Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sometimes Love Hurts

This is Jake.

He is mine until tomorrow. Then he will go to live with a lovely lady named Cynthia and her husband Jack. They have a really pretty house on a hill in San Francisco.

I have known and been friends with Cynthia since we were 7 years old. As long as I've known Cynthia, she has always had cats. Several years ago, when her last cat passed away, she decided "no more cats".

We brought Jake home Christmas Eve. Harry and Zoe got very upset having him here. I had to put Jake in a crate most of the time to protect him because he is really tiny. My trainer Todd recommended that I take him somewhere "else" for a few days. Since we were going to Cynthia's for dinner on Christmas Day, I asked her if she would babysit Jake until we picked him up on Tuesday evening. (We were having him neutered early Wednesday morning.)

When we picked Jake up on Tuesday evening, he was already Cynthia and Jack's dog. I just couldn't keep Jake here with two snarling big dogs trying to kill him every chance they got. Jake was so happy at his new house that Alex and I decided to give the pup to Cynthia and Jack.

They are thrilled with the new addition to their family. I'll miss him, but I'm so glad he will have a wonderful home as an only child with people who adore him.

He's such a good boy. And he smells like peaches.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Letter

This is where I'm going to brag about how good everything is in my life, in my kids' lives, and in my world.

Uh, no it's not.

I'm sitting there on Christmas eve about midnight in my new cashmere robe. I love cashmere robes, but I wonder if my husband buys them for me because he's trying to kill me.

See, he knows that they are so comfortable to me that I might never go out of the house again. The robe takes away any desire I've ever had to dress. Why dress when you can sit there in a cashmere robe all day?

If I never leave the house, I won't get any exercise at all. None. I will probably get very fat and my arteries will swell or whatever. I will get very sluggish and my skin will get pasty. Even my dogs will get sluggish and pasty from staying inside with me all the time.

My husband may think he's being clever, but I'm on to him.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting For Santa

It seems I spend a lot of my time doing just this.

My girlfriend, Erica of Free Fringes, sent me this photo because it reminded her of me. (photo credit).

It reminds me of me too!

I have spent a lot of time in the last year sitting in my Victorian house, with a glass of fine red wine, waiting for Santa (aka Alex) to come home. I sip the wine and the deep red color of it stains my lips. It sometimes makes waiting so much more bearable.

In the last year, Alex has been on the East Coast, in the deep South, in southern California, in far northern California, in Europe, and in several other places. I think he's been gone about half of the year in total.

When Alex returns home, he brings me jewelry, baubles, bangles, and stories of his travels.

While he's gone, I dress most every day in my finery and await his return. Sometimes, I feel like my name should be Penelope. Usually, I know when to expect him, but not always. That uncertainty makes it difficult for me to have any kind of rendezvous when he's away.

Not that I intend to have illicit encounters, because I don't. But if one should occur just out of nowhere (it could happen), I could wind up being "caught" by my husband. And frankly, "caught" is not my favorite position.

Of course, I could go elsewhere for a rendezvous, but then I'd be leaving my dogs alone and I'd rather not do that.

I get into a melancholy state when my husband is away for too long. I begin to feel like someone trapped in a prison of my own making. I stop answering my phone. I stop opening the front door when someone knocks. I peer out the window through the lace curtain and watch people go by. Then I make up stories in my head about who they are and where they are going.

I need to stop "waiting" and start "living".

Monday, December 19, 2011

Got The Flowers On The Wall

I pride myself on having fairly good taste.

I have what most people think is a lovely home, nice furniture, and some really wonderful art.

You'd think I was somewhat clever at the way I put things together. Actually, I think I've always known what would be nice, but until the last 10 years or so, that would come as a major surprise to a lot of people.

I've always been a touch whimsical about what I like. I might see something charming in a photo and think, "I can do that!". Okay, that's already where things might start to go downhill.

Once when I was a young bride of 22, I saw a lovely photo where someone had arranged some beautiful flowers on a wall for a wedding or something. I thought to myself, "Self! That would look great in my kitchen!". I went to the store and found and purchsed about 100 plastic flowers. I came home and stared on my "amaze and delight" your husband project. One by one, I glued the flowers to a wall in the kitchen. The problem was some of them fell off the wall even with the glue. So, I got some thumb tacks and that worked somewhat better, (until I ran out of thumb tacks. I then improvised and grabbed a handful of nails. I stuck those flowers from top to bottom all over one kitchen wall.

Sweating and swearing, I completed my project. I walked out of the kitchen and walked back in. Somehow, this project had missed its mark. It looked nothing like the photo in the magazine. Still, since I had spent about 8 or 9 hours doing this, (and at least $100 in plastic flowers), I determined I would leave it up for my husband to see.

When John got home from work, he walked in the kitchen and exclaimed "Holy Shit! What happened?". Of course I felt hurt and somewhat betrayed. Couldn't he see the effort that went into this. (Never mind that we would have to repaint and cover holes in the plaster when the mess finally came down after about a month.)

I have a sister. She is an expert decorator and she does amazing things on a strict budget. She has one wall in her kitchen covered with beautiful menus from local restaurants. It's striking and very attractive. What I have to add though is that she is also a meticulous housekeeper. She gets her little feather duster out every morning and goes over every inch of her nice displays.

I don't have a feather duster.

After divorcing John (for other reasons, not the plastic flowers on the wall), I decided to get rid of all of my home furnishings and replace everything with hard surface lucite cubes. (Yeah, lucite is a kind of plastic, are you beginning to see a trend?) My children were all in favor of this change. We had huge pillows on the floor and nothing but Jimi Hendrix posters on the walls. It was "interesting".

After seeing a magazine of a gorgeous "Arabian Nights" bedroom with billowing fabric covering the ceiling and walls, I decided I would do the same thing in my boudoir.

I really didn't know what to do with "fabric" so I improvised and used bedspreads printed in a floral pattern. Let me tell you, they were a bitch to get up on the ceiling. Oh, and the result? Uh, what you might expect. Dear God! What was she thinking?

Lest you think this was just youthful folly, it was not. Alex and I decided to purchase 2 "pretend" black leather recliners for our "family room" at hour old house. We also added a black weight bench, a treadmill, some floral posters and a television to the room. We thought it looked great, that is until the pretend leather started breaking and cracking. Again, what were we thinking? This "family room" was not in a hidden place, but in full view from the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. It was scary ugly.

Over the past 10 years, I have learned to totally avoid home decorator magazines.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How To Lose 7 pounds In 7 Days

It really has been very easy.

First, hear devastating news that your dog is very sick, and it looks like the sickness is going to be terminal. That will start to kill your appetite for sure.

Spend a couple of days waiting to see if your dog is getting worse. When you acknowledge that indeed, she is getting worse, you aren't going to want to eat at all.

Make the decision to put her down. There's an other 2 or 3 pounds right there. Take your dog in for the fatal visit at the vet's. Go home and drink wine. When you finish the wine, grab the whiskey. Drink like there's no tomorrow, because really you feel like there won't be.

Wake up the next morning sad, miserable, and hung over. You realize the last time you ate was at noon on Friday and it's now Sunday. Opt for some duck soup. Finish part of it. Sunday night force yourself to eat a slice of pizza.

Monday, have coffee and diet coke. Eat a slice of toast whether you want it or not about noon. Call your doctor for pain pills because you have thrown your back out trying to lift your big dog off the floor when she kept falling.

The pain pills tend to make you nauseous, so continue to eat a piece of toast once in a while. And have lots and lots of Diet Coke.

Almost a week into this miracle diet, step on the scale. You were tired of seeing 137 pounds, weren't you? Well, what do you know! You see 130 pounds register.

Go outside to get the garbage cans and bring them in. Have your next door neighbor say "Linda! You've lost weight! You are so lucky!"

Think seriously about shooting her in the head.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Honey's Bucket List

She had an interesting life.

Honey gave a man a table dance in New Mexico. She knocked martini glasses and beer bottles all over the floor. Honey was not the shy type.

She ate Navajo fry bread on the Rez. She got wet in the Pacific Ocean. She licked the snow and rolled in it. Honey wandered through the forest and ran for miles in the desert. She took trips from Santa Cruz to Mendocino. Honey also traveled to Utah Bryce Canyon, to Canyon De Chelle, to Carson City, to Colorado. She liked a car ride a whole lot. The window open blowing the wind in her face and the smells of a million different things rushing past her.

Honey was a big girl about of about 70 pounds. She was always trying to diet, but we never enforced it much. She loved food and she and I think it's better to be rounder and happy rather than skinny and hungry.

When I walked Honey, people would cross the street to avoid passing her. Honey looked "fierce". Children always knew better and gathered around her to pet her every chance they got.

Honey loved music and she danced. She also bucked like a pony when she got excited. She laid down the law to other dogs to teach them manners.

Honey got to run free and roll in the grass at her own private park at Coast Guard Island. Every Christmas, she got a steak for her dinner and a little vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Honey seemed to "run down" about two weeks ago. The vet found that she had a large mass in her stomach as well as very painful arthritis that was all down her spine. She stopped wanting to take a walk and lost interest in having fun.

Although it was not really Christmas, Honey had a big New York steak for her breakfast yesterday. She also got ice cream for dessert.

She's gone now, but I don't think she missed a thing on her bucket list.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Romancing Ramon

Meet Ramon.

He's from either Paraguay or someplace equally exotic. Ramon is my Christmas lights man.

I met Ramon last year when he was turning my next door neighbor's house into a winter wonderland. Actually, there are so many lights on her house, in her trees and shrubs, that it looks a little like a house of ill repute to me, but that's just me being catty. Besides what do I know about houses of ill repute? (I'll answer that. I know enough. I've been to Amsterdam after all.)

All right, I've gotten off my topic and for that I apologize. Ramon is about 7 foot 19 inches tall and perfect in every conceivable way. He may be perfect in ways I have yet to conceive as well. Ramon's impressive stature, beautiful smile, and soft Spanish accent just make me swoon.

When I saw him working on my neighbor's house this time last year, I hurried over to introduce myself and ask/beg him to put lights on the exterior of my house. At first, Ramon apologized and said that he would not have time to do my house too. I went all limpid and sweet and let him know that I would do very interesting things for him if he would light my house.

Needless to say, Ramon succumbed to my feminine wiles and my pleas. I received a very private message from Ramon about 2 weeks ago reminding me that it was again time to schedule an appointment for Christmas lights. His phone number and Company name and email address (Ramon's Services) was on the printed sheet.

I waited a couple of days and then I called him. When I told him my name, he said "Oh! I remember you!" My heart skipped a beat. (Of course, he said it in Spanish.) I asked Ramon to put me on his schedule and we set yesterday as a date.

Ramon and his crew arrived about 8:30 AM. Now this was not my favorite time for an interlude, but with Ramon, I will take what he is willing to give. I heard his truck pull up, and I threw on my robe over my Minny Mouse pajamas and ran out onto the front porch. "Hola Ramon! Buenos Dias!" I called out. Never mind that I had not yet gotten myself "vamped" for viewing.

Ramon answered me politely and inquired about my health, my husband, and if I wanted the white lights like last year or colored lights. I responded that the multi-colored lights were the most appealing. (I was actually telling him that I find men of color quite appealing too and I'm sure he knew that.)

I hurried in to perform some rapid ablutions. I needed lipstick, mascara, perfume and my high heels along with my Ralph Lauren cashmere sweats. (Remember this is all before 9 AM and I don't even get up most days till 9 or 9:30.)

The men put up their ladders and Ramon supervised and I went out to show him where the electrical outlet for the lights was located. We talked about the cold morning. We talked about how agile his men are and that they toss things back and forth while on the high rise ladders and about how nice this time of year is! Oh mucho gusto to the max!

Anyway, they finished with my lights and they moved on to my neighbor's whorehouse (I mean really!) and I walked next door to find Ramon and ask how much I owed him. He said he wasn't sure, but he would call home to see if there was a record of what I had paid last year. (My neighbor's house is about 5 times the size of mine and the lights are adequate to illuminate a city like Reno. I'm sure she pays about $500 or so.)

Ramon came to the door amid howls of protest from Honey, Harry and Zoe. I had his check ready for him in the $150 amount I had paid last year. I apologized for the ruckus and he said "it's nothing" (but in Spanish - "de nada", you know). We shook hands and wished each other a happy holiday.

I can't wait for next Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Things I Won't Do In 2012

I promise I will not walk around with a chicken leg hanging out of my mouth. I've seen this done twice in the last year, and it's not a good look for anybody.

I'm not going to wear translucent leggings with floral panties. If I forget and wear that, I just won't lean over for any reason no matter what.

I'm not going to flash my bosoms before 2 PM from now on. I do that now and I know it's tacky but I'm going to stop because it's in poor taste.

I'm not going to drink Diet Coke and eat chocolate and say it's lunch any more.

I'm going to stop drinking Bombay Sapphire Martini's with a green olive and Makers Mark Manhattans with a cherry because they look so drop dead sexy in those glasses.

I'm not going to safety pin stuff anymore because I am too lazy or too stupid to mend a piece of clothing. It just isn't good for my image.

I'm not going to flirt with the mailman, the mail woman, the UPS guys and girls, the fish man or the garbage man any more. I may still flirt with the Fed Ex people though, because I'm not perfect.

I'm going to stop telling people my husband is only 4 foot 11 inches tall. That might hurt his feelings and it's not true. I'm going to stop calling Alex "the little injun who could" also because that doesn't respect his culture.

I'm going to stop calling religious people "Holy Rollers" and "Whack a Doodles". I'm also going to stop referring to small children as "no-necks".

I'm going to stop calling that lovely woman named "Fatima" "Fattie" for short. She doesn't like it, and since she is my daughter, I should do what she likes.

I'm going to stop criticizing people just because I hate them, or even worse, because I am jealous of them. (This doesn't happen often, but I'm going to be sure not to do it.)

I'm really glad I have almost a month before I have to put these resolutions into practice.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why Do Camels Hide Their Toes?

I cannot begin to tell you what turned up when I searched images for "Camel Toes".

It was really not what I expected. You are going to have to settle for a camel hiding it's toes. I have to admit I have only been hearing this phrase the last few years. And, yes, I know what it is supposedly referencing. But I was curious as to why. Thus began my search for the illusive photo of a camel's toes.

Finally, I realized I would have to change my wording and I put in a search for "camel's foot". Ah! Better! Well, it's better than the other alternatives anyway. The problem is, if that is a "camel toe" then there may be something seriously amiss with my anatomy. I have nothing on my person that even looks vaguely like that. Not one thing.

No doctor has ever mentioned that I am somehow deformed in my private parts. And, in fact, most people that I have exposed myself to act like my parts are perfectly normal (even charming, but that depends on who you talk to).

I guess I was fully expecting a camel's toe to look like human female sex organs. Sadly, I just don't see the resemblance at all.

It kind of makes me wonder if camels look at humans and say "Dang, her shoulder looks just like a camel's pudenda."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Raiders Win! (Or You Just Can't Keep A Good Man Down)

Alex spent the last day of the holiday weekend in a less than lovely place.

A hospital is never my idea of a good time, and my husband feels even more strongly about that than I do. He did his first ever overnight stint in a hospital on Sunday.

I, on the other hand, have had children in hospitals, have had surgeries in hospitals, and gone into the hospital for days at a time because of pesky pneumonia or this or that. I've had romances with doctors and spent nights in the "on call" rooms of hospitals, (of course, that was well before I was married - to my present husband, anyway).

Alex had a crushing pressure on his chest midday on Sunday. Needless to say, we didn't fool around. We drove immediately to the hospital that is about 3 blocks away from our house. Alex was immediately put in a room and they started his treatment and testing while I waited in the lobby.

Finally, someone came out to get me and bring me into his treatment room. Alex was hooked up to monitors, had oxygen leads in his nose, and an iv hook up already inserted by the time I saw him.

The preliminary blood work showed that no heart attack enzymes had been secreted so that was good. What was not so good is that his blood pressure had gone up alarmingly. The doctor determined that it would be best to admit Alex and do some testing "just to be on the safe side".

Alex's face fell at this announcement. He wanted to go home. No, he was in the best place to take care of him right there in the Alameda Hospital. So the doctor and I convinced him that an overnight hospital stay was in everyone's best interest. Alex was bummed. At least he was bummed until he got to his "overnight" room. Things started looking up immediately.

The Raiders were ahead and then, miracle of miracles, this appeared! Dinner! Now keep in mind, Alex had been feasting on crusty baguettes and home-made turkey soup along with a fine Cabernet, but with the combo of a Raider win and food, life was good once more!

Alex is fine. All of his tests turned out okay. He will "follow up" with his internist on Wednesday and they will take another look at his blood pressure.

I did not spend the night at the hospital. I'm too old for that spending the night with a full sized man in a single bed.

Or, perhaps I've gotten too fat. Either / or.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Thankful For Good Looking Men

I spent Thanksgiving afternoon, cooking, sipping a lovely Chardonnay, and feasting my eyes on Alex and Todd.

There's just nothing like having cute men around. And these two are a study in contrasts. Alex is so brown and sturdy. Todd is so blond and rangy! For those of you who don't know, Alex is my husband, and Todd is my dog trainer (and friend).

The crusty sweet potato casserole turned out wonderful. So did the stuffing and mashed potatoes. The turkey (12-pound, Kosher and fresh), was maybe the best I've ever had. We had Brussels sprouts cooked with bacon and chicken broth, and cranberries with cherry chutney. Pumpkin cheesecake was for dessert. We also had a lovely dessert wine served in tiny (edible) chocolate cups.

I only screwed up one thing. I didn't make the pear and Gorgonzola salad with the walnuts as I had planned. It simply got away from me and I forgot. Never mind. We'll have that today.

One other tiny mishap was that I put the turkey "innards" in a pan of water, the neck, the heart and the other things called gizzards. I meant to cook those down to use for the gravy, but I forgot. So those nasty tidbits were sitting in a small saucepan in water on the counter.

We packed up "leftovers" for our guests and they took them home. Alex and I decided to watch a "Godfather" marathon upstairs and make it an early night. We were both tired and more than a little tipsy from all the wine.

Alex went into the kitchen as I was heading upstairs. I heard him yelling. We had placed the left over pumpkin cheesecake on a paper plate covered in Saran wrap on top of the kitchen island. Alex apparently walked in on Zoe as she was finishing off over half of a pumpkin cheesecake. She did this by standing up on her hind legs.

Early this morning, almost before dawn, I remembered that we had not taken our garbage cans out to the street. (We really needed to get them emptied because they were all quite full so I shook Alex awake and told him to get his butt up and take out the garbage.) Alex took quite a while so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

When Alex came back to bed, he asked me if I had put a clean and empty saucepan on the floor of the hallway. What a peculiar question! Why would I do such a thing?

The answer came to me a second later. Zoe! The turkey bits were gone. Zoe certainly knows how to have a feast. A pumpkin cheesecake and raw turkey innards. Well, turkey necks are probably delicious! I've never tried them myself.

Apparently Zoe went on to rearrange the furniture in Harry's apartment last night. All that sugar probably gave her amazing energy.

Alex is still cleaning up the recycled pumpkin cheesecake out in the backyard.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Year I Made Turducken

In retrospect, it looks kind of obscene.

I had read something about "turducken" either in a magazine or a book. It captured my imagination. Stuffing a chicken inside a duck, then sticking the duck inside a turkey just sounded like good fun to me.

In a fit of curious "social frenzy", I invited about 40 people for Thanksgiving that year. Most of them accepted and were very excited about the promise of the Cajun treat I would be preparing. Now, frankly, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

My husband was actively deployed with his unit to guard the airport in the dark days following 9/11 and he would be going on duty at midnight on Thanksgiving. My kids were all here with their kids and everybody was staying for the night.

All of the work that went into that poultry was enough to make me swear off of fowl for years. I'm not even that crazy about eggs to this day. It was disgusting to touch that naked bird flesh hour after hour. It was a terrible amount of work, but I got it done. I also prepared dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, and a green bean casserole to go with what I was now calling "Turd Uck Icken", sometimes prefaced with a "fricken".

I also belatedly realized that I really did not want to have 40 people or so come to my house to eat, but it was too late to cancel without the excuse of being hospitalized.

Family and friends were asked to bring wine and / or a pie. I really didn't care which. I set the table and it looked magical. Of course, the service was all "buffet" because I really can't seat 40 guests at a table.

I did not eat one bite that evening. People came and went and everyone seemed to enjoy the feast. I have no idea if it was good or not. People said it was, but they could have just been being polite.

Nobody died.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Delirious, Demented, Or Daffy

Have you ever started telling somebody something and had them look at you in that way that says they have no idea what you are talking about?

I've been sick. I'm taking Cipro (an antibiotic), Sudafed (an antihistamine) , Aspirin, cough syrup, and a nasal spray. (My preference is really for other more user-friendly drugs, maybe even the kind that can be smoked or made into brownies.) My temperature rose to 103 degrees yesterday. I felt really bad with a sinus headache, aches and pains all over, and a head full of cobwebs and worse. It felt like I had fractured almost every rib I have with the violence of the hacking cough that had developed. Most of my day was in and out of a conscious state.

Something really fascinating happened. I closed my eyes and realized I could open my eyes keeping my eyelids shut and see through my eyelids. That really was not the interesting part though. The interesting part was that I could watch television this way without even turning on a television. In fact, I was in a room without a television.

I watched a martial arts movie, a shoot 'em up, and then a soap opera that sort of bored me. At the time, it seemed a little strange but I learned I could switch channels by merely opening my eyelids alone with my eyes. I did not recognize any of the actors or shows that I was watching. Another strange thing is that some of the shows were in color, and others were in black and white.

Now, I may have been asleep, but I really don't think so because I was very aware that this was strange. I was also really sort of excited that this might be a result of drug interaction or the actual malady that had laid me low. Think of the advantages. No more hardware.

When I told my husband, he said I needed to go to the doctor. I said my doctor has ordered me antibiotics. What else can he do?

Alex responded, "Not that kind of doctor, Sweet Pea."


Monday, November 14, 2011

Looking All Cute And Sh*t

Of course, it serves me right.

My dog trainer, Todd, is coming over to see me and the pups today. Todd is really really really cute. In fact, he's downright adorable. He's tall, blonde, muscular, and has a gorgeous smile. What is not to like?

Yeah, since Todd is coming over, I made sure to put on something cute. I mean, I have no real designs on Todd since I am a married woman. Okay, he hasn't asked me one thing about my designs either. But that doesn't mean I don't want to look all cute and shit when he comes over.

That "all cute and shit" comes from my girl, Totsy. If you are not acquainted with Totsy Mae, please go check her out. I purely love her to pieces.

See, earlier today, I was looking all cute. I did wonder why I was having this little cough thing that was starting to drive me crazy though. By 11 AM, I'm not only coughing, my nose is running like a damn faucet, and so are my eyes. Every bit of my eyeliner is gone. My nose is all red from using the tissues every two seconds and I'm having chills and hot flashes almost at the same time.

I've changed out of my cute "outfit" into a pair of fleece lined sweats and I've taken some Sudafed. Now I feel like I've dried up like an old prune. No more tears or saliva either. And I feel like I'm underwater.

I guess Todd will have to deal with me when I'm not all cute and shit.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Pit Bull Took My Baby

Over 200 mothers in the United States kill their children every year.

Now that is a sobering statistic. I really don't understand killing your kids, at least not until they reach puberty.

I think it's just easier to leave them with family or neighbors and not come back. Sure, the grandparents, aunts and uncles, or neighbors are going to be pissed over it, but hey! It's better than killing them in the long run.

You can also drop your kids off at an emergency room or a fire station or police station and it's perfectly legal in a lot of states. In California, I think the upper age limit to drop kids off and relinquish custody is 27.

If you feel obliged to go through the old "somebody must have come in and grabbed that baby in the night while I was sleeping/drunk/watching a movie/having sex with my gay lover", then I think it would be better to take a page from the old "A Dingo Took My Baby" scenario.

The "dingo" substitute in the photo is my pit bull, Zoe. She has run off with a teddy bear actually, not a real baby. It really doesn't matter. When I go back outside in a few minutes the "baby" will be completely gone. There will not be a trace of it left.

Zoe ate almost an entire cactus. She also ate a remote control and a computer mouse. I think she also ate my husband Alex's "doo doo". Okay, that came out wrong. His "doo doo" is the plastic thing he used to shove into a slot on his laptop to activate the secure line on it. The "doo doo" is missing in action. Gone!

I still think leaving the kids off with the neighbors is a better idea.

Monday, November 7, 2011

She Has Arisen!

I came very close to killing Honey, my favorite dog.

We got Honey from the shelter about 6 years ago. She was about 5 at the time we got her. Unfortunately, we soon learned that Honey had severe problems related to arthritis of the back and hips and that she would require medication for pain management. We took Honey to an orthopedic specialist who told us that surgical solutions were out of the question. We also hired an acupuncture vet to work on her.

She's stoic. Honey doesn't really let you know she's in pain, but you can see it in her movements. She is now about 11 years old and she's had a comfortable life, or as comfortable as we can make it for her. Honey takes quite a bit of medication. She takes Osteo3 for her joints, Rimadyl for pain, and something called Tramadol also for pain. The Tramadol is a tiny white pill and we give that to her in a pill pocket. The other two pills are chewables.

One afternoon, I told Alex to get Honey a Tramadol because she was having a hard time getting up and walking. He brought her a pill in a pill pocket and Honey took it and settled down for a nap. Several hours later, I saw that she was still in her bed and seemed not to even be breathing.

Panicked, I shook her and she opened her eyes. The only thing is, her eyes were rolled back in her head. We immediately loaded her into the car and called the vet office saying we were coming and to have a stretcher for her when we got there.

Honey's vet looked very concerned. She said that Honey's symptoms looked like she might have been poisoned. I asked about a stroke, and she said it was possible, but that poisoning was more likely. (Privately, I thought that was ridiculous. Who would have given poison to Honey!)

The vet said we could leave her overnight, or just monitor her at home. We opted to bring her home. I also asked for the card for a vet who would come to our house and "put her down" if need be. Both Alex and I were in tears as we drove home with Honey semi-comatose in the back seat.

We placed her in her bed and I made a pile of blankets for myself to sleep on the floor next to her. During the night, her bowels evacuated several time and I carefully cleaned her up with warm towels. Alex kept coming in to check on us and was upset when I told him, "we need to call the house-call vet in the morning".

At 6 AM, we made coffee and decided that we would call the euthanasia doctor at 9 AM. We went back to Honey's side and watched her sleep. About 8:30 AM, Honey opened her eyes, got up, and walked into the kitchen. She drank some water and then started licking her food bowl.

What the hell?

As the morning progressed, she ate breakfast, drank water, went out into the backyard to do her business and seemed pretty much normal. I called the vet and reported the progress. Again, I asked "Could it be that she had a mild stroke and she's recovering?". Again the vet said "Unlikely. She must have ingested something." Hmm.

A few days later, I was cleaning up in the kitchen and saw a bottle of pills from the vet on the counter. I looked at the bottle and saw they were for Harry. These were tranquilizers that were given to us for Harry because he dislikes travel in a car. We had never used them. There were 10 pills ordered. I opened the bottle and saw they were tiny white pills, looking exactly like the Tramadol that Honey takes.

A horrible realization hit me all at once. I poured the pills out in my hand and counted them. There were 9 pills, not 10.

Alex had given Honey the wrong pill. It had put her almost completely under for over 12 hours. I was getting ready to have her put to sleep. I had practically called my vet a quack because she insisted that Honey had "ingested something". And I hate to be wrong!

I telephoned my vet and told her. She was very relieved to find out what had happened, because she really could not imagine what could be causing Honey's rapid demise unless it was poison.

I tossed the damn tranquilizers.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Just Like Your Father"

If I had a dollar for every time I heard my mother say those words to me, I'd be a 1% 'er.

My Mother was not implying that I was 6 foot tall and 200 pounds because I wasn't.

She was not saying this phrase with the intent of complimenting me either. My dad was a cop, a womanizer, and a gambler. I have done a little gambling but not to excess like he did. Dad could never resist a pretty woman or a horse race or a card game.

I like pretty women myself but that's the only similarity I can find.

Oh wait. There is one other thing. Nobody ever heard my Dad say "I don't know." I doubt anyone has ever heard me say that either. I just make something up if I don't know and present it with authority. I'm sure my Dad did the same thing.

I also was (in Mom's opinion anyway) promiscuous. Well, looking at it from her viewpoint, I guess I was. I never worried too much about sex and it seemed pretty normal to experience different people. It was fun. I never felt bad over it because I didn't see it as wrong.

I did bet the rent money on that one horse called "Another Color", but I won so I don't have to count that, do I?

Maybe I am my Father's daughter.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oakland, California, West Coast Life

I worked in Oakland for several years.

Basically, it's a scrappy city. There's a lot of crime. It's dangerous after dark in the wrong neighborhoods. And it may have the highest number of "drive by shooting" incidents in the country. I have a lot of friends who still work and live in Oakland. I like the place, myself. There is a "flavor" to Oakland that's hard to miss. Upscale restaurants and clubs, pretty ladies with gardenias in their hair, men dressed up in suits with fedoras and shiny shoes. There is charm and character to the place. Oakland is across a drawbridge from where I live in Alameda.

The black population is larger than the white population and if you add hispanic people into the mix, black and hispanic people make up well over 50% of the residents. There is a very diverse but largely African American power structure.

On June 9th,2010, a major protest was held in Oakland over the shooting of an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, by a white transit cop. The jury had just convicted the cop of "involuntary manslaughter". By nightfall, the scene turned violent and ugly. Downtown store and business windows were shattered, graffiti marred every available surface, and looting and violence were everywhere.

This night of violence came after a late afternoon of peaceful protest and prayer. Most of the legitimate protesters went on home when the sun went down. That's when the self-proclaimed "anarchists" stepped up their game.

Oddly, the hoodlums had come from other areas to cause mayhem. Many of them were white. Of the 80 people arrested, only 19 of them were Oakland residents. The Oakland police department exercised a lot of restraint in the entire situation. As a result, most of the culprits were not arrested at all. The millions of dollars in property damage and stolen goods were left to the insurance companies and business owners to handle. It was a costly evening.

Currently, we have the "Occupy Oakland" fiasco to contend with. People and their tents simply moved in to the Plaza outside of City Hall and put up their tents making an instant tent city. When ordered to disperse, the protesters refused. The police were receiving numerous complaints because of a sexual assault, violent attacks, threatening behavior by the protesters to passersby, and a fire in the encampment. Also, although there were portable toilets provided, human waste was saturating the areas around the tents.

The police staged a pre-dawn raid and took the tents down. The police were pelted with bottles, paint balls, rocks and utensils from the camp's rat infested kitchen area.

After numerous warnings that this was an "unlawful assembly", the police started using rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd. It is estimated there were about 1,000 protesters and approximately 500 police officers in the stand off. A couple of people on both sides sustained injuries, most notably, an Iraq War vet and protester who suffered a skull fracture.

One thing I did notice from watching the footage of the riot is that the majority of the protesters involved were white, and most of the people arrested were not from Oakland. The black people were few and far between in this mess.

In other cities, the "Occupy" movement has been handed with dignity and lawful behavior by the protesters. Why was this not the case in Oakland?

I'm tired of people coming into Oakland to make it their personal garbage can. And I support the police action for dispersing the unruly crowd. Go back to your suburbs and trash your own backyard. Get out of mine.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heart Shaped Red Sunglasses

I like whimsical things.

This dog looks very much like my late dog, Mitch. Mitch was a girl, a cocker spaniel, and I bought this clock because it reminded me of her.

I get bluesy during this time of year. There's a watery quality to the sunshine and the light starts to fade too early. Waking at 7 AM, it's still dark outside with just a hint of dawn on the horizon. Never mind. I don't get up until 9 AM anyway.

I took the sunglasses off the dog clock and put them on myself. For some reason, those goofy sunglasses made me feel happy. I saw a woman going to work one morning wearing a hat with cat ears sticking up on top of it. I think this is kind of the same thing.

I wore my red heart shaped sunglasses to the store this afternoon. Everybody smiled at me. That made me feel happy too.

I guess I'm old enough now to wear heart shaped red sunglasses. People may think I'm a bit "touched" and they might be right.

Still, it's better than dressing up like Cat Woman. I used to do that when my grandson Cyrus was about four and wanted to be Batman and I tied pillowcases across his shoulders to make a cape.

My daughter was embarrassed about both of us in those days. I put on my black catsuit and boots, and put on a headband with cat ears and off we went! Cyrus was proud of his paisley cape. Sometimes he wore a black chiffon cape. Then his mother was really disturbed.

We didn't care one bit! Cyrus is 18 now. He still remembers going to the shopping center as Batman and me dressing up as cat woman.

He thinks I rock.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spelling It Out For Men

This post is not male bashing.

I like men as well as the next girl. I think they are cute, smart, sexy, funny and all the good stuff. But they do have a weird characteristic. They have to be told exactly what you want them to do.

When Alex leaves his socks on the floor next to the hamper in the bathroom along with a pair of underwear, and I tell him to put his socks in the hamper, he will comply. That's fine as far as it goes. Does he also pick up the underwear and toss them in the hamper? He does not. I didn't tell him to put the underwear in the hamper.

If I ask Alex to feed the dogs, he does so. After feeding the dogs, as we are walking to the car to go out for an evening, I ask "Did you check the water bowls?" Of course, he did not. "The water bowls are right next to the food bowls, Alex."

When Alex was traveling, I had my friend Nelson carry home a 25 pound of kibble for my dogs. I further imposed on Nelson to open the kibble and pour it into the bin for me. He complied. What Nelson did not do is take out the plastic measuring cup that was in the bottom of the bin. When I asked, where is the measuring cup, Nelson said it was in the bin. "At the bottom of the bin?". "Yes," he responded.

My darling professional dog trainer, Todd, was here yesterday. We were taking Zoe on a walk to help me understand what needs to be done when walking her. Todd is emphasizing that we need to stay two steps ahead of Zoe mentally and watching our surroundings at all times. He had Zoe on the leash, and a young man walked up. Todd and Zoe were completely blocking the sidewalk. Zoe jumped up on the young man to say hello. Todd got so caught up in the mechanics of training that he completely missed what was going on around him.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

I think sending a man to the supermarket really makes my point. If you ask the man you live with to go to the store and bring home four things, he is going to have a difficult time. Let's say you ask him to pick up coffee, bread, a green vegetable and some olive oil.

Although he lives with you and knows what kind of coffee he drinks and bread he eats day after day, year after year, you'd never know it when he comes home. The coffee will be "Sumatra Roast" when you drink French Roast. The bread may be pumpernickel. A green vegetable may be a package of frozen peas. Or it could be grapes or a kumquat. And the olive oil will be a can of Crisco. And that's on a good day. If you don't make him write the list on his hand, you can forget getting anything you ask for at all.

Oh he'll pick up beer. And maybe a big bag of tortilla chips, plus some salsa. A couple of packages of cookies and maybe some ice cream. There may also be a package of frozen chicken wings. Great!

When asked about the coffee, bread, vegetables and olive oil, he will respond that he couldn't find them, or that the supermarket was out of those things.

Or he will hit his forehead with his palm and say "Damn! I knew I forgot something!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's Love Got To Do With It?

I'm just saying...

Most polygamous families are not like what is shown on "Big Love". First of all, they are almost always very poor. They don't live in nice houses in nice neighborhoods with nice cars and nice clothing for their families. They frequently go hungry. They go without medical and dental care.

Females are treated as brood mares. They keep having babies until they are finally used up. It's not unusual for them to have 10 kids or more. This is not because they love having babies. It's because having multiple wives and scores of children will give their husband an elevated position in heaven.

Could any of this sound even faintly reasonable to any thinking person? You whelp a bunch of brats who you have no intention of educating or even feeding properly or taking them to the dentist for that matter, and for what? So he can be a king after he dies?

Never mind that you only get to sleep with this "husband" once a week or so, if that often. Never mind that you resent him bringing the pretty 14 year-old in as a "sister wife". Never mind that you are supposed to defer to the husband in all matters. I mean, who would actually choose to wear those dumb prairie dresses and have those "whoop-dee-doo" hairstyles?

I understand the concept of a harem. Shoot, if you are a big time Sheik and you have 400 wives, fine. These babes are guarded by Eunuchs, live in palaces except when they are taken by caravan into the desert so they can roll around on Oriental rugs, have servants, get to eat and drink all they want, and only have to "service" the old Sheik once in a blue moon.

Now, admittedly, that's not great if you are a female astro-physics scientist, or a tax lawyer, but if you are a clerk at the local WalMart, it might be considered an upwardly mobile move.

I think some people would enjoy lollygagging with their girlfriends, watching cable television and polishing their nails all day while wearing those little "I dream of Jeanie" outfits.

I guess what I'm wondering is what is the "up" side for polygamous women? You get to continue being your husband's servant in heaven. Oh great!

What a concept, huh? I'd rather call old Sheik Abdul and take my chance in the harem.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In Praise of Boyish Women

I love boyish women.

The first one I actually got to know was a girl I met when I was about 12 and at a CYO Summer Camp. I probably fell in love with her at least a bit. She was a counselor and a little older, maybe 18. I really wanted to be just like her.

Of course, at that age, I didn't know she was a gay woman. I just thought she had a certain swagger and a certain confidence that made me want to follow her anywhere.

I met Lynne when I was working at Chevron and in my 20's. She was the first woman I had ever known who was "out" as a gay woman. I seriously liked her and took her for drinks and dinner several times.

Lynne liked me but told me she was hesitant to get involved with a straight woman. (I had been married and had children at this point.) I don't know if I was attracted to Lynne sexually or not, but she was very "boyish" and I found that appealing on several levels. Again, it was a thing with "confidence" that she exuded.

My best friend is CT. She's a gay woman and very boyish. I adore her. The thing is, when you find a great gay woman, she's really the best of all worlds. You hear the word "butch" thrown around and while it can be descriptive in a way, in a way it really isn't. Gay women can be ultra feminine, or very boyish, or anything in between. "Butch", to me, is a word used generally to put somebody down. So I really don't use it.

I do have a preference for the more "boyish" looking and acting gay women though. Just on a personal level, a woman with a silver crew cut, and bright blue eyes, wearing her police uniform with a little swagger, Wow! And yes, this woman cop works in my town.

Well let's just say, I'd let her frisk me anytime.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We're Just Like Ashton and Demi (But Different)

Alex does not have bangs.

Ashton has been married to Demi for 6 years. Alex and I have been married for 22 years. Ashton has acted in movies. Alex has taken acting classes and he was actually quite good at it. Ashton is taller than Demi. Alex is shorter than me (but he says he isn't).

Demi Moore has kids. I have kids. When I was Demi's age, I was as skinny as she is, but I'm not now. Demi has two ex-husbands. I have at least that many. Demi has appeared on film topless. I have too. Demi shaved her head for her role in "GI Jane". I wear my hair very short.

The age difference between Ashton and Demi is about the same as the age difference between me and Alex. Is it any surprise that I wake up some days thinking I'm her?

When that happened this morning, I immediately started to hyperventilate because I was missing my husband in my bed. I felt sure that he was off frolicking in a hot tub with some bimbo named Sara. I was pretty sure too that he and Sara would probably have unsafe sex after the soak. I was pissed. How could he do this to me?

Wait, I'm not Demi. Alex is not Ashton. He just went to work.


Monday, October 10, 2011

My Deformity - My Secret Shame

There I was about four years old.

Adorable, if I do say so myself. Still, that long hair hid a dreadful secret. My mom told me that my ears stuck out and I must never show them NO MATTER WHAT.

Of course, because I was told that I had this dreadful problem, I immediately began looking around me and seeing all the girls with ponytails. I wanted a ponytail more than anything!

My mom actually told my dad that she was going to try and find a surgeon who could make my ears not stick out so much. My dad scoffed at the idea of such a thing and told her she was being ridiculous. I wasn't so sure. I mean, what kid wants to be nicknamed "Dumbo"?

My mother was a very enterprising woman. She found an ad in a movie magazine for an adhesive that would correct this problem. I think I was about eight years old the day she finally pulled my hair into a ponytail and then she glued my ears down and sent me to school. Man! I shook that ponytail for all I was worth and I was thrilled.

Unfortunately, while I was sitting in the classroom shaking my ponytail from side to side, "boing!" one of my ears came unglued.

I was mortified. I was the girl with the one ear glued back and one ear sticking way far out! I tried to push the ear back into the adhesive but like so many things in my "technical" efforts, it was to no avail. I even tried using a piece of chewing gum to get the ear to lay back down, but it didn't work either.

I decided the best thing might be just to un-stick the other ear, but that was not possible without paint thinner or a surgeon. It held fast. Nobody said anything and I think it's because they felt sorry for me.

By the time I was 14, I realized my ears were not deformed at all and that my mother was goofy as bat-shit. I pushed my hair behind my ears or pulled it into a ponytail anytime I wanted.

I just never looked back at the days when I had to hide my ears NO MATTER WHAT.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm Not That Kind Of Girl

"What local clubs do you belong to?" asked the nice looking lady at the museum this afternoon.

Oh, my! Clubs? What kind of clubs? They closed the local pot club I think. I didn't belong to it, but that's the only club I can imagine might be of interest to me.

She laughed and said "Would you be interested in joining a club? It's really a fun bunch of women!" She introduced herself as an Alameda widow named Joanne. Lovely person, really. I had to explain to her that I am just not that kind of a girl.

Joanne was behind the counter at the museum with two older ladies. She was well-dressed and very charming really. I told her that I was pretty sure if I went to one of these "club" meetings, she would pray that nobody ever learned it was at her suggestion. In other words, she would rue the day.

I have a lot of friends who are "club women". They belong to the "friends of the opera", the local "friends of the SPCA", the "Daughters of San Francisco", the "Garden Club", the charity gigs, etc. They volunteer at the hospitals and sit on the boards.

I'm not that kind of a girl. Now, don't get me wrong, I give to charities until it hurts. I adopt homeless animals. I take care of local old people who need help.

But I'm still more "club bimbo" than "club lady".

And that's the way I like it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Protective Custody With A Lazy Guard

We got a new dog named Zoe.

She's a puppy and probably a pit bull, but she doesn't know what a pit bull is. Zoe just likes everybody. She may change later, but Zoe is really sweet right now.

She is so sweet in fact that she wants to be friends with Honey. Zoe wiggles and runs to her every chance she gets! Zoe play bows and shows Honey her belly. Honey shows Zoe her teeth but she's not smiling.

Honey hates Zoe's guts.

It's nothing personal. Honey isn't even that crazy about Harry and she's lived with him for about 4 years now. Honey is old and cranky and has arthritis in her hips. She's in a bad mood a lot of times. I can relate.

This will all work out. It's just stressful until it does. It helps that I'm having Todd, (the poor woman's Cesar Milan), come and work with us this week. Todd is a canine behaviorist and a trainer. He's funny and I like him a lot from our emails and telephone conversations. He has a website where I found him at "Your K9 Guy" Cool, huh?

In the meantime, I'm keeping Honey and Zoe away from each other. Zoe is spending time in the backyard and in Harry's closed off apartment. Honey is plotting her demise.

Anyway, until it is worked out, Zoe has to spend a little time in protective custody with Harry on guard duty.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Working Girls

I did it for 40 years of my life.

I got up at an ungodly hour, drank coffee, and got ready for work. When I wasn't working, I was thinking about work.

What on earth was the point of that? Oh, wait! The same thing that I think they will put on my tombstone: She Needed The Money.

I went to work two weeks following my high school graduation. (I had worked part-time gigs in high school, but it was now time for the big leagues.) I was hired by an insurance company and it was an amazing job. I got to sort mail and push a cart down long dark hallways and deliver the mail to different offices. The office was located in San Francisco's financial district. It was really fun, challenging and great for the first week, then I got the cart and my hand stuck somehow in an elevator door. I went home early because of my bruised hand.

I never went back. I decided I would rather face death by firing squad. Bad enough, I had to tell my mother. My decision didn't please her at all. (In our family, you graduated from high school and you were on your own. Oh, you could live at home, but, you worked and you paid rent too.) I was 17, but by today's standards, I might as well have been 27. I was grown with responsibilities. I quickly got another job and this one was more to my liking.

I worked for the Emporium Capwell Department store and I sold first fine china and then housewares. This was a fun place to work. There was a really cute store detective named Ed and he was pretty old but I sort of liked him. Ed was probably 25 or so and when he asked me out, I was thrilled. He took me to dinner and bought me two martinis. When Ed took me home after a couple of hours at his place to look at his etchings, (I mean examine his gun), he nearly had a heart attack when I told him I wouldn't be 18 for another 4 months. Sheesh!

Ed more or less avoided me for the next 3 months. Right before I turned 18, I got another job at different insurance company office. This time I was a file clerk. (I know, it really pays to aim high.) We worked on Worker's Comp stuff and it was actually pretty interesting. Plus, unlike the first insurance firm where the average age for employees was about 60, everyone at this place was young! I met and moved in with some girls from the office who were looking for another housemate.

I celebrated my 18th birthday living in a downtown apartment with 3 other girls. We worked hard all week and went to parties on weekends. The only challenging part was not starving to death. Life was good!

I met my first husband at my next job. We married right after I turned 19. We got a really nice apartment and I found a job at Sears selling linoleum flooring. Uh, yeah, that was a problem for me because I can't do math, plus, I didn't know the first thing about flooring. I worked there for two months and didn't make a sale at all. I was bored and found another exciting job as an instructor in a health club. I also took in ironing for extra money. I probably would have gotten a paper route too if I had thought of it.

I've walked dogs, arranged major events, written proposals, designed presentations, and groomed the presenters. I've prepared press releases, wined and dined clients, and taught English. I've also ghost written term papers, prepared resumes, and helped people get their US citizenship.

Frequently, I've done these things concurrently while going to college at night and working full time while raising my two children as a mostly single parent.

I think it was probably all very hard, but it was also very good. I've seen most of the US on various business trips and met a lot of really fascinating people.

If push comes to shove, I am very adept at supporting myself and that's a good thing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sitting Around Looking Cute

Have you ever noticed?

When you sit around looking cute, good things happen. You get out of the bubble bath and go and put on something cute. You are inspired to put on a touch of make up, maybe some beefed up eyebrows, a little shadow, a touch of concealer for those pesky shadows under your eyes, mascara (of course) and a touch of lipstick! You also put on just a touch of perfume, and lotion your legs and arms. You also fluff up your curls, or in my case, I fluff up my semi-crew cut with a little goop.

Sure as shooting a friend will call, a stranger will knock at the door, or the house will suddenly smell like smoke so you will have to call those cute firemen. (Yes, you grab your pretty robe first if someone is going to see you.)

Maybe it's the old girl scout (or boy scout) motto of "Be Prepared" that's at work here. Since I was never a girl scout, or a boy scout either for that matter, I'm not sure.

There's another side to this post. Somedays you just don't care one way or the other. You wake up and think about taking a bath and getting dressed and then you think "Naw." You turn on the television and you sit around looking totally dorky all day.

You don't bother even washing the night goo off of yourself. You sit in front of the television with your ashy legs and arms and don't care. There won't be any calls unless the are from the IRS or Franchise Tax Board.

If someone comes to the front door, it'll be somebody political looking for money for their "cause", and they will even look worse than you do. If the house smells like smoke you will trudge from room to room with your extinguisher in hand because you would rather burn to death than let those cute firemen see you in that ratty dog hair covered black tee and your husband's shrunken and probably none too clean boxers, with night goo all over you.

I'm just not an "either / or" kind of girl.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drunken Encounter With A Cat

My cousin, Kelly, is a whimsical girl.

I love her with all my heart, but I also know she's a little goofy. (It adds to her charm.) My husband was on a trip (when isn't he?) and she and I were on the phone. Kelly lives in Oklahoma.

I was bored and sick of being home alone and I started begging Kelly to fly out for the weekend. She replied "Oh, I wish I could." Well, hells bells, what's keeping you from doing it? "Money." Oh yeah, that. Never mind, I'll pay for the ticket. Just get the flight you want and I'll book it and put in on my card. Kelly hemmed and hawed over it until I threatened to catch my house on fire just to get firemen to come over and entertain me.

She finally agreed. I arranged for a limo to pick Kelly up at the airport and rather than go straight home, we had the driver take us up to the Napa Valley for wine tasting. This was about noon so we stopped first and had lunch at a beautiful bistro and shared a wonderful buttery oak infused Chardonnay with our lunch.

We visited a couple of wineries after that and had the limo take us home. Both of us were having a little trouble walking at this point. Naps were in order. We slept for a couple of hours and then got ready to go out for dinner.

Kelly is very meticulous about her dress and she asked me for an iron to press something. While searching for the iron (that I do not use), I decided to open us a lovely bottle of wine. Probably not my best idea ever after drinking the afternoon away.

We had a lovely dinner with, yes, more wine. When we got home and opened the door, our new cat, Smokey, slipped past us as we were walking in and ran out. He was not really an outdoor cat so I was concerned. Kelly said, "Oh, he'll be back when he gets hungry," but that really didn't satisfy me. I told her I was going to change clothes and go out looking for him and she said that she would come with me.

It had to be close to midnight at this point since we had taken a long time at dinner, oh yeah, and then we stopped in the Biker Bar and had a drink or two with some motley guys.

If you are keeping score, we had quite a lot of booze in one day. This did not deter me at all from my quest to find Smokey. We walked the streets calling his name. After about a 1/2 hour, we were ready to give up when we called his name one last time. A pretty white cat (Smoke is black) came running to us out of the shadows making a jingle sound when she ran from a bell on her collar.

We sat down on the sidewalk and Kelly started talking to the cat. The cat vocalized right back at her. Kelly said "That cat knows right where Smokey is and she wants us to follow her." So we got back to our feet and followed the cat as she kept looking back at us.

About 3 houses from my own, the cat took a turn down a driveway and under a fence into a back yard. Quietly, we opened the fence and whispering "Smokey" we started to go into the yard. (This was a house where a single man lived, but I did not know him and had only seen him once or twice before.)

"Hold it right there!" a loud voice came. "What are you two doing in my yard?". Kelly and I grabbed each other in terror. A man with a flashlight came out the back door. At first I thought he had a gun. We froze. Kelly started explaining that we were looking for my cat. I tried to interject that I was actually his neighbor from 3 houses down, but Kelly kept talking and telling him that this pretty white cat had told her to follow her and that Smoke was in this back yard.

The guy sort of chuckled and said "Have you girls been drinking?" Well, of course he already knew the answer to that question.

He flashed his light around the backyard and Smokey gave a little "meow" and ran out from behind a bush. I grabbed him in my arms.

We apologized to the man, David, we learned by then and after offering him a drink that he wisely refused, we went back home.

Kelly still swears that white cat talked to her.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are They Going To A Prom?

The blonde is my daughter, Sheila. The brunette is my granddaughter, Ari Yasmin.

18 year old David was sure they were sisters and going to a senior prom. David is my neighbor boy. Well, neighbor man, since he's almost 21 now. I have secured David's services now because my husband is away and a woman's got to do what a woman's got to do.

Okay, the kind of services I'm hiring David for are dog walking services. Harry is a big orange dog and while he has great manners and understands commands, the sight of a squirrel sends him airborne. This could be a problem for me walking him. Harry knocked Honey (my older and smaller female dog) down the stairs this afternoon ass over tea kettle, trying to get to a squirrel on the fence in our back yard.

Harry is what Double O refers to as a "potcake". Potcakes are dogs of dubious heritage where she lives on an island in the Bahamas. She says they are the color of burnt rice. Harry is orange, and that is close enough.

David agreed to walk Harry for me. Since I have known David since he was an 8 year old boy scout selling me magazines I didn't want, I expected him to be fairly reasonable about his price. Also, I know from his dad, that David's currently working at a part time job making $10 per hour. I figured walking the dog would have the same approximate price tag.

I figured wrong. I mentioned 20 minute to half hour walks every afternoon and suggested $5 per 20 minute walk. David looked slightly offended, but quickly recovered and said "Well, whatever you want." I asked if he had another amount in mind, and he allowed as to how a friend of his walked a dog for $25. That seemed a touch high to me for 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour.

I inquired how long his friend walked the dog for, and David said "Oh for an hour or so." Uh huh. Well, we compromised and agreed on $10 for 1/2 an hour. He took Harry out and came back in about 10 or 15 minutes. David took the $20 for his 10 or 15 minute walk that would include walking Harry tomorrow as well.

Somehow I feel this is not going to be a great business arrangement for me.

Maybe my daughter or granddaughter will date him and I'll get a better price.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Alex In Amsterdam

This is where I hope Alex goes tomorrow.

Alex and his friend Brian are driving to Amsterdam. This is the interior of Coster Diamonds, a very famous place in Amsterdam to buy jewelry. I'm sure he could find something really spectacular for me in this shop for our Anniversary on September 29th. Of course, he won't be home for the occasion, but he just might have something special he's bringing home as a late gift. That would be nice, right?

This is where I don't hope Alex goes to spend his time in Amsterdam. Oh I don't care if he walks past the windows because we all know there is nothing wrong with window shopping. The real problem is that if he goes to the Red Light District, he may end up buying me smaller diamonds because he's used his money unwisely. All right, the truth is I don't think celebrating your anniversary month with a prostitute is the least bit kosher either.

I do concede that spending a period of time with a lady of the evening might be cheaper than going to Coster Diamonds for a gift for your wife. But you have to think about the long term with these issues. You spend a half hour or so with Brunhilda, and that's fine. It might cost you $100 or so if you don't ask for anything "fancy". Let's face it, that's not a huge sum compared to $10,000 for a carat of superior diamond. But there's an old adage, you get what you pay for.

Now keep in mind that I am currently crotch sprung. Or maybe it's crotch sprained. No, I think they call it "I've sprained my groin", but then isn't your crotch and your groin sort of the same thing?

Now this sprain has me sort of lying low for a bit of time. I'm hopeful it will be gone by the time my husband comes home with my diamonds.

He knows with me it's always "fancy".

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When Harry Met Zoe

Zoe - Pronounced Zoh- eee.

Call the men in the white coats.

I wasn't looking for love, or a new family member but there she was.

Traci, a friend and waitperson at a bistro I frequent in town, was telling me about Zoe, a rescue dog she was fostering. She and her partner would have to surrender the pup to the SPCA next weekend, and Tracy was sick about it. They were under contract with their landlord to not have a Pit Bull in their apartment. They could not keep Zoe.

Traci and her partner had taken Zoe with the idea that they would be giving her to friends of theirs within a couple of weeks, a couple who wanted her. The couple apparently has decided to get a divorce and they no longer wanted a dog.

As I listened to Tracy, I felt like crying. Here is this maybe 9-month old dog who would be put into the "system" and lose her sweetness and her innocence. Shelters are stressful places and Pit Bulls are a dime a dozen in the Bay Area.

Some punk might want to use her as a fighting dog, or as bait for a fighting dog. Or, she could be recruited by a big-bellied biker to guard his meth lab. This just wouldn't do at all.

I told Traci I wanted to meet Zoe. I was totally charmed when I met her. Zoe is very small (about 45 pounds), and very young. She is a loving and sweet girl who is already house-broken and crate trained.

Traci and I decided to introduce Zoe to Harry last evening. (Harry has been down in the dumps since Alex left on his month long trip.) We took both dogs on a walk to let them get acquainted and they did fine after some initial posturing.

We came back to the house and repaired to the garden where the dogs would be able to interact off-leash and they had a marvelous time. Zoe let Harry dominate her and she loved it when he chased her. They ran constantly for about 2 hours.

Although Harry is neutered (and Zoe is fixed too), he was very romantic toward her. Zoe seemed no worse off from his clumsy attentions. In return, he bathed her with drool and love nips until she was soaking wet from head to toe. Harry for sure thought this was a love connection, even if Zoe did play a little hard to get.

I need another dog like I need a hole in my head. But, good sense has never been high on my list of worthwhile qualities. I sent Zoe's story and her photos to Alex and he agreed that we might want to take her. (But then Alex has no more good sense than I do, and perhaps even less.)

This is not going to be easy, but we can do it. Honey will not like Zoe, but Honey doesn't even like Harry for that matter. Harry badly needs a playmate. Honey is more "prison warden" than "playmate". We'll adjust.

Zoe is just too young, sweet, and pretty to be turned into a gang banger's Pit Bull.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Well Clutch My Pearls

It happens every time.

I may write something that is a little racy, but I seldom use four letter words. I hardly ever discuss bodily functions. In fact, I don't even show private parts in my photos. Now, I guess my posts might be rated PG, but I hope you would never think of them as crude or offensive.

I write about a wide variety of subjects, my relationships, my husband, my pets, my grandchildren, my children on occasion. I also write about ancient history, or maybe that time better known as the 70's and the 80's.

I also write about lust once in a while. I don't think having a yen for the handsome Ramon is terribly naughty. I don't actually pursue Ramon, but I do think about the beautiful music we could make together, and perhaps it gets more graphic in my head, but I never would bring that to a post.

On rare occasions, I may discuss naughty bits, but it's rare. I am not sure I've ever included the word vagina or for that matter penis in a post. I actually don't consider those terribly racy words in the first place.

In my last post, I did write something that was somewhat unusual for me. I wrote about an event that occurred over 20 years ago and that I thought was funny. The punchline of the entire post was at the end and included the words "black bush". Shocking, I know.

Sure as shooting, I lost one of my dear followers over this post. I should have expected it, but I didn't. Too bad. Each and every person who takes the time to read something I have written is very special to me.

But those words, "black bush" just made someone clutch their pearls and move on.

Bye bye.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Color Is My Parachute?

He was my ex-husband.

He had been my ex-husband 18 years ago. We were held together by the threads of our children. When we divorced, we had a 3 month old daughter and a 3 year old son.

He and I had spent time growing up together and then growing apart as well. Our son turned 21 in August the year I turned 42. My husband John was about 5 years older than me at this time. John had been diagnosed with brain cancer a couple of years earlier. Over the 18 years we had been divorced, we became friends on a totally different level.

On August 31st, we celebrated our son's 21st birthday together, with his wife and my new husband Alex. This is the true story of what transpired.

John had given me a gift certificate for Elizabeth Arden's Red Door for Mother's Day. (No, his wife was perfectly okay with this expensive and extravagant gift.) After all, he was not my most recent husband at all. And she understood that John and I loved each other from "way back".

We took my son to the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco the night after I had gone in for my day at the Red Door. I decided that if I only had one life to live, let me live it as a blond.

I emerged from the day of beauty that included a facial, a manicure, a pedicure, a massage, a professional make over and as a blond after 40 years of being a brunette.

Oddly as a natural brunette, I made a good blond. Light hair throws more light on your face than dark. My former husband looked at me across the table with his wife and my husband and my son sitting there and said the following words. He would die within a year without knowing the answer.

"So what did you do about your black bush?"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rocky Starts

I think I'm off to a rocky start with Alex being gone doing whatever it is he does for a whole month.

Yesterday, I found that one of the dogs had thrown up all over the 90 year old Persian rug in the dining room. This was in the early morning when I am least likely to appreciate dog vomit.

I looked at both dogs closely. Harry looked to be in good spirits and seemed to be okay. Honey was a little "under the weather" but then she is old and sometimes has trouble getting up and around much before noon. I can relate.

I grabbed a dustbin and cleaned up the mess from about 3 separate locations all the while trying to tell my gag reflex to calm down. Then it happened. I twisted and threw out my back a bit with that all too familiar painful "boing". (Now mind you, a "boing" is much different than a "boink" and I have a much worse reaction to the boing.)

I cleaned up the mess as well as I could while swearing under my breathe (mutha fugger! mutha fugger! mutha fugger!) and tried to get up. Nothing to hold on to close enough to grab and the back spasm went into full attack mode while I wondered how I would manage.

I figured out that if I crawled, I could get to the kitchen and grab the pet poo cleaner-upper solution. No it was not poo, but none the less, I wanted to clean up the rug as well as I could.

I returned to the dining room as Honey was again in the process of throwing up on the rug. I gently moved her head to the hardwood floor and she puked up the rocks that you see in the above photo. Apparently, one of the rocks is actually a piece of charcoal from the bbq pit out in the yard. Oh, why ask why! I'm sure at first it tasted delish coated with meat juice and fat.

I telephoned my vet to ask if I needed to be concerned and they told me that this was not uncommon but to watch her closely to make sure she didn't have a "blockage". Uh huh. Usually I would have insisted that I bring her in to the doctor, but in this case, I figured I'd just watch her for another day. She seems fine today and has eaten and pooed with no problem.

My children have always wondered why I set such a store on healthy poo with my dogs (and with my kids). I've always firmly believed that good looking healthy poo is an important indicator of overall health. If the poo is well formed and "normal" then I can sort of assume all is right with the world. Okay, maybe I have a hang up.

Still, with Alex gone, taking Honey to the vet is a problem. She is a big girl, and at about 80 pounds, she is difficult for me to lift, particularly when I can't even walk. My back at this point is allowing me to walk but I walk with great effort and I doubt lifting Honey's fat ass (or as we lovingly call it "her 40 pounder rounder" into the car would do me much good at all.

Now, on the bright side, I took a nude photo of myself right out of the bath and sent it to my husband in Europe. Oh, and an upskirt too.

He said he likes the photos.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Red Light Districts of Europe

There are numerous red light districts in Germany as well as in the Czech Republic.

Guess where my husband Alex is! Well, I'm not saying. Still, I felt obliged to tell him that he was in the middle of hubs of prostitution in the countries he's working in at present. Of course, he played dumb and said "Oh really?". Yeah, like he doesn't know.

Alex is gone for a month. Actually, it's over a month. Harry is miserable. He waited at the back gate for the last two evenings for his dad to come home. During the day, he's moped around the house and not even wagged his tale once. Believe it or not, a squirrel ran across the front lawn right in front of him and he didn't even bark. This is Harry the Squirrel Killer I'm talking about.

Honey isn't feeling any happier about Alex being gone either. She's been lying in Harry's bed all day, forcing Harry to lie on the rug. (He would be too afraid to climb into her bed.) She is depressed and not interested in playing either. Of course, Honey wasn't playful to begin with. She's been in a bad mood for a few years now, sort of like me. Being depressed does not affect her appetite though. That's sort of like me too come to think of it.

And speaking of me, I'm not real happy about this trip either. I know I called him Turtle Man in my last post, but I really didn't mean it. Alex does not look like a turtle. When he's not here, I miss him. So I am sad too. Here is a photo of me looking terribly sad. Makes you feel bad doesn't it? Well, the truth is, I'm not sure I was sad so much as ready to spray Diet Coke across the table trying not to laugh at some lame joke. But it looks like a sad picture so I thought I'd use it.

The truth is I wouldn't put on my Tahitian pearls and lace blouse and put out china, silver and crystal if Alex isn't home. I barely get out of my robe.

So if Alex decides to leave his little family for an Eastern European prostitute, I will certainly let all of you know. And we will show you the "mad" photos which are much different from the "sad" photos.