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First Date

Let’s see what we did yesterday. Tried to see The Wizard of Oz and fell asleep. Walked the dog at least five times, she’s getting old. He reached up for the Kosher salt so I could fill the salt bowl for seasoning and sugar dispenser for measuring. Then after “last chance walk” for Zoe, he dumped the ice machine’s container so we could have fresh ice.

Exciting things. I also watered herbs and flowers and hydrated my guitar. This week means a trip to storage because the city shut off our water last week and we have a hurricane kit that includes three six-gallon hard plastic vessels one can fill in a tub and use. I could only find two and lent one to a neighbor with an infant. They’re empty now and must go back.

Did I say anything about a first date? I had just turned sixteen. He was eighteen. For years my family had joked about my first date arriving in a red pickup truck. He did. He was the cutest guy at school. My father placed his bifocals low on his nose and looked at my date. My parents chose the movie we were to see from the newspaper. We left at 7:30 for an 8:00 movie, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, a Scorsese film starring Ellen Burstyn as Alice.

The movie ended after 9:30 and I needed to be home by ten. What did my date do? There had been horrific snowstorms and icy roads so he did 360’s on Main Street. It scared me to death. He took me home and kissed me once. He took me out again for an elegant dinner. I ordered salmon…. steak and did not know the cut or how to get the bones out. I was out of my comfort zone in so many ways, just say no. I did. Oh, I did get the gist of the salmon.

My parents, God rest their souls, always said that bad things happened after 11 p.m. I had to be home before then, thank goodness.

I went to cooking school many years later, and earlier, learned how to make supremes of a salmon steak and serve them as a little heart. Him? He had the head cheerleader on spring break in Florida. Two years. Then after my Freshman year in college he showed up at my door.

I loved his parents and he’s been married to and probably cheating on a friend of my little sister’s, for years. I am happily married and just wanted to share a story. They didn’t call Dad “old eagle eyes” for nothing. He could put the fear of God into a date, but loved my husband of nearly 15 years the first time they met. It is good that I love both of them as well. Rest in Peace, Dad, and thanks for everything, Dee

 

Gifts

I’ve several that come to mind. My husband, of which am I am not too fond of this morning because he shut the door and left our dog with me while I was sleeping and had been up most of the night. His old girls were shut-ins. I can get out easily but Zoe cannot do so. Bad Daddy!

My parents. Bob and Barb got a pup when we were quite young. We approved heartily but she was not allowed in the house at all except when it was below zero, then she was allowed into the basement. On my sixth or seventh birthday, I had a dream that told me it was morning and to let the dog out of the basement. I let her out and it was 2:00 in the morning. My parents came downstairs and said we’d find her in the morning. I was so upset.

They gave her away to a farm where she would be “happy.” I think she would have been happier sleeping on my bed at night and snoozing on the sofa or deck during the day. As Dr. Dog says, a backyard dog is a dog without a home. I heartily agree, unless you’re running cattle or sheep.

Same thing with my in-laws, who said it was OK to bring Zoe to Thanksgiving, then offered to mow a goat pen where she could stay, farm country. I said I wouldn’t go and would keep Zoe at home. There was a gift. Zoe indoors with me and at 90 in “people years” she is standing on Grandpa’s side of the sofa where he reads his Civil War books awaiting his return in a truck or a four-wheeler from feeding cattle. Zoe is 13 now and loves Grandpa and Grandma so much. Grandma is upset when Zoe stays home for Thanksgiving because she addresses our messes in the kitchen, eats everything that accidentally drops and makes cleaning up after our daily messes easier.

That gift was taken back a bit when my father-in-law told me I was solely responsible for the War of Northern Aggression! Oh, he was just joshing! He does it all the time, mostly politics. My husband and his parents and grandmother and younger brother and Stevie are all gifts.

There are so many more but it’s time, I have to take care of my family and get my husband breakfast when he awakens. I’m thinking over nearly hard eggs, bacon and potatoes I cooked last night. Note to cooks, never make leftovers look like leftovers. Cheers, Dee

 

 

John Robert and Petals

That was my name. I was not meant to be a girl or have a Celtic female name now called Dee. As I was not male, they came up with an interesting name with poetic history.  I  was a sorrowful Irish heroine. Sorrowful as I had to teach my teacher from day one every year how to say my name and ask that he/she call me Dee.

They would tell me to move from the back of the class to the front. How did the person in front feel about that? I was brought up the front to bring me up years ahead of my peers in reading, writing and literature. I thank my parents for that.

Now Mom has been gone for nearly nine years, Dad for six months. I keep up flowers and petals are falling from hearty chrysanthemums after less than a week. It makes me sad and I can’t take another death in the family right now. Two flowers are going and one may be mine.

And Dylan. Yes, I was a the 2016 Nobel Poet Laureate’s Bob Dylan fan most of my life. I can’t play the guitar for crap but see the chords in my head. to any lyric and my fingers are too stubby and sore to be a violinist, pianist or guitarist. Dad said I had perfect pitch and he had relative pitch. He was always very proud of me. He could play instruments. I wanted to go the mall as a kid, to spend my babysitting money so quit violin.

Now, I may get to restore his violin. He got through college with calling and fiddling square dances. I would like to do this in his memory, Most likely if it is restorable it will be given to his alma mater with a violin scholarship that has already been established in his name by dear friends, including my choir teacher from 3rd grade.

I may not be a John Robert but am a Dee and try to help people, and shelter/feral animals and am getting back into music in memory of my father through my guitar, My guitar shop picked it up a step, found me a teacher, and the penultimate violin artist. Dad had way more musical talent than me. Cheers! Dee

Tomfoolery

Enough is enough. There is a war going on between middle management and legitimate software engineers. The rift is between change and staying the same. Executives say they want change, middle managers stage their ground to keep their jobs, pay lip service to change and hire consultants to make change then make their jobs a living h***.  Afterwards, large numbers of people with families to take care of are laid off, and they start a new cycle. Management is the same, and they just bring in new faces they do not recognize and can fire at will.

A new consulting company is hiring newbies so they can charge high and pay low and are trying to get seniors to do hour-long phone tutorials so that the kids can go out and advise clients. They approached my husband, and he said no. I was a consultant before and a kid actually got out a 101 book to answer a question, one I answered in detail before he could find the page. This nonprofit got a grant that included the kid via a board member so they got rid of me for three months, oh, he begged to get me back. I never saw the kid again.

Our new president, Donald Trump wants to allow his insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone who has a pre-existing condition, or allow states to “opt out” from offering that coverage. Giving this bill to your constituents, Mr. Trump, you must remember that you govern all of us, not just those who voted for you, and that this is an insult to all Americans.

We live here, work here, retire here in the USA and pay heavy taxes to do so, and depend on our dollars and cents to pay for health care. Allowing states to individually opt out out of coverage for pre-existing conditions will mean that people will move to other states. Perhaps Mr. Trump wants to further charge (new job, moving costs) people from the states he doesn’t like, to other states. That gives red and blue new meaning when the country is fractured in this fashion. I’ll move.

Sorry, I thought the President of the United States should be President of all the people, not just a chosen few, especially just his daughter threatening a store for not choosing her clothing line. Perhaps I learned that wrong in grade school and when daily, I recited an ode to our chosen symbol of freedom, Our Flag. Very young, I thought it said “liver tea and just us for all” and didn’t quite get it. Teachers and parents were not good at that kind of stuff. And who would wish to quaff liver tea!

I am an American citizen with a passport, TSA-Pre and Global Entry passes. I no longer fly because I hate lines and TSA and naked scanners, pat-downs with an offer to go to a “special room” and bomb swabs. I’m nearly 60 years old, arthritic and frail, do I really look like a terrorist grandma? Feel my boobs for weapons in front of 2,000 people walking by upstairs, no special room for me. Let them know what they’re in for. They’re your next targets.

Growing up we played two-base softball in the back yard with all the kids in the neighborhood. We carried babies and the outfielders pretended to fumble the ball. We played touch football with everyone on the street. We were Americans, kids fulfilling the dream. Now Donald Trump wants to strip us of the health insurance rights we pay for and companies have been lining their pockets with gold for over ten years, all due to taxpayer bailouts. They’re called government bailouts of nearly a trillion dollars. Where did that money come from? Us. Have a cough, the flu? Sorry, no health insurance for you. Not cheery right now, Dee

I See Dead People

My mother died nearly nine years ago and her number is still on my phone and on my computer. Dad died over the holidays. I’ve multiple numbers. My old college friend Led, and others.

It is not a burden, but a blessing. Once the initial rawness of the death eases, one is able to associate a fond memory when going through a list for holiday cards, for example. Now I always arrange flowers for Dad every week, also for my living family, my husband and of course dog Zoe.

There are changes in our lives and we must choose how to live through them. Change is always an issue. My husband and I are agents of change in business but sometimes I resist when it involves moving our nest, at our expense, unnecessarily. We undergo change all the time and sometimes I envy folks who settled down early, had a family, bought a house and have lived in it for 50 years.

My husband said that before we met and he moved, he used three feet of space, the minimum on a freight truck. Years later, when we actually had furniture, we were at 12 feet. Now we’d be more because we have his grandma’s china and my mother’s Lenox china for ten, and the nun desk. That’s another story.

He tells people I cost him nine linear feet. I tell folks he married me because when we walked along the Pacific Ocean our first weekend dating as the sun set, he stood behind me and placed his chin on my head and arms around my shoulders. He married me because I am the perfect chin rest. I also cook and Lucy, you’ve now got some ‘splainin’ (planning) to do. For menus. He’s here all week. First time since the holidays.

I’ll get to work. Have a wonderful day! Cheers, Dee

Planning

We don’t do enough of it. My husband will be around for a few days, not just a two-day weekend, and we don’t know what we are doing or if he will have a job next month.

A kind woman who works here changed her entire work schedule to be able to spend weekends with her family, including two young boys age six and four. They planned an entire weekend with favorite animated films, food and bedtimes.

She told me yesterday that they planned to awaken at 5:30 this morning for breakfast and a quick film before school. She’s young enough to be my daughter, but if I come back one day, she’d make a great mom.

I gave her the concise OED, two volumes with teeny print and a Bausch and Lomb magnifying glass and box, 1971 Edition, published in 1973. She said she was glad her boys had a dictionary so they wouldn’t need to Google everything for school. Her older son has a steel trap of a mind, met me and my dog for five minutes at the fourth birthday party for the younger son, to which we were invited.

He drew a crayon sketch of our Zoe, and Ms. D that is up on our frig for all to see. Well, it’s more flattering of Zoe than of me. I called my barber that minute and got an appointment as I am shown with a purple scrunchie atop my head! He said, OK, so you don’t need a haircut. Yes! A six year-old just did a caricature of me and I need a haircut!

Cheers, raise smart, good kids. Also smart, good dogs. Not everyone needs a herding dog, like our Aussie mix, but after 13 years of being herded, one gets used to it. Let’s see what my husband does with her in a week, perhaps toss her in the Lake? If he does, she’ll be OK as she dove into a caretaker’s pool at nine weeks of age and they pulled her out after she swam across – it was February. We hope to have guests next week and are planning on it already. The leaves are starting to come out on the trees. It may be Spring! Cheers! Dee

Do Dogs Dream?

Cesar Millan asked this question last week and his site would not allow me to respond. Yes, they do dream. Our 13 year-old Zoe just had one and I hated to leave her to come in here and write this. She’s a herder and will be by my side in under three minutes.

The tail wags, ears twitch, eyes open and close. Then the entire body twitches and the paws run like crazy. Sometimes she awakens for a walk and breakfast, and sometimes the REM phase just puts her back asleep. I like to guess whether it’s a squirrel, bunny or mouse. When she was young and faster she did kill two mice with precision and my husband took each out of her mouth immediately and fed them to the baby birds over the fence in the protected wildlife area. 1,200 acres, five feet away. Moose crashed a wedding and elk jumped the fence and crossed the highway. I used to make our bedroom balcony available for credentialed photographers. What a view.

The baby colts (young Greater Sandhill Cranes) would make sounds at night. I’d awaken and tell my husband that mom was going to the 7-11 to get them something to eat. There was no 7-11, and we didn’t see any this year. Years ago there was a fox that hung out there for hours every day, waiting for the 6′ parents to leave their colts. They never did, “married” for life and raised colts every year. The fox always left, disappointed. Hey, you just chose the wrong prey!

Yes, dogs do dream. She’s never had a thing for any bird, as there is a turkey who lives in our neighborhood and he is pardoned by all of us every Thanksgiving! She just ignores him as she walks by on leash.

She has been with me for 20 minutes and can jump down, just not up. Time for “last chance” and bed. You know who’s the boss now. It certainly is not me. Cheers! Dee