Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein


Friday, May 27, 2011

My naked dog

It’s about time for another blog. As usual, I have no idea what I’ll write about, so I’m reading this for the first time along with you.

I’ve talked at length about the weather here and, although snow is expected again tonight, I won’t mention it. I will mention that our dog got a haircut and I don’t recognize him anymore. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a naked dog. His beautiful coat of fur is gone, leaving him with a short, gray undercoat that doesn’t match his head. It looks like someone attached his head to the body of a different dog.

Unfortunately, Dakota had been panting whenever the sun came out. The fact that he's a fat little sucker may have contributed, but now that we see what he had hidden under his fur, it's a dog version of Weight Watchers for him. It gets hot enough here in the summer that dog owners normally trim their dogs, which seems to help them with the heat. Of course, I'm assuming the sun will eventually come out. I'm trying to adjust to my new dog. It's strange.

When you get old, it’s hard to adjust to change . . . even my dog’s haircut. If Gayle turned the toilet paper on the spindle so it rolled out from the bottom, I think both my legs would be numb by the time I figured out how to make it work. I hate getting old.

Speaking of legs…I’m getting a new knee in a couple of weeks. I’ve been thinking of buying one of those large knuckle bones you can get for your dog and putting it in the fridge. When my kids and grandkids come over my plan is to take it out and tell them it’s my old knee. Here in the mountains entertainment is limited, so you have to create your own.

I pulled a similar trick on them after having my prostate removed. I put a fig in a jar with cranberry juice for color and told the kids it was my prostate gland. After they adjusted to the shock, I unscrewed the lid, took out the fig and ate it.

The entire family ran as though I had tossed a snake at them. I swear they knocked all the deck furniture over and got as far away from me as they could. So maybe that old trick with a knucklebone won’t work anymore.  But I'll think of something...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Weather Dog

It's May 15th and it's snowing heavily again here in Siberia. There for a minute we thought spring had sprung and so did the bulbs Gayle planted. The flowers she planted popped out of the ground enthusiastically, anticipating summer sunshine, but global warming fooled us again. It's been fooling a lot of people. And a lot of scientists. Now Gayle's flowers are frozen, my dog is white on the top and the natives have gone back into hibernation. I think our reclusive neighbor saw his shadow again.

Speaking of my dog...I've decided he's going to be my "weather dog" from now on. I can get a good sense of weather conditions by simply opening the door and letting my dog out. If he comes back in wet on top and dry on the bottom, it's raining. If he comes in white on top, it's snowing. If he's white on top and wet on the bottom, that means it's snowing and the creek is running, but if he comes in with huge balls of snow in his fur, it means that the snow is too deep to get the car out. I'm still waiting for him to come in warm on top.

It reminds me of Noah sending a bird out of the ark and when the bird came back with a leaf in its beak, Noah knew land had emerged from the water. Yep. We primitive mountain people learn how to read nature's  signs.

Before this latest storm hit, I took Dakota for a walk in the forest, which is pretty much a daily thing when the snow melts.  I can read the signs in the forest like a real Indian. I stopped at a dead tree that had been ripped open by a bear searching for grubs. Being an astute observer, I determined that it had been a large bear. I could tell because the claw marks were at least eight to ten feet up the stump.

When I hear a growing roar, like a train, and I see the trees moving, I can tell right away that the wind is coming up. Flatlanders may not understand these mysteries of nature, but we mountain folks pick up on this stuff. And when my dog is wet or white on top, I know it's time to head back to the base camp on Greenhorn Ranch Road. And, being the experienced tracker that I am, I can always find my van in the forest, because it's red and it doesn't resemble a tree.

Sorry about this blog, but I had spent a lot of time today writing an intelligent and informative political piece, but Gayle read it and talked me out of publishing it. I thought it was powerful and hit the nail on the head, but she thought I'd make enemies and find myself on the "no fly" list. Since dinner is ready and I had to write something, I let my weather dog in and guess what...

Yep. White on top.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What Now?

The dust is beginning to settle after a flurry of activity in the design of my website, production of my book, “The Huckleberry Days of the ‘50s,”the re-write of my novel resulting in, “Folsom Parallax,” producing copies of my CD, setting up the PayPal account for sales, and publishing my two latest books on Amazon Kindle eBooks.

I wanted all of these to come together when the books came out and, fortunately, it worked. I had to have projects to avoid going nuts during this eternal winter. Global warming, my ass.

It’s a good thing the snow lasted into April, pinning me up inside the house. If the weather had been good, I may have spent the days riding my motorcycle through the mountains. Fortunately, my struggle against cabin fever and insanity produced something other than a catatonic stupor or head-banging.

Now what?

Well, there is the challenge of alerting people that there are several pages to the website. Some folks click on the home page and say it looks “pretty,” but “the pictures at the bottom are too small.” I’ve tried to correct this by plugging in reminders to click on the different topics to see the other pages. Maybe this will work.

There is also a link on this page to the website. It’s not as obvious as I would like, but I’ll try to correct that too.

But the greatest challenge is the follow-up. Books need to be promoted online, through Amazon, etc. I say that this will be the “challenge” for me, because once I’ve accomplished a goal, I tend to lose interest and move on. I’ve already started working on preparing my garage for a room upstairs and working on my motorcycles, so maintaining interest and promoting my “creations” has always been a weakness in me.

Today the sun is out. People I don’t remember are creeping out from hibernation, blinking at the sunlight like Nancy Pelosi wishes she could blink, and wondering who turned the lights on. People up here disappear in the winter. I wouldn’t say, “Spring has sprung,” but most of the snow is gone and that’s good. It will take awhile to adjust to the light.

Remember…ralphhiggins.com or www.ralphhiggins.com or something like that…