Welcome to my blog. I am a young, self-taught artist from the Gulf Coast, who wants to provide pyrographic artwork that sends a clear strong message. Please take time to look through my pages and posts. I appreciate comments, love making new friends, and covet faithful followers. Shout hello if you know me, or are just passing through.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2011

           If this post makes no sense at all and if the sentences are run on and nonsense and repeat themselves and run on and don't make sense...it is because I am up at 11:41 PM.  I am a party pooper.  I do not like to party late, nor do I like New Year's Eve Parties. 

          The reason I am up so late, is strictly because others like to party on New Years.  This includes my bedroom.  This would not be a problem, could I sleep anywhere in any setting.  However, I do not sleep unless there is complete darkness and complete silence.  Now, this has it's rules and exceptions to the rules.  I sleep through downpours, I sleep through Gulf Coast Thunderstorms and Super cells, I slept through Hurricane Ivan, (I was on the front porch during Hurricane Katrina) I sleep through firecracker explosions, I sleep through the fire department arriving at my dad's call because someone stole a vehicle and burned it on the road in front of our house.  I sleep through alot. 

          I do not sleep through someone staying up late on the computer in the other room.  I do not sleep through two people talking in the other room.  I do not sleep through running TV's, radios, night lights, or the neighbors' bonfire parties at midnight.  I do not sleep through someone reading a book in the next room. 

           This is how the start of every New Year begins for me.  With bags under my eyes, fog brain, appetite loss, grumpiness, and slurred speech I crawl into bed whenever the other's decide they're heard the last firecracker and played their last card or board came...when they themselves are too tired to laugh.  I crawl into bed...and...it's now 11:52 PM....my fingers are becoming about as sluggish...as my brain here....

           It's doubtful you've read this post in the year 2010.  In just a few minutes the world...in it's successive time zones will welcome in the year 2011.  New years do not excite me because they are new years with new numbers to represent them.  I celebrate the New Year as being a few months closer to spring and summer...my favorite months.  I celebrate it because I am so happy to have another year to spend with the people I love.  And I definately celebrate the fact that all the hooplah is finally over so that I can get my sleep. 

          It is now 11:57 PM.  Happy New Years.  I'm going to bed and when it's 12:01 AM January 1st, 2011, you just get your noise over with and crawl under the covers.  I'll do my celebrating at 6:30 AM January 1st, 2011 like all normal people.  Goodmorning dear readers.  Goodmorning 2011. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pan Flute

        I am so excited and happy to announce the arrival of my panflute!!  Because I play silver flute in a youth orchestra it is not hard for me to play, however, I still have yet to master the half steps in the lower octave.  This magnificent instrument was purchased from Hawaii, hand crafted by Brad White, a pan flute musician himself as well as teacher. 

        I cannot say enough about his professionalism and the way he conducts his panflute shop.  My pan flute is of excellent quality, crafted from durable Maple wood (beautiful too!) and complete with an inlay band.  I am so excited to be learning it and cannot wait to be good enough to be able to play most songs on it.  It, being a Grand Tenor, has the range of my orchestral silver flute, and I like that.  I can reach middle C and go three full octaves up to the third c with some clarity. 

      I hadn't experienced dizziness since I first picked up my silver Pearl (well, actually, I learned on a Laval) but I'm convinced the panflute requires much more air support than does any metal pipe.  I love the earthy, ethereal sound the vibrating wood gives off and quite prefer it to my silver flute, although I still treasure it as well.  However, the more flutes the merrier.  They are like my other voices...my second and third sets of vocal chords.  If you think I can't sing...well, let me get my flute.  

     Just because you don't have a voice like so and so doesn't mean you can't sing.  At least, that's the way I feel about it.  Anyway, if you're in the United States, or anywhere in the world for that matter, and are interested in pan flutes, visit Brad White's pan flute shop.  Not only does he sell them there but he also offers helpful resources for the aspiring musician.     http://panflute.net/
                     Now, this panflute means that I will soon be posting the construction of a highly durable case with which I can transport, store, and hold it in.  It's gorgeous pipes would not be complimented by any old plastic woven black case and it doesn't look South American enough for me to weave one of yarn.  I intend to create a purse with a long strap so that when slung over my soulder, rests the pan flute directly under my arm for added protection.  I hope to construct the case of soft leather and hair on hide (perhaps rabbit or cow to match my other bag) and line it with a very fluffy and protective lining...not egg crate...but something just as good. 

                     Please comment if you have any good or even better ideas.  And don't forget to check out my new page "Pyromail"  Now...I've spent all this time blogging when I could have been practising.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Milli Milestone

Dear Friends, Readers, Followers, and Newcomers,

       I am so excited to announce that Phoenix Pyrocreations has welcomed a total of 11 wonderful followers, and 1,000 total pageviews.  I also became a little misty when I found that I had a high of 16 pagviews on Christmas day, and 11 on Christmas Eve.  Perhaps my dear friends were looking for a Christmas post from me.  I did consider it but I assumed noone would bother visiting around the holidays and so the post would not get read.  I want to take this moment to thank you all again for visiting regularly and remind you that your comments and fanship are coveted on this corner of the web. 

       I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, full of health and happiness.  Godbless you all,

    Sincerely,

       The Author, Administrator, and Artist

Please enjoy this video.  I Love it! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flash Mob in Mall Food Court

With the Christmas season comes hustle and bustle.  People are tense, in a rush, bustling about.  Some are too scared to say Merry Christmas for fear of offending their neighbor.  A friend sent me a link to a video that brings smile to my face.  I don't really see too many people in this video who are irritated by the surprise they recieved.  If anything, they all seemed to love it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

US Army in Color

                Using some oil pencils I invested in recently, I was able to begin coloring it.  The camo uniform still needs some work but otherwise the colors aren't too bold and distracting.  The skin tone of the two is very good in my opinion and perhaps I will work on darkening little boy's skin. 

                Considering that I didn't really have the colors I needed and had to mix and shade to achieve the desired effect, I'd say the coloring is pretty good.  With a little more work and a finishing seal, it will be posted for sale on one of my pages.  I'm still considering scribing something at the bottom.
          Mother says people aren't my thing and that I should stick to animals. She may be right but I'll keep trying here and there.  At least my people don't look like primates any longer.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

American Son

           I can't explain what inspired me to burn this piece.  It will be added to the Available Art section.  Currently, it is untitled.  At first I was thinking of, "The Rescue" but it doesn't catch me.  Something keeps telling me to call it something along the lines of "American Son" or "As Though You Were My Son".  As I burned it, I interpreted that the American Soldier is thinking of his newborn son, or toddler son, or even teenage son back home in America.  He and this Middle Eastern boy are complete strangers, yet there is some bond, some connection between the two. 

            I hope to color it with oil colors in short time, after I complete an order- so check back again soon and don't forget to comment.  This picture does not accurately catch the tones of the burn and there is some glare at the bottom.  I'll keep trying for better shots as I color it. 


            Oh, by the way, this picture is dedicated to all the servicemen of the United States of America.  I intentionally left room at the top and bottom to burn in the name, rank, division, and branch of the military of any serviceman.  I'm thinking of leaving each peice blank for the purchaser to specify, however, I may inscribe names of my own choice for some.


           I will also be listing two custom Breyer models to the One of A Kind page.  They were fun to do but I am running out of places to keep them.  I never found a name for the Sabino, who is as speckled as any paint lover could want him.  I honestly took over fifty photographs of this dude in various settings and lighting and could never get a good picture of him. 
          
           He never could accept outdoor lighting or flash because his white appeared way too brilliant in the picture.  In person, he has a very clean face and legs, with a speckled belly, groin, and sheath washcoated with pink for the skin showing through hair effect.  His nose is pinked as well as around the eyes.  The right eye is a beautiful blue and the left eye is brown mottled with blue.  I intented for him to be a red chestnut but as the paint dried he ended up a chocolate bay.  Still, a handsome fellow for your collection.

         
       While this one below may look like the oddest horse you've ever seen, I actually took his coat pattern off of a calendar page.  I believe the horse was a Lusitano Dun and possessed a very striking silver face.  This was my first custom model so I was not as experianced with the wash coat, however, he is still a handsome fellow. 
     
         I practised a little etching on the neck and there is a variance in the brown around his neck. His cheek and throat area is also roaned but it does not stand out too well.  While you can't see it very well in this picture, his right front pastern has a paint spot.  A beautiful white stripe that extends from the hoof to the lower leg.  It was roaned first so the spot has a feathery appearance.
         
       His name is Orin Adryel Aderet, an odd name to be sure but regal nonetheless.  I just call him Orin.  As I lay in bed the night after his completion I sounded out all sorts of names.  None seemed to fit. Then, one snapped.  Owren, Wren...Oren...Owrin...I muttered it several times.  What an odd name.  I didn't really think it was a name.  Until I looked it up.  Sure enough, one version is Welsh, another Gaelic, a third, Hebrew and so on.  The name has several meanings: light, pale, bald-faced, golden.  It fit.  So Orin it was.  I never call him by his full name, although somehow I can manage to remember it.  Somehow, I'd like to request that his name not be changed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

And Then I Changed My Mind

               And of course, in my sitting back and scutinizing I couldn't help feeling that something just wasn't quite right.  I shook the matte spray can a few more times, then set it down.  This is where the gutsy me comes out.  When I get that gut instinct that says, "Hold your horses, cowgirl.  You're going to make it or break it."  I know this is the moment where the artist sees something that isn't quite right, but fears that if he touches it, he'll ruin the masterpiece. 

                I'm not a daredevil person but I can say that I am pushed to do this in everything I do.  It just isn't good enough.  I can only remember one time when I broke it, though.  The rest of the time I make it.  Here is the sealed, finished, masterpiece.  I will find a name for her soon...or just enjoy her for a month and when I sell her, let her owner name her. 

                Somehow, that glowing white mane looked unfinished...like an old coat of primer.  Too eye catching, too gaudy.  Too much jewelry draw the eyes from the person.  Too much white pretty much distracted the viewer from her beauty.




A beautiful Buckskin/Sabino paint!  I wonder if I could consider her a splash because of the white up the legs and some on the belly?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Equisite!

                
           Because I planned on using oils for this model I had to wait out a rainy day.  It was way too cold to venture out to clean my brushes and palette in mineral spirits and freezing water.  This morning, I remembered two acrylics Breyer had supplied me in two custom kits that I had left over from the previous kit models.  Some of the colors I hadn't used. 

           As I began mixing and meditating I found that I was not as set on a strawberry roan as I had before thought.  In fact, I was drawn to the gold.    In the picture below you can see the pink first coat partially covered by the primary first coat. 


            In the following photograph I made some headway and after several breaks in which I stood back to scrutinize my work I found that the gleaming white which nicely accentuated the lower legs and face, made her buttocks appear too large and...odd from certain angles.



          I found that a brown wash coat with a black wash coat over it made a beautiful tail.  Even though I was liking the palomino look I knew that what I really wanted was a buckskin paint.  Or even a Palomino/Buckskin paint.  I spent alot of time working with various washcoats to build the tones in the shading of the muscle and the legs.  There is also some washcoat work in the face which is darker than the rest of the body. 
         
       Here is the finished product, which has yet to be sealed.  She is Exquisitely gorgeous in my opinion and I will covet your opinions and comments on her.  Though I created her to sell, I must enjoy her for sometime.  She was a joy to create and the only real reward for an artist is the enjoyment and satisfaction. 

                                                       Here she is at several different angles. 




Monday, November 29, 2010

Diving Back For More

               Now that Thanksgiving is behind me I jump back into my routine and finish one project as I move into another.  Although these have nothing to do with Pyrography they are worthy projects to post and I will add that I have completed the commissioned project with the poem called "The Burden". 

               I removed nearly all of the paint from the model using Nail Polish Remover and will begin coating the model with a first layer of paint so that the following layers will adhere better.  I am still tossing around a few ideas for the coat color so if anyone has any ideas, please comment. 


            The bobcat rug I was commissioned to do is nearly completed.  Today I will be finishing sewing it and re-gluing an area once mischievous little cousin pulled lose.  To any more experience taxidermist I must mention that this is my second mount, and first cat.  Despite its obvious faults I have every reason to be proud of it. 


          Although it was a small cat, her pelt is so beautiful and with the care I put into her, she should last a long time. 

     ********A note to all readers and visitors.  If you like this blog or are just stumbled across it, please leave a comment. 
                    If you're too shy to comment buty would like to leave your mark, make use of the Reactions buttons at the bottom of the post. 
                    Also feel free to make use of Google's Follow option which sits on the right hand side of my blog.  By becoming a follower you will be notified of new posts.  And don't forget to tell others about Phoenix Pyrocreations.  Just copy the home page link and spread the word!*********

Friday, November 19, 2010

Celebrate the Family

         I'll admit that I don't much like winter.  We don't get snow...and I don't really like snow unless it covers everything.  Sunshine brings true happiness.  Finding happiness in snow is just to cover up the fact you can't be happy without the sun. 

          I've collected Breyer models for several years.  I stumbled across my first models in Walmart when I was in fifth grade and was so ecstatic to find that these plastic models actually looked like horses.  Forget Grand Champions or those velvet fuzzy things- and you didn't find me playing with glitter pastel barbie horses.  NO WAY!  Honestly, those pets from My Littlest Pet Shop give me creeps.  So as I gradually gathered up a herd, I was given a nice wooden stable to house them in.  It took up most of the patio room for a good two years.  I tried my best to accessorize it and make it look like one of those model train sets in convention centers and town halls.  I was only 12 years old then. 

         I was set on edge whenever guests came because they often didn't control their children.  First I'd tried shutting them all in their stalls...but when the toddlers figured out that they could open the little doors and find horses...I began to gather my horses up in my arms and move them to my bedroom and lock the door.  On one occasion, my little brother let our cousins in there...and I walk in...to find them all smashing the horses together...and dropping them on each other...and making them fight!  (wail)  And the tail was broken off of one!  I didn't kill my little brother. 

       I tried super-glue...and krazy-glue...and guerrilla glue...nothing would bond to the plastic.  Years went by.  The model sat broken on display in my bedroom.  I contemplated using goat hair (mohair) by drilling or melting a hole in the plastic where the tail belongs and gluing the hair in.  

       Because all the other glues I had attempted the paint was eaten off the model's rump, I decided to make this one a custom horse.  Breyer models may be heated and reshaped, cut on, and repainted.  Being the daredevil artist that I am, I fearlessly subjected my be-loved model to all forms of torture.  I submerged it in boiling water and adjusted the neck and head and ear so that the horse was making a right turn, right ear laid back.  Then I took my hot knife and sculpted the nostrils, ears, eyes, and mouth (making it open mouth)  And repaired the tail!  It wont be breaking again! 

       Next I will paint it and seal it, enjoy it, and then perhaps, sell it.  Here is a look at what it looked like before it was broken, and what it looks like now.  (Please note that these are pictures of someone elses' model.  Mine looked very much the same)

I sanded the entire horse so that my paint would bond with the plastic better. 

  My sisters are always shocked whenever I destroy something.  That makes the challenge even more fun.  I destroy to make better.  I'll miss my appaloosa sport horse, but I wont tolerate any tailless, naked models atop my furniture any longer!

      I'm thinking of making him/her a light palamino or raspberry roan.  Not sure...consider my possiblities!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bobcat

         I'm having fits as I attempt to aline the eyes for the bobcat rugshell.  I did have them installed nicely...and then decided that I could do better.  I should have been satisfied.  Frustrated, I took the stiff skin outside and broke it down into a nice pliable soft leather.  It feels like velvet and it floats like silk.  That should make a nice rug, no?! 

        I can't help thinking about my adventure the other day though.  I had been working for about four hours to install the tounge and jaws into the form, carving and measuring, carving and measuring, adjusting, carving and measuring...and then I finally got to glue it in.  I took my pieces out into the patio, looked at my skin lying on a Yellowjacket bow target, and happily applied the Mohr Jaw Juice.  They weren't kidding when they said it is stronger than critter breath.  I was so glad I didn't bother opening any windows indoors or turning on any fans.  As the application became more messy I ran inside to get a piece of carboard to keep it from curing to the table.  I was gone only ten seconds.  When I returned, I noticed that the skin wasn't on the hunting target. 

       Panic!  My uncle's skin was missing.  I knew I hadn't mislaid it- perhaps my little brother was playing a joke.  I investigated the crime scene.  Doggie prints...drag marks.  The bobcat had been pinched.  "I hope that Tannin makes it sick!"  I growled running across the property, attempting to determine which direction the thief could have flown. 

      Soon I spied the little, black mutt lying in the neighbor's front yard chewing happily on something...white...leathery...catlike.  I ran across the field hoping to reach her before she chewed too many holes in it and at the same time hoping she wouldn't take it and run.  As I crossed the property line I noticed two rough looking young men sitting in the carport.  One was hunched over on a stool while his buddy was giving him a hair cut.  He couldn't have had more than 1/4 of an inch of hair earlier that day but he was getting a haircut anyway.  I ignored them and snatched the pelt from Star, about ready to take her own hide for the deed. 

       As I turned to leave I couldn't help noticing the shock and surprise carved on the features of the two guys.  The one on the stool had his mouth hanging wide open, and the other was holding the scissors and electric razor limply in his hands.  
       "Sorry fella's...(nervous laugh)- Just had to get my bobcat!"  (swinging skin girlishly as I shook from anger, nervousness, embarassment, and the spookiness of the neighbor's place)
       "That's real?!"  The one administering the haircut exclaimed.  
       "Yeah!"  I replied. 
       "I thought it was a stuffed animal.  -Don't mind the dog, she swipes everything."
       I picked up my pace but he stopped me again.  "Hey!  Where'd you get that bobcat?!"
       Knowing how word had spread of my father shooting at the armed intruder I was tempted to say that he had killed it with his bare hands...or...poked it with a skinning knife...or shot it between the eyes at a hundred yards.  Knowing how vunerable I may have looked, I was tempted to say that I had shot it...but then I went ahead and said, "My Uncle shot it."  

       When I returned to the house, I put the skin indoors and immediately fixed the broken latch on the patio door.  I didn't want to loose any more skins to that pooch.    As far as it's come, the cat is salivating almost rabidly- I love that Jaw Juice, and I want his eyes to look angry.  This being my first bobcat and an open mouth mount....well, I give everything I do my best shot...er...uh...yeah- best shot. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Burden

           Updates on the project a friend commissioned me to do.  The pictures aren't doing it justice.  I blacked out the lines of the poem to protect it from thieves whether intentional or unintentional- (I know that after reading something I'm often inspired to write something very similar.)



The burn in the cherry wood is my favorite. I think I like it better than basswood.  The initial designing of Christ and the burdened Pilgrim weren't too time consuming.  The problem I ran into was getting the correct size and being able to fit the poem on the piece at the same time and still have it readable.  The calligraphy I used for the poetry is fabulously eye-catching and easy to read.  Because the stanzas were short and the poem narrow I designed Christ's arms to fill in the rest of the wood.  This leaves a pleasing and equal amount of cherry wood and burned wood.

                      I'm so proud of myself when it comes to the pilgrim at the bottom.  I made his burden look as cumbersome as I could and furthermore threw him on his knees.  I wanted his staff to look like a crucifix as if he were using the cross for support but I thought it better to have the crosses on a hill far away because by the time he got to the cross his burden would have fallen.  Then I put sharp stones and rocks on his path to show the path as rough and hard...nothing easy to walk.  While most sinners think of themselves as living the good life, they are really miserable people once they realize the burden they are carrying. 

                       The crosses have already been burned but I have yet to update the pictures.  I'm currently spread out over three projects, a contest burning, this burning, and a bobcat rug. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Tribute

            I have been commissioned by a close friend to burn a poem she wrote on a piece of cherry.  Because the poem has not been copyrighted you will only see updates of the surrounding artwork.  I am excited about this piece because of the message in the artwork itself, not just the words.  The poem- was her artwork.  The burning- mine.  Unfortunately, until her poem is copyrighted, I will not be able to display it on my blog. 
           I am totally amazed at how easily the cherry wood burns. It has amazing qualities and color potential. 

           This post is titled, "My Tribute" because I want to commend a group that is often despised, little recognized, ignored...and honestly wished to be kept out of most people's lives.  I just got my driver's license...I should know.  You're driving down the road at a sane speed and this maniac passes you at about twenty miles faster than you're going- and by the way, you're likely already pushing the speed limit.  And you think, "Man, where are the cops when you need them?" 
          
            We all know that this analogy represents two kinds of drivers.  There are only two kinds of drivers in the world- believe me.  Every driver fits into one of these two categories.  There are idiots and maniacs- and yes, you fall into one of these two categories no matter how good a driver you are.  The idiots are the drivers travelling slower than you are, and the maniacs are the drivers travelling faster than you. 

           Even as law abiding drivers we all have a tendency to feel uncomfortable when officers are on the road.  You never know when they're in the mood to do a random stop or maybe you aren't really sure if your brake lights are working.  Maybe your the type of person who checked his brake lights before he left but knows that they could have stopped working sometime after the officer pulled out behind you. 

            A day doesn't go by that you don't hear or see something negative about a police officer.  I was sitting in the orthodontic surgeon's office the day of my wisdom teeth surgery and watch on the newscast, a guy getting the stuffing beat out of him in the middle of an intersection by a policeman.  It made oral surgery look pleasant. 

           Considering these sort of facts by themselves gives us the impression that every time you see a police officer he'll be tazing someone...or roughing them up.  But until you've had one come to your rescue you wont know just how friendly they are. 
             Several of them admitted to me that they are extremely bias.  And who wouldn't be after having to haul off bodies and having just hauled off the body of a two year old child the previous week.  They see victims and it makes them bitter.  They have a hatred for crime.  They don't have anything against other humans.  But they'd rather have to hurt the criminal than stand by and see an innocent hurt. 

             A term I often see on U-tube and hear abroad is the phrase, "Dumb Cop".  I read a quote once that went:  "If you hear a man grumbling, 'dumb animal' it is likely because the animal out-foxed him."  And I believe that this is true concerning policemen.  Naturally we'll find the video of a policeman having a bad day and putting his car in reverse when he wanted to put it in drive or tripping up or fumbling. 

            It happens to the best of us. 

            Policemen are humans, people with homes and families.  They're shot at, killed, targeted, and hated simply because they are a tool of the law.  You may have ran into a mean one.  I may soon run into a mean one.  But as I found out November 2nd at 1:30 in the morning, they risked getting shot at by a lunatic 17 year old to protect me and my family.  They did it because we were in need.  They came quickly, they were polite, professional, and frankly they treated that kid pretty nice.  They didn't beat the stuffing out of him at all for terrorizing an innocent man and his family in the middle of the morning.    I know that it's often that they are minding their own business when a criminal takes it upon himself to punish them for upholding the law.  Officers are quietly filing their paperwork when a criminal shoots at them or destroys their property.

             I commend Sam Cochran for his service to the people of Mobile County, and I commend all the officers who make up the local police force.  Although I couldn't quite see their name tags on their uniforms, their faces will all remain very familiar, and you can be sure they are considered friends. 
           

             It was amazing to see them in action.  Their efficiency, skill, and training is utterly amazing.  We're always thinking to thank our military heroes for fighting overseas...but do we think a moment about thanking the military that protects us in our neighborhoods and towns? 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

American Poverty Is The Lack of Parenting


                  Tuesday, November 2nd, approximately 1:04 AM... my senses were aroused by a series of disturbing noises generated by something huge!  I heard a slamming noise...like that of our deep-freezer in the patio adjacent to my bedroom being opened and closed repeatedly.  I opened my eyes as another loud slam reverberated through the wall to my alert ears.  I sat up in bed, groggily wiping the haze out of my eyes.  The clock read 1:--something AM.  I had only been asleep less than three hours.  This time the slamming held more of a hollow thud - the noise the back door makes when slammed.  I knew that there was someone out there.  My adrenaline began to pump.
                  
                   Mother had already awakened Father and he had turned on the flood lights.  When the lights came on, I decided to cautiously peer out my window.  As I did, I saw the burglar in a light colored hoodie sweatshirt covered in gold paisleys and wearing dark jeans.  I quickly and carefully took down his information knowing that I would need it.  "About 6 foot...maybe...oh...early twenties...light colored sweatshirt, dirty blond crew-cut hair...flashlight...gun...gun...gun!"  I saw him standing in front of our picnic table, brandishing the flashlight in his right hand, and the hand gun in the left.  I immediately retreated from the window as the man swung and aimed the flashlight at my window. 
                   At that moment Dad came into my room to look out my window.  The banging had stopped temporarily as the crook stopped to glance over the meats he had taken from our freezer and placed on the picnic table.  He was probably wondering how he would carry it all away by himself.  "Dad- he's got a gun."  I warned, laying back on my bed.  My two sisters had roused and were sitting up on their beds.  They had heard some of the banging themselves. 
                  At that moment I heard the banging of the carport guard rail (a safety device my dad Incorporated years ago to protect us kids from falling from the high concrete wall while riding our bicycles.  The sound made from someone using it to pull themselves up is all too familiar and unmistakable) as the crook climbed up into the carport and shined the flashlight at my window again.  He rattled the screen.  Fearing that gunfire could erupt at any moment I slid out of bed and ordered my sisters out of the room. 
                  Honestly, they'll tell you that I scrambled, scampered, fled like a rabbit, and said "He's got a gun, I'm getting outta here!" so I'll have to give you their side too.  I'll admit that I did say that, and I did run out looking for a knife or my BB gun- but!  Interjection BUT! While dad had my legs pinned down under my covers I was urging them to get out of the room ahead of me.  When dad finally withdrew from the window and my legs were free, they still had not moved, and I took it upon myself to be the first to leave.  They quickly followed. 

                  Mom, obviously in shock had asked dad permission to call 911.  I went straight to wake my little brother Gabriel who would not move or wake up.  So I had to haul him out of bed while he slept and drag him to my parent's closet.  The crook commenced ramming the back door with his body.  Fortunately for us, there are five steps that precede the doorstep and he didn't have a wide area to stand or even launch from.  

                  Dad went into his closet and procured several guns he owns.  He attempted to load them but the first one jammed.  The banging became more steady and methodical.  I was going into shock.  My body temperature had dropped and I was shaking and my teeth were chattering.  I went into the bathroom looking for a sharp object or knife...tweezers...anything sharp enough to stab and eye out.  Since I had seen the burglar the 911 operator asked me to describe him over the phone.  She was also wanting to talk to dad but he was ignoring mother.  I watched my dad tromping back and forth pulling out ammunition and guns, trying to load them and becoming frustrated.  It sounded as if the door was going to break open at any moment.  

                   The feeling of helplessness was terrible.  Our castle was being seiged for the first time ever.  The door sounded as if it would splinter and I could in minutes be faced with the ugliest devil I'd ever seen.  And I knew that this devil had a gun.  Even with his back turned to my window, my glimpse of him had been a frightening one.  He looked like a convict escaped from jail.  

                   Dad came back to the closet and snatched out his deer rifle.  Loading it, he left and stood in wait.  I heard glass breaking and new that the burglar would be entering the house.  How awful it was to hear my house being shattered and demolished by one deranged maniac.  Then, I heard a single shot split the air.  I expected to hear a scream or a groan or a scuffling noise.  Not able to recognize the shot, I didn't know if the bandit had shot at my dad, or my dad at him.  My adrenaline had been pumping so fast and my ears pounding that the sound of breaking glass and gunfire was muffled and quickly fled my memory.  The time flew so that the entire ordeal seemed to last only seconds.  Looking at the clock, we realized that twenty minutes had passed.  

                  Dad returned to the room and we were relieved to see that he hadn't been shot.  "I don't know where he is.  I couldn't see him, I just saw his shadow through the blinds and thought I'd warn him before his head and  the gun came through."  Dad said.  Mom was still on the phone.  She told Dad that the police were outside and wanted him to come out the front door.  When I saw eight police cars in front of our house, I suddenly felt very safe.  (The  Mobile City Police deserve a Tribute standing by itself in a following post)   

                  I was asked to step outside and describe the burglar.  I'd never stood toe to toe with that many police officers before.  Several of them carried assault rifles with flashlights mounted on them and went into the back yard to investigate.  I gave them my description and answered their questions.  Before I could even finish the officer's radio blared, "They've just found a man on Diamond, not a quarter mile west- requesting back-up- he's armed and putting up a fight- over and out."  Immediately two of the patrol cars on the road sped into action and zoomed up the hill at a terrific speed. 

                  Ten minutes later they returned with the crook in the back of the car.  The continued to question me about his appearance and whatever other details I could remember.  Adrenaline had partially erased some of this information but they brought me the man's bloody sweatshirt to identify and his shoe which they matched with the mud sole marks on our door.  An ambulance arrived immediately to treat him for a serious wound on the wrist.  I could only assume my dad's bullet had grazed him by the amount of blood on the cuff and waist of the sweatshirt.  It is likely that it was caused by glass shrapnel thrown by the bullet coming through the window. 

                   I was terrified when the police announced that they would shine a light in his face so I could get a look at him.  I almost didn't want this because I didn't want to think that it could have been a neighbor kid I went to school with since 2nd grade and even played cars with every day in play centers.  It wasn't the neighbor kid; and they quickly found enough evidence to form a solid case against him. 

                   The officers told us that the guy was asking for a cigarette from the seat of the patrol car and even said, "Why can't I just go home?!"  They wouldn't say if he was under the influence of any drugs but the CSI guy admitted that they wish that dad would have just shot him.  They complained that criminals like this leave jail too quickly and commit the same crimes.  On top of that, it would have saved them hours of paperwork and they have become very biased after ten years on the force and seeing innocent families being carried away in body bags because of fearless criminals.  The forensics detective confiscated dad's rifle temporarily, but after finding that the bullet had apparently not grazed him and it had only been shrapnel that had wounded the crook (and understanding that my dad wanted it for hunting season) gave it back and instructed him on the proper scope to use in case this should ever happen again. 

                    Let me tell  you, police officers are very opinionated people.  They have a great sense of humor, they're very friendly, and they are pro-gun and pro-family.  The people who protect you, do not vote for socialism. 

                    The neighbor sauntered over about the time the detective did.   Her breath reeked of cheap cigarettes and she held the hand of her half-breed grandchild who she babysits constantly.  It was 3:00 AM.  As the detective's face came into the light I immediately recognized him.  I'd seen him around town...somewhere before.  "Hello, I'm detective Bradley."  He said softly.  I looked him over.  "Smallest shoes I ever saw a man wear...short, woman-fine hands...big brown eyes....small nose....brisk, alert...very intelligent gaze..."  I looked at his shirt.  On the cuff the guitar center emblem was sewn into the cloth.  "I knew it!  I knew it!" I thought triumphantly.  "I saw this man working behind the counter at Guitar Center when I went to hang up Pablo Sainz Villegas posters for the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra in April earlier this year!  - And he's a detective!"

                     Detective Bradley asked questions and set an officer on fingerprinting.  Dad found the doors on two of our vehicles ajar.  Papers had been thrown around and the sun visors lowered.  We hadn't locked any of the vehicles and were glad that we didn't because the crook may have broken the windows and been even more upset when he didn't find anything valuable inside. 
                     The goods in the freezer were emptied on the picnic table.  Turkeys and Hams were loaded into an empty trash can and whole Chickens were found in a cardboard box.  The only items left in the freezer were my taxidermist specimens: a beautiful squirrel skin from one unlucky electrocution victim, and the skull from the bobcat that my Uncle wants me to clean for him.

                    Detective Bradley asked me and my dad questions, glanced at our identification, and scribbled notes from the crime scene.  Every time a question was directed at either one of us, the neighbor lady broke in.  According to her, the crook was DJ's friend, the slumlord let him, two other guys, and a girl rent a trailer for $200 each a month, the gun he had was a 380 automatic cause she saw it earlier that night when DJ came home from work and found him crouched under their window - but she didn't know him!  The detective became miffed.  The neighbor talked in circles and although she sounded as if she knew everything the cops wanted to know, she continued to ask questions and showed a considerable amount of alarm when she heard that my dad had shot at him.  The following day she stopped the Fox 10 News car and told them that it was her gun the crook had used and that her house had also been robbed.  I doubt she knows the cops plan on furthering their investigation.

                    The CSI detective gave some fancy names to the serious of holes the rifle bullet left in the patio walls, the concrete, the picnic table, and the direction it flew then advised dad to get himself an automatic and mow down anyone else who came along.  "You were very reserved"..."Just the other day...I hauled off a two year old in a body bag"  Detective Bradley stated that the previous week his patrol car had been broken into.  He had spotted the crook trying to break the door open when he fired.  "There's a ding in the car to prove it."  He stated with a small smile. 

                     My mother, still in obvious shock, stayed inside.  I heard her playing the piano at 3:30 AM and singing.  "I Cast All my cares, upon you...I lay, all of my burdens, down at your feet...and anytime that I don't know ...just what to do...I will cast, all my cares upon you..." 

                    The police left at 5:30 that morning and about 6:00 AM we crawled back into bed and slept until 10:00 O'clock.  It took another 24 hours to even think of getting back into routine.  That morning dad replaced the window and reinforced the doors.  Then the news people began circling, as the officer put it, "like vultures" and advised us to go ahead and give them permission to come otherwise they would ask around until they found us and have free reign of what they could film. 

                    Their report was their own interpretation of what happened, and they did leave out our thanks to the Mobile County Police department but the picture they got of Phillip Anthony Johnston was truthful enough.  I wonder if the vibes radiating off his convict face scared me more than the gun.  I would have been more scared to know what he looked like before the ordeal was over as my vivid imagination could have accurately depicted him breaking down our door...my dad was the only physical thing standing between him and us.  He would have been sorry to find that our electronics are stone age, we don't even have a TV, and when he shined his light upon the first wall of our house, he would have come face to face with Christ.  If only Hoffman could have painted those eyes staring straight at the viewer... 

                    So now, I sleep with half of my brain somewhat alert.  Any little rustling outside my room could be a burglar...but dad has purchased more weapons of defense and trained us all in the use of them.  If anybody is curious, I'm a near sure-shot with a gun.  And if you'll excuse my redneck rhetoric, "I ain't easily scared."  I get it from my dad.  I can say that throughout the entire ordeal, he was only stirred...never shaken as he admitted on the news.  Now that you've heard my story, take a look at the crook, who by the way, is as old as my younger sister.  He is 17 years old...   



                   I almost feel sorry for him...almost.  I'm sure the cigarette and drug withdrawal he's dealt with will get the mental faculties working again, and he'll think twice before he ever attempts this neighborhood again.  The Forensics detective said that we should be good for a whole year, and if they know what's good for them the entire generation will remember what could happen...17 years old or not, that kid could have been shot dead. 
                  And if my dad hadn't been armed...we would have been in trouble.  You may think you'll never need a gun until you have a maniac breaking your windows and beating on your doors...and he...is armed with an automatic.  A gun that could easily dispatch more than half a dozen people before any of them can think to tackle him.  The gun, was allegedly the neighbor lady's- but you can never believe anything she says.  For every three sentences she speaks, one is a lie.  And when this guy gets out of jail, he wont be able to get a gun permit.  Where will he get his next gun?  Where do they get their next gun?  Don't think for a moment that if we the people don't have weapons the crooks can't get any.  The crooks will steal them from squad cars and find you helpless...cowering in your bathroom. 

Comments from others: 
November 04, 2010, 1:00PM
one less crack head to worry with, thank goodness for Remington
OnlyHandofdoom
November 03, 2010, 8:53PM
Borlovan , as I see it , I would have done more ! I know you did right !
Shutterbug1
November 03, 2010, 7:44PM
People here in Mobile are sick of crime.  Victims taking matters into their own hands is going to happen more and more.
pembrook08
November 03, 2010, 4:42PM
Ive gone to school with this kidd at Semmes Middle && MGM. This is absolutely crazy! The people i used to know and know now are 100% completely differnt people now && this just comes to prove it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cherry Wood

             Today I went shopping and I just love those discount stores because you never know what you can find.  Wherever I go I find myself subconsciously looking for suitable wood pieces, furniture, household decorations, or practical items.  How blessed I was to come across this unique wooden plate. 
            It was buried in a bunch of Malaysian native wood and bamboo cutting boards and all were pretty high priced for a discount store.  Nonetheless this was a great find and I can't wait for the inspiration to come. 

It would also make a beautiful custom piece for one lucky individual. 

I cannot tell exactly what wood it is but it is very hard, like oak.  It may even be a foreign wood. 
              Then I went down the road a ways and purchased two beautiful Cherry pieces.  I've always been attracted to Cherry.  Although it is not very visible in the picture, these two pieces posses a gorgeous red hue.  I cannot wait to see how well they burn. 
                Both pictures are horizontal. 
If I'm ever lucky I'll get my hands on some cedar!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Real Ghost

          As Halloween approaches I am praying for the rain that has plagued trick-or-treaters in my hometown for the past two consecutive years.  Living near a dead end and being in a retreated neighborhood we don't get trick-or-treaters.  The only spooks I saw are the ones that show up downtown at the Saenger for the Halloween pops concert.  The ticket lady standing by the door is dressed in an adorable bumblebee consume, other attendants take on the forms of Star Wars characters or Grim Reapers. 
         The Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra director, Dr. Seebacher, makes one good Grim Reaper.  I only knew it was him by his shoes poking out from the bottom of the long black garment.  (And I was only down there holding up appreciation signs for a loved Director of Education who was relieved of her position.) 

         But downtown cities and bars aren't the only places you're likely to find real spirits hanging out on any given day.  -Even Halloween.  Take a look at this one employee's run in with a tormenting spirit...in a Blockbuster video rental.
 

I guarantee you, he quickly found work elsewhere. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Firesong

              Just posting to let everyone know that I have another victory!  I pat myself on the back so because it is quite an accomplishment and I take pride in figuring things out on my own.  I applaud Mixpod for their navigable and user friendly website.  I will change my songs out here and there but for now I selected as many as I could think of off the top of my head. 

               I don't beleive that they'll play on pages so your song will cut off as you navigate, however, if you know you're going to be haunting for a few minutes try a little of the music and let me know if you have favorites and I'll be sure to keep them on there as I change out the selection. 

               Every hour of my life has to have a little music in it.  It's what my mood and attitude feeds on, so I thought I'd encourage yours with a few favorites- and the greater reason for my doing this is to introduce all of you friends and visitors to some great classical music I've been priveleged to play with the Youth Orchestra in town. 
 
               Just this past weekend we were handed the sheet music to Polar Express- Yay!  I'll be sure to make my music seasonal as much as possible. 

                In the pyro world I am busy hunting for more wood and currently working on turning out several more "Lord Bless This Home" signs for the Christmas season. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Artful Speaker

          This is supposed to be an art blog, no?  Well yes, actually, but I think my viewers wouldn't care to visit often if I only updated with progress on a boring old piece of art once a month.  So I got the idea to do a little blabbing and yakking.  Just whatever I'm up to or thinking about. 

          Right now life is on hold.  My life is on hold.  It's been on hold ever since I graduated from High School.  I always thought it was supossed to speed up and eventually spin out of control at this point.  I did get my driver's license but I still consider my life to be a standstill while my time whirls past me. 

         I called the Voice of God Recordings office twice now, only to find that I need to call earlier to catch the sister I need to contact.  I've done that and will be waiting to hear what I'll be able to do with my idea. 

         I'd hate to let the world in on my plans and then not be able to meet demands...or even turn out a decent work.  It isn't everyday I wring out a masterpiece.   I can say that if I go through with this... I can put scripture on the left hand side of the wood, and the scripture reference below the prophet. 

        I have about a dozen wonderful and perhaps, unthought of scriptures to fit the picture.  Most people would immediately think to put Malachai 4 or Revelations 10:7...but as I searched I came across other scriptures that speak wonderful messages.  I hope to give you all a vote on which ones to use, or even let you customize it.  

        Wish me luck as I find out what I can do with my plans.   
         

Monday, October 18, 2010

Up or Down?

                  The toilet seat issue has become a pet peeve of mine, especially since my little brother came into the family.  Now, being a woman doesn't make me partial, and I have done research on it before writing this article.  I'd like to know first of all, why men don't worry over bathroom hygiene like a lot of women do.  I've had many, many early mornings where I make one of those blind trips.  (Amazing how humans can walk to the bathroom and back with their eyes shut...some to the kitchen)  And the trip is always done in the dark with perhaps one little dim nightlight by the sink. 

                 But imagine, happily and sleepily chewing on that morning's plans (and it is currently anytime between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM)  and you return to your bed...underclothes sticking to you...because you either sat in something very warm or very cold depending on how long ago that last made a night trip.  And you know it was your little brother's fault, but he's lucky enough to be sleeping right across the hall from mom and dad...so you decide to wait until later to kill him.  He's lucky...because by 7:00 AM you've dried off and sleep has eroded some of that murderous anger that one gets when one sits on such a thing. 

              That is why I sometimes think about waiting until after one of my sisters has made a blind trip down the hall.  (somewhat evil grin)  So I think to myself, this horrible, sticky-wet early morning could have been more restful if the lid had been raised... WRONG.  Because then it would have been left up...and I probably would have had a worse night.  This brings up the issue- should men leave the toilet seat up...or down?  Well, one of my research sources did a mathematical study on the wear and tear on the toilet seat if men had to raise and then lower it with every visit.  His study showed that it was only an act of kindness for the spouse and that women find it convenient because in the end, they neither have to raise or lower the seat except when cleaning.  Therefore, they do essentially no work, and the man ends up doing twice the work.  I partway agreed with his study but felt that the same amount of wear would be done on the toilet if a man left it up and the women had to put it down.  Like he said, it's an act of kindness for the women because it makes no difference who puts it down. The seat will eventually wear down. 

             I have one of those nifty little seats that lowers itself slowly and noiselessly.  When first introduced into our home, it caused a little problem when visiting homes deprived of such a nice little convenience.  Giving their toilet seat a tap to send it slowly lowering into place I found that it only smashed into the other porcelain lid with an embarrassingly loud BANG!  I quickly learned.  Now, don't ask me how, my cerebellum has taken over the task, and wherever I go, without a second though, I can lower a toilet seat down gently, and let mine fall on it's own. 

          So, this is my case.  There are three usable parts to the toilet's top.  The first lid, which is excellent as a seat (hospital station, foot prop for toenail cleaning, etc), the second lid (we all know what it's for), and the the third area (when the second lid is raised for cleaning).  I'm sure everyone knows that the sink and toothbrushes should be more than six feet from the toilet because studies have shown that vapors from a flushing toilet spread six feet in every direction.  It is also hygienic to leave the first lid down while flushing!  It is also hygienic and proper etiquette to leave the first lid down after usage.  This means that no matter what lid you raise, you must lower the first lid before exiting the bathroom!! 

       Now this doesn't make unfairness because men have to lower two seats before leaving a bathroom and women only have to lower one!  The outcome is simple.  If you are a proper and hygienic person, you automatically lower as many lids as you need to get the first lid (which probably has a pretty little rug covering on it) down before you flush.  This case is closed!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Animal Rights

             I just finished skinning my Uncle's bobcat.  What a gorgeous animal!  It took me 4 and 1/2 hours and my skinning around the face was flawless.  Couldn't have done better!  I didn't even pop a claw.  I should mention that I was fighting wasps and filth flies, mostly yellow jackets. 
            
            As soon as the cat began to thaw out the wasps began to arrive. I watched the first one with great amazement as it chewed out a chunk of flesh with it's jaws and then carried it off to it's nest.  I probably shouldn't have let it fly away because it brought the whole nest back with it half an hour later.  There were probably...oh, forty wasps attacking that cat by the time I was ready to bury the carcass.  Notice this post isn't illustrated.  I'd hate to be accused of disturbing images.  Yeah, it is gross.  I don't really want to post pictures of skinned animals anyway. 

          So before I could even salt the hide I had wasps landing on my shirt, my hair, one crawling on my arm, one crawling up my leg, and twenty others flying around and trying to get to the skin.  The one crawling up my leg was harmless because I had separated it from it's stinger with the skinning knife and dispatched twelve others who bit my latex glove whenever my hand got in their way.  "Hey, guys,- back off!"  I told them.  "It's my carcass. You can have it when I'm done."   Within those four hours they probably carried off about twelve ounces of flesh- not a bad amount for forty little wasps. 

          One term I run across every time I go surfing for taxidermy supplies and tips is this one:  Animal Rights.  "They have as much right to live and eat as we do.  After all, they were on planet earth for billions of years before we were!"  
         "If you say so."
       As far as Animal Rights go, Animals have all the same right we humans do and I can prove it.  They live in climate controlled houses, are fed three regular meals a day, and even have companionship.  They all receive paid medical care and they even have special little cemeteries just for their kind.  Alot of animals work for their keep, especially in other countries.  In America, alot of Animals are on welfare.  You probably own one or two.  I own a cockatiel who has been on welfare for 15 years of his happy little life.  He doesn't cost alot to upkeep though.  

       If Animal Rights extended so far that animals were eligible for some new-age Mammal social-security number and if one was murdered by a homo-sapien  the homo-sapien could face capital punishment we'd all be living on a diet of vegetables and our brain cells would be starving from lack of animal fat.  If this were life in the late 21st Century there would be daycares for the next generations of all those little critters who were destined for the slaughterhouse.  We, the humans, would be serving the animals. 

         And yes, slaughter yards can be inhumane and the animals can be unhealthy, but if Animals had equal rights with humans, we would be servant to them.  And you can't make their rights equal with wild animal rights.  After all, that butcher hog lived in a pen all his life.  Bambi got to roam a hundred acres for at least two years of his life  and eat whatever he wanted before he became a seasoned supper.   

       So- Animal Rights... what about insect rights?  Or...Rodent's Rights?  We termite treat out houses, and set up traps for rodents.  We exterminate all kinds of ...pests.  But rats show a great deal more intelligence than the neighbor's Maltese which runs into the street everytime a truck is coming.  Where would it stop? 

        I think those country rats and termites that consume pines in National parks have a far better life than any Animal Rights activist.  Maybe I should do a study of how smog on the brain can affect reasoning. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Revelation 10:7

            My next project, I hope to be of God's prophet, Brother William Branham.  Today I have just begun to make plans for my newest piece of wood.  It's the perfect shape for a portrait and a scripture.  I don't know how well it will turn out, shading and people in general being much more difficult.  I have never attempted to burn portraits of people, and I highly doubt it will be exteremly successful with my $25 iron; but I shall give it a whirl and like alot of other projects, I may be surprised. 
        
           On the side of that, I'm very excited to announce that my Uncle Josh has shot a bobcat and I will get to skin and tan it for him.  I didn't feel confident enough to mount it for him, as I've only worked with one squirrel and such forms cost alot of money, but he should be pleased with an open mouth rug shell.  Bobcat pelts make pleasing trophies anyway you use them.  It would also make a nice wedding present.  Congragulations Josh and Hannah! 

"If You Only Appreciate The Live Animals, And Don't Appreciate The Dead Animals, Then You Are Missing Half Of The True Fundamentals And Nature Of Life" ~Takeshi Yamada - Rogue Taxidermist

Friday, October 8, 2010

5-1=x-40

I hope no one will take this as a death threat on the livelihood of their sweet little indoor animals.  Every time I go to flute lessons I like to sit in my teacher's living room and love on her dachshund and Persian cat.  In fact, she owns seven or eight cats.  She's a cat person.  Everywhere I go, the dogs come up and love on me.  As long as they don't stink to bad, I'll love on them.

Right now, my legs are quavering and shaking.  They've been quavering and shaking for about ten minutes now.  I just shot the stray cat, and buried my dead chicken.  I had been quietly coloring a pretty picture with my friend Sarah Rogers/Cottle and my sisters when we heard flapping and squawking in the front yard.  In about 1.8 seconds I had my gun in my hand and was tearing across the front yard, loading it and pumping it up to the eighth pump (it's not supposed to go over six- but just goes to show what adrenaline can do in this farm girl), ...tearing across the front yard like a wild banshee...or a US Marine and screaming "CAT!  MY CHICKEN OR YOUR LIFE!"  I leaped over the neighbor's fence in one swift leap, trailing the cat with my bird dangling from its mouth by ten or twenty feet only to come face to face with the neighbor man.  A really nice redneck man with a big heart who likes tinkering with his Chevy Camero.  I knew for sure he wouldn't think very well of a lady in a skirt plowing like an ex-Marine across his property with a BB Gun after a cat that might be his.  "Sir, was that your cat?  Did you see a gray and white cat c-c-come b-by here?!"  I was shaking with rage and looking around wildly...perhaps even psychopathically. 
"Yeah- he had a chicken in his mouth!  Go shoot it!"  That was all I needed!  I tore behind the trailer, my stomach churning so bad I wanted to stop and throw up.  I knew the cat wouldn't leap the wire fence with the bird, he's have to have gone through the one hole homeless people had cut to get to the trailer before it had been reoccupied and legally.  I went to the corner anyway and squatted.  I saw the cat half concealed by leaves with my bird in its mouth.  Bringing the gun up I took immediate aim for the guts and fired.  The cat leaped and disappeared.  I knew that if I'd missed, he'd have taken my bird.  If I'd hit him, the bird would be there.  I ran along the fence till I came to the opening and tore down the steep slopes to the creek, tripping and reeling along the way.  My vision blurred here and there as my heart screamed out for my little girl.  Thorny vines with spikes 1/2 and inch long tore at me and I broke branches with one arm and then my gun barrel.  I had to heave a thick bough of a fallen tree out of my way to get to the creek and then I nearly cried when I thought I'd lost the cat.  I didn't hear it running away...I hoped I'd killed it right where it stood.  Deciding to confirm this, I went West, back up the hill, through terrain I'd never dreamed of facing while exploring.  Right where I'd shot the cat...my bird lay.  Her neck was broken...she was bloody...lifeless...and it was the one with the hurt leg...who I'd babied for four days now.  Now I have only four chickens... 
           When I came back to the neighbor man, holding my lifeless baby in one hand and my weapon in the other, the neighbor man offered his kind hearted advice on the benefit of roosters in a flock and where to get some Jersey Giants if we ever wanted any.  I thanked him and asked him if he owned any cats.  He said that they were all strays that got into the garbage.  No body owned him.  "Thank you, sir.  I said.  Thank you very much."  And I hopped back over the fence and attempted to feel if my baby had any heart beat...even breath.  After several minutes I felt her feet and eyelids grow cold.  I took a shovel...and I buried her...alongside the ten other chickens I've lost within two years. 
          This autobiographical story is one every livestock owner has lived.  Next Monday I will go to my music lesson, and love on Smoky, the Persian...I might even pet the little kitty that strolls up to me out in public.  The neighborhood garbage cats...