Hostage Letter


It’s been sixteen days since we were taken hostage. This is my secret note to the outside world. Hopefully someone will read it and spread the word of our plight. Though I have little hope for ourselves at this point, it may help others who find themselves in similar straits. Our captor is sleeping at the moment, and I have to be very careful as I’m typing not to make excessive noise, lest he wake …

puppy feet

Coming Soon…


A couple weeks from now we’ll have a new family member. We’re still missing Beorn a lot. Grieving. Personally, I’m a bit down and tired, with little interest in doing much of anything, though I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Could be a freight train, I don’t know. The Missus and I often talked about what kind of dog we’d get when Beorn was gone. We both agreed it …

A big atomic explosion at sunset

The Suicide Bombers


This is a very short story I wrote several years back. It seems appropriate to haul it out every time – in the words of a certain congress critter – “some people do something”.

Beorn, R.I.P.

topdogRural Living

We said goodbye to our beautiful Beorn on Columbus Day, 2023. The hole in our hearts is massive, but we remember Beorn with great fondness, and are pleased to have loved such a gentle giant.

Big Bernese Mountain Dog Beorn resting on a cushion

Beorn Is Dying

topdogRural Living

We’ve been on a pseudo-vacation for a couple weeks with the dogs (more on that later). When we came home we took Beorn to the vet for some tests, as he’s been having trouble breathing. The tests showed that Beorn has a cancerous tumor in his lung(s). We’re meeting with the vet today to sort things out, including possible treatments. This is sad news. We love Beorn tremendously, as we do all our dogs, and …

photo of the Earth from space with a horizontal line showing curve

The Oldest Conspiracy Theory


“They want us to think it’s all down there,” he said with disdain in his voice. “What?” I asked. “The crust. The mantle. The molten core. All of it.” “Oh! You mean the Earth!” I said, catching up. “You’re talking about what’s down there below the surface and all?” “What they want us to believe is down there, you mean,” he corrected. He kept saying things like that. As though knowledge was some great secret …

Sun showing through thick wildfire smoke in a pine forest near Spokane, Washington

Welcome to Lovely Smokane!

topdogRural Living

After a relatively calm summer for this region, the wildfires finally struck last Friday. Dry late-summer conditions and high winds combined to form the perfect combination for wildly destructive firestorms. All that was required was a spark. Which – I assume – some people helpfully supplied. I “assume” because the fires are still being fought and the causes have not been determined. However, there were no obvious natural causes; no thunderstorms; no volcanic eruptions; no …

Sleeping Arrangements


Our friends looked at us in shock when we told them of our sleeping arrangements. Previously, the only decision regarding sleeping arrangements in our house had to do with who spoons who. That was until we started letting the dogs sleep on the bed with us. After that, there was no spooning. In fact there was no room for any utensils. Frankly, I do miss the forking. We’re accustomed to strange looks when people learn …