The Little White Dog Learns to Swim!

A number of summers ago, my siblings and I, along with my sister-in-law and a family friend, all got together and went to Strawberry Lake, in Utah, to spend the weekend on my brother’s boat and do some fishing and other fun “boating activities”.

My sister, Carmella, had a little, white Maltese at the time, called “Shelby Marina”.

Carmie would disagree with this characterization, but Shelby was quite the “pampered Princess”- owned her own baby carriage for taking “dog walks”, and sported a SF forty-niner jacket with matching booties, for when the cold and snow of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah became insufferable; and like most overindulged, mollycoddled Malteses, enjoyed all the luxuries of a spoiled, only child.

Wherever Carmie went, Shelby went.

And if Shelby couldn’t go, Carmie didn’t go.

It was a simple fact. And we all knew it.

So, we all agreed to “take one for the team” and let the little yapper spend the weekend with all of us on the boat, so that we could all “be together”, as a family.

Yep.

That was the plan, anyway.

And everything was going along just swimmingly.

We were docked at the harbor, and the youngest brother and our family friend, Jimmy John (alias J.J.), were intently focused on their fishing.

I was in the boat’s galley, starting to prep for dinner, when Carmie yelled, from the upper deck, (to no one in particular), that she was headed to the wharf’s store with my older brother, Anthony, and his wife, Lucy, and for us to watch Shelby Marina for her until she returned.

Not familiar with my brother’s new boat, and intently trying to understand the mechanics of the oven, I dispassionately mumbled something to the effect of, “Sure. No problem. Go on. I’ll watch her.”

I sincerely thought that Shelby would be fine.

“She was wearing a little doggie life vest, and if push came to shove, she could always DOG PADDLE, if she fell in,” I casually reasoned to myself.

“She’s a dog, for Chriminy sakes!”

After fiddling with the galley’s stove for 10 or so minutes, I vaguely heard J.J.quietly say something from the back of the boat about some “white dog swimming for her life”.

I was totally distracted and intent on prepping for dinner and not quite putting two and two together, yet, when I heard J.J. calmly, but sternly, shouting, “If anybody cares, the white dog just went under for the second time and is headed for the underbelly of the neighbor’s boat!”

Un-Hun.

By this time, I’m acutely aware of the fact that it’s eerily quiet, and that I haven’t heard a whimper (let alone a yelp!) from little Shelby since my sister left.

As I was anxiously stumbling up the galley’s stairwell, on my old (and oh-so delicate) shins, to check on my sister’s little Princess, I heard J.J. emphatically yell, “The little white dog’s mastery of the dog paddle, ain’t lookin’ so good, and if somebody doesn’t get up here, soon, and fish her out of the water, she’s a goner!”

By this time, it dawned on me that the “white dog” was Carmie’s precious little Shelby Marina, and I started yelling, “Cazzo! Ya wanna throw her a life preserver or something, before we lose her for good?!”

“If anything happens to this dog, we’re all as good as dead,” I nervously continued shouting, as J.J. slowly and calmly grabbed his large fishing net and scooped up the frightened, shivering, little Shelby, from what was soon to have been, a burial at sea, for the little bugger.

“Cavola!” I say, while glaring at J.J. and my younger brother.

“What’s the matter with you two stoonods (idiots)?!”

“This dog could have drowned, for Chriminy sakes,” I angrily continued, while eye-balling the two of them.

“And then what, pray tell, would we have told our sister?”

At that point, J.J. looked at me with that boyish, impish grin of his and calmly responded, “Oh for Pete’s sake, the dog had on a life preserver and I made sure she came up after she went down the second time, didn’t I? You didn’t think I was gonna let her drown, did you? I just needed to reel in my fish, first.”

“You gotta relax, Lucie,” he casually continued. “You get your knickers into a knot too easily, Woman!”

Uh-Hun.

Yep.

That’s me: old, knotted-up, knickers Lucie.

One of these days, I’m gonna slap these here boys upside their pea-sized heads, and then we’ll see whose “knickers are in a knot”.

Have a great day, People, and don’t be getting “your knickers into a knot” over the small stuff!

I’ll catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes!

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I Believe………

I’ve been avoiding this post for a long time, because it’s not really “fun”, and for those of you that have been “following me”, and those of you that actually “know me”, you know that I prefer having fun, as often as I can – both in “written word” and “in life”.

So, let me honor your heartfelt inquisitiveness about the “real me” and respond to some of your “inquiries”, both written and imagined.

Despite my silly “demeanor” on my blog, I, like most people, experience “life challenges” on a daily, regular basis.

I choose to write about them in a humorous, silly way because it’s easier for me to “handle them” that way.

I am not in denial.

I am not “avoiding issues”.

And I assure you, I “feel deeply” about issues; both current and past – personal and worldly.

That being said, let me state clearly some of the “issues” that I have a strong opinion on and firmly believe in:

I believe that “ALL lives matter” – human, animal, gay, black, white, purple, whatever.

So, I am presently very disheartened with the current state of affairs with how SOME police officers are mistreating SOME black people, how SOME blacks are mistreating SOME police officers; how SOME people are mistreating SOME gay individuals and how SOME humans are mistreating SOME animals.

I believe in marriage for any couple that is dedicated to each other, loves each other, and freely (and responsibly) wants to enter into it. And believe that if your religion does not afford you the “right” to enforce that “privilege/law”, then I believe that you need to be in a profession that does not require you to legally implement something that’s against your beliefs.

I believe that laws don’t truly change what people firmly believe in, but, at times, help level the playing field.

I believe that every competent, responsible person has the right to own a gun – a gun. Translation: a pistol, a rifle, not an AK-47 or a weapon of mass destruction.

I believe we need to arm our service people (whether military personnel or police officers) with “weapons for war”, but I don’t personally believe I need to have the right to own a bazooka.

Call me silly, but I just don’t see the need for it in my day to day life, and can’t really see it “fitting into” my purse!

I believe that it is mentally incompetent PEOPLE who kill PEOPLE, and that our current lack of mental health services in this area is abominable.

I believe that we each owe each other a sense of “community” and that we’re each responsible for “cleaning up after ourselves” – whether that’s appropriately disposing of our cigarette butts, or cleaning up the “air, water or land pollution” we’ve individually created in our environment.

I believe in the right to die in a dignified, pain-free manner, surrounded by people who love us when our body can no longer sustain us in a dignified, pain-free manner.

I believe in the right to religious freedom and the right for you to practice that religion in your day to day life, as long as it’s practiced with a respect and honor for all religions and does not promote a “religion of superiority”.

And lastly, and most importantly, I believe that EVERYONE has a right to his or her own personal, subjective opinion, as long as you express it in a respectful, intelligent manner without trying to impose that opinion on me or someone else.

With that being said, I sincerely hope that I’ve answered MOST of your questions about me and that we can go on with the job of being silly each week, because I don’t know about YOU, but I certainly have enough crap in my day to day life to be anxious about, and really PREFER being silly.

Go out and have a grand day today, People, and if you happen to be one of those cigarette smokin’, bazooka toting individuals that I wrote about, please be responsible and don’t be throwing your butts anywhere near your bazookas!

Hopefully, I’ll catch y’all next time, for another adventure looking at life from my shoes!

 

Lucie Breaks her Crayola’s!

My friend, Rozzie Roo, came over to the house a few weeks ago with her art folder from her teaching days of years ago, and gave me my first art lesson, using crayon pastels.

I had so much fun with her, that I decided to purchase my own pastels, and then, with childlike exuberance, asked if she’d be interested in meeting with me on a monthly basis to do some art projects.

Being the loving, agreeable person that she is, Rozzie enthusiastically accepted, and we set up another date to do just that, last week.

So, she comes over on Thursday, and we’re quietly sitting at my kitchen table.

We’re intently focused on doing our individual “art-projects”, with my nifty, brand new, 50-count, extra fine quality oil pastels neatly laid out on said table; and her broken, chewed-up, miniscule pastels strewn on her side of the table, when Rozzie, suddenly looks over at my art work, and nonchalantly says to me,

“Ya know, Hun, if you break your pastels and peel off their wrappings, you’ll be able to work with them better to get the effect you’re looking for with the waves in your picture.”

Uh-Hun.

At this point, I’m skeptically staring at her, with an expression of total disbelief, when she encouragingly continues,

“Lucie, why don’t you just put on your big girl pants, take the plunge, and snap ALL of them in half?”

“You’ll feel great after you’ve broken the first one, and you’ll NEVER look back!”

“Come on, try one – just one. Snap it for Rozzie-Roo.”

“You’ll feel much better.”

“I promise,” she sincerely continues.

I anxiously look up and see Rozzie smilin’ at me with that kind, nurturing look that is so typical of Roz.

“What?” I incredulously ask her, while breaking out in a cold, nervous sweat.

“Are you nuts? These are brand, spanking new. I just bought them.”

Cazzo!”

“Why would I want to break them, for Pete’s Sake?” I continue, while eyeballing her ancient, broken (well-used) “micro-pastels”, which she used for years teaching local youngsters.

“And besides that, Rozzie, I really don’t like to get my fingers “yucky” when I’m working. I don’t like stuff caked under my nails,” I adamantly explain, raising my left eye brow, while scrutinizing her crayon-caked finger nails on her right hand.

“Yuck! It makes my skin crawl, just thinking about it,” I emphatically continue, as Rozzie correctly interprets the judgmental affect of my raised left eye brow, and sheepishly starts to wipe-off her hands with one of our cleaning towels.

“Ok, Lucie,” she patiently says to me. “You color the way you wanna color.”

“I think you’d get the look you want on your picture, if you’d break them,” she encouragingly continues.

“But do it your way, Honey. I’ll leave you be.”

Uh-Hun.

So, for the next fifteen or so minutes, the great Georgia O’Keeffe and I, quietly continue working on our individual art pieces.

I then suddenly stop working; impulsively grab ahold of one of my crayons, and snap the crayon in half.

“There,” I impishly say to her.

“Ya happy? I broke my first pastel,” I smugly inform her, as I promptly start breaking the next one.

“I hope you’re pleased that my nifty new crayons are soon to be lookin’ like yours,” I curtly continue, while decisively snapping another one.

She slowly and lovingly shakes her head back and forth and says, “Lucie, now use the crayon like I taught you to and see if you like the results.”

“Go on.”

“Do it, Honey. Try to do what I showed you, ok?”

Hm….

I could be wrong, Miss O’Keeffe, but I think there’s a method to your madness!

I’ll never be the next Grandma Moses, People, but I’m sure having fun with this new “hobby” of mine.

I still have a few “unbroken crayons” and that’s ok.

I did a fairly decent job breaking the first few and got my fingers pretty grimy, smudging some of the pastels on my piece to get that “artistic effect,” to please Ms. O’Keeffe, herself.

Maybe next time, I’ll break a few more, and maybe even get my finger nails really yucky.

Who knows?

I just know that the kid in me that preserved my precious, set of 64-Binney and Smith, Crayola Christmas Crayons every year, felt a whopping sense of abandonment and childlike innocence with every snap, and highly recommend the “breaking of one’s Crayola’s” to everyone out there old enough to know better .

Have a grand week, People!

Dance in the street.

Throw your bra in the air.

And by all means, “snap a few crayons”.

I’ll catch up with you next time, living life from my shoes!

 

Lucie's first masterpiece!
Lucie’s first masterpiece!