Upon Opening the Door to a Stranger

We had an unexpected visitor last night. It was one of those days where you can’t wait to get into your p.j.s and just zone out in front of the television. Wait . . . that’s pretty much every night around here.

Well, it had been a long day — early to rise and productive. So I threw on a nightshirt, and okay . . . don’t judge me, but I was naked as a jaybird under that thing.

I know. You’ll never be the same. Sorry.

We turned off the tube at about 9:00 p.m. Bubba got up to close and lock the front door. He turned on the outside front light, and was startled by a brown face in the dark. When I heard his reaction, I joined him at the door.

Now, I wish I had a picture, because he was so handsome. He was young and well-built, and seemed very friendly. We opened the door to see what he wanted, and he greeted us enthusiastically. Bubba and I both glanced up and down the street to see if he was alone, to which we surmised he was.

In the dark, we saw a metal tag hanging from his blue collar. Bubba retrieved my phone from inside, and I tried to read the fine print while he wriggled and nuzzled his way into my heart. When I couldn’t make out the number, Bubba edged his way out the door, keeping one dog out and two in. We traded places, him with the collar, me taking the phone. Bubba’s eyes are younger than mine. Most of him is.

The phone number led to a veterinarian office, after business hours with no answer. We stood still and listened for someone calling in the distance, “Fiiiiiidooooo……” We heard nothing but the usual clatter from houses, traffic on the main road, and dogs barking to be let in one last time before bed. The street, littered with neighbor’s cars and trucks, forced those passing by to slow to a cautious speed. Each time, we hoped they would stop to thank us for holding their pet for them. Each time the cars continued up the hill.

We took turns holding the dog and running into the house. I went in to get a leash, a jacket, and tennis shoes to throw on with my nightshirt. I shut the windows so the dogs’ barking wouldn’t bother the neighbors, and to keep them from hearing our new friend so clearly. Bubba ran in to get shoes. Still, the cars continued up the hill, and no voices called for a lost dog to come home.

We rejected the option to keep him until the morning, either inside or out. We even thought about letting him go, thinking he might find his way back home. But it was obvious there was only one safe choice for us, our dog-family, and this beautiful big, brown pit bull.

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While Bubba went in to calm the hounds, I made a call to animal control. She said they would send someone right over. In the meantime, I hoped the owner would come along and save this guy a trip to the pound. He was a strong animal, jerking me this way and that toward the sounds in the night. It was all I could do to keep him out of my emerging perennials.

It was while I was on the phone with a helpful friend (who is somewhat of a dog-angel by nature), getting her take on things, that a city police SUV pulled up. My call ended as this massive beast decided I wasn’t greeting them with the urgency they deserved.

I leaned back on the leash, and was pulled one step at a time, each one faster than the last. By the time the two of us reached the middle of the yard, I had given in to a run.

Please note:  I do not run. Not only are there just too many parts of me that bounce, jiggle, and swing, but my knees are no longer up for the task. Nor is my bladder.

Another pace or two, and my descent to the street had become less than a run and more like what I can only describe as a launch, my wrist wrapped firmly in the handle of the leash. This stunt, which I can remember micro-second by micro-second, happened in the wag of a tail. At once I realized the only thing that was going to save me from a face-plant on the asphalt was if I could hit the police vehicle first.

With my eyes on the goal — the word POLICE in shiny gold letters against the black front fender of the SUV — I put my hands out just as I realized this was not going to end well. My knee hit the pavement at the same time my face struck the “L.” Bullseye. The phone I had hung up seconds ago bounced across the hood of the car.

The panic of ensuring my nightshirt was still covering my undercarriage dwarfed any pain I might have felt. I may or may not have wet myself . . . Just sayin’. One cop took the leash from me while at the same time asking, “Are you okay, Ma’am?” The driver did a combat roll over the hood — okay, he didn’t. But he was at my side in a flash, wanting to reach out to me, but needing to assess the situation before moving the victim.

When he also asked if I was okay, I told him I would be as soon as he helped me up. Giggling, with a bruised pride, I answered his questions — name, address, phone, and how it was I had the dog. They said the decision to call them was the right choice. We all hoped he had a chip, and agreed he was a gorgeous animal. When he asked again if I was okay, I told him I hoped his car was okay, peering in the dark to look for a dent. I wanted nothing more than to tuck my tail and retreat into my house. When eventually they dismissed me, I shuffled off without looking back.

Inside, Bubba came to the door in amazement. “Did they come get him already?” It took me several tries to get the story out between my giggle-fits. Once showered and back in fresh night-clothes, I took inventory of my injuries. One twisted ankle, one bruised and swollen knee, and a scuffed thigh. Bubba brought me a couple of ice packs and I swallowed some pain reliever. He kept repeating, “But I was coming right back out! I should have been out there!” But then I’d have nothing to write about.

I can’t help wondering if I’m the butt of some awfully good police stories today. No pun intended.

Peace . . .

Not our friend, but as close a picture as I could find. Please spay and neuter your animals. Pit Bulls are not for everyone. When choosing a pet, find one that fits your lifestyle . . . and strength.
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When Men Lose Their Crap

Let’s investigate a well-known (albeit completely misunderstood) fact.

When men lose their crap, women know where to find it.

Two-hundred thousand years of Homo sapiens haven’t demystified this common phenomena.  I’ll bet when Zog grunted that he had lost his hunting club, Unuk growled she last saw it next to the pounding stone.  I’ve lived with three men in my life; a father, a husband, and now Bubba.  So I speak from a fair amount of experience.  Even on television — Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Carol and Mike Brady, and Marge and Homer Simpson — it’s all the same.  I don’t think much has changed since Zog and Unuk played house.

UntitledWhen we built a bar in the basement, everyone and their brother bought us different gadgets for opening bottles.  We must own twenty different and unusual gadgets just for opening bottles.  So when Bubba, thirsty for an old-fashioned cane-sugar Coca-Cola, went raging through the house roaring that he couldn’t find the bottle opener, I was perplexed.  There are twenty-some behind the bar.  Right?

UntitledThen it occurred to me that he wanted his favorite bottle opener designed like a butterfly knife.

“Check by the coffee pot.”

“Oh yeah!  Hey, thanks, Babe!”

By the coffee pot.  That’s where he left it.  Not only did he leave it there, I knew where it was.

How you choose to explain this mystery depends upon your perspective.

The way women see it:

Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Men are like children.  They never matured past having their mother tell them to pick up their things and put them back where they belong or there would be no dinner.
  • Men are incredibly unobservant.  A woman can dye her hair blue and a man will walk in asking how was her day.  They wouldn’t see their fork if it was sitting next to their plate.
  • Men are slobs.  Of course they don’t know where anything is.  It’s wherever they laid it down.

The way men see it:

  • Women have the memories of elephants.  What else would explain them bringing up the time you drank too much at her mother’s Thanksgiving dinner again and again . . . and again?  Of course they remember where you left something.
  • Women are control freaks.  They are in control of where things go, why they should go there, and why they shouldn’t go where you want to put them.  If something is not where they want it, they know where it is.
  • Women are psychic.  If you don’t know where something is, and a woman can tell you just by asking her, why wouldn’t you put that shit to some good use?

 

The way I see it:

I just hate wasting time looking for my stuff.  I want to put it back where I’m going to look for it.  In fact, it isn’t unheard of for me to buy something I thought I had, but just can’t find.  When I get home with it, I think, “Let’s see . . . where can I put this so that when I go looking for it I can find it?”  And when I open that drawer?  You guessed it.  I found the one I thought I had.

When I see something out-of-place, I make a note of it in my head.  The note might be a checklist of things that should be put away.  Or it might be a note that says, “If you’re looking for the butterfly bottle opener, this is where you’ll find it.”  Then I take a picture and file it under “Stuff that isn’t in a logical place” in my brain.  That file is found under “Stuff Bubba is likely to ask about.”

Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t think Bubba has a file in his brain.  He just has an overflowing inbox.  When he wants to do something, he picks up whatever is on the top of the pile and does it.  He asks me where the tools are to complete the task, proudly points to his accomplishment, and goes back to his inbox.

Clearly, my brain is way too complicated.

Peace . . .

 

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your Facebook


Embed from Getty Images

It is hard for most of us to imagine a world without social media.  We tweet, post, link, like and when we’re through, we retweet, repost, and share again.

What is the first site you think of when you think of social media?  Chances are, you think of Facebook.  There’s a good reason for that.  Everything we do, from stopping for coffee on the way to work, to picking up take-out on the way home, is linked to Facebook.

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The movies I watch, the theaters I watch them in, the music I listen to, and the stores I frequent all have pages on Facebook.  There was a time when buying merchandise was thanks enough, but now they want me to “like” them, too.  It was fun for a while.  One of my favorite pizza joints posts coupons on Facebook.  I used it a couple of times.  Now it just tells me which nights to avoid so I don’t hit the FB coupon lines.

My soda has a Facebook page, my permanent markers have a Facebook page, and yes, I have a Facebook page.  I have 227 Facebook friends.  The last time I saw that many people all at the same time was probably at my wedding.  And I didn’t really know half of them, either.  As friend lists go, mine is pretty short, and I could probably cull it even further.

Typically, 70% of the posts are not original, but simply reposts of what someone else posted.  Maybe this is true in real life, too.  I mean, maybe I’m coming down too hard on my FB friends.  How much of what we say in person is original, either?  Personally, I just don’t have time to sit around reading all the stuff that other people post so that I can repost it on my timeline.  To be fair, I don’t spend a lot of time on FB at all, and it’s not a place I like to share my deepest thoughts, my every move, or my drama.

Yes!  I have drama in my life.  Who doesn’t?  I make a choice to keep my life private — both in Facebook and reality.  Posting my drama just leaves me open for pity or those who want to one-up me, neither of which is better than the other.  Keeping my drama on the down-low allows me to seek guidance from those I select, while putting up a classy don’t-you-envy-my-life front for the rest of the world.

ecard

If I’m on Facebook, I am most commonly accessing it from my phone.  I could put the phone down, but what fun is that?  Me and my Smartphone rule the world, and FB just wants in on it.

  • Notification:  You have an 1 event pending!
  • Notification:  Friends have sent you 3 game invitations!
  • Notification:  You have 1 friend request!

This event invitation is one I’m too honest to accept, and too compassionate to decline.  It’s an invitation to send a Christmas card to a  little kid with Cerebral Palsy.  I agree with the concept, but here’s the thing . . .  The invite says “our address is . .”  so whoever created this lives with the kid and is looking forward to all the warm fuzzies of watching the child be buried in his own Christmas mail.  There’s also the part about sending mail to a child I don’t know.  How would I sign it?  Love?  Sincerely?  Yours Truly?  I’ll probably give money to my local food shelf and click “tentative” on the invite just to make it go away, and hope the FB Friend who invited me will forget they did.

The game invites I will delete, only to have them pop up again tomorrow.  There are three games I play.  One is a quick timed word game, another is a zone-out bedtime number game.  The last is a virtual reality that feels more like a grown-up dollhouse.  I talk about them like they’re real, and mourn them briefly when they die.  It freaks Bubba out and that’s enough for me.  None of these games require Facebook, and I stopped posting my high scores there as soon as I figured out how to adjust the setting.

English: Woman in bikini.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The friend request will be accepted, providing her name isn’t Brandi and wearing a bikini.  That happens.  It’s not that I’m opposed to a girl wearing a bikini, it’s that she spells her name with an “i” and wants me to spend money getting to know her.

A bit of advice for those losing passwords.  Do not click the option that says, “We don’t recognize your username or password.  Would you like to sign in using Facebook?”  Clicking OKAY will not direct you to your original account.  It will set up a whole new account.  You will now have two accounts.  One with none of your history, and the other with no way to get into it.

Why would Facebook and your favorite app want you to sign in through FB?  Because they share your information like two biddies down the street over a cup of cheap coffee.

“She likes browsing sexy lingerie!”

“Are you serious?  Wait until I tell the other sites about that!”

“Oh my!  Do let me know which sites are interested!”

“You’ll be the first to know!  Have some more coffee . . . sugar?”

” . . . and cream, if you have it.”

I know it’s all in the name of suggestive marketing.  The grocery store does the same thing when they place ping pong balls next to the 3.2 beer.  But Cub Foods doesn’t send someone around to watch what labels I’m reading for the sole purpose of suggesting I buy something else.  That would be nosey and I’d stop shopping there.

So why do I continue to shop at Facebook?  I treat it like a party hosted by a friend of a friend of a friend.  I don’t really know the host, but I respect the space and everyone there.  It’s a good place to reconnect with lost loved ones, and see how their kids have grown.  There are a lot of different conversations going on, so if I don’t like one I can join another.  I try to keep it generic, because there are a lot of people attending from all walks of life.  It may not be the best party going on, but you’re bound to see someone that makes you smile.

Like any party, it’s better after you’ve had a few.  So if you see me there, I’m likely to have a drink in my hand.  I won’t be driving, but if you’re a good friend and I’ve had too many, please tell me to put the phone down . . .

Peace . . .

I Did It Again

Yes, yes . . . I changed the name of my blog.  Again.  I hope this one sticks.  Maybe the blog evolves.  Maybe it’s me.  But all of a sudden I realize I have to change this name!  I really thought hard about it this time.  There are so many things to consider:

  • Is the name already taken?
  • Does it say something about me?
  • Does it fit with a tag line I like and is meaningful?
  • Does it give you an idea about what you might read here?
  • Is it clever?

 

Oh yeah.  And . . .

  • Is it spelled correctly?

Did you ever notice that about WholeyJeans?  I was so caught up in all the other points, that I spelled the word Wholly wrong.  I also used it for the URL and now I’m stuck with it.  I’m a pretty good speller, only relying on spell-check for a few words that trip me up.  It really irks me every time I see it.

So I thought . . . alternative . . . there’s a word I can spell.  And the new name was born.  Or something like that.

What do you think?

Peace . . .

25 Days, 25 Songs (Day 1): A Song From My Childhood

I was waking up with my morning coffee, minding my own business, and a Tweet came across my phone:

That Montreal Girl
 
@ThatMTLGirl
25 Days, 25 Songs — Day 1(A
song from your childhood) http://wp.me/p35uqm-Ws
..
In Twitter language this notified me that my WordPress/Twitter/Instagram friend had published a new post and the title, “25 Days, 25 Songs” enticed me.  While her Day 1 song was playing, I clicked the link that transferred me to Twindaddy’s site, Stuphblog, where she found the challenge.  It might be important to note that he found/borrowed/stole the challenge from someone else.  You can research further if you choose.
..
A little conversation took place in my head:
Me:  Oh that might be fun!
Me:  Who are you kidding?  You can’t post 25 days in a row.
Me:  Ooh!  I wonder what song I would choose from my childhood.
Me:  You can’t even think of a first song.  How are you going to come up with 25?
Me:  I wonder if there is a time deadline for the challenge?
Me:  You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?
..
Realizing my WordPress addiction . . . er . . . hobby had me running late for work again, I closed down my computer and hustled off to my car.
..
Every morning it’s the same thing.  I push the radio preset buttons one after the other . . . sports . . . stupid hosts . . . elevator music . . . stupid call-in show . . . and about every other day I find a song I want to hear to the end.  This morning I was belting out along at the top of my lungs.
..
Weeeee are the chaaaampions, my friends . . . .
 . . and weeee’ll keep on fighting . . . till-the-end . . .
dun dun dun . . .
..
And that’s when I realized I had to see if I could get in on this challenge.  Music is a time machine.  This morning, in the car I was a teenager again.  My parents signed me up for a bowling league.  They thought it was a good way to get me into sports.  Yes, I know that’s funny.  I wasn’t exactly cool.
..
Not only did my parents sign me up for a bowling league, but I was the last one to join.  All the other teams had formed, and they would have to find a team with only three players that needed a fourth.  There were no girl teams that needed a fourth.  They placed me on a team with three younger boys, all behind in their development.  Not only was I older than them, I was quite well-developed for my age.  We were an odd-looking team.  I didn’t talk to them much, but they learned to accept me, because I was a good bowler.
..
The last day we bowled together, the brackets were posted.  One by one, the teams dropped out, and we kept bowling.  When it got down to the last game of the last two teams, a lot of the other kids had gathered round to watch.  Some of the kids did the math.  Everyone knew who was up or down by how many pins.
..
Tenth frame, last player.  I picked up my grape-colored marbled ball, toed the line, adjusted, concentrated and began my approach.  I threw a strike.  The score was calculated.  If I threw another strike, we were golden.
..
Calmly, I lined up again.  My approach was strong and smooth.  Seven pins fell.  My boy-team was supportive.  “It’s alright.  It’s alright, but we need you to pick these up.  You can do it.”
..
My heart was beating.  The alley was whisper-quiet.  If I picked up the spare, we won by one pin.  I lined up.  Adjusted for the spare.  Breathed.  Adjusted again.  The ball rolled down the wooden lane and the three pins exploded.
..
Left: 1977-78 Champs Right: Top Girl’s Average

We teens, as awkward a group as you have ever seen, high-fived , fist-pumped and whooped!  One broke into song, then two more, and finally I joined in.  Within a minute the four pimple-faced bowlers were, for the first time that year, a team.  Victory can do that.  Music helps too.

..
Weeeee are the chaaaampions, my friends . . . .
 . . and weeee’ll keep on fighting . . . till-the-end . . .
dun dun dun . . .
..

Peace . . .

 

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Wee Folk in the Woodlands, Part III

(Continued from Wee Folk in the Woodlands, Part II  which happens to be continued from Wee Folk in the Woodlands, Part I)

. . . Quite recently, I was enjoying a ramble around an oblong lake not far from home.  It was a grey lake, reflecting the grey sky of autumn on one of the last days before winter clasps its icy grip.  It was not the type of day one would expect to see delightful artifacts, and yet I could not deny my eyes.

08.2012.34.pThere, among the grasses were ruffled lavender petticoats, garnished at the hems with beads of gold.  How amusing was this to me, that I nearly forgot to snap a photograph before continuing my recreation.  I puzzled over why several lavender petticoats would be hanging in a group amongst the grasses, but relinquished my query to that of the elfin customs of which I would never be privy.

Along the way, there were birds that called, and rustlings in the leaves and other things that caught my ear.  Inasmuch as I would love to have heard a whisper or a miniature giggle, I did not.

09.01.2013.16

What I heard was a long, low groaning sigh.  My feet solidified in place.  My own beating heart pummeled against my chest.  I turned ever so slowly and thought perhaps I had distinguished a movement, a shifting, yet perhaps it was altogether nothing.  Crooking my head to the left, and then slowly to the right, in disbelief I realized a face, interrupted mid-yawn.  The old oak had a long nose and a toothless grin.  I had, undoubtedly surprised him the moment he surprised me.  I came to realize the woodlands were filled with all sizes of creatures, both hidden and obvious, if only to the eager eye.

There are other indications of the magical world, if you are open to receiving them; a washbasin of rainwater for a tiny sprite, made from a brilliantly colored fungus; an opening in the side of a tree for looking out of, or escaping into.

08.2012.69.pOne of my favorite finds was a landmark beneath my feet, in the middle of the path.  A marker.  A monument.  Perhaps of a great victory of battle.  Or a memorial of a considerable tragedy.  Perhaps a beacon, a proclamation of love won or lost.

As I draw to the close of my admission, believe or don’t believe, but know this about your narrator.  Of that which I have not seen nor heard with my own senses, there is little in which I regard as true.  Reader, I council you to keep a keen awareness of your faculties at all times.  This is, of course, wise advice for those interested in safekeeping one’s self from trauma.  It is, however, a requirement for those of us who wish to keep our heart open to the possibilities that surround us all.

The end.

Or the beginning, as it may be . . .

DSCN1775_2

Peace . . .

Wee Folk in the Woodlands, Part II

(Continued from Wee Folk in the Woodlands Part I)

08.2012.15.p copy. . . It wasn’t until I happened on a window, closed and latched from the inside that I began to realize the trees were, in point of fact, inhabited.  I knocked politely with the tip of my finger, and received no response.  The residents were either not at home, or waiting noiselessly inside until all uninvited guests had cleared.   I rapped on the window again, and called “yoo-hoo” to anyone inside.  Only the wind answered with its “whooo-ooo” suggestion to move along.  And so I did.

08.21.2013.1

Quite some time passed before I gave any more thought to the window and small openings I had found on my walks.  It was midsummer, while studying the crops at a local garden, that I was taken aback to see what appeared to be a pair of little wings.  Scrutinizing the fragile crescents posessing such a small wingspan, I surmised the owner could fit comfortably within the palm of my hand.  I wondered if they hadn’t been hung out to dry in the hot July sun after catching moisture from the morning dew.  There were, as I investigated, quite a few of the tiny pair, but to my dismay, not a faerie in sight.

With my mind’s eye awakened, you might think it quite likely for me to dream up all sorts of things that weren’t really there.  DSCN1467There might have, after all, been several pair of eyes upon me at any given moment.  Such as it was, I recoiled suddenly when an angry troll popped out to glare at me!  Envision my relief upon seeing that it was only a magenta flower, being worked over quite thoroughly by an orange bug.  I laughed at my foolishness as the insect crawled up and over the troll’s pointy head.  In my curiosity, I had let my imagination become completely unrestrained.  After watching the bug on its steadfast mission for a moment or two, I deemed it time to continue my hike.

DSCN1460Somewhere along my meandering another wonder drew me in.  To my astonishment, suspended from a vine, was a charming pair of the tiniest slippers made of the most delicate material, in a most exquisite shade of pink.  Remembering the troll I had conjured, I analyzed the slippers carefully lest I make the same misinterpretation.  Nevertheless, the two hanging drops of pink were indeed dainty pixie slippers, suspended on a tendril of green.

Please know that at no time did I lose sight of the fact that I had not, in reality, caught a glimpse of any wee folk in the vicinity.  The only rationale I would propose is that they are small beings and in danger of being snatched up by small children, or run down by plucky rat terriers.   We humans being human, perhaps it is in their best interest to stay concealed.  Man has a propensity to regard small creatures as insignificant until rendering them extinct, at which time he will finally understand the magnitude of their importance.

It was true, however, that had I seen one of the wee folk dodging furtively beneath a leaf, or escaping down a secluded burrow, it would no longer have taken me by surprise.  I had become a believer, and as such, a prospector of mythical creatures living alongside us, yet disguised from view.

(Wee Folk in the Woodlands, Part III)