Yes, it means death. It is allowed for pets but not for people. Only secretly for people.

For a cherished pet a proper parent should make the decision when there is no other alternative, hold that pet and be there.

For pets I would ask that there is a special room with a panic button. My old dog got up five times after the anesthesia and I couldn’t call on anyone. It was heartbreaking for me because I knew it was the last time I would see her alive and I didn’t want her to suffer. Because of what I went through, they’ve a “death wing” with a separate checkout and back door for payment, and the rooms have panic buttons to summon assistance.

I know that this is to prevent grieving pet owners from paying the death bill in front of others at the front desk. Two friends arrived at the hospital and visited my Chani before she died. In the end, Chani had bled out and had no hope of survival.

When I got home I called a dear friend and her husband answered the phone. Are you sitting down? Yes. I lost Chani. I’ll be right there to help you find her. This is an Army Ranger, yes, the Army Ranger.

No, she’s gone. What do you need? Companionship and a good glass of Pinot. He ran for me with a precious glass. I jumped the wall 200 feet away and we missed each other. He’d called his wife to come home, and when I arrived he arranged to have Chani’s remains given to me, not fodder for a pet cemetery.

I had spent six years trying to gain legal leash-free areas in our city. The entire neighborhood donated money to the city for a tree in her memory. The city decided the type, location and size of tree and the money and we paid  it. Then there was a big fight with neighbors who didn’t like dogs in “their” park.

Time was spent with both of my parents, who are gone now. They both had onsets of debilitating diseases that were accelerated by either medical mistakes or diseases of just being in a hospital. Mom died. Dad just died weeks ago. I can’t even find his grave. They both went through torture just to decide to die. My pets had a better death.

We scattered Chani’s ashes, at night, everywhere. But I’ve the last thing she brought to the park, a large teddy bear I bought at a garage sale for fifty cents, from a woman who hated me for trying to allow dogs in the park. A milliner friend, dear friend, placed ashes in the bear and sewed on a heart with lace and beading and everything.

I spoke with said other mother this evening. My new old dog, 13 years, would eat Chani’s bear so I keep it up high, always remembering the family that called me their daughter and still do so. She’s getting older. We had a good talk this evening and I promised a visit.

As to trees, there are so many now I can’t even see Chani’s on Google Earth. I heard the Wicked Witch of the West is no longer controlling “her” park so will visit, place flowers and water on her tree, and meet the people who made me, me. Thanks from your only daughter, Dee



Dictionary Game

My aunts came up with this. Fifteen of us on an extended vacation. “halfway” in cars. We never know if we’d be stuck in rain or snow so my two favorite English teachers came up with a game.

They brought a dictionary and as kids, we had to open a page and look at a word we’d never heard of and learn and make up a meaning. “This is how lemmings fall off cliffs.” We could make up the verbiage, all write it down on a slip of paper and someone who was not playing would read out the papers and the contestants would vote for the most plausible definition.

It taught me a lot about our family, education, and made me want to learn. Oh, I was always one to turn to funny so never “won.” Lemmings. It wasn’t about that for me, just being with family.

There may be a family reunion for the first time in many years. We’ve gained a few in marriages and children, but lost a few along the way. If our Aunts cannot bring board games to the table, I’ve a possible solution as a gift for the M’s or us, after we play the Dictionary Game. Winner gets it. We have to see who shows up, first! This is not halfway!

We have to fly from 1500 to 3000 miles away so we’ll see when it is and how it goes. That was not a proper sentence. I always think about my aunts when I write. I purposely break rules and they know it, but I like to cook, and they taught me that as well. I break rules there and everywhere.

I never got to be a rebel. Perhaps those few years on the hill during my childhood let me do so rappelling off cliffs, swinging, foraging, dealing with snakes and crayfish (crawdads) et al  but that was just being a kid with boy neighbors.

Rebel didn’t start until my thirties. I met some of the best people and worst people I’ve ever known.

Cheers! Dee

What’s Next?

I’m stuck with paying bills, doing taxes, an old dog who needs blood work and a home without my husband. Of course we’re still together, it’s just that the jobs got divvied up.

My husband flies home every weekend, usually the plane is late, sometimes a few hours late. He wants a frozen thin-crust pizza and a 2-liter Dr. Pepper. He sleeps ’til noon Saturday, we have lunch and he takes a nap later.

What I don’t know is that if we go where he is, or make his commute shorter, will he still just sleep away the weekend? I’m getting bored with TV and computer while he snores. There’s only one way to know. Visit.

It’s all thunder and lightning and rain here, supposed to be snow. The wind is fierce. Oh, the rain is coming down now, I can hear it. Zoe (the dog) is not going to like that in the morning. I’ll have to find her rain coat. It’s not like she wears clothes or I dress her up. This is for -6 degree weather and snow. It is weather-proof. No, she will not allow any kind of “hat.” Or boots for the excess salt that is placed on sidewalks and streets so the City does not have to plow snow.

Dog towels have a place in this world, I think she has more towels than us. I just dry her off. The storm seems to be moving away, that was a quick one, oh, another has hit. Hard. I’ve always liked thunderstorms but our dogs have not. This old gal is OK with this and fireworks. After all, Pyro Paula was her good friend, creator of the largest land-based fireworks in the USA. Zoe has cataracts now so perhaps she has to depend more on hearing than sight.

Zoe is very smart but not with traffic. If her vision is diminished (we just found out) I hope her hearing is good and that she behaves on the end of my martingale collar and braided leather leash. I’ve arthritis for 30 years, mis-diagnosed for 20. Even though she is 32 lbs. and old, she can pull me over on ice.

I love my husband, our families and our dog. My family moved a lot. It’s an incredible amount of work to move again but I’ll need help this time. Zoe just hid under my desk at my feet. I think it’s time to lift her back up to the bed and say goodnight and good thoughts. Dee

Life and Trinkets

We have lovely things given us over the years by family members. As look around there is art, most done by my father after he took it up at age 80. There is food, travel, Italy and Greece, photography (mine and others). There are flowers. Historic quilts, paintings and memories hang on our walls. And writing doesn’t fit but I’m doing it now.

On a tree or wreath each holiday season I try to capture where we are, and were, at the time. There are hand-made paper ornaments from a theater event I envisioned and executed years ago, a few from my parents who made this a tradition. I try to get us two ornaments for each year in the spirit of what we have experienced. Living in Scotland, the mountains or lakes.

The big things like Italian Majolica serving platters from Dad for our wedding, or my mother’s china service for ten, become smaller when one thinks of the bigger things.

Dad got me a Hi, Dee, drawing of a chef and signature from Andre Soltner. He’s a pre-eminent chef, owner of Lutece in NYC. Dad sent me pashmina scarves and an evil eye bracelet from Turkey, candles from the Netherlands, and a replica of a Medici necklace, not to mention two Ferragamo scarves I’ve yet to find. One was really cool, tied one couldn’t tell what it was, looked like chrysanthemums. Opened, it was a dog. He knew me so well.

My aunts taught me how to cook, entertain, and clean up after myself.  While visiting, as my husband is tall and big, he brushed by a wall upstairs and knocked off and broke a cherished piece. They sent it to us, glued back together, a while later. They have taken us on adventures, actual and literary, to last a lifetime and have always been kind. If I’ve young visitors I’ll need to get a copy of the OED and place it on top of the loo. Said child will need to open the dictionary, find a word he or she does not know. Then go out to the living room and spell it, say whether it is is a noun, verb or adjective, and use it in a sentence. Those attributes and their letting me correct their English exams (only multiple choice with a guide and a red pen) but I read them, Romeo and Juliet…. made me smarter.

My husband’s family, as I now have no parents, have given me the greatest gift of being my family. They have given me perspective (The War of Northern Aggression), conversation, a delightful cook-mate in my mother-in-law, entertainment, adventure (wild hogs, not motorcycles), and much love. First night there meeting the parents my father-in-law met us at the airport with two dozen roses. M gave me a small picture frame into which I placed our favorite wedding photo.

We have her quilts, my husband’s baby book to look through and frame. I must thank them for a really big gift, my husband. Together over fifteen years, married and we’ve a dog to prove it.  Dear old Zoe. Now that’s a gift from the local shelter we gave ourselves. It took a lot of work (me) but she’s a great old dog.

Zoe gives us gifts every day. I’m not talking about the outside ones. The ones that line your heart with love and joy. She is kind and everyone knows her, she’s a mascot around here. With all the things I do, everyone remembers Zoe and calls out for her. If we can pick and train a dog like her for us, that’s a life challenge and it’s OK with me. Dee


My husband drags himself in the door every weekend, from nine at night to one in the morning depending on airline mishaps and goes to bed.

He bought me flowers for fifteen years. We’ve been together for over that time, and married 14 years so I don’t want him to spend time buying me flowers over the weekend.

When he slogs in from plane and car he doesn’t see any of the arrangements I’ve made for him. Late Saturday morning he may notice something.

He is a physicist. I have bought him several vintage chemistry vessels that he recognizes before ever seeing the flowers. Oh, is that an Erlenmeyer flask? I got a couple more today. Even a pipette.

He didn’t go on with physics because the lab time was too lonely and he had no-one to come home to. He has me and Zoe now. I love for him to recognize things he was used to, and to always look forward to vessels that point toward our future. He’s a scientist. Why not use antique (1950’s – 1970’s) glassware to get him to enjoy a Gerbera daisy while he eats his over medium egg with bacon and toast with local peach jam?

I love his brain and his heart. Zoe, the dog, loves his playfulness more than my role as disciplinarian, vet-taker and food wench. They are my family. If I have to buy antique chemistry flasks for him to appreciate his life and flowers, I’ll do it. I think it’s cool, even my florist finds it interesting but they’ll sell me fewer vases! I now use mason jars and they’ve taught me basics of arranging, which means they see me more but make a bit less money because I’m learning to do it myself.

Same with cooking. My mother never wanted me in her kitchen, but I learned through her, my aunts and school I spent my life savings to attend. And thank you, Gourmet Magazine. Right after Mom read it, I did as well. Now I get attention for being a good cook, and mother of the most famous dog in the neighborhood. We do regularly water the favorite tree of Zoe’s deceased friends Jake and Wurli. Cheers! Dee

Nom de Plume

Facebook or a company trying to pretend to be it, has been texting me for months to tell me that people I may know or have never heard of want me to be in touch.

I am on Facebook. I do not make use of it. The first person who asked to be my friend was an HR person at a former employer who sent us across the country for a couple of months then refused to pay the bills. She told me what she ate every day, when she eliminated, visited her cousin, everything I never wanted to hear. She would not stop so I quit Facebook. I got back on a while later then quit again. It’s difficult to quit Facebook, they make it so.

Now, I get twice-weekly or even more often texts on my phone (I do not text) saying to text this number so this stranger or former friend can be in touch. No. I do not respond. I do not use Facebook. It is intrusive.

The funny thing is that I’ve a nom de plume, a pseudonym that they started using in their text today. Apparently they’ve run out of fake friends (even dead people) they’ve chosen for me so have started texting a fake person. Serves them right. Sometimes I make good decisions for the right reasons.

No-one takes control of my privacy or my life. Hear that, Facebook? Cheers from Dee and hug your loved ones. Play ball in the yard or a board game instead of being on the computer all day. Dee

Poseurs and Egg, Olympics

No, I’ve never cooked that or made a sandwich with it. There was a poser who used to buy clothing and gear for a sport, try the sport for two days, probably looking for someone. Then he’d give it up and choose a new outfit, new sport.

I was taught that one tries tennis or cycling or XC skiing before buying a wardrobe for a sport one will never do.

Telling that story about The Great Pretender at breakfast on the slopes at  Snowbird, years ago, I saw the back of a man at the buffet table dressed in this closely fitted neon yellow ski suit. It was too perfect.

I said to my family,”who does this guy think he is, Jean-Claude Killy?” Neighboring tables all remarked that Jean-Claude Killy was in the house. Egg, on my face. He certainly was not a poseur, and deserved the uniform he spent a lifetime achieving during the Olympics and otherwise, and I only wished to get off the bunny hill and see him ski. No, I did not dress for the occasion, sadly as jeans didn’t make it in that kind of weather. Plus lack of oxygen.

Said friend of a friend was too enervating for me to take me, as a friend, into his fake world. I said farewell to the friend of a friend, but still love Jean-Claude Killy and his compatriots on the slopes. I can try to be an artist at writing and cooking and work, but I cannot touch their world. Dee