Sep 29, 2023

Sparky Says!



Sparky Says.

Howdy, howdy to you all. Let's get this boxcar moving. For starters you should know I'm a squirrel. Not an ordinary run-of-the track squirrel but a special squirrel. On the scientific side of things I'm called a grey squirrel and on the taxonomy scale squirrels are frequently referred to as a rodent and although we have a reputation as being among the "cleanest" of the rodent clan, I detest and resist any affiliation to that bunch of scoundrels called rodent. But I'm getting ahead of myself..a tendency we squirrels possess.

My authorship follows that of the single greatest pooch to ever live. I know because I watched that Boston Terrier for a good long time. Her name was Enya and as many of you know, was the master of Annie and the herd boss of clark. She passed along not long ago after many years of bringing joy and happiness into the lives of those less fortunate, this would be most of you doing the reading. As some of you also know, Enya was a splendid writer and most significantly the author of "Enya Says." I have read all of her work and enjoyed it immensely.

Her pennings brought laughter and great mirth to many squirrel nests across this mountain valley. She is sorely missed but as the poet Robert Frost wrote: life goes on.

This brings me to my current dilemma and state of mind. It is such: Annie and clark had their train jump the track when Enya passed. I know because it played out in front of me. Holy crap kids, it was a catsasstrophe. Seldom in my time have I witnessed such moping, aimless wandering, hang down and general helplessness as these two displayed. Furthermore, it was every day. I kept wondering when is this malaise going to dissipate? As a group we squirrels are not inclined to wait for things to happen. As a clan we MAKE things happen. I've been told some humans are not fond of this personality trait in squirrels. How many times have you heard the story about a squirrel eating through the wiring in a car or house attic? This is utter squirrelshit. If it weren't for we squirrels running our nocturnal patrols, the chipmunks would have a candidate running for the US Senate. That should put you restless hearts to rest.

Now where was I? Oh yes, the Annie/clark malaise. Cutting to the chase, I decided to take action. It went something like this: one day clark was outside throwing a peanut at my friends the stellar jays. Like us, they favor the peanut. I watched and waited until their gullet was full and flew off leaving a few peanuts on the ground whereupon I lept to action. I darted down from my favorite tree and snagged a peanut. clark saw me and threw a few more peanuts to the ground whereupon I bravely secured each one and deposited them one by one in my various nests. Apparently this humored clark and he continued to toss peanuts and as he did he began to whistle. I don't remember the tune but it was simple, probably the only one he could generate. As he whistled and tossed another peanut, I returned and performed my task.

Here's the funny thing. I surmised that clark thought I was retrieving peanuts because of his whistling. Here's the thing sports fans: humans are simple, silly creatures. Can you imagine my chagrin when I realized what clark thought he was up to. I'm certain when he ran out of peanuts clark went into the house and told Annie how he was training a squirrel. How could he know that I've read the literature on Pavlov's studies with the German Shepards?

So you muse, what does this have to do with the malaise? Well, just about everything because my peanut fetching was the cause of Annie and clark thinking and doing something besides feeling sad. Certainly I understand that I'm a stand-in for Enya right now but I'm OK with that and what thoughtful squirrel wouldn't feel the same.

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure there will be more peanuts and more whistling. l'm prepared to carry Enya's mantra of spreading joy and happiness to the lives of those less

fortunate. By the way, my name is Sparky.

Stay tuned, do good and get your peanuts where you can.


May 4, 2023

Enya's Obituary


Arf, arf, and a hearty bow wow to my doggie and human friends. You should know, I've taken the Rainbow Bridge. For you historian types the official date of my movements to the next level was April 4, 2023. Weep not for me, amigos. Mine was an uncommon life of 16 people years. Just so you know, I penned this obituary. It seems prudent to do these days. Well, what I tell you is true and factual. 

Annie, my Mom, arrived to take me with her one day. I could sense she was a smidgen uncertain but she is a sensitive one and alert to things not readily visible. She knew we needed each other, thus Annie became my Mom. 

Some obituaries are lengthy. I've read many in my previous life. Bow Wow... who cares where you attended obedience school and graduated magna cum laude and then became the Master of the Chow Pound? Truly, what is the earthly significance of such? Moving along here rather quickly as I know some of you readers have a wee span of attention, like Pomeranians. I'll cut to the dog chase here. I've lived a life worth living. Annie, my Mom, was also my heart and I knew hers belonged to me. We traveled together, walked the woods, and shared the morning yogurt. Her song is in my bones. Just today I heard Annie say, "good morning Enya" to me. I reciprocate. 

Thank you my canine and human friends for the pleasure of meeting you and sniffing around. I am well and moving along with my nose on the trail. 

Adios for now, 

Jan 18, 2023


 Myrna Kay (Daniel) Orr, of Lincoln, MT died in her home, surrounded by her family on January 4, 2023. She was 80 years old. 

Myrna was born on September 24, 1942 in Great Falls, MT to Dolf and David Calvert. 

Myrna married Lee Daniel on March 19, 1957. They raised 3 children in Laredo on the outskirts of Havre, Montana. 

 Mom was stubborn and witty, which made it clear where the rest of the family got it from. She had a heart so big and she always put a smile on your face. Playful, bold, sassy, a story teller who loved to laugh! Mom loved to play: she went sledding with her kids, threw on the ice skates and down to Big Sandy creek they all went (frozen cow pies and all). She played baseball, she loved to fish and was quite a swimmer in her days. She would pack up a picnic lunch and take the family to Fresno Lake. During one of the outings she saved a young boy and proceeded to lose her top. She recovered nicely! From a young age, mom fed harvest crews, baked bread and created amazing casseroles. Grandkids, great grandkids and friends knew of her amazing talents with cinnamon rolls. She mothered Uncle Mark’s kids along the way and would go about adopting any friend we brought home. 


Mom married Bob on February 11, 2004. Mom and Bob led an incredibly rich life filled with trips, good food, great drink and laughter. They had many friends and adventures with their friends. Mom’s friends were her diamonds that shined bright. Once she met you, you were hers… heart and soul. She was always helping her friends, she was an amazing listener with a huge heart. Her creativity and talents were endless. She was savvy with social media, keeping in touch with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mom loved animals. Many dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, and birds entered our lives and entertained us with their antics. Grandkids and great grandkids knew they were honored when they were allowed to feed the deer and the birds in her backyard. We were a lucky bunch of peeps!


Myrna is survived by children, Annette Diane Clark (Trace Clark), Aaron Lee Daniel (Tracy Daniel), & George Allen Daniel (Nancy Daniel); her 11 grandchildren; and her 18 great grandchildren. When marrying Bob mom enlarged her family by 5 kids, several grandkids and great grandkids.


Sep 14, 2022

Enya Says

 Enya Says

September 13, 2022

From the Ranch


Woof Woof to all my canine and human friends. Dang, it’s been a long time since I last felt the urge to do some writing. In my defense, I’ve been busy. Keeping track of Annie and clark is not a task for the faint hearted as they are both mobile and have a number of interests outside this house that simply do not warrant my attention nor the indiscriminate sacrifice of my valuable energy. Furthermore, although I hesitate to share personal type information on social media, I have been dealing with some health matters. My hearing is shot. I don’t know how it happened but it did. I knew it was fading when I could no longer hear Annie’s sweet callings and murmurings. Clark’s I could detect as he can be quite audible, even by human standards. When the recommendation for hearing aids came back from the audiologist, I objected as I am resistant to things being inserted into my body cavities. It’s one of the few things we canines universally agree upon and a circumstance where many humans accept our counsel. If you doubt this, just ask your humans how they feel about their upcoming colonoscopy. 


Hopefully this isn’t reading like a newsletter from the canine Rescue Mission, but it seems that when one thing falls apart there’s usually another to follow and so it has been with my vision. Annie and Clark took me to my Vet recently. He’s the one with the unusually large hands. The Vet verdict is that while I have some “close up” vision the rest of it ain’t so great. Luckily, I can still see this keypad. I get around good enough but these days I rely more upon my nose to figure out where I am. For this I am thankful as I have seen (when I had vision) many humans with fading vision stumble bumble around without benefit of a superior olfactory sense as we pooches possess. 


All things considered chaps, life is still pretty darn good. Hey, I’m 15 years old and the chow gets a good grade, I have multiple beds and blankets to support my more frequent snoozings, I  get outside for a spot of fresh air, I always catch the chipmunk in my dreams, and I get more carrying around by Annie. I am particularly fond of the latter as she always loves me up and she smells good. It’s a case of canine social security. 


I just love that Fall is creeping in. It’s my favorite season. Sure, some of my friends complain about what lies ahead, namely winter but I try to stay in the moment and keep my keen nose in the wind. When I still had hearing I liked listening to that old Bob Seeger song with the verse  “strange how the night moves with Autumn closing in.” I look forward to a few more campfires here at the Ranch with Annie and clark, possibly a visit from one of my new best friends, Max and a tasty morsel in my chow dish. I also wish Annie would let me eat chocolate because Halloween looms not far off. 


Well friends, it’s adios and bow wow for now. I trust this epistle finds you well and you are being treated kindly. Don’t forget, you get what you give. Let the fools pet you a bit. 


Your friend, 


Apr 13, 2022


 Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

-Naomi Shihab Nye


heron web.jpeg

Travels and Thoughts!

 We have been traveling slowly throughout the western passage from North to South... stopping along the way to breathe and meet souls of the Earth. That is our favorite thing in life. Looking for the evasive (at times elusive)  connection to others. When you are quiet and breathing it just seems to appear. 

Our travels guided us through Kanab Utah and downward through Tucson and as always landed us in Tubac Arizona. Tubac has been a quiet refuge for us for 10 years. Many souls turned into deep friendships that will remain with us forever. Surprisingly, we have all aged... how did this happen? I'm not feeling much older and when I gaze upon my friend's faces they are eternally young. Several are turning 80 this year... amazing in my mind! The high desert treats them well. 
This year we decided to land in Pecos New Mexico for 10 days (outside of Santa Fe) and we were treated to an incredible experience. New Mexico walks in the wake of spiritual happenings. It is the land (of enchantment) of indigineous ways, of battles fought, of ancient lands. You can feel it all around you. We stayed in an incredible spot in the Sangre De Cristo mountains. Our hostess has developed a zen path with sculptural delights of buddhas, ancient indigenous sculptures, hindu sculptures and most impressive wind harps (outdoor sound sculptures). I had never experienced such delight to my ears and senses. The wind harp delivers. This site has some information: 
Finally we met some incredible souls. One in particular was a gentle german shepard who guarded and guided us through our stay in New Mexico. Another sacred visitor was the blue heron who landed in the tree top beside us to sun his wings. Today as we explored a church at Apache Corner which was built in 1880 (Nuestra Senora de Luz Church) we met a sprite of a lady all of 4'10" who walked up to ask if I had a garbage bag or two. She was decked out in many coats, hats and scarves with large sunglasses upon her beautiful face. Her smile was contagious. And she grabbed my face in her hands and kissed me. I had been kissed by an angel. She had come from the Phillipines years before, had survived brain cancer in 2009 and now had difficulties in balance and vision. She held Traces and my hands as she talked. Everyday she walked to the church to pick up litter and to pray. We joined her and were set off with a kiss and a wave. Life is incredible on this planet. 

Oct 25, 2021

Enya Says

 Greetings fellow canines and human friends. Just to set your hearts and noggins to rest, I’ve

been vaccinated in case you want to visit. I chose the vaccine with the cognitive enhancer

which, as I’ve read will result in at least a 6 point increase in my full scale bow wow score. To

date, I’m still waiting for its impact upon my thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I can still perform

my usual tasks. I remember the location of the food bowl, I know where the doors are located

for my daily exits, but my reading seems to have slipped a bit. Multi syllable words are causing

my fur to dander. Occasionally I holler at Clark for some help in this arena but he seems to

experiencing some of the same difficulty. I hope the enhancer kicks in for both of us quickly as

I have a few meetings later this summer which require my full capacity and he has stuff to do.

My doggie friends. I certainly hope you have received the vaccine. I could say “hope and pray”

but we Bosties don’t pray, we trust. We trust that when we get vaccinated for things I do not

entirely understand the shot will prevent worms from taking over my system. I trust I will not fall

prey to measles or dog polio. As some of you may know we doggies have had the vaccines for

decades. You may not know this, but these health bumps are more than maladies to Bosties.

We succumb. I do not wish to cash in my precious chips, thus when Annie says,”load er up,” I

know there’s a hypodermic with my name on it. I’m ok with that.

Dang, I deplore talking about health issues, it’s not my nature but here goes: My hearing seems

to be seeping away. I know this because I cannot hear, yet I have these other sensory powers.

Here’s how it unfolds. I’m sleeping on the couch…blissfully. Before I can see him nor obviously

hear him coming, Clark sneaks up on me and gives me the “hey buddy, let’s play.” This

expression is always associated with some demonic wrangling of my ears, which we Bosties

deplore…it’s for Labradoodles. I give him a long yawn hoping he’ll go away. If anything, Clark is

persistent. It continues in this fashion until I finally bite him. He removes himself and seeks

solace from Annie. That girl saves his tush in so many ways.

Be assured mates, we are pushing through here in the Lincoln Metroplex. It’s been smokey and

some of my friends seem to be snared up about social issues. The one thing I notice as Annie

and I do a creek walk is: hey, where’s the water? This is disturbing for me and my friends. I’m a

little embarrassed as my reading is not so contemporary on this global warming business.

Furthermore, I don’t know what’s going on downstream. Nonetheless, my friends and I have

agreed to be careful with the water. We have formed an alliance not to pee in the water as we

all require it. If it seems I’m waxing philosophical here, well that’s who we Bosties are. Thankful

 for every day but not so adept at enduring other dogpoo when it’s on my trail.

Adios, my companaros.

keep crunching and good sniffing.