Dog Tired

What execatly does that mean? It’s mid-afternoon on a Saturday and my husband came back from an international trip an hour ago. He went right to bed and is snoring away.

Our dog, who prides herself on her beauty sleep at 80 in human years (nary a wrinkle) begged to go to the bedroom and have me “Otis” her up to the bed to hang out and sleep with him. She sleeps at least 20 hours every day, does not have a job outside the home nor one inside it. She doesn’t even do enough to earn an “allowance” what I would call a treat. How can she be so tired?

I’d go bonkers if I slept 20 hours a day, unless I had a really bad 24-48 hour flu. But for over 11 years she’s done it every day, and at 80 she looks better than we do! She doesn’t have to pay bills or worry about a bad boss or co-worker, and thinks she’s got a pretty good deal around here. She does, and when she’s bad my husband says of this herder “we should have adopted the dumb one” and I threaten to take her back to the shelter where we got her, too young, just spayed at five weeks and sick as can be from hookworms and coccidia. Poor girl.

Empty threats. You should see it when she gets up to the stove to steal a croissant and carries it moustache-style by us and our guests at brunch to sneak to her favorite spot to eat it. I couldn’t even discipline her! We were all laughing too hard, wish I’d gotten a photo of that.

Perhaps entertaining us and her dog and people friends make her tired. They shouldn’t, as we spend brief periods of time and she always gets praise and a treat from someone.

Talking about Dog Tired our old buddy Jake the Golden Retriever who died last year, stayed a weekend with us a couple of years ago. He and Zoe played nicely for about four hours then I didn’t hear him for a minute or so, only hard breathing. He’d locked himself in a bathroom to get a break from Zoe. Now I understand dog tired! It’s dogs being tired FROM Zoe! I get it. Dee


My memories are my own, my screen saver is a picture of my father holding me with one hand at 5-6 months of age and me reaching my hands out in a park to pet a strange dog. They don’t call me the dog lady for nothing!

Much of my life has been led by the lessons Dad has taught me.

Last night he received a rare medal for his philanthropic works. I talked with the author of a piece in the local paper about an article he wrote about Dad. He said I had to call the business office in the morning to get a copy.

This is a small community paper whose former editor, now deceased, was a friend of mine. The business office called me back and asked the spelling of the name and said she’d send me today’s paper and call me back with a price. She couldn’t go back a day or look up a story on the medal or my father.

I asked for any paper this week that mentioned my father’s name. I told her he was the President of the organization and received a coveted medal last night. She asked his name again and said she’d have to look it up and get back to me.

Sounds like the Institution I remember! Change is a dangerous thing for old places and people. Not me. I used to go to the flower shop when I was working for the program office to get roses for Dad to give to the opera diva or lead ballerina in a pas de deux. Pay is a wonderful thing. Finally they made the roses thorn-free with water bottles at each stem that I could take off at the last minute that were worthy of placing gently in a diva’s arms after a wonderful performance.

I’ve heard the lectures on sweat, being there is most of the battle, but I recall the stories of honesty and persistence. That’s how I got the roses in those talented arms. That is what I brought to life and business. Dad earned that medal years ago in my eyes. I hope he knows he has a medal for being a role model from me.

That the local newpaper doesn’t know who Dad is, does not surprise me. It’s Bestor Plaza, streets and rooms are named after famed people. Dad just made Chautauqua what it is today. What would my old friend, deceased, Bucky Fuller think of that. Mom hosted his 84th birthday and 62nd wedding anniversary at our home and made him a geodesic dome cake to cut. I’ll bet the news gal has never heard of a geodesic dome or R. Buckminster Fuller. Oh, kids these days….

News, the President’s office is sending me two newspapers so I can frame the articles for Dad.

Cheers! Dee

Seems Like Old Times

I love that movie with Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase and Charles Grodin.

This is about something else. I don’t care about the medal, which is very special, but I approve and applaud it being given to a person who cares so much for Chautauqua. My Dad.

In 1978 an older gentleman came up to me on the street and called me by name. I was new but knew his name so said “good morning, sir,” I was young and very shy. He said “I’m not sir.” I said good morning Mr. F and he said “everyone calls me Shorty.” He was a peach and always spoke his mind. He is in my mind and heart forever.

The former editor of the local daily newspaper is also, I’ve heard from excellent sources, a recipient. She was a mentor to me at that time and when I veer, even though she’s gone now she corrects me, as an editor should.

That Dad joins this small neighborhood of honors is a tribute. Now let’s talk about art. Now that I think about it I hope it’s not a death sentence!

Alfreda Irwin, editor, took a photo of a creek I grew up on, catching crayfish and swimming in the pond. I bought it at an auction to benefit Chautauqua in 1982 and it was dated that year. Two years ago I framed it and it is a focal point in our home. I’ve sent a photo of it to her daughter and am leaving it to her.

Dad started painting at age 80. I’ve three of his works, all beautifully framed by me and my framers, of course. His art is also featured in our home.

Chautauqua sticks. I’ve met so many great people there. At its best it is a coalescence of heart and mind and such wonderful things that can be done. Dee

Pain, Husbands and Fathers

My dear husband reached out for me the other night and caught my nose. He’s always touching the dog with his feet and she jumps down but can not jump up because she has no hips. So she whines near my pillow, I get up and lift her back and the two of them sleep. I’m detecting a pattern here. She wants a full side of a King bed! Smart girl, an old herder. Kick Dee out!

Last night I had a Charlie Horse on my right calf. I lifted my leg and did exercises to bring the spasm down. Then I walked around indoors for 1/2 hour and drank a lot of water. Then I tried to go back to bed. After sleeping a while, I reached out for my husband and he was not there. He can’t even call me from where he is because his minutes are limited by international law by the name AT&T.

Luckily I ran into an athlete who told me I need Magnesium for leg spasms. Pay enough and you get to meet doctors, news anchors and great athletes. Thank you! The calf is a bit sore but I bought my Magnesium today. I love my husband, dog, family, friends and in a while the people I meet every day.

My father got a medal yesterday he should have received years ago, for helping a not-for-profit business be a business. Forbes, early 80’s. Cheers to the former President. From his eldest, and with love, Dad, Dee

Brown Beans and Stuff

My husband left this morning for the week, which gives me a chance to make noise, as in dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and cleaning out the frig. Such exciting endeavors!

I’ve not been sleeping at night, so took a nap on the couch while he was watching a movie last night and I had intended to cook dinner. Instead he walked the dog to pick up Mexican food. What a sweetheart. He had started a list, which I just found now, on a post-it that says brown beans, crossed out. I got a chicken quesadilla instead. I can’t keep every note he writes but my heart goes pitter pat when he goes to the store for us, walks the dog or asks if he can help put our bed back together after an intense laundry day for me.

* * *

Cars. I tend to remember some over the years. There was my dad’s first new car, 1964 Buick Special coupe, red. At age 8, I was cleaning the whitewall tires with steel wool and saw tar from road maintenance on the door so used steel wool. He was so upset.

Then there was the woody station wagon circa early 1970-something. I remember family trips and my brother sitting in the back using suitcases as drums and driving us all bonkers. It was my college graduation present. Yes, a single gal driving around in a car that seats nine and groceries. It died on a bridge. I sold it to my mechanic for $400 and it was on the street in a week.

My pea-green/rustoleum VW sold to me by my boyfriend who must have hated me at the time. Semi-automatic, fuel injection (as my younger brother would have said at the time, Wrongo, Moose-Breath) . When it rained I had to keep stopping under overpasses and use towels to dry the distributor cap. After a politician’s child took the left front wheel off the axle on New Year’s Eve when I was home sleeping, police wouldn’t give me the report, I was responsible for the Freedom of Information Act in that state and no-one would tell me who did it so I footed the bill and could not turn too far left from then on lest the fuel system blow me up.

My only new car was my 1993 Jeep. I bought this army jeep (chose no back seat) so I could take my dog to the beach and it worked beautifully. One accident, because of a fire truck and the driver in front of me slamming on her brakes at the last second. All re-done. it lasted for years and hopefully went to a Marine.

Now I drive an old Acura and my husband an old Volvo. Why? Newer cars are smaller. My husband is very tall and he has to fit our cars. I can fit into anything but he needs to fit. We chose wisely and keep them fit for travel anywhere.


This brings me to Kevin, our former mechanic. We has a rocky start back several years as I don’t think he had much respect for female customers. I believe we got there quickly, however. Drop car off , what’s wrong, what he’s going to check, leave car and keys. Call with estimate, OK estimate, call for pickup. Credit card and keys. Clockwork.

Then things got more complicated. I ran out of oil down the street in my husband’s car. Kevin knew where I was, a few blocks away, and advised me to go across the street and get abc/xyz oil and drive to the shop. It worked. We worked together over two weeks with him advising me on when to drop off, pick up and to drive longer distances so he could find the leak. He did. It cost a lot but that’s why you keep a good mechanic around, especially if my motorcycle/tractor/car expert, physicist/software engineer/consultant is off on business. Yes, that would be my husband.

Thank you, Kevin. Thanks for working with me over the years. I appreciate your work ethic and service and hope our paths will cross again. My time with Jim Fascistio has ended. He kicked me out of the shop, yelled that Kevin said I was a pain in the *** then bragged about refusing service to a long-term customer who doesn’t have credit cards declined to fellow mechanics, another woman gone! Bravo! Throwing your father’s hard work into the trash.  Problem is he was kissing the feet of the young man next to me and thanking him after all his credit cards were declined. Then he turned to me, sent his minion out of the room then said “I won’t serve her! Get her out of here!” He had my car registration so I asked for my papers back. He bragged about a Federal Civil Rights violation.

If my numbers are right women are at least 50% of the population. If Junior eliminates all female long-term paying customers, wouldn’t profits go down? Think about it. He should. He’s lost a customer for life and everyone I know.

A rant, I know it. But I have to do a miscellaneous post every so often. Enjoy the day! Dee


Zoe (our old hip-less wonder dog) and I saw a man and very hip-hurting 14 year-old Jack Russell downstairs and I told him we’d been through that. They went on their walk, we were coming back from ours.

A few hours later he was with his wife Janice and she passed me, turned around and asked me for a Vet recommendation. I gave her your Wellness Center and my favorite local vet. I have to be careful as I’ve vets all over the country! Zoe’s health file is thicker than mine and I keep every piece of paper, including the invitation for everyone to join in for hors d’oeuvres for humans (three) and dogs (three) to thank everyone when she turned one year old and was nearing well.

She’s 11 1/2 years old now and going a bit grey but passed her Senior blood panel with no concerns. The dogs were so great with her when she had her hips out as a pup. She would just lie belly-up and they’d leave her alone. I think she has some Zoe magic going on. She’s about 33 lbs. and has been flirting with a 150 lb. Akita. Just flirting. At 80 in people years and he’s about 40, we’re calling her a “cougar.”

Jack Russell’s owner Janice thanked me today and said my Vet had asked for the referrer’s name. It’s me, Zoe’s mom, Dee. Thanks for easing his pain. We always appreciate the work that you do and like making connections to make things right for everyone. Dee