Sleeping Dogs


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Today I am grateful for sleeping dogs.  We had a wonderful time at the concert last night in Philly, but a horrendous experience with the regional rail service both in and out of the city.


We got home at 1 and then I was too wired to sleep so I have no idea when I finally dropped off.  That’s why I’m so glad our current rental dog picked right up on the weather and blowing rain and leaves and decided it was a good day to nap.


Me, too.  Never wake a sleeping dog, a sleeping baby, or a sleeping husband.  Or me.  Woe unto you if you do.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Friday, October 21, 2016

Today I am grateful for my muse.  She is the one who told the hilarious story about “yanking the Spanx” in the car on the way to her dress fitting for her daughter’s wedding. . .giving me the title and idea for my new play!


Well, the wedding is upon her and those of us at the Y who love her got to talking. . .and an idea gelled. . .so we enlisted the skills of our resident artist and the cartoon was created.


So, dear one. . .Today and tomorrow, whichever days you are wearing the “beast”, I wish you the following:

  1. As you attempt to crawl into the Spanx I hope you don’t break a nail, pull a muscle, or pop a hole in them.
  2. In the event you DO pop a hole in them, I hope that there is duct tape readily available to paste over the hole so that body parts don’t start popping out like rising bread dough.
  3. As you enjoy your day I hope those suckers do not go “south” on you. . .or, God forbid. . .”north”!
  4. I hope that you drink just enough water to stay hydrated but not so much to create a Tsunami crisis. ‘Nuff said on that!
  5. When the day is over and it is time to unleash the beast and worm your way out of them, I hope that no children, animals, or dangerous explosives are nearby. . . just in case they snap away from you.
  6. And I wish the same for all involved.
  7. Oh! And don’t forget to breathe!  Hahahahahahaha!  As if!?


Wishing you, my muse, and yours, a blast in the best possible way. . .

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Rental Dog Clay

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Today I am grateful for yet another rental dog.  Clay’s mom dropped him by this afternoon and he is, at this moment, lying on the floor next to Himself, getting his belly rubbed.  When he stops petting, Clay pops up to nuzzle his ear. . .a not-too-subtle reminder that the dog NEEDS more petting.  It’s okay.  With our schedules, that’s more action than Himself gets from me these days so everyone is happy.


I had almost no sleep last night following the debacle/debate. . .what with swelling like a blow fish from the ridiculous amount of barbecue potato chips I consumed and also from being half hammered from the vodka to go with the chips.  Man.  If this election isn’t over soon I’m going to need an intervention!  Or two.  Maybe three, because I should not be allowed to watch the news in the evening, either.  Keeps me up with angst and irritation.


So I’m going to pass todays blog to the latest rental dog, Clay, who is obviously the most abused dog on the universe.  One of the pictures is a little fuzzy, but that tail is wagging so fast, I couldn’t resist posting it anyway.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Memory Triggers


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Today I am grateful for a memory trigger.  My mom will turn 90 on Sunday and we are not able to be there.  It’s okay because we were just there in summer, but I would like to twitch my nose and show up for just one day. . .without driving 18 hours. . .each way, or the expense.


Over twenty years ago, the exact same day that we were getting on a plane in Pennsylvania to move to Jakarta, Indonesia for three years, my mom was piling some stuff in a U-Haul trailer, loading her white mini poodle, Bijou, into her old Ford and picking up her friend, Arlisle.  She was heading west, to her new home in Apache Junction, Arizona.


Talk about brave.  My dad had died of a very sudden heart attack three years earlier.  My mom, having lived in Arizona for a while as a kid, remembered the climate.  She just got sick to death of the Sheboygan winters.  That’s what she said, anyway, but I think it was took more than snow to move her so far out of her comfort zone.  My dad was a popular guy.  Indeed, after he died, a neighbor down the block called right as we arrived from Pennsylvania after getting that horrible call and said, “Where’s Willie?  Willie was supposed to wash my windows today.”


You couldn’t go anywhere in Sheboygan with my dad without him not only knowing someone, but knowing where they grew up, where they moved to, where they worked, three generations of their family history and what kind of mischief they had gotten in together as kids.  Walk into a bar.  Six people, including the bar tender.  Go to a restaurant.  He’d work the crowd like a celebrity, shaking hands and gabbing with everyone he saw.  Go to a dance.  My mom would shag him off to dance with other women because she couldn’t keep up. . .unless one was “that old bitch who has been chasing your father for years and still wears her hair like it’s the 40’s!”  Then she’d dance.


“Remember this,” he’d say.  “If you’re ever out of town or traveling or just feeling like you need to chat with someone, there is one line that always works.”  Yeah?  What’s that, dad?  “Where are you folks from?” he’d ask.  And it works.  I’ve tested it.


Mom loved living in Arizona and each year, in winter because it was too hot for things to grow in summer, she’d plant amazing flowers in containers all over the place.  But behind her mobile home (fancy word for trailer), where her bedroom window was, she planted snap dragons.  Those snap dragons grew four feet tall and nearly covered the bottom half of her bedroom windows.  When Himself was out watering with her one day, he remarked how gorgeous they were.


“I couldn’t grow a decent snap dragon in Wisconsin and every year I tried because they were Willies favorite flower,” she told him.  “They love it in Arizona.  Soil and climate must be right.”


A couple of weeks ago we yanked out all of our zinnias.  It was time.  They had a white fungus and although the birds still liked gnawing on them, they looked awful, nearly covering the bottom of our kitchen windows.  So everything had to go.


The other day we noticed a tiny persistent plant poking out of the mulch.  At first I figured it was a weed.  Nope.  A tiny snap dragon sprouted all by itself, right near the sidewalk to our house.  I have never planted snap dragons at this house.  Ever.  “Hey,” Himself said, while schlepping the groceries. “Weren’t snap dragons your dad’s favorite flower?”  Himself might forget to turn off the lights and shut the doors, but he remembers the important things.


Two chunky, white flowers, defying the approaching winter, trigger a flood of memories.  Where did it come from?  Why now?  How could it have survived our voracious attack on the garden?  Why does anything start growing in the middle of October when soon ice and snow will destroy it?  When he caught me taking a picture of it, Himself said, “I knew it!  You’re going to write about this. . .because of your dad. . .and your mom’s birthday.  I was hoping you would.”  Yup.  He’s a keeper.


Could an errant snap dragon be a message from my dad, delivered by a grateful bird, reminding me to wish my mom, his wife, a happy birthday from him?  I’d like to think so.  Happy Birthday, Mom. . .from daddy.  A couple of snap dragons said so.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Bullpen Pictures


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Today I am grateful for bullpen pictures.  I take a lot of pictures.  Every so often, like today, when I’ve been writing most of the day, I pull one out and do a blog based on one of them.


I figure it’s better than nothing and it satisfies those of you who sit with your fingers perched over 911 when you don’t hear from me.  I don’t like to worry the masses.  Remember I warned you that if you don’t hear from me it’s because I’m writing?


The play is coming along very nicely!  I made huge and necessary changes today and have two more scenes to look at, edit and play with.  Then I’ll finally print it and give it to the actresses to look over before the reading, which is I don’t know when, but hopefully soon.


I’m not tethered to the computer 24-7 and still get to the pool and teach kids to swim, which is often beyond exhausting.   But I love fall so I’ve been carrying the camera with me in case I see something ready for its close-up.


A few of you might recognize this house and the beautiful mums.  Spoiler alert. . .it’s in Lansdale!  So there you go. . .a bullpen pic and a throw-away blog. . .and a new play that I’m very excited about.  Life doesn’t get much better than this.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Service Dogs


Monday, October 17, 2016

Today I am grateful for service dogs.  My niece has a serious vision problem and has been declared legally blind.  She has a service dog which she has trained herself and could give you all of the do’s and don’ts of approaching someone whose dog is on the job.  And she’s done a fantastic job at it, but then she is practically an All-Animal-Whisperer.


A long time ago when I was a property manager assistant, I was in the main lobby delivering something to another office when a woman came in with a service mini horse. . .wearing baby sneakers.  I’m not making this up.  A mini-horse.  You heard correctly.  When I went back to the office and told everyone they started sniffing my water bottle.


So I went back and sat next to the woman in the lobby with the mini horse.  I told her how interesting I found it. . .and no, I did not reach out and touch it.  I’ve been trained, too.  In general conversation I asked if it wasn’t a bit difficult to have a mini horse in the suburbs.  I wondered how they could be in the house to help, what with, well, horse-apples always looming.  She assured me that it went out much like a dog would.  Of course I asked about the sneakers.  Fashion?  Nope.  Safety for the mini horse.  Those hooves don’t fare well on tile, linoleum or hard wood floors.  Fascinating. . .sneakers and all.


At the Fall Festival at the Indian Valley YMCA yesterday, there was a demonstration of service dogs.  All rules for contact between the trainee’s and the public were suspended for the day.  The little boy in this picture was very grateful.  So was I.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Today I am grateful for volunteers.  I have coordinated volunteers, worked with volunteers and been a volunteer many, many times.  Our nation was built on the generosity of the volunteers.


Every school counts on volunteers.  Every organization depends on volunteers during large events and fund raisers.  Volunteers are as valuable as money. . .maybe more valuable.  Okay, cash always helps, but if you can’t afford to donate to the many causes you find worthwhile, consider volunteering instead.  Your time is important, too. That’s what we’ve been doing.


Today Himself did a volunteer magic show for the Fall Festival at the Indian Valley YMCA where we both spend most of each week.  Schlepping and hauling and setting up and breaking down that magic show is no small task.  Before we even got there Himself was exhausted from dragging everything up from the basement and loading the car.


When we got there we learned that our room had been changed, which meant we parked on the exact wrong side of the building.  Another volunteer, Fran, hooked us up and within seconds we had two carts and three strong teenagers. . .volunteers. . .to help us squeeze through the crowd to the room where the show would be held.  I don’t know what we would have done without them. . .or Fran.


When I saw her later and wanted to take her picture she insisted it be with the big dog.  “But he’s way over there,” she said.  We shared a moment about moving our aching feet one more inch than was necessary, then plunged forth.  I have no idea what time she arrived at the Y but by noon it had already been a long day, I’m sure.  For all of us.


I’m happy to say that not only the magic show, but also the entire event was a HUGE success!  The staff were pleasant and wonderful as always.  No one was cranky.  Unless I left before the crankies started but I doubt it.  And, as usual, the volunteers ruled the day, with Fran being my particular hero.  Way to go everyone!  Celebrate your success!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments