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.

Happy 30th Birthday, John Morris!

March 26, 2017

I went tonight to John’s 30th birthday party. Dude-it’s about time you finally asked the lovely Arianna, your love and business partner, to marry you. I look forward to the wedding.

John was one of my students in JHS biology. He was injured in high school snowboarding, which rendered him a below the neck quadriplegic. Instead of saying boo-hoo, John went to CSU and won several awards for his invention, Quadshox. He is the CEO and President of a company which manufactures shock absorbers for push wheelchairs, which can be painful for quads. Their motto is, “Made for people in wheelchairs by people in wheelchairs. Bona fortuna, John.

A Big Date for Us

March 15, 2017

Today, Ivy is 6 months old. She gets her first puppy cut Friday while Franklin gets his shave and bath. I fractured my humerus four weeks ago. I’m driving now, very carefully. Painful injury, but through physical therapy, it’s getting better, this four month injury. And, on this date twelve years ago, I had my hip replaced. 75 degrees in Fort Fun. Glad Ivy and I went to the dog park this morning. It’s pretty windy now.

To Each His Own

March 15, 2017

Recently, I have been criticized by one of my childhood friends for the way I am raising Ivy. She is appalled that I keep her in a crate at night (in my bedroom looking at me), so the cats can sleep with me as well. Also, she wonders why my dog is not allowed to be free in the house. She is. It took 5 months, but now, Ivy no longer has a pen in the TV loft. I just make sure when it should be time to go out in her pen to eliminate.

My friend is appalled once again that Ivy has a dog pen. Well, I have a patio home, no back yard, so I turned the patio into a dog pen. Ivy gets her high-energy exercise with many walks, and trips to the dog park-the good one without college students and their untrained dogs.

I am a veterinarian, so I do know a little about pet care, right? Another thing I’m learning is that a book must have a good editor. You don’t just write something down and send it in for publishing. Apparently, this person has done so. Never seen one of her publications.

So, to each his own.

Drinking Out of the Trough is the Title of My First Book!

March 11, 2017

Yes, campers, I have finally taken the plunge and written a book. It’s undergoing editing by the wonderful Judy Fort Brenneman of Greenfire Creative, LLC.

After eight years, I have a new puppy, a delightful Goldendoodle named Ivy. She is six months old. Her breeder, Cathie Crosby of Placer Goldendoodles picked her out for me as a good match. Ivy is a delightful little soul.

I gave the pup Ivy for a name because my beloved Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Ivy covers the outfield walls at Wrigley Field. I got Ivy 6 days after the series, and today we celebrate four months together. She’s been through two puppy classes, and will take the Canine Good Citizen class to become a therapy dog when she turns one year old.

More later.

What is a carrot?

October 30, 2010

It’s a beautiful day in the Hub City. Still warm, although people call it crisp fall weather. It’s in the 70s for crying out loud. I’m going walking in a little while.

It is getting close to first semester 1L finals, so I’ve been hitting the books pretty hard. I think I’m the only one who really likes 1L. It’s pretty fun, actually. Beats the hell out of working. At my age, I am the oldest student in the school, and older than many of the profs. My younger classmates seem to think it’s awful. So why are you here? Some actually say it is because they didn’t know what else to do, so they thought they’d try law school. I can’t fathom that, because they have their whole lives in front of them. Go out and explore the world and have a good time!

I am amazed by some of the students who have all the designer clothes and gear, and drive brand new BMWs bought by Daddy. I noticed one friend of mine had the identical watch as mine, a “Texas Timex.” Her dad got it for her as a present for being accepted to law school. I bought mine five years ago while on a visit to Chicago to hang with my cousins and take a long road trip with my late, best bud, Dr. Jean. I considered mine a badge of honor for surviving a grueling year of orthopaedic misery.

The first car I drove was a ’62 Rambler Ambassador (no, it was not a new car) to drive to high school. It had the old push button transmission. Goldfender was it’s name, but Rustbucket would be more appropriate for an old car in Chicagoland. After I went off to college in Colorado, Natalie took over the old Rambler. On day, she decided to take her friend, Billy, to the bus station. She didn’t tell anyone the bus station was in St. Paul. Mom got some pretty evil telephone calls from angry parents about the wild child of the family. The 14th of next month marks 29 years since Nat’s death, so I’m glad she had all the fun she did out of her 27 years on this Earth.

In college, I rode a bike. When I needed a car, I walked a mile and a half to borrow Uncle Tom’s car. When I returned it, we would have dinner and he would take me back to the dorm.

I needed a car for student teaching. That particular summer, 1973, there were no used cars available. My dad knew everything about cars. As he was the doctor for Volkswagen North Central, he had the manager hand pick a brand new Superbeetle off the boat. I drove that car for 14 years. No a/c, automatic stick shift, and funky 70s yellow. When I bought my first Subaru senior year in vet school, I gave Wilhelm to Earl. He sold it! Was I cranky about that! I think it ended up in Wyoming somewhere. Earl ended up in Keli’s doghouse.

School is helping me get back to normal, whatever normal means. A schedule, coursework, activities and some friends. The only fly in the ointment is that the ponies aren’t with me. I will see them soon. Remember the scene in Paper Chase where Hart and friend rented a hotel room to madly cram for finals? On a small scale, that’s what I’ll do in Arizona, when not riding. This is my favorite scene in Paper Chase. I won’t trash the room. I am well cared for by the hotel staff, as I stay there every time I go to AZ. Riding and studying. Sounds nice. Margo has her work to do, and I don’t need to be entertained. I also know where to hike now. And shop, of course.

The cats were thrilled that my new study partner came over for dinner and stayed until 1 am as we organized for our toughest class and hit it hard. The boys were all around us, as we studied on the living room floor with our junk scattered all around. Frank was on the floor next to me, Matt on the back of the patterned couch, and Cowboy Joe snoring on the blue couch. Kitty heaven. My study buddy and I are a good match, as we have some similar life experiences. She was a teacher also, and has a graduate degree. We shared chili and brainpower.

Lastly, I have to tell you I misbehaved in Contracts class on Thursday. We spend a lot of time dissecting words in the case studies. I’m not kidding now, one discussion was about what is a chicken when it is part of a contract. My lawyer friend with whom I went through K-12, noted that she studied the same case when she was a 1L in the 70s. In the footnotes of that case, there was a Wyoming case that asked what is a cow? No, no, no! Ask what is a sheep in Wyoming. The answer? One, two, three, four, Hello Dinah dear, tea at four?

Back to the misbehavior. One does not besmirch the propriety of a law school class. Let me preface this by saying I’ve had some tummy miseries directly related to eating wheat. Whenever there is a meeting that says, “food will be provided,” it usually means pizza or sandwiches and cookies. I had three meetings in over two days. My body rebelled such that I actually missed a day of class. I’m still in recovery mode. The day’s class was what is a carrot as defined by the Campbell Soup Company. Seriously, they want a special kind of carrot no one has heard of before. I hadn’t had lunch that day, and brought back an apple and, yep, a carrot. As our prof went on and on about carrots, I whipped out my carrot and held it up, not unlike Lady Liberty and her torch. He didn’t see it, but the class laughed. I did it again. Laughter. He was puzzled. Finally, I just sat there and held it much like you probably held your fork and spoon up when you were a little kid. He noticed it finally, and said, “Oh, I get it. You’re Bugs Bunny. I’ll try not to ‘bug’ you.” Then he turned away and looked back and said, “What’s up, Doc”? The class roared with laughter. He shoots, he scores! Honestly, what were the odds that I would have a carrot with me on the day we mused about what is a carrot? Our professor is a legend at the school, and he certainly proved that he thinks fast on his feet.

Maybe next week we will ask what chocolate is. I’d be up for that. In the meantime, Go Rangers!