Posted in Pets

Baby Pictures

She was such a tiny little fur ball and here is one of her Baby Pictures. That leftover remnant of material which ultimately became her blanket was the best thing ever that I could give her. It’s her favorite and probably her most treasured possession. She loves her blanket and she is grateful each time it returns from the wash. It’s always the same ritual as it undergoes careful inspection. New tunnels need to be burrowed and it has to be exactly how she sees it fit. As mentioned before she thinks she is a little person and sometimes it’s hard not to think that she is miming you. You go to bed, she goes to bed. At night she is fully submerged and wrapped up in her blanket. All you see is a little lump underneath. You wake up, she gets up. You eat, you better believe that she will want a snack. She even knows what the bathroom is for. While you do your business, she most likely will sit on the floor next to the toilet, trying to do her thing if you let her in. She is without a doubt a little character.

Posted in Inspiration, Pets

St. Patrick’s Day Nightmare

St. Patrick’s Day took on a different meaning for me three years ago and it’s a painful reminder of having to say goodbye to an amazing friend and beloved pet. I miss you every day and love you very much.

I hope you can enjoy this holiday and have much better memories associated with this day.

Nikki 10/11/1999 – 3/17/2014 RIP

Nikki taking a nap during one of our hikes. 

Posted in Adventure, Animals, Death, Emotions, Experience, Feelings, Hiking, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Loss, Mother nature, Motivation,, My story, Pets, Photography, Purpose driven, Self help, Spiritual awakening, Wisdom

The heart of a lion

Nikki came into my life as she was nearly two years old and I feel extremely blessed that I could rescue her from her abusive owners. I didn’t know at the time that she would equally play a huge part in my life, ultimately rescuing me as much as I rescued her. I was unaware that she was coming from a violent home and all I knew about was the apartment situation that would lead to the separation from her prior owners. Soon enough, the same day, her dramatic past began to unravel and I got a glimpse into some of the struggles this poor little baby had endure. From being chained and staked in the backyard, to a prior broken leg from abuse, her fear of water from almost drowning at the hands of her owners, her food aggression and her fear for humans. I won’t go into too many details to relive this horror, which I mostly found out through her behavior or through the jokes of her previous owners. Needless to say it was also the last time that they ever got to see Nikki. I always felt very lucky to have been the one able to turn her little precious life around and give her a reason to live. Besides having the heart of a lion which I will describe later, she also looked like a lion as I first saw her. A good brushing, which was yielding numerous brushes filled of hair later, (it would have made the softest pillow stuffing ever and I wish I would have kept it), she emerged as a different dog and looked nothing like the Chow Chow mix she was suppose to be. She looked like a Shiba Inu mix, a starved one that was reduced to nothing more than skin and bones after shedding the matted fur mess. She was visibly malnourished.

Her eating could hardly be described as eating. She was scarfing her food down in such a hurry, forgetting to chew, obviously being afraid that somebody would take it away. In return it caused her to choke and gasp for air. It was during that time that I considered learning the Heimlich maneuver, just in case. Reaching down to pet her, I was hoping to talk some comforting sense into her, but it only caused her to duck. She was afraid that the hand that was coming down would hit her, which I’m sure had happened too many times. Over the years I made a game out of it to take away her fear and associate the hand with a new meaning. Fun and playtime…”The claw”. It took years to rehabilitate her and years before she took herself not so seriously, finally allowing herself to play. It was then that the Shiba 500 (playful little outbursts of energy, running around like crazy while smiling from ear to ear….and yes I’m still talking about Nikki, she had the biggest smile I ever saw on a dog ) was born. It was an extraordinary day and I remember how happy I was as she dropped her fear and revealed her true nature. Her beautiful soul emerged and for the first time there was no fear in her eyes.

Nikki and I had a special bond, a bond words simply can’t describe. She literally was my fur baby and meant everything to me. She was my child and she lives on within my heart. I didn’t think that I could have loved her any more as I did, and despite that she couldn’t physically communicate with me, I understood everything she was trying to convey. Her gratefulness for saving her was obvious in all of her actions, all you had to do is look at her little face. I have always considered myself an animal lover, but it was Nikki who taught me to see more, to see the living soul mirrored in her eyes. I despised people referring to her as nothing more than an animal, a pet,  I simply couldn’t relate. She was so much more, she was a beautiful living soul, full of spunk and emotions.

After Sparky’s death her little heart was broken and our relationship became even closer. I was all that she had left and while Sparky was alive, I might have not believed that our bond could get any stronger. But it did. Nikki became a hiker at the age of 12 and I once heard that 1 dog year is equivalent to 7 human years. There is much controversy discussing this topic which includes the consideration of various breeds etc, but if there is truth to it, Nikki would have been 84 years old as she took up hiking. A true testament that it is never too late to start doing what you love. At the age of 84 she found a new passion (she probably always had it and I feel guilty of not introducing her to it earlier while coming up with various excuses of not being able to handle two dogs by myself, working so much back then and still now, to etc. etc.) a passion that would help her cope with the loss of her companion and soulmate, Sparky. 

Preparing for a hike was tricky and I had to be careful as the adrenaline and her sheer excitement of going for a hike would often lead to overexertion. In her senior years Nikki had developed arthritis and her own excitement and willpower often exceeded what her little body could handle. It was crazy how she would pick up on the tiniest of clues before a hike. She definitely knew the backpack and me grabbing it would result in the Shiba 500, running around like crazy, wiping out, hitting a slippery patch on the hardwood floor or leaping through the air almost knocking me over were all results if I wasn’t sneaky enough. All things her old little, aged body couldn’t put away so easily anymore. Her leash was no difference or putting on her harness, even the sound of the car could trigger the excitement, followed by what I can only express as that shit grinning, tongue out smile that appeared on her face in anticipation. She didn’t know her own strength and I often felt that it was sheer adrenaline and her willpower, the passion for what she loved and the heart of a lion full of courage that propelled her forward. Looking back, I realize that Nikki was one of my greatest teachers. I have no doubt that without any spoken words, she has taught me more than I ever learned from some who could speak. I might have rescued her from her abusive owners but in the end I’m not so sure of who ended up rescuing who. Let’s just call it even.

It’s been 2 1/2 years since Nikki has been gone and I’m not sure if I will ever get over her loss. I’m reluctant to say that I felt as if I lost a child. Despite two miscarriages I never experienced losing a child that lived with me for several years and I can’t truly compare it to make such a statement. Still it is the closest form that I can describe her loss and my life remains forever changed. People have encouraged me to get another dog and while I believe that a new dog could ease the pain and help me make new memories, I also know that nobody will ever take her place. It is the uncertainty and the changes that lie ahead that have prevented me from taking on the responsibility of getting a dog right now. Nikki will always have a special place in my heart and I held on to her as long as I could. Her wings were ready but it was my soul that wasn’t prepared to let her go for selfish reasons. In the end I had to do what any animal lover would have done to spare her additional pain and a life that had no future. And still, no day goes by that she isn’t on my mind. I wish she was here and the thought of being reunited with Sparky brings me only little comfort. I have to remind myself that her beautiful soul is with me forever, pain free to roam and play once more until we can meet again. In the meantime there is an empty hole within my heart as I have no choice but to roam without her.

Nikki has taught me that it is never too late. To pursue your passion as it is the rhythm of everything that matters in life. Do it with passion or don’t do it at all. If you have to do something you don’t like and the passion is lacking, change your stars and pursue what matters. Work towards your goals and take that first step no matter how tiny it is. Just do it anyways. Nikki has taught me to look beyond and recognize a soul within every living being. To drop its formal name of calling it an animal, but to see the spirit and the soul that lies within. Nikki showed me perseverance by pushing beyond  the pain as nothing in life is free. To be a warrior and realize that the harder the struggle, the sweeter the victory. It takes life shattering incidents to mold us into the people we are meant to be, otherwise we just don’t learn. I believe that it was Nikki who initiated the first stage of what would lead me to my spiritual awakening. The other element of importance was that the timing was right. I simply became aware and was willing to listen and see the signs that have always been there, unnoticed until then.

Coming soon…stage one of spiritual enlightenment and spiritual awakening. I believe now….

Posted in Animals, Death, Experience, Inspiration, Life, Loss, My story, Pets, Spiritual awakening

I believe now….

This month has packed a punch, filled with that of an emotional rollercoaster and once again it does not surprise me that my life always seems to pan out in the fashion of being born on The day of up’s and down’s. The Hawk visit from the other day made me pause and think about the meaning, the awareness of being able to witness this brief moment of which I don’t leave to coincidence. I believe in the signs and the purpose that they bring, just as I believe that everything happens for a reason, including the people who enter our lives who are here to teach us a lesson, good or bad.
On November the 15th it was 5 years since Sparky…has been gone. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed already and his death brought a likewise emotional rollercoaster. He had been sick for a while and I know it was painful for him to move around with his arthritis. He struggled and still I wasn’t ready to let him go and say goodbye. Yet it was inevitable and I remember driving home from the vet, alone, without him, in tears and with my heart ripped out. Nothing prepared me for what was about to unfold at home as I opened the door and came in without Sparky.

Nikki immediately started to search the entire house for Sparky which made my heart even heavier. Her friend and soulmate was gone and here and there, in passing she would throw me a frantic look because she couldn’t find him. I never seen anything like this display of mourning from an animal, it was truly gut wrenching. This went on for hours, with her running up and down the stairs, checking everywhere. Finally she collapsed in front of the couch, right next to me. I decided to spend the night downstairs, on the couch and turned on a nightlight so I could see her and comfort her. The house was silent, no TV, no noise, nothing.

I’m not sure when it happened the first time, but I heard a click as I was trying to figure out what had caused the noise. To my surprise the cable box had turned on by itself and the bright little digital display was shining through the otherwise mostly dark room. And if that wasn’t the weirdest, it was that Nikki jumped up in that very moment to start her search for Sparky once more through the entire house. Relentless, up and down the stairs in every room I could hear and I couldn’t explain what was going on. I had never seen the cable box turn on by itself. Maintenance? Was somebody performing some sort of test on it? And then there was Nikki, coincidence? I didn’t know what to believe and finally she calmed down and took her place next to me once more. Needless to say I don’t think either one of us slept much that night and the cable box incident repeated itself two more times, each time turning on, with Nikki springing into action and searching the entire house until she eventually gave up.

I shared this incident only with a few select people, in fear that they would declare me nuts. They didn’t, respectfully so but I knew that nobody bought into the story or perhaps believed it. People tried to justify what happened in a logical sense and dismiss the whole thing.

A few days later driving home from work, I thought of Sparky again and once again the tears rolled down my face to the point I was considering stopping the car. It was a stormy dark night and the wind was raging against my car with such fury as if it was attempting to blow me off the road. I tried to focus through my tear covered veil as I was nearly home. What happened next could have not lasted more than a few seconds, but it was as if time stood still. The noise of the wind stopped and a calm serenity engulfed my car. It was quiet and peaceful and I noticed the sky turn brighter. Leaning forward in my seat, I looked over the steering wheel upwards towards the dark storm clouds that had just been here. Through the silence a white feather danced through the night sky and landed on my windshield. And before my mind could really comprehend everything of what had happened, “Swoosh”, the wind picked up in full force again and swept the feather away.

I don’t know how to explain what happened on those two nights and no matter how much others want to dismiss these incidents and give me the strange eye, I know what I saw and what I felt. It was the beginning for me to believe in Signs and to become more aware. And I believe that Sparky came to visit us those nights once more, to ease our pain and to let us know that he was at peace while always being a part in our hearts until we meet again.



Posted in Adventure, Animals, Experience, Feelings, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Mother nature, My story, Pets, Photography, Spirit animals, Spiritual awakening, Wildlife

Unusual encounters…

No this post is not about extraterrestrial encounters and aliens, even though I am in the proud possession of a Alien registration card (green card). What I’m talking about are my unusual encounters in nature, the animal world and a few spirit animals.I recently wrote about two encounters with spirit animals and there have been more since then. In due time and when fitting I plan to write about those incidents at a later post. Some animals keep reappearing and I believe it is then that they are meant to signal something and serve as a spirit guide. In hindsight I know that it was through those encounters that I was introduced to different phases of my life. I know they signaled of what was yet to come and somehow guided me by teaching me to listen and see the signs. Since, I have learned to pay attention to nature and feel that my intuition has grown as I find the truth in the animal kingdom and nature. Both hold all the answers to the questions we could ever have. 

I can’t help but wonder how others may feel about this. I wonder if you believe in animal spirits and the connection between animals and humans that requires no words? Have you ever looked into the eyes of an animal while seeing a living soul instead of just a pet or an animal? You might relate and find yourself agreeing as it describes the world I live in. I’ve always had a pretty strong bond with these souls, domesticated and wild. Animals have a great meaning to me and I will swerve on the road to avoid running over a mouse. I have a few mouse traps in the garage and I hate them. I don’t want mice in the house but if one is caught in the trap, I’m the biggest pansy and I struggle to pick it up. Spiders are not my thing either and both will cause me years off of my life as well as gray hairs if I am forced to deal with them. 

Lately I have been thinking more about those animal encounters as these subjects have been emphasized through events transpired throughout the year. I am more aware today and recall older events as I notice the patterns. Maybe the reasons for these encounters point back to me and the person I have become. I believe animals pick up on our vibes, our personalities and I have seen dogs mimic the personality of their owners. Nervous or calm, it’s almost like a frequency we emit that allows animals to pick up on whether we are a danger to them or if we can be trusted. 

My encounters range from maybe “coincidental encounters” if that is what you want to believe they are, to the more strange and unexplainable moments that evoke a little more thought. Unusual encounters.

I have rabbits living in my backyard but I don’t exactly live out in the country. Granted there is much wildlife around the outlying areas of where I live, perhaps I can dismiss this one and check it off to coincidence. I also have squirrels that come to collect peanuts and other veggies on a daily basis as they also have made their home in my backyard. Earlier this year I had a couple of Dove’s make their nest on my porch, laying their eggs and I had a few Hawk’s visit in the past (another spirit animal). Partridges appear daily as the walk through the backyard with their distinguished calls, grooming the grounds. Still nothing too unusual but animals seem to flock to me and love my presence. 

My little buddy Luna, the Guinea pig gets all feisty when I come to visit her and her eyes get huge. She purrs and runs laps just like Nikki (my dog) used to do when she took off running her “Shiba 500”. I love to see marmots on the trail and had one that came down from it’s perch to naw on a bush, eating white little flowers right next to me. Usually they scurry away and hide into their burrows when they see humans. I have encountered deer on the trail, a few feet away from me and instead of taking off running, they just calmly look at me and pass me by as if I was one of them. All the Bears I had seen a few years back didn’t seem to have minded me either. I sit at a beach up at Lake Tahoe, look to my side, only to find somebody’s strange dog sitting right next to me that I have never seen before. No noise or sound, no nudge like “hey I’m here right next to you”, nothing, as it sits next to me just staring out onto the lake. Finally, I’m granted one last look before the beautiful soul turns and vanishes back into the woods where I hope its owner is as there has been no sight of one. Other squirrels encountered at the ocean, far away from my home try to climb up my leg and beg to be hand fed. As I have to say good bye, one squirrel is not having it and is trying to get into the car. It’s unusual encounters like these that I notice and come to appreciate. 

My friend David at who I met online through artistful, a former website for artists has become a great friend over the years. He recently has joined me here on WordPress and I hope you check out his blog and show him some love. If you get to know him, you will discover the beautiful soul he is and I feel myself lucky, thankful and blessed that our paths have crossed. I do believe that people enter our lives for a reason and I had some pretty amazing people in my life, recently and past of who have great meaning to me.

David has followed my adventures for several years now and he once suggested that I might be an animal whisperer. And while I’m not sure if there is such an actual thing in real life, I love the sound of it and would be honored to be considered as such. What do you think, do you believe in animal whisperer’s or have experienced similar incidents?

One thing is for sure, I do love animals and the living souls they are to me.

Posted in Animals, Human spirit, Inspiration, Life, Mother nature, My story, Pets

It’s raining Cats and Dogs….Hallelujah

It’s been stormy in my little corner of the world and the past few days have been filled with howling winds that stripped all the color off of my tree. On top of that it seems as if the flood gates have opened up and it’s been raining Cats and Dogs for days. It’s been awhile and we don’t get that much rain in the high desert, but Father Winter is around the corner and there is definitely a chill in the air and a few unpredictable mountain storms. Last night I fell asleep listening to the rain against my window pane and there is something so soothing about that sound. A feeling that reminds me of how I feel when napping next to a gurgling creek. If you ever had the chance to do it, then you know the one word that comes to mind, truly describing the moment and it is sheer…Bliss. Last night was no different, tucked into my cocoon I was listening to the rain and felt perfectly content while drifting off into dream land. I like to believe that is is where I go while sleeping although I seldom ever remember if and what I dream about. Waking up this morning, the sound was still there and it was still raining. Man, it’s raining Cats and Dogs I thought while getting ready for work. I heard this expression so many times before, but today it made me pause and I wondered where it originated from. Now curious I typed the phrase into the iPad to check what the Internet would have to say. You know “The net” knows everything and I mean everything. It’s quiet amazing to think of all the knowledge that we have at our fingertips, at our immediate disposal to be called upon whenever we feel like it.

Here is what my search returned. Raining Cats and Dogs may refer to a storm with wind (Dogs) and heavy rain (Cats). If it is raining Cats and Dogs it us raining unusually or unbelievably hard. 

Another literal explanation for raining Cats and Dogs is that during heavy rains in 17-century England some city streets became raging rivers of filth carrying many dead Cats and Dogs. 

I don’t like the second definition and I don’t even want to visualize a raging river like this, so I will go with the first definition. It fits my fairytale vision and dreamer state of mind much better and I rather imagine kitties and puppies falling from the sky to land softly in the arms of somebody to love. And this is how it has been over the past few days, not that puppies fell from the sky but it has been very windy with unbelievably heavy rains for this area. 

There was a little flash flood in the parking lot after work today and the sewers couldn’t absorb the water fast enough to keep the pavement clear. The freeway wasn’t much better with standing water puddles everywhere and cars hydro planning everywhere. Closer to my home which includes a tiny climb in elevation, it still was high enough to drive through a few clouds, only to be greeted by a few patches of rain that turned into snowflakes on the other end. To no surprise some invincible cars carrying their impatient drivers where still dashing by me, driving way too fast, not only putting themselves in danger but also everybody else. On my 20 some mile drive home I passed three accidents, probably due to speeding and I hope that other than bent and twisted up metal, nobody got seriously hurt. In Germany I learned that you can pretty much conquer most road conditions if you can take the time to take is slow enough, so please be careful out there. 

It’s chilly tonight and I will call on my fiend Mr. Cozy (the heater) in a moment and follow up with hot tea to settle in for the evening. After tonight the weather is suppose to clear up, even promising temperatures in the low 70’s for my next day off and I’m sure you can guess what is on my agenda. But for tonight I will take one more last look to the heavens and if the wind blows a puppy through the night sky towards my way, I will be sure to catch him or her and hold on very tight. 

Sweet dreams everyone….

My two loves Sparky & Nikki….RIP I love and miss you very much. 

Posted in Animals, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, Loss, My story, Pets, Self help


It’s my day off and I can’t help but feel as if I missed the short season of Fall all together. The one time that I could have gone out, I was sick with the Vertigo episode and the other two weeks following just didn’t line up with the weather, tasks, or me not wanting to go by myself. It feels a little like life itself and it’s not just the season that passes but life as well and I recognize lost moments. 

A storm moved in last night with high wind warnings and my beautiful yellow leaved tree in front of the house lost most of it’s foliage overnight. I saw a rainbow outside and two tractor trailers that were knocked over by the wind on the freeway, while driving I might add. Scary and I always hurry passed a Semi on the freeway, especially in windy conditions. Once a sheet of ice flew off the side of a trailer and smashed onto my windshield. Luckily nothing happened, but the moment was very intense to say the least. It’s raining, which I love and I can hear the melodic rhythm of the wind chime swaying in the wind while competing with the hauling and the raindrops hitting my window. I’m cuddled up with a blanked, engulfed in one of my favorite activities, writing. I still need to do chores but not just yet, right now belongs to me.

A recent reminder made me think back to the first time that I started writing and it was towards the end of 2011. Sparky, my beloved pooch who was with me since the age of ten weeks, struggled to eat. There were complications such as arthritis, being on glucosamine for a few years, daily pain control meds amongst other normal life challenges such as old age. It was November the 15th and I knew that my overnight shift at work would start in a few short weeks. I scheduled a vet visit in the hopes that somebody could help Sparky to feel better. My time would be limited to provide extra care for him and you could clearly see that he was not his old spunky self anymore. He was twelve years old and I could see the pain in his eyes and in every movement that provided a huge challenge as his legs simply gave out at times.

Sparky never came home that day and I had to say goodbye to my best friend, somebody that was more like a child to me vs. being just a pet, that he never was. It was a hard reality to grasp and honestly it never even crossed my mind that this could happen. Or did it, was it me who wasn’t ready to accept it as my truth? Perhaps I dismissed the thought into a state of unaware bliss, the uncertain where hope was residing and it wasn’t a state that was so final. He was so exited of going for a ride in the car and from little on he would sneak into the car if you left the car door open, ready to go for a ride. And here I was, unaware that it would be our last ride together and that I would have to drive back home alone in tears.

Shortly after that I started to write and it was like an outlet for me. I found little relief elsewhere and I remember a coworker at the “Ugly Beauty store” dismissing Sparky’s death by casually saying “Well life has to go on”. True, as it always finds a way and as it always does, but definitely not something that helped me at the moment, or something that I wanted to hear. I was filled with emotions of pain and words were left unspoken, as if things were searching to find their way to escape my heavy soul and jump right onto paper. I wrote for a long time and got lost in the feeling to overcome and to forget. It worked and the idea of writing a book was born. A book about my personal experiences and my journey in life, the highlights and the struggles. Surely there had to be others with similar experiences, others needing to feel that they were not alone, including me. 

After all, my subject matter was something I knew a lot about and naturally you would think that it should have flown easily and be a piece of cake. But that wasn’t so and in hindsight I know I was too critical of everything. I was overthinking it from the beginning to the end. Where would I start and how should the order of events unfold, were all common questions. It had to make sense without losing my readers (if I would have any) and I guess it was the perfectionist in me that wanted it to be a certain way. Eventually I stopped writing because I drove myself nuts and wasn’t happy with how things progressed. I kept constantly correcting myself and it felt as if I couldn’t make any progress for the life of me, when in all reality it was a part of the journey and a part of the progress, but I couldn’t see that then. I spent so much time on it and reading it now, I feel that most of it is not all that great. I wonder if it’s my critical nature and the high expectations that I place on myself who are paying me a visit and if the day will come when I look back at my current writing and might feel the same way.  

I look back knowingly aware of the lessons learned from these experiences and I believe I have grown because of it. At least I would hope that I did as much pain was associated with those times. Today I know that things don’t always have to be perfect and life itself is the greatest teacher by allowing us to see how messy it can be at times. So if it’s not life that is expecting us to be perfect, I look at myself and have to realize that it was me who put most of the pressure onto myself. In my mind it had to be perfect, but in reality nobody is perfect, nor does life expects us to be and we are all flawed in our own way. It feels as if I was in pursuit of something non existent, something impossible to attain.

Just the other day I was contemplating the direction of my blog and I’m glad that I finally just went for it. Without the what if’s and how it should be, I had taken the most important step, I took the plunge and got started. It’s not perfect and it never will be, but it’s from the heart and therefore I could never go wrong. There is passion invested and I found purpose in writing that makes me feel good. Besides being blessed to have met so many amazing people on here. Some of my subjects are darker and it is for that very reason of life not always being perfect. Once again, writing serves as an outlet, to free my mind when I can’t be in nature and to share my experiences with you. I’m grateful for the people that have allowed me to do so and that continue to take the time to read even the sad stories, leaving their heartfelt comments for me. It requires involvement, compassion and looking beyond. It takes time to digest the subjects and a willingness to acknowledge our human struggles. Thank you, it means more than you know….

I guess the lessons that I learned here are not to be too critical of ourselves. Sometimes we just need to go for it and perfection is often a status we self inflict. The way we feel about ourselves is not always dictated by the actions and the behavior of others, nor is our happiness dependent on others. We already have everything we need inside of us and we are the ones to make it happen instead of sitting there waiting for somebody to miraculously do it for us. It can’t be done by others and it will never happen this way, so you might as well get yourself a snickers bar if that is what you are waiting on. And who cares how good it is, if it’s perfect or not, what’s more important is that it gives us the meaning and the sense of having contributed. Sparky taught me that we can’t hold on to some things or to somebody for selfish reasons as it only prolongs their suffering in most cases. I learned a lot from my four legged fur baby and that very night on November the 15th after being back at home consoling Nikki, my other pooch, I believe Sparky came to visit us once more. 

To be continued…