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Wordless Wednesday: Claire is aware

Wordless Wednesday: Claire is aware


silly state law Saturday: California


Ah, California, I miss you so. Though I’ve lived in Arizona since 2005, Californa will always be home. Nice to know they are up on their animal regulations. Check it out:

• Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. Because they totally know that it’s a tavern, school, or place of worship. Get a room.

• In Cerritos, all dog waste must be removed from any yard within seven days. That long, huh?

• In Norco, all persons wishing to keep a rhinoceros as a pet must obtain a $100 license first. I’m thinking the cost of the license is the least of their worries.

• In Ventura County, cats and dogs are not allowed to have sex without a permit. And where should said cats and dogs apply for their permit?

• In Belvedere, “no dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.” Finally, a solution for those unruly masters.

• In Chico, driving a herd of cattle down a street is against the law. I knew Chico was a party school, but I didn’t know they got this wild.

• In Temecula, ducks have the right of way to cross Rancho California Street at all times. I brake for ducks.

• In an animal shelter, lizards and snakes are to be treated under the same guidelines as cats and dogs. Equal rights for all! Except the other animals who are not lizards and snakes.

• In Los Angeles, it is a crime for dogs to mate within 500 yards of a church. The law is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or six months in prison. I don’t know about your dog, but mine doesn’t have that kind of money.

• It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. Because the whaling industry needs protection?

• In Hollywood, it is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time. Because the traffic is bad enough as it it.

• In Portola, it is illegal to fish from an overpass in the city. I’ll be honest. I’ve never been to Portola, but I believe an overpass, by definition, passes over another roadway or railroad, no? Seems to me it would be enough of a challenge to get a bite. What do I know? I’m not a fisherman.

• In San Jose, it is illegal to have more than two cats or dogs. I’m supposing none of my readers are from San Jose.

• In Chico, it is illegal to own a green or smelly animal hide. Those frat brothers are at it again.

• In San Francisco, it is illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner. But as long as it’s not on the corner…

• In Lompoc, it is illegal to posses, own, or raise roosters, as it is considered disturbing the peace. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

• It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting license. Love it. Love it. LOVE it! Go mice! The next time I want a law passed, I’m asking their lobbyists for help.

• In San Diego, it is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar. Use your own car, dammit!

• In Palm Springs, it is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive between the hours of four and six p.m. Any other time, have at it.

• In Oakland, it is illegal to rob a birds’ nest from a public cemetery. Who would do such a thing?

• In Pacific Grove, molesting butterflies can result in a $500 fine. It’s about time those butterflies got some respect, boys!

• In Fresno, no one may annoy a lizard in a city park. So take your lizard-pestering elsewhere.

• In Portola, no person may carry a fish into a bar. Unless he’s 21+, and then I’m buying that fish a drink.

• In Portola, one may not allow his or her dog to chase a squirrel in the summer. Any other season is fine, though, so let your dog know he only has to take a break for a couple of months.

• In Cathedral City, one may not bring their dog to school. In order to preserve California’s high education standards?

• In Shasta Lake, raffling off a dog as a gift in a public place is prohibited. Beware of underground dog gift raffling. Shasta Lakers, we’re on to you!

• In Glendale, one may not take his dog on an elevator with him. So I guess you’ll have to send your dog up separately, on his own. Let’s hope he can reach the buttons.

• In Arcadia, peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways. And, no, you may not just back over them, even if you’re late for work.

• San Francisco prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash. I wonder what the street trolley fare is for those unleashed elephants.

• In Ontario, roosters may not crow in the city limits. You’ll have to buy yourselves alarm clocks, Ontario.

• In Los Angeles, toads may not be licked. No way, maaaaaan…

• In Blythe, you are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows. But what if I’m just passin’ through?

• In Los Angeles, you may not hunt moths under a streetlight. Well, of course. That would be an unfair advantage.

• It is unlawful to let your dog pursue a bear or bobcat at any time. One bear law? That’s it? I say, if your dog has the cojones, let him go for it.

Check back next week when we take a look at Colorado! If you missed anything from past weeks, here are the links:





Law information source: stupidlaws.com and dumblaws.com.

Wordless Wednesday: merry Mini

Wordless Wednesday: merry Mini


okay…so now I want a pet tarantula

IMG_1043No joke.

We did the coolest thing after school yesterday! Our local library hosted a session with Travis Potts, local “Spider Man.” Not the kind that swings from building to building rescuing damsels in distress and battling villains, but a hero to the public, just the same. He’s a tarantula fanatic, and he brought his pets to share with us.

I have a morbid fascination with spiders. I think they are super creepy, but, yet, I can’t take my eyes off of them. Kind-of like a train-wreck. And there’s Charlotte. Who doesn’t love Charlotte? Spiders are completely enchanting. So when we heard that there were going to be spiders at the library, I was completely pumped. Porter, my six-year-old son, was excited, too. And Campbell, my four-year-old daughter, told me she didn’t want to go, but I made her, anyway, and when they opened the door to allow us to approach the spiders, she shriveled and cried, but, because I’m such an awesome mom, I drug her in. Yeah, I suck a little. SPOILER ALERT: She lived. And she loved it.

Travis brought four live tarantulas, and we got to view them and ask questions.

He shared all sorts of information about them that I didn’t quite absorb because I was keeping my eye on the creepy buggars, but as he talked about them and answered these crazy kid questions, the spiders became less creepy to me, and to Campbell. Porter dove right in. He asked tons of questions, and then when Campbell finally let her curiosity get the better of her, she asked more than tons of questions. I think she may have driven Travis insane. He got a small taste of what I deal with every day:

Excuse me. How much venom do they have? Excuse me. How many spiders do you have? Excuse me. Do they bite? Excuse me. What are their names? Excuse me. I think the baby one is really cute. What is her name? Spidey? Excuse me. What do they eat? Excuse me. How old is this spider? Excuse me. What is her name? Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me…

My daughter is a total chatterbox, but at least she’s semi-polite. With the excuse me bit. The first question of hers that Travis addressed was “how many knees does a spider have?” I chuckled a bit because spiders don’t have knees. So I made eye contact with Travis to let him know that Campbell was so naive to ask about spider knees. How cute.

Travis answered Campbell’s seemingly absurd question and explained in all seriousness that spiders have eight knees. And, better yet, if a leg gets caught in something, they can purposely separate at the knee to preserve themselves and then grow back the leg gradually with each molt. Huh? Yeah, that’s what I was totally thinking. I learned today that spiders have knees! Wow!

Porter asked some really valid and well-timed questions. So between the two of them, we learned a lot. And then I asked some questions, too, like how he got into this whole mess. He chuckled a little bit and explained that he took his son to a reptile show about four years ago and ended up with his first tarantula, Rosie. I loved hearing how he just stumbled upon being the local spider man. He taught us about their warning signs…how they “kick their hairs.” Porter was fascinated with that.


Porter questions Travis while Campbell tries to edge in.

The spider with the knees that Campbell asked about was his first, named Rosie, because she’s a Mexican Red-Knee (the official name to officially slam it home to me once again that spiders have knees). She was really beautiful, once you got to know her. According to Travis, her breed is one of the ten most docile tarantulas, and a great one to start with, if you’re going to go arachnid. We even got to see her feeding.



There were others. L.P. was an abbreviation for his scientific name–it escapes me–as well as being a “little Potts,” and he will someday be 12″. Wow! He ate a cockroach right in front of us and spun some silk to make himself more comfortable while he ate.


L.P. eating a cockroach.

And, then, there was Max from Argentina who was named after Travis’ friend, Max, from Argentina. Max was huge. Impressive.


Max from Argentina.

Campbell’s favorite was the “so cute” baby one who hasn’t been named, yet, because Travis wants to get to know her, first. Well, that’s awesome. Campbell took it upon herself to attempt a name, but I think Travis is looking for something more original than “Spidey.”


Baby no-name.

I am beyond thankful that my children and I had this opportunity to experience tarantulas up close. What was once creepy is still creepy, but not quite so much. Travis talked about how he can hold Rosie, and it made me want to hold her. And for the first time in my life, in the presence of spiders, I didn’t have the urge squeal as if I was in a horror movie.

So I asked one last question, which, is of course, the ultimate FAQ: “Have you ever been bit?” His response: “Not yet. But I know it will happen.” And it’s worth it to him. And that is completely awesome.

dead-legged by my dog

N.A.S.H.A. waits until the littles have asked me for ten things in a row. She lets me sit down for precisely fifteen seconds, and then she punches me in the leg. Usually.

Sometimes, if she really wants something, she doesn’t wait for me to sit down. She waits until my knees are locked, and then she punches me right in the sweet spot, giving me a dead-leg like I’ve never had. The girl only weighs eleven pounds, so it’s not about heft, but about perfection of the skill. She has absolutely perfected it. This happens on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times in a day.


Look at her, just mocking me.

But this morning, she took it to a whole new level. Not only did I have my knees locked, but I was taking that sweet first sip of my piping hot coffee. BAM! All over my face and PJs. (Don’t worry, I’m okay. It wasn’t that hot.) And then she sat down, mocking me.

Does your dog ever do this to you, or am I the only moron that responds to it by giving her the treat she’s asking for, reinforcing the behavior not only with my attention but with food? Because it’s so cute and smart that she knows how to ask for a treat. She has trained me well.

when a sulcata tunes-in to a terrier

The other day, our one-year-old sulcata tortoise, Fluffy, was enjoying some lettuce on the patio. I think watching him eat is like watching a dinosaur. He’s just so cool. So I took a video for posterity. Check out how awesome he is:

Fluffy is too young and small to be outside by himself for a length of time, so I often go out with him. Like a rebellious teen, he’s old enough to want to be out A LOT and past his curfew, so I can’t always watch him every second. If I lose track of him, I ask N.A.S.H.A. to “find Fluffy!” She’s great at sniffing him out. The unlikely pair get along really well. He doesn’t even pull inside his shell when she approaches. That means love. They are buds. She’s always been the mothering type, so it doesn’t surprise me that she’s taken him under her wing.

I took another video.

I didn’t realize that N.A.S.H.A. was in the background until I watched it back. N.A.S.H.A. is a mixed terrier in every way, and she often alerts to things outside. Maybe a rabbit hopping through the yard, a lizard rustling through the bushes, or a teenager walking home from the high school down the street. I find it completely fascinating how Fluffy completely plays off N.A.S.H.A.’s cues.

I stopped recording because he stopped eating. Immediately after I stopped, N.A.S.H.A. started barking her head off, and Fluffy pulled into his shell. I find it amazing that he knew something was up just by her body language before she even let out the alarm. He’s much more intuitive than I am.

They bonded the day they met. Two small critters against the world.

They bonded the day they met. Two small critters against the world.

Wordless Wednesday: locked-up Layla

Wordless Wednesday: locked-up Layla