I was never good at art. Well, Papa taught me perspective because that was scientific. He also taught me copper tooling. It was third grade and I was a year younger. Everyone else brought in a rudimentary dog or house. I had a jaguar launching from the jungle with every leaf present and accounted for. I used his tools but drew from a photo and he never touched the art. After I got an A+++ everyone was still working on their first piece, in five minutes I made a daisy. Another A. The art teacher watched me and saw my time and knew I was not being coached.

I was better at other things but as a hobby the first decoupage was a barn-roofed tool box I used for culinary implements to take to school. When I visited my aunts years ago they started catering and needed a way to transport their tools. I cut out magazine articles and pasted them onto the toolbox. It is in their kitchen to this day.

A few years ago I got another big red toolbox out of storage. I covered it with culinary references as well but it is in my office with office supplies inside.

Today I took what looks like a hip flask, that came from the grocery with a Texas BBQ sauce that was quite tasty, cleaned and dried it thoroughly and made it up with culinary themes for my aunts to be a single-flower vase. Well, it’s been 20 years since the last one….. At least it’s not a tool box! Dee

ps My husband’s favorite picture of many not done by me is a crayon drawing at age five of the cast of The Wizard of Oz, Tin Man, me (Dorothy) sitting on Cowardly Lion’s back, and Scarecrow. I wanted to put it by his side of the bed but he said no, the sun may get to it from there (I got it framed with 98% uv protection) so why don’t you place it on your side. OK, dear, here’s one I envisioned of you and the dog who used to walk you to the school bus and come back to walk you home.

I don’t do art, my aunts just taught me how to write and express myself through words. We got a $.50 allowance each week from our parents which was about enough to buy everyone presents when due. Hitting was never thought of. We got fined five cents every time we called each other dumb, idiot or stupid.

Then there was the golden one, my brother who I love very much. He would do something really bad and we’d say we were going to tell on him. He’d run to our mother and say “Mommy, I’m not being haved.” and she’d give him a hug and tell him he’s so sweet and send us to our room for not looking after him. I was the eldest and shared a room with my sister, the golden one had his own room.

Mom’s gone over 9 years, Dad a little over one. It’s been a roller coaster of a life but I’m lucky to be where I am right now.  Yes, I helped walk with a friend and a nearly grown-up pup yesterday to get on my feet for a while and when the dog saw me, she grabbed my thigh and peed. She’s nearly a year. I had her for several weekends as a pup, a favor to my neighbors. Sweet pup, but the “happy pee” is getting old. Luckily I was wearing Crocs and they are in the wash.

Just as one must teach a dog basic obedience (learn broad hand signals because as they get old they’ll lose hearing and have cataracts) one must learn to speak at least one language and explain and consult on one’s views on an issue without the words idiot, dumb or stupid involved in the conversation. The folks were right on that issue. Cheers! Dee

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