Category Archives: loving life

Dear WordPress

Thank you for the snow! Dee



The Wonder Kitty II, is a bean bag kitten, and is on my lap being petted for luck. The best of luck was given from Snowflake The First to my fellow volunteers spaying and neutering thousands of feral cats.

It was the right choice to leave him with these valiant volunteers. Note to ear-tippers who take off the top of the right ear while the cat is anesthetized to allow caretakers to know who has been spayed/neutered. Believe me, you cannot ever catch these crafty felines twice. I tipped II’s ear with sharp scissors. He is made of bean bags and batting so he never felt a thing. He is very soft and soothing. I gave an infant neighbor his little brother, who loves it.

We do things to make life livable, sometimes bearable when there is sickness or losses in the family. I was a consultant who spent weekends volunteering for the projects I created. I made an Animals section of day-to-day projects and while all the other managers had two projects per month I had 14. After a few years a new director fired me, saying they didn’t need people like me anymore. Yes, she said that, at a public event in front of the Councilman’s guests.

I left Snowflake with my fellow volunteers, who were loyal to the cause and to each other. Snow II is on my lap, I got my chops there with volunteers, management and feral cats. Mange? Get Dee. Ringworm? Get Dee. Tapeworms? Get Dee. Get it? You don’t want to know what happens when a feral cat or kitten awakens from surgery. Get ’em in, watch their breathing and release when ready. I even made a “Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List” to show that cats had come out of anesthesia and were just napping. They just changed the name from mine a year ago. I thanked them for allowing me to make a change to their routine but didn’t need credit for doing so. Take care of your family and pets. Don’t feed your dog chocolate. Dee

The Commandant

Yes, that is what we called her trainer in Dog Obedience 101. I underwent the training. My husband sat by the wall and criticized my techniques, and the Commandant never even looked at Zoe the entire six weeks.

Zoe did not undergo formal training, which I needed for doggie daycare and overnights, until she was a year old. She knew most of it but had each diseased hip out at six and nine months of age so we gave her time to recover.

I remember a German Shepherd who was really smart, right next to us in class. The Commandant spent a lot of time with him. He would conveniently “forget” to sit. He’d be commanded to repeat it and get a treat for doing so. He was only forgetting for a treat! Zoe did everything first time out (proud parents) but never got so much as a “good girl!” from the Commandant. She learned the basics, come when called, sit, down, stay and heel.

Now I am the Commandant. My husband has been home writing a book. I touch him on on the shoulder with his music or noise-cancelling headphones, point to our old Zoe who I lifted up on the bed and say “she’s with you.” I’m running errands.

Then, near her dinner time, she wants to come out to see the Disciplinarian and Food Wench, me. I tap him on the shoulder and say “she’s with me” and close the door.

Other than the occasional “honey-do” list I do make sure our home is a home and that our little one is taken care of. It’s usually me alone. She loves her walks with my husband. I can’t make it that far, RA for 30 years.

I can ask him to leave the computer or cell phone at a good breaking point to take her out because I’m making him a great dinner and am in the middle of it with three pans on the stove.

One thing I couldn’t teach the young, healing dog was not to jump up on people, because she never had the equipment to do so until she grew her own hips from cartilage. Amazing! She’s nearing 14 and never really had a puppy-hood and now she has no interest in jumping up. I’d just say “leave him alone. I know he’s delivering your food.”

I had to be a bit of a Commandant recently with a teething pup. She used to try to have illicit relations with my legs but now she’s grown, is no longer teething and just hugs me above the knee and does a “happy pee.” Her family knows she has a great place to stay and taunt Zoe when they are out of town. She needs someone for 101 and is a very smart girl so will learn fast if they keep up with homework.

If your dog does something right the first time, always say “good girl” and same for a boy. I do so many times a day, almost the number I tell my husband I love him. Cheers from Dee and The Fun Guy! Dee



Getting To Know You

Getting to know all about you. I was in The King and I, a high school musical, when I was a very young violinist. I was so shy then I refrained from leading the pack, for which I was chosen, to be one of the twins.

Getting to know you is something one needs to know to succeed in life. Note that I did not say business, life will lead to that. We moved around a lot for Dad’s jobs and I had to make new friends everywhere.

Opening oneself up is difficult, especially if you’ve been taunted or spurned by fellow kids. So you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Learn to know bullies from good people. Character assessment. Guys always talk of handshakes. They’re correct.

We rafted a really fast river years ago with a guide. I was wearing two wrist braces to protect me from doing too much. The expert guide would have given me a great handshake but he saw the braces so just touched the tips of my fingers. NO! They’re for support, I am not ill, I use them for packing boxes and moving! We did a five hour raft trip in two hours. That is what the Army Corps of Engineers gave us that day, Cat 4 rapids. Yes, we looked for it.

I digress. In life, you want to get to know the people you wish to know. I kissed a few frogs before I met my husband of nearly 15 years. He had all the traits I wanted and a few enervating habits. As a physicist, software engineer, leader, consultant he is very methodical. I got to know his family over the years and love them.

As to me, I’m getting better, due to him, about being less emotional about slights to each of us, mostly job-related. I was a consultant and always a leader as well, in a very different line of work. When he tells me of a consulting issue I try to tell him how to solve it, because I’ve more years of experience in that field, and he hates that.

We got married and we wanted to have a kid but I advised that we had to get a dog first. She’s nearly 14 years old, sleeping more, limping a little. Between us we chose the best dog in the world. She’s a mascot around the neighborhood. Everybody knows her name. It wasn’t until my husband took her out for a walk a few weeks ago that two ladies behind them said “that’s Dee’s dog.” Fourteen years and someone knows my name.

Open up, choose wisely. Yesterday a new friend was flying home. I saw an SUV with four hands waving. Last week she made me a pot of delicious butternut squash soup. They stopped the car. She said thank you for everything and held my hand. I thanked her and said safe travels. Meeting new friends is an adventure. Always embrace it. Dee



I would not ever use them on my family or our dog, who is probably the most spoiled canine on the planet. Or cheat on our food, except a frozen Friday Night Pizza from the convenience store so when his plane arrives I can have the oven heating. Flights from the West Coast are notoriously late or cancelled, I make excellent dough and pizza but I’m not going to get up at 11 p.m. to make the dough (Italian OO flour) and prepare the toppings. Dog Zoe and I are in bed by then.

My husband wants to use highways, paid or toll-free, to get everywhere. He says they’re faster but they’re usually clogged with traffic and I don’t normally drive more than two miles a day.

He’s off at work for the day or week or month and I need groceries, his dry cleaning and more. We move to a new city and I have to learn my way around. This was before GPS and what he calls “Google Girl.”

I find back streets to take me to the grocery. He tells me I’m “sneaky.” I show him the way and he takes it! Way to go, Dee!

Don’t tell him, but I also try to add veggies and fiber to his diet. Sneaky, yes. Just clean a pile of radishes or peel a jicama and make a salad with apple and vinaigrette. Those are not really shortcuts.

We spent nearly a year to get our Zoe to adopt a food and she has, for nearly 14 years. I never take shortcuts on that, except to make sure her tummy can take the raw food dry version for car trips as no-one will sell us dry ice here to keep her frozen raw food good during travel. I usually have it delivered every few weeks. She loves M, who takes it to our door and tells a story while he pets her. Some shortcuts are good! Dee


Stains, Love And Life

Yes there are stains on the dishes and laundry, and much to do in the kitchen and bathrooms. My husband is home to write a book and wants to learn how to cook. His favorites are spaghetti and meatballs, and really great fluffy pancakes for which I have to make egg whites to stiff peaks.

He usually sleeps immediately and like a champ but was up last night so today I’m going to make mini-quiches with eggs, cheese, prosciutto and he’ll love it.

He gets spaghetti sauce on his shirt, the walls, everywhere. I clean it up. Forget about pancakes, too many dishes to count. And when he decides to wash dishes, I follow him around like a second shift and clean up after him as there is water, water everywhere. Shower and shaving, too. He is called The Human Tornado for a reason. Yes, I gave him that name many years ago.

Do I love him? You bet I do. He is my love and my life. Stains included. He is my soul mate, savior, bete noir some of the time. With a love of life, cheers, Dee


Loving You

That was an old song I never cared for. I do care for my family, for this piece just my immediate family with whom I live, day in and day out.

My husband is brilliant, and knows everything including physics, software development, farm equipment and wood-splitting. He is kind but not effusive, hard-working and hard headed and not likely to say he’s sorry for anything, but he spoils our old dog like crazy.

Speaking of Zoe, she is kind to all (including cats that do not run) and wants to be next to us and herd us or play fetch with Precious, her only toy that is indestructible. She does not wish to sit on our laps but wants to be a couple of feet away so we can’t go anywhere without her knowledge. Yes, an old herder, though years ago she became afraid of two baby goats!

I have been accepted into my husband’s growing family, as has Zoe in a farming culture that does not allow dogs in the house. Now she is a member of their loving family as well, and stands on my father-in-law’s place on the sofa awaiting his return from feeding the cattle. She also picks up anything that drops on the floor during my mother-in-law’s and my cooking marathon for days before every Thanksgiving.

When we drive there as I turn on the long road to the Ranch she pops her head up from her 4″ orthopedic bed and knows our destination. Food and family.

That’s how we roll. I cooked some St. Louis style ribs last night, Alton Brown style, with a rub inspired by Jeanne Voltz, with salt, pepper, sugar and smoked paprika. My dear husband grilled the ribs for five minutes after I cooked them covered in a low oven for 90 minutes and I brushed on a hint of BBQ sauce that had a bit of bourbon in it. I also made a fresh radicchio salad with an organic ranch-style sauce, and we had a few root veggie chips.

I love my family! Dee