Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Flood Videos

I thought I would upload some more videos of the creek after our last week of storms. For comparison sake, check out this post.

The first was shot January 24th after the first big night of rain.

video

This next one was taken about 24 hours after the dam released the water mentioned in this post.

video

In all the videos I feature two rocks. The one in the foreground is my favorite meditation rock. It has a nice roomy seat where I can dangle my feet over the stream (when she's calm). That seat is nearly under water in the first and the water is washing over her in the second.

The other rock is a huge boulder dead center stream, normally sticking up about four feet. It's taking quite a beating here.

The second video was shot a little further up the hill. It was quite unnerving to see my calm, peaceful friend so fired up and boiling. And, as always, Mabel was pushing my "mommy buttons," getting too close to the water!

And finally, one for the locals. This is the stream where Oro Vista dog legs just south of Riverwood. I've never seen two wide streams here...

video

**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunland Made the News

Sunland made the t.v. news!
They had to release water this morning to prevent flooding... They RARELY do this during the daytime. Mabel and I had already been hiking out there and the creek was up about four feet around 8:30.

We're ok...just mopping the shop periodically and staying inside.

**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dog Mother of the Year

I feel like I should title this 40 days and 40 nights... we are waterlogged big time here! My shop is flooded so bad I can't process orders (Normally, we hop over the stream!) and we've had so much rain, my car is leaking!!! (I got a new windshield two YEARS ago, but this is the first real test of it!)

My pool is overflowing and my yard has 2" of standing water in most places. After I returned from bead class last night around 10, I let Miss M out to do her whiz biz and didn't make her go out again at bedtime.

Mabel simply refused to go out before breakfast so right after she ate, I took her outside. Picture this:

Me, large, red-headed woman in fluffy pajamas and slippers, on my very wet back porch, yelling at my mortified dog over and over, "GO POTTY!"

She was on the lower, uncovered patio, rain sprinkling on her. She would tippy toe to the edge of the tiles. Touch the water / grass and jump back on the tile, terrified. (Yes, this is the same dog I write about taking a dip in the frigid creek EVERY DAY!) Then she would try to come on the porch where I would block her path and yell again, "GO POTTY!"

Rinse, lather, repeat... for about five times!

Finally, the rain starts pouring. Only then does she go potty in the water logged yard. And does the little princess scamper into the house where her mom has a warm towel ready to dry her? NO!

She runs out to the deck and does her jumping trick - bouncing on the deck three times (never less, never more) to scare any critters that may be hiding under there. She suddenly has a yin to explore! And I'm freezing on that soaking wet porch! More yelling and finally, she's in the house.

Dog Mommy of the Year...NOT!


**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back in the Nook



My dearest returned home at 8:30 this cold and rainy morning and as I ran about the house, getting things ready for her, it was as though I was preparing for the return of a long, lost lover.

Her meal was prepared, just in need of some warm broth. The bed was made the way she likes, her favorite soft blanket and the heated mattress pad on. Curtains closed. She ate and ran to my bed, greeted me with kisses; her body was eager for my caress.

Where the heck am I going with this??? LOL!


Seriously, the girl did fine on her sleepover. It was me, as predicted, that was a mess. While I did fall asleep a bit earlier than usual, I mostly wrestled with the covers all night long. I gave up at 3 and watched an old movie and GMA (East Coast version) before drifting off around 6:30. At 7:30, my hiking buddy called to check on Mabel. It almost made me cry. I got up and got everything ready... it felt like eternity!

We spent the day sleeping. We stayed in bed til after one. Ate and napped on the sofa and took a very cold hike to the creek. Normally I would feel so guilty about wasting the time but, it feels right today.

And best of all, I now have an option for traveling. Not my ideal, but an option.


**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sleeping Single in a Queen-Sized Bed

I should call it Wide Awake in a Queen-Size Bed. My girl is at a sleep over. And I'm so stressed and wired, I'm practically chewing a hole in my tongue!

This past week, I realized that there were four business trips I "needed" to take this year. The first, I've already managed to wriggle out of is a trip to the Tucson Bead Show. I had hoped to go there and size up whether or not it would be worth my while to sell beads / jewelry there.

But thinking about leaving made me realize my last trip to Baton Rouge without Mabel was a disaster. She barked all night for several nights in a row, keeping the neighbors up. When her drop-in sitters decided to lock her in at night, she peed on the carpets twice. I need another solution.

Years ago, my best friend's step daughter who was trustworthy and dying for some time away from home, would come over and sleep with Mabel. That was the best. Mabel loved it and so did the girl. The girl moved away four years ago and Mabel has traveled with me since. But that just won't work on a business trip.

So I talked to the teenaged girl that now works for me. She said she would be fine sleeping over if she could bring her little sister. I was hesitant... her sister is tiny. Mabel is not.

Today, while balancing a big bead in the flame, the girl's mother called. Her daughter would not want to sleep at my house (NOT the first time this girl has told me one thing and her mother gets another tale...) but could Mabel come sleep over there?

I felt sheer panic swell inside me. They have another dog. Mabel is a princess and nosy and tall enough to lay her head on a counter. They go to bed early...Mabel settles in just after eleven. And I don't sleep alone anymore.

So I drove her over. Mabel jumped out and ran to my best-friend's door. She was surprised when I drug her next door to my employee's house. They brought out their dog who promptly snarled at Mabel and her hackles went up. We took the dogs for a walk, then into the house and let their dog off leash, then Mabel.

And I snuck out. She's been there three hours. I've only called them once... and my best friend and hiking buddy have gotten two phone calls each.

If this works, it will allow me to go the Bead & Button show in June and the CA Cake Show in July almost worry free.

I just hope I make it through the night.



**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gardening Naked at 3a.m. - Part One

This was written shortly before I started this blog. I decided against publishing it at that time but in light of last weekend's events, that story feels a little incomplete without this one.

A family of coons has been squawking in the back yard off and on all night long. Mabel, my rottie – lab – greyhound, is going berserk. There is no sleep for the weary on a night like this.

I let the dog out. She makes for the mulberry tree. I shine a flashlight up into the tree and see three sets of beady little eyes shining back at me. I turn on the hose and squirt up and into the tree. The two larger ones go scurrying down the tree, careful to stay on the canal side of my fence, and take off.

Most raccoons run away from water. If I squirt the water over their heads, they usually go down and run away. But the little one apparently hasn’t read the rule book. Every time I squirt the water up over his head, he climbs higher in the tree.

It is a warm October night. Shooting the hose high in the air, I realize the water is running straight down my arm and into my nightgown. As an avid night swimmer, I know the thing that gets me too cold and eventually sick is a wet bathing suit. While waiting for the coon to come lower in the tree, I peel off the wet nightgown.

When the coon comes lower, again, I shoot him with water and higher he climbs. Frustrated, thinking my mother could be right – that I might not have a coon problem if I didn’t have mulberries; I decide the tree is coming down. If I can’t hose that little critter out of my yard, I’ll cut him out.

I get my long loppers and start trimming branches. I trim so many, I can’t even stand beneath the tree. The coon comes lower and I hose him again. Again, he goes higher. Thinking my half naked gardening is frightening him, I decide the cherry tree must go too. I go over to the side yard and start trimming it.

My panties have gotten soaked and, since I have very high fences and it is 3 a.m., I lose them too. I’m doing such close cutting and in the dark, I’m suddenly afraid I might cut off my own breast. I step back and mentally and take a look at myself: a mad, wet red-head, wearing only gardening shoes and cutting every branch in her back yard, oblivious to her own ferociously barking dog.

I get Mabel and go inside. With only one coon in the tree, there isn’t the usual chatter and we get to sleep. In the morning, I’m stunned at the aftermath of my gardening escapade. There are so many limbs in my yard, it looks as though I actually took the whole tree down.


But the little coon is gone. Guess I showed him at thing two!


**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gardening Naked at 3 a.m. - Part Deux

Regarding the title: Gardening Naked at 3 a.m. was the title of what was to be my very first post here. I even pondered naming the blog after it. In the end, I decided I didn't know enough about my potential audience to post that. I have the post somewhere and will try and post it soon.

WARNING: Exceptionally violent and graphic post. NOT for squeamish animal lovers.

I really think I should not be allowed out in public for several reasons: I work alone and when I do go out, I come home so stimulated from having had actual conversation with a human, I find it impossible to simply get in bed and go to sleep.

Saturday night was my second evening in a row out. And for the second night in a row, I found myself wide awake a good two hours after getting home. At 1 a.m., I forced myself to go to bed. No sooner had my head hit the pillow when two raccoons started screaming in the back yard. As usual, I stayed completely still and tried to ignore it. But Mabel wasn't buying it. She was climbing on my headboard trying to poke her head through my curtains and blinds. Realizing my approach wasn't working, I got up and opened the back door.

It never occurred to me the coons were in the yard... they're usually in the trees or along the fence or under the deck.

Mabel made a bee-line to them. I popped in the back door to turn on the light and ran back onto the porch in time to see the most frightening sight. Mabel had a coon about half her size wrapped around her head!!! Literally, the things hind legs were on Mabel's shoulders, wrapped up and around her head with front paws on Mabel's ears.And there was a smaller raccoon racing toward them... they were going to double team my girl! I let out a scream that eventually made every neighbor across the canal turn on their lights.

I raced to the sprinkler controls knowing water would put a damper on the fight. I turned on the first one...nothing...the second one...what the hell is wrong with the sprinklers??? There's no water!!! I turned on the hose and ran toward the fight. [The sprinklers haven't been turned on since October so there was no water in the pipes.]

I turned the hose on the little guy and shooed him up the mulberry tree to safety with the water. I found myself soaked to the core on a 40 degree night as the sprinklers finally come on. Mabel and the big one had let go of each other and Mabel appeared to be getting the upper hand as she got him pinned between the mini pine and the pool pump.

I turned the hose on Mabel and she backed off toward the pool. The coon started running. Later, I would trace his blood trail and see where he tried desperately to go to right around the pool but realized Mabel was there. He wisely chose the pool. He quickly swam to the far side of the jacuzzi where there is a step. Mabel was standing over him.

At this point, my next door neighbor had popped up over my fence with a huge flashlight. She shone it on Mabel and the sight made me scream! Mabel's head and forelegs were covered in blood. And she had about a foot long stream of blood coming from both sides of her mouth!

I was suddenly aware of being wet and cold and being in my sock feet...I do good to walk with shoes. Without is a big no-no. My neighbor sent her grown son over, so I unlocked the gate and went racing in the house, stripping off wet pajamas, socks and underwear. Along the way, I grabbed a phone and called my hiking buddy, unlocked the front doors and found dry clothes and shoes.

When I ran back outside, neighbor's son was frantically looking for my hose. I unspooled more and turned the water on full blast. He used it to get Mabel to back away from the coon. But she came right back.

I ran over, chased her around a bit and finally caught her. The second I grabbed her, the coon climbed out of the pool and ran by, inches from us, and under the deck. It took every ounce of my strength to hold Mabel back and I finally let her go when I knew the coon was safely under the deck.

My hiking buddy had arrived and I ran to her and just bawled. The neighbors cornered Mabel and shined their flashlights over her. The man called out the injuries he saw: "She's got a torn ear, cuts on her face and lips and both legs are cut up."

My mind was racing. L.A. is a big place but it's not so great for 24 hour animal care. The closest vet I knew of was at least 20 minutes away. My hiking buddy knew of one a little closer. We decide to bring Mabel inside and clean her up first.

The girl raced inside and drank a ton of water. I was crying, watching blood drip on the floor, knowing my girl was hurt. We soaked kitchen towels in water and started to assess the damage. Her ear was not torn. There were no cuts on her face. There were none on her legs. Only one tiny cut on her lower lip. All that blood, towels full of it, belonged to the raccoon.

Blood on the stone flower bed border and mini pine tree.


The coon survived enough to climb out from under the deck. Mabel was just proud of herself for being the badass dog of south Sunland. I am just shell-shocked. Since that morning, my neighbors have told me of a raccoon that took on three dogs and killed them all. My own sister has told me of a raccoon that drowned a dog. I know I will never simply open my back door without looking around and making sure it’s safe for my dog to go into her own backyard


**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's Election Season in Los Angeles

I'm sure many of you are giggling at the title of this post. After all, it's election season everywhere in this country...this year.

But this is election season every year on LA LA land. Academy Award election season.

While the presidential campaign is mostly on the news here, the endless commercials for candidates hasn't hit our airwaves yet.

The commercials we are being bombarded with seem like ordinary movie trailers. Only the audio now adds, "See it before you vote."

LA, and I presume New York and Chicago, is so rife with Academy members, they can actually afford to change the commercials to target would be voters.

Ah, thank goodness for DVRs with fast forward buttons!

**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Changing Lives - One Breakfast at a Time

I had planned to post more about the storm last weekend when I took a detour. After my hike Saturday, fearing a bigger storm on Sunday, I decided to have my ritual breakfast a day early. As I topped our mountain road on the way to my Sunday morning hangout, I was shocked at the sudden change of weather. I often forget just how different the weather can be on one side of the mountain versus another.

But I was determined. No one was outside dining - a rarity on a weekend morning. But there was a lady with a teen aged boy and two dogs. Since I go there for the dog company, I took my usual table. In a moment, the woman and her dogs left and the boy had made fast friend with Miss Mabel.

He sat down right beside me, only facing Mabel behind me. And he told me of his life and broke my heart a little more with each new tale.

He was the son of my waitress. I know her from Sundays but she tends to wait on the indoor crowd and I don't know her as well as the dog lover who usually serves us.
She came out to make sure the boy wasn't bothering me - he wasn't.

He was in town visiting for holiday break but he lived in another state. The person he lives with makes fun of him for forgetting to take his meds. This vile excuse of a human is also exceptionally cruel to animals and small children. Every tale this boy told me seemed worse than the one before.

I asked about other relatives... could he live with this one or that one? There was a valid reason for each not taking this boy in.

I ate my breakfast, not talking, just listening to his story and trying to quiet my inner voice that wanted to scream. I prayed. I prayed that God would give me some words, some kindness to offer this child who seemed to be in such a hopeless situation.

I asked him what he dreamed of being when he grew up. He talked of being a video game designer and then admitted he had no computer skills. He dreamed of being a cartoon artist and then admitted he had not started a portfolio.

Just how do you give someone hope or the power to change their life in the time it takes to have breakfast? It seems pointless, yet, I certainly know it can be done.

Years ago, I was 17 and a senator in a mock youth congress in Jackson, MS. The Senate has finished business early on a Sunday and had to wait around for a joint session later that afternoon. I heard the Philharmonic played in the park nearby and took off looking for a pleasant way to kill time.

There was a stream in the park with big boulders in the center. I kicked off my high heels, hopped to a rock in the warm spring sunshine, dipped my feet in the water, threw back my head and just soaked up the gorgeous day and music.

My eyes were closed when I heard a voice say, "Can I share your rock?"

I looked up to find a gorgeous, African American woman. Shyly, I looked around and realized that all the rocks were occupied and mine was the biggest. I slide over and the lady joined me.

Before long we were chatting like old friends. I told her of my dreams to make films. She told me of her exciting life as a flight attendant.

Starry eyed, I asked, "Do you ever meet any celebrities?"

She rattled off a virtual who's who of politicians, sports figures from every league, musicians, actors from film, t.v. and stage.... my head was spinning. And my new friend could see it. And she offered up a piece of advice that stuck with me throughout my career and kept me grounded and made me a better employee and a stronger person for it.

"Honey, you need to remember one thing about famous people. They're just people. Yeah, they're rich people. They might be rich enough to have someone standing by to wipe their butts, but in the end, they piss and poop just like you do."

I knew this woman for about a half hour and yet that piece of wisdom stuck with me. From job one, all my bosses were astounded at how calm I could be with talent. It's also fortified me to not take any crap off of any human who thinks they are better than me.

In the end, the only gem of wisdom I had was to tell him not to do anything too stupid while he was in high school to mess his life up. Stay in school, make the best grades you can and get a job as soon as you can. I hope somehow it was enough.


**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Creek before and After Video

I thought I would show a few videos of the storm damage. This first one, shot a few months ago, was taken in nearly the same spot as the second.


video

This is AFTER the first leg of the storm.

video

And this is Miss Piss. I was shooting the foam forming at the base of the waterfall when my dog momma instinct kicked in... the grunt in the middle of the video is my first verbal warning to her. It didn't work and she ended up a featured player in this video. She has pretty good sense about fast moving water (thanks to a terrifying event in puppyhood) but every once in a while, she likes to make sure I'm paying attention.

video



And finally a shot of the levy. This was taken before the storm but the part I wanted you to see is the dirt / grass that goes almost to the top of the levy wall. That's where the creek rose to in '05! This was the land level before the last storm... pretty impressive!




**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************

Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's All Over 'cept the Waitin'...

It's Official! California's on STORM WATCH!!!

While we all love to laugh at our local weather people in their spiffy rain gear and t.v. news stations that roll out the special graphics and music every time we get the tiniest hint of rain, this time it appears we have an actual storm rolling in.

I'm exceptionally excited as the weather people are all comparing this to the "great storm of 2005." That storm which rolled in on January 9th was one of my favorites. (Can you tell? I remember the date!) I've often thought of writing a blog or two about that very storm.

Day one of the storm, we only got an inch or two. That's enough to cause a flood in our dry desert clime. The first leg of the storm broke around dusk and Mabel & I raced down to check on the creek... and were terribly disappointed. It looked the same as the day before, even after all that rain.

But, I forget it often takes water a day or two to work its way out of the mountain and down to the stream. And then the second leg of the storm moved it. It poured all night long! I think we got around 5 - 6" overnight. When the weather cleared that morning, back to the creek we went. We found a flash flood!

Apparently the dam up in the mountains was at peak. The operator called the golf course in the night and told them there would be damage when the flood gates opened. The course lost a hole and a half.


The raging creek after our '05 storm. Note the waterfall about 1/3 from the left.
Photo credit: R. Gabel

But the creek... she's was so different. It changed her course. Instead of the meandering creek I had grown to love, she's mostly a straight shot through the canyon. The water came up on the levy a good 6 - 7 feet. (The creek is normally about 20 feet from the levy!)

My friends still laugh at me when I tell them I'm still hiking there looking for one of my favorite sitting rocks. The boulder was the size of Volkswagon! It was gone after the flood. In all, about 8 feet of boulders that had been the creek floor were gone.

But the good thing was that our Big Tujunga flowed for a full year and a half. Mabel and I, both Pisces, are NOT happy campers when the creek is dry. So, we're praying for a flood again and looking forward to the changes.

In the meantime, everyone everywhere is preparing for the storm. The grocery stores and gas stations were packed. Everyone was stocking up like they will not leave home again for a month.

Just before dark, my godson came over to clean the pool and make sure everything was in good working order for the storm. I had to run into town to get chlorine and it was so quiet.

Now, we're tucked in at home. Extra groceries and dog food put away; firewood covered on the porch. And we're waiting... There's going to be a new creek to discover this year!


**************************************

BITACLE.ORG steals content. JESUS GLEZ is a THIEF. If you are reading this post on BITACLE.ORG, you are supporting theft of intellectual property. This post was written and copyrighted by CREEKHIKER, who has not given consent for material to be reproduced. Please visit CREEKHIKER to enjoy this content LEGALLY.

If you want to know why this message is at the bottom of every post, read this post.
*****************