Why Do Cats Get An Indoor Toilet? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs, dogs of any type really, are forced to go outside to potty, while humans and… ugh…cats get to go to the bathroom indoors. Even our parakeet, Pearl, is allowed to potty inside. This is horribly unfair, especially on bad weather days. Dogs are expected to endure heat, cold, rain, snow (whatever that is), ice (whatever that is), hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms…

Me:        Okay, we get the picture. By the way, we have never had a hurricane here. By the time they get here, they’re some rain and a strong breeze and little else. And, if we do have a tornado or two or sixteen in one day like we had a few years ago, we don’t send anyone outside.

Stella:    If cats are allowed to use the toilet inside on all occasions, why aren’t we?

Me:        Think about that for a minute. Cats have an instinct to use a box or a hole and to cover up what they do. Bulldogs, on the other hand…

Stella:    Hey, I wipe my feet every time I potty.

Me:        I know. If I gave you each a litter box, would you all really use it?

Stella:    Hmmm. I would have to say…Nope, definitely not. Nope. Not bulldoggy enough. Too confining. You will never take our FREEDOM!

Me:        So, you will continue to potty outside? For the freedom?

Stella:    Of course, when you put it that way. Cats don’t know what they are missing. But then again, cats always have a warm potty.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

It’s Cooler and That is a Bad Thing? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The weather is wonderfully cooler, but it is still summer, at least that is what the birds and green leaves tell me. Why is the air not burning, Lady Human?

Me:        We are receiving some rain and breezes from many miles south of here. A hurricane came ashore the other day.

Stella:    Another confusing human word which means what?

Me:        A huge and dangerous storm with much rain and wind.

Stella:    Like a thunderstorm that flashes bright light while rain hits the windows like little rocks?

Me:        No, more than that.

Stella;    Thunderstorms are scary. How can a hurricane be more than that?

Me:        It is the size of hundreds of thunderstorms all circling around a center. The winds are so strong that large trees break and small ones bow and signs and roofs of buildings tear off and go flying and rain floods everything low and rises higher and higher.

Stella:    Have you ever seen this horror called a hurricane, Lady Human?

Me:        Yes. Many years ago, a very powerful hurricane hit my hometown head on. I was very young, but I remember my father boarding up our windows and tying down our yard furniture and my swing set and slide with strong wires so they would not fly off. And I remember my mother putting rolled up towels against the bottom of the doors to keep the water out for as long as possible.

Stella:    And did it? Stay out? The water?

Me:        The rain filled the ditch by the road and covered the yard and came up over the front step and right up to the door. And then stopped. As I recall, the towels got wet, but not the carpet. And then the hurricane passed.

Stella:    Where did it go?

Me:        As hurricanes go inland away from the big waters, they die out.

Stella:    Good.

Me:        They named that one Carla.

Stella:    Humans name monster storms?

Me:        Yeah.

Stella:    Like they are pets?

Me:        I don’t know. Maybe it makes the event more memorable. Instead of calling it Hurricane Number 34810 or something like that. This one is called Harvey.

Stella:    I don’t care to meet him.

Me:        Me either. But many of our neighbors already have.

Stella:    Can a hurricane throw a bulldog?

Me:        Yes, I’m sure it can.

Stella:    Lady Human, will it come here?

Me:        We may get some rain. Don’t worry about the winds. I’ve never seen a hurricane remnant this far from the coast with more than 40 mile per hour winds.

Stella:    If it’s all the same to you, I will be happy to send the cooler air away if our neighbors can be all right. So please, just send Harvey away.

Me:        We will pray, Stella. As always, we will pray.








Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Curfew Violator – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and once again, Lady Human has broken her curfew.

Me:        I am a grown human. I have no curfew. Besides, I went to the grocery store at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Stella:    And you said when you left that you would not be gone long. But you were gone long. And do you know what happened while you were gone? Big booms and light flashes in the sky. And rain hit the glass squares in the wall like buckets of water being thrown by a giant.

Me:        That’s an interesting image, Stella.

Stella:    A giant insect.

Me:        Ohhh-kay. Well, the same storm hit the store where I was. That is why I was delayed. The wind blew the heavy rain sideways, so thick and fast that we couldn’t see the parking lot. It was wrapped in gray. It looked like a hurricane.

Stella:    What would have happened if you had never come back?

Me:        Don’t worry, girl. Tall Man would have been here after his work ends.

Stella:    There was no storm where Tall Man is?

Me:        Yes, there was.

Stella:    It was not as bad as our storm?

Me:        A little worse. They had wind and rain and hail the size of ping pong balls.

Stella:    No!!! The Great Creator must tell the sky to stop throwing ping pong balls!

Me:        I am adding that to my prayer list. Really.

Stella:    Why does the sky throw ping pong balls?

Me:        They are actually chunks of ice. You see, water starts to come down through the atmosphere. Way up there, it is very cold and the water freezes; then another wind pushes the ice back up where it gets coated with another layer of water which also freezes, and that keeps on happening until the ice chunk is heavier than the upper wind can support and it falls to the ground…

Stella:    Boring! I mean why can’t the sky throw flowers or real ping pong balls that we could chase or…treats! That would be useful and it wouldn’t hurt if someone got hit by them!

Me:        Things aren’t set up that way. Flowers don’t fall from the sky. They grow from the ground.

Stella:    I think that should be different. I think ping pong ice should not fall from the sky. Flowers should.

Me:        Is that your bulldog plan?

Stella:    Yes.

Me:        Have you figured out how this will take place?

Stella:    No. I am letting you and the Great Creator work that out.

Me:        That is wise. I think that I will turn that over to Him. He is much better at planning how the earth works than I am.

Stella:    Probably a good idea, Lady Human. I have seen how you plan things.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Where Are The Stars? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but that makes no difference to the sky. One minute it’s dark. The next minute it lights up with a blue flash. Then it goes dark again.

Me:        Do you feel that?

Stella:    The wind is rising. It feels good. Where are the stars?

Me:        Hidden by clouds. It’ll be almost 20 degrees cooler by morning.

Stella:    Does the blue flashing light make the air colder?

Me:        No.

Stella:    What is the light?

Me:        We call it ‘lightning’. It is electricity.

Stella:    Did the Great Creator make it?

Me:        Yes, I believe so. When I see it, it makes me think of Him.

Stella:    It scares me a little.

Me:        Me, too. God is great. He can be scary, too. But He is love.

Stella:    Is electricity dangerous?

Me:        Sure.

Stella:    Then why are we standing out here in it?

Me:        It’s not here quite yet. Look at the chickens. They know. They’re getting their last feed in before the storm hits.

Stella:    They aren’t usually out this far after dark.

Me:        They sense that they may have to stay in their chicken house for a while. This storm is supposed to pass by in a few hours.

Stella:    Will we be all right?

Me:        By God’s good grace and mercy, yes.

Stella:    How can you be sure?

Me:        Well, He and I have had a few adventures together. I’ve never found Him to be absent or lacking. I’ll have to tell you sometime about the Supercell storm my daughter and I outran 2 years ago. He was with us that day.

Stella:    What if He has gone on vacation, the way the humans do?

Me:        He never slumbers or sleeps. And He doesn’t go on vacation. He is always God.

Stella:    Even now, with the sky all lit up like blue fire?

Me:        Especially now. But He does expect us to use the sense He gave us, so let’s go on inside. Do you feel that? The rain is starting.

Stella:    It feels like a shower except colder.

Me:        Yes. Except colder.

Stella:    Let’s go in now! Nobody likes cold showers!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Conversations with Stella – The Crying Sky

Me:        Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, is back for another conversation about her important question of the day. So what has you perturbed today, Stella?

Stella:   First of all, QUEEN STELLA to you. Others may call me “Your Majesty”.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:   The sky has been crying too much.

Me:        We have been having a wet spring.

Stella:   Why?

Me:        It would take a long to explain and I’m not sure you would understand. I ‘m not sure that I do. Some years are rainy and some are dry.

Stella:   Is the sky sad?

Me:        The sky doesn’t have emotions like that. There are a lot of things going on up there.

Stella:   Is the Creator angry? I heard the big booms over and over again the past few nights. And light was flashing outside.

Me:        Those were thunderstorms. The Creator is far more powerful than a thunderstorm. We can’t even imagine how powerful. If the Creator were angry with us, a thunderstorm would be the least of our concerns.

Stella:   It was scary.

Me:        But you were safe even though something scary was going on.

Stella:   Snoopey was so stupid. She started barking and all that did was make things louder.

Me:        The storms frighten her, too. She was just trying to warn us.

Stella:   Stupid Snoopey! Barking at the sky!

Me:        But you were scared, too.

Stella:   Yes, but I didn’t bark like a silly head. I hunkered down in my bed and covered my face like a smart dog. Lady Human, you talk to the Creator, don’t you?

Me:        Yes, it’s called prayer.

Stella:   I thought so because sometimes you are talking when no humans are around and you aren’t talking to me or the bulldogs. Or to that silly cat. Would you ask the Creator to stop the sky from crying so much and so loudly?

Me:        I’m not going to ask for the rain to stop. We need it for the lakes and rivers and fields. Summer is coming. But I can ask for moderate rain, not so much all at once.

Stella:   Is the Creator mean?

Me:        No, He is kind.

Stella:   Then why are there scary thunderstorms?

Me:        Maybe He allows them so we will remember to look up.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Sitting in Sunlight

The sun rules Texas skies on most days and we have to watch the bulldogs with special care during hot weather. This year, thus far, spring has been cool and kind. Summer is lurking though – in wet years, as heavy as a hot, damp blanket; in dry ones, a blasting breath like the opening of an oven door.

So while the temperatures remain reasonable, the bulldogs take advantage and sunbathe. Or cloud bathe, as they have done today.

Doodlebug never slows down long enough to soak up steady rays. He gets his on the run.

Stella is more interested in getting back inside to make sure her bed is still there. She does not do the sunbath thing like everyone else. “Why sit in the sun we are always trying to avoid?”  Stella is a pragmatist.

The skies have been clouded over for the past few days – an odd gray canopy. They broke this afternoon, too late for the sun to stream into the backyard, but the bulldogs don’t seem to mind. The sun is still shining, even if it isn’t beaming on them.

The clouds will return tonight, they tell us, along with storms that promise to be loud. About midnight, they tell us.  I pray that we’ll all be able to get some sleep. I know people who sleep through storms. I’ve slept through  a few myself.

Just now, the sun is shining. And the bulldogs are happy. And so am I.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1 KJV


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.