Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jumping on the Blogwagon

The above picture shows our late dog, Griswold, trying to give his bone to my son when he was a baby. One more reason I had to keep an eye on that dog. He even taught the baby to bark.

I’m including this picture in honor of my first blog contest. Chicken Soup for the Soul’s publisher accidentally sent me even more than their generous ten copies per story of their What I Learned from the Dog book, and both Amy Newmark and D’Ette Corona told me to keep the extras. I’ve given these wonderful books as Christmas presents, birthday presents, and donated some to use as fundraisers for the Humane Society. Still have some left.

So here’s the deal. If you want one, please write as a comment something you learned from either a dog or other pet.  I’ll give out as many as I have and can afford to send. And if you already have the book, feel free to write something, anyway—just let me know you don’t need a book.

Here’s an example. Our dog Griswold was a genius as dogs go, but it was an enormous amount of work keeping him occupied and out of trouble. If it weren’t for the patience I learned from him, I don’t know how I ever would have survived my children’s childhoods, let alone my son’s colic.

A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down. ~Robert Benchley

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caught in the Act

It cried out again and again, but the noise fell on deaf ears until at last, it was silenced.

“Who, me?” the killer seemed to say, with the gruesome fluff of the gored, dismembered, and disemsqueakered Christmas present strewn about him in cottony abandon. The court jester colors were ironically unfestive; the party was over before we ever even had a chance to name this one. No more will it live with Crunchy Duck, Thing-Formerly-Known-As-Flamingo, Road Kill Chicken, Virus Model, Ropey, Scary Bunny, Chanukah Thing or the legendary Dead Precious (a.k.a. Precious #4). Not to mention about half a dozen tennis balls, one pitted like an olive.

But the reason Santa brought that one was because it had six—yes, six—squeakers. It will live in infamy as a transplant donor.

And here’s a Dave Barry thing. Wouldn’t Dead Precious be an awesome name for a band?

So what if you can see the darkest side of me? No one will ever change this animal I have become
~“Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace

Friday, February 12, 2010

Orangutan and the Hound

To my animal-loving friends (which is most people I know), this is a cute video. Jane forwarded it to me in an email today. Thanks, Jane!

Orangutan and the Hound

Posted using ShareThis

We should all have a friend who loves us enough to pry our mouths open and shove half their favorite candy in. ~Linda O'Connell

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm Blaming the Snow

I can’t be cooped up at home and be expected to leave my blog alone. The U2 quote (below) reminds me of my occasional need for art in some form. Problem is, I can’t figure out if art is the Jesus or the leper.

Anyway. Our snow is nothing like the East Coast got, but still. Here is a picture taken through my window. The grass is not only greener on the other side of the fence, the snow is whiter. Those neighbors don’t have dogs.

Have you come here for forgiveness/Have you come to raise the dead/Have you come here to play Jesus/To the lepers in your head?
~from “One” by U2

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ralph or Bessie, You Rock

In honor of our snow day today, which wasn’t announced until just before I left for work (which is admittedly better than announcing it after I’d left), here is what I read on a poster at a school last week. It was attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. I went home and looked it up, and some sources claim that it’s actually taken from an essay written by Bessie Stanley.

Whoever wrote it was uncommonly wise…and undoubtedly successful in spite of not being properly cited.

What is Success?

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, or possibly Bessie Stanley

Spoken by a high school social studies teacher who is one of the best at his profession I've seen: “I don’t teach for the paycheck; most teachers don’t. But one of my former students came back to see me. He sells burglar alarms now, and he was about to go to Sweden to install alarms in some mansion. Sweden! He’s like, ‘You can come work for me when you retire.’ I’m not above that, you know what I’m sayin’? I could do that. I mean, I sell American History to teenagers at seven o’clock in the morning every day. I could sell alarms to rich people in Sweden.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nice Try, Scrappy

Postcard notice from my neighbor’s vet that I found had accidentally been delivered to my house instead:

Dear Scrappy,
Please tell Stacey that you are due for the following treatment:

Canine Neuter

I felt like a traitor putting it in the correct mailbox. Sorry, Scrappy. Try the neighbors on the other side next time.

More from “Juno”:
Juno: I’m pregnant.
Leah: What? Honest to blog?
Juno: Yeah. It’s Bleeker’s.
Leah: It’s probably just a food baby. Did you have a big lunch?
Juno: This is not a food baby all right? I’ve taken like three pregnancy tests, and I’m forshizz up the spout.
Leah: How did you even generate enough pee for three pregnancy tests?