll write a lot on that topic because I so want to impress my boss and show him how much I can learn. "A.F.B." is short for Edwards Air Force Base.                      

     I mentioned already how Mr. Steve and his four brothers and sisters grew up down there in the San Fernando Valley.  I really don't even need to look up in my Spanish Dictionary that San   Fernando means "Saint Ferdinand."  I've known that for a long time.  I smell Sage.                      

     As I said earlier, from 1st through 8th grades, 1962 through 1970; Mr. Steve went to that one Catholic School named "Saint Ferdinand."  It's in the "Independent" city of "San Fernando."       Sylmar is part of Los Angeles but not San Fernando.  It even has it's own Policemen.                                                     NUNS                     

      I guess Saint Ferdinand School had these ladies called "Nuns" teach the kids.  Mr.  Steve says he's still influenced by those women who are all dead now.  In the sixth grade Mr. Steve's teacher was "Sister Rita Joseph."  I wish I could go back in time to meet Sister Rita Joseph.                     

     Sister Rita Joseph told her class she thought there were only two types of people; "decent" or "indecent."  She said no group "has a monopoly on good or bad."  Sister Rita Joseph taught my  boss about the "Golden Rule."  I'll write more about that subject later this afternoon.                  

     Mr. Steve told his friend Rick, who he met in 1963 when Rick was nine; if he could go back in time he'd go back and apologize to Sister Rita Joseph.  They pretended to ignore her and even     did what they call "Mischief."  My boss Mr. Steve was eight years old back in 1963.                       

     Sister Clara Joseph was Mr. Steve's seventh grade teacher.  She taught her class the difference between "Objective and "Subjective" and also between "Sympathy" and "Empathy."  I'll write about those things in my three books.  I wonder if there's such a thing as a Dog Nun?                      

     

KING FERDINAND III (1199? A.D.-1252)

 As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Steve and his parents were Tour Guides at the San Fernando Mission for a few years.  So they know that the San Fernando Valley, the city of San Fernando     and even Saint Ferdinand "Parish" were all named after King Ferdinand III of Spain.                  

    According to this one Encyclopedia, King Ferdinand was made a "Saint," or what they call "Canonized;" two centuries after he lived in the 13th century.  Muslim's from north Africa had conquered Spain in the 8th century and King Ferdinand III tried to get it back.                 

         

KING FERDINAND III           

PAINTING BY STELLA CÓRDOVA

     Hey Lord, Mr. Steve jokes that the main reason why King Ferdinand was made a Saint is because he killed a lot of Muslims in Your name.  But back in those days it was more normal to    kill people you didn't like.  Mr. Steve thinks part of what's called "Mankind" is violent.               

        Boy God!  I feel You.  The Sunlight feels so good.  It gives me energy and makes me want to work hard on my first book.  I'll need Your help God in learning to read and write.  I expect it to be kind of difficult.  But if You help me then I'll do it and accomplish something.                            

        Oh!  Those "Chimes" hanging from the Patio roof are ringing because a breeze just came in from the desert.  Is that You Holy Spirit?  I've come to feel You as breezes.  And, as a matter of     fact; I do kind of feel You right now.  I love taking deep breaths through my nose.                          

     As I said, over the next three days one thing I'll write about is Mr. Steve's life, and also our family.  I'm going to learn a lot more about our last name too.  I can't wait!  Córdova has been a world famous name since the 8th century "A.D."  .                        

      I'm also planning on keeping a three day "Journal" of our lives out here in the desert.  Mr. Steve jokes about how our lives would probably never be mistaken for exciting.  He even used     that word "Mundane."  I looked it up and it means; "Commonplace or ordinary."                        

      

                

      

DRAGONFLY

     I knew I heard something!  And now I see it was one of those big "Bugs" Mr. Steve calls a "Dragonfly."  They make a buzzing sound when they fly so you hear them coming.  I'm afraid of Dragonflies and "Wasps."  They can sting.  "Insect" is another word for Bug.                               

        Hey God!  Please make it so we don't have too many of those pesky Flies this Summer.  I don't like Flies.  They're so annoying.  You can never get away from them it seems.  So far there are no Flies around but this is just the first day of the new year.  I just don't like Flies.

   The eastern border of Mr. Steve's half acre is a dirt road called "Primavera."  In Latin that means Spring.  I one time used my Latin Dictionary to look that up.  I'm getting pretty good at     looking words up.  Dictionaries help he in my spelling.  Some words are hard to spell.                    

   When I first came here to live I would never, ever go inside the house.  But now on Saturday mornings I'll go in the Living Room to watch those "Cartoons" on that amazing machine called   a "Television;" or "tv" for short.  But Mr. Steve has to leave the front door wide open.                  

     I'm still afraid of going all the way down the "Hallway" so I've never seen or smelled Mr. Steve's "Bedroom" or "Office."  If I went into his Bedroom I could listen to music on that thing he calls a "Stereo."  Mr. Steve's Bedroom "Ceiling" is about fifteen feet tall.                                   

      Now that it's Spring, "From here on In" as they say; Mr. Steve will start coming outside in the mornings to do what they call "Yard Work."  He cuts weeds and does things like that.  And   what I like is that he brings out that "Boombox" so he can listen to music.  I love music!              

   I notice how Mr. Steve likes many different "types" of music.  And one of those "Styles" is called "Classical" music.  This morning he played loud that one song call "La Primavera."  As I mentioned already, that means in Latin "The Spring."  It's such a good song!                                 

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741)

     Here in this one Encyclopedia I just looked up this man from Italy named Antonio Vivaldi.  He was what they call the "Composer" of La Primavera.  That means he wrote it.  Oh!  It says     here "Vivaldi was buried in a "Paupers Grave."  That must mean he was really poor.                   

             Boy!  I hope I'm never a Pauper.  That would be so terrible.  Luckily for us, Me. Steve is not rich but has enough money to buy food and things like that.  I wish I could figure out a way   to make money.   Then my boss might like me more; even though he likes me now.                         

SPAIN MAP    

 As You know God; in the next three days I'll try to learn to read and write in order to tell about our family and last name "Córdova."  Our name is famous all over the world, especially     over there in the country of "Spain."  I hear some Birds singing.  I feel so happy.                            

    Mr. Steve grew up in the San Fernando Valley so over the next three days I'll write about places in "The Valley."  For six months I prepared three outlines for my books.  They'll help me but if I think of something I can "Improvise."  Some musicians do that in their songs.                   

STEPH / CRISTINA   DRAGPIPE  

; from 1692 until today.  As I said before, that's mainly so I can impress my boss Mr. Steve.  But I can also  and leave something for future generations in our family.   

      

       We live in a "Desert."  Right now the sights I'm seeing to the east, the things I'm smelling or hearing; remind me of other times that I've experienced at this time of year.  The food I tasted in my "Royal" blue food bowl this morning also made me think about other times too.

       This morning part of our breakfast was what they call "Dry" Dog food.  We have that every day but it tastes good mixed in with other things Mr. Steve puts in.  As I ate it I recalled the very first time I tasted dry Dog food.  Hey God!  As You know, I now really like dry Dog food.

       The first time I tasted dry Dog food was when that lady put some out in the field I was living in.  I had been dumped out there by my first owner.  I was what they call "Homeless."  I can still remember how that one big scary Lizard looked at me as I ate the dry Dog food. 

       Hey God!  According to my French Dictionary the term "Déjà Vú" can mean; "A feeling of experiencing something already seen or experienced."  Lately I've been feeling that more than I usually do.  And, as a matter of fact; I'm sort of feeling You like that right now.  

       Scanning the eastern horizon, my favorite color blue is what I want to see the most. But I see brown, white, yellow and mainly green.  Mr. Steve's favorite color is green so, more and more I want to see green which is becoming my favorite color too.  I want to like what he likes. 

       Hey God!  As You know, Mr. Steve thinks the color khaki, or light brown, is the main color of the world You created.  But many people think khaki's boring or "Non-Descript." I wrote that down on my outline when he said that.  I guess another name for khaki is "Tan."  

       As I've mentioned a few times, I hope to write my Trilogy mainly to impress Mr. Steve so a lot of it will deal in one way or another with the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's.  Those are the decades he's "A product Of."  I'll bet if he could Mr. Steve would time travel back to the 1960's.

       For the next three days I intend to write "generally" and  "specifically" about History and other things too.  I'll deal with what they call "Popular Culture" entertainment.But as I said earlier, I'll also write kind of a "Diary" of our lives around here.  I hear Birds singing.

       Hey God!  Thank You again for bringing me over here.  As You know, I would've probably been dead by now if You Guys hadn't brought me here.  But now I have hope and a direction in life.  So feel I kind of feel that I should try to turn that good luck into something better. 

       Sometimes my boss has dreams about other Cats and Dogs he's lived with over the years.  He says as long as he has memories of them, in a sort of "Philosophical" way; they're still alive.  The same is true about his dead friends.  Sister Rita Joseph used to say that. 

                                                                          LASERIUM

       Mr. Steve had a friend named Mark Ritter.  He died.  They met in the 1970's working for a company called "Laser Images."   They did a "Light Show" called "Laserium" at this place in Los Angeles called the "Griffith Park Observatory."  Mr. Steve was in College then. 

       Laser Images Offices were located in the city of "Van Nuys," near the "Van Nuys Airport." Van Nuys is in the middle of the San Fernando Valley.  Over the next three days I'll be writing about Mark Ritter; and Laser Images too.  Birds are flying bye up there in the sky.

       Mr. Steve told his friend Rick he was the "Go for" at Laser Images.  He had to "go for this" or "go for that."  But mainly he was hired by this one girl "Debbie to be  the "Janitor."  Debbie went to College at the "University of Southern California;" or "U.S.C." for short.

       As I said earlier, for over ten years Mr. Steve has sold Apparel and Promotional Products to Auto Dealerships.  He's probably in his Office making calls right now as a matter of fact.  I see a Lizard over standing in the dirt just to the right of the big tree.  I smell that Lizard.

        Steve Banks was Mr. Steve's boss until he died in 2008.  As I said before, he helped my boss get out of trouble in 1999 when Mr. Steve made stupid mistakes and lost almost all of his money.  I'll write more about that guy Steve Banks later today and in book two tomorrow.   

         Mr. Steve has had a few Dogs and Cats over the years.  He once owned this girl Dog named "Lady" who was half "Pit Bull" and half "Doberman."  She was what they call the "Runt" of the "Litter."  I have a feeling I'm a runt too.  That one Lizard is gone now.   

       Even though Lady was a "Descendant" of mean Dogs she was not vicious. Like myself, at times it was Lady's duty to act mean.  Lady was a really good guard I guess.  I want to be like her.  Lady lived to be nineteen years old!  I sure hope I can live that long God.    

                                                      MR. STEVE / LADY CÓRDOVA

       Hey God! You could say Lady's what's called my "Role Model;" just like Mr. Steve's parents are his role models.  If I could time travel I think I'd go back to the 1980's so I could meet Lady. That would be so great!  Hey!  Maybe someday I can meet Lady up there in Heaven?  

       Also back in the 1980's my boss Mr. Steve lived with these two Cats; one was a young white shorter-haired boy Cat named "Mookie Wilson."  And the other one was an old furry gray girl Cat named "Miss Foot."  Ah!  The air is so clear!  I love these kind of mornings!

                            MOOKIE WILSON                                         MISS FOOT

       I guess Miss Foot had an extra toe, and claw; on all four of her feet.  "Mook" was named by Mr. Steve's then girlfriend Emily.  Mr. Steve has been a "Couple" with three girls in his life.  The first girlfriend was named "Sandy" and she was with Mr. Steve in High School.

       Emily, who grew up in a suburb of New York City, was Mr. Steve's second girlfriend.  They met in what's called "Law School."  Emily still works in the Athletic Department at "U.C.L.A.;" or "University of California Los Angeles" for short.  I'd like to go to College.  

       Mr. Steve was with Emily for about six years.  And for about half of that time she worked at U.C.L.A.  So Mr. Steve went to a few Football games at the "Rose Bowl."  I'll be mentioning the city of "Pasadena," where the Rose Bowl is located; throughout my three books. 

       Over the next three days I'll write about all three of Mr. Steve's girlfriends.  The third one is named "Harriet."  She's a good writer.  She and Mr. Steve used to work as a team on some of her "Assignments."  Mr. Steve would often go with Harriet as the Photographer.      

       During the 1980's and early 1990's Mr. Steve and Harriet worked for local music Magazines like "Music Connection" and "Bam."  Their job was to go the Nightclub or Arena to see a band and then  Harriet would write a "Review." Mr. Steve took pictures to go with the review.

        On Saturday near the end of my third and final book I'm scheduled to write about Mookie Wilson and Miss Foot.  But I might mention them before then.  Emily named Mookie Wilson for a player on the New York "Mets."  I know that Mets is short for "Metropolitans."    

        Mr. Steve's parents have been married for almost sixty years.  My boss Mr. Steve has never been married because he's just happier being alone.  He says one reason that his parents are still together is because they've always helped each other to grow and improve together.

        Hey God!  As You know, from what my boss Mr. Steve says; his parents have been together for so long that they've almost "melded" into one.  Both, if they wanted to; could finish all of the others thoughts and sentences. Most hope to have that type of relationship.  Me too. 

        It's normal my boss Mr. Steve says, to like the "ecstatic" feeling of a new romance.  But that is temporary.  "In the Long Run" as they say, it's better to find a partner who helps you keep getting better.  I can see and hear Birds flying around.  Most are looking for food. 

    

    After raising five kids Mr. Steve's father encouraged Mr. Steve's mother to go to "back" to school.  At "Mission" Junior College and then "California State University at Northridge" she got straight "A's" in all of her classes.  Oh!  I can hear some Pigeons cooing faintly. 

        My boss Mr. Steve also went to "C.S.U.N." for College.  He graduated with a "B" average.  But his mom graduated what they call "Magna Cum Laude."  I'll write more about this later.  I know Mr. Steve is proud of her for doing that.  I smell one of the old Joshua trees.  

        I wish there was such a thing as "Girl Scouts" for female Dogs.  For many years Mr. Steve's mom was a Girl Scout leader.  Her troops sang a lot Mr. Steve told me.  His father prefers to be in silence even when watching sports on tv.  No "background" Radio for him I guess.

        As much as Mr. Steve's dad likes quiet he allowed his wife to hold Girl Scout meetings at the house.  Of course they at times sang songs so he just went into his Office and closed the door but liked how singing made her happy so happily accepted it.  I can smell new Sage plant.

        Throughout the next three days I'll be writing about Mr. Steve's family; especially what's called his "immediate" family.  Like all families, they can disagree and argue.  But, as Mr. Steve and his old boss named Steve Banks used to say; "Better that than no family at all."

        Mr. Steve's boss Steve Banks, who died; was joking but he really wasn't joking.  When I was living out in the field homeless I felt totally alone God.  But of course You already know that.  It's so good to have a home to guard.  I'll write more about Mr. Steve's boss Steve Banks later.  

                         

 

        My boss Mr. Steve jokes how, in a way; when he and his brothers and sisters were growing up their mother was kind of like the girl on that tv show called the "Mary Tyler Moore Show."  Ah!  I smell that one old Sage bush.  It's good to see it survived for another year.

         

 

    

 

 

 

     Mr. Steve says for every Human year you count seven Dog years.  So that means when Mr. Steve had to have Lady "Put to Sleep" she was one hundred and thirty three years old.  I sure hope I can break that record.  Put to sleep is just a nicer way of saying killing.

       Another thing I'll write about over the next three days is Mr. Steve's family; from 1693 to now.  I'll talk about Mr. Steve's four Grandparents and his parents too.  They're from a "State" called "New Mexico." It's to the east of our State which is called "California." 

       Mr. Steve's Grandparents all died.  He says he has many"fond" memories of them and still remembers how his Grandma "Trujillo" used to say; "Only God knows.  What will be will be." He had a dream about his Grandparents a while back.  The sky is getting bluer.  

       Boy God!  It would be so great to live a long time!  I didn't like life when I was living out in that awful field.  Thank You Guys for giving me these two acres to guard.  Birds are zooming about in every direction out in the eastern desert.  A nice cool breeze just came in.

       Hanging above me God, from the roof of the Patio, are those "Chimes."  As You know I love them!  When the wind blows even slightly they make musical noises.  I'd like to think that sound represents You.  I can hear them right now and that makes me feel pretty good. 

       Hey God!  I like the way this Pencil feels in my right paw.  But in the next three days I'll try as hard as I can to also use my left paw too.   I know how Mr. Steve can use both hands for doing some things; like throwing.  The Sun is now fully risen above the eastern horizon.             

       I want to be just like that other Dog Lady.  Then Mr. Steve will want to keep me as long as he kept her.  That's one of my "Long-Term" goals in life.  But "Short-Term," I hope to show him I can do something no other Dog can do.  I want to learn to read and write.

       Mr. Steve has a College "Bachelor of Arts" Degree in "History."  So I want to learn about history too.  That will impress him.  I'll look up many new things in all of these Encyclopedia's.  California, where we live; is a part of what's called the "United States" or "America."

       I've been taking notes and putting together my three outlines for six months.  But now God I've got to start.  As You know, I'm kind of scared of doing this big giant project and have been stalling in getting started.  What if learning to read and write turns out to be too hard?      

       Mr. Steve says "change" in California is sometimes "gradual" but at other times happens so fast; like after the "Gold Rush" of 1849 or the building of the first "Trans-Continental Railway" in 1869.  I'll write more about both of those events over the course of the next three days.

                                                                                          CAREY MCWILLIAMS (1905-1980)

           

       This one man named Carey McWilliams wrote about the history of California. I wrote down a good quote of his.  He said one time that California; "has not grown or evolved so much as it has been hurtled forward, rocket-fashion, by a series of chain-reaction explosions." 

       Tomorrow in book two I'll write more about Carey McWilliams and this other man named Kevin Starr.  Carey McWilliams was a "Journalist."  That means he wrote in "Newspapers."  Mr. Steve's father has books that were written by Carey McWilliams and Kevin Starr.    

       Someday I hope to read Carey McWilliams.  But first I have to learn to read and write a lot better.  I can read pretty good but my writing needs a lot of work.  Sometimes I have a tendency to excitedly "get ahead of myself" as they say.  Three Birds just zoomed bye. 

       We live in California's "High Desert."  For thousands of years what they call "Native" or "Indigenous" peoples have lived up here.  "Bands" of "Indians" like "Mojave," "Chemehuevi" and "Southern Paiute;" as "Hunter-Gatherers" followed the Seasons and the food. 

       Mr. Steve met this older man at the small local Library in the nearby town of "Phelan."  He was a "Shoshone" Indian.   Phelan is about nine miles away and is where Mr. Steve goes to buy the things we need.  I'm going to write more about Phelan over the next three days.

       We live on Mr. Steve's two acres in "Piñon Hills;" a town of seven thousand people.  Phelan has over ten thousand people.  My Spanish Dictionary says "piñon" means "pine" in English.  But Mr. Steve says there aren't too many Piñon trees left around our desert. 

      That man at the Phelan Library told Mr. Steve about the "Serrano" Indians; the name the Spanish gave them in the 18th century.  I hear, smell and see a lot of Birds flying about.  Taking in deep breaths of new Spring air makes me feel good.  Oh!  The Chimes are ringing.

 

       Hey Holy Spirit!  Thank You for this beautiful day to start my big project.  Today is the first day of Spring which Mr. Steve thinks of as our "New Year."  It was still a little cold last night but now the days will get warmer and warmer.  And then in July it will get really hot.

        I guess the Indians who lived up here for all those thousands of years were what they call "Nomads."  This  Encyclopedia says they "chronicled" in song and art how they saw You Holy Spirit in the "desert's qualities and creatures." They also drew pictures on rocks too.  

       Mr. Steve's friend Mark Ritter knew a lot about "Geology" and also Lizards and these other things call "Amphibians."  He and Mr. Steve liked looking at "Pictographs" and "Petroglyphs." I'll write a lot more about that guy Mark Ritter over the next three days.         

      The local High School in Phelan, the Serrano "Diamondbacks;" were named in honor of the Serrano band of Native Americans.  A Diamondback is a "Rattlesnake" who lives here.  Oh!  I  sense something looking at me right now.  I have a feeling it might be a Lizard.

   

                                                             "SERRANO" PEOPLE

 

        Yup!  I knew a Lizard was looking at me.  A tiny Lizard is over standing in the dirt just to the right of the big tree.  Sometimes Lizards can blend in with everything and they're really hard to see.  I just used my English Dictionary to look up the word "Camouflage."

      The man at the Library told Mr. Steve the Serrano Band is just one of the Native-American groups from our area.  He said the Serrano word for "Home" is "Cha-Key."  I sure hope I spell it right but I'm going to have to just sound some things out over the next three days.  

       Wow!  I just realized how, in seeing that one little Lizard over there; it's just like last year.  On this exact same day last year I saw this exact same thing.  Yup!   Just like last year, the little Lizard is now doing some of those Lizard "Pushups."  It's so cute how they do that.  

       Smelling and seeing that Lizard reminds me of the one time when I woke up smelling a big Lizard who was staring at me; studying my face.  I "Jumped a Mile" as they say. That scared the Lizard as much as it scared me.  It ran away so fast.  I was homeless back then.

       Boy!  Waking up with that big Lizard so close to my face was scary.  I didn't even smell him coming.  It startled me and I jumped up fast.  I still dream about that time.  It's funny now yet it wasn't so funny then.  But now I'm not even afraid of Lizards any more.  I like Lizards!

       As I mentioned, we consider today, the first day of Spring; to be our New Year's Day.  Our neighbor's orange and black Rooster Heathcliff II was up crowing since way before Dawn.  He seems somehow a little happier on this particular morning I think.  Oh! There he goes!   

     The desert to the east is lit up in soft sunlight.  I just love hearing Heathcliff!  Mr. Steve says we need Heathcliff to make the start of our day seem right.  I can also hear our neighbor's Dogs "Dawn" and "Blinky" barking faintly over there next door.  I like Dawn and Blinky. 

      The sound of Heathcliff's voice makes me think about last year at this exact time too.  I was still getting used to living over here on our two acres.  And I recall well how just after Heathcliff crowed about this time that big Scorpion ran past right under this couch I'm sitting on.

       I just picked up the scent of a plant called "Sagebrush."  I can tell it's a new Sage plant.  My boss Mr. Steve says that Shoshone man at the Library knew a lot about the plants which grow around here.  Smelling new Sage makes me feel good.  Wow!  It's Spring!  Happy New Year!

  

 

       Over the next three days I'll refer to people who my boss has met; like that Shoshone man over there at the Phelan Library.  I can tell that he made what's called an  "Impression" on Mr. Steve.  And now I guess he's kind of also made an impression on me too.

       A few years ago Mr. Steve met an older lady at this place called the "San Juan Capistrano Mission."   Back in the mid-1990's Mr. Steve and his mom had what they call an "Art Exhibit" there.  That lady was a member of an Indian band called by the Spanish "Juañeño."

       That lady down at the Capistrano Mission said her "Tribe" burns Sage plants for "purifying the air of bad Spirits."  Sage can also be used just like a "Medicine" too she said.   As You know God, I'm still sort of afraid of all the darker spirits; like my bad Angel "Lilith."

        Later today I'm scheduled to write about how my boss Mr. Steve sometimes gives money to "Saint Joseph's Indian School" up north in the State of "South Dakota."  It's an "Orphanage" so the kids who live there have no parents.  I was an orphan too for a while.

        Hey Lord!  As You know, Saint Joseph's is "run" by Catholic Priests and the children there are "Sioux" Native-American Indians.  There are three Sioux groups; "Dakota," "Nakota" and "Lakota" like the kids in South Dakota.  I'm so happy to be a Catholic now too!

         Mr. Steve says the Sioux burn "Sacred Bundles" of Sage, "Cedar" and "Sweetgrass."  This Encyclopedia says that one translation of Sioux is "friend" or "ally."  Tomorrow in book two I'll write about this man named George Custer.  I can smell a new Sage plant.  

         Hey Stanley!  Thank you for being such a good Guardian Angel.  And thank You God for giving me Stanley.  I also want to think that You sent Mr. Steve as a Guardian Angel to rescue me from out in that terrible field.  I can hear so many Birds singing happily right now.

        God, as You know; Mr. Steve thinks that You usually don't ever interfere in this "physical" or "tangible" world You created.  But if You did he says it was when You sent his family "Miss Maria."  She's from Mexico and keeps Mr. Steve's parents house really clean.

        Mr. Steve's mom calls Maria a "Godsend."  I'll be mentioning Maria over the course of the next three days.  From what my boss Mr. Steve says, she's now become more than simply a very intelligent "Housekeeper."  Mr. Steve's parents consider Maria like a daughter.

        Another thing I'm scheduled to write about in my three really long books is Mr. Steve's four Grandparents.  When Grandma Córdova got old she came to live with Mr. Steve's parents.  And it was mainly Mr. Steve's mom and Miss Maria who really took good care of her.   

       Mr. Steve read one time that the Juañeño Indians helped the Spanish build up the San Juan Capistrano Mission back in the late 18th century.  I wish I could go back in time to see them do that.  It would be so great!  I'll bet my boss Mr. Steve would like to do that too.

      I just noticed that these black Birds called "Crows," who've been hovering in a circle above the eastern desert; are now diving down to the ground.  That probably means there's something dead they can go down and start eating.  It's probably an old Rabbit or something.

      Hey God?  As You know of course, one of the things I'm planning on writing about over the next three days is that "Concept" called "Reincarnation."  I'm now a "Catholic" like Mr. Steve and Catholics don't believe in Reincarnation; but You know at times we wonder about it.

      My English Dictionary says Reincarnation means; "The Soul in another body."  Seeing those Crows wheeling around up in the sky reminds me about how last year at this same time we were looking and seeing the same exact thing happening.   Some things don't change.

     My boss says the "Buddhist" and "Hindu" Religions believe in Reincarnation.  They want to believe a Soul has many chances to do better the next time.  If you do bad "this time" you have to "come back" at a "lower level" to make it harder to get ahead "this new time."

 

  

         Oh my God!  One of those Scorpions is running bye right now.  Usually you never see them during the day.  I wonder if that Scorpion knows this is the first day of Spring?  I'll bet it does.  That Scorpion better be careful.  I know how Crows really like the taste of Scorpion.     

        I'm sitting on my couch "Elvira."  Mr. Steve bought her years ago from his other friend Mark; who now lives over there in a place called "Hawaii" with his wife Kim and their kids.  I'll talk about them during the next three days.  Mark runs a good "Daily" Newspaper.

       Hey God!  I guess in Reincarnation you can come back as an Insect if you don't do good in your current life.  I like learning about other religions because my boss does as You know.  I'll write about other religions over the next three days.  I can hear Birds singing.

       One time this man from India joked with Mr. Steve.  He said Reincarnation gives the Soul another chance if it keeps on losing, as the "Law of Averages" means "The odds Are" it has to win in one of those lives eventually.  Mr. Steve joked it's like being on a bad sports team. 

       Hey God!  How come in the "Western Tradition" you only get "One Shot at the Apple" as they say?  Why must it be either "black or white?"  As You know of course, Mr. Steve prefers to think You're "more likely" to be what they call "Benevolent."  I want to think that too! 

       Mr. Steve met a lady from the "Country" of "Iceland."  Her family believes dead relatives sometimes "came back" as Crows.  She said her mother was convinced her father was this one Crow.  I'm going to learn and then write about the "Vikings" in my three books.

 

 

        I know my boss likes some songs by this one girl from Iceland named BJORK.  I've never heard her songs but Mr. Steve thinks she's unique.  I guess, not only is her music different but the way she dresses is unusual too.  I hear those Crows fighting over the food. 

        Right now sitting here on Elvira I can see Birds flying about over the eastern desert behind our three Sheds.  Behind them is the Sun just above the horizon.  This is so beautiful.  Hey God? Why am I so lucky?  Thank You for giving me this project.  I'm going to do my best.

    

 

       Iceland is where some of those people called "Vikings" went to after they "Migrated" out of  that place called "Scandinavia."  I'm going to write a lot about the Vikings over the next three days.  Burr!  Iceland sounds like it would be way too cold for me.  I have short hair.    

      There's what they call an "Old Saying" I wrote down on my outline for this first part of my first book; "The past is often the prologue to the future."  My boss thinks "Human Nature" has not really changed all that much for thousands of years of history.  I smell Sage.   

      And another thing Mr. Steve believes is that many, if not most things in life, are often "Dual" in nature; with good comes bad and with bad comes good.  And you can't have one without the other he thinks.  Hey God?  Was it You who made life often have two sides?  

      My boss sometimes uses the word "Proportionate."  He thinks the good that comes in life is often accompanied by the "potential" for the same amount of the opposite.  He says it's better to never get "carried away" by good or bad fortune; even though that's hard to do. 

      Hey God!  As You of course, I've never had children and neither has my boss.  But he thinks "proof" of the "duality" of life is that You might've made it so that; Children can provide the greatest joy possible in this world but; the potential for the greatest sorrow as well.

      For months I've been running back here and writing down things Mr. Steve says.  But I don't want him to know that yet.  Someday he'll know what I'm going to try to do over the next three days.  Hey God!   Please help me so Mr. Steve will be proud of me and keep me.   

      I remember when Mr. Steve said that it seems like most of the good "Inventions" in human history have often had two sides.  Guns can be used to hunt for food and survive; or kill greater numbers of people accurately from a longer and longer "Range" he says.

      Hey God!  As You know Mr. Steve thinks that no matter how "Modern" mankind gets people will always be cruel and hateful.  But they will also be generous and loving.  You can't have one thing without the other he thinks; because You've given everyone a "Free Will." 

      I hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking.  I also hear their Dogs Dawn and Blinky barking.  It's Spring alright!  My nose tells me that.  This old dull yellow couch is so comfortable.  I just love this old couch we all named Elvira.  I would never ever want to replace her.  No way!    

      Looking straight ahead I see our three "Sheds."  Mr. Steve calls them, from my right to left; "Manny," "Moe" and "Jack." The big Shed to my left is Jack.  Moe is the middle Shed.  Just behind the three Sheds is a fence.  Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed again.

     Mr. Steve owns the two acres we guard that is "fenced in" as they say.  But he also owns half an acre of desert behind the three Sheds.  Between Manny and Moe the smaller Sheds there's a gate; which is like a door.  Mr. Steve likes walking around out in the eastern desert. 

  joshua tree

      Ah!  For the first time since before Winter I smell that one old "Joshua" tree behind Moe the middle Shed.  That's so great!  There are three layers of Joshua trees inside and outside of the back fence.  Oh!  I smell "Libby" the Horse to my right over there in her Corral. 

      Two Crows are out there in the desert yelling at each other and I'll bet they're arguing over food.  Oh!  I just noticed "Theodora" the "Thrasher" Bird.  It's good to see her for the first time this year.  I like watching those Thrasher Birds.  They have long curved beaks.

 

 . 

      To the left of Jack the big Shed is a three year old "Creosote" bush.  Mr. Steve didn't cut it down because he noticed how Theodora liked it.  Thrasher Birds, like black "Cow Birds," run on the ground as much as they fly.  I like the smell of the little yellow Creosote flowers. 

     Because my boss thinks that two of the most important things to happen in the 20th century were the "World Wars;" I'll focus a lot on them in my three books.  And I'll also learn and then write about the "Korean War;" mainly because Mr. Steve's father fought in it.

     Over the years Mr. Steve has had some good conversations with men and women who lived at the time of the two world wars or Korean War five years later.   At times he thinks Americans do not fully appreciate what those people had to do to "buy us our peace and freedom."   

      My boss thinks the 16th century was one of the most important centuries in history; for good and bad.   In Europe it was a time called the "Renaissance" or "Re-Birth;" a period following a time called "Medieval;" or the "Dark" Ages when life was often "brutal and short."

      The 1500's Mr. Steve says, is also known as the "Age of Exploration" because of that one guy Christopher Columbus.  In 1492 he sailed three Ships west from Spain to "discover" what is now called the "New World."  I hear Crows cawing faintly out in the eastern desert.

   

                                            CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (0000-0000)

       I want to learn about "Columbus" because Mr. Steve thinks he's so important.  Like most people he was both good and bad he says.  I think us Dogs are like that too.  In the 16th century life was often brutal and harsh compared to our lives in the United States today.

       Mr. Steve thinks you can't judge a person from the past by today's moral standards.  By the standards of today that guy Abraham Lincoln would be a "Racist."  He said "Amalgamation" or the "mixing of the races" to have babies was "disgusting."  A Crow just cawed.

      In the next three days I know that, according to what I've been writing in my three outlines;  I'll also learn way more about the "Pre-Columbian" people who had been living here thousands of years before Christopher Columbus "Discovered" the so-called "New World."

      One of the most important things that happened in the 16th century was what they call the "Protestant Reformation."  That's when people in parts of Europe broke away from the Catholic Church.  But we're still Catholics Lord!  I kind of like being a Catholic.   

      Hey God!  As You know, for the next three days I plan on learning and then writing about so many new things.  I'll get a lot of practice looking things up or figuring things out.  And I know, at times it will be really hard but; Thank You for this really great opportunity! 

      This is going to be so fun!  If I can write something which will make my boss proud of me it will be so great!  But sometimes I get too excited or nervous about things.  I'm really working on trying to improve that part of myself.  I just have to take deep breaths and stay calm.  

     My favorite thing in life is to run!   This is true especially if I have even the slightest "excuse" to go fast.  My boss has used the term "Flat-Out."  But over the next three days I'm going to try to force myself to be more what they call "Disciplined" and concentrate on writing.

      Hey God!  I know for sure that in the next three days I'm going to be so tempted to run after Jackrabbits, Squirrels or Roadrunners.  But. with You're help,  I'm determined not to give in to my "First Impulses" and try to chase them all down.  Running is so fun to do!

       Oh!  I just picked up the scent of "Andy" the Squirrel.  And now I see him sticking up from behind that big boulder near Jack the biggest Shed.  This is so great!  I haven't seen him since last year. Hey God!  but I don't smell or see his girlfriend "Helen."  A Wren is singing.

  

       Oh!  Helen just popped up from behind the big rock.  Usually Andy and Helen are together.  They're like Fannie and Freddie the Crows.  If you see one you're likely to see the other.  Even though Andy and Helen are Ground Squirrels I've noticed they'll climb trees too.

       Mr. Steve had a friend named Helen Graham who died a few years ago.  Miss Helen worked with Mr. Steve at the Forum and was his parents age.  She lived and is buried down there in the city of "Glendale."  I can tell that she made a big impression on my boss.

       I'll write more about that lady Helen Graham later.  I'm so tempted to do it now but I better just wait.  I'll write about her on Saturday in book three but I know I'll probably mention her again before then.  I wish I could go back in time to meet that lady Helen Graham.

      Hey Stanley!  As my Guardian Angel, I sure do hope you keep protecting me just like you've done all my life.  When I'm back here in the Patio on Elvira I can sense you.  If my bad Angel Lilith tries to make me chase things I'm going to resist her for three full days.  

      Mr. Steve says the 19th century, especially the "American Civil War" period, was "pivotal." Overall, the 1800's were the time of Queen Victoria over there in England.  I'm going to mention her a few times over the next three days.  Boy!  I can sure hear a lot of Birds chirping. 

      My boss says because Queen Victoria's 1800's British Empire had the most powerful Navy in the world they dominated.  Plus he says, besides that, they were at what's called the "forefront" of the "Industrial Revolution."  So they had better weapons than everyone else.  

      The ideas and things developed in the 1860's during the American Civil War "defined" how warfare would be fought sixty years later in World War I.  At least that's what Mr. Steve thinks. Repeating Rifles, Observation Balloons, metal Ships and even Submarines were used.

 

     Because my boss thinks that the American Civil War was so important I plan on dealing with it over the next three days.  But I mainly have it listed on my outlines for books two and three.  I can see a few Crows flying bye way up there in the high light blue sky.

     I know that Mr. Steve has studied the two wars against this country called "Iraq."  One was in 1991 when George H.W. Bush was the American President.  The second started in 2003 with George W. Bush, the son of the "Bush I,"  as the United States President.

      In both of the "Persian Gulf Wars" the leader of Iraq was this guy named Saddam Hussein. 
 He sounds like a really mean person from what my boss says.  He was a "Sunni" Muslim in an     area where the "Shia" Muslims are the majority population.  A Crow just squawked.                              

                                                         SADDAM HUSSEIN (0000-0000)

  

     My boss Mr. Steve thinks the two "Persian Gulf Wars" are important so I intend to learn and then write about them over the next three days.  Hey God!  I sure hope You help me because I'm not sure I can do a good job just by myself.  That guy Saddam Hussein was hung. 

     Because I'm mainly writing my three books to make my boss want to keep me I'm going to do what they call "Channeling" his thinking.  Some would think this is stupid but I don't care.  All I care about is pleasing Mr. Steve because, as they say, he has my "Destiny" in his hands.

     Just to the side of this couch is a big pile of books called "Encyclopedias."  They're covered up by this big dark green tarp.  I'm going to need them to write my three books. There are also some of Mr. Steve's "legal research" books under that tarp.   I might need them too.

      Hey God!  I want to prove to Mr. Steve how smart I am.  Besides writing about history and things he knows about I want to tell about Mr. Steve's life and the history of our family.  It will hopefully be a permanent record of our family so future generations will know about us.  

      Our family was "traced" back to 1693 in the "State" of "New Mexico;" where Mr. Steve's parents grew up and relatives still live.  In the next three days I'll write a lot about the history our family and "Nuevo Mejico;" which is how to say New Mexico in Spanish.

                  

  

          In 1521 a Spanish "Conquistador" Hernando Cortéz conquered the Aztec Indians down in "Mexico."  I'll be writing a lot more about that event over the next three days because my boss thinks it was so important.  I'll really write about Cortéz on Saturday in book three.  

        By 1600 Spanish "Settlers" traveled from Mexico up to New Mexico.  In 1680 some of New Mexico "Native-Americans" revolted and killed the Spanish.  I'm going to write a lot about the history of New Mexico in my three books.  Oh great!  I smell that one old Sage bush.

        Mr. Steve thinks, based on his list of "possessions;" our ancestor was a soldier who fought in the "Reconquista" or "Re-Conquest" of New Mexico in 1693.   This was the year after those famous "Salem Witch Trials" which I'll write about tomorrow in book two.

       According to my Spanish Dictionary Conquistador means "Conquerer."  It's what all the Spanish soldiers in the "New World" discovered for Europe by that guy Christopher Columbus in 1492.  In 1693 the Spanish Conquistadors killed a lot of Indians in New Mexico. 

       We live in the "United States" or what they call "America;" in the "Southern" section of the  State of "California."  And we're up here in the "High Desert;" which is about seventy miles to the northeast of this big city called "Los Angeles;" where Mr. Steve grew up. 

      A few years ago Mr. Steve sold his house down there in the city of "Sylmar" and moved up here to the desert.  We live on the two and a half acres he bought up here.  Sylmar is what they call a "Suburb" of Los Angeles.  Ah!  I can smell that one old Joshua tree.

      As I mentioned, we live in Piñon Hills and Phelan has all the Stores and things like that. To our southeast is "Wrightwood."  During the Winter people go there to "Ski" down hills covered in snow.  I don't think I'd want to do that.  No way!  It would be too dangerous.

      Mr. Steve's parents still live down in Los Angeles.  His Niece named Samantha also lives with them.  Samantha's mother, Mr. Steve's sister Celina, died in 2003.  Samantha has come here to visit us a few times.  I just picked up the strong scent of one of the new Sage plants.

       I like living up here in the desert even though it's not perfect.  No place is perfect my boss says.  I really can't compare it to anything else because this is all I know.  But I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's.  I hear Birds chirping away out there in the eastern desert.

      Besides writing about the history of Mr. Steve's family in New Mexico I intend to tell about his what they call "immediate" family too.  Because I was abandoned at a very young age and dumped out in a field nearby I really don't know anything about my immediate family.

                                                                                                                 

                                                           MR. STEVE'S FAMILY

 

      Mr. Steve is the oldest of five kids.  His brother "Rock;" whose real name is "Roderick, lives over to the east of us in the State of "Texas."   He lives with with his two sons Rocky Junior and Jacob.  A nice cool breeze just came floating in off of the eastern desert to my front. 

      In Mr. Steve's family his parents had their five children in two groups; Mr. Steve and Rock in 1955 and 1957 and then a boy and two girls in the early 1960's.  Mr. Steve's parents have been married for fifty eight years!  They've known each other for even longer than that.

      Even though he's fifty eight years old my boss has never been married or had children.  But he knows his mom is right when she jokes that after you have kids; "You're days often seem to be longer while the years seem shorter."  Oh!  I smell that one old Creosote bush.

      The youngest kid in my boss's family is named "Susan."  She now lives "back east" as they say; in "Connecticut."  She has two sons Dalton and Austin; and still rides Horses the way she has since she was a young girl.  They have this one Dog they call "Bella."

     My boss's parents are named "Sam" and "Stella."  They and Samantha have visited us a few times.  They have a big house down there in "Sylmar;" which is where Mr. Steve and his four brothers and sisters "grew up."  Their two Dogs are are named "Bella" and "Rosie." 

      Mr. Steve's other brother Sam's family live about twenty five miles to the northeast of us in a town called "Littlerock."  Sam's wife is named "Yolanda" and they have three kids.  The oldest is Mathew and then Sammy Jr. and Raqquel.  Their Dogs are "Ozzy" and "Tito."   

  

         

      Sylmar is in the northeast corner of the "San Fernando Valley;" the most northern part of Los Angeles.  Sylmar is next to this other "Independent" city called " San Fernando."  I'm going to be mentioning Sylmar and San Fernando over the next three days.  I smell new Sage.

      In 1953, after Mr. Steve's father was what they call "Discharged" from the Marines after the Korean War, he got married and they lived back there in New Mexico.  And for a few years in the late 1950's the family lived in a city called "Denver."  But it was too cold.  

      Because they were often low on money there were some "tough times" as they say.  At least that's what my boss's mom remembers.  But because Mr. Steve's parents have always had both trust and respect for each other so they "Weathered the Storm" as they say. 

      The main reason why Mr. Steve's parents moved up to Denver was so his father could go to school.  By then my boss and also his brother Rock had been born.  Denver is located in the State of "Colorado."  During their time there it snowed a lot.  A Crow just cawed.

      According to Mr. Steve the city of Denver is located about a mile up in the air.  Being up so high sometimes gives the home teams an "advantage" as you get tired faster and the other team is not used to it he says.  I just picked up the scent of a Ground Squirrel.

      Mr. Steve and his father took a business trip to Denver in 1993.  As they walked around they "reminisced."  Mr. Steve was really young so has only "vague" memories of living in Denver.  But he does remember the snow.  There was way too much of it his mom says.

      One memory my boss has about Denver is being "bundled up" in a jacket while sitting in the back seat of an "idling" Car.  As the Car "warms up" his mother used an "Ice Scraper" to clean the front window as his father shoveled snow from behind the Car.  I see the Squirrel.

     Mr. Steve has a dream where he see's himself sitting in that Car in Denver.  He sees it clearly in that dream.  I'm going to write about when they lived in Denver later in my three books but I just wanted to mention it now.  Among other things, Mr. Steve sells Ice Scrapers now. 

     As my boss and his father walked around downtown Denver in 1993 old memories came back to Mr. Steve's father.  He said he had "Mixed Emotions" about the time in Denver.  They met a lot of good people who helped them Mr. Steve's father said.  The Squirrel ran away. 

     In 1960, when my boss was five years old, his family moved to Southern California.  Then, a year later Mr. Steve's dad used this thing called the "G.I. Bill" to buy a house on "Hagar" Street in Sylmar.  It was located in what they call a "Cul de Sac."   I hear Birds singing..

      My French Dictionary says Cul-De-Sac means "Bottom of the sack."  But the "definition" is; "A blind alley."  Mr. Steve says Hagar Street was "circular" with five houses around it.  He and the kids who lived around there played Baseball on Hagar Street.  I smell Sage.

      In 2005 Mr. Steve moved up here to the High Desert.  In 1961 when his family first moved to Sylmar it was what they call "Rural."  Many of the roads were still not  even "paved."  It's the way we are up here.  We have many dirt roads too.  I sense something looking at me.

   

PHOTO BY IAN MERRILL

 

       A Squirrel is standing over there looking at me.  Mr. Steve says some Squirrels live in trees.  But ours dig holes in the ground called "Burrows."  Ours have skinny tails while tree Squirrels have "bushy" tails.  That Squirrel over there is sniffing the air right now. 

      I guess the Squirrel hasn't smelled or seen me over here on this couch yet.  Ah!  Yes he or she has noticed me.  And now it's running away really fast.  I sort of wish I could chase that Squirrel but I'm not going to.  I'm too busy writing my book.  That's more important.

       I've noticed that Squirrels, like myself, have a really good sense of smell.  And also like me they have excellent eyesight.  Squirrels have kind of big eyes compared to the size of their head. I like Squirrels but my boss thinks sometimes they can be what's called a "nuiscence." 

      A Niece of Mr. Steve's is Stephanie; Rock's daughter.  "Steph" also lives down in the Valley with her boyfriend Rich and their daughter Cristina.  Mr. Steve says they live near to where he went to college way back in the 1970's.  Their Dogs are "Angus" and "Betty."

      Over the years my boss has "Dated" or "gone out with" a number of girls.  But he's only had three "girlfriends" where he felt like he was in a relationship that would be that of "a couple;"  Sandy, Emily and Harriet.  Heathcliff, the Rooster next door, just crowed. 

      In 12th Grade of High School Mr. Steve met his first girlfriend "Sandy."  She was in the 10th Grade.   They were together for six years and to this day he still thinks about her and her two younger sisters "Suzie" and "Stacy."  I hear Heathcliff over there crowing again. 

      Mr. Steve told me occasionally he still has dreams about his three girlfriend's and sometimes their parents; many of whom are what they call "deceased."  That means they died.  In my third book day after tomorrow I'm scheduled to write more on the subject of "Mortality."

      Sandy's mom was a Nurse.  Her father fought in World War II against the Japanese out in the Pacific Ocean.  He fought in the "Battle of the Corral Sea."  I'll talk about it tomorrow in my second book.  Emily's father was in George Patton's Third Army in World War II.

      After College Mr. Steve went to Law School but "Flunked Out" after three years.  And that is where he met his second girlfriend "Emily."  She grew up "Back East" in a place called "Long Island;" which is a "Burrough" of New York City.  I smell one of the new Sage plants.

      For years Emily has worked in the Athletic Office at a College called U.C.L.A.  That stands or "University of California in Los Angeles.  So Mr. Steve used to go to Football games with her at this one place called the "Rose Bowl;" which is in a city called "Pasadena."

      Mr. Steve's third girlfriend was named "Harriet."  They met when both worked at a small "Local" Newspaper called the "San Fernando Sun."  Harriet is a good writer Mr. Steve says. She lives in a part of Los Angeles called "North Hollywood."  I hear Birds chirping.

      For a few years in the late 1980's Harriet got a job at a magazine called "Music Connection." Her job was to "cover" the Los Angeles "Music Scene" by writing "Reviews" of different bands. Harriet got my boss a job working there with her as a photographer.

      Until about 1994 Mr. Steve went with Harriet on her "Assignments."  They mainly covered what's called the "Club Scene."  At the time he says, they both probably didn't fully appreciate how nice that was.  The Sun has now risen fully above the eastern horizon. 

      Harriet's father, like my boss's dad, fought in the Korean War of the early 1950's.  In book two and three I'm going to "deal with" the Korean War in a lot more detail.  And I'll also write a lot about the two world wars of the 20th century.  I hear some Crows cawing.

      Sandy, Mr. Steve's first girlfriend, had a father who was in the Navy during World War II and fought in the "Battle of the Coral Sea."  Emily, his last girlfriend, had a father who was in a man named George Patton's 3rd Army at the end of that same giant war.

    Occasionally Mr. Steve still recalls fondly all of his three girlfriend's families.  A few months ago he had a dream where he hugged Harriet's mom and they had a good talk.  Harriet's mother died a few years ago.  Looking to the east I see Crows flying above the desert. 

      Hey God!  As You know of course, over the next three days I plan on "expanding" on all of the things I've mentioned above.  I sure do hope that You'll help me when I need it.  And I have a feeling I'm going to need help in learning to read and write.  I smell Sage.  

      Besides writing about the things I mentioned I also want to write sort of a Diary too.  I know that some might think our lives are boring and ordinary but I kind of like my life anyway.  It's a lot better than being homeless like I used to be before Mr. Steve "rescued" me.

      Mr. Steve thinks that most people's lives are what would be called "mundane" and not at all like the "Script" of something called a "Soap Opera."  One of these days I'll learn what a Soap Opera is.  I do know what soap is.  The sky is getting bluer and bluer now. 

      Hey God!  I know one thing for sure, living over here is a lot better than when I was homeless and living out there in that awful field.  I really want to believe You made Mr. Steve bring me to this place.  And I hope that maybe You have other things planned for me too.

      Oh!  I see another Squirrel standing over there.  It's sniffing the air but hasn't smelled or seen me yet.  Well, that Squirrel just picked up my scent so ran really fast out into the eastern desert.  It's amazing how fast Squirrels can run.  But I'm a fast runner too!

      Thank You God for this chance to tell about our lives and the things I'm now interested in because of my boss.  Hey God?  Are You a boy or a girl?  As You know, my boss jokes we really don't know for sure.  But we prefer to think of You as what's called a "Father Figure." 

      Hey God?  Looking at the Sun hanging over the eastern horizon I think I sense You in what You've  created.  I know one thing for sure, whether You're male or female, I want to think of You as wise, patient and forgiving.  And as You know, so does my boss Mr. Steve.   

      Thank You Lord for dying for me.  In part, I'm going to dedicate my three books to You.  After all, the sacrifice You made for us was so great.  It must've been really painful being nailed up on that wooden cross like that.  I can now hear some Crows cawing faintly. 

      A big grayish Jackrabbit just ran bye.  Normally I would go chase it but right now I'm sort of busy writing.  For the next three days I have focus on my writing and resist the temptation to run after things the way I'd normally do.  I just picked up the scent of a Sage plant.  

      As You know Lord Mr. Steve says in the Bible "Rhema" means "the living word."  He thinks of music as alive and now I want to too.  That's why I'm going to write a lot about music over the next three days.  A slight breeze just blew in the scent of one of our new Sage plants. 

      In my mind I'm hearing a song called "La Primavera" by an Italian named Antonio Vivaldi.  Mr. Steve often plays it in the morning.  As he worked out in the yard this morning he played it loud on this amazing machine called a "Boombox."  I really like that song.

      

                                                       ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741)

  

      According to my Latin Dictionary La Primavera means "The Spring."  That song is perfect for today seeing as this is the first day of Spring.  When I heard it this morning I felt inspired to  start work on my three books.  Vivaldi lived back in the 17th and 18th centuries.

      One reason why I want to write about human history and it's music is to help others learn of  new things they may have thought about or didn't know.  But I also hope to learn about so many new things myself over the next three days.  Oh!  I just smelled a Gopher somewhere.

     

 

      I see the Gopher now.  He, or she, just popped their head out of a hole near the big tree about twenty feet away from me.  And it's scent tells me it's a different Gopher from the one I smelled earlier this morning before the Sun came up.  Gophers to me are so amazing! 

      Three Birds just sailed bye right above the house; moving toward the eastern desert behind the back fence.  I see and hear other Birds out there in the desert too.  Most are looking for food on this first day of Spring.  Oh!  That one Gopher just went back underground.

      I couldn't be a Gopher or Ground Squirrel.  I'd be afraid my tunnel would cave in on me if I lived down in a burrow in the ground.  I don't think my heart would take being "hemmed in" as they say; with only one escape route in case of an emergency.  No way could I do it!

      Hey Lord!  As You know Mr. Steve doesn't like "Small Spaces" either.  I just now looked up the word "Claustrophobic" and it means "fear of enclosed places."  That's one of the things we like about living here in the desert.  We have a lot of what they call "open space."

      As You know Lord, when my boss visited "Israel," where You used to live, he couldn't go all the way down into the Tomb where You raised that guy named Lazarus from the dead.  It was carved out of rock and got narrower and narrower the farther you went inside. 

      Even though other people "made fun of " him, Mr. Steve decided he couldn't go all the way down into Lazarus' tomb.  It was just too scary.  To me this is kind of funny because in my mind my boss seems really brave.  But I understand how he felt.  A Crow just cawed.

      Even though he grew up in a big city where a few million people live, Mr. Steve now sort of likes it better living up here in a small town of about seven thousand people.  There are also a lot of Dogs who live in our area.  Someday I want to to go and see a big city.

      Because I lived homeless for about eight months out in a field nearby when my first owner abandoned me I learned how not to be "cornered."  So the idea of living in the ground is scary to me.  I really do admire how Gophers and Squirrels can live in their burrows.  

      By writing my three books I'll get a lot of practice in learning to both read and write.  I want to be one of the first Dogs in history to read and write.  And then, once I learn how to do that I'll be able to  communicate with Mr. Steve.  Oh!  Three small Birds just flew past.

                                                               

 

      To my front left is the "big tree" near where that Gopher came up.  I love that tree!  It makes good shade when the days are hot.  Right now there aren't too many leaves on it but soon there will a lot of bushy green leaves.  I love green leaves and the smell of that big tree. 

      Mr. Steve puts rocks around the bottom of our trees to keep the water from flowing away when he waters them.  When the water "pools" it attracts Lizards and other things just like in Africa when Elephants share water holes and rivers with all the other animals.  

     Like my boss, I like the way water looks.  It's relaxing.  I'll be writing about water for the next three days.  Right now I see a "reflection" on the top of the water where Mr. Steve filled up the "basin" under our big tree.  A little Mouse is drinking next to a Lizard.  

     This morning my boss was out doing what's called "Yard Work" and cleaned up some of the weeds from around the trees up in our front yard.  And while he did it he played music loud on his Boombox.  I love this time of year and I really love Mr. Steve's Boombox.

     When he finishes his "Annual' cleaning of the front yard over the next three weeks my boss will then come back here in the mornings and clean the weeds.  My boss jokes that the good part about being in a "Drought" is that there are a lot less weeds to cut in the Spring.   

      According to my English Dictionary the "definition" of Drought is "prolonged dry weather." Here in California we're in a Drought.  So we can't waste any water.  Boy!  I can still hear a lot of Birds singing out there in the eastern desert.  Happy New Year!  I feel so good. 

      Looking to my right I see this gray bucket filled with water.  It's in front of the sliding glass door that goes into the dining room of our house.  Mr. Steve fills it up every morning.  Right now I'm not hungry or thirsty but feel good knowing I can drink water any time I want to.   

      Even though that one Gopher's gone I can still smell it's scent; but it's a lot fainter now.  But I can still smell the soft dirt it pushed up out of it's hole.  Oh!  The Gopher's back.  He, or she, is now sticking it's cute little nose out of that hole and sniffing the air. 

      Hey God?  I hope You'll help me write my three books.  I made three pretty good "Outlines" but please help me to remember things.  Oh!  I would really appreciate it if You would also help me too Blessed Mother.  That Gopher just smelled me and went back down it's hole.

      Don't think I've forgotten about you Stanley!  As my God-appointed Guardian Angel you've always done a good job in watching over me and protecting me from my bad Angel Lilith.  She sometimes tempts me to do wrong things and I try to resist her.  But at times it's hard. 

       Boy!  If I can just learn to read and write my boss will be so happy with me.  He'll like me and never ever want to get rid of me.  But I don't really want him to know about me writing my three books until I'm finished.  I'm going to have to be alert to know when he's coming.

      Mr. Steve is going to be so surprised when he finds out what I'm doing.  I can't wait to see his reaction.  Hopefully he'll hug and hold me.  "God willing," as Grandma Trujillo used to say, the next three days will be great!  I'm going to learn a lot!  Three Birds just flew bye.   

     Well!  Here I go.  I'll just make a quick "Sign of the Cross" and then "hope for the best" as it's said.  And I'll try hard no matter what; even if I fail completely.  I hope these next three days will be the best time of my life.  Oh!  I just smelled a Ground Squirrel mearby.  

                                                                  

                                                                   MICHAEL BUFFER

                                                                       PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

 

     As a photographer in the 1980's Mr. Steve took pictures of Boxing and this one man who used to introduce the fighters by saying really loud; "Let's get ready to rumble!"  I'll make one more sign of the cross and then I can start on my really huge project.  I see the Squirrel.    

     God, Blessed Mother, Holy Spirit and You too Lord; please give me direction and guidance.    As they say; "It will be a miracle" if I can actually learn to read and write but I kind of want to believe in miracles.  Mr. Steve thinks, to a certain extent, my life is sort of a miracle.  

     We live in what's called a "Desert."  Mr. Steve told me that if our State of California were it's own Country we'd be the eighth largest "Economy" in the whole world.  That Squirrel just ran under a small bush over there near the dead Joshua tree laying on the ground.

      My boss says there's no such thing as a perfect place to live.  There are good and bad things everywhere he thinks.  But overall, where we live has more "positive" things about it than what they call "negative" things.  Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed next door.   

      I've noticed that the weather up here in our part of the High Desert can be at times be what they call "unpredictable."  And if you can't adjust to wind this would not be the place for you.  I'm still afraid of the "Thunder Storms" we have during the Summer.

      One thing about living where we do is that during Summer it can get really hot and in Winter cold.  Right now I'm looking out to the east beyond our three Sheds.  Birds are zooming about in every direction.  I can also hear them.  This is going to be such a fun day!

      Mr. Steve says we just have to "adapt" to living up here.  During the three "hot months" of the year I've noticed that he goes shopping and does what they call "Errands" earlier; before it gets too hot.  But on really cold days he goes at about three in the afternoon.    

      When my boss first moved up here people who already live here joked that one night he'd be sleeping in underwear on top of the covers of his bed; with a fan blowing cool air on him.  But just a few weeks later he'd wake up on a cold night curled up in a "Fetal Position." 

       Oh!  I hear one of those machines they call "Motorcycles" out there in the desert to the east.  I noticed that my boss calls them "Dirt Bikes."  Hearing that Motorcycle kind of reminds me of the first time I heard that sound; when I was living homeless out there in that awful field.

  

                          

      We live in an area that's called the "San Bernardino" County.  The sound of that Motorcycle is fading.  Mr. Steve says teenagers who live nearby compete in what's called "Motocross."  They practice jumping and going really fast out in the deserts around our property. 

      My boss owned a Motorcycle many years ago.  But he sold it to his friend Tim because he did not feel comfortable going fast on it.  He wasn't nearly as good a rider as Tim was.  Mr. Steve has fallen on "Asphalt" and says it's like a "Meat Grinder" going bye underneath you.   

      When he was young Mr. Steve owned two 1968 Chevelle's.  I'll write about them later.  A few times he went 125 "miles per hour" but was not comfortable.  Mr. Steve says he could never be a "Nascar" driver who goes 200 m.p.h.   Mr. Steve sometimes sells Nascar hats.

      Today is Thursday, or the Vikings' "Thor's Day."  Looking to the east at the horizon beyond the desert reminds me about that one time when Mr. Steve told me about how the Viking's God Thor was the God of Thunder and Lightning.  I can hear some Craws squawking. 

       

 

      I'm tempted to write about the Viking God Thor right now but I think I'll just wait and do it when it comes up on my outline.  When Mr. Steve was a kid he and his friends used to read and collect these things called "Comic Books."  Some of them were about that God Thor. 

      Most of the time I've noticed, when you hear Motorcycles out in the eastern desert, it's on the days called "Weekends."  Mr. Steve thinks that's mainly because it's young boys who are "into" Motocross but have to go to school.  There's a girl who rides with them. 

      About two years ago Mr. Steve "Rescued" me from that field I was living in. My life was kind of what they call "bleak" and terrible.  But now I have hope and a new "Lease on life" as they say.  Thank You God for bringing me over here to live.  I really do like it.

      Hey God!  Even though some might think it's dumb I really want to believe You have things happen for a reason.  As You know Mr. Steve is not as convinced of that idea but is still "open to it" as they say.  He thinks most of the time it's obvious You don't "intercede" in life.

     God!  As You know of course, Mr. Steve is more of what's called a "Deist."  He tends to think that "reason" and "nature" are important; but also "senses" that You set up the system we live under yet then rarely get involved in the "physical" world You "set in motion." 

     Mr. Steve prefers to believe in Free Will; even if it has obviously led to some really bad and terrible results in this "temporal" world of the "five senses."  People, whether religious or not he says, have done some really awful things.  I just picked up the scent of a "Joshua" tree.

  

   Looking at the Sun rising above the eastern horizon makes me feel good; as does the smell of all of our many Joshua trees.  There are these Christians called "Mormons" who live around us.  Some of them actually came here to live in California over one hundred years ago. 

      Even though Mr. Steve was "raised" a Catholic, he's always "gotten along with" people who were "brought  up" in other religions.  He wants to think that they all have things which they've been taught which are "in common" with one another.  I want to believe that too!

         

   

      My boss told me the Mormons named Joshua trees after the Old Testament Prophet Joshua.  In the mid-19th century when they first came out here from a place called "Utah" the Mormons thought Joshua trees looked just like the Prophet Joshua praying up there to You God.

      Hey God.  You know I'll  always put my trust in Your hands and accept whatever You decide to do if the idea of "Pre-Destination" turns out to be true.  But I do want to believe in my Free Will to write my three books the way I want to; in Your honor of course.  I won't fail!

      Mr. Steve believes in Free Will but thinks maybe sometimes You God "allow" bad things to happen for a purpose only understandable later; or never at all.   During the "American Civil War" this one man named "Stonewall"Jackson called You're purposes "inscrutable." 

      I now want to believe that too. I hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking next door.  Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed again.  I can just sense that this is going to be a good day.  Everything is going "according to schedule " as they say.  But even if it doesn't that will be okay.

     Some time back, as You know God, my boss said something which "stuck with me" as they say.   He joked that since he probably won't know for sure if there's what they call an "Afterlife" until he dies he just tries to live his life doing right "just in case" there is.

      I used to be sort of angry at the people who abandoned me out in that awful field.  But then my boss told me about an old Jewish idea that says anger is the opposite of happiness.  And so now, because I definitely want to happy, I'm not really mad at anyone anymore.

      Mr. Steve knows about this man named Stephen Hawking.  He's a really smart Scientist from England who has a bad disease called "A.L.S.;" or "Lou Gehrig's disease.  Lou Gehrig was this famous Baseball player for the New York Yankees during the 1920's and 1930's.

                                                                                   STEPHEN HAWKING WITH FAMILY

 

      Mr. Steve says that man Stephen Hawking, who's mother was from this other country called "Scotland," is not angry because he's been "Dealt a bad Hand" as they say in card playing.  He's very lucky he has a good, decent wife who took care of him.  I can smell a Lizard.

              I guess the disease Stephen Hawking has, A.L.S., slowly makes it so your muscles don't work anymore.  My boss admires how Stephen Hawking kept his "sense of humor" even though life has given him some difficult things to overcome.  I want to be like Stephen Hawking. 

                         

                                                      LOU GEHRIG / "BABE" RUTH

       A picture in my Encyclopedia shows Lou Gehrig, which A.L.S. is named for; with that other guy "Babe" Ruth.  I'll be writing about them a lot more in books two and three.  And according to my three book outlines I'm going to write some more about Stephen Hawking too.

       Mr. Steve admires Stephen Hawking's what they call "Self-Deprecating" humor.  He jokes; "Sometimes if you didn't laugh you'd cry."  I'm also trying hard not to be mad at how unfair life can be.  I really like the funny things in life.  Aha!  I see the Lizard over there.

       Like my boss, that guy Stephen Hawking thinks it's possible mankind might destroy itself someday.  And most likely it won't be through "Global Warming" or "Nuclear War" he says.  Stephen Hawking is afraid of what they call "Artificial Intelligence."

      Inside his Office Mr. Steve has this incredible thing called a "Computer."  He uses it for a lot of things.  Stephen Hawking thinks someday Computers will be smarter than people and might even "Take Over" as they say.  And this may happen sooner than expected he says. 

      Tomorrow in my second book I'm scheduled to write about this one old movie called "2001 A Space Odyssey."  Mr. Steve likes that movie.  Part of it is about a Computer named "Hal."  I'm tempted to write about that movie right now but I better just wait until tomorrow.     

      Mr. Steve thinks advancing "Technology" is good.  But, because most things in life have two sides there are also bad things about technology.  Computers are like having a Library in your house but every "Con Artist" with a "Scam" is also on what they call the "Internet." 

      From what my boss says that guy Stephen Hawking knows a lot about these things up there in outer space called "Black Holes."  In book two and three I'll learn and then write about them and also these other things called "Gamma Ray Bursts."  I can't wait!

      Mr. Steve told me seeing and hearing that guy Stephen Hawking makes him think about how fragile life can be.  Recently he was told about this young kid who lives near us who died "in his sleep."  He was a tremendous athlete so everyone was shocked.  The Lizard ran away.

      Hey God!  As You know, my boss always tries to make every day "productive."  And when he heard about that boy dying it made him reflect even more on what they call "mortality."  So now he tries even harder to get a lot done every day.  I really want to be productive too.           

      Mr. Steve jokes that at times in life you have to follow that old what they call "Adage;" "It's a matter of mind over matter."  If you don't mind then it doesn't matter."  I've decided to forgive the people who left me out in that field to die.  I can hear some Birds chirping.  

      According to this one English Dictionary I have here an adage is defined as; "An old saying or proverb."  And what's called an "Aphorism" is; "A concise truthful statement using an adage or maxim."  Because I know that Mr. Steve likes adages now so do I.                   

     What a glorious morning!  It feels so good to be alive.  Birds are singing, the Sun is shining on everything and all of the things I'm smelling are really nice. And out here on our back patio this couch is so comfortable!  What could be better?  I'm so lucky!  Thank Everyone!

      We have different kinds of Birds who live around us.  But the most common are "Sparrows" and "Finches."  I've noticed how boy Birds have red, yellow or orange chests and sing more at this time of year.  Mr. Steve told me this is to attract the attention of girl Birds.

      Oh!  A Bird called a "Mockingbird" just landed on a tree branch nearby.   I like to listen to Mockingbirds because they imitate all the other Birds who live around here.  But you have to be cautious of Mockingbirds because they'll attack you even though they're small.

  

 

       For three weeks I've worked on my long outlines which lay out all the many things I plan on writing about for the next three days.  But as I cross "topics" off my lists there will be things that come up which are not on my outlines.  That brown Mockingbird just flew away.

      I'll just "wing it" if I happen to think of new things to learn about as I write about the other things on my outlines.  I definitely want to write about the things which live around us up here in the desert. We share our "space" as they say with other things.  I feel good right now.   

      I ate my breakfast and then came back here to go over the outline for my first book.  I plan on having twelve chapters in each of my three books.  And each book will be divided into three parts or what's called "segments."  I'll learn a lot over the next three days.

     The Gopher just stuck its nose out of that hole near the big tree again.  Oh!  I can tell by it's scent that it's a different Gopher.  I think it might be a girl Gopher.  I'm still also picking up the scent of our Joshua trees.  Hey God!  I really like my life now.  Thank You.

        

 

       Mr. Steve's last name is "CÓRDOVA" and now it's my last name too.  His parents are from that one State to the east of us called "New Mexico" so I've decided to write about that area as well as our State of California.  This is going to be so fun!  But I have to calm down.      

      Over the next three days I do plan on learning about not just California and New Mexico but also some of the other fifty "States" too.  There's so much to learn about history and many of the other things in life.  Learning new things is now one of my favorite things to do.

      These are going to be long books.  I have a lot of things listed on my three outlines.  Most will deal with history and music but also all the life around us.  I know that will be hard because at times my mind runs a " mile a minute" as they say.  But, I'll just have to do the best I can. 

      Looking to the east at the desert behind our house I'm seeing, hearing an smelling so many Birds and other things.  Looking up into the blue sky I just noticed what they call a white "vapor trail" from a Jet.  I can smell a Field Mouse somewhere close bye around here. 

      I know what a Jet is!  My boss explained it to me but I'm still a little unclear about it.  In the next three days I hope to learn more about what's called "Aviation;" mainly because my boss is interested in that subject.  I really want to impress Mr. Steve so he'll like me.  

      According to what this Dictionary says the word Aviation is defined as the "science of flying machines."  That means Airplanes, Jets; and I guess those other things that sometimes fly over our house called "Helicopters."  I now see the Mouse standing out in the dirt.

      I really want to be interested in Aviation now.  I already know that it was the Germans in the Second World War who first made the Jet engine "Operational."  Jets and small "single engine" Airplanes at times fly above all of the deserts near us.  I hear some Birds chirping.

      Since he's been a kid Mr. Steve has built model Cars and Airplanes.  He has a model of the German "Messerschmitt 262."  During World War II the "Me-262" was the first Jet Airplane in history.  That Field Mouse just ran away.  Messerschmitt is the name of a family.

               

                                                              MESSERSCHMITT-262

   

       To this day my boss builds and paints "Miniature" soldiers.  As a matter of fact right now he's working on a Japanese "Samurai" warrior.  My boss has Samurai swords and knives.  And he also has many other types of swords and knives.  I still smell some Sage bushes.

       In 1996 Mr. Steve worked inside of this place called "Edwards Air Force Base" which is to the northwest of us.  Many of the Jets high up in the sky which make those vapor trails are what they call "based" at Edwards Air Force Base."  Three Finches just flew bye.

       Before my boss was allowed to go inside Edwards Air Force Base to work he first had to go through what's called a "Background Check."  He knew he'd pass because in 1987 the "Secret Service" checked him out before he took pictures of Pope John Paul II.  

       Another reason I'm learning to write is so someday we'll be able to celebrate my birthday. I  just love to celebrate!  Besides eating and running, it's my favorite thing to do.  Oh!  And I also want to prove that females are smart too.  That will really impress my boss Mr. Steve.  

       My boss says that females in his family have been and "shrewd" or "resourceful." His four Grandparents lived through the 1930's "Great Depression" and both of his Grandfathers were so lucky they had such good female partners he told me.  I hear Birds singing.

       Because males are usually physically stronger than most females they've always held most of the power.  That's what my boss thinks.  But "Behind the Scenes" as they say; females have been very important in making decisions.  I want to write about that in the next three days.

       Mr. Steve thinks one of the most important things in history is the influence of mother's.  He says few things have had more of an "impact" on males than the "imprint" their "mom" made on them; especially if their mothers had humor, character and what's called "Grace." 

       I'm going to learn and write about some of the famous females in history over the next three days.  This is mainly because I know that my boss thinks females can be just as good, or bad, as males.  He's studied about some of the female who've led.  I want to lead someday.

      Mr. Steve has dealt with many men and women over the years.  He's noticed that to a certain extent females are often better at what they call "Consensus Building" than many males.  And he thinks females often try to achieve "win-win" situations versus "win-lose" results.

      Some time back I noticed that my boss used a phrase which I kind of don't understand.  He said females are often the "Bell Weather" of society.  I think he meant that females have what's called a "Sixth Sense" which is not as "logical" as males would like things to be.

     My boss doesn't like it when he hears someone say a female is "only a housewife" or "home-maker" because he knows how much hard work that "entails."  His mother is a good example of how a capable female works "behind the scenes" to enable her husband to "provide."

      Over the years Mr. Steve has dealt with many people; oftentimes for business.  He's noticed that the best female partners are the type you can tell things to and it's just like talking to their men.  You can be confident the message will get through clearly.  I smell a Joshua tree. 

      Over the next three days I really want to show everyone that females can be just as smart and capable as males.  And one of the ways I'll do this is to read and then write about some of the females in history; like this one English lady named Margaret Thatcher.

 

                                  MARGARET THATCHER (1925-2013) WITH FAMILY

  

      My boss admires women who led countries in the 20th century.  I'll write more about them in book three.  One is Margaret Thatcher; the "Prime Minister" of Britain in the 1980's.  She was called the "Iron Lady" and even beat "Argentina" in a war.  I wish I could protect her.

      Another reason why I want to write about that lady Margaret Thatcher is because she's who I'm named after.  Our neighbor suggested naming me Maggie and Mr. Steve went along because it just so happened that he had been reading articles about "Maggie" Thatcher.

      I think that lady Margaret Thatcher is what they call "Proof Positive" that females can be as capable as males.  But not everyone liked her.  As Mr, Steve says; "There's never a time when a leader is without critics."  My Dictionary says that a critic is "one who finds fault."

      This is interesting.  It says here in this Encyclopedia that Margaret Thatcher was not only the only female British Prime Minister in history but she was the "longest serving" Prime Minister in the 20th century; from 1975 all the way through 1990.  I smell a Gopher.

      A writer my boss likes is Jane Austen.  Like Margaret Thatcher, she was English.  Someday I really want to read her books.  That's one of my goals in life.  Hey God!  As You know of course I want to be just like that girl Jane Austen.  I'm going to look her up right now! 

      My Encyclopedia says Jane Austen wrote six books; four "Published" in her lifetime and two by her family after she had died at age forty one.  Mr. Steve read her "novel" called "Pride and Prejudice" and says you can tell she was smart.  I see the Gopher over there.

  

                                                         JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817)

FROM A DRAWING BY HER SISTER CASSANDRA

    

       According to this Encyclopedia there were eight kids in that girl Jane Austen's family.  Her father was what's called a "Rector" which I guess is kind of like a "Priest."  Her family were Christians like us but were "Anglican Protestants."  Our family's "Catholic."

      It says here that in late 18th and early 19th century England it wasn't thought important that girls get educated.  But Jane Austen's father and brothers "Home-Schooled" her.  Some kids are home-schooled up here in the High Desert too my boss told me.  The Gopher is gone.

      Ah!  Just like Mr. Steve said, that girl Jane Austen was good at describing what's called the "Landed Gentry" in England then.  And I guess she used what's called "Irony" and "Satire" to do it.  According to my Dictionary "Gentry" means "people of high social standing."

      

 

       A brown furry Bunny Rabbit is standing in front of the back fence.  It's sniffing the air but looks way too relaxed.  It's "Flat-Footed."  There are things around here who'd eat it.  Oh! That Rabbit is now hopping away and is bounding out into the eastern desert to my front.

      My Encyclopedia says that two of Jane Austen's brothers went into the Navy and eventually became "Admirals;" which is like a "General" in the Army.  This is interesting.  No one knew who wrote Jane Austen's books during her lifetime.  I hear Pigeons cooing.

      It says here that in England during Jane Austen's life it was not considered "appropriate" for females to be writers.  So one of her brothers had four of her books published what they call "anonymously."   That means there was no name on it.  A Finch just flew bye.

     I guess during her lifetime Jane Austen was "Financially" successful compared to most other people in England.  But she never got "Credit."  It was only after she died that others realized what a good writer she'd been.  By that point her name had been "Publicized."  

     Well, Mr. Steve was right.  One of the main reasons why Jane Austen wrote was to impress her father.  She would read her books out loud to her family in the evenings after dinner.  Wow!  One of the reasons I want to  write my three books is to impress my boss too.

      Years ago Mr. Steve met a girl at the Library who knew a lot about the writings of that girl Jane Austen.  She had even read Jane Austen's writing as a teenager.   She said my boss would have liked it because it was kind of like these guys called "Monty Python" who he likes.    

        Oh!  I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this?  If he doesn't he'll be interested to find out that when Jane Austen died the "Epitaph" her brother put on her "Headstone" didn't mention writing but did refer to his younger sister's; "Extraordinary Endowments of Mind."

      I hadn't intended to write so much about Jane Austen but that 's okay.  I can just add things onto my outline as they they come up or I think of them.  That's what they call "Improvising" and I know for sure that my boss has done it many times in his lifetime.   

      Tomorrow in my second book I'm scheduled to learn and then write about these three sisters who were also from England like Jane Austen.  And all three of them were really good writers my boss told me.  They're last name was Brontë; Charlotte, Emily and Anne. 

     Mr. Steve says I'm sort of like a "Phoenix rising from the ashes."  I think a Phoenix is a Bird but on this drawing Mr. Steve did it sort of looked like a Dragon.  I'm interested in Dragons even though Mr. Steve says there's really no such thing as a Dragon.  I smell a Mouse.                    

                                     

 

      O my God!  In my Encyclopedia  there's a picture of the exact same black and white image my boss drew.  Mr. Steve has been drawing and doing artwork for all of his life.  He's drawn a lot of the logos for sports teams and other things too.  I might learn how to draw.

       As I mentioned before, I was abandoned.  At times what are called "Stray" Dogs run past our land out on the road in front of our house.  I have a duty to bark at them but "if the truth be told" I feel kind of sorry for them.  Aha!  I just noticed the Mouse over there.

      Hey God!  As You know at times I wonder why I'm still alive when so many other Dogs and Cats die every day?  Do You have a higher purpose for me?  I want to believe You do and will do whatever You guide me to do.  I feel a nice cool breeze coming in from the east.  

     Because I recall how hard it was not having a home I have what my boss calls "Empathy" for abandoned Dogs.  I'm so lucky to have a place to protect!  And just because I'm back here on the couch doesn't mean I'm not alert for any intruders onto our land.  The Mouse is gone.

     Abandoned Dogs look so scared as they run "back and forth" out on the road in front of our property.  Of course all of our neighbor's Dogs also bark at them too.  Mr. Steve plays the drums and listens to music.  One band he likes is called LED ZEPPELIN.  I smell a Lizard.

  

                                                                    LED ZEPPELIN

 

      My boss told me that band LED ZEPPELIN, like Margaret Thatcher and Jane Austen, are from "England." They have a song called "Dazed and Confused."  Mr. Steve one time played it on his Boombox as he worked out in the yard.  I just noticed the Lizard over there. 

      Dazed and confused is exactly what those abandoned homeless Dogs remind me of as they run "Up and Down" the road in front of our house.  They go south to north and then north to south, not knowing which way to go; all the time being barked at by all of us Dogs.

      I plan on writing about that band LED ZEPPELIN over the next three days; especially that guy Jimmy Page.  This is mainly because I know that Mr. Steve has been influenced by them for a long time.  I've been taking "Mental Notes" of that fact for a while now.

      Two words Mr. Steve uses are "Sympathy" versus "Empathy."  I know from what they call "Personal Knowledge" that it's no fun not knowing where your next meal or water comes from.  So I have empathy for those Dogs who feel hopeless.  That Lizard just "waddled" off. 

         For much of his "Elementary School" my boss was taught by Catholic Nuns.  His 6th Grade teacher was Sister Rita Joseph.  In my three books I really want to talk about the Nuns who kind of "Brought Up" my boss; along with his parents of course.  I smell a new Sage plant. 

      Sister Rita Joseph said sympathy is "feeling sorry for" others; empathy when you "Identify" with another person's experience because you've been in a similar situation.  Or, another way of putting it would be like Mr. Steve says; "You've walked in their shoes" so to speak.

    

 

          Sister Rita Joseph believed there are only two types of people; "Decent" or "Indecent."  Mr. Steve says he would "qualify" that by adding "basically" decent and indecent.  This is because no one is totally perfect or imperfect.  I just picked up the scent of a Joshua tree.

     I remember how my boss told me about Sister Rita Joseph telling her class, even though some of them pretended not to listen; it was important to try to lead a "meaningful" life.  She also said that; "Disappointment is unavoidable in life but discouragement is a choice."

      Mr. Steve's father is a very generous and helpful person.  And over the years he's exhibited both sympathy and empathy for others.  His sympathy has been shown at times when he's paid or raised money to bury or cremate people who die poor.  A Crow just cawed.

                                                                   

                                                          MR. STEVE'S FATHER

 

     Mr. Steve's father is a "First Marine Division Combat" veteran of the "Korean War" and his feet should've been what they call "Amputated" from "Frostbite."  So he empathizes with others with "War Injuries."  I'll write more about it over the course of the next three days.   

      An example of my boss's father's extreme sympathy were the times when his mom had her six kids.  During the "Delivery Process" Mr. Steve's father was as nervous, or even more nervous than his mom.  One of the babies Mr. Steve's mother "Delivered" died in "Infancy." 

      Mr. Steve's mother has always been a "Calming Presence" in his and his brothers and sisters lives.  She's the "Yin" to their father's "Yang."  Sometimes their father can seem kind of tough.  As they say; "Once a Marine, always a Marine."  Boy God!  The air is so clear today.

       Hey God!  As You know, at times my boss has wondered if it's possible to empathize even if you haven't exactly done what they're going through.  When his mom had her babies it almost seemed as though his father acutely felt her pain and discomfort too.  I smell Sage.

      There's a nice man named "Ramon" who repairs Cars.  When Mr. Steve told him about how his father was when his kids were delivered Mr. Ramon thought that was funny but admitted he too was exactly the same way when his wife had their children.  I hear Birds singing.

      God!  As You know, Mr. Steve grins when he imagines what it must've been like for all those Doctors who delivered he and his brothers and sisters.  But like their mom says, if You had not made his father the way he is their lives would never have been as good as it's been.  

      Some men go into the "Delivery Room" to be with their wives.  Mr. Steve's brother Rock did that.  But there's no way their father could've been allowed in the Delivery Room.  He would've been bossing everyone around and things like that.  I like Mr. Steve's father! 

     Well, I kind of wrote more about sympathy versus empathy than my outline planned on right now.  But that's okay because I can deal with it later too.  It's going to be one of the themes of my three books.  But now, back to my outline and the subject of homeless Dogs. 

     About a year ago someone "Ditched" a black Dog out on the road in front of our house.  It ran back and forth until it was hit and killed by a big white Truck.  Mr. Steve named that Dog "Blackie" and said at least Blackie died quickly.  I hear Crow cawing faintly. 

      When he was out on the road running back and forth we couldn't tell if Blackie was a boy or girl Dog.  It turned out he was a boy.  When I think about Blackie I still recall his scent.  I always remember scents.  I have a really good memory.  I can smell a Sage plant right now.

      Blackie had a strong smell.  Just like Mr. Steve sometimes has dreams about people who have died now so do I.  I had a really weird dream about Blackie's scent a while back.  In that dream I smelled like Blackie.  And so did our neighbor's Dogs.  It was sort of a scary dream.  

      Hey God!  As You know, I want believe in what are called "Omens."  Like right now one of those big black and orange Butterflies just flew bye.  I've heard that seeing a Butterfly is a sign of good luck.  I can sure hear a lot of Birds singing out in the eastern desert.

      I want to believe what my boss said; "At least Blackie died instantly so he didn't really suffer that much."  He didn't see the Truck coming so "never knew what hit him" as they say.  Blackie ran from one Car only to be hit by that Truck coming in the opposite direction.

     Two words my boss learned from Sister Rita Joseph are "Objective" versus "Subjective." In subjective we have a "different opinion;" I like red you like blue.  But objective is when there is no other "reality" but one thing so no one can have opinions.  2 is never 1.9.or 2.1.

      In my subjective opinion that Truck that killed Blackie was going way too fast.  If I were ever elected  President I'd make it against the law to go so fast.  And it would be very illegal to just keep driving without stopping!  I say you should at least report that you hit a Dog. 

      Mr. Steve used this amazing "Device" called a "Phone" to report what had happened out on the road in front of our house.  But before the Truck came to take away Blackie's "Corpse" my boss just decided to go out there and get him out of the middle of the road. 

      Blackie's head was broken. It was kind of flat.  But what made us mad was that a few people purposely ran over Blackie's body when they could obviously see him in the road.  As Mr. Steve said; "a small Jackrabbit or Ground Squirrel is one thing but; a big Dog like Blackie?"

      Blackie is now buried on the south side of our house in our "Little Graveyard" as Mr. Steve calls it.  He's next to the graves of two Dogs; "Millie" and "Lucy."  At first Mr. Steve was only going to move Blackie's body to the side of the road.  But then he changed his mind.

                                                                 

                                                                   OUR CEMETERY

   

    After wrapping Blackie's body in this old gray blanket Mr. Steve decided to bring him back and bury him in our "Cemetery."  It was when my boss was digging Blackie's grave that I knew for sure he was definitely a boy Dog.  We sniffed Blackie's rear area.  Poor Blackie! 

      But, like my boss said, at least Blackie has a nice place to be buried.  Otherwise, he would've been what they call "cremated."  My English Dictionary says that means burned up. I'm kind of glad Blackie's here.  Oh!  Heathcliff, our neighbor's Rooster next door just crowed.

      In College at C.S.U.N. Mr. Steve did a "Research Project" about "The Black Death."  That was a "Plague" which happened from the years 1347 through 1351 A.D.  Millions of people died then; some think half of Europe my boss says.  It was called the "Bubonic" plague.

 

                                                             THE "BLACK DEATH"

        Mr. Steve said, in the 14th century, so many people died in such a short time they couldn't "keep up" with burying all of the bodies.  So thousands upon thousands were just quickly piled into what they call "Mass Graves."  I can hear some Crows cawing out in the desert. 

        A black and white cartoon drawing in this Encyclopedia shows workers picking up the dead bodies of The Black Death in a Wagon; like a "neighborhood trash pick up" the caption says.  In the next three days Daisy has me scheduled to write more about "Epidemics."

      When you're buried in an "Unmarked" grave no one will ever know that you even existed.  So for Blackie to have a "Marked" grave is a small thing; but for my boss it seems to be kind of important.  There are now a few wispy white clouds way up high in the sky. 

      A few hours after Blackie died this white Truck from the "County" showed up.  But they left when Mr. Steve told them what he'd done with Blackie's body.  So now Blackie's buried here permanently and we see his grave every day.  I'm hoping to be buried there someday.

      Oh!  Thank You God for making me have that dream the other night where I got to know Blackie much better.  I'll never forget Blackie's scent.  I never forget smells.  He was definitely a boy Dog.  Someday God, You willing of course; I'd like to know a boy Dog better.  

        A big grayish Jackrabbit just ran bye really fast.  Boy!  It never ceases to amaze me at how fast those Jackrabbits can run.  Normally I'd try to chase that Jackrabbit but right now I have too much work to do on this first book.  Mr. Steve would like how I show "Discipline."  

      It's too bad we can't bury all of the Animals who get killed by Cars and Trucks around here.  Sometimes Jackrabbits or Ground Squirrels get hit.  And every once in a while a Coyote makes a mistake in judgement.  Mr. Steve has seen a few flat Snakes.  A boy Sparrow is singing.

      My boss admits he sometimes has a weird sense of humor. He jokes when animals die out on the road in front of our land; "at least the Crows have extra food."  It's amazing how eventually all that's left are the "bleached" bones; which are then blown away by the wind.

 

                                                                           KANSAS

  

       Last year about this time Mr. Steve was up front doing some "Weeding."   I heard a song on his Boombox called "Dust in the Wind" which made me think about life.  It was by a band called KANSAS and part of what are called the "lyrics" said; "All we are is dust in the wind."

      Mr. Steve always looks for things in 3's.  Many of the bands he likes have three people in the group.  But ever since 1974 when he saw that band KANSAS "open up" for one of his favorite bands the KINKS he's thought of  3 x 3.  KANSAS have six "necessary" members. 

      One type of music my boss has always liked is called "Progressive" Rock.  I'm going to write more about it later in my second and third books.  That band KANSAS really is from the State of "Kansas" and is one of Mr. Steve's favorite American "Prog" Rock bands. 

       Mr. Steve plays drums set up in his Bedroom but knows he's not that good.  He admires the good drummers like KANSAS' drummer.   This guy named Garth Brooks said that, as a "lead" instrument KANSAS' drummer is so good that he actually plays particular "notes."

      

 

       Someday I really want to hear that band KANSAS' first album.  I hear it has a picture of this man named John Brown on the cover.  It shows him holding a Bible in one hand and a Gun in the other.   Mr. Steve says often in life "soft"' cannot be had without the "hard."

      I'll write more about that guy John Brown in my third book when I learn about the State of Kansas.   And I'll write about that band KANSAS too.  I put them in here because I just thought of their song "Dust in the Wind."  I sure hope Mr. Steve will like how I did that.

      Looking out into the eastern desert I see so many Birds flying around.  It's so amazing how a group of Birds can fly along and what they call "Synchronize" their movements.  When one of them moves slightly the others do too.  I wonder if Birds can read each others minds?

           

                                                                             RUSH

 

     Another Progressive Rock band my boss likes is from Canada.  They're called RUSH and also have an amazing drummer he says.  Two British bands, GENESIS and YES, are also very good Prog Rock bands according to what Mr. Steve says.  I like music because my boss does! 

      Someday I want to hear so many bands.  I notice that many of the bands Mr. Steve likes are from the 1970's.  For part of that time he was a teenager.  I plan on writing more about the Prog Rock bands in my second and third books.  I smell some of the new Sage plants.

      There are so many Birds singing now.  They sound so happy.  I fell so happy right now.  I can feel the newness of the year.  The eastern desert to my front seems to be alive in activity.  Thank You God for giving me all of this.  I'm really going to get so much done today!

      I know that on my outline for my third book I have scheduled to write more about that band KANSAS and the first time Mr. Steve heard them in 1974.  He and his friend Chris were what they call "blown away" by how talented they were.  Mr. Steve likes the sound of a violin. 

     All of a sudden writing about KANSAS' song Dust in the Wind made me think of Progressive Rock music.  One thing good about writing these three books is that I can write about things as they "come up."  I can "improvise."  But I'll try to stick to my three outlines. 

       Hey God!  As You know of course, even though we're what they call "Roman" Catholics, I  like knowing about other religions too.  This is mainly because Mr. Steve studies other religions. He told me how, since the 15th century, there have been two types of Catholics.

               

  

      According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia Lord, Roman Catholics from the West in Italy are "Latin" while Eastern "Orthodox are more "Greek."  The main difference is that the Orthodox Catholics do not see the "Pope" as their leader.  They follow a "Patriarch."

      Hey Lord!  You said Saint Peter should lead Your Church.  So the western Roman Catholic tradition in Rome should be who You support.  But Mr. Steve thinks both sides basically believe in the same ideas You said were important.  Maybe they should just make friends.

      As You know Lord, over the years my boss has known Armenian people.  Many have lived in the city of "Glendale."  Armenians are Greek Orthodox type Catholics.  But both Roman and Greek Catholics are taught what they call the "Golden Rule."  I like that rule!  

     
 

      Well, I kind of got "off on a tangent" talking about the two types of Catholics.  But maybe that's good because of what I'm going to write about in the next three days.  Hey Lord?  Was it You who made me do that?  I guess I'll only know that later; if You want me to. 

      I'm still thinking about how this physical world seems to be only a temporary stop for the Soul.  I want to believe there is such a thing as a Soul.  When I smell or see a dead body God, slowly "eroding" away out on the road or in the desert, I think about things like that.

      Hey God!  Mr. Steve said Buddhists talk about the "impermanence" of this life.  Even though we're at the beginning of our year, this Spring will be the end of some life.  Dust to dust!  That's why I really want to try to accomplish something before You turn me back into dust.

      Today is the first day of Spring.  And even though my boss is not as superstitious as I am, he  looks for "symbolism" in things.  For him Spring now represents the cycle of life, death and then "rebirth;" or the "tension between old and new that comes with change."

      There's nothing I love more than the sound of singing Birds; especially Sparrows.  And for some reason today the chirping of Birds seems louder.  That makes me feel good.  I'm looking to the east out into the desert behind our house and see a lot of Birds flying about.

                             

 

      Heathcliff the Rooster next door just crowed.  I noticed that he started announcing the new day even earlier than usual this morning.  I love the sound of Heathcliff's voice.  It makes me feel more comfortable just hearing it.  I'm lucky to be alive.  I smell a Joshua tree.

      We've been "up" or "awake" for over an hour.  We start our day when the Sun pops up over the eastern horizon; which I'm now facing from this couch.  I love this view.  The Sun is shining brightly to the east now; and many Birds are flying about in every direction. 

      I can see all of the Joshua trees reaching up to the light blue sky.  I just love all of our Joshua trees!  Seeing our Joshua trees always make me feel better about life.  No matter what happens in my life they stay the same.  A nice cool breeze just came in from the eastern desert. 

      We had a really great breakfast!  Along with our regular Dog food we got some of Mr. Steve's "leftover" human food.  There's nothing better than cold human food!  Food is so great!  I could eat all day if "left to my own devices" as they say.  I can almost taste it right now!

       Seeing all of the Birds flying about in the desert to the east, smelling all the new plants which reappear every Spring, and hearing all the sounds of morning while I ate; brought back some pleasant memories from last year at this exact same time.  Thank You God for that!

      Because I know how much my boss likes this time of year, I now really love it too!  Mr. Steve is right.  Life is not easy.  In fact, sometimes it's really hard; what they call a "Mixed Bag."  So, even though it's not easy, all you can do is try to "live in the moment" he says. 

      Mr. Steve thinks there's no such thing as a perfect life.  It isn't "all good" as some say.  Back in 1999, due in large part to his own dumb decisions he admits, he had the "rug yanked out from under him" so to speak.  But, he just "picked himself up" and kept going.  

      Looking all around me I really do feel blessed.  Not only do I get to see, smell and hear all of this; I get to learn new things too!  What could be better!  Thank You God.  I really am lucky to be sitting here on this couch right now.  I could still be stuck back in that awful field.

     This has got to be one of the prettiest days in all of history!  I can see, hear and smell so many things around me.  All of our local Crows are swirling up high in the sky looking down to see if there's any food they can come down and get.  This is going to be a good three days!

   

                                     

        

      Boy God, we sure had some cold days and nights this Winter!  I'm glad it will probably start to warm up now; even though the nights are still pretty cool.  If You don't mind, please make it so the Summer is not so hot.  But if You do make it hot I'll just adjust to it like my boss.

      Oh darn!  I see some Flies already and it's just the first day of Spring!  I hope we don't have too many Wasps and Bees this year.  Hey God?  Why did You make Flies?  Do they have a good purpose?  I trust that You made Flies for a good reason.  But I don't like Flies.  

      Blessed Mother? Could You please ask Your son if we could have less Flies and Bugs than we had last year?  I mean, I don't want to complain and will accept whatever You Guys decide to do but; Flies can be so annoying.  Ah!  Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed next door.

     Mr. Steve grew up in Los Angeles so coming to live up here in the desert was in some ways a big "Adjustment."  But at this point he says he's used to the slower pace and now at times feels uncomfortable with what's called the "Hustle and Bustle" of life in a big city.

      It gets a lot hotter in Summer and colder in Winter up here in the High Desert than my boss was used to.  When he first moved up here that lady Miss Susan told him that one night he'd be sleeping in his underwear on top of his blankets.  And he'd have a fan blowing on him.

        But a short time later he'd wake up curled up in a "Fetal Position" so has to put pajamas on and get under the covers.  And he puts on an extra blanket on his bed.  When the weather is cold Mr. Steve pulls out this one thick "Quilt" his sister Celina made for him years ago. 

        Even though we at times have extremes of weather Mr. Steve has adapted to it.  One thing I know for sure; he likes how you can see the Stars a lot clearer at night.  He now realizes why his friend Mark Ritter liked the desert so much.  I smell a Lizard around here.

         That lady Miss Susan who is kind of like a local historian.  That's what Mr. Steve says.  He's been happy to what they call "Pick her Brain" for information.  And, little does he know but; a lot of the things she's told him are going to end up being in my three books.

      Miss Susan has given my boss some good books to read about our area.  And because she's a nice, basically decent person Miss Susan Mr. Steve likes her.  Mr. Steve likes talking to old people like Miss Susan.  That one Lizard just ran away and ducked under a big rock.   

      Mr. Steve's parents are over eighty years old and so is Miss Susan.  And because he's now so old my boss thinks more seriously about how short and fragile life is.  Someday when I'm old too I sure do hope others will read my three books and think about things like that too.    

      The name "Susan" is important to my boss's life; just like the name "Mark." As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Steve's sister is named Susan.  Like their mother, Susan is basically decent person.  She leads a life which will be a good example to her two sons Dalton and Austin.

      About ten years ago ago Mr. Steve taught this other girl named Susan to be a "Salesperson."  They still both do the same job selling promotional products and apparel.  This Susan is also a good person so Mr. Steve didn't mind teaching her.  And she learned pretty fast.   

      That lady Miss Susan is knowledgeable about this area because she's lived up here for so many years.  She seems like a strong person to Daisy and I.  Mr. Steve says she raised her kids as what they call a "Single Mother;" one of the hardest things to do he says.       

      As I just mentioned, many of the "Topics" listed on my three outlines about the High Desert are things my boss has discussed with Miss Susan.  Looking at the eastern desert makes me think about that nice lady Miss Susan.  Ah!  I just took in a deep breath of fresh air.

      My boss enjoys talking to people that are even older than he is.  He likes hearing about their experiences.  Sometimes they tell him about some bad times that are now almost what they call "Nostalgic."  Mr. Steve has times like that too.  I'll write more about that later.  

      Mr. Steve reads many things; from "Books" to "Newspapers" and "Magazines."  I noticed that one of his favorite magazines is called "Reminisce."  His parents like that magazine too.  My third book will be titled Reminisce.  The blue sky is so beautiful right now.

     To a certain extent I'm planning on writing about some of those discussions my boss has had with other people.  He'll like that I bet.  He knows I'm smart because I know a lot of words but wait until he finds out that he owns the only known Dog to ever write three books.   

      In one of the books Miss Susan gave Mr. Steve it says that way back in the 18th century, or 1700's, a Spanish "Franciscan" Priest  described our area as "remote" and "forbidding."  But Mr. Steve jokes it wasn't that way for the "Native" people who'd lived here for centuries.

      When people ask Mr. Steve how he likes living "here" he says one thing he had to get used to was the "fierce" cold Winter winds.  They can be so strong your face goes fast from "stinging to numb" he jokes.  Another Lizard is standing over there in the dirt next to the big tree.

 

 

      The Lizard is doing what my boss calls "push ups;" using its front legs to go up and down.  I wonder why they do that?  Mr. Steve jokes about "hydraulic lifts."  That Lizard just picked up my scent and is now looking over at me.  Well, it ran away and went under a rock.

       One thing Mr. Steve says he now likes better about living up here in the desert is that there are a lot less people.  He told me cities are sometimes too crowded.  There are now way too many Cars in Los Angeles he thinks.  I'm afraid of Cars going fast.  Cars are powerful! 

      For most January the 1st is their "Official" new year.  But not for us!  Our boss thinks today is our "New Year's Day" so now so do I.  I want to think whatever Mr. Steve wants me to believe because I want him to like me and never get rid of me.  I smell a new Spring Sage.

      It's at the times like right now, as the Sun's warmth sinks or absorbs into to me, that I better understand how you could worship nature.  I feel so great but I have to force myself to stay calm like Mr. Steve.  He's my "Assertive"" leader but he makes me feel more relaxed.

      I kind of feel like singing right now but I have way too much work to do.  I'll celebrate later.  Once I finish my three books I can celebrate all I want; if my boss likes what I did.  But I know he'll really like my three books.  Please Blessed Mother; make Mr. Steve proud of me!   

      Of course You know God that my time living out in that field made me appreciate living over here.  I do want to believe that Your purpose in having me come over here is to protect this two acres.  And You know I'm going to do it too!  No matter what it takes I'll do it!

     I still remember well the first sights, sounds and scents of when Mr. Steve brought me here to live.   My boss's scent is in my mind right now because he just put food in our food bowls for our breakfast.  Mr. Steve's scent will always remind me of my first day here.

     I also remember how scared I was at first when Mr. Steve unloaded me out of the Car and put me on the ground here. I didn't know then that my boss, in grabbing me right out of that awful field; was offering me a better life of hope and possibility.  Thank You God!

     Mr. Steve says there's no such thing as a perfect life with no problems.  There are times when pain and suffering are common.  Sometimes he says; "It is what it is" and we have to just accept  bad with good and "deal with things" as best you can.  Boy, I'm so glad I have a home!

     Even though this old yellow couch is torn around the edges and doesn't really look that good any more; I still love it.  That one Dog named Lucy, who's buried in our graveyard on the north side of the house, chewed on this couch and even tore up one of the cushions. 

      Hey Blessed Mother!  As You know, I named this old faded couch "Carla;" mainly because I feel so comfortable on her like the way you're supposed to feel with your mother.  I can't really remember too much about my mother.  I was thrown out into that field as a baby.      

     This spot is definitely one of my favorite places in the whole world!  I would never ever want to get rid of this couch even though it's old.  I sleep on it at night because it's so warm.  Oh!  One of those big gray Gopher Snakes just crawled under Manny the far right Shed.

     Besides wanting to write about history and music I want to tell all about Mr. Steve's family so then there will be what's called a "permanent record."  But mainly I'm going to tell all about my boss because for me he's the most important person in the whole wide world. 

     Another thing I plan on writing about are three years; 1955, 1968 and 1977.  The first is the year Mr. Steve was born and the last two are years he's come to see as significant or important in his life.  I made a lot of notes about those three years.  I hear Sparrows chirping.

      Hey God!  As You know, throughout my three books, over the next three days, I'll refer back to the year 1999.  Mr. Steve says 1999 was without a doubt one of the worst years of his life for sure; mainly because of his own dumb decisions.  I'll talk about that later.

      I'm going to surprise my boss and make him so proud of me by showing him I can use a tool and reason.  He thinks tools are important in history.  Mr. Steve has a lot of tools!  Our garage and Sheds are full of them.  Hey Holy Spirit?  Could You please help me today?

  

 

      Holy Spirit!  I'll write our story and teach others but I really also want to "Pay Homage" or "tribute" to all of You Guys up there.  Oh!  Two of the Pigeons who live around here just flew bye.  What a coincidence!  I was just thinking about them.  I can smell some Sage. 

      According to what Mr. Steve told me, Pigeons are also called "Doves."  And Holy Spirit, as You know that my boss said, they not only "symbolize" You; but Doves now are the main symbol for "Peace."  I really like the way Pigeons sound.  Mr. Steve calls it "cooing." 

     Blessed Mother, as You know of course, Mr. Steve thinks it's easier to live thinking you have "Someone" or "Something" to "lean on;" especially when things go badly.   I really like leaning on You Blessed Mother!  Ah!  I just picked up the scent of a Joshua tree. 

      My boss also told me he prefers to believe that everyone needs Someone or Something to be "accountable" and "grateful" to.  But, I'm still trying to better understand that old saying he mentioned; "Oftentimes those who believe in nothing end up believing in anything." 

      I just used my English Dictionary to look up the word "Solace."  Mr. Steve used that word and I guess it means; "an easing of grief or loneliness."  But it's also a "comfort or consolation." That's what all of You Guys give me Blessed Mother.  The Pigeons just flew past again.     

      Boy, sitting here on my couch and looking around makes me I feel so lucky to have all of You Guys around.  I really do sense You God in the life all around me.  I see, smell, and hear so clear today.  Ah!  That one big Jackrabbit Mr. Steve named "Jack" just ran by the Sheds.

      I wrote down from memory this quote by that guy Saint Paul when Mr. Steve mentioned it.  Saint Paul said; "Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has created."

      

                                                              SAINT PAUL (5-67 A.D.)

                                                               PAINTING BY BARTOLOMEO MONTAGNA

  

      My Encyclopedia says Saint Paul was Jewish but also a "Citizen" of Rome.  He traveled all over the Roman Empire trying to convert "Gentiles" to Christianity.  But I guess some didn't like that so beat him up.  My Dictionary says Gentile means "Any person not a Jew."

     Hey Lord, as You know My boss Mr. Steve thinks Saint Paul is saying that it seems what they call "instinctual" to want to see in nature something greater than ourselves.   He sees nature as kind of a "Conduit" for connecting to the "Sacred."  A flock of Birds just streamed past.

      According to my outlines I'm scheduled to learn and then write about Saint Paul a lot more in books two and three.  Hey God?  Did You just make me mention him now generally so later I can what they call "expand" on his life later?  I think You did!  Thank You. 

     

  

     Hey Lord!  I like when Encyclopedias have maps to make it easier to understand things.  In looking at this one map of Saint Paul's travels you can see how he spread Your reputation all around the northeast Mediterranean Sea.  He traveled for over thirty years!

     I guess that for about three hundred years after the time of Saint Paul's travels Christianity kept spreading throughout the world of the Greeks and Romans.  Many, if not most people had difficult lives so when hope was offered they "grabbed onto it."  I understand that Lord.   

     For that eight months of my life when I was homeless I never knew how nice it was to be held and "petted."  In fact, until I came here to live I tried not to let anyone touch me because I didn't know if they would hurt me.  But slowly I'm coming to understand the idea of trust. 

      Mr. Steve thinks I'm still a little what they all "Gun Shy."  I still have a hard time just what's called "submitting" to him.  But, little by little, I now know my boss will not hurt me so even let him examine my stomach and rear legs without panicking and wanting to run away.   

     Now that I know how good it is to be held and petted I want my boss to hold and pet me  even more. That's another reason for learning to read and write.  But I do have a "tendency" to get "carried away" as they say.  Sometimes I have too much energy.  I smell Sage.

     Of course I'm learning how to read and write for more than just one reason, but one reason is so Mr. Steve will be so amazed he'll hug me.  And, since today is the first day of Spring this is as good a day as any to start writing.  I'm going to to try to write three books!

     Thank you Holy Spirit for bringing me over here!  I feel You now in the Sun that's making me warm.  And God, I sense You in all the Birds I'm hearing and the many scents I'm smelling right now.  I really do like living over here now Lord!  Thank You Blessed Mother.

       

 

    Hey Lord?  Thank You for Heathcliff II the Rooster next door.  As he does on every morning he was up crowing just before Dawn.  The start of our day just wouldn't be be the same without hearing good old Heathcliff's voice.  I love having Heathcliff around! 

     Lord, as You know, I plan on spending the next three days writing a kind of diary and also our story too.  And I sure hope You'll help me think of things not on my outlines.  I don't think I can do such a big project like this in writing my three books all by myself. 

     Thank You God for sending my Guardian Angel Stanley down here to watch over me.  He's always protected me when my bad Angel Lilith tries to tempt me to do bad things.  Hey Stanley!  I think I feel you too right now.  I noticed that Mr. Steve calls his bad Angel "Iago."

     Looking to the east at the desert behind the Sheds it looks like the ray's of Sun are raining down from above and filling up everything with life.  Oh wow!  I see a Snake going under Moe the Shed.  It's not a Rattlesnake though.  I've learned to avoid all Snakes. 

      Blessed Virgin Mary!  In the next three days please help me write about how females are just as important as males.  Without the two halves you cannot have the one whole.  At least that's what Mr. Steve seems to think.  And I now want to believe in that idea too! 

                               

        Blessed Mother?  You know that my favorite prayer is the "Hail Mary."  In fact, I feel like saying one right now; "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with You.  Blessed are You among women and blessed is the fruit of Your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God pray for me, a sinner now, at the hour of my death, Amen,"

      I like praying!  It makes me feel better.  But because I know that the Hail Mary is my boss's favorite prayer it's now mine too.  As You Guys all know; Mr. Steve hopes that You give him just enough time to say a quick Hail Mary before he dies.  I hear Crows cawing.

     Oh my God!  Just when I was thinking about You Blessed Mother I just picked up the faint scent of that plant called "Rosemary."  The smell is coming from the east.  As You know, Mr. Steve told me some people "associate" Rosemary's blue flowers with You.

     Above me up near the roof of this Patio is a Bird nest.  And right now the baby Birds which are living in that nest are starting to chirp.  Blessed Virgin Mary, as You know, I kind of want to think I feel You and hear You in the sound of those little Birds. I love baby Birds! 

      Boy!  I can really smell the Rosemary bush's now.  Just like seeing the first Butterfly of the year is a good sign, I want to believe that smelling the first Rosemary of the year is a good omen too.  I just have a feeling that the next three days are going to be really good.    

     The parents of the baby Birds that I hear above me built their nest in that exact same spot last year too.  Hearing the sound of the baby Birds reminds of last year and makes me feel good.  Thank all of You Guys if it was You who guided the parent Birds to this Patio. 

     Even though Mr. Steve doesn't like "Gambling," I'd risk money betting those baby Bird's parents are out looking for food to bring back to their kids.  I can tell those baby Birds above me are really hungry.  Their parents had their babies earlier than usual this year.

     As You know God, the other day my boss casually joked that he wondered sometimes if all of the Worms and Insects who have to "give up their lives" for food around here have parents who feel bad when they die?  Are they another Worm or Bug's "Significant other?"  

      Those little baby Birds above me sure sound hungry.  I do hope their parents have good luck in their hunting this morning.  Please give them good luck Blessed Virgin; so all of their babies will survive.  I think only one of their three babies survived from last year.

      Mr. Steve gives things joke "nicknames." So I do that now too.  We call the parent Birds in the nest "Bonnie" and "Clyde;" just like those "Gangsters" from the 1930's Depression.  Mr. Steve was reading about Bonnie and Clyde last year when the Birds made their nest. 

  

                                                             BONNIE AND CLYDE

 

      My boss's brother Rock lives in a State called "Texas."  When he visits here he brings Texas Newspapers and it just happened that when our Bonnie and Clyde were building their nest one of those Newspapers had a story on the real Bonnie and Clyde; who were from Texas.

      I love being around Birds!  I'm just now realizing why my boss sees them as so important to us.  Birds can tell you if the patterns of nature are going smoothly.  If something's not right our Birds, especially Crows, let you know right away by their actions and movements.

      I'm sure glad we don't live during the time of a a Depression.  That would be so bad!  During a Depression almost everyone is poor Mr. Steve says.  So that means us Dogs are poor too.  Even though we're not poor I'd sure like to figure out a way to make some extra money.

      Just like the real Bonnie and Clyde, our Bonnie the Bird seems to us to be the "boss" when it comes "right down to it" my boss says.   He's joked that if Birds wore clothes Bonnie would wear the pants" or "hold the keys" in that family.  They're both "bread winners."  

    The sound of those baby Birds in the morning makes me feel so good!  I want to believe their voices are another "good luck sign" for the day.  Mr. Steve is not what they call "superstitious."  But I do kind of want to believe in omens.  I'm always looking for "signals."  

    To me those baby Birds symbolize life.  Mr. Steve likes to look for symbolism in things.  I want to do something no other Dog has ever done so I'll symbolize success and my boss will then never ever want to get rid of me; even though now I don't think he would get rid of me. 

      Oh!  I just smelled a Rosemary plant again.  Hey Blessed Mother; I just thought of something I want to write about.  It's actually on my book two outline but I sort of feel like doing it right now.  That's when, in 1917, You appeared to three children over there in Europe.

     According to what it says here in  this Encyclopedia Blessed Mother, You came down here to Earth near a town called "Fátima;" which is in that one country called "Portugal."  Portugal is right next to the larger country of "Spain."  I can smell some of our Joshua trees.

      Hey Blessed Mother!  Is it You who's making me want to write about what happened back in 1917?  Even if isn't I still feel like looking it up.   Mr. Steve works with a girl named "Babette." She sells things too.  Her family goes to Portugal to visit the place where You appeared.

    

                                                                                                         

        According to my Encyclopedia in 1917, the year before World War I ended, You came down from Heaven to talk to these three Portuguese children Blessed Virgin.  And I guess You told them three secrets about how the world could be a more peaceful place.   

       If I weren't so afraid of riding in a Car I would really want to go see where You came down from Heaven to talk to those three Portuguese children Blessed Virgin.  It says here their names were "Lucia" and her younger Cousins "Francisco" and "Jacinta."

  

                                                   LUCIA / FRANCISCO / JACINTA

   

       Hey Blessed Mother!  My Encyclopedia has a picture of those three kids You came down to see.  Someone "painted" a black and white picture the way Mr. Steve used to do when he had a "Dark Room" at the house on Hagar Street in Sylmar; before he moved up here.

      According to this Encyclopedia Blessed Mother, in Portuguese You're called "Nossa Senhora de Fátima;" or "Our Lady of Fátima."  And actually, Your real full name is "Nossa Senhora de Rosário de Fátima."  Wow!  The Portuguese language is a little different from Spanish.

      I'm guessing "Rosário" means "Rosary" in Portuguese Blessed Virgin.  And that's mainly because it says here that You told Lucia, Francisco and his little sister Jacinta people should say the Rosary a lot more.  Ah!  Two Pigeons just flew bye out into the desert.

       Blessed Mother, as You know, Mr. Steve says the last time he led a Rosary session was at his Grandma Córdova's funeral.  He would say part of the prayers and then the other people at the funeral say with him the rest of that prayer.  But that was a few years ago.

      I can see why my boss would be interested in the story of Fatima Blessed Virgin.  There are a lot of things that happened in three's and You know how much he notices things that happen in three's.  Two more Pigeons just flew bye; also going out into the eastern desert.

      My Encyclopedia says, in 1916, the year before You came down here to see Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta; You sent an Angel three times.  Hey Blessed Mother!  Did You really predict World War II and then the later 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II? 

      Wow!  I sure wish I could go back in time to see when You made the Sun spin around three times in front of that giant crowd of seventy thousand people Blessed Virgin.  That would be so great!  I can see the Sun right now hanging peacefully just above the eastern horizon. 

      Hey Blessed Virgin!  I wonder if Mr. Steve knows this?  It says here that boy Francisco and his sister Jacinta died in a giant worldwide "Flu" or "Influenza" epidemic which happened from 1918 through 1920; right after World War I ended.   I still smell that Rosemary plant.

      I know for sure that Mr. Steve knows a lot about the subject of what they call "Epidemics" which, according to my Dictionary means "spreading rapidly."  In this case that means about a disease or sickness spreading.  A "Pandemic" is an epidemic "over a large region." 

      Because of the many hours my boss spent doing his Research Project on The Black Death of the 14th century he's interested in the history of other epidemics too.  He thinks with people in the world now mixing and traveling more there will probably be another one.         

     Well the baby Birds above me are chirping again.  I wonder if they sense that it's the first day of Spring?  On some mornings their parents have already fed them by this time; but not today I guess.  I'm sure both Bonnie and Clyde will be back soon with food to feed them.

      When I hear those baby Birds chirping I feel kind of nervous that some predator might hear them and come in and eat them.  But, "on the other hand" as they say, their voices make me feel good. Mr. Steve thinks I' too "excitable" at times.  Ah! I smell another Lizard.

      Hearing these baby Birds yelling for food makes me remember the other day when my boss  said that one joke; "Sometimes it's the squeakiest wheels that ends up getting the most grease."  You know, I think I agree with that old saying.   I see the Lizard on a rock. 

     It's not easy holding a pencil with only toes.  It would be easier if I had at least a few fingers; especially a thumb. But I'm getting better at it.  For the last few days I've been practicing for this day by making these what I hope will turn out to be three really good outlines. 

      I guess I'm what they call "Right-Handed," or right-pawed in my case, because I seem to be more comfortable that way.  Mr. Steve still plays Baseball and throws and hits both right and left-handed.  He also plays drums with both hands.  That Lizard ran away.

     This feels so good!  I'll have at least three days to get better at reading and handwriting.  I'm so glad these pencils all have those little eraser things on the back.  I just know I'm going to need them in the next three days because I'm sure I'll make a lot of mistakes. 

     I wonder why I haven't seen the two Bluebirds yet?  But I did see two of the Pigeons.   A week ago four Pigeons, two couples of boy and girl Pigeons,  suddenly showed up.  They were with all of the other Birds eating seeds that Mr. Steve spreads on the ground for them.

     Luckily for us it sure looks as though those four Pigeons have decided to make our land their permanent home.  Mr. Steve jokes they've "adopted us."  Oh my God!  Just when I was thinking about them all four of the Pigeons flew in and landed on Jack the biggest Shed.

                  

                         

      Mr. Steve told me our four Pigeons, "Lucy and Ricky" and "Fred and Ethel," are what  they call "homing" Pigeons.   He thinks maybe they got mixed up and forgot their way home.  I know one thing, I sure hope they stay around here and maybe even have some babies. 

      I've noticed that when Pigeons fly their wings make kind of a squeaky sound.  Many times you'll see them coming before you can even see or smell them.  Having Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel around makes me feel good.  Those baby Birds above me are chirping again.

      I'll bet Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel will fly to the front of the house and eat some of the seeds on the ground.  Mr. Steve also fills up that thing they call a "Bird Bath" with water so everyone can drink or even take a bath if they want to.  I just love all of our Birds!

      I know one thing, I sure do like the sound Pigeons make.  My boss says that our four Pigeons don't have these little bands around their ankles so must not belong to someone.  I sure do hope they decide to just stay here and make our two acres their home.

     There seems to be even more Birds than usual chirping and flying about this morning.  I see a lot of Crows. I wonder if Birds and Bugs sense it's the first day of Spring so know they'll have a full twelve hours of sunlight to try to find food?  I just smelled one of our Joshua trees.

     I know one thing for sure; I'm going to try to get a lot of work done today too. Twelve hours is plenty of time to finish my first book.  So over three days that will be a total of thirty six hours of work.  That's going to be hard to do because my favorite thing in life is to run fast. 

      Hey You Guys!  Even though I'm going to have to be what my boss would call "disciplined" in the next three day, I'm still going to stay really alert because my main job in life is to guard our two acres.  It's my duty to know exactly what goes on around here.

     Just hearing, seeing and smelling the desert life all around me really gets me what they call "motivated."  As usual, the Sun seems to be giving me energy God.  This is the perfect day for me to learn how to read and write.  I'll have a lot of time to practice today!

     Oh my God!  I'm hearing that sound of chirping baby Quail.  One of the groups already has had their babies.  This is so early in the year.  Maybe that's another good sign.  I love the sound of baby Quail!  I'm so tempted to hide my materials and go see the baby Quail. 

      Well, there they are.  It's Bravo Company that had babies.  I can tell because of those two girl Quail Mr. Steve named "Laverne" and "Shirley."  They're the leaders of that group.  Daisy says she thinks Laverne and Shirley are probably two sisters from the same litter.

       Right now in writing my first book and I have to be disciplined just like my boss says.  I have to keep working."  I'll take a break and go visit with Daisy after I finish chapter four.  That will be when I'm finished with part one of this first book.  Heathcliff just crowed again.

   

    

 

         I love the sound of baby Quail!  Bravo Company is streaming out from under Manny the middle Shed and are now heading toward the northeast corner of the house; to my left.  They're going up front to eat some of the food Mr. Steve puts out for all of the Birds.  

         Sadly, many, if not most of the baby Quail; never make it past one year.  Some will just die naturally and a few will be eaten by Hawks, Snakes or Cats.  I haven't seen our neighbors Cat Cher lately.  Andy and Helen the Squirrels just ran bye and ducked under Moe.  

        Mr. Cliff joked one time about how, in an emergency; you can eat Quail.  Mr. Steve says he would not want to ever have to do that.  Mr. Cliff also joked that Daisy and I would make a few good meals too.  We didn't think that was very funny.  We could eat Rabbits too. 

      As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Steve mixes Chicken Scratch in with the regular Bird seed he spreads out on the ground in front of his Office window.   Ah!  I smell those Joshua trees my boss calls the twins.  And now the faint scent of a new Spring Sage plants just floated in.

      Mr. Steve often sits in his Office and looks out a big window which faces to the west. It's there that he works.  About one hundred and fifty feet from our house is a road.  Beyond that road is a good view of the western horizon where the Sun sets.  At times we have pretty "Sunsets."

        

PHOTO BY STEVE CÓRDOVA 

  

           Hey God!  Last night before the Sun went down in the west the sky was orange, black and yellow.  It was so beautiful.  I'm sure hoping it was a good omen for me starting my huge project today.  And I hope tonight will be another pretty sunset.  Thank You for sunsets.   

       Quail remind me of little Chickens. But they have those "Head Plumes."  Quail have black throats and white stripes.  Mr. Steve wears what they call "Glasses."  But Daisy told me about these other really amazing glasses he uses to look at things called "Binoculars."

   I guess with Binoculars you can see things closer when they're far away.  And according to what Daisy says, our boss also uses them to look at things like Birds which are right below his       Office window.   I want to see those Binoculars someday.  Maybe I could even use them?               

     Oh!  I just looked up and there's a Mouse drinking water from the basin around the bottom of the big tree.  Usually you don't see Mice out during the day because it's too dangerous.  A lot   of things around here would sure like to eat them.  That Mouse better be careful.                           

     Another thing that I've though about in the last few weeks as I've prepared to start this huge project is the definition of a "Hill."  Why did the people name this area Piñon Hills?  We don't     really seem to have that many hills that I can see.  We're mainly sort of flat in our area.                 

                                                                                        

                                                             

       Ah!  I just picked up the scent of a Cholla cactus.  It's not the one over there just to my right front.  Uh!  I remember the time when I lived out in that field and learned why Cholla are called "Jumping Cactus."  Jack the Jackrabbit just ran bye really fast right now.                                     

        Even if you don't touch them but only "brush" slightly against them those Cholla cactus will still get you as you go past.  They attach themselves to you and it hurts.   It's hard trying to get a Cholla cactus off.  I smell Andy and Helen the Squirrels somewhere around here.   

        We're on the southern edge of the big "Mojave" desert, in the "Victor Valley." As I said, Los Angeles is to the southwest of us.   Hey God!  Thank You for sending Stanley down here to be my Guardian Angel.  You're a really good Guardian Angel Stanley!  I like you.

 

      As I mentioned in chapter one, the San Fernando Valley is about seventy miles away from us here in Piñon Hills.  And the Valley is about thirty miles from what's called "Downtown" Los Angeles.  I'll be writing about downtown Los Angeles in over the next three days.

      When Mr. Steve and his brothers and sisters grew up in the Valley Sylmar was just like the life "depicted" on a 1980's television or "tv" show called "The Wonder Years."  The show takes place in 1968 and the main character was thirteen in 1968 just like my boss! 

                                                              THE WONDER YEARS

  

      Mr. Steve jokes that whenever he watches The Wonder Years he thinks about a quote by Yogi Berra who played Baseball for the New York Yankees.  He said; "It's déjà vu all over again."  I know what a Catcher is!  I just noticed a Lizard over there near the big tree.

      In 1961 when Mr. Steve's parents move their family to Sylmar it was a very "Rural" area of dirt roads.  But by 1968 at the time when the Wonder Years "depicted" it was a "Semi-Rural-Suburban" community.  Three Finches just flew bye; moving toward the northeast. 

      Sylmar is located near what are called the "Foothills" of the "San Gabriel" mountains.  The views are often beautifully "scenic" my boss told me.  Today Sylmar is one of the few remaining places in Los Angeles where people can ride Horses.  That Lizard is gone now.

      Mr. Steve says Sylmar is now considered to be what they call a "Bedroom Community."  But as I mentioned before, when his family first moved to Sylmar back then in 1960 some of the main roads were still not even "Paved."  I can smell that one old Sage bush right now. 

      Earlier I mentioned the big earthquake that happened in 1971.  Mr. Steve says it's sad that their neighborhood was destroyed.  Many of the families moved because of damaged houses.  It was a bad time but Mr. Steve's parent's were brave so their family survived.

      My boss told me the 1971 earthquake is now known as the Sylmar earthquake because the part of Los Angeles "hardest hit" was the northeast part of the Valley; where Sylmar is located. Sylmar was at what they call the "Epicenter" of that big, huge earthquake.

   

                          

            It was only in the years after that giant 1971 earthquake that my boss says he slowly came to appreciate how lucky he and his brothers and sisters had been.  They had "taken for granted" so many things.  What if their father had been killed as a patient at the Veteran's Hospital? 

     Mr. Steve says he and his brothers and sisters "pre-earthquake" lived a life like that shown on The Wonder Years tv show.  They played sports, went swimming in the Summer, rode bikes and even at times built what they call "Go-Carts."  Two of the Pigeons flew bye.   

      My boss uses the word "idyllic" to describe their lives before the 1971 earthquake.  It seems now like it was what he jokingly calls "Utopian."  Kids on Mr. Steve's "block" built models and explored all of the many open fields and riverbeds nearby.  I hear Pigeons cooing.

     "Looking back on it now," even though he didn't appreciate it then, my boss told me he feels what's called "Nostalgic" when he thinks back to the 1960's.  To some people the "sameness" of "Suburban" living was not good but to him it was some of his happiest of times.   

      Mr. Steve says in just a few minutes on a morning in February of 1971 he and his family had their world "Turned Up Side Down" as that old song says.  The world they had known was over and the new "post-earthquake" world of "harsh realities" then "set in" as they say. 

      From what my boss says he still occasionally has dreams about that morning when the big earthquake hit.  I still sometimes have bad dreams too; mostly about things that happened when I was homeless.  I can hear some of the local Crows cawing out in the eastern desert.

      Sylmar means "Sea of Trees" in Latin.  Mr. Steve says that's because at one time there were a lot of Olive trees in Sylmar.  And, according to this Dictionary I'm using, in Latin "Silva" means "Forrest" while "Mar" means "Trees."  I really love learning new things!

     At the turn of the 20th century Sylmar had the second biggest Olive grove in the whole world Mr. Steve says.  That's why they named it Sea of Trees.  To this day there are still some of those old Olive trees in Sylmar but not nearly as many as there used to be he told me. 

      From what my boss says, until 1915 the Sylmar area was called "Morningside."  Near where he and his family lived there's still an Elementary School named Morningside.   Like up here, it can get really windy down in Sylmar.  In the Winter we sometimes have cold winds! 

      Mr. Steve likes Olives. He put them in a lot of things he eats.  One of his favorite places to eat is called "Subway Sandwich."  Whenever he gets a sandwich there he has them put on Olives.  Boy, I'm getting kind of hungry just thinking about things like that.

      I wonder when Mr. Steve will give us our first snack of the day?  It's still early.  Lately he's been calling from the front door area but in the past he's sometimes come out here to the back to give us our snacks. I'll just have to stay alert for him.  I smell a Field Mouse around here.

      I'm purposely facing towards the sliding glass door so if Mr. Steve just happens to come out of the house I can hide my notebooks really fast under these cushions. All those Dictionary books are already under the couch so he wouldn't see them.  I feel so good this morning.

      The Encyclopedias which I'm going to use over the next three days are all over there on the other side of this old couch I'm sitting on.  They're covered up but I can get to them easily when I need them.  This is going to be so fun learning new things that will impress my boss. 

       I just noticed that there's a little brown Mouse over there standing in some gravel.  It looks like it's eating something by the way it's holding it's cute little hands and nibbling on something.  Mice have cute little feet too.  I hear a lot of Birds singing happily out in the desert.

  

 

      Wow!  Usually you don't see Mice during the day when the Sun is out.  But already today I've smelled a few of them.  Mice, and Squirrels too, have "distinctive" scents.  And smelling this one Mouse now makes me remember when I had to kill that other Mouse a year ago.    

      Looking up, I can see a big group of Birds flying bye way up there high in the light blue sky.  That makes me feel good; comfortable somehow.  Boy, if I can somehow perform a miracle and write the three books I have outlined; You'll  be really proud of me Blessed Mother. 

       I've got to get a lot of work done today so that when Mr. Steve gives me our first snack of the day it will be my well-deserved break.  I plan on learning so much today; and for the next three days too.  I hear our neighbor's Ducks quacking next door.  I like the sound of Ducks.    

      I want to work for about twelve hours today and write this first book.  I want to write twelve chapters; one for each hour of sunlight today.  And I'll do the same thing for book two and three too.  That one little Mouse just ran away and went under a big piece of wood.

      Right now I'm looking to the east toward the Sun which which seems to be hanging up over the horizon.  There are many Joshua trees out in the desert.  Birds are flying about.  I see Flies but not too many.  Usually the hotter the weather the more Flies we have.

      I see a Cholla cactus just to the right of Manny the far right Shed; out in the eastern desert behind the fence.  That makes me think of that one time when I tried to get a cactus needle out from between my toes.  I had a dream the other night about that time. 

      It's very painful to be stabbed in your tongue trying to lick a cactus spine out from between your toes.  Then it was hard to get that one spine out of my tongue and it was throbbing for a few hours after that.  I can now really smell that Cholla cactus so clearly.  

       One thing about me, I seldom, if ever, make the same mistake twice.  I'm learn things pretty fast.  That's one of the things Mr. Steve says he likes about me.  But sometimes I still make some stupid mistakes.  Oh!  A big gray Jackrabbit just sprinted past the three Sheds.   

      My boss moved up here from Los Angeles in late 2005.  He's come to like the desert and says it would now be very hard for him to go back to live in a big city.  When he drives around down in Los Angeles he notices how many more Cars and people there seems to be.   

      As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Steve's parents are originally from New Mexico.  My boss says a lot of people think New Mexico is Mexico.  In this one Encyclopedia it says that New Mexico and Arizona only became States in 1912.  I can really smell a Sage plant now.

   

      

    Because his parents grew up in New Mexico, Mr. Steve and his two younger brothers and two younger sisters have eaten Piñon nuts before. And they're also very familiar with both green and red "Chili."  I 'll eat Chili if I have to but; it's sort of too hot for me.  I smell a Lizard.

     Even though he no longer wears jewelry, my boss has this silver "watch" for telling time.  He also has this one thing called a "Bolo" tie, and a "Bracelet;" all made of silver with some really pretty bluish-green rocks called "Turquoise" inside them.  I know what a watch is!

     In the 1960's when my boss and his brothers and sister grew up in the San Frnando Valley Sylmar was more what they call "Rural."  I just used my English Dictionary and it says that the word "urban" means "characteristic of cities."  I see a Lizard over there.

      Just like here, in the early 1960's some of the roads down in Sylmar were dirt.  To the east of us out in the desert is a dirt road called "Primavera" Road.  It runs north to south behind our back half acre of desert.  Mr. Steve takes walks up and down Primavera Road.

      Mr. Steve is not superstitious but liked it when he first found out that the dirt road out in the desert was called Primavera.  He's been listening to Vivaldi's song on most mornings even before he moved up here from Sylmar.  I like Vivaldi.  I hear a lot of Birds chirping.

     Looking to the east beyond our three Sheds I see  a lot of Birds seemingly flying around in every direction.  That one Lizard just ran away and is now standing in the dirt right in front of Manny the far right Shed.  And now it just ran off fast into the eastern desert.

      Mr. Steve said he had a dream the other night about the good period that came about after that giant 1971 earthquake.  From what Mr. Steve says his father has always been what they call "active" in the community.  I'm going to write about it over the next three days. 

      According to my boss his dad was "instrumental" as they say in getting Sylmar back up after the 1971 earthquake.  He and many others worked hard so that the people from Sylmar and the Northeast San Fernando Valley could try to "rebuild" their lives.  I smell a Squirrel. 

      In his dream Mr. Steve told me he saw his father and sister Susan riding their Horses "Poco" and "Shanique" around Sylmar.  Both Horses were brown and had "personalities" of their own.  But Poco and Shanique are dead now.  Too bad!  Ah!  I see the Squirrel over there. 

      In the 1970's down in the San Fernando Valley Mr. Steve's father and sister Susan even used to ride their Horses over to this place called "Hansen Dam;" in the city of "Pacoima."  People on Horses sometimes ride past our house out on the front road.  We always bark at them.

      "San Fernando" is Spanish for "Saint Ferdinand." The Spanish named the area in the late 18th century when they "Colonized" what would become known as the San Fernando Valley.  Up here in the High Desert there are also roads and places with Spanish names.   

       

 

       San Fernando is also an "Independent" city next to Sylmar.  I'd like to visit San Fernando.  I'I'd run up "Maclay" Street in San Fernando the way my boss and his brothers and friends used to do when they rode their bikes.  Tomorrow I'll write about Charles Maclay. 

      My boss told me that if he could go back in time he'd definitely go back to the 1960's to see everyone on the old neighborhood.  At the time he says, he didn't rally appreciate it but now in "looking back on it" as they say; they were mostly good times.  I want to time travel.  

     I've never seen an actual city. All I know is a town, or a desert. Someday, if I ever get over my fear of riding in Cars, maybe I'll actually have the courage to go with Mr. Steve to see a city.  My boss says there are a lot more people, Cats and Dogs, in a city; too many he thinks.

     In 2005 Mr. Steve sold his properties down in the Valley and moved up here.  I'm sure glad he did because who knows if I would even be alive today if I would have had to stay forever out in that terrible field.  Hey God!  As You know.  Sometimes I've wondered why I got so lucky?

                          

     Even though it can be very hot or cold here I like the desert.  As Mr. Steve says, in order to live in a desert you just have to just make some "compromises" and "adjust" to the sometimes severe weather.  I've noticed a word my boss often uses is "adapt." 

      I think I'm good at adapting to things because Mr. Steve wants me to be good at that. I don't care what I have to do to stay living here on our two acres, I'll do it.  Living homeless out in that awful field was definitely no fun at all.  I would never want to go back there.  No way!   

      Hey God!  As You know of course, I didn't like the desert when I was homeless.  Sometimes I still have those bad dreams about things that happened back then.  But lately I'm so much more optimistic; especially when I think about trying to write these three books.     

      It's very what they call "stressful" to always be scared; of constantly “Walking on pins and needles” or "eggshells," as those "old sayings" go.  I love learning old sayings!  Old sayings are interesting to Mr. Steve so now they've become some of my favorite things too.

      You'd be very surprised how much you can learn from old sayings.  I think about old sayings and what they call "Slang" all the time because Mr. Steve does.  He's always been curious at how certain sayings and things like that "came about."  So now I'm interested in that too.

         

 

      Hey God!  As You know, last night I was scared.  Thank You for Daisy.  She's my best friend.  She made me realize that learning to read and write won't be easy and I could fail.  Morning air is so great!  Thank You God for the scent of Joshua trees.  I feel more calm now.

       Sometimes I call Daisy "Dais" because our boss calls her that.  When they call me "Mag" I feel good because it makes me feel like I belong.  Dais is my leader and has lived here for five years.  I recall her scent from that first day Mr. Steve brought me over here to live. 

      I smell Sagebrush which makes me think of last year.  That one Centipede scared me.  I used to be afraid of Centipedes but now I kind of like seeing them.  But I "Keep my Distance" as they say.  Our neighbor's Rooster Heathcliff just crowed again over there next door.   

      In my second book tomorrow I'll write about many of the things Dais has told me about our boss or things he told her before I got here.  Even though he's a Salesman, some people say our boss is too quiet.  Since moving up here from Sylmar he likes being alone a lot more.

       My boss's friend Mr. Randy noticed that Mr. Steve doesn't like being around strangers.  As a young person Daisy says he enjoyed more being around others but now he prefers to just hang around with us.  Well God, I think that's good for us because he likes talking to us.

        Mr. Randy, who's quiet too; jokes with Mr. Steve about how he probably talks more to Dais and and myself than anyone else.  Mr. Steve chuckles.  I've never heard my boss laugh out loud.  Daisy has and has me scheduled to write about those two times tomorrow in book two. 

       For six months Daisy helped me put together the outlines for my three books.  They're pretty big.  That time gave me, and her too; practice in reading and writing.  Ah! I smell the old Sage bush behind Moe the middle Shed!  That's great!  I recall it's smell from last year.  

      Hey God!  As You know, Daisy's the one who got me to appreciate that dry Dog food is better than no food at all.  And of course she's right.  As she jokes; "Beggars can't be choosers."  For a time I kind of got bored eating dry Dog food.  But not anymore!  I like it now. 

      Daisy has come to like "Old Sayings" the way our boss does.  And that's why more and more I'm starting to like old sayings too.  But there are old sayings that I don't quite understand.  And sometimes Daisy doesn't know what they mean either.  I can hear a Crow cawing.

      Daisy knows our boss is also interested in "Slang."  In my Dictionary slang means; "informal language."  So now I really want to impress Daisy and Mr. Steve by showing I think about things like that too.  Oh!  A skinny grayish-brown Ground Squirrel just ran bye really fast. 

      Daisy's what's called "Second in Command."  It's required that at this point in our lives I do whatever she tells me to do.  For the "Time Being" as they say I have to "take orders" from her.  But I don't mind!  Daisy's a good leader and I'd follow her wherever she led me. 

                                                                                DAISY / MAGGIE CÓRDOVA

   Daisy is much older than me.  Mr. Steve rescued her too.  I follow her.  She's my leader.  Mr. Steve's parents have been married for almost sixty years.  They think "Trust and "Respect" are   the most important things in any "Relationship."  I trust and respect Daisy.                                    

    Hey God!  As You know of course, Mr. Steve's parents, in order to be married for so long, have certain things they always do.  They've come to think of each other as Your gift of grace.       They don't go to bed angry or try to change the other.  I still smell that Sage bush.                         

       One of my goals in life is to be more like Daisy and my boss.  They never panic when things "Go Wrong" as they say.  I on the other hand tend to get too excited in some ways.  But I've been    learning from Dais to "take a deep breath" and pause before reacting.                                          

    The other day Daisy said she's never seen Mr. Steve "Rattled" in an emergency.  But in my Dictionary it says rattled means "A series of sharp, short  sounds."  So I think rattled must be      the slang definition; "emotionally shook up."  I try to be calm too.  A Wren is singing.                  

 Mr. Steve remembers as a little boy hearing his father tell his mother; "If panicking made things better then it would be okay to panic.  But it just makes things worse.  I need to have the    confidence that if I'm not around you can handle things without me."  I love to smell Sage!           

    Hey God!  When he was a kid Mr. Steve what they call "suffered" some bad injuries.  I'll write about them later.  But he felt much calmer when he saw his mom being calm. He thinks her being that way was a gift of grace from You.  He thanks You for that as You know.                         

   In the next three days I'll write about the country of "China."  Daisy thinks they're really smart.  It was the Chinese who thought of the ingenious idea of putting a saying inside of those     "Fortune" cookies.  I wonder how they got that little piece of paper inside?                                     

   Hey God!  Daisy thinks You gave the idea for the fortune cookie to the Chinese.  I've been "stalling" as You know in beginning my three books.  I'm afraid.  But then Mr. Steve read us the three fortune cookies he opened.  One said; " You are original and very creative."                          

      I want to think the three fortune cookies were messages from You God.  The second fortune cookie said; "You have a deep appreciation for the arts and music."  And that third one was; "A  happy event will take place in your home."  All three fortunes might apply to me!                          

        So God!  I decided to just go ahead and start my project today; even though I'm still kind of nervous.  But what if I fail to learn how to read and write and it turns out to be too hard?  That   would be so embarrassing.  I can hear a Crow squawking out there in the desert.                            

      Daisy and I have worked on my three outlines for over six months but she says it's now time to get going.  She told me my outlines will never be totally perfect.  Besides she says, I can what    they call "Improvise" like a Jazz musician as I go.  There are no "Set in Stone" rules.                             

      If I think about something not on my outline I can just add it in there Daisy says.  One reason I started writing my three books today is because Mr. Steve read in his Fortune cookie; "You will be successful in your new endeavor."  I can hear some Pigeons cooing nearby.                                               

    Mr. Steve, like his parents, thinks trust and respect are the "Pillars" of being able to live around others.  Without either one he says things very often don't "Work Out" as they say.          Even though we don't agree on everything, I trust and respect Daisy a lot.                                                                              

     Hey God!  As You know, Dais says some bad things "In the long Run" can become blessings.  I now want to believe that too.  All I can do is my best with what I have to work with at the time. Dais told me that our boss tries to do that.  I smell one of the new Sage plants!                          

     Daisy deserves trust and respect because her actions "Speak louder than her words" as they say.  I've noticed since coming to live over here on our two acres that she wouldn't ask me to do    anything she wouldn't do herself.  That new Sage plant smell so good right now.                                            

        ALEXANDER (356-323 B.C.)                                ERWIN ROMMEL (1891-1945)    

     Today and tomorrow I'll write about a German General named Erwin Rommel.  In battle he led his men from "the front" or "In Harms Way."  Alexander "The Great," also led from the       front too.  Hey God!  I hear a lot of Crows right now.  Thank You for the Crows.                            

        Daisy helped me put together my three outlines and also a list of the birthdays in Mr. Steve's family.  That guy Erwin Rommel was born on November the 15th, so shares his birthday with      Samantha; Mr. Steve's Niece.  So does this one painter named Georgia O'Keefe.                             

      Now that I think about it, Daisy's actions do match up with her words.   Others have told Mr. Steve that, based on her eyes, teeth and nails Daisy could be fourteen.  Her "previous owner"       guessed she was eleven when he gave her to Mr. Steve. Daisy has a good heart.                                

      Even though Daisy's old she's still "Young at Heart" as they say.  And, in my opinion and my boss's too, Daisy is still physically, mentally and spiritually strong.  No one should ever what they   call "underestimate" her.  That would be a big mistake for someone to do I think.                        

   I'm lucky Daisy's my friend.  Besides wanting to make our boss happy, another reason I'm writing my three books is to make her proud of me so she'll keep coaching and preparing me for  the day when I'm the leader around here.  I'll be a good leader just like her.                                    

  Dais said something about a month ago that I wrote down when I was putting together my three outlines.  She said in her old age she's come to realize that there's often a big difference        between just being alive and living.  At first I didn't get it but now I think I do.                               

    This morning Daisy told me something that made me feel good.  She said she's already proud of me just for trying to learn how to read and write; even if I do fail.  She says, as that old saying  goes; "The Journey Itself " might end up being as valuable as the "End Result."                            

       Looking toward the eastern morning horizon I see three dimensions of Joshua trees; one next to the three Sheds, a second in the desert, and a third off in the distance.  It's clearer than many   mornings.  We have this thing called "Fog" around here.  I'm still kind of afraid of fog.                 

     The clump of Joshua trees just to the right of Manny the far right Shed reminds of that one time when Daisy told me sometimes in life the best way to solve a problem is to fail.  For a time I  didn't get that but the other day I did.  Failing makes you learn from mistakes.                               

      Hey God!  As You know, I still have bad memories from being homeless.  But Daisy told me to try not to carry around those memories like "old baggage" because they'll just keep getting      heavier and heavier.  So Thank You for this giant project to keep busy and look forward. 

    In chapter seven I'm planning on writing about what's called a "Phyrric" victory.  I like to chase Jackrabbits and Roadrunners but as fast a runner as I am I just can't catch them.  I used   to get mad until Dais made me realize it was good that I've failed.                                                     

    Even though I'll always have the urge to chase things I now realize that my failure solves the problem of what would I do if I ever caught something.  Would I kill and then eat a Jackrabbit     or Roadrunner?  Mr. Steve gives us food so what would I gain Daisy asks.                                       

                                                                                                                                                                      Daisy says, like Mr. Steve's mom and the Nuns at Saint Ferdinands told him, when doing a project sometimes the "Process" turns out to be more important than the "End Result."  If      for some reason I can't finish my huge project I'll be disappointed that's for sure.                           

     I recall when Daisy told me to write in my outline what Sister Rita Joseph said; that there are times in life when disappointment can be a good way to grow.  Daisy, who has a lot of experience, says "In the Final Analysis" the "Bottom Line" is not always winning.  I smell Sage.                     

 Daisy says our boss thinks life is often dual in nature so with good comes bad and bad comes good.  As they say; "They're both part of the mix."  So she says, setbacks and disappointments     are totally normal.  "Progress never happens in a straight line" so to speak.                                    

    Hey God!  Of course Dais is right.  I'll learn a lot over the next three days; but I also want to succeed too!  Then my boss can say he owns one of the smartest Dogs so will want to keep me.  I want him to think I'm uncommon and not just average.  Please help me do that God.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

      At times I put on a "False Front" and act brave.  But, secretly, I have a lot of what they call "Subconscious" fears.  Dais is so wise.  She thinks we all at times have an "Inferiority Complex."   I still fear being abandoned; but not as much now.  I smell a Field Mouse.                                      

    Because Mr. Steve at times calls Daisy "Dais" now I'm starting to do that too.  He and Daisy sometimes call me "Mag" and I like when they do.  It makes me feel like my boss wants to keep   me around when he gives me a nickname.  I can hear some Birds chirping.                                      

   For some strange reason Mr. Steve likes giving some things names.  And now I've noticed that Daisy is starting to do that too.  He also likes to make up weird nicknames.  Like that one time      when he called me "Maginowski" and Daisy "Dasinovich."  I see the Mouse over there.                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey Holy Spirit!  Looking out there into the eastern desert beyond our three Sheds Manny, Moe and Jack; I think I sense You.  Thank You for the fresh air.  Taking a deep breath makes me feel alive. That one little Mouse just scampered away.                                                                                                                            

   You Guys know my biggest fear is disappointing You or my boss.  Dais is right.  We depend on him.  I sure wouldn't want to disappoint her either.  That's why I usually try to do right.  But at   times that's kind of hard to do.  I'm glad you're my Guardian Angel Stanley.                                  

  Hey Stanley!  Dais said something the other day which I've been thinking about.  She told me, to a certain extent, "Faith" makes it easier to "endure" and "persevere" through life's frequent   hardships.  I have faith that you'll always be around to protect me from bad things.                       

  Thank You Guys for sending me Stanley!  Hey Stanley!  You were given the job of being my Guardian Angel and you've always given me good advice when my bad Angel Lilith tries to get    me to do bad things I shouldn't do.  I just smelled a Sage plant.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whenever I'm Lilith tempts me to chew on the wrong things or digging holes in the wrong areas you Stanley have always been there to guide me.  I really do appreciate that.  Mr. Steve hasn't     gotten mad at me in a long time.  Thanks Stanley.  I like you!                                                            

  On my outline I have written down what my boss's mother used to say;  "At times the right thing to do is not the easiest thing to do."  Mr. Steve told me the Nuns at Saint Ferdinands pretty much said that exact same thing too.  I'm smelling so many new scents right now.                           

   Mr. Steve's father sometimes uses the phrase; "Don't kid yourself."  Dais laughed when our boss told us that.  And this morning she said I shouldn't think for even one minute that reading       and writing will be easy.  It's going to take a lot of focus and plain hard work she says.                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                           Sometimes Dais is kind of like my "Coach."  I guess you could says she's my biggest what they call "booster."  She encourages and supports me.  She says writing will most likely involve a lot   of frustration.  But I don' mind.  I do like to learn from mistakes!                                                     

     Daisy told me the other day that many people say it's ridiculous to think that us Dogs smile.  But she jokes they've never seen me when I'm all "pumped up" in trying to impress our boss. At  times I must admit, I am kind of a "Show off."  But I'm not conceited.                                             

     Hey Lord!  I know one time when I really smiled.  That was the first time Mr. Steve was gone for a week and then finally came back.  Even though Daisy kept telling me not to worry because   she was positive our boss would be back soon I didn't relax until I saw and smelled him.               

     Remember how I prayed to You Blessed Virgin when I feared Mr. Steve might not come back?  I still recall the feeling of happiness I felt when I heard our boss opening up the lock on      the front gate.  Dais and I never ran so fast in our lives.  Thank You Guys for that.                         

  To this day Daisy jokingly calls me "Doubting Maggie."  Hey Lord!  Even though I kind of would like to smell Your wounds for myself I'll always believe in You.  I do wish I could go back   in time to see You rise up there to Heaven.  Boy!  That would be so great!                                         

     Hey Lord?  Were You mad at Your Disciple Thomas when he had to touch the wounds in Your hands and feet to believe You had come back to life three days after being killed?  I would    like to believe I'd just go ahead and believe in what they call Your "Resurrection."                        

     It was Dais who first told me that us Dogs are descended from Wolves.  I do sometimes howl like a Wolf.  I have a sad howl and a happy howl.  But I sure don't look like one of those Wolves. They look mean.  Daisy says there are many types of us Dogs.                                                                   

 

     I just used my Encyclopedia to look up the subject of Dogs and of course Daisy was right.  We are part Wolf.  Wow!  There's a picture of a "Bush Dog" here to show the "variety" of  us Dogs    who live now.  I guess those Bush Dogs live down there in South America.                                        

   It says here in this Encyclopedia that "Perro de Monte" means Bush Dog in Spanish.  They look like a Dog mixed with a "Ferret."  This is interesting.  The Bush Dog's "closest relative" is a wild Dog over in Africa that doesn't even look anything like a Bush Dog.                                                                                                                                                                                                

    According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia even though the Bush Dog is related to the African Dog they've each "evolved" and "adapted" to be able to survive in their own particular  environment.  So Bush Dogs have small ears while African Dog needs big ears.                               

  Daisy told me one time Mr. Steve met a guy who studied what they call "Genetics."  He said he thought that us Dogs first split off from our Wolf ancestors about 33,000 years ago.  And he said  it may have happened in the southern area of this country called "China."                                      

   Looking toward the eastern horizon beyond the desert makes me think about how Daisy has taught me how to better "read the weather" as they say.  She also jokes that because she's old       her bones often can tell her when some bad weather is coming.                                                          

 One important thing Dais has taught me to understand is that sometimes in life pleasant things can be bad for you while at times painful things can be good for you "in the long  run" as they      say.  For a long time I couldn't totally "comprehend" that idea.                                                         

    Daisy was the one who taught me that to heal myself from being angry at being abandoned and left out in that field I should first accept myself just as I am.  And she thinks being perfect is  not normal.  No one is.  I just picked up the faint scent of one of the Cholla cactus'.                        

    Because of Dais I'm now better at letting go of thinking about how I should be and and just accepting who I am, "Warts and All" so to speak.  Dais made me realize that you have to accept   life "as it is" and not "what you would want it to be."  I hear some Finches chirping.                     

     Later this evening I'm planning on finishing this first book with a prayer Mr. Steve calls the "Serenity" prayer.  It was written by this German-American man named Reinhold Niebuhr who I'll also write about in more detail then.  I can hear our neighbors Ducks quacking.                       

       Dais is right!  Bad things are part of life.  To fight against reality is to waste time she says.  It won't change anything and can simply add to life's pain.  You just have to say "I don't like this     unfair situation but that's okay.  "It is what it is" as that saying goes.  I smell some Sage.              

     Knowing Dais she'll probably turn out to be right and it will be hard to learn how to read and write.  But, if I do make a few mistakes I'll just keep "picking myself up" after getting knocked    down.  Daisy thinks it's sort of funny how Mr. Steve calls me the "Comeback Kid."                       

    I want to believe that Dais is right when she encourages me by saying that all of the bad things in my life may have prepared me for the next three days.  I had never thought of that.  She told    me our boss sometimes thinks about this British man named Winston Churchill.                                                       

                                  WINSTON CHURCHILL (1874-1965) WITH FAMILY                                                                                                                                                                                       During World War II that man Winston Churchill was like Margaret Thatcher later, the Prime Minister of England.  And from what Mr. Steve told Daisy, Winston Churchill had some    disastrous failures in his life which he said prepared him for success.                                              

       Winston Churchill beat that one guy Adolph Hitler in the biggest war of all time.  But back in World War I, when he was the "First Lord of the Admiralty," he got "Fired" after one of his  ideas disastrously failed at a place in Turkey  called "Gallipoli."  A Crow squawked.                   

       Oh!  This is interesting.  According to this Encyclopedia that guy Winston Churchill, who is now know for some really famous speeches, had what they call a "speech impediment" when he   was a young person.  It says here that he "stuttered" for years.                                                          

   According to this Encyclopedia, in the First World War it was primarily the British, French and Russians, or "Triple Entente," who fought against the three "Central Powers" of Germany,  Austria-Hungary and Turkey.  Millions of people died from 1914 through 1918.                              

 

WOLD WAR I                                                                       

       My Encyclopedia says that when the United States entered World War I in 1917 it "Tipped the Balance" of the war in favor of  the "Allies."  On "mainland" Europe for most of that war     everyone was stuck in a "Stalemate" in these long, dirty holes called "Trenches."                           

     I guess, just like at the beginning of the American Civil War, both sides were what they call "overly confident" when the First World War started in 1914.  But soon everyone found out that modern "Technology" had made warfare unbelievably horrible.  I hear Crows cawing.                 

                                

   This is interesting.  This Encyclopedia says that in World War I "Machine Guns" were "used effectively" with a "terrible efficiency" for the first time.  And gas was used by both sides when   neither side could win and were what they call "Deadlocked."                                                           

 I just thought of something I feel like writing about now rather than in book two as I had it planned on my outline.  Adolph Hitler was a soldier in the First World War.  And as a "Dispatch   Runner" at the front he took part in some big battles in this country called "Belgium."               

                 

 ADOLPH HITLER (RIGHT) WITH HIS DOG / WORLD WAR I

       

    I like when my Encyclopedias have pictures and maps to go with the writing.  There's a good photograph here in this Encyclopedia that shows Adolph Hitler in World War I.  And what they call the "Caption" below the picture says he's shown with his Dog.                                                   

Mr. Steve says that the main reason why that guy Adolph Hitler wore a funny mustache is because his long "handlebar" mustache wouldn't let his "Gas Mask" fit properly over his face     in World War I.  So he "trimmed" it way down to make the Gas Mask fit better.                            

  Adolph Hitler was a bad man who did a lot of bad things.  But he had courage.  In the First World War he won not one but two of these things called "Iron Crosses."  He was "gassed" this   one time and even almost went blind from it.  I hear some Crows cawing faintly.                             

 I wrote down on my outline how my boss told me that one of the "ironies" of history is how Adolph Hitler, who didn't "blink an eye" in killing millions, "forbade" all of his Scientists from   developing Gas or Chemical weapons during World War II.  A Crow just cawed.                           

    From what Mr. Steve told me some people think the reason why Hitler didn't want to use gas in war was because he'd been gassed.  But my boss thinks it's more likely he just knew that the     British were really advanced in the knowledge of using gas and things like that.                              

In the First World War, in 1915, Winston Churchill "promoted" and "advocated" that the British attack the Turks at Gallipoli.  On the European mainland the situation was a complete      "Stalemate" just like in a Chess match so something "audacious" had to be done.                          

     It says here that Winston Churchill believed Turkey was the "Soft Underbelly" of Europe.  And Mr. Steve thinks "on paper" or "in theory" it sounded "plausible."  But it "failed badly"     and I guess Winston Churchill had to take the "Lion's Share" of the blame for it.                           

            

"GALLIPOLI" CAMPAIGN (1915-1916)

                                                               

    Boy!  From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, when the British tried to attack the Turks at Gallipoli it really didn't work at all.  Soldiers on both sides died but thousands of the British    forces were "slaughtered."  I hear Crows cawing just to the northeast.                                             

Daisy told me that our boss has what's called a "Video Tape" of this movie about the Battle of Gallipoli.  She watched it and says it's really good.  But in the end it's kind of sad because these    two friends get killed by the Turkish defenders when they try to charge at them.                             

   

PAINTING BY JASON ASKEW

 

      Mr. Steve says in combat it's always better to have what they call the "High Ground."  From what it says here the Turks held and were "dug in" on ground the British soldiers had to charge  up at.  It was a "Fiasco.  A Crow is cawing out there in the eastern desert.                                       

        According to this Encyclopedia the man who's given the most credit for defeating the British at Gallipoli was named Mustafa Kemal.  I guess he's now called "Atatürk" which means "father of the Turks."  I like it when these Encyclopedia's have good maps and pictures.                                 

 

MUSTAFA KEMAL (1881-1938) 

     Wow!  It says here that the Ottoman Turkish Empire lasted for almost seven hundred years.  But they were on losing side in World War I so their land was "divided up" between France and  England.  Then Mutafa Kemal became the first President of what was left over.                              

 This is interesting.  That man Mustafa Kemal wanted Turkey to be more "secular" in it's government after the First World War.  Before that the religion of "Islam" was a big part of the   government of Turkey.  Wow!  I guess Mustafa Kemal had thirteen children.                                  

     

SABIHA GÖKCEN (1913-2001)

                

      Oh!  This is really interesting!  A daughter of that man Mustafa Kemal's was one of the first female pilots in Turkey; and one of the first to fly in combat.  That means people shot at her.  She seems to be proof that us girls can be just as capable of doing hard things as boys.                          

    Daisy knows me better than anyone.  She knows that even though I act confident, deep down in my "heart of hearts" I'm "insecure" about certain things.  But God?  As You know, I really      do believe I can learn anything if I "put my mind to it" as they say.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

     I can't believe I'm already on chapter two.  But even if I fail to write my three books, as Daisy says, I want to believe the try will have been worth the effort.  I'll just do my best so if I do fail at least I'll fail knowing I gave it "my all" as they say.  I'll need help Blessed Mother.                         

   Wow!  I just picked up the scent of a Rosemary plant again.  But the smell is a lot stronger than it was when I smelled it a few minutes ago.  Hey Blessed Virgin!  Maybe me smelling that      Rosemary is a good sign that You're watching over me.  I really prefer to believe that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

   You know Virgin Mary, looking out from this couch into the desert behind our house I think I now understand better why Daisy sometimes calls You our "Mother Earth."  And now with us in Spring there are new things to smell, hear and see.  I think I feel You nearby.                                  

   Ah!  I just saw a "Jackrabbit" dart under a bush out in the desert to the east.  We have two types of Rabbits around here.  There are what Daisy calls "Bunny" Rabbits and then there are     the Jackrabbits which are fast runners.  Sometimes I chase Jackrabbits.                                               

    

     Oh!  There goes a bigger Jackrabbit flying through the air.  It's amazing how fast they run but can change direction so quickly.  I'm also hard to catch when I don't want to be caught but I  admit Jackrabbits are better than me.  They have "spring" in their legs!                                         

  I just smelled a Joshua tree.  I love looking at Joshua trees.  Toward the northeast, I see a dead Joshua Tree that the wind has knocked over.  It' near our big Shed Jack.  Mr. Steve told me that   some Joshua trees can live to be over one hundred years old!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I've noticed that there are these really tiny little Lizards which live around dead Joshua trees.  They're so small that sometimes it's hard to even see them unless you look really close.  And we also have a  lot of other types of Lizards who live around here too.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My boss thinks trust and respect are two of the most important things in life.  He calls them "foundations" or "pillars."  He's told Daisy and me that in any relationship if either one of the     two pillars are gone then the foundation will be weaker.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lord?  You know that someday I want to read about how you talked about a "house built on sand" and other things You said.  And as You also know, I'm hoping my boss will someday give    me my own Bible; both Old and New Testaments of course.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               That would be so great to have my own Bible!  But as Daisy told me, first I have to earn them by learning to read and write.  It will be hard to do but worth it.  I can't wait to read the stories in the Bible.  But first I need to write my three books.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I'm so lucky to have all of these Dictionaries.  Not only do I have a big one for English but I also have some for other languages too.  I've already used my Spanish Dictionary today.  Daisy found them and the notebooks in an open drawer of a file cabinet in the garage.                                       

And what's even better is that is that I have these Encyclopedias.  I'll use them a lot over the next three days.  And who knows, I might even need to use some of those law books over there.  This    is going to be so great!  I'm going to learn so much!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As a matter of fact, I'm going to use my Spanish Dictionary to look something up right now.  Daisy jokes our boss is "el ultimo jefe."  That's Spanish for "the ultimate  leader."  I love looking things up!  I'm so lucky.  So thank all of you Guys!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   According to my Latin Dictionary the phrase "primus inter pares" means "first among equals."  That's another thing Daisy thinks is funny.  She heard it a while back and right away thought of our boss.  This is so fun looking things up!  I think I'm going to like this.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In what's called the "Chain of Command" Daisy's number two.  I'm third and last on the "Totem Pole" as they say but I don't mind.  Dais has become what our boss calls my "Sounding    Board" on many things.  I've learned so much just being hanging around her.                              

      Daisy cleared up one mystery for me a while back.  I told her that I've never seen or smelled where Mr. Steve goes to the bathroom.  Daisy says if I weren't so afraid of going all the way into   the far end of the house I could see for myself just why that is.                                                           

       People have special rooms called "Bathrooms" where they sit on this white chair to "do their business" as they say.   And Dais says that the most incredible part is, once they're finished; they  just simply press this one button and everything all gets washed away with water!                          

     Dais also told me our boss can control the heat of water and he sometimes takes what's called a "Shower" where the water comes out from a pipe.  In the Bathroom at the end of the Hallway  she says there's a long white thing called a "Tub" where Mr. Steve sits in warm water.                 

     One time my boss told Daisy and that other Dog Millie about "Plumbing."  He told them how for a long time people were called "Hunter-Gatherers" who roamed around in looking for food.   But then in about 4,000 B.C. they began "Settling" in one place to live.                                             

     My Encyclopedia says in four areas, China, India, Mesopotamia and Egypt, what's now called "Civilization" was started when people "settled" in towns and cities.  So they had to figure out     how to get fresh water and get rid of bad or "Waste" water.  They did it with Plumbing.               

    It says here that civilization is "characterized" not just by people staying one area.  It was also when writing, farming and the "Domestication" of us Animals came about.   Mr. Steve's father    jokes that math was also then necessary in order to keep track of the collected taxes.                     

 

 

   A map in my Encyclopedia shows how the four areas where civilization began were near Rivers.  Mr. Steve said about 2,000 B.C. in India and the area now called "Pakistan" long skinny tubes called "Pipes" began to be used to bring or take away water.  I smell Sage.                            

    Dais says Mr. Steve told her the ancient Romans built these things called "Aqueducts" which used "Gravity" to bring water from far away.  And Romans used pipes to take away all the dirty water.  Later I'll talk more about gravity when I write about Isaac Newton.                                     

     In 1985 Mr. Steve and members of his family went over to Italy and then Israel.  I'm going to write about that trip in chapter four and then refer to it throughout my three books.  So they got to see in person some real Roman Aqueducts built about one thousand years ago.                           

     Oh!  This is kind of interesting.  It says here in my Dictionary the word "Plumbing" actually comes from the "Latin" word for "Lead."  And the Romans made their pipes for carrying water out of Lead.  I hear some Crows cawing faintly out there in the desert.                                             

    Latin was the language of the ancient Romans.  Throughout my three books I'm going to have to use all these Dictionaries.  I have them for a lot of languages but many of those languages are   based on Latin; or wherever the Romans conquered Mr. Steve says.                                                  

 Oh!  This is what Mr. Steve told Daisy.  He said the Romans made their pipes out of lead but now it's known that lead is bad for you.  It says here in my Encyclopedia that in Europe during    the "Middle" or "Dark" Ages they just dumped "Waste" out the window.                                       

    You can tell by it's scent that waste that comes out of our bodies is not good to smell.  It would make you sick if you had to smell it all of the time.  And that's what Mr. Steve told Daisy and        Millie.  I hear some Crows cawing out there in the eastern desert to my front.                                 

Mr. Steve told Daisy and that other Dog Millie what it says here in this Encyclopedia.  The "Invention" of "Sanitary" Plumbing has saved thousands, and maybe even millions of lives.  I     hope I never get a "Disease."  That would so bad.  But I'm really healthy now!                               

    From what it says here in this Encyclopedia, the plumbing systems of most modern buildings have two separate parts; just like the Romans had.  The "Supply" part of that system brings in    clean water and then the "Drainage" system takes it all away when it's too dirty.                                

     This is interesting.  I guess even when you drain away the dirty water the gasses can still come back into your house and make you sick.  So in the late 18th century a man in Scotland thought      of the idea of using what's called in this diagram an "S-shaped Trap pipe."                                  

    Looking at the diagram of a Trap pipe in this Encyclopedia I can see how water at the bottom of the "elbow" keeps the gasses from flowing back into the house.  Wow!  How did anyone even    think of such a thing?  That person must've been a genius.  I smell a Joshua tree.                            

                               

       MILLARD FILLMORE (1800-1874)             WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (1857-1930)

    Because Mr. Steve is interested in the history of the American "Presidency," over the next three days I'll write about some of the Presidents.  In the 19th century Millard Fillmore's wife      had the first plumbing installed in the "White House" where the Presidents family lives.               

       My boss Mr. Steve says this other President named William Howard Taft was so overweight he actually go stuck inside a bathtub one time.  He's the only President ever to also be a Judge or "Justice" on the United States "Supreme Court."  Boy!  He must've been really smart.                 

      I can smell for the first time this new year that one really old Joshua tree out there in the desert behind our three Sheds.  That's great!  I'm also starting to recognize the scents of some of the other things that survived the Winter so get to start another year.  Thank you God!                 

         When Mr. Steve worked for his friend Rick's Mechanical Contracting company back in the 1990's, one of the things he was responsible for was keeping track of "Inventory."  That means     the tools and parts.  They had every size of pipe; even really huge ones.                                            

    Oh!  I'll bet Daisy will be interested in learning about this.  My Encyclopedia says those special chairs in the Bathroom are called "Toilets."  They're part of the "Drainage System.  I can hear Dawn barking faintly over there next door right now.  But it's not her alarm bark.                

       Wow!  I guess as far back as the "Bronze Age" three thousand years ago toilets have been found by Archaeologists in India near the Indus River and that one Mediterranean Sea island called "Crete."  Dais has me scheduled to write more about Crete tomorrow.                                    

                                                                   SIR JOHN HARRINGTON (1561-1612)         

 

      This Encyclopedia says hitting the button so water can "wash away" the "waste" is called "flushing."  In 1596 this Englishman John Harrington invented a "Flush Toilet."  He was the       "Godson" of Queen Elizabeth I; who I'll be mentioning in the next three days.                                

       There's a good picture of that one guy John Harrington here in this Encyclopedia.  He had a pointy mustache and beard.  I've noticed how back in the 16th century people used to wear very  unusual styles in their clothes.  I've never seen Mr. Steve wear anything like that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

       For some reason my boss likes to give Daisy and myself nicknames.  So Daisy is his what they call "Chief Deputy." He seems to think that's funny.  But it fits her all right.  Daisy's not mean      but, as that old saying my boss told me goes, she's not one to "suffer fools" easily.                                                                                                                                                                                              From first through eighth grades Mr. Steve attended what they call a "Parochial" Catholic school called "Saint Ferdinand's."  And for much of that by his teachers were those ladies called Nuns.  Those Nuns are all dead but are "still alive in my head" he says.                                                       

       Mr. Steve says those Nuns who taught him back in in the 1960's were good, basically decent women who were "capable" and "principled" he says.  The other day he told me he had a dream about his sixth grade teacher whose name was Sister Rita Joseph.

       I have trust and respect for Daisy and take her advice seriously.  She has experience; both good and bad experience.  She and my Guardian Angel Stanley have kept me from making bad    decisions.  I tend to "shoot from the hip" as they say.  I haven't seen Lilith lately.                            

   

 

     Well Stanley, I haven't seen my bad Angel Lilith for a while.  Sometimes she shows up in my dreams just like Daisy's bad Angel Eddie does.  At times she seems so nice and I'm tempted to do the wrong thing like she tells me to do.  But most of the time I go ahead and resist her.  

  Oh!  A big gray Jackrabbit is running bye in front of the three Sheds right now.  If Lilith were here she'd try to make me want to chase after that Rabbit I'll bet.  But I wouldn't because I have all of my "priorities" straight today and I need to work on this first book.                                       

   I'll bet right now Daisy's good Angel Ramona is with her in the garage watching over her.  I can smell one of the Joshua trees.  And now the scent of some of the new Spring Sage plants just   floated in off of the eastern desert from behind our three Sheds.                                                        

      Hey God?  Since I've gotten here Dais has taught me a lot.  She thinks You do things for a purpose; even bad things which teach us to learn.  I now want to believe that my being brought over here was "meant to be."  I just smelled a Lizard around here somewhere.

      I think by far the most important thing I've learned from Daisy is just how to what they call "interpret" our boss's "body language." This may not seem important but, "when all is said and done" as they say, it's actually really important for the both of us. 

      Dais taught me when to whimper because that really gets Mr. Steve's attention.  But she told me we can't do it too much.  She says many males can't stand to see a female cry or feel sad so we have that going for us.  I've hardly whimpered at all lately.  I see the Lizard over there.  

      Because Mr. Steve hardly ever raises his voice even when he's mad at us, we look at how he's standing or moving his arms.  Daisy made me realize that when our boss is just waving or what's called "fluttering" his fingers this means he wants us to come closer. 

      I'm not afraid of Mr. Steve now.  Why, I now even jump and lean on him sometimes.  I never used to do that.  And I follow Mr. Steve around the yard.  It seems hard to believe but I even what they call "rough house" with him.  That Lizard just ran off.  I like looking at Lizards.

      When my boss first unloaded me from the car after grabbing me out of that field I was what they call "at a loss" as to what to do.  But then he crouched down a short distance from me and then reached toward me without looking me in the eye.  I felt more "at ease" as they say.

      Now I look my boss and Dais right in the eyes.  But to this day when strangers are standing above me and reaching their hands down toward me I cannot help but feel nervous.  That still seems so threatening to me.  But I'm becoming more trusting.  The Lizard is gone.

      There are times when Daisy and I think we both can almost "read" our boss's mind as they say.  Even though he tells us a lot of things there are times when he hardly talks at all.  Dais says she heard our neighbor describe Mr. Steve as "reserved."  I smell a Gopher.

      Dais and I know one thing for sure, if Mr. Steve makes this "chtt" sound it means for us to stop doing what we're doing.  If he says "shhh" that means be quiet. Daisy thinks it's so amazing how I have what our boss calls an "encyclopedic" memory.  Thank You God!

      And because we learn and remember things so well both Daisy and myself know all of Mr. Steve's whistles and phrases like; "Let me check your tummy."  I study Daisy's body language too.  She has no tail so I watch her head even closer.  There's the Gopher near the Sheds.

       Because Daisy is so hairy and has what they call a "Mane" like a male Lion, it's sort of hard to see her ears.  When I'm trying to hear things from far away my ears stand straight up in the air and my eyes narrow.  My tail also points upward and stays perfectly still.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've noticed that two words our boss sometimes uses are "Objective" and "Subjective." And in my subjective opinion Dais and I make a very good team!   After Mr. Steve's scent, Daisy's scent is the second I "associate" with arriving to live here in those first few minutes.

      Mr. Steve thinks there's no such thing as total objectivity free from all bias.  Hey God!  Some people who don't believe in You say only a strictly "rational" argument is objective.  But, as You know, my boss thinks everyone just process's things from a different subjective lens. 

      Hey Lord!  As You know of course, Mr. Steve says that science and rational thought are very important.  Only a Doctor can heal a person; even though You healed people through faith back in Your day.  Two of the Pigeons just flew bye; moving toward the desert to the northeast. 

      I sure do wish I could go back in time to see You heal someone Lord; even though I believe You did it and don't need to be like that one Apostle Thomas.  I'd just sort of like to meet You in person that's all.  And I know for sure Dais would like to meet Your mother.  

      Dais told me that Mr. Steve thinks what they call "Secular" people often operate from their own kind of faith.  And he believes Science and Religion are what's called "compatible;" or "two sides of the same coin" he says.  I just noticed how bright blue the sky is right now.

      I just looked up the word "complement" in my English Dictionary.  And one definition is "to make complete."  My boss thinks that oftentimes science provides "knowledge" while at other times religion can better provide "wisdom;" on a "Case by Case" basis he says.     

      I'll never forget smelling and seeing Daisy when our boss brought me here.  When he took me down from the car and then "deposited" me on the ground Dais was standing there.  She seemed confident and fearless, but nice too!  he Gopher is sticking his nose out of his hole. 

      I can also remember the first sounds I noticed when I got here! It was the cawing of these two Crows named "Fanny" and "Freddie."  They're a couple who live in our area.  The smell of our Ground Squirrels still reminds me of my first day here too.  Ah!  One just ran past.

     But on that first day I was so scared my mind was racing "a mile a minute" as Mr. Steve says.  At times Daisy says I'm too emotional and not logical enough.  But I've been working on that and feel like I'm really making good progress in that regard.  The Gopher is sniffing the air.

      Being around Daisy and my boss so much has influenced me to try not to react so quickly and think before I do something.  Now I do like Dais does.  I just take a deep breath and take my time. Daisy "ruminates" on an idea.  That Gopher just went back down his hole.

      Looking to the east towards our back half acre I just noticed Fannie and Freddie the Crows  sitting on a tree branch and looking over here in my direction.  I'll bet they're wondering what I'm doing.  They've probably never seen a Dog using a pencil before.

                     

     Crows have really good eyesight when they fly up high and look down for food.  Daisy would like to fly but not me.  Flying would be way too scary!  I prefer the safe feeling of being on what they call "solid ground."   I really like Fannie and Freddie the Crows.

      One of the funniest things I've ever seen was that one time when Dais and I were standing under a Joshua tree and Fannie went to the bathroom right on Daisy's head.  She rolled all over the place trying to get it off.  She didn't think it was funny.  Mr. Steve cleaned her off.

      Oh!  This other Crow named "Blackbeard" just landed.  Blackbeard has only one eye so my boss named him after Blackbeard the "Pirate."  He told me some Pirates from the late 17th and early 18th centuries wore eye patches to hide missing eyes.  I smell a Cholla cactus.

       Blackbeard is sitting on a Joshua tree behind our fence, out in the desert; and he's looking at me with his one good eye by tilting his head over to the left so he can see me.  Well, there he goes taking off and flying away out into the desert to the east; beyond our three Sheds.

      Blackbeard the Crow's left eye doesn't work any more.  Just like my boss, I enjoy looking at Birds; except Hawks that is.  Hawks can eat you if you're not careful.  They have really sharp claws and an even sharper beak.  Hawks have such mean eyes.  I don't like Hawks!

  

     I haven't seen any Hawks so far this year.  You'd know if one was around because all of the other Birds would be acting differently.  Mr. Steve told me that at one time there were probably these other Birds called Eagles around here.  My boss has a giant Condor feather!

     Fannie is now grooming her feathers.  It's so amazing how Crows can balance on the top of a Joshua Tree and not even fall off.  I see a lot of other smaller Birds zipping about in our back half acre behind our three Sheds.  And I just smelled a Gopher out there somewhere. 

      I guess I'm right-handed but someday I may try to be like my boss.  As a Baseball player he throws and bats both right and left-handed.  I just used my new English Dictionary to look up the word "ambidextrous."  Thank You for my Dictionaries Holy Spirit!

      Blackbeard the row is still sitting on that one Joshua tree.  Mr. Steve jokes that we should get Blackbeard an eye patch just like a real Pirate from the early 18th century.  It's white all around his dead eye and there's just an empty hole where his eyeball used to be. 

      Oh! Blackbeard's girlfriend Anne just landed.  Now she's looking in my direction.  A cool breeze just came in from the desert.  Mr. Steve calls Blackbeard's girlfriend "Anne Bonny;" the name of this one female Pirate who lived during the "Age of Pirates" in the late 1600's. 

 

                                                         ANNE BONNY (1700-1782)

     Many don't know that there was such a thing as a girl Pirate.  But as my boss says; "wherever males go you're likely to find females."  In this Encyclopedia there's a good picture of that girl Anne Bonny.  She's shooting a gun and even has an axe hanging from her belt too.

      From what it says here Anne Bonny was married to a Pirate so she went with him and helped him in being a Pirate.  I'll bet she was a good fighter.   Oh wow!  She probably lived to be eighty years old and had eight children.  Most male Pirates died really young.

      I remember that time when Mr. Steve said one of Billy the Kid's fake names in New Mexico was William Bonney.  Just like that girl Anne Bonny, Billy the Kid was Irish.  But he spelled his name a little different.  My Dictionary says "alias" means; "an assumed name."

      Later today and also tomorrow I'm scheduled to write about that guy Billy the Kid.  He had a really interesting life and is important in the history of the States of New Mexico and Arizona. But he also had kind of a sad life too.  He was small so was "Bullied"  a lot.

      According to my boss the history of life on Earth has been greatly influenced by what he calls the "resourcefulness" of females trying to help their male partners; especially in human beings.  In our own family this is what he calls an "observable" truth.  I want to be like that! 

      My boss thinks Blackbeard the Crow may have lost his eye in one of his fights with other male Crows. Boy, Crows sure do seem to fight an awful lot.  Mr. Steve thinks Blackbeard might have lost that eye fighting over the right to be Anne Bonney's life partner. 

      Last year Blackbeard and Anne had three baby Crows.  But only one survived and he's the biggest Crow I've ever seen.  I see him all the time.  Mr. Steve named him "Samson" because he's larger than most Crows and seems stronger too.  I just smelled a Joshua tree. 

      I haven't seen Samson this morning.  And one thing you know is that when you see Samson you're very likely to see his girlfriend "Delilah."  She what's called his "mate."  Mr. Steve had  originally named Samson "Goliath;" but then Delilah started hanging around him.   

      My boss says females have always been one of the most important things in the lives of males. I remember that time he said he thought in human history it seems like males would be "lost" without the "softening"  influence of females.  Dais and I want to agree with him.

      Well, there goes Fannie and Freddie flying away.  And now Anne Bonny just flew away too. This is such a good morning for starting my writing project.  When I see, smell or hear all of our local Crows it always makes me feel so good.  It makes me feel like I belong here.

     When Mr. Steve first got me down from the car and let me out here on our property Daisy was just standing there in her usual way; with what police or military people call a "command presence."  Mr. Steve also gave me that same impression.  I smell a Snake around here. 

     Looking back on it now, in those first few minutes it seemed as though both Daisy and my boss were a lot taller than they really are.  Of course, I was so afraid about what was happening to me that I was what they call "hugging the ground" as they say.  I see the Snake.

     My boss once told me there's an old song from the time of the American Revolutionary War called "The World Turned Upside Dawn."  But that was in a bad sense.  For me, that's how I felt too but it's turned out to be for the better.  I was just hoping no one would hurt me!  

     On that first day Daisy looked at me but I was too scared to look back.  Usually looking right into another Dog's eyes is like a challenge and could end up in a fight.  But now we look at each other in the eyes all the time.  Daisy's losing her eyesight.  The Snake crawled away.

     When I first came over here Dais tried to sniff my rear and introduce herself to me.  But my mind was just swirling and going in a million directions as I tried to figure out just what exactly was happening to me.  But now we sniff each others rear ends all the time! 

      I still remember fondly the smell of Daisy's rear end when I first was put on the ground here.  I knew right away a lot about her from that first sniff.  I even knew she couldn't have babies by how she had been fixed.  Dais and I also like to smell each others mouth's too.

      As Mr. Steve put took me out of the car I tried to make some sense out of my unbelievably weird situation.   Daisy tried to lick my face so I knew she was welcoming me and I could be less  scared.  Now I lick Daisy's face to show her I trust and respect her.  I love good old Dais!

      I still sometimes have dreams about those first few minutes when I started living over here.  There are times when I wonder if I dream more than other Dogs.  Mr. Steve seems to think that dreams are very important and now so do Daisy and I.  I don't like nightmares though! 

      Oh wow!  Just when I was about to write about him I just heard Heathcliff the Rooster crow next door. Last night I had a dream about him.  In my dream I tried to lick Heathcliff's face but he kept poking me really hard with his sharp beak.  I like hearing Heathcliff. 

     Now Daisy and I sniff each other all the time but on that very first day I didn't know if I was being what's called "kidnapped."  You know, you can tell a lot about someone just by smelling them; especially their rear.  I often know where Dais has been just by sniffing around her.  

 

     Fannie and Freddie the Crows are flying bye up above me.  They're coming back in from the desert to the east; moving toward the west.  Fannie and Freddie are now very familiar voices to us around here.  My boss Mr. Steve calls them "Fanny Mae" and "Freddie Mack." 

      Fanny and Freddie will spend a good part of the day doing what's called "foraging" for food and water.  They know that the Bird bath in front of my boss's office window is filled with water. Ah!  I just picked up the strong scent of a Snake somewhere around here. 

     Daisy says she thinks that pretty soon Fannie and Freddie's son Samson, and his girlfriend Delilah, will start having their own what they call "offspring."  Boy, those baby Birds above me are starting to chirp louder!  I hope Bonnie and Clyde get back soon.

      Those little Birds sound like they're hungry but there's nothing I can do.  Unfortunately for them, at this point in their lives they're what's called "helpless" and "dependent."  But as Daisy says, at least they have a nice nest to live in.  Aha!  I see the Snake over there.

      Dais is right.  To "a certain extent" as they say, both of us are sort of dependent on our boss to give us some food and water.  That Snake is one of those Gopher Snakes.  It looks from here like it's about three feet long.  It just crawled under Manny the far right Shed.   

     Daisy and I are so lucky!  This morning along with our regular canned and dry food we had  leftovers.  It tasted so good!  I'm already thinking about dinner.  Daisy and I really like it when Mr. Steve mixes in old human food with our normal food. I smell a Lizard.

      We even had Chicken this morning!  I just love food.  It's definitely one of my favorite things in life!  And now Daisy and I learned this morning about that new meat called "Spam."  It was by far the best taste Daisy and myself have ever tasted!  I see the Lizard near the tree.

      Hey God?  Was it You who arranged for our boss to put that Spam in our food bowls on this particular day?  Well, even if You didn't that's okay.  But it just seems like too much of what they call a "coincidence."  You know what I mean?  Oh! Of course You do. 

     When I was brought here the only thought in my mind was to escape.  I was panicking!  I just wanted to run away but, thank goodness, we have these things called "fences."  On that very first day here I ran around like a "Chicken with my head cut off" as they say. 

      Daisy says it's true that when they cut off the head of some Chickens they still keeps running around!  I don't think I'd ever want to see something like that.  It would just be too scary!  But I do like to eat Chicken when Mr. Steve gives it to us.  Daisy likes the taste of Chicken too.

     When I realized that there was no escape I curled up in what's called a "fetal" position in the northwest corner of our land.  For a few days Mr. Steve had to come all the way out there to feed and give me water.  But Daisy convinced me not to be afraid.    

     Daisy and I now live together on the two "fenced in" acres of our boss's land.  Daisy kids me now because I've come to think of our two acres of as what's called my "safe haven."  She knows   I wouldn't leave our property for any reason.  No way!  That Lizard ran away.

     "Wild Horses" couldn't drag me out of here as that old saying goes.  This is my home and I'll defend it no matter what!  This band from England called the Rolling Stones have a really good song about wild Horses not being able to drag you away my boss says. 

      Someday I want to hear that Rolling Stones song.  One of my favorite things to do is hearing and learning about new things.  Because Mr. Steve likes music now so do I.  So far my favorite musical instruments I like the sound of are flute and harmonica.

     After breakfast we usually rest.  I'll bet Daisy's in the garage near the entrance to our Utility Room; sitting or laying on one of her blankets.  And if she's sitting up she's probably licking her paws because of what Mr. Steve calls her "arthritis."  Daisy's sort of old.

     To help Daisy with her arthritis our boss puts this thing called a "pill" or "aspirin" in her food. This works for a little while but, Daisy never complains.  She tries to "set a good example" and, just as our boss does, accepts pain as a normal part of life. 

      Dais has taught me so many things. And our boss teaches us things too.  Daisy thinks it's very important to always keep an "Open Mind" to learning.  Our boss does.  He tells us if he's wrong about something he'll change his mind.  Few things are "Set in Stone" as they say. 

      Hanging around Daisy I pick up her way of thinking; and we both are influenced by how Mr. Steve thinks.  One thing our boss believes is that we should try to deal with things the way they are and not as we would want them to be.  We say the Saint Francis' prayer.

      Our boss Mr. Steve has been selling what they call "Apparel" and "Promotional Products" to Auto Dealerships for over ten years.  One of his customers is named Phillip.  He's originally from England.  He calls it "U.K."  Apparel means "clothing."  I just looked it up.

      Mr. Phillip is what they call a "Parts Manager" for a "Honda" dealership in "upstate" New York.  He's been a customer of my boss for many years.  "U.K." stands for "United Kingdom."  My boss told me Mr. Phillip is a really nice person.  I smell a Joshua tree.

      One time that man Mr. Phillip and our boss were talking about how hard life sometimes can be.  Mr. Steve told me that he still recalls Mr. Phillip saying; "There are times when all you can do is simply get on with it."  Daisy agrees with that idea and now so do I.

      Mr. Steve told me one time that people from England have certain phrases they use which us Americans don't.  One of them is "Let's give it a go."  That means to try to do something.  My boss mainly sells that man Mr. Phillip Honda hats but also Ice Scrapers too.  

      I know that life is not always fair but I still like to hope for things to be perfect; even though I know they never will be.  I'm what they call an "Optimist!  But Daisy and our boss at times can be kind of what they call "Pessimists."  Mr. Steve jokes he's "relatively optimistic."

      Usually during the day I spend a lot of time up in the big area in front of our house.  But for the next three days most of my time will be spent back here on this old couch.  As Dais told me, for the next three days I have to be disciplined.  And I will be too. Guaranteed!

       Oh my God!  Just when I was thinking about how I can't be distracted from my writing a Roadrunner just jogged by.  My first "instinct" is to chase and run after something which is moving away from me.  But for the next three days I'm not going to. 

       Even though I'd really like to go chase that Roadrunner I've got to resist the temptation or I'll never get finished with my three books.  I'll just try to stay calm the way Dais does and not react too quickly the way I usually do.  I kind of like the way Roadrunners look. 

OUR FRONT YARD

       

       I wonder what Dais is doing?  I'll bet she's near the front "Driveway" which is made up of "Gravel."  Gravel is small rocks.  For the next three days Daisy is going to "keep an eye on" the front yard.  She'll "cover" for me as I write my three books.  Thank You God for Daisy.

     Dais knows that for the next three days I'll be back here doing my writing.  So she'll stay up front so I'll have my what they call "Privacy.  I love the front area of our land.  But for the next three days I'll spend most of the time back here.  I hear a lot of Birds singing.

     This is great!  I think I'm going to like learning to read and write.  This is the second chapter of what I plan on being twelve chapters in each of my three books.  Boy, looking at my outline for the second chapter it looks like it will be longer than the first chapter.  I smell a Mouse.

     I'll bet right now Dais is either sitting on the cement "slab" in front of the garage; or is in the back of the garage lying on her blankets.  We all have our "well-established" patterns and habits around here that's for sure.  But we like it that way.  It makes us feel comfortable.

      From the end of the cement slab in front of the garage out to the front gate is our driveway of Gravel.  Small rocks hurt Daisy's feet to walk on so she tries to avoid walking or running on our driveway.  But not me!  I even run fast on it!  Aha!  I see the Field Mouse over there.

    Dais and I guard our territory.  It's what we'd like to believe we were meant to do.  I really do like guarding.  I'm good at it!  Daisy thinks at times I tend I go a bit too far in trying to impress our boss.  She says I should try to be more of what they call "moderate." 

     We call Mr. Steve our "boss."  Daisy also calls him "Chief."  I'm starting to call him that too but I still feel more comfortable just calling him boss.  That's what I've always called him and I'm a "Creature of  Habit;" as are Mr. Steve and Daisy too.  The Mouse ran away.  

     At night, when Mr. Steve sleeps Dais and I are more alert.  We "Patrol" what Mr. Steve calls the "Perimeter."  Daisy's careful and thoughtfulShe thinks before she does anything.  And I'm trying to learn to be more like her but it's kind of hard.  I tend to "jump the gun." 

      Mr. Steve likes how Daisy and I seem to "complement" one another even though we have two totally different personalities.  I'm kind of "High Strung" while Dais is calm.  I have a tendency to be "jumpy" while Daisy is the exact opposite.  Oh!  I smell some new Sagebrush.

      A while back this kid named Jason brought his guitar to our house to "Jam" or play music with our boss on drums.  Jason noticed how much different Daisy and I were so jokingly asked Mr. Steve what songs would best characterize our opposite personalities.

  

                                                                      ROXY MUSIC

 

      When that kid Jason asked Mr. Steve about what songs would represent Dais and myself our boss chuckled and had to think about it for a moment.  And then Dais says, he sort of laughed and picked songs by two totally different type of British bands.  I hear Birds singing.

      Mr. Steve said; "Magg is quirky like ROXY MUIC so the flittering oboe on their song called "Virginia Plain" fits her.  The way she jumps around I can visualize her dancing to that song."  Jason laughed when Mr. Steve played Virginia Plain for him on his Stereo Dais says.

      Daisy told me that when she  heard that song Virginia Plain she did think the oboe reminded her of me.  Now I really want to hear that song.  It's too bad I'm afraid to go into his Bedroom to listen to music Dais says.  I sure hope someday Mr. Steve plays it out here on his Boombox. 

      When our boss played Virginia Plain on the Stereo in his Bedroom he played it so loud Daisy told me.  It' sounded good she says.  Now Dais is a big fan of Roxy Music and so would I be too she thinks.  Someday I've got to get over my fear of going in the house she says.   

      Dais says then Mr. Steve told Jason for her a JUDAS PRIEST song called "You Got Another Thing Coming" fits.  He said in her old age she's selective as to when she runs but when she does resembles a "German Panzer Tank."  Jason laughed.  Daisy was embarrassed.

         

                                                                      JUDAS PRIEST

 

      When someone is at the front gate Daisy and I go to meet them.  I run up ahead and bark frantically while Daisy "Brings up the Rear" so to speak.  I speed up while Daisy lumbers behind me.  We give a "Good Impression" of being threatening.  They always see Daisy first.

      Daisy weighs over one hundred pounds.  And when she fluffs herself up she looks twice as big as she really is.  Daisy has a mane like a male Lion.  She told me she noticed how, a lot of times if males make themselves look bigger than they are; they can avoid violence.

       I run a lot faster than Daisy.  But sometimes I slow down to run alongside her.  When we're running "Side by Side" Mr. Steve says we look "formidable."  He's reminded of how those two guitarists from JUDAS PRIEST are so powerful as a team.  I want to be on a team! 

       When I run alongside Daisy I can "Take Advantage Of" the sense of confidence she projects. I feel more courageous an confronting an unknown situation when Dais is around.  We're a good team Dais and myself.  Hey God!  Someday I'll have to be the leader like Daisy.

     I finally heard that song You Got Another Thing Coming by Judas Priest.  Mr. Steve played it on his Boombox when he did yard work one morning.  If he does yard work tomorrow I sure do hope he plays it again; loud!  That song made me feel more energetic when I heard it.   

     When Judas Priest was playing on his Boombox I understood why Mr. Steve jokingly picked You Got Another thing Coming to represent Daisy.  She still has a lot of power and reminds our boss of a little Steam Roller.  Oh!  I just smelled one of the new Sage plants.

      That kid Jason said the first time he pulled up at our front gate and called Mr. Steve in the house he hesitated in seeing me charging toward him barking excitedly.  But the sight of Daisy  moving toward him really made him "Stop and Think."  But now we like him. 

       From what Dais told me that kid Jason liked the song Virgina Plain so much he listens to it now on his "Smart Phone."  And after that he and Mr. Steve played along to You Got Another Thing Coming a few times.  Oh!  A small Gray Jackrabbit  just sprinted bye. 

      Since he's been a kid my boss has liked reading about the American Civil War which was in the mid-19th century.  He says it was the United States' "bloodiest" war.  In about five years of fighting almost seven hundred thousand died!  Boy, I sure hope we never have a war. 

      My boss jokingly calls Daisy his "methodical old warhorse."  I now know that's because this   "Confederate" General named Robert E. Lee called this other guy named James Longstreet that during the Civil War.  My boss says James Longstreet, like Dais, is "reliably consistent." 

                       

       ROBERT E. LEE (1807-1870) WITH SONS                           JAMES LONGSTREET (1821-1904)

       My Encyclopedia has a picture of James Longstreet in an "Oblong" circle.  For a few years Mr. Steve worked "Printing" photographs in what they call "Dark Rooms."  And at times he used "Masks" to make roundish images like General Longstreet's.

       This Encyclopedia says that during the Civil War Robert E. Lee often relied on the judgement of what they call his "Subordinates."  He really trusted this one man named Thomas "Stonewall " Jackson;" and James Longstreet too.  I just looked up the word subordinate.

       Mr. Steve owns two and a half acres.  Two acres where we live are what's called "Fenced In."  Half an acre to the east, behind the three Sheds in front of me, is our desert.  Birds, Lizards and other things live out there.  Mr. Steve kind of likes walking around in the desert.

      Our neighbors also have two and half acres right next to us.  But their back half acre is now a "Corral."   I'm going to write about this Mule named Molly who lived over there until she died a while back.  Right now in the Corral I see this old Horse named Libby eating some "Hay."

      

                                                 ROBERT E. LEE ON "TRAVELER"

 

      What a coincidence!  Just as I'm seeing Libby over there eating from her "Food Troth" what do I see in this Encyclopedia?  There's a really good picture of that guy Robert E. Lee on a gray Horse named "Traveller."  Oh!  I can smell that old Joshua tree near Libby's Corral.

      This picture of Robert E. Lee was originally a Black and White photograph.  But it was what they call "painted."  For a few years Mr. Steve had a "Dark Room" in his house down in Sylmar and at times painted "Prints" on "Silk" paper that had to be "Dried Out." 

       I'll write about a lot of famous Horses in my three books; and Dogs too.  In my third book on Saturday I'm going to write about a Horse named "Trigger."  Trigger belonged to a man named Roy Rogers; who lived about forty miles to the east of us.  Oh!  Libby's looking over here.   

      In thinking about how Robert E. Lee was complemented by men like Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet, I remember Mr. Steve saying how in the Buddhist religion they believe in the "inevitable" cycle of "Yin" and "Yang."  I hear some Pigeons cooing above me.

      As I understand my boss saying it; Yin represents dark and cold, Yang light and warm. This "Concept" is "Symbolized" by a full circle of two sides; one black and the other white.  Mr Steve kind of thinks of Yin and Yang as representing life or even "Nature."  I smell Sage.

                                               

  

      My Encyclopedia says the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism started out in India but then spread to China and other areas.  The Yin and Yang "Logo" has a white teardrop with a black dot and a white teardrop with a black dot.  Together they represent "Reality."

       One time Mr. Steve met a nice Chinese lady at a "Brunch."  She said she wanted to think of the Yin and Yang logo as symbolizing "Nature."  So ever since then Mr. Steve told me; he's also tended to see that logo as representing nature too.  He's drawn that logo a few times. 

      Another logo that my boss told me about is called an "Ankh."  It comes from the time of the ancient Egyptians.  The Ankh symbolizes "life" and is shown all over the tombs where the Kings and Queens were buried.  Daisy says Mr. Steve has drawn Ankhs in many forms.

 

 

       Dais told me Mr. Steve has things hanging above the desk in his office; like a little mirrored "Disco" ball he made in High School.  These things called "Chimes" make music if  the window is open and a breeze comes in.  A Yin / Yang medal and an Ankh hang there too. 

     My boss thinks Daisy and I complement one another.  And just as James Longstreet and also "Stonewall" Jackson were the perfect "Yins" to Robert E. Lee's "Yang" during the Civil War, he tells me I should also try to be Daisy's perfect "right-hand man." 

     I'm scheduled to write in more detail about the American Civil War tomorrow in book two.  But throughout the next three days I'll refer to that guy Robert E. Lee.  That's mainly because I know Mr. Steve thinks highly of him; even though he was what they call a "Rebel."

          I am trying to be Daisy's good assistant; even though I'm a girl and not a man. I'll just have to be Daisy's "right-hand girl!"  I'll try hard to learn as much as I can from her so when someday I'm the leader I'll know what to do.  I can smell a Cholla cactus. 

     Daisy and I each have our strength's and weakness's our boss says.  He jokingly nicknamed me “Omega” while Daisy he calls “Alpha.” We're his "girls."  The thing we want most in life is to make him happy.  His opinion is ultimately the most important thing. 

      Sometimes I think about that quote Daisy told me a while back.  She said one of Robert E. Lee's soldiers wrote; "I'd charge the gates of Hell if old Master Robert told me to do it."  I sort of think the same way.  I'd do anything to protect my boss.  A Crow cawed.   

     I'll never forget how, when I first got here Dais welcomed me with "Open Arms;" or paws in her case.  Right away she took me "Under her Wing" and now treats me just like her "long lost" younger sister.   Thank You God for making Daisy feel like that about me!     

     At first Daisy showed me around.  I felt like that old saying; "A stranger in a strange land."  But Dais taught me what my rights and responsibilities were and what was expected of me. I also learned from her where all of the best breezes come in off of the desert. 

     I don't like to brag but, if I do say so myself, I'm a very fast learner!  I do always remember exactly whatever others tell me.  Dais thinks I might just have a what's called a "photographic" memory and I'm starting to believe her.  I do want to remember things my boss likes. 

      Dais says Mr. Steve has been called a "Quick Study." He's had a number of jobs and at times he was the one who "hired" or "fired."  In interviews with "prospective" employees he wanted  to hear them say "I'm dependable;" but also that "I learn things really fast."

      Even though he's not an Office Manager any more Mr. Steve still lets former employees use him as what they call a "Reference."  Sometimes people call him about someone and he gives a "good report" as they say.  He tells them the truth about that person. 

      I really want my boss to think that I'm reliable and learn things quickly.  Daisy says if we do that Mr. Steve will keep us around.  But I have to calm down and be more like her.  Sometimes I think about things too much.  I have to learn to  relax more.  I smell Sage.  

      Over the years my boss has had a number of jobs.  During part of the 1980's he worked for this company called "California Sports Inc."  They owned the Basketball Lakers, Hockey Kings, Soccer Lazers and the Team Tennis Strings.  I can hear some Pigeons cooing. 

      I don't know why but the sound of Pigeon cooing seems to relax me somehow.  Dais feels the same way.  But we also like to listen to all of the Birds who live around here.  Like right now I think I hear one of those Birds called "Wrens" out there somewhere in the eastern desert.

      Back in the 1980's Mr. Steve's job at California Sports was to sell what are called "Season Tickets;" as well as "advertising" in all of the different magazines or "Programs."  But during that time he also was able to work as what they call a "Photographer." 

     

 

                                                                     PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

  

     The Lakers were a really winning team back in the 1980's.  Now they look back on that time as "Show Time" because the Lakers were a fast-running team.  Mr. Steve told me that they were an "exciting" team to watch.  I can smell that there's a Lizard somewhere around here.

      As good as the Lakers were back in the 1980's; Mr. Steve says, sadly, the Ice Hockey Kings were proportionately as bad.  Both wore purple as their primary color and white and yellow as their secondary colors.  Dais says our boss took pictures during that "Era."

 

 PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA

    

       Because Mr. Steve sells what they call "Apparel" he's "conscious" of colors "more than most" as they say.  He likes purple which is not a "Stock" color.  He also likes the color of "Teal" which is greenish-blue.  My boss has a "Soft Spot" for the Kings old uniforms.

     One of Mr. Steve's friends is named Rick.  They've known each other for most of their lives.  They met each other at "Saint Ferdinands" which is in the city of San Fernando.  My boss was in second grade.  A Ground Squirrel just sprinted past in front of Moe the middle Shed.

      Rick is in the "Mechanical Contracting" field.  Mr. Steve told me that means plumbing and other things like that.  Over the years my boss has worked for Rick; sometimes on the phone and at other times "coordinating" things at the job site.  He's also done artwork for Rick.

      I love to learn; mainly because Mr. Steve and Dais like to learn.  I like to do whatever they like to do. At first I just imitated Daisy but more and more I've come to think for myself.  But if I'm trying to decide what to do I think; "What would Daisy do?"  I smell a Joshua tree.

        When I first came here to live I really didn't have what they call "self-assurance."  But I can honestly say that the more I hang around Dais the more "self-confidence" I get.  Like I'm very confident that I can write these three books even if there's some mistakes.

     Now I've decided that I want to teach others, just like my boss and Daisy have taught me so many things.  I'm going to write my three books mainly to practice reading and writing but I also want to teach.  What was that old saying Mr. Steve told me the other day? 

      Lately my boss has been reading about ancient Greece.  In college he mainly studied history but another thing he studied was a subject called "philosophy."  The ancient Greeks had three of the most famous philosophers of all time; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. 

            

                                                            SOCRATES (469-399 B.C.)

     What was that saying Mr. Steve told me the other day?  Oh yes!  He said Socrates, just before being put to death, stated; "To know, is to know that you know nothing.  That is the meaning of knowledge."  Daisy really agrees with that statement and so does our boss. 

      Hey Lord!  As You know, my boss taught me that, in dating things, "B.C." and "A.D." means "Before Christ" while "A.D." is Latin for "Anno Domini" or "In the year of our Lord."  Three small Birds are flying bye right now; way up there high in the light blue sky.

      From what my boss told me, there are some people who prefer to use the letters "B.C.E." and "C.E." or "Before the common era and "Common era in dating things.   I sort of like B.C. and A.D. better so I plan on using them in my three books.  I hear so many Birds chirping.

      Mr. Steve thinks sometimes the more you learn about a certain subject the more it "seems to unfold out in layers that you never knew about."  He knows a lot about the history of California but admits that no one could ever possibly "know it all."  I smell a new Jackrabbit.

     Lord, You know my boss and Dais like to share knowledge and now so do I. That's one reason I'm learning to read and write.  Also, someday I really want to be known as the smartest Dog in the whole world!  Then, hopefully, others will listen to me.  Ah!  I see the Jackrabbit.

     The main reason I want to learn how to read and write is so that Mr. Steve and Daisy will be proud of me.  But I'd also like to teach others too.  Mr. Steve says he's lucky that when he was growing up his parents and other adults taught him the value of learning.

     My boss tries to learn at least one new thing every day.  Dais and I try to do this too.  In fact,  we try to learn more than just one thing.  That Jackrabbit is near Manny the far right Shed.  He must be new around here.  You know, I haven't seen any Hawks around so far this year.

     Mr. Steve jokes he's lucky Daisy and I are “smarter than the average Dogs.”  We're like that one tv character Yogi Bear who was "smarter than the average Bear."  You know, Daisy does at times look just like a furry little Bear!   But Daisy doesn't have sharp claws.

     Because we so want to impress our boss and make him proud of us Dais and I listen closely to him because we want to learn new things.  Secretly, I've been writing a lot of things down on my three outlines lately.  That one Jackrabbit just ran fast out into the eastern desert. 

      I guess you could say that, "in the final analysis" as they say, Daisy and I like to learn new things is mainly because we're just curious about things like Mr. Steve is.  Ah!  Now I can smell a Lizard somewhere.  A nice cool breeze just brought in the scent of a Joshua tree.

     Even though I'm still kind of afraid to go into the house, on Saturday mornings Dais and I go in the Living Room to watch our cartoons.  But I can only feel comfortable if Mr. Steve leaves the front door is left wide open.  I really don't like being "Boxed In" as they say. 

      No one can get behind me where I can't smell, hear or see them; except now for Daisy and my boss of course.  I trust them but no one else.  No way.  I just don't like it.  Hey God!  I will someday get over my fear of going all the way down the Hallway like Dais does.

      Blessed Mother?  Will You help me to go all the way down the Hallway in the house so I can see the Bedrooms and Mr. Steve's Office?  As You know I really want to be able to do it the way Daisy does and that other Dog Millie who I replaced used to do.  I can smell Sage.

     One of my "Role Models" is this really smart Dog named "Mr. Peabody."  He's also curious about life and he sure knows a lot about history.  Dais likes to watch the cartoons of this cute Dog called "Underdog."  She thinks he's so great; and good-looking too!  I see a Lizard.

                                                                                                                                                                              

   Daisy admires Underdog and I admire Mr. Peabody.  He speaks eight languages!  He's so calm and sophisticated. And Mr. Peabody has this boy named Sherman.  Sherman's kind of smart but not as smart as "Mr. Know It All;" which is what Sherman calls his boss.  

     Mr. Peabody was probably the smartest Dog in history!  He even graduated from this really famous College called Harvard and can walk on two legs! And he's so clever and funny in the way he uses his words.  Mr. Steve says they're called "Puns."  My boss went to College!

     In one way Mr. Peabody and Sherman were both so lucky!  They had this amazing thing called a "Way Back" machine which allowed them to travel back in time.  I sure wish we had what Mr. Steve calls a "Time Machine."  That would be so great!  I smell a Jackrabbit.

     If I had a Time Machine the first thing I'd do is go back to see who my parents were.  Daisy would rather travel to the future so we would know how our lives are going to turn out!  If he could, I'll bet our boss would go back to the 1500's, or the 16th century.                                                        

    

     Daisy's lucky she knew her mother.  But because I was thrown out in that field before I got to know my mom Daisy thinks I've what they call "imprinted" on our boss as my mother.  She says that's why I seem to have bonded with Mr. Steve so much.  There's the Jackrabbit.

      One of my goals in life is to someday be as smart as Mr. Peabody.  I hope to be the first Dog ever to write a book.  In fact, I plan on writing three books.  Oh! And I also want to prove that a female can do almost anything a male can do.  That Jackrabbit ran into the desert.

      Oh wow!  I just looked up and noticed one of those Dragonflies fly past.  That one seems to be really big.  It's the biggest Dragonfly I've ever seen!  Wait until I tell Daisy.  Maybe I should put all my things away and run to the garage to tell her?   Nah, maybe later.

     That big Dragonfly is kind of shiny blue.  Some Dragonflies are dark purple.  I sure do hope there aren't too many Wasps, Bees and Bugs around this year.  I'm still sort of afraid of Bugs that sting. I really hope there aren't so many Flies or Mosquitos to bother us this year. 

                       

   

    Dragonflies don't even look like real Dragons.  I wonder how they got their name?  I know one thing; they sure are fast fliers.  I hope to never get stung by a Dragonfly.  I'll bet being stung by a Dragonfly would really hurt.  I avoid Bees, Wasps and things like that.

     Mr. Steve taught Daisy and me that females are very important.  He thinks males cannot live without good, decent females around he says.  Over the years my boss has owned other Cats and Dogs.  He says he likes both males and females but now prefers females like us.  

     You might say I want to eventually be just like Mr. Peabody.  He's such a good teacher, like my boss and Daisy are.  But one difference that I noticed between myself and Mr. Peabody and Sherman is that I don't wear those things called "Glasses."  A Sparrow is singing.

      Sometimes I wonder what I'd look like in glasses?  Mr. Steve wears glasses.  Daisy more and more is starting to need glasses.  I've noticed that Daisy's eyesight is getting worse.  But I've also noticed that her hearing and sense of smell are actually improving. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                           OUR FAMILY OF THREE

       I can tell by where the Sun is that it's about nine thirty.  I can see that it will take about one hour to write each chapter.  Even though I'm not hungry right now I wonder when Mr. Steve will give us our first snack for the day?  Maybe he'll give us some of that Spam! 

      Based on the outlines I've made out I figure each of my three books will be twelve chapters.  I just took a break and went to drink some water but now I going to "buckle down" and work for the next few hours until mid-day.  I want to write about Mr. Steve's family history.

      Dais likes songs about families and told me about these singers who call their group SISTER SLEDGE.  She says they're four sisters from this city back east called "Philadelphia" and like us believe in what they call "Family Values."  All of them graduated from College.

                                                                     SISTER SLEDGE

  

      Mr. Steve has known his friend Rick since Rick's family moved out here to California from a city called "Pittsburgh."  Rick was eight and Mr. Steve was seven.  Pittsburgh is in the state of Pennsylvania just like Philadelphia is.  I'll write about Pittsburgh more later. 

      Rick's wife is named "Linda."  My boss says Rick and Linda have been together since High School and have three kids; Ricky Jr., Nicole and Gino.  Sadly, Gino died a few years ago or he would most likely be playing Baseball in the Major League's now.

      A while back Mr. Steve had a dream about Rick's father.  He also died.  He was a funny man. Rick's mom is a very nice lady; as is his sister Michelle.  Another time Mr. Steve had a dream about when they used to go swimming in Rick's family's pool.  I smell a Joshua tree.  

     Rick's favorite Baseball team is the Pittsburgh "Pirates."  In 1979 they won the World Series and their "Theme" song was SISTER SLEDGE'S "We Are Family."  Dais says that back in 1974 SISTER SLEDGE went over to Africa to do a concert with this guy named James Brown.

   

  FOREMAN / ALI (ZAIRE-1974)

   

        Daisy says the reason SISTER SLEDGE went over to Africa to do a concert was because it was part of the "Festivities" surrounding a really famous Boxing match called the "Rumble in the Jungle."  In that fight Muhammad Ali beat this other guy named George Foreman.

     Since being "taken in" by my boss I've come to appreciate my situation.  Life can be a hard struggle, full of stress.  My boss says "Cold-Blooded."  Nothing is ever perfect but, I now know for sure that the "grass" is not always “greener on the other side."  A Crow cawed. 

    The other day Mr. Steve said to Daisy and myself; "You can't have your cake and eat it too." But I don't understand that saying.  Why would you take a piece of cake if you then didn't want to eat it too?  Maybe I'm just missing something?   I'll have to think about that.

     Daisy thinks that old saying might mean that you can't have it both ways; or that you can't have it all.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if she turns out to be right.  She so often is.  One thing about Daisy; she's really good at figuring things out.  I smell a Cholla cactus.

     I wonder what time Mr. Steve will give Dais and I our first snack?  Maybe not for a while so I have plenty of time to work on my first book.  I plan on getting a lot done today because it's such a sunny day and there will be twelve hours of daylight.  Thank You God.

      Dais thinks one of our jobs is to make our boss happy when he feels sad; or even when he's not sad.  But most of the time he's not sad or overly happy either.  Daisy told me she heard this man describe our boss as "even-keeled" but we don't understand what that means. 

      At times I must admit that I still feel kind of sad.  But then Daisy and Mr. Steve make me feel better.    I remember when Daisy told me about being grateful.  She said, even though there's no such thing as perfection, compared to other Dogs we've got it pretty good.

      This morning Mr. Steve, just like he always does on this first day of Spring,  joked with Dais and me by saying; "Happy New Year!"  Daisy, like our boss, is usually calm.  But this morning I saw her get kind of excited.  That made me excited.  I always like what she likes! 

         

    Dais told me that inside our house our boss has these astounding things called clocks. Can you imagine that!  Machines to keep track of time!  But, since I don't know how to tell time yet I'll just have to do like Daisy taught me; I'll watch as the Sun rises in the sky. 

      Another thing Daisy is really good at is studying the Moon and Stars at night in order to tell time.  Last night, as usual, we looked at the Moon.  Dais and I know about how people have gone up to the Moon.  In fact, I kind of feel like writing it about right now.

  

 

        According to my Encyclopedia the first men to walk on the Moon were Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin.  And they did it on June 20, 1969.  Mr. Steve was fourteen then.  Wow!  This is so amazing!  Those "Astronauts" went about one million miles to get up to the Moon.

       This is interesting.  Three other Astronauts had already been killed by 1969 in what's called the "Apollo" program.  It says here that the Apollo 11 "Spacecraft" that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon was made out of three parts or "Modules."

   

 JOSEPH STALIN (1878-1953)

   

   I guess Russia, or the "Soviet Union" as it was called then, were "Allies" of the United States during World War II.  The "U.S.S.R." was a "Communist" or "Socialist" country and was led by a man named Joseph Stalin.  I hear some Crows cawing out in the eastern desert.

      After the Soviet Union helped us defeat Germany, Italy and Japan back in 1945 they became enemies during the "Cold War" which lasted until about 1989.  My Encyclopedia says the reason it was "cold" is because there was no actual shooting.  But they were "competitors."

      I know from the months Dais and I spent putting together my outlines that for the next three days I'll learn and then write about Russian history; which includes the Cold War.  Mr. Steve is interested in Russian history so I have to do a good job.  I smell a Cholla cactus.

     

                                                                  LAIKA (1954-1957)

  

         Oh my God!  There's a picture here in my Encyclopedia of a Dog Astronaut!  And from what it says she was a girl Dog whose name was "Laika."  Wow!  This is so amazing!  Wait until Dais finds out about this.  She'd love to fly up in outer space.  Not me!  It would be too scary.

      I guess that before people went up into space they sent Dogs like Laika there first; just to see what would happen.  So in 1957 Laika was kind of like one of those "Guinie Pigs."  Oh!  this is so sad!  It says here that Laika did die up there.   A Crow just cawed faintly.

      It says in this Encyclopedia that those who flew into outer space were called "Astronauts" by the United States; while the Russians or Soviet Union called theirs Cosmonauts."  So I guess you could say that one girl Dog Laika was kind of like a "Dogmonaut." 
 

      The program which sent Laika into orbit around the Earth was called "Sputnik."  Ah!  This is funny.  Some reporters said that Laika's flight was called "Muttnik."  A Squirrel just ran bye going really fast.  And now it just disappeared down into one of its holes. 

       That Dog Laika must be famous!  It says here they have statues of her over there in Russia.  And they even made a postage stamp with Laika on it.  How great would that be to actually have a stamp put out in your honor.  A cool breeze just came in off of the eastern desert. 

      My boss sometimes jokes that Daisy would've likely been a good naval "navigator" like the Phoenicians, Vikings, Polynesians; or that one man named Christopher Columbus.  They could sail their ships by studying the ocean currents and Stars at night.  I hear a Sparrow.   

      Mr. Steve told me that many Pirates, like Blackbeard, were also good what they call "dead reckoning" navigators when sailing their ships.  The seemed to have had a sense of how to use the Moon, Stars and the Sun to guide their ships out in the ocean.  I smell Sage.

      Oh!  I just saw, out of the "corner of my eye" as they say, one of those black Birds my boss called a "Bronze Cow Bird."  It's darting around near the back fence behind the three Sheds.  I wonder why thy call them Bronze Cow Birds when they're black?  I see the Sparrow.

      Whatever color they are those Cow Birds sure do have pretty orange eyes.  Even though they can fly for some reason I've noticed that they often run on the ground like little Roadrunners do. Well, that Cow Bird just ran really fast out into the eastern desert behind the Sheds.

        

PHOTO BY STEPHANIE SMITH

 

      I'll bet that Cow Bird is looking for food.  I wonder if it's a boy Bird or a girl Bird?  Now it's Spring so with each passing day there will be more and more Bugs to eat.  I sure do hope there aren't so many Flies this Summer.  Oh!  That one Sparrow just flew away.