We had a laundry chute in my childhood home. Aside from being useful in collecting dirty laundry, it provided entertainment for my sister and me. We would play “office” by attaching strings to messages which we sent up and down the chute. It also provided other kinds of entertainment, most of which I don’t recall.

One thing that DOES come into mind is the time I scribbled with crayon all over the inside of the chute. I am not sure what possessed me at the moment to do this, but I do recall feeling guilty during the act, so I decided to sign the masterpiece with my sister Susie’s name. At the time I wasn’t exactly sure how any lines were needed to make the letter “E,” so I added a few extra just to be sure.

When my mother found the drawing, she asked my sister and me about it. “Who me?” I replied, “I didn’t do it.”The letter “E” turned out to be the smoking gun that identified the criminal, because as my sister pointed out SHE knew how to write her name. And thus I was identified as the culprit.



Well I just identified another criminal.

My dog isn’t supposed to sit on the white chair; the one with the fluffy red pillow. When I got home from work, Buddy was lying on the floor with a sweet little innocent look on his face.

I asked him if he had been sleeping on the chair, but that didn’t get me very far, because when I speak, this is what he hears:


He looked at me with a look on his face as if to say, “Who, me? I didn’t do it. I’ve been sleeping on the floor”

Not getting far with the interrogation, I looked at the pillow on the chair.

Yup, it was squished.




Doggy Chew Toys

Like many young girls of my generation, I grew up playing with a Barbie Doll. For hours a day, I would engage in imaginative play with my beloved doll.

However, having been accused by my parents as having an “overly active imagination,” this did not fare well for my Barbie. She often ended up in dire straits, and most frequently pregnant. I would take the red rubber ball from playing “jacks” and rubber-band it around her waist. She would then run around saying “Oh no! What shall I do?” Ken never seemed to play into this dilemma.

Poor girl never had any shoes either. Yup, MY Barbie was barefoot and pregnant.

I just loved chewing on her little plastic shoes. While my Barbie was running around “in a family way,” I was busy chewing on all of her shoes until they became a mangled mess.

There was something in the texture of those plastic shoes that made them irresistible to me. Often when I asked for a new outfit for my Barbie, it wasn’t because I wanted the outfit; it was because I had run out of shoes to chew on.

Well my dog Buddy runs into the same problem.

As far as I know, he doesn’t pretend any of his toys are pregnant, but he DOES chew them to utter destruction. As of today, the only toys he has left are a mangled blue shark missing his fins, and a shredded KONG Wubba. I just had to pitch several toys because the stuffing was spilling out of them.

That’s OK, Buddy, I understand. I’ll go pick up some new toys for you today.


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Secret Sauce

Do you remember the big hype about the Big Mac’s “Special Sauce” in the seventies?

“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – all on a sesame seed bun,” every kid could sing-a-long to the jingle. McDonalds would not share the recipe for its
“Secret Sauce.”

McDonalds’ kept the secret recipe close to the vest for years, amid much speculation and many recipes floating around on the internet for the sauce. McDonalds is a marketing genius, and this was one of their many marketing efforts. A successful one, at that, because the Big Mac is still around and selling like crazy over forty years later.

Well Buddy has a “secret recipe” too. His breeder won’t reveal the magic “mix” she uses to produce her “Daisy Dogs.” In order to purchase one of her dogs, you have to be interviewed, and deemed acceptable to purchase one of her dogs at an exorbitant price. Her family has been in the business of breeding these dogs long before the concept of “designer dogs” became popular, and I must admit, she sure knows what she is doing, Buddy is a great little dog.

Someone just said to me, “Well, he is just a well-marketed mutt.”

Well, perhaps, but if you have the secret recipe, looks like you are in business!

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac
Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:McD-Big-Mac.jpg

On Strike!

Buddy is on a food strike.
Well, sort of.
He doesn’t like his kibble.

I have always added a little chicken or beef to his dry dog food just so that he had a little variety to his diet. I mean, I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day, so why should he?

Recently, however, he has begun to eat ONLY the chicken or beef and leaves the kibble. He has perfected this practice to the point that he can eat the meat and spit out the kibble sending it flying across the kitchen with a doggy flourish – paaaa- tooooie!

I know about these things. When I was a child, my mother, like many other mothers in the 1960’s, read in The Ladies Home Journal that children should be served liver once a week. I don’t know if this was an edict from some sadistic food editor, or a ploy by the beef industry as a solution for what to do with all of those beef livers, but I can tell you that my sister and I were NOT fans of liver and onions.

I remember having to sit and stare at the disgusting grainy grayish meat until I finally gave in and ate a couple of bites, lured by the promise of pineapple upside-down cake or some other sixties era dessert. “No dessert until you eat your dinner!” was the rule at our house.

So Buddy, you are out of luck. I am the product of a 1960’s era mother with a steel resolve, and like her, I am not going to give in.

From this point forward, there is no chicken until you eat your kibble first!

Bad Hair Day

My mother used to cut and perm my hair.

Armed with incredibly stinky TONI perm solution, she would give me a permanent wave on all of my hair except the bangs. I would watch my favorite TV show, Little House on the Prairie, gagging on the wafting TONI fumes while the permanent wave processed.

Then my mother would add the finishing touch: the Scotch Tape bang trim.

I distinctly remember complaining to my mother when she would rip the scotch tape off my forehead leaving a little red stripe. She would say, “You have to suffer to be beautiful.”

Let us just say I have had my fair share of bad hair days. But not as bad as Buddy’s.

Buddy just had a VERY bad hair day.

I recently took him to the groomer to pay a RIDICULOUS amount of money to get him groomed. When I picked him up it looked like they trimmed his entire body, but forgot to trim the ears and the tail so he looked like some sort of odd black and white combination poodle-hound dog with the tail of a horse.

“Oh well,” I thought,“ he is just a dog, it will grow back.”

When I got home I thought my poodle-hound-horse got a glimpse of himself in the mirror, because he buried his head under the pillow on my bed. Now I thought he was being a little melodramatic, but when this continued into the next day and then he began to paw at his ears, I thought perhaps I should take him to the vet.

Good thing I did.

Turns out that some groomers “pluck” the hair out of dog’s ears. Apparently the groomer had gotten carried away and had plucked his little ears raw, and one had become infected. So, with antibiotics and a $75 vet bill in hand, we headed back home.

Poor little Buddy. I don’t agree with my mother’s adage, “you have to suffer to be beautiful.”

Think I will find a different groomer.

The Invincible Dog Goddess

I remember exactly when I realized my father couldn’t fix everything.

My sister and I had gone shoe shopping with my dad. In those days, they had these little x-ray machines and you would put a shoe on and then put your foot on this  machine that would x-ray your foot in the shoe. It would ensure a PERFECT FIT.

Apparently this machine was called a shoe Fluoroscope. Here is a picture of one from Wikipedia, the Definitive Source of All THINGS; just in case you are thinking I made this whole thing up.

It does look a little like a medieval torture device, which is why, I guess, they would give small children a balloon after your shoe was fitted. It is amazing I don’t have cancer of the toe.

When we got home, I sat on the front porch with my dad and sister with my helium balloon and somehow it came untied from my finger. I watched it floating upward and asked my dad to get it back for me. He said, “Well, honey, I can’t reach that.” I was dumbfounded that he couldn’t get it. This was a cosmic turning point in my relationship with him, I mean I still loved him, but realized in that moment that he wasn’t invincible. To be honest, he came down a notch in my five-year-old world. And in a way, the world became a scarier place, a place where everything can’t be fixed.

Buddy hasn’t had that “aha” moment with me.

He thinks of me as the Invincible Dog Goddess.

If you have ever been the object of dog worship, you know what I am talking about.
In complete doggy bliss he will lie next to me on the couch, belly-up, front feet curled against his chest, hind feet pushing against my leg. He rests in complete assurance that his every need will be met, every problem will be fixed.

He doesn’t know that I too can’t reach a balloon in the sky. He thinks that the world is a wonderful place and that he is completely safe in my care.

I am going to try to keep it that way.

Balloon photo: http://creativity103.com yellow_Balloon_7415.jpg
Fluoroscope photo: Wikipedia Public Domain

Sunday Drive

”Crusin’ and playin’ the radio
with no particular place to go.” Chuck Berry

My family used to go on “Sunday Drives” when I was growing up.

We would pile in to my father’s 1960’s era Chrysler New Yorker with no destination in mind. The car was so big that you could be  in different zip codes riding in the same car. My sister and I were allowed to pick directions at each intersection; “Right!  Left!  Indifferent!” we would call from the back seat. We would end up in some unexpected Michigan small town and get ice cream cones from an ice cream shop named something like “The Freeze” or “The Whippy Dip.” On the ride home, my parents would smoke in the front seat, windows rolled down, looking eerily like Don and Betty Draper from the TV show Mad Men while my sister and I would sing along to the AM radio, “Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on.”

Reminiscing about these car rides, I said to my husband one day, “We should go for a Sunday Drive.” His response was less than enthusiastic. Of course the cost of gas has increased from 29 cents per gallon to over four dollars per gallon, which may have dampened his enthusiasm a bit. But even if the cost of gas wasn’t an issue, he just didn’t get the point.

Buddy does. He LOVES to ride in the car. Anywhere. If I ask him (as he hears it)


he discerns the sound bite “car ride” and springs into alert and ready-to-go mode, tail thumping on the floor.

Buddy will go for a ride in the car. Anytime.

Buddy will go on a Sunday Drive with me. He will go anywhere in the car. With paws on the door handle, nose sticking out the cracked window, ears blowing in the wind, he is in car ride nirvana. I’m not sure why he likes it so much. But off we go, simpatico, a couple of road warriors, “cruisin’ and playin’ the radio, with no particular place to go.”