"Cognito, ergo sum"
(Book 1 / Part 1 / Chapter 1)
-ZETA ORIONIS- "Why me?"
7:30 A.M. / THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014 / DAY ONE
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! Happy new year! Today's the very first day of Spring and You know how much my boss Mr. Steve likes this day. For him, and now me too; this is our "New Years Day." I want to like what he likes. A lot of Birds are singing.
Heathcliff, our neighbors' Rooster; just crowed. Birds are flying about in every direction and the scents of Spring are filling my nose. Hey God! I sense You in the Sun hanging just over the eastern horizon to my front. It was a cold Winter but now the days will get warmer.
We live in an area called the "High Desert" in a "State" called "California;" which is part of the "United States." Another name for this country is "America." Over the next three days I'm going to write a lot about the history of many different areas of the planet Earth.
A big "City" called "San Bernardino" is about forty miles to the southeast of where we live. My boss Mr. Steve grew up in the even bigger city of "Los Angeles." It's about seventy miles to the southwest of us. Our town of about seven thousand people is named "Piñon Hills."
The three towns of Piñon Hills, "Phelan" and "Wrightwood" make up what locals call the "Tri-Comminity." In Winter people "Ski" in the Forrest around Wrightwood. I wonder if us Dogs could learn to ski? Piñon Hills at one time was called "Smithson Springs."
My boss Mr. Steve moved up here from Los Angeles in 2005. For most of his life he lived in the "Suburb" of "Sylmar" which is located in the Northeast corner of what they call the "San Fernando Valley." I'll write a lot more about all of those places later.
I guess Mr. Steve's parents moved to California from a State called "New Mexico" in 1960 when my boss was five years old and his brother "Rock" was three. Mr. Steve's parents, and other relatives too; still live down in Sylmar which means "Sea of Trees" in "Latin."
My main job is to guard my boss's two acres and warn him if someone tries to invade us. I don't want to brag but, in my opinion; I'm really, really good at guarding. It's now my "Duty" to guard and is what I was meant to do. These two acres are my "Territory."
Hey God! I feel You in the Sun's warmth. Our neighbors' Ducks are quacking over there next door. I can tell they're being fed. The scents I smell remind me of other times. Thank You so much God for this old "Couch" I'm now laying on back here in our "Patio."
Well God, as You know of course, I've decided to name this old couch "Elvira." I now like to name things because my boss Mr. Steve does that. I like it when he sometimes just calls me "Mag" for short. It makes me feel that he likes me and wants to keep me around here.
Sitting here on my couch Elvira I see the three "Sheds" Mr. Steve had built. From right to left they're named "Manny," "Moe" and "Jack." Jack is the big Shed on the left as I face them. Behind the three "Navy" blue Sheds is the eastern desert. A lot of Birds are singing.
We live on two "Fenced In" acres. But behind the three Sheds is half an acre of what's called "Undeveloped" desert which Mr. Steve owns too. Bugs, Birds, Lizards and Snakes live there. Ah! I smell that one really old Joshua tree out there in the desert. That's so great!
Right behind the three Sheds is a fence with a "Gate" like a door. That gate is between the two small Sheds Manny and Moe. On either side of the gate are two "Vertical" slots. Vertical means "up and down" while "Horizontal" is "side to side." I looked those words up.
It's so amazing to see how a Rabbit or Squirrel can run at what they call "Full Speed" and go right through one of the skinny gate slots without even hitting their heads. It kind of looks like magic whenever they do that. Those two gate slots are not really very wide at all.
Sometimes Mr. Steve goes through that gate and walks around out in the desert. On the east border of his half acre is "Primavera" Road. It's all dirt. Primavera is Latin for "Spring." One time I looked it up. A song my boss listens to on many mornings is "La Primavera."
Hey God! The Sun is getting brighter and warmer. I think I know why some human cultures have worshiped You in the Sun. I kind of do that too now. Our neighbors' Rooster Heathcliff just crowed again next door. He started announcing the day earlier this morning.
I guess Mr. Steve named our Sheds after the "Auto Parts" store "Pep Boys." He's owned many "Vehicles" over the years. I'll write about some of them in the next three days. He used to have two 1968 "Chevelles." One was an "S.S." Ah! I smell a Snake around here.
My boss Mr. Steve owns three vehicles. One is a really nice little blue-green boy Car named "Barney." Barney is a 1994 Ford "Escort" his Niece Samantha, when she was about five years old; named "Barney." A small Snake just crawled under Manny the far right Shed.
Mr. Steve now mainly drives this white 1993 Lincoln "Town Car" named "Theodora." We also have a Thrasher Bird who lives around here named Theodora but I haven't seen or smelled Theodora since before Winter. Thrasher Birds have these long, curved beaks.
Hey God! As You know, over the next three days I plan on writing what's called a "Trilogy" of books. If I can be the first Dog in history to learn how to read and write Mr. Steve will never, ever want to get rid of me. And I can tell the story our lives. I'll need a lot of help God!
In writing my three books I'll use all of these "Notebooks" and "Dictionaries." And I'll look things up in the "Encyclopedias" Mr. Steve stacked under that green blanket on the other side of my couch Elvira; to the left of me. I hear a Duck is quacking over there next door.
THEODORA / JUSTINIAN ("NIKA" RIOTS - 532 A.D.)
PAINTING BY ANDRE DURENCEAU
In my three books I'll be learning and writing about the "Byzantine" Roman Empire. And one of the Christian Byzantine "Emperors" was "Justinian." His wife was named Theodora and Mr. Steve thinks she must've been really brave. I want to have courage like her.
Just to my left over there on the side of this couch is a pile of "Encyclopedias." I also have these other books called "Dictionaries" for different languages. A painting in this Encyclopedia shows both the "Empress" Theodora and also her husband the Emperor Justinian.
The caption underneath the painting says Empress Theodora is "scolding" her husband and telling him not to "flee" from the city of "Constantinople." This was after this thing called the "Nika Revolt" broke out in the year 532 A.D. People were killing each other.
I'm so tempted to write about Theodora and Justinian now but I'd better just wait until book three on Saturday. But I will say that the Empress Theodora inspired her husband to stand up to the rioters. He ended up killing over thirty thousand people and took the city back.
When he moved up here Mr. Steve was mainly driving Barney the Escort; who he bought off a customer. Since 1999 he's sold "Apparel" or "Promotional Products" to "Auto Dealerships" and "Motorcycle Shops." Today is Thursday so he's probably doing that right now.
Mr. Steve jokingly calls Barney "Semi-Retired." Barney just sits in the front yard under that big tree. Mr. Steve knows "logically" he should "get rid of" Barney but "emotionally" feels a sense of loyalty to that little Car. Heathcliff just crowed again over there next door.
I guess little Barney got my boss through some "rough times" as they say. Back in 1999 Mr. Steve did some dumb things and lost almost all his money. So he had to recover and Barney was "good on gas." I'll write more about the year 1999 later. Barney still runs good.
We also have a black 1977 Chevrolet "Half Ton" Truck named "Rex." In "Latin" that's the word for "King." I looked it up in this Latin Dictionary I have here. Rex the Truck is a really good dependable Truck. I'll write more about our three vehicles in the next three days.
The Sunlight is a lot brighter now. Sun rays feel so good falling on me over here on Elvira. Thank you for all of the energy God. Oh! Three Birds just flew in and landed on top of Jack the biggest Shed on the left. Now they just zipped off and are flying away really fast.
THE BIG TREE
About twenty feet to my front is what I call the "Big Tree." It's about twenty feet tall and has a strong "Trunk." It would be impossible to knock over that tree unless maybe you were one of those big Elephants. It would be so scary to see and smell a real Elephant.
Right now there are only a few green leaves on the "Branches" of the big tree. But in a just a few weeks those branches will be really bushy and full of leaves. I can't wait! I love the smell of that tree. Sometimes I've even had some dreams about that tree's scent.
Mr. Steve piled some big what they call "Boulders" around the bottom of all the trees on our fenced-in two acres. This is so the water will not flow away when he waters them. We're in a "Drought" so can't waste any water. Ah! I'm so happy it's finally Springtime!
When my boss Mr. Steve waters our trees, for a while; the water stays inside what he calls a "Basin." Right now the basin below the big tree is full. The Sunlight is coming in at a low angle but is reflecting off of its surface. For some reason it's relaxing to look at water.
Right now the basin looks like a little Lake; even though I've never seen a real Lake. Mr. Steve has. And he's seen Oceans too. Over the next three days I'm planning on writing three books about Mr. Steve's life and also the history of his, and now my family.
A Lizard just walked up the side of one of the boulders and is now waddling across the top of a big boulder. That Lizard is going over to drink some water. I wonder if that Lizard is a boy or girl Lizard? Things like Lizards, Squirrels and Bugs drink water out of the basin.
Mr. Steve has has a friend named "Cliff." Mr. Cliff is a little bit older than my boss and fought in the "Vietnam War." Mr. Steve came within a year of being "Drafted" to fight in that war and still has his "Draft Card." I'll write about the Vietnam War in my three books.
One time Mr. Cliff joked that, "on a smaller scale;" sometimes the basin around the bottom of the big tree looks like a "little Serengeti." I guess the area in "Africa" called the Serengeti has "Water Holes." And a lot of things like Elephants come to drink water from them.
From what I overheard my boss and Mr. Cliff discussing, over there in Africa sometimes things that wouldn't normally be near each other will ignore their differences because they have to share a Water Hole. I've noticed that exact same thing happen on the tree basin.
As I mentioned, here in California we're low on water. It hasn't rained as much as usual in the last few years. I'll write about water over the next three days. In book three on Saturday I'll write about William Mulholland and how he brought water down to Los Angeles.
I remember that one time we saw a Lizard drinking water directly across the basin from a Snake; even though it was just a medium-sized Snake. Mr. Cliff and my boss talked about how in Africa Gazelles and Wildebeasts sometimes have to share water with Zebras.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Glancing to my right, I just noticed our neighbors old Horse named "Libby" looking over at me. She's standing in her Corral. Someday I'd like to see and smell a real Zebra. Mr. Steve has taken pictures of Zebras at the "Zoos" he's been to. I'd like to go to a Zoo.
Looking at Libby over there makes me think about how weird it would be to see a Horse with black and white stripes on it. Tomorrow in my second book I'm scheduled to write about a movie called the "Wizard of Oz" where they showed a Horse "of a different color."
Mr. Steve says Zebras can kick really hard if a Lion attacks it over there in Africa. It if lands a good kick it can even kill the Lion or at least break its bones. Libby is still looking over here. She's way to old to kick anything. We do sometimes have Mountain Lions around here.
MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)
In the next three days I'll write about a man named Mark Twain. He lived back in the 19th century and was an American writer. I guess my boss has a book about him in his Office. Mark Twain wasn't his real name. I smell that clump of Joshua trees near Libby's Corral.
Mark Twain supposedly joked and said one time; "After much deep thought, reflection and contemplation on the matter, I have come to the unequivocal conclusion that there is very little, if any, knowledge, wisdom or educational value to be gained from the second kick of a Mule."
Birds are zooming about out there in the desert behind the three Sheds. They're searching for food. I already ate breakfast. Mr. Steve mixed in this new meat called "Spam" with all our "dry" Dog food. It's the best meat I've ever tasted. I love to eat. Eating is so great!
In 1960 when Mr. Steve's parents moved their family to California Sylmar was what they call "Rural" like we are here in Pinon Hills. Many of the main roads were dirt just like our road Primavera. Even "Hubbard" Boulevard was a just dirt road back in those days.
Looking at this map in my Encyclopedia, I see how New Mexico is to the east of California. It's on the other side of the State of "Arizona." New Mexico was first "Settled" by the Spanish way back in the 17th century. California was "Colonized" in the 18th century.
Mr. Steve told his friend Mike he and his brothers and sisters have Cousins and Aunts and Uncles who still live in New Mexico. Mr. Steve's Grandpa Trujillo worked for the "Santa Fe" Railroad for over forty years so his family made a few Train trips to New Mexico.
Glancing up, I can see what they call a "Flock" of Birds way up there in the light blue sky. From this far away it's kind of hard to tell exactly what kind of Birds they are but I think they're Pigeons. It's so great that this is the first day of Spring. I love this time of year.
Ah! A nice cool breeze just blew in from out in the eastern desert behind the Sheds. I love to breath through my nose. I think I smell some of the new Spring plants. That group of Birds is now far away, just little specs. They're all moving in a northeasterly direction.
GRANDPA / GRANDMA CÓRDOVA GRANDPA / GRANDMA TRUJILLO
As You know God, in learning how to read and write I can also hope to "Document" our families; the "Córdova's" and "Trujillos." I'll write about Mr. Steve's four Grandparents in my three books. They lived through a bad time in the 1930's called the "Great Depression."
The Spanish first settled New Mexico in about 1600; or early 17th century. This was about a hundred years after this guy named Christopher Columbus "Discovered" what became known as the "New World." I'm going to learn about "Columbus" over the next three days.
In my three books I'll follow what are called "Outlines" in writing about New Mexico and California. I'll also write about the States of "Connecticut" and "Texas" where Mr. Steve's sister "Susan" and brother "Rock" live with their families. I'll look up other States too.
The first "known" person with our last name "Córdova" traveled up to New Mexico from Mexico City in 1692. He was probably a soldier. His "Possessions" included an "Arquebus" which was one of the first guns. He might've been "Jewish" or possibly "Muslim."
By 1680 the Native "Indigenous Indians" who had been living in New Mexico for thousands of years "Revolted" against the Spanish. They killed and "Kicked Out" settlers. But in 1692 the Spanish took New Mexico back in the "Re-Conquista;" which means "Re-Conquest."
Mr. Steve says almost everyone knows about the "Official" legal Slavery of Africans that existed from the 16th through 19th century. But the Spanish also had the "Unofficial" slavery of Native People in the "New World" too. Three Birds just flew over the Patio.
Over the next three days I'm going to look up and write about Christopher Columbus. He may have been Italian but in 1492 was able to convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to let him try to sail three wooden Ships west trying to reach the "Far East."
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (1451-1506)
In 1492 that guy Columbus "discovered" what Europeans came to call the "New World." This changed the history of the world my boss Mr. Steve thinks. Columbus thought he sailed to the "Orient" but actually it was land most Europeans didn't even know existed.
After Columbus' "First Voyage" the Spanish came to live in the "Caribbean" Ocean area. Then for three centuries they explored and conquered Central and South America. They often used Native Indians already living in those areas as what they call "Slave Labor."
According to this Encyclopedia, that guy Columbus made three more voyages of exploration after 1492; but never admitted that he hadn't made it the Far East. He even thought he was in or near India and that's the main reason why those living here were called "Indians."
Hey Lord! As You know of course, from the 16th through 18th century Spain used modern technology like steel and guns to conquer the indigenous peoples. And to a large extent they did it in Your name. Another group of Birds is flying bye right now; way up there in the sky.
I guess some Indians willingly "Converted" to be Christians just like us Lord. So they came to believe in You too. But others didn't. In New Mexico some of the Indians were sent to work in Mexican silver mines. Mr. Steve says it's dangerous to work underground in a mine.
So in 1680 the Indians in New Mexico revolted. But as I just said earlier, twelve years later the Spanish returned "With a Vengeance" as they say. Mr. Steve believes "revenge" or what's called "Retribution" has played a really huge part in much of human history.
Hey God! As You know of course, the main reason I want to learn to read and write is so I can impress my boss Mr. Steve. And also so we can leave something for future generations in our family to know about. A lot of Birds are singing. I just love Bird sounds!
Boy! I'm sure glad I have all of these Notebooks, Encyclopedias and Dictionaries. I know for sure they're really going to "Come in Handy" as they say. And God! Thank You for all of these incredible writing "Pens" and "Pencils." The Sun is getting brighter.
The sights I'm seeing to the east and the things I'm smelling or hearing remind me of other times that I've experienced at this same time of year. The food I tasted inside of my "Royal" blue food bowl this morning also made me think about some other times too.
This morning, as usual; 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 I recalled the very first time I ever tasted dry Dog food. I can smell that one old Joshua tree.
Hey God! As You know, I now really like dry Dog food. A while back I was kind of getting tired of it but then I thought about when I was "homeless" and hungry. Mr. Steve what they call "Rescued" me from out in a field nearby; after my first owner abandoned me there.
The first time I tasted dry Dog food was when that lady put some out in the field I was then living in. It was the greatest thing I'd ever tasted! I'd been dumped out there in that field a few months before and was starving. Thank You God for sending my boss to get me.
Well God, one good thing or "Silver Lining" about living in the desert was I learned how to survive. At least that's what Mr. Steve says and I want to agree with him. Mr. Steve has never had a Dog like me. Every other Dog he's had he what they call "Raised" from a "Pup."
Hey God, as You know; Mr. Steve has at times described me as "Spooked." But I'm way better now! At times he even considered getting rid of me but decided to keep me when others started joking about how You might have sent me to him to teach him patience.
I trust a lot more than I used to! I'll even go into the Living Room on Saturday morning to watch our "Cartoons." I never used to be able to do that. But I'm still afraid of going all the way down the Hallway to see the Bedrooms and Mr. Steve's Office. I smell Sage.
Above me is the "Roof" of the Patio. Just to my right up there is a nest of baby Birds. For the third year in a row "Bonnie" and "Clyde" the parents made their nest there. But this year they had their babies way earlier than usual. I really love to hear baby Birds!
Bonnie and Clyde having their babies so early this year might be a good "Omen." I believe in omens! This might be a special year. Right now the baby Birds are sleeping up there in the nest. Their parents are out getting food to eat and also bring back to the babies.
It's kind of what's called "gross" how parent Birds will throw up some of the food they ate so the babies can then eat too. I don't think I would like that too much; unless I was starving of course. Then I would eat anything! Thank You God so much for my food.
Our house is behind me; or to "my back" as they say. To my right is a "Sliding Glass" door which leads into an area called a "Dining Room." I'm still afraid to go into the house through that glass door so it's kind of mysterious to me. A Duck next door is quacking.
Here on Elvira, with the Patio roof above me; I sort of feel like I'm inside a house. I won't go anywhere it's hard to escape from. But here on Elvira I can run in three directions "In case of Emergency" so to speak. Running and eating are my two favorite things to do.
I remember when that lady first put out dry Dog food for me to eat. That one-legged Crow watched me. I growled at that Crow. Crows are smart and will cleverly steal food but I'm now pretty good now at acting mean. Mr. Steve used to own this one-legged Crow.
During the 1970's and 1980's Mr. Steve's family knew an "Auto Mechanic" from the State of "Texas" named "Wilt." He worked on the families Cars. I guess, from what I heard my boss tell Mr. Cliff; Wilt was married to a nice lady named "Donna." She helped him.
WILT / DONNA
Mr. Steve told Cliff about how Wilt had a "Gas Station" and one morning came in to find a Crow with a leg stuck in a "Tire Machine." Wilt had to cut off the leg but then "Adopted" the Crow and eventually gave it to my boss Mr. Steve. I love breathing through my nose!
I guess that one-legged Crow ended up living with Mr. Steve for a while but then it died and and my boss buried it on the property he was living at then. Mr. Steve played jokes on people when suddenly a one-legged Crow would come hopping out into the Living Room.
Mr. Steve sometimes dreams about that Crow. Mr. Wilt showed my boss how to make these little Crow "Diapers" so it could hop around the house. People used to laugh. In the next three days I'll be writing a lot more about some of the Crows who live around here.
When he buried that one-legged Crow Mr. Steve almost cut off the leg to make an "Amulet" out of it. This would have been to "Venerate" the spirit of that Crow and hopefully to capture some of that Crow's strength. I wish I could go back in time to meet that Crow.
I just used this English "Dictionary" and it says to venerate something is to; "to look upon something with feelings of respect." Hey God! I kind of feel like that right now in looking out to the desert all around me. Ah! I can hear that buzzing sound of something coming.
Yup! A big Dragonfly just zoomed bye going from right to left or south to north. Sometimes you can also hear those little "Hummingbirds" coming too. I notice how Mr. Steve didn't fill up those three Hummingbird "Feeders" with that red liquid Hummingbirds like to drink.
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 notice. But I can see brown, white, yellow and green too. Mr. Steve's favorite color is green so I want to like green. I know green is a "Symbolic" color. I'll write about colors throughout my three books.
Hey God! As You know, Mr. Steve thinks the color khaki, or light brown, is the main color of the "Natural" world You created. I'm seeing a lot of it right now as a matter of fact. Dirt is khaki-colored. I guess another word for Khaki it "Tan." I just looked it up.
Someday I really want to visit a "City" like where Mr. Steve grew up. In a city gray is the main color my boss jokes. I guess many people think khaki's boring or "Non-Descript." At least that's what Mr. Steve told his friend Randy. Gray is sort of like khaki in that way.
The Patio floor below me is gray and so are the "Exterior" walls of our house. Up in the front yard we have a long "Driveway" made out of these little gray rocks called "Gravel." Our house is about two hundred feet from the road which runs north and south.
Looking to the east beyond our three Sheds the Sun is sitting above the eastern horizon and all the shadows are leaning toward me over here in this Patio. There are few wispy clouds over the eastern desert. I hear a lot of Birds chirping and singing. I feel so great right now!
Glancing to my right, I can see Libby over there in her Corral. Right now she's nibbling the ground eating "Hay" that fell out of her "Food Troth." I wonder what hay or "Oats" would taste like? Probably not that great. But hay does smell pretty good though.
As I mentioned, over the next three days I hope to write three books. I've got a lot of things on the three outlines I created to guide me. One thing I'll write about are the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's because I know my boss Mr. Steve is what they call "A product of" those years.
Hey God! As You know, for three days I'll write about how my boss sees significance in the number "3." I've secretly been taking good notes, like when he mentioned the "Dimensions" of "Length, "Width" and "Depth;" or the "Past," "Present" and "Future."
Because Mr. Steve is interested in History I'm going to try over the next three days to write "Generally" and "Specifically" about our family and "World History" too. Mr. Steve talks of "Strategy" versus "Tactics" or the "Forrest" and the "Trees." I feel so good!
Mr. Steve does not "follow" current what they call "Popular Culture" entertainment like he used to. But sometimes other people tell him about things like that. When he was young he did see more movies and listen to more music. And I'll write a lot about those things.
While I'm back here working on my three books I'll also try to write kind of what they call a "Journal" of our lives around here. Mr. Steve jokes that many would think our lives dull and boring. He used the word "mundane." He jokingly calls us "Creatures of Habit."
Basically, I guess you could say that over the course of the next three days, in part; I want to write about Mr. Steve's life. That means I'll write about people like Mr. Wilt who influenced him; many of whom are now dead. Wilt died. I can hear some Crows squawking.
Hey Lord! Thank You for letting the Romans kill You so You could help us. As You know, I would've probably been dead by now if You Guys hadn't brought me here. Now I have hope and a direction in life so feel I should try to turn that good luck into something better.
Boy Lord! I'm so tempted to write right now about the blanket that covered up Your dead body after the Romans "Put Yo to Death" as they say. It's called the "Shroud of Turin" and is over there in Italy. I really think it was Your blanket. I would so love to smell it.
Oh my God! I just looked up the Shroud of Turin in this one Encyclopedia and there's a good picture of it. It is You Lord. Your spirit or Soul made an impression on the cloth when You went up there to Heaven. Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed over there next door.
I better just wait to write about the Shroud of Turin on Saturday, the day after tomorrow. That will be in my third really long book. I can't wait Lord to learn more about Your blanket. I love my blankets here on this old couch Elvira. Blankets are such a great invention!
Thank you too Stanley for being such a good Guardian Angel. You've protected me so good and helped me resist when my bad Angel Lilith tempts me to do bad things. Two Crows are out in the desert fighting; most likely over food. I'm so glad I don't have to fight over food.
As You know Lord, my boss Mr. Steve thinks sometimes dreams are important. At times he dreams about people like Mr. Wilt who've died; and also other Cats and Dogs he's lived with in his life. So now I think dreams can be significant too. I smell that old Sage bush.
Hey Lord! My boss Mr. Steve believes that as long as he has memories of them, in a sort of "Philosophical" way; the dead are still kind of alive. I want to believe that too. I now think that at times can tell you a lot about what you're thinking. Ah! I smell a Lizard.
Thank You Blessed Mother Mary. I haven't had that one really bad dream about that man invading our land lately where he's climbing over the front fence and I'm barking but no sound is coming out of my mouth to warn Mr. Steve. Oh! I shiver remembering that dream.
I remember when my boss Mr. Steve said that sometimes dreams mean something. Down at his parents house they have a clock which "Chimes" every hour and half hour telling you what time it is. He had a dream about that clock the other day. I'll write about it later.
Mr. Steve says he's had some uncomfortable dreams where he goes into a situation not having done his preparation and is just hoping no one notices he's unprepared. He wakes up and is so happy it's just a dream. Oh man! I have those exact kind of dreams too like that.
Mr. Steve had a friend who died named Mark Ritter. They met back in the 1970's working for this one company down in Los Angeles called "Laser Images." Laser Images did a "Light Show" called "Laserium." It's Office's were in a city near Sylmar called "Van Nuys."
Tomorrow I'm scheduled to write about this place in Los Angeles called the "Griffith Park Observatory." That's one of the places where Laserium was performed. And in all three of my books I'll be writing about the city of Van Nuys because it's important in Mr. Steve's life.
I guess Mr. Steve "Graduated" from Sylmar High School in 1973; even though he mainly went to Catholic Schools for most of his life. He's fifty eight years old now. Laser Images was my boss's job when he went to "Valley College" and then "Cal State Northridge."
Mr. Steve told Cliff he was Laser Images' what they call "Go for." But he was mainly hired by this girl named "Debbie" to be the "Janitor." Debbie went to the "University of Southern California" or "U.S.C." for short. I'll write about other people at Laser Images later.
I noticed how Mr. Cliff thought it was funny when my boss told him he thinks Mark Ritter would've probably gotten a "Kick Out" of his now getting "Literature" from this group called "A.A.R.P." Time goes bye in the "Blink of an Eye" he says. So we can't waste it.
Over the next three days in my three books I'll write about time and some of the friends Mr. Steve has had. Some are still his friends to this day. Mr. Steve and his four brothers and sisters grew up down there in Los Angeles; which is about seventy miles to the southwest of us.
MAP OF LOS ANGELES
Mr. Steve and his brothers and sisters were "Raised" in a northeast Los Angeles "Suburb" of Los Angeles called Sylmar. Sylmar is in the "San Fernando Valley." I guess Los Angeles is Spanish for "The Angels." As I said, Sylmar means Sea of Trees. I smell a Lizard.
I just used my Spanish Dictionary to look up the spelling of Los Angeles. And according to that Dictionary "San Fernando" means "Saint Ferdinand." Both names are so important in my boss's long life; and also the lives of his parents and four brothers and sisters too.
For over ten years my boss Mr. Steve has sold what they call "Apparel" and "Promotional Products" to Auto Dealerships. He's probably in his Office calling some of them right now as a matter of fact. Apparel means clothes or things people wear. I see the Lizard.
STEVE BANKS (0000-2008)
This man named Steve Banks was Mr. Steve's boss until he died in 2008. He helped my boss "Get back on his feet" in 1999 when Mr. Steve made mistakes and lost almost all of his money. I'll write more about that guy Steve Banks later today and in book two tomorrow.
As I mentioned, Mr. Steve is fifty eight. So he's had had a few other Dogs and Cats over the years. In the 1970's and 1980's he had this girl Dog named "Lady." She was half "Pit Bull" and half "Doberman" but Mr. Steve did not want her to be what they call "Vicious."
I guess Lady was what's called the "Runt" of the "Litter." That means she was the smallest puppy. Mr. Steve told his friend Mr. Randy about how he's "had good luck" with Runts. I have a feeling I'm a Runt. Oh! A Bug is drinking water from the basin around the big tree.
LADY / MR. STEVE
Even though Lady was a mix of mean Dogs she nice. Like myself, at times it was her duty to act mean. Just like me, Lady had a few different "barks" that Mr. Steve can easily understand. Mr. Steve sometimes jokes about how us Dogs are kind of like "Buglers" in the military.
I can tell by the way my boss talks about her that Lady was a good Dog. I really want to be like her. And I will be just like her too! God, as You know, I really really want to impress our boss. Oh! A small group of Birds just whizzed bye. A Lizard just ran bye right now.
At times Mr. Steve has been kind of frustrated about how "wild" I was. He at one time even thought about giving me away to another home. But he decided against it. I'll write more about that later today. Thank You God! A small Bird just flew in from the eastern desert.
Hey God! You could say Lady is what's called my "Role Model;" just like how Mr. Steve's parents are his role models. Lady lived to be nineteen and I sure do hope You'll let me be with my boss for a long time too. I'm going to try my hardest to make him want to keep me.
Way 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 MISS FOOT
I guess Miss Foot had an extra toe, and claw too; on her feet. "Mook" was named by Mr. Steve's girlfriend Emily. On Saturday in book three I'm scheduled to write a lot about Mookie Wilson and Miss Foot. I can't wait! I'm so tempted to write more about them now.
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 they've kind of "Melded" into one. They're "Partners" he says. One time I noticed how he used that one phrase "Help-Mate." I have a really good memory for things.
I just looked up the word "Osmosis" in my Dictionary. It talks about "two fluids equally concentrated on both sides of a membrane." But to my boss that means to blend together the way his parents have blended. Mr. Steve's mom was a really good painter.
MAP OF NEW MEXICO / TEXAS
As I mentioned, Mr. Steve's parents are originally from New Mexico; which is to the east of California. It's kind of near "Texas" where Mr. Steve's brother "Rock" lives with sons "Rocky Jr." and "Jacob." Rocky Jr. married a girl named "Amber." I hear Birds chirping.
Five years after "World War II" the "Korean War "Broke Out" in 1950. Mr. Steve's father fought as what's called a "Marine" in that war. After being what they call "Discharged" he and Mr. Steve's mom got married. And a few years later, in 1960; they moved to California.
MR. STEVE'S PARENTS
PHOTO BY RODERICK CÓRDOVA
"Drawing" and "Coloring" are things my boss Mr. Steve still likes to. Since he's been a kid he's been doing both. He draws "Logos." He drew the "U.S. Marines Corps" and "Girl Scout" "Emblems" Emblems." His father was a "Marine" and his mom a Girl Scout leader.
Mr. Steve's father is what they call the "Patriarch" of the family. Mr. Steve says he's kind of like a big tree whose"Canopy" of branches and leaves provide shelter and nourishment to the plants down below; or in this case so his family can hopefully grow and then "Evolve."
Both of Mr. Steve's parents are in their eighties so of course have what's called "Age-related Infirmities." Mr. Steve's father's Korean War injuries have "Come Back to Haunt Him" as they say. His feet froze one time and the Doctors wanted to cut off or "Amputate" them.
Mr. Steve's mother jokes that at this point in their lives one thing they do for each other is simply help "keep each other afloat." She laughs at that old saying; "You know you're getting old when everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work." I smell some Sage.
Hey God! I don't want to get old! I can't waste any time. Like my boss Mr. Steve says; life can suddenly end or change at any time. Mr. Steve told his friend Mr. Randy about a saying that applied to his life; "Life is often what happens when you're planning something else."
Mr. Steve thought it funny when his friend Mr. Ralph joked about how; "Getting old means losing hair where you want it and gaining hair where you don't want it." I'm already shedding my short brown hair a lot. I sure hope that doesn't mean an even hotter Summer.
Recently a lady named Susan Gates died. She was Mr. Steve's friend. For years she "ran" the local Newspaper called "News Plus." Now this one guy named "Don" is the "Publisher" and "Editor" of News Plus. I can tell that Mr. Steve really misses talking to "Miss Susan."
I guess that lady Miss Susan taught Mr. Steve a lot of things about the area we live in. She even gave him some books to read about the history of the High Desert. Like his parents, Miss Gates was in her eighties. She knew a lot about so many local things Mr. Steve says.
"Susan" is an important name in my boss's life. His younger sister has that name and so does this other girl who has worked with him for almost ten years or what they call a "Decade." And he's "Gone out With" a few girls named Susan too. I kind of like that name.
SUSAN / DALTON /AUSTIN
Mr. Steve's younger sister Susan and her sons live back east in Connecticut. They've visited us a few times. I still remember their scents perfectly. Their house is in a "Forest" just like the forest near us in that town of Wrightwood. I really want to smell a forest someday.
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. There are sure a lot of Birds flying around looking for some food.
After raising five kids Mr. Steve's father encouraged Mr. Steve's mother to go "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.
MISSION COLLEGE C.S.U.N.
Mission College and "C.S.U.N." are both located down in Los Angeles; in the San Fernando Valley. Mr. Steve's father was "instrumental" as they say, in creating Mission College in Sylmar. I smell that one clump of Joshua trees out there in the desert; behind the three Sheds.
As I mentioned, Mr. Steve and his two brothers and two sisters were raised in Sylmar. I'll write about that for three days. As I looked up, Sylmar means Sea of Trees in Latin. There used to be a lot of Olive trees in Sylmar I guess. Boy! I kind of like looking things up.
1971 "SYLMAR" EARTHQUAKE
Over the years Mr. Steve's father was also involved in other projects in the northeast corner of the Valley. After the big 1971 "Sylmar Earthquake" he and others like his friend Bill Garcia helped get "Olive View" Hospital rebuilt. A Lizard is drinking water from the basin.
I know from all of those months putting together my three outlines that I'll write about that 1971 Sylmar earthquake in my three books. It was huge Mr. Steve says. Their house was really damaged and had to be what they call "Bulldozed." That means knocked down.
Hey God! As You know, my boss Mr. Steve used the word "condemned" to describe to Cliff what happened to their house in 1971. I don't like the way that word sounds. It sounds kind of scary. I would hate to condemned. It's interesting how that word is spelled.
Mr. Steve graduated College with a "B" average. Mr. Steve is proud that his mom did it as "Magna Cum Laude" with an "A" average. I wonder if there's such a thing as a school for us Dogs? If not then we should start one. I'll bet that we could make a lot of money.
Glancing over to my right I just noticed Libby the Horse standing over there in her Corral. Libby is really old so moves slowly. Right now she's just standing there but if I know her she'll go back to eat more Hay out of her food "Troth." I sort of like how Libby smells.
Oh great! For for the first time this new year I just just picked up the scent of that clump of Joshua trees over there near Libby's Corral; about one hundred feet from me here on Elvira. I love Elvira. She's so comfortable. I'll be sitting here on her for the next three days.
I wish there was such a thing as "Girl Scouts" for Dogs. As I mentioned, Mr. Steve's mom was a Girl Scout leader. Her "Troops" went "Camping, took "Field Trips" and did a lot of fun "Crafts." I'll be writing more about it over the course of the next three days.
Mr. Steve and his father do not like to sing. But Mr. Steve's mom sure does. So of course her Troops sang a lot. His father prefers to be in total silence most of the time, even when doing things like watching sports on tv. Our neighbors have Ducks. One is quacking over there.
While he works in his Office or drives around in one of our three "Vehicles" my boss Mr. Steve listens to the "Radio;" usually what's called "Talk" Radio. But his father doesn't even like what they called "background" Radio at all. He would much rather just be quiet.
As much as Mr. Steve's dad likes quiet he agreed to let Mr. Steve's mom to hold Girl Scout meetings at the house. When they started singing he just went in his Office and closed the door. He knew singing made her happy and joked; "When mom is happy everyone's happy."
Throughout my three books I'll write about Mr. Steve's family; especially his "immediate" family. Like all families, at times they disagree and argue. But, as Mr. Steve's old boss Steve Banks used to jokingly say to him; "Better an arguing family 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. Life is so fragile. I'll write about Steve Banks later.
MARK / KARMA
Tomorrow in book two I'm scheduled to write about this homeless guy named "Mark." He has only a little "Yorkie" Dog named "Karma" for a family. They live in the desert outside the town of Phelan. People like my boss give Mr. Mark money so they can buy food.
I remember when Mr. Steve joked with his friend Mr. Randy about how, when he and his brothers and sisters were growing up; their mother was kind of like the girl on this one tv show called "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." A small Group of Birds just flew bye right now.
I guess "tv" is "Short For" the word "Television." Mr. Steve doesn't watch what they call "Situation Comedies" any more but in my three books I'll write about some of the tv shows that he has liked over the years. I really want to see the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
MARY TYLER MOORE
Mr. Steve says the "Actress" on the Mary Tyler Moore Show played the part of a smart and what they call independent "Working Girl." His mom was that type of person as a "Housewife" in how she raised her five children. I like when Mr. Steve's parents come up to visit us.
I heard my boss discussing with Mr. Mike about how for every Human year you count seven Dog years. Mr. Mike can work on anything to do with a house. Mr. Steve hires him sometimes. Mr. Steve's Niece Stephanie's boyfriend Rich is "Handy" too. I like Mr. Mike.
It's amazing to think about how, when Mr. Steve had to have Lady "Put Down" or "Put to Sleep" as they say; she was one hundred and thirty three years old in people years. Hey God! I sure hope I can break that record. Put to sleep is just a nicer way of saying killing.
From the 17th century Cordova's have lived over in New Mexico. Oh! One of those "Jet" Planes flew bye; way up there in the sky. Over the next three days I'll be mentioning this place near us called "Edwards" Air Force Base. My boss is interested in "Aviation."
In 1960 Mr. Steve's parents moved to California. He was five and his brother Rock was two years younger. Within a few years "Sam Jr.," "Celina and "Susan" were born. I'll write about them in my three books. That Jet left a long white "Vapor Trail" up there in the sky.
Hey God. Mr. Steve's four Grandparents are all up there with You in Heaven. I'm going to try to be good so someday I can meet them. Mr. Steve says he has many"fond" memories of his Grandparents. Sometimes he still even has dreams about his Grandparents.
I guess in this one dream God Mr. Steve was sitting with Grandma Trujillo in her "Wheel Chair" and she said; "Only God knows what will be." Mr. Steve still has Grandma Trujillo's Wheel Chair and "Walker" inside of our "Garage." The sky is getting a lot bluer now.
Boy God! Too bad we all have to die! Mr. Steve's Niece named Samantha said one time; "Uncle Steve, it's just not fair that life is not fair." I kind of agree with her on that. Thank You Guys for giving me these two acres to guard. Ah! A nice cool breeze just came in.
As You know God, hanging above me up on the roof of the Patio are those "Chimes." I love how, when the wind blows; they make musical noises. Mr. Steve also has some chimes hanging up there near the front door of our house. Oh! The chimes are beginning to ring.
Is that You Holy Spirit? I hope so! I've noticed that when I hear the chimes I feel You too. At least that's what I want to believe. I hope I'm not doing what my boss called that one time "Wishful Thinking." But even if I am doing it I really like having that feeling anyway.
Crows were circling out in the eastern desert beyond the three Sheds but all just dove down to the ground. I'll bet there's a dead Rabbit or something down there to eat. They'll fight over it I'll bet. Yup! I can already hear the commotion starting. Crows have sharp beaks!
Hey God! I sort of like the way this Pencil feels in my right paw. But in the next three days I'll try using my left paw too. Mr. Steve uses both hands for doing some things; like throwing. The Sun is now fully risen above the eastern horizon. The Crows are fighting.
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 how 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. Most of the Crows are flying away so one Crow must've gotten "The Prize" so to speak.
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 has some 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.
As I mentioned earlier, we live in California's High Desert. The Spanish arrived in the 18th century but before that, for thousands of years; "Native" or "Indigenous" peoples have lived up here. I can smell Libby the Horse over there in her Corral. I like Libby's "Scent."
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (0000-0000)
In my three books I'll write about Christopher Columbus. Mr. Steve thinks his 1492 first "Voyage" to the "New World" was so important. Columbus thought his three Ships had landed in "India" so mistakenly called the people they met "Indians." I can still smell Libby.
That lady Miss Susan who ran the local Newspaper gave my boss a book about the "Bands" of Indians who have lived in our area. The "Mojave," "Chemehuevi" and "Southern Paiute" were "Hunter-Gatherer" Tribes who for "Followed the Seasons" for their food.
A while back Mr. Steve an older man at the small local Library over in "Phelan." He was a "Shoshone" Indian. Phelan is about nine miles away and is where Mr. Steve buys the things we need. I'll write more about Phelan and Wrightwood over the next three days.
We live on Mr. Steve's two acres here in Piñon Hills. As I mentioned earlier, seven thousand people live here. Phelan has over ten thousand people. "Pinon" means "Pine" according to my Spanish Dictionary. Mr. Steve says there aren't many Pine trees left around here.
That man at the Phelan Library told Mr. Steve about the "Serrano" Indians. In my three books I'll try to mention a Tribe's original name and the names the Spanish gave then when they arrived in the 1700's. The Spring air feels so 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 and You know how my boss Mr. Steve thinks about that. It was still cold last night but now the days and nights will get warmer and warmer. 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 died about ten years ago. He knew about "Geology" and "Petroglyphs." In book three on Saturday I'll write about the pictures people have drawn on rocks or in caves all over the world. Some are right here in California too.
I wish I could've met that guy Mark Ritter. He also knew a lot about "Reptiles;" which is what Lizards are called. He taught Mr. Steve about "Pictographs;" which is another name for Petroglyphs. Someday I'd like to see some rock drawings. Mr. Steve draws a lot.
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.
Yup! I knew a Lizard was looking at me. A tiny Lizard is over there 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!
Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed next door. He started crowing even earlier than usual this morning. I'll bet he knows it's Spring. As I mentioned, we consider today to be our New Year's Day. Heathcliff seems somehow a little happier somehow. Ah! There he goes again!
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.
Heathcliff's voice reminds me of last year on this day. I was still getting used to living over here on our two acres. I recall how, just after Heathcliff crowed; that one big Scorpion ran past right under this couch Elvira. Oh! I hear Dawn and Blinky barking to my right.
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. The children there are "Sioux" Indians. There are three Sioux groups; "Dakota," "Nakota" and "Lakota" like the kids up there in South Dakota. Because my boss Mr. Steve is Catholic now so am I 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 this one girl named "Miss Maria." She's from Mexico and keeps Mr. Steve's parents house clean.
Mr. Steve's mom calls Miss Maria a "Godsend." I'll be mentioning Maria a few times in my three books. Mr. Steve says she's become like a member of the family; more than simply a very intelligent "Housekeeper." Mr. Steve's parents consider Maria like a daughter now.
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 with Miss Maria's help 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.
Another groups of Crows, who've been hovering way out there above the eastern desert; are now diving down to the ground. There must be another dead Rabbit or Squirrel there for them to eat. Libby the Horse is over there to my right; walking around in her Corral.
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." Mr. Steve says us Catholics aren't supposed to 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.
Elvira is such a comfortable couch. 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 two sons. I'll talk about them during the next three days. That Scorpion ran and hid under a rock.
Mr. Steve's friend Mark who lives in Hawaii runs a good "Daily" Internet Newspaper. It's called the "Big Island Reporter." Mr. Mark in Hawaii grew up in a State called "Wisconsin" and met my boss in 1984 when they both worked for the Los Angeles sports teams.
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 You inspired over the next three days. Birds are 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. A breeze just came in from the eastern desert. I love breathing through my nose.
I'll write about what they call "Vikings" in my three books. They sailed in Ships out of an area called "Scandinavia" and "Raided" other places. In my Encyclopedia the word used to describe them is "marauding." Mr. Steve built a "Model" of a Viking "Long Ship."
Looking to the east, the sky is getting bluer and bluer. Because my boss Mr. Steve likes the moment, or "Instant;" when the Crickets stop chirping and the Birds start waking up so do I. It's almost what's called "Magical." I've noticed how Birds love to eat dumb Crickets.
I guess one place the Vikings went to was Iceland. They later even brought their families out to Iceland. I better not write too much about Vikings and just stick to my three outlines. Mr. Steve has a"Replica" Viking Axe in the Living Room next to the "Fire Place."
I know my boss likes some songs by this one girl from "Iceland" named BJORK. I've never heard any of her songs but Mr. Steve thinks she's unique. I guess, not only is her music different but the way she looks is unusual too. I can hear some Crows fighting over some food.
Right now sitting here on Elvira I can see Birds flying about over the eastern desert behind our three Sheds. The Sun is just above the horizon. This is so beautiful. Hey God? Why am I so lucky? Thank You for giving me this project and a second chance. I'm going to do my best.
I'll mainly look up and learn about Vikings later. But I feel like saying that Iceland is where some Vikings went after "Migrating" from the area called "Scandinavia." Iceland sounds like it would be way too cold for me. But "Greenland" sounds pretty good. 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 far more 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."
Our neighbor's Ducks are quacking. I also hear their Dogs Dawn and Blinky barking. It's Spring alright! My nose tells me that. This old dull yellow couch Elvira is so comfortable. I just love her and would never ever want to replace or "get rid of" her. No way!
Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed again! I guess he's "Getting his moneys Worth" out of being able to announce the first day of Spring. I like that and I'll bet Mr. Steve does too. This is such a great day! I really have to "Take Advantage" of this day and work hard.
A Jackrabbit is drinking water from the tree basin. It doesn't smell me. I'll stay still. Oh! It just saw me and is running away. Wow! It's amazing the way Rabbits run at full speed and go right through one of the two slits on the side of gate without even hitting anything.
Ah! For the first time since before Winter I smell that one old "Joshua" tree behind Moe the middle Shed. That's so great! I see three layers of Joshua trees. The first is inside the back fence and two are out in the eastern desert. Libby the Horse's scent just floated in.
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 "Creosote" bush. Mr. Steve doesn't cut it down because Theodora likes it. Thrasher Birds, like black "Cow Birds;" run on the ground just as much as they fly. I now kind of like the smell of those little yellow Creosote flowers.
When he named the 1993 Lincoln Car Theodora Mr. Steve had been reading about Queen Theodora and her husband the Emperor Justinian. And then when Miss Gates told him about Thrasher Birds he named our Bird Theodora too. I wonder if Theodora's a girl?
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 that war.
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. At times I guess he thinks many Americans do not 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.
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 way more 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. 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.
During part of the 1980's Mr. Steve had a job selling "Season Tickets" and "Advertising" for the company that owned the Basketball "Lakers" and Ice Hockey "Kings." There was also an Indoor Soccer team called the Lazers" back then. I can smell Andy and Helen.
While working for "California Sports Incorporated" Mr. Steve made friends with this nice older lady named Helen Graham. She died in her eighties a few years ago. "Miss Helen" also sold Season Seats and Advertising too. Heathcliff the Rooster just crowed next door.
That lady Miss Helen lived and is buried in the city of "Glendale." She was what's called an "Alumnus" of of that College called "U.C.L.A." I can tell that she made a big impression on my boss. I guess U.C.L.A. stands for; "University of California Los Angeles."
My Dictionary says an Alumnus is a person who "Graduates" from a school. Mr. Steve's ex-girlfriend Emily still works at the Athletic Department at U.C.L.A. I'll write more about her over the next three days. Emily grew up back east in "Long Island" in "New York City."
I'm so tempted to write more about Emily and Miss Helen. But I better just wait. I'll write about them over the next three day. I wish I could go back in time to meet Miss Helen and Mr. Steve's three ex-girlfriends Sandy, Emily and Harriet. But I will write about them.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
During the 1980's the place where the Lakers, Kings and Lazers played their games was called the "Forum." It's still there and is located in the city of "Inglewood." Mr. Steve not only sold things there but took a lot of pictures there as what they call a "Photographer."
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.
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
Another thing Mr. Steve took pictures of in the 1980's and early 1990's was "Boxing." I'll be writing a lot about that subject over the next three day. In the Marines Mr. Steve's father boxed. He broke his nose doing it. He knows many things about the history of Boxing.
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 read about 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.
One "Subject" Mr. Steve knows about is the "Presidency" of the United States. That means all the men who've been President since that guy George Washington. So I'll write about many of the U.S. Presidents over the next three days. This is going to be kind of fun I hope.
Hey Blessed Mother, as You know; I want to prove that in many if not most things a female is the equal of a male. In my three books I'll learn about good leaders and some are female; like Queen Elizabeth I and Golda Meir. Mr. Steve thinks there will be a female 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.
As I mentioned, we live in the United States or America; in the Southern part of the State of California. Here in the "High Desert," we're about seventy miles to the northeast of this big city called "Los Angeles;" where Mr. Steve grew up. Los Angeles means "The Angels."
About nine years ago Mr. Steve sold his house down there in Sylmar and moved up here to Piñon Hills. Sylmar is what they call a "Suburb" of Los Angeles. Ah! I can smell that one old Joshua tree. And now I smell the three Joshua trees to the right of Manny the Shed.
As I mentioned of course, we live in Piñon Hills. But the town of Phelan has all of the Stores and things like that. To our southeast is "Wrightwood." Even though it's only a few miles from where we live I guess Wrightwood is more like a "Forrest" of big trees on a mountain.
During the Winter people from all over the world come here to what they call "Ski" down the hills of Wrightwood that are covered in snow. I don't think I'd want to ski. It would be too dangerous. But I really like to run fast. That's fun to do. I'm kind of a fast runner!
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.
As I mentioned, besides writing about Mr. Steve's family history in New Mexico; I intend to tell about his what they call "immediate" family too. Mr. Steve still has Aunts and Uncles and Cousins who live over there in New Mexico. I can still smell that new Sage plant.
Because I was abandoned at a very young age and dumped out in that one field I really don't know anything about my immediate family. Those who do are so lucky. I kind of remember my mother's scent but "that's about it" as they say. I sure do wish I could go back in time.
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.
As I mentioned, in Mr. Steve's family his parents had their five children in two groups; Mr. Steve and Rock in 1955 and 1957 and Sam Jr., Celina and Susan in the early 1960's. Mr. Steve's parents have been married for fifty eight years! They've known each 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.
SUSAN / DALTON / AUSTIN
The youngest kid in my boss's family is named "Susan." She now lives "back east" as they say; in the State of "Connecticut." She has two sons named Dalton and Austin and still rides Horses the way she has since she was a young girl. Their Dog is named "Bella."
My boss's parents names are "Sam" and "Stella." They and Samantha have visited us a few times. Samantha lives with her Grandparents in a big house down there in Sylmar. And I guess their two Dogs are "Bella" and "Rosie." Samantha's mom Celina died.
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. Ah! I think I smell an unfamiliar new Sage plant.
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. He, or she, just popped it's head out of that new hole near the big tree. And it's scent tells me it's a different Gopher from the one I smelled earlier this morning in that exact same hole. That was before the Sun came up. Gophers are so amazing!
Going in the house scares me. I don't like being trapped. And to think how Gophers and Ground Squirrels can live under the ground
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.
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 luckyhe 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.
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.
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 is shown when he's paid to bury people who die poor. Mr. Steve has done the same thing at times. A Crow just cawed.
MR. STEVE'S FATHER (CENTER / 1951)
I mentioned earlier how Mr. Steve's father is a 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.
Another example of my boss's father's 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 had 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." One time he broke his arm but when his mom calmly drove him to the doctor he felt calm too. I'll write about it later.
Sometimes Mr. Steve's father can seem kind of tough. As they say; "Once a Marine, always a Marine." He's at times impatient. But Mr. Steve used the word "Altruistic" in describing him. My Dictionary defines that as; "unselfish concern for the welfare of others."
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.
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 I'll write a lot more about "Epidemics" and "Pandemics" too.
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.
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?
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. In my three books I'm going to learn more about some of the other religions.
Mr. Steve has a friend named "Grant." They met in "Law School" in 1980 and Mr. Grant, "among other things" as they say; is a Lawyer. Mr. Steve "Flunked Out" of Law School. Mr. Grant is Jewish. His wife is "Lori" and they have a blind boy Dog named Miggie."
One time I heard my boss telling Mr. Grant about how, since the year 1054 or 11th century; there have been two types of Catholics. Our original Roman Catholic version has mainly been located in Italy and is "Latin" influenced. Andy and Helen the Squirrels just ran bye.
According to what it says here in this Encyclopedia Lord, in the year 1054 A.D. this thing called the "Great Schism" happened. I guess that's when Eastern "Orthodox" Greek-influenced Catholics became separate from us Roman Catholics in the West. A Crow cawed.
One difference between the two types of Catholics is that Greek Orthodox Catholics do not see the "Pope" as their leader. They follow what they call a "Patriarch." As You know already Lord, over the next three days I'll write a lot more about Your twelve "Apostles."
Hey Lord! You gave that guy Saint Peter the job of being the very first Pope. In 1985 Mr. Steve even took pictures in Israel of the rock where You supposedly appointed him. I guess this Church on the north shore of the "Sea of Galilee" was built over that one rock.
Mr. Steve told his friend Randy Lord how both types of Catholicism believe in Your ideas. Later today, as you know; I'll write about how the Nuns at Saint Ferdinand's taught their classes about what's called the "Golden Rule." I want to believe in the Golden Rule!
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.
Wow! I can't believe I'm finished with chapter one. This is turning out to be kind of fun Yo Guys. Thank Everyone up there! But now it's on to my second chapter. I'd say it's about eight thirty judging by where the Sun is on the horizon. The shadows are shorter now.
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!
As I mentioned earlier, we live on two fenced in acres. Right now I'm looking out into the half acre of desert Mr. Steve owns behind the three navy blue Sheds. I really do love our land! I'll protect it "At all Costs" so to speak. I can smell that one old Joshua tree.
Rabbits and Squirrels share with what my boss call his "back half acre" with things like Birds like our three Quail groups. There are also a lot of Lizards and Snakes out there too. I sure do hope there aren't too many Bugs this year God! I really don't like Flies.
MANNY, MOE, JACK
Right now I'm looking to the east beyond the three Sheds. The basin around the big tree that's just to my front is still filled with water. A little Bird is drinking and a Lizard is walking up the side of one of the big boulders that make up the walls of the basin.
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.
As I mentioned, Mr. Steve grew up in a suburb of 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 feels uncomfortable with what's called the "hustle and bustle" of city life.
It gets a lot hotter in Summer and colder in Winter up here in the High Desert than my boss was used to. But he's just adjusted to the more extremes of weather. One thing I know for sure that he likes is how you can see the Stars a lot clearer from up here. I smell a Lizard.
When he first moved up here one of the first persons he "befriended" was the older lady we call Miss Susan. For years she ran our local Newspaper called "News Plus." It covers the three small towns which are located in our area; Phelan, Wrightwood and Piñon Hills.
As I said earlier, Piñon Hills has about seven thousand people. There are no stores or places like that so Mr. Steve drives about seven miles to the town of Phelan. It's not a big town either but has stores and restaurants. I see a Lizard standing over there in the dirt.
That lady Miss Susan 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 told him over the past few years are going to end up 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 has taught Mr. Steve so many things he told me. Mr. Steve likes talking to old people like Miss Susan. That one Lizard just ran away.
Mr. Steve's parents are over eighty years old and so is Miss Susan. And because he's now so old now my boss thinks more seriously about what they've told him. Someday when I'm old too I sure do hope others will read my three books and think about what they said.
The name "Susan" is important to my boss's life; just like "Mark" and "Dave." Mr. Steve has a younger sister named Susan. And like their mother, she's a good, 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 work at the same job. This Susan is also a good, basically decent person. I happen to know that this "characteristic" is the most most important thing to my boss.
That lady Miss Susan who's lived up here in the High Desert for so long is "knowledgeable" about this area. She seems like a very strong person my boss says; just like his mother. Three small Birds just zoomed bye. It looks like they're going out into the northeastern desert.
Many of the "Topics" listed on my three outlines about the High Desert are things my boss has discussed with Miss Susan. In looking at the desert to the east and seeing all the Birds flying about I think about that lady Miss Susan. I just took in a deep breath of fresh air.
Because he's now old too, fifty eight years old, my boss enjoys talking to people even older than he is. He likes hearing about their experiences; oftentimes telling him about bad times that are now almost what they call "Nostalgic." Mr. Steve has times like that too.
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!
As I mentioned, January the 1st is the "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 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. 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! One of the "Quail" groups is nearby because I hear the chirping of baby Quail! I love the sound of baby Quail! I now really look forward to this time of years like my boss does. Maybe I should go look and see the baby Quail?
Even though I'm tempted to hide all of my materials and then go see the new baby Quail I'm not going to do it . I'll see them soon enough. Right now I'm too busy writing my first book and I have to be what Mr. Steve would probably call "disciplined." I smell Sage.
We have three groups of Quail who live around here. And of course , I know that they were all up early this morning. Because my boss thinks that the first rays of sunlight are so special now so do I. Our neighbor's Rooster Heathcliff thinks sunlight is special too.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
PHOTOS BY STEVE CÓRDOVA
As I mentioned earlier, during part of the 1980's one of the teams Mr. Steve sold things for was the Ice Hockey Kings. He says most Hockey players are from this country way up to our north called "Canada." I guess it's really cold up there. It gets cold here too at times.
Mr. Steve one time told me that he's noticed Canadians say "out and about" a lot. I know for sure that our three local Quail groups are out and about. My boss noticed that many Germans say "jah" after a sentence; and Canadians say "eh" when asking you a question.
My Encyclopedia says a group of Quail are called "Coveys." Mr. Steve jokes that our three Coveys look like little armies moving around "En Masse" as they say. So he calls them "Able" "Bravo" and "Charlie" Companies. I like watching how Quail move about.
Boy, now I'm kind of curious about which of the three Quail groups had babies. Last year at about this time it was Able Company first and then Bravo and Charlie Companies. I really love hearing, seeing and smelling our local Quail. And baby Quail are so cute!
Wow! Just when I was thinking about them I can see one of the Quail Companies heading for the front of our house. I can tell that it's Charlie Company because of that big male who is much larger than most other Quail. Mr. Steve jokingly calls him the "Enforcer."
Well, I see that it's not Charlie Company who had babies. They'll probably have theirs soon. But, sadly, many, if not most of the baby Quail never make it past one year. Some of them will just die naturally and a few will be eaten by Hawks, Snakes or even Cats.
Mr. Steve mixes what they call "Chicken Scratch" in with the regular Bird seed he spreads out all over the ground in front of his office window. Quail like Scratch. I can smell a Joshua tree. And now the faint scent of one of the 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 sunset just like it. Thank You God.
Quail remind me of little Chickens. But they have those small "Head Plumes;" black throats and artistic white stripes. Today they'll have twelve hours to "forage" for food. But for now I know they'll go up front to eat the free food spread out under my boss's office window.
We live in "America." I guard Mr. Steve's fenced in two acres but I'm not responsible for the half acre he owns behind the three Sheds. Many things live out in that eastern desert. A Mouse is now drinking some water from around the bottom of the big tree to my front.
The small town we live in here in the San Bernardino County is called "Piñon Hills." And according to this Spanish Dictionary "Piñon" means "Pine" in English. Mr. Steve thinks that at one time there must have been a lot more Pine trees growing around here.
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.
I've come to really like living up here in Piñon Hills. I'm lucky! I have a purpose in life and that is to guard this two acres. And I'm so determined to do it too! My job, in part, is to let my boss know when things are going on outside the house; just in case he didn't notice.
Even though there aren't many Pine trees left up here there are a lot of those Joshua trees. And we have a lot of dirt and rocks! Plants called "Cactus" grow all around us. I really don't like those ones they call "Cholla" or "jumping" cactus. I always avoid them.
Well, I'm finished with chapter one. The time went so fast and I learned a lot .
PHOTO BY RYAN LEE
Oh my God! Just when I was thinking about them I smell Cholla cactus! That reminds me of the time when I lived in that field. I learned how even if you don't touch them but only "brush" against them those jumping Cholla cactus will still get you as you go past them.
But, as much as the spines of cactus stab and hurt you, they way Cholla look in the morning is so amazing. They almost seem to glow and "bristle." Our neighbors on the south side also have these green cactus all the length of the fence which divides our properties.
We're on the southern edge of the big "Mojave" desert, in the "Victor Valley." Los Angeles is to the southwest of us. According to my Spanish Dictionary Los Angeles means "The Angels" in English. Hey Stanley! As you know, I think that you're a really good Guardian Angel!
The San Fernando Valley is located to the northeast of "downtown" Los Angeles. The actual place where Mr. Steve grew up in is Sylmar. Oh! I just picked up the slight scent of a Gopher around here. And I can smell the soft dirt it pushed up out of its hole too.
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 Gopher 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 Gopher is gone now.
Mr. Steve says that Sylmar is about thirty miles north of downtown Los Angeles and is now considered to be a "bedroom" community. But when his family first moved there in 1961 some of the main roads like "Hubbard" were still not even paved. I smell some Sage.
In 1971 there was a really big "earthquake" and Mr. Steve says that their neighborhood was "destroyed." Most of the families had to move out because their houses were destroyed. It was a really bad time but because of Mr. Steve's parent's characters 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 near what they call the "epicenter" of that earthquake.
"SYLMAR" EARTHQUAKE / VETERAN'S HOSPITAL (1971)
Oh wow! In my Encyclopedia it shows a picture of the "Veteran's Hospital" in Sylmar after the big earthquake. Mr. Steve's father used to go to that Hospital and might've been there when it was destroyed and people died. I hear some Crows cawing out there in the desert.
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 thoughtful. She 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.