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Disillusioned

I’ve had a rough couple weeks.

My sister’s accident.

The puppy heartbreak.

A rattlesnake hissing at me in my own garage.

Terrible, painful, girl-parts tests.

(The test was AWFUL!)

I’m kind of down in the dumps.

More than the disappointment of having “my” future service-puppy taken away,

Is just a general sense of disillusionment with humanity.

I’ve been busy, but I’ve also been a hermit.

I’m still in a state of shock over how cruel the puppy breeder is/was.

I don’t like people very much right now.

People can be so awful to other people.

And, they often are.

I know I’ll get over it and life will return to “normal.”

But, right now I’ve kind of given up on humanity in general.

Maybe I just need to meet ONE person who isn’t totally focused on themselves and their own ego and selfishness.

Maybe.

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This and That

•  I closed comments on the post about my heartbreaking puppy experience.

Sometimes, when people know they’ve behaved badly, they try to save face by misleading others about what they’ve done and/or why they’ve done it.

Maybe they even convince themselves … who knows.

The puppy post was about to turn into a war of words between people who are choosing sides based on *things they’ve been told* vs. the actual facts.

If nothing else, I learned a few powerful lessons from my car accident.

Life is too short to fill it up with negativity and bullshit.

I want to move on from what has been a very bad, and heartbreaking, experience.

I do not want to rehash it over and over again.

In other news …

•  I have a very busy week running all over Orange County.

•  It’s the middle of October.  How the hell did that happen?

•  Have you bought Halloween candy?  I haven’t (yet).

•  I am STILL very freaked out about rattlesnakes.  If you want to freak yourself out too, you can watch a live rattlesnake birth here.  It is terrifying.  (Good Halloween material!)

•  The annual monarch butterfly migration should be starting any minute now.  I’ll try to capture some photos for you soon.

•  I have to have some terrible girl-parts stuff done to me today.  I’m dreading it.  If I don’t have a post up tomorrow you’ll know it’s because I didn’t feel up to writing yet.  On the other hand, if I have a goofy post up you’ll know I was on pain meds after the procedure and writing instead of sleeping.

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Rattlesnake!

I had an unexpected houseguest yesterday.

I arrived home at the end of the day.

I was walking through my garage.

I was lost in thought.

I heard a hiss, and a rattle.

I looked up to see a female red diamond rattlesnake about three feet in front of me.

In my garage!

It was coiled, hissing, rattling its tail and posed to strike.

I backed up, opened the garage door, and went into the house.

I hoped the snake would leave and head out into the sunshine of the day.

It isn’t unheard of to come across snakes when you’re out hiking in the local canyons or mountains.

It is VERY UNUSUAL to find one in your garage.

I waited a few minutes, then cracked open the house door to see where the snake was.

SsssSnake © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Red Diamond (female) Rattlesnake – phone snap

It had not left and it was headed in the wrong direction.

I’ve seen much bigger rattlesnakes, but I’ve never been in this type of snake dilemma before.

What to do?

I closed the door and waited, again.

Then … another peek.

snake

Red Diamond Rattlesnake Tail – phone snap

Oh no!

The snake was winding itself around the five gallon water bottles.

I took the above photo, and posted it on Instagram with the caption, “RATTLESNAKE IN MY GARAGE!!”

In only minutes @rattlesnakeguy had contacted me from Phoenix, Arizona.

(I just LOVE the Internet!)

He’s the one who informed me the snake was a female and that she had recently given birth.

(Apparently, snake guys know this by looking at her tail and seeing the “fold” towards the end.)

I managed to flag down a neighbor.

He came and (very carefully) removed the snake and placed it in a brush area away from our houses.

Personally, I would have killed it and then burned the house down (twice), but I wasn’t willing to get close to it.

My new friend @rattlesnakeguy then proceeded to educate me about red diamond rattlesnakes.

They have “clutches” of 5 – 25 babies at a time.

They have their babies in the fall.

They stay with their babies for a couple weeks and then separate for the winter.

Many of their babies are eaten by predators.

(I love our road runners!)

@Rattlesnakeguy said to keep an eye out for her babies because they might be in the area.

I’m never going outside again.

I’m wearing sneakers even in the house.

In fact, I plan on wearing sneakers to bed every night.

Wouldn’t you?

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Closet Issues

My bedroom has a very small closet.

It also sits at a very strange angle making it impossible to add shelves and/or put in any decent type of closet organizer.

I envy all those nice modern homes with big, gigantic, closets.

Like most people, periodically, I attempt to get rid of old clothes, etc.

Except …?

It’s always a problem with my bum arm because I’m right handed.

So when I “say” I clean out my closet, that usually means I clean out one small portion of it using my left arm/hand.

I haven’t taken every single thing out of my closet and REALLY cleaned it out since before my car accident.

OVER EIGHT YEARS AGO YOU GUYS!!!

This week I’ve been home all week fighting my annual October allergy-induced sinus infection.

(I’m on antibiotics.  I’ve been assured I’m not contagious – but I’ve been taking it easy all week.)

Yesterday, I must have had a moment of pure madness because I took every single thing out of my closet at the same time.

You know, like normal two-armed people do.

First of all, clearly I have hoarder tendencies.

Second, I have terrible taste in clothes – how could I have ever bought some of those items?

Third, I ended up with bags upon bags of stuff to take to Goodwill.

I own NOTHING now.

I got rid of it all.

!!!!

It’s amazing how much stuff you can cram into a small closet if you  try hard enough  are me.

Of course, if I need to go anywhere or do anything I will need to buy clothes.

Unlike most women, I hate to shop so that isn’t something to look forward to.

On the other hand, since every item of clothes I own was about ten years old – it’s probably about time.

I also texted Paul Newman as soon as I was done letting him know I need him.

So, guess who I’m spending my morning with?

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It’s Harvest Time

It’s harvest time.

In California, that means it’s Wine Time.

Grapes on the Vine:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I had plans to depart tomorrow for five days in Napa.

I wanted to shoot harvest and all that it entails.

I cancelled those plans due to * other things * going on in my life right now.

I admit, I’m a little disappointed.

But, there will be other times to visit Napa.

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Teen Car Accidents

Why do so many teens continue to die in avoidable car accidents?

And, I’m really emphasizing the word avoidable here.

Last weekend, five South Orange County teens died in an accident and the sixth (the driver) is hospitalized with a head injury.

The five who died were burned beyond recognition.

The teens were returning from Knott’s Berry Farm at 2:15 in the morning.

The police say speed was a factor in the BMW’s accident.

So many people are now saying, “Don’t assign blame – just mourn the loss of the three boys and two girls.”

Me …?

I say bullshit.

There are powerful lessons to be learned here.

I think it is a disservice to those who perished if people don’t LEARN from this tragedy.

I don’t know every detail of the circumstances, but let’s look at what has been published in newspapers the past few days:

•  Drugs and/or alcohol were not factors in the accident.

•  The car being driven was a BMW.  (I would argue a BMW is a weapon in the hands of a teenage boy.  There is no “good” reason to permit a teen to drive one.)

•  The BMW belonged to a sixteen year old boy without a driver’s license.  (It was registered to someone else, but the boy had bought it used from a relative.)

•  The driver was not only unlicensed, but he didn’t even have his driver’s learning permit.

•  The driver had been repeatedly told to “slow down” by people who had driven with him in the past … he had a habit of speeding.

•  Which means he also had a habit of driving without a license.

•  There were six people in a car that can only hold five.

•  Young licensed drivers in California are not permitted to drive past 11:00 p.m.

•  Young licensed drivers in California are not allowed to drive with other teens in the car.

•  Seatbelts were NOT being worn when the car crashed.

•  How many laws were broken here?  I can’t even count them all.

•  Five innocent passengers are dead.

•  The unlicensed, speeding, driver is not.

•  At the age of 16, the unlicensed, speeeding, driver is automatically sentenced to a life of guilt and shame.

The parents of the sixteen year old boy who was driving are refusing to talk.

Of course they are, they are about to be sued for every penny they own.

You cannot tell me they didn’t know their son was driving on a regular basis without a license.

I am outraged by the lack of parental supervision and the glaring neglect of parental responsibility.

I don’t know what the other parents knew or did not know.

How did they think there kids were getting to and from Knott’s Berry Farm?

Surely they all knew that by law their kids couldn’t ride home with a non-adult driver.

It’s possible the other parents were misled to think an adult would be bringing their child home –

I don’t know.

What I do know is this –

This tragic accident was preventable in a multitude of ways.

My heart absolutely breaks for the families who lost their kids.

What a horrible, avoidable, waste of life.

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Seven Weeks Old – Newfie Pups!

The litter of Newfoundland puppies is seven weeks old.

I thought I’d share some photos.

(These photos belong to the breeder – they’re not mine.  She has given me permission to share.)

In the first photo, the mom is teaching her babies about retrieving a stick.

VadaWStickPups

The puppies are curious.

What does mom have and will she share?

She lets them take a look.

VadaStick

It doesn’t take long for the pups to figure it out this Stick Stuff.

Hey everybody, look what I got!

PupStick

Playing with a stick is fun!

But wait a minute …

Mom is over there, and she’s the one with milk.

Let’s see who can get to her first!

AllSix

And then, once they had enough milk …

Let’s practice retrieving again!

Maybe our human mom will want to give us more of that other type of food?

PupWbowl

Because, clearly, we’re starving to death.

Nobody ever feeds us?

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The Weekend At A Glance

Record breaking heat was the theme of the weekend.

Oh, and add in a non-healthy dose of allergy-induced sinus issues.

On Friday, I went to the Angel’s playoff game against the Kansas City Royals.

Sunset at the stadium:

Angels Stadium © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Angels Stadium – Taken with my Sony RX 100 III point and shoot

I met up with some family and friends for some pre-game fun.

The Angel’s played terribly, but it was still a fun night.

Angels Stadium Spectators © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

It was the first time I’ve attended a playoff game and the stadium was CRAZY –

In a fun, good, way.

I had family around most of Saturday.

On Sunday I went to the Kings of Leon and Young the Giant concert.

I took my point and shoot again.

I haven’t had time to upload photos yet, but I’ll be sure to share soon.

For those of you who are enjoying fall – cool weather and pretty leaves …

I’m terribly jealous!

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Angel Island, San Francisco

One year ago, today ….

I was on Angel Island in San Francisco.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

The view of the bay, the sailboats, and the Golden Gate Bridge was spectacular.