Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Fun At The Doggie Park by N. Vincent

     My daughter Tam and I don't get to spend much time together. Thus we planned a shared time together with our new members of the family, acquired this summer of 2014: two German Shepherd puppies, Bravo, a male eight months old, and Rio, his cuzzin', six months old.
       I ferried across to Seattle for this excursion with my Mom, who then stayed with the rest of the family while I and Tam set out after lunch. We puffed (I did, at least....) up one of the steep hills of the Seattle Magnolia district with our rambunctious pups. Mine, in spite of my good intentions, did not listen to the Don Sullivan training I hadn't given him. (Need more work on that.....).
       I had to rest a hundred times. It was a hot day and Tam kept saying, "No need to hurry, Mom." (I always try to walk fast, but this was tough, my being so out of shape and more of me than I wanted). I never thought that maybe she was tired too....).
       We finally got to the top of the hill wherein lay the Dog Park, already being enjoyed by a lot of dogs and their people. Tam let us through the precautionary double gate (so as to avoid Escapes). We used the far end where nobody was. Way at the other end was One Bench, occupied by a young couple, totally, although there was room for two more people. Their Backpack was on one end and Her Purse on the other. Thus, the only place for an old woman to sit was one of two huge logs or one of two Hillbilly Chairs--upturned log rounds. I'm a hillbilly, so that would have fit me, but I can't get up and down as easily as I uster.......Not once while we were there did this rude couple offer to move over and make room for an old lady to sit.
      Rio leapt right in to play, as this was her second time. There were mix poodles, bulldog, little and medium dogs of all kinds, about ten or so, more or less (as good a figure as any, as I don't remember....) plus a couple of bigger dogs and one coon hound. But Bravo just clung to "Mom's leg" and didn't really know what to do or how he was supposed to behave, even though he has two big yards in which to play. Tam said most of the dogs act that way their first time. Some of the littler dogs had toy balls to run after, and one "kid" really got into it. We didn't think to bring a ball.
     Watching the Dog People's People was interesting. One woman seemed scared to death and disapproving of our Shepherds. I smiled and told her they were just pups and not mean, but Her Look said she didn't believe me, and Disapproved. How dare we bring German Shepherds to a dog park with their precious little ones.......
     Interestingly enough, the two dogs that got in a fight were LITTLE dogs, a poodle and a shaggy something. I was the first over to break them up and then their owners were hot on my heels. Bravo rushed over to investigate but he heeded the call to No, for which I was proud of him. They are both such handsome dogs, a pair, alright. Quite frankly, I have discovered that most little-bitty dogs are much meaner than any of my own big dogs have ever thought of being.
     There were watering stations and it was roomy enough, with trees, laid out in a big oval with gravel floor and the big logs. Bravo was raised with two little dogs meaner than blue blazes, and he always came out on the short end of the stick because he was the youngest. Even when he got to be the biggest, he still thinks of those two as his superiors. He behaved admirably, and of course, so did Rio.
      Most of the people left after the dogfight, about a half hour into the social hour, including the two Bench Hoggers and their Bags. On the way down the hill we discussed events. We thought the little poodle was coming in heat, which was why the two dogs fussed, as the others more or less seemed unusually interested in investigating her.
     I remarked to Tam, "I thought that one lady was rude," and she said, "There were more than one who was rude." I had to agree, in retrospect.
     Stereotypes never get far around the bend when people have prejudices about certain breeds of dogs.
     But altogether we had a great time, and  I was impressed, as always, how great my daughter is with people and animals, and how folks stop to talk to her all along the way (a good excuse to stop the huffin' and puffin' for a moment). A real treasure, this girl God gave me.
     Back at the ranch there was only time for punkin pie and ice cream, then the rush to catch the ferry back home, as the people in Seattle are maniacs when it comes to The Great Outdoors, down on the waterfront. They are out in droves, rain or shine, and the law says You Must Stop For Them. There is no such thing as "Rushing To Catch The Ferry" down along the waterfront....
      I got detoured on Western avenue but turned down when the street looked right, thus we made it with minutes to spare. Although I'm sure I broke a few traffic laws. The light turned red just as I got into one  intersection. No choice but to zip on through and hope I didn't see what I hoped I didn't see in the rear view mirror. Grace and mercy were with me all the way.......
    ending a grand, adventurous Family day of blessings as Bravo's first day at the Doggie Park closed a great success for all of us,   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


     It seems that proper English has fallen by the wayside, both literally and orally. Probably,  for the same reason why--in the movies-- cowboys always had an endless supply of coffee in their saddlebags, and when did that all start, anyway? No, I don't know the answer.

     What I do know is that somewhere along the line, my language changed: The language I was taught, beginning in gradeschool, seems not to exist anymore. I think it was first noticeable to me in the News Headlines and Bylines, and then in the articles themselves. A single person speaking had always been "he" or "she" or "her". Two or More were "they" or "them". Suddenly he was them. When she went to the store , somehow "they" came home with Pizza. You never used "of" at the end of a sentence, or any other preposition. You were taught to say "one" instead of "you", such as I am doing here. But since you are the one reading, you it is. You being everybody who reads this, even if they are them.   You go, "Well, it was him who hit me." I say, "No it wasn't, it was he who hit you." You go, "I'm gonna miss him going away." No, you aren't, I say: "You're going to miss his going away." You go, his what? See what I mean........
     This is not an English lesson. This is A Mystery. Who Killed English In America? We all knew that anyone who came out West from the South was going to call us "Y'all". When we went to deep South, we would hear "WallAhSchwan", and figured it meant the same as "Well, I swear!". We did understand and accept colloquialisms from the other parts of our nation. But we still respected and recognized the difference between the slang expressions of any particular part of the country and the proper use of good English. We also were taught to recognize abuses of same.
       It used to be that we said something. Jane said, "I am going with Dick." Dick said, "No, you are not. It is for boys only." Jane said, "I am too going."
      Now Jane is going instead of saying: "Dick goes, "No you can't go." "I go, 'yes, I am going." Dick goes,' No you don't. It's for boys only." "I go, 'Yes, I am going." So now, nobody is saying, everybody is going.
     That's not all that's changed, either. Someone said it was an outrage that unknown poachers Murdered gorillas. Last I understood, God reserved Murder for the willful killing of strictly Human Beans. (excuse me, "Beings"). In a much misquoted verse of scripture, "You shall not kill," the actual interpretation and meaning is "You shall not murder, i.e., take the life of another person, meaning human person, ( male or female, man or woman). Not animals. Animals are slaughtered or killed, not murdered. You are, however, required Biblically to take good care of the animals in your care. You are not forbidden to kill them.
      Also, consider how the original languages of the Bible never change their meaning: Americans, on the other hand, jump on any bandwagon which comes down the pike, even if they're pulled by dead horses: So they take (You are not supposed to begin a sentence with "so" very often.....) a perfectly respectful word which has a wonderful meaning and turn it into something disgusting: Take what used to be the delightful word "gay": The GAY NINETIES meant young and carefree times, the 1890's, when America was changing and gay meant "having fun", normal human behavior. She changed all right: The GAY NINETIES of the 1990's meant something totally abnormal and an abomination to God, sexual acts of perversion by men with men and women with women.
      Now, words which were never meant to be used in everyday language HAVE BECOME "the mainstay" of everyday language: Pity the poor American: So brain dead he cannot use his imagination to control what comes out of his mouth.
    What comes out of streetslick mouths belongs in the cesspools, not in public language. Them out there, though, they don't care. Nobody ain't got no respect.
    I would say , come, join me in a wake for the death of good manners, good language, good times, but them here in this country done shoveled and buried them poor danglin' participles and principals (?) when Miss and Mrs. flew out the window and became "Ms", whatever the heck that is, and men started wanting to be women and women started wanting to be men, and that somehow became OKay.
     Tell ya what, though: As for me and my house, we'll stick to the good, old-fashioned
    so valiantly gained and taught by
   our Forefathers.
I say when I speak
I go when I travel

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Day's Work The Hard Way

     For some time now I've been going to put stick'em tiles down on that ugly grey kitchen floor. When I did that, though, I was gonna change the water in the fish tank and clean the accumulated gunk in that area. I was waiting on my son to get the big cabinet I traded him out of the living room so I could also rearrange my frontroom to make room for the white desk of his I wanted, then I could move my tv out of the corner and put Mom's and my rocker out of the middle of the walkway. But before I could lay the tiles, I had to scrub each space by hand to get all the dirt off.
        Of course each of these is a major job in itself. I did the entryway yesterday, so of course I had to empty the huge wooden shelf of all its stored goods, move it into the kitchen, stack junk all over every other place that held something, and then put it back over the new tile. I got halfway through the kitchen yesterday.
     So today I started scrubbing an area for tiles, got the rest of the kitchen done starting at 6 am this morning, cleared away all the stands in the fish tank area. After stacking all that stuff precariously around, I  put the fish in buckets on he floor, the bigger ones in one bucket and the guppies and the docile orange glowfish in the other, along with the smaller goldfish. The mean green glowfish got tossed in the pond last summer, to be eaten by the bullfrog, which is what he deserved. Of course, I saw the windows also needed cleaning badly, the tall shelves were dirty,  the plants were dying for want of a drink, so they had to be watered with water from the fishtank. Buckets were everywhere, containing fish, fish tank stuff, dirty fish water, which I carried in shifts out to the Frost Peach, the Red Delicious and Braeburn Apples, all the other plants wanting a drink---all which called for Great Thinking and a break, and a dish of ice cream.
        Several breaks incurred, only five minutes, such as was my custom in the old days. Of course I stopped to give Mom lunch, and then, as the day wore on, Chow Mein, quick and easy.....Of course Bravo kept making off with my tools. I found my good scratch pad outside on the patio, and my ruler half chewed up.  In helping more, he peered in a bucket, deciding what he should do with those funny things swimming around. I helped him decide. He got a drink and was sent to play with something else. But not until he had snatched a rag I was using, and made off with a plastic pour pitcher for filling and emptying......
       Gradually stuff got cleaned. Tile got laid. Skotty came with his two workers and got the big 2 piece cabinet and they moved it out to my utility trailer. I knew I'd forgotten something: to stabilize the rear end. Someone got a free ride on a seesaw when he loaded the first item. I ran out and put the jacks under the rear. Usually I load after it's hooked to the van so I don't need to worry about teeter-tottering.
       Skotty didn't even notice my new floor.
     I was gonna change the stands the tank was on, and put the desk there that I had given to Sheri. So I bawled about that yesterday,  while sitting on the floor scrubbing, but not today when I finally got it done. So tomorrow I'll go over and get Scotty's white desk, and then I'll move the tv over where I want it.
'     As for tonight, the fish are still in the buckets. I filled the big 5 gallon bucket and carried it in several times and filled the tank, after scrubbing out the tank by hand. It's 20 gallon. Before I hit the hay tonight I've gotta scrub the tank bushes so I can put the fishees back. Bravo and DaisyMay are seeing themselves and each other in the window reflection, as it is dark out, and they are barking and howling at those two other dogs outside the window. Ha. Gram is calling them silly dogs.
      So goes the day! It was a "But First,....." kinda day, before "Next......"
      Lots more to finish tomorrow! The garage is a mess, the front yard needs mowing again, living room rearranged, backyard cleaned, stuff needs sorting, tossing , given away or sold............Two little maverick trees growing out of my tire and other planters: a neat little maple and an alder, I think. I'm rusty on my trees. I think I will wait to transplant them out back, though , until fall.
      Praise the Lord, I've gotten some of my old ambition back after all these months of lethargy and sickness and weeping. Checking out Now.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Givers and Takers

                                           Conned by A Gas Can

                                                   by N.A. Vincent


    Driving on city streets and highways used to be fairly uneventful. No one darted across the street just as you zoomed by. No one stopped her car dead in the outside lane of the freeway while the rest of us were torpedoing 60 miles per hour. This happened to me. Both in the same day. Good thing I glanced back to the street and saw this guy leaping across the traffic. He barely made it. Then, I saw this car stalled along the freeway edge. That's when the lady directly in front of me saw it too. And stopped: Dead in the water. Just in time she turned onto the shoulder while I swerved around to the outside lane and saved us both. Twice in the same day. Can you believe it?
     But that's not all. Coming out of WalMart in Port Orchard, a motorist waving a gas can and looking pathetic gestured on the corner of Lund. Meaning clear: Need money for gas and oil for my car, he hollered through the window. Ok, so I dug into my purse and pulled out the Fiver he said he'd need. He made as if he were walking away to get said needed stuff at the Safeway Station right there.
     Well, my leaving WalMart was temporary to drop off The New Kid On The Block (month old baby boy) and His Mom and His GreatGreat Gram and all of Our Three Dogs. (It was a Two Grams and a Three Dog Day) just over a block or two at home. So I was going back to WalMart to pick up the New Kid's dad, and what do I see? Here's this Same Dude standing on the same Street corner Waving the Same Gas Can, tricking Another Gullible Motorist into,......guess what? Well, I peered over that direction and I think he ducked his head so as I'm not supposed to see him. Well, I don't think that worked, because I saw him and I think he saw that I saw him or at least he Thought I saw him.......I slowed down a bit, wondering how I could Warn All Those Gullible Motorists in line to turn.......
    I picked up Dad and saw The Gas Can Robber climbing into a car much newer than mine, parked behind the Service Station, still Ducking His Head. He pretended it wasn't me. I pretended it wasn't Him.
    But it Was Him.
    The moral of this true story is: Beware of Dudes Waving Gas Cans on Street Corners.
     Or else drive around the block a couple of times to see how long they're still there before you dole out.