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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not Speaking of Randomness

This year I have…ahem…a significant birthday coming up. And I believe in looong celebrations. So in honor of the fact that I’ve amassed lots and lots of random junk in my significant amount of years, I’ve decided to start a new feature I’m going to call Totally Random Tuesday, where I plan to pretty much spew out something I’ve noticed that has absolutely nothing to do with anything in particular. Only I’m starting on a Wednesday because...okay, I changed my mind about the days. There will be no quote on Totally Random Tuesday. So here’s today’s.

I’m learning that speaking well isn’t necessarily the sign of a great mind. There will always be those who are easily fooled by, and therefore fuel, those who speak well but say nothing. It’s listening well that’s almost always a sign of greatness.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Buddy the Talking Dog

I used to call our last dog, Griswold, our “talking dog” because of the way he had of making sure I paid attention to exactly what he wanted. If he wanted a walk, for example, he’d get his leash and put it in my lap. And then he’d bark at me until I obeyed. You could tell he thought I was a little stupid, but he was just so good at training his human that he did eventually get me to understand a respectable number of commands.

But Buddy has never talked. Until lately. Or maybe Griswold was right and it’s just that I didn’t understand his particular vocabulary until lately. Anyway, I give “Budward” a dog biscuit every night at 8:00. But he often either forgets that I’ve given it to him or pretends that I’ve forgotten. So I’ve taken to making a big deal of it, making sure he gets that THIS IS IT. Then the other day, as we were going through this ritual, one of the kids passed and mentioned that Buddy says “yes.” And I realized that he does.

So here I go. This is the first time I’ve tried posting my own video footage, let alone adding a title, and I didn't have Griswold to tell me how to do it.

If I could sit across the porch from God, I’d thank Him for lending you to me. ~Flavia

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Big One-Four

Today is Buddy’s 14th birthday. Or at least the day we pretend is his birthday since he was a shelter dog.  It was probably really a few weeks ago, but we liked the date.  And to think I almost didn't get him because of health concerns!  He was missing so much fur that the vet thought it might be mange.  It was a flea allergy and an untreated case of worms.  Hooray for hybrid hardiness. 

I feel so lucky not only to have had our beloved “Budster” so many years, but to have him still in such great shape. And what’s more, he’s inspired lots of writing. Thank heavens Chicken Soup moved their deadline for My Dog's Life to May 31st.  I’ve submitted two stories so far and have two more I’m working on.

We celebrated by giving one of his toys a squeaker transplant (since he positively doesn’t need more toys) and by giving him some PETCO cookies.  Which he promptly barfed up on the dining room carpet because it's not his senior formula dog food.  Sigh.

The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune. ~Pope Paul VI

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Real Pain in the Toe

Another good thing about blindness is that I can't see my daughter's wounded toe so much unless she waves it under my face. Last week in a theatre incident involving a set piece, her toenail was broken clean off. Only it wasn’t so clean. The nurse wasn’t on duty since it was an after school activity, so her friend had wrapped the bloody mess in something that looked like tissues and tape. And then she had hobbled around like that for several hours. Urk…eww…. 

And all this just as I was settling down to watch “The Office.”  I am not at all good with wounds, either, but thank heavens for those urgent care places. Has anyone out there lost a nail—ALL of it—and can give her some words of encouragement? She read on the internet that it won’t grow back right. And they told her it would be at least six months.

I’ve had sympathetic toe pain all week. It’s going to be a long six months.

“Despair seems to afflict only those whose relation to life is a serious and potentially responsible one.”  From “Mockingbird Years” by Emily Fox Gordon

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fun With Infirmities

Today I've been trying to get various household tasks done, and I actually discovered a few I had completed and forgotten about. Surprise! For me this is the bright side to my dulling memory. It’s like a gift, finding out you’ve completed work that you don’t remember, like having those little phantom elves who cobble shoes for you at night like in the fairy tale.  Only these are the Bad Memory Elves.

And then there was the time I was watching the news, and these women were holding up a sign that said, “NEW BRA.” I thought, shoot, if you have to make a sign about it, isn’t it time to shop a little more often? And then I squinted and realized the sign said, “NEW ERA.”

Oh. Oopsy-daisy.

Spoken by my former mother-in-law: “Ho hum…I need to go to bed. I feel like I’ve taken an aphrodesiac.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dueling Peeps and Other Fun Easter Festivities

Back By Unpopular Demand! 10 Things for Losers to Do on Easter:

1. Try dying scrambled eggs instead. Practice making puking noises as you eat.
2. Put marshmallow bunnies in the microwave facing each other with little toothpick swords. Turn on the microwave and watch them blow up and stab each other. (See illustration. Thank you for the suggestion, Nina.)
3. Make an ecologically friendly basket by recycling old margarine tubs. Use dryer lint for grass or better yet, go green by using real grass (and just pick out the ants and wood ticks). Substitute lima beans for jelly ones. I find that dried work better than canned.
4. For an extra special treat, hide the basket a year early so you really don’t remember where you put it.
5. As a creative and festive surprise for children, experiment with hiding other boiled proteins, such as crab legs.
6. All that candy spells u-n-h-e-a-l-t-h-y. Try filling baskets with less sugary substitutions for jelly beans, such as fish oil and flaxseed capsules.
7. On a budget? Instead of wasting eggs, experiment with dying other items in your refrigerator, like bologna.
8. For an amusingly ironic twist, fill children’s baskets with rabbits’ feet. For a REALLY amusing twist, add a sign that says, “Good luck, from the Easter BAHHHHHH!!!” Then sing, “Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, hobblin’ down the bunny trail….”
9. Crash a little kids’ Easter egg hunt, shout “Gotcha, you sum’ bitch!” and club the egg thoroughly with a baseball bat. Hold up the remains and ask someone to take your picture.
10. Mount half an eggshell on a trophy plaque and hang it over your fireplace. Next time someone comes to your door to tell you about their religion, invite them in and keep interrupting with, “Want to see what I bagged on my last hunt?”

Don't judge people by their relatives. ~Unknown