Blue jeans, a new phone, and a clean, fluffy dog

November 16, 2017

 

Freedom!

Yesterday, Ivy had an an appointment for a “fluff and buff” with her personal groomer, April, the owner of Spa 4 Paws. This was the second time I’ve driven, but the first time I put jeans on. I was using warm up pants, as I had a vicious blister from the bandage over my surgery site that when discovered, and tape removed, erupted like Mount Vesuvius. It was so gnarly looking, I went to the ER thinking it was an ulcer, MRSA, or flesh-eating monsters. Being able to wear jeans is wonderful! I have pockets, comfort, and don’t look or feel like a patient from the hip lagoon.

I live geographically the farthest away from the spa the drive it is worth it. April is the best at grooming doodles, and she is the only one in town who still does cats. Poor Frank is due for a grooming, but I can’t manage a cat carrier now with an 18# Mr. Kitty inside), I decided to do some banking, and go to Verizon while Ivy was relaxing with a chai and the morning paper while she was having a mani-pedi. I keep my phone in my left back pocket. When I hit the deck on the 27th of last month, the phone looked cracked, and people told me they couldn’t hear me well.

These phone contracts last for two years. The last time I bought a new phone was in 2014, so I was overdue. Why can’t Verizon, who puts our a lot of junk email just tell me it was time for a new phone? I chose an iPhone 8, a plain cover, a cover for the face of the phone, and bundled with a new type of charger that stays plugged in. Sell, sell, sell, that’s all they do at Verizon. When you get home, you just put the phone on top of it and it charges. Cool. I looked this morning at the phone, and it was still only half charged. Then I realized it was upside down. Oops!

The stores no longer set your phone up for you, so you have to go into the abyss of the    1-800 numbers. The young man at the store, yes, another Skippy, gave me the number of a place that keeps offering you deals. So I went to the black hole of  411, and got a real operator, who gave me the correct number.

A nice woman at Verizon helped me set the phone up-1.5 hours. The phone is sitting on the charging pad, now charging properly.

The Verizon store, which moved from its old location to the new, refurbished and still empty mall, is still a snake pit of people who don’t care. I got there when employees were coming in. Because I am on crutches, I asked if I could come in and sit down. “Oh no, that would violate our security policies.” Like I’m going to steal something chained to the wall and run away with orthopedic hardware flying away. So I stood in the wind until the store opened, 10 minutes later. I asked for some water, and was told there was a fountain in the back of the store. “Do you have any cups to bring me some water?” “Oh no, we don’t.” Hey lady! Go to Costco and buy nine million cups for a buck and give the temporarily handicapped some water.

When I escaped the dungeons of Verizon, I figured Ivy would be ready to be picked up. My old cell was disabled except for 911, so the spa couldn’t call me. Ivy was ready, a shampoo-smelling, clean and fluffy dog. April was proud that she had a bandana that matched the colors of my dog.

We got home, and Ivy went to sleep, and I had lunch after the Incredibly Long Phone Call to Set Up the Phone. I figured I deserved some reading time, so I started Joe Biden’s new book, Promise Me, Dad. It’s a good read. A normal day for a person who is not normal at the moment.

 


CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!!

October 13, 2017

For the second year in a row, the Cubs won a playoff series. Now, to win the Pennant, now called the National League Championship Series, they have to beat the Dodgers. Oy.

Well, they killed the Dodgers quite handily this season, perhaps they can win the NL championship.

I watched all games with my friends Diane and Darell. We call it dog baseball, because we have three dogs between us. Ivy loves to run on their lawn like a nutcase. We had been to the dog park earlier in the day, but she loves to slide around on the lawn. I don’t have a back yard, I have a patio home, which is her dog pen complete with covered patio and regular professional pooper scooping.

Back to the Cubs. You have to understand how the Cubs have influenced the personalities of all its fans. We are tough, unstoppable, resilient, and diehard fans. Heck, how do you think Ivy got her name? The Cubs won the 2016 World Series on Nov. 2, and it was time to bring Ivy home on the 8th. In case you don’t know, the outfield brick walls do not have protective mats, they are covered in Ivy, planted by baseball legend Bill Veeck.

I’ve written about the Cubs before, and how the Cubs have molded my life, but for them to get where they have a second year in a row, I thought it would at least be worth a mention.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. President. I’m sorry to hear you talk to yourself. Sad. You told us you had talked to the president of the US Virgin Islands. Well, dumbass, YOU are the president of the VI.


My latest read.

October 1, 2017

I usually read several books at once. I have a Kindle Fire, and hear from a lot of people how much they like the feel of a real book and turning the pages. Occasionally I buy a book, but not that often.

I am reading NBC reporter Katy Tur’s New York Times bestseller, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American history.

From the beginning, I was laughing out loud. Being a traveling reporter is definitely for the young. She uses some colorful vocabulary, which I enjoy. She goes through the raves and rants of the candidate, the running pace of keeping up with where the campaign is going, and sometimes not knowing where she is on a particular morning.

Tur was living a good life in London, had a French boyfriend, and had everything a young reporter could want. Along comes the non-stop of a 24/7 campaign, and her world changes.

I highly recommend this book. It is a fun read, and because it is so well-written and interesting, a quick read.

Meantime, I’m waiting for the Kindle version of Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened. I have read her books before, and I find she is an interesting writer. Her book is also on the NYT best-seller list.

I wish these gifted women luck with their books. I hope to join the ranks next year with Drinking Out of the Trough. The book is written so I’m almost there!


Ivy, Want a Stick?

September 29, 2017

One way to get Ivy to leave me and a guest alone is to say those words. Ivy’s favorite chew toys are Bully Sticks. I would never do rawhide again, as one of my huskies, Keli, nearly choked to death.

Bully sticks practically dissolve when chewed, they taste good to the dog, and they keep them busy when I am trying to unsolved the mysteries of “The Cloud”


The Ghost Dog

September 28, 2017

I’ve been training Ivy to get on the bed in a way that will be OK when she’s certified as a therapy dog.

She sleeps in her crate, but awakens around 6am. I put her out, and go back to sleep until she barks, once, to come in. Then it’s time for training to be on the bed. Instead of just leaping up, she has to sit, wait for me to get back to bed, and the command, “up!” She is very dainty, goes to the foot of the bed. I say “head down” and she does it.

So, I got up to use the bathroom with Ivy at the foot of the bed. I turned around after washing my  hands, and wouldn’t you know, she’s up against the pillows. She did the same thing on the couch. Silent as a mouse.

She’s going to be a great therapy dog because “doodles make you smile every day.”


Linked Essays and Home Depot

June 18, 2017

When I read the email cover letter to send in the sample of my manuscript for Drinking Out of the Trough, I read that it was referred to as a collection of “linked essays.” Huh? What is that?

Linked essays are those that relate to each other by subject and through a timeline.

While all essays weren’t in perfect order, I could see that they had a natural progression with regard to a timeline. That was the reason for going to Judy’s house with her crazy long dining room table, and sorting out the essays. As it turned out, the essays were mostly in chronological order. Had I known what linked essays were, it probably would have confused me more that the simple directions of adding photos to this blog. I have an IT person, who is quite brilliant, but darned if I can follow the directions. I will work on this today while it is hot today.

My submission to the publisher I want is done. I only have to wait. Judy says this publisher has a pretty fast turnaround, so I’m not going to send more entries to other publishers until I hear the outcome of my submission.

So today, before going to the dog park, I decided to have Ivy practice for her next lesson in her Canine Good Citizenship class, which is meeting this week at Lowe’s. We went to Home Depot. What a great little dog! Ivy, who loves everybody, started jumping up and down on her hind legs to meet the nice employees who thought she was the cutest thing they’d ever seen (she is). I asked the to let her sit first like a lady, then love on her all they wanted. Ivy was in doggie heaven.

Next, we started shopping. We looked at granite countertops, light fixtures, and other hardware items. I had to call her back to heel a few times, but she did this right away. We practiced sit stays, and down stays with me circling her while she remained in her stay. When people just wanted to walk by, I told her to “Leave it,” and she complied. It helped that I had treats in her treat bag hanging from my shorts. Good distraction technique if you ask me.

What I was most proud of was when she saw a woman running a huge machine to clean the floor. Ivy didn’t even react to it.

All in all, it was a successful trip.

The dog park was crowded. All her friends were there. Boy, can that 34-pound puppy run! Fast. Ivy is fast enough to catch up to a black poodle she likes. Ivy is mostly poodle, so it makes sense that she is as fast as one. But she’s only nine months old. We spent about an hour and a half there, and it was time to come home so she could drop down into a deep sleep. She is out in her dog pen now, sleeping like she’s dead. I’ll hold a mirror up to her nose in a minute.

Have a great Father’s Day.

 

 


Hogwart’s Sorting Hat-I Need You!

April 27, 2017

I wish I had one of these hats. This morning, finally, Ivy and I are going to Judy’s house to put all the chapters of Drinking Out of the Trough in order. Since it’s a memoir, essay style, you can open the book anywhere and start reading. So we have to decide the best order for the chapters.

Then it’s on to finding a publisher, query letters, possibly an agent, or a hybrid publisher. Scares the crap out of me. Stay posted on the progress of the book. I think you’ll enjoy it.