Death, Life, Mourning and Dancing

girliessleepin

It’s been a month and I’ve just gotten to where I can talk about it.  Yes, Clara was a dog, but there are some dogs who are more than dogs. Even now, just remembering her big, soft ears and deep brown eyes, and the way she would lean on me so hard she almost knocked me down at times, brings me to tears.  I know that the love of dogs has a price- their lives are far too short.

Everything I had learned of the Malinois breed indicated they are noted for health and longevity. Most of the 12 years she lived in our home she was happy, healthy and robust.  In spite of Clara’s difficult start as a rescued dog with a laundry list of physical and emotional issues, she healed and blossomed with us.  She mentored our other dogs.  She visited the nursing home when my Grandma was there, and offered comfort to many of the residents. Clara was a gentle, intuitive dog, who even took care to mentor Brutus, her final protégé, who she had a month to teach, until she got ill.  He has many of the same beautiful, intuitive traits Clara had.  His gentleness reminds me of her.

Brutus

I am thankful her final illness was brief.  It took only a week from the time I noticed she was getting a bit melancholy and slow, then she stopped eating, and by then she was displaying all the classic signs of congestive heart failure.  We took her, and for the first and only time, I had to lift her in and out of the truck- to our long time family vet.  I hoped the vet would have a different answer than what I knew to be inevitable.

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Our vet knew the labored breathing and heavy plodding of a dying dog all too well though. One look at a dog who used to be vibrant and alert and active, but now was struggling just to breathe and move a few steps, was enough for the vet to conclude that given her age, and the signs of heart and probably multiple organ failure, that Clara was, indeed, dying. We agreed that letting Clara go in peace without pain would be far more humane than heroics that may or may not buy a week or two. I held her in my arms as she passed, so she would know how much she was loved. We buried her near the gate she used to guard.

Clara 14 small

Clara was 14.  I was blessed to have her for a little more than 12 of those years.

Unfortunately there is more impending death around me, and it will cut even deeper than losing Clara.  Jerry is getting more and more ill from the pulmonary fibrosis.  He keeps getting put on more meds. He tires easily and is spending more and more time on the oxygen box.  The only hope for him to improve- and hopefully not die right away- is to get him on track for a lung transplant.  He will have to go on disability to do that, which will be at most optimistic, the very least a month or two away.

To add more to the chaos in my life, we will be moving as we are buying my grandmother’s old house.  Dad is selling it to us, and I am glad to get the strangers he’s been renting it to gone. They are supposed to be out tomorrow, then I can assess what needs to be done before we can move in.  I will have a lot longer drive to work for me, but it will get him into a quiet neighborhood out of the city.  The house is small but the yard is huge and there will (soon) be a large fence so the dogs can go out safely.

clarawindow1

Talk about the psychological maelstrom that I am trying to navigate.  I want Jerry to stay healthy enough for a lung transplant but the reality is that I may lose him too.  Yes, he is difficult and high maintenance, and he takes out his frustration on his health issues on me, but contrary to logic and reason, I am in this regardless.  Death, life, mourning or dancing- it’s all part of the drama of life.

I am looking forward to moving if only because it feels like I’m going home.  I will finally be able to be in a home I will own, that nobody can arbitrarily throw me out of, and my grandparents’ house will stay in the family. I’ll also be closer to my parents, my son and my granddaughter.

 

The Reality of Canine Longevity, Denial, and a Catahoula Cur

Brutus

Brutus, my 1 year old male Catahoula Cur

I might as well begin with the Catahoula Cur.  I had been half-heartedly looking for a dog for Miss Clara to mentor for awhile before her time with me is through.  We got Clara as a two year old- when our Kayla was 14.  It was a great arrangement in that Kayla had some time to work with Clara, who was a rescue with a laundry list of issues. Now she is well-adjusted, a fine protection dog, and has had many good years of happiness and health.

clarakayla620

Clara (left- 2 years old) Kayla (right- 14 years old)

I admit I am still in denial that now Clara is 14 years old, and she is slowly fading. I know, and lament, the limited lifespan of dogs, especially when I consider Clara, who is very precious to me.  Lilo is 13. She is also dear to my heart, and a good protection dog as well. Lilo has been Clara’s shadow since she came to us, and will probably not outlive Clara by long.  They are only eight months apart in age.

girliessleepin

Lilo (left- 2 years old) Clara (right- 3 years old)

lilo521closeup

Lilo- 3 years old

Even though my mind understands the limitations of canine longevity, in my denial I wasn’t looking very hard to find Clara a protégé.  I was thinking either I would save up some money and try to get either a GSD pup from someone reputable, or that the Hand of Fate would somehow place another Malinois in my path.

SAMSUNG

Lucy – 1 year old, being good, but only because she was sleeping.

For me the thought of living without at least one protection dog is not a pleasant one.  Lucy (the Bulldog X Beagle) is only three years old, but at only 40# and with dim wits (love the dog, she’s very sweet, but she’s as thick as a post) she’s not a protection dog.  So I faced the prospect of not having a protection dog at all, and then trying to educate a green dog without the help of a seasoned dog.  Lucy is not a role model.  If anything, as far as canine behavior goes, she serves as a primer on how not to act.

clarawindow1Clara used to get up in the window to watch the world go ’round, but not much any more.

Oddly enough, Providence doesn’t necessarily share my aesthetic, my timing, or my professed desires.  Let’s just say that instead of a young female Malinois or GSD… I ended up with a young male Catahoula Cur.

One of my son’s friends had come back to Ohio from Texas (don’t know all the background info, don’t really need to) and couldn’t keep his dog.  My son- and only male children have a surprising amount of sway on their old decrepit mothers- implored me to come meet this dog before he was consigned to the dog pound, which, given his looks, could lead to a probable nasty fate at the hands of local dog fighters.  So, even though he is not a GSD or Malinois, I agreed to meet the dog.  And I fell in love. Let’s just say I’ve gotten Mr. Brutus his rabies tag and dog license, and he’s loving having a three-girl-dog harem.

Brutus LucyBrutus and Lucy

I’d never even heard of a Catahoula Cur (or more properly, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog) before last week, and I am pretty aware of dog breeds.  I thought he was a very large (1 year old and 65#) and strangely marked Pit Bull.  But Catahoulas are not Pit Bulls.  Their bodies are longer and a bit leaner, their feet are larger, and the webbing on their feet goes all the way out to the ends of the toes.  They are larger (males are 65-95#) than Pit Bulls, and are known for the leopard patterns in their coats. Many, like Brutus, have blue eyes.

Catahoulas are used to hunt wild boar in Louisiana and Texas, and they likely have Pit Bull in their lineage, along with Mastiff, and various sight hounds.  Even though Brutus and Clara look nothing alike, they have eerily similar mentalities.  Both dogs are infinitely aware of their surroundings, and both are intuitive.  He will learn well, and it is good to have a young protection dog again.

Clara 14 small

Clara, age 14

I know that I will grieve down to my very soul when Clara and Lilo pass.  They have been most excellent dogs,  but that is the condition of loving a dog- that their life spans are quite finite and all we can do is love them well in the time we have.

I could talk about and dote upon my dogs forever, and that’s a great thing because they are positive.  Not everything in life is so good.  Jerry is failing at an even faster rate than Miss Clara, and that is not a good thing.  He has gotten the oxygen concentrators he needs to help him breathe.  Life is finite.  Do what you can with what you have.

“Normal?” – Not My Relatives! Wanna Pet My Kid’s Skunk?

steve-o and astro

Yes.  It’s a skunk. Yes. It is sleeping atop my offspring.

I am more of a dog person than anything.  I like cats too, and I have cats, but to me there is nothing like the relationship one can have with a dog.

I have no idea what got the POMC started in on skunks, other than he really doesn’t connect with cats, and he’s somewhat freaky about dogs. He was dog bit rather severely when he was nine.  His right hand might look normal now, but that dog chewed it up like burger meat and he has permanent nerve damage.  Dogs have pretty much given him the creeps ever since, which really sucks.

ferret

He had ferrets in high school, much to my mother’s disgust, because ferrets have a funk.  Even I can smell ferret funk, which means they must smell pretty nasty to most people.  Odor aside, they just never really thrilled me much.  I’ve heard them described as “cat snakes,” which is about right.  Dinky, sneaky little bastards as far as I’m concerned.

skunk

In the skunk’s defense, he is de-scented and the only thing about him that really smells is his shit.  Skunk shit is nasty, nasty, nasty.  The skunk himself, however, is very clean and doesn’t really have a smell to him.

Even so, I’d rather deal with a dog or a cat.  Skunks have sensitive digestive systems and special nutritional needs. They have to have their food specially prepared (sort of like feeding a toddler) unlike a dog or cat who can eat prepackaged dog or cat food and be cool with it.  It’s also a real pain in the hiney to find a vet who will deal with skunks.  Their anatomy and physiology is nothing like dogs or cats, so the vets that will work with them generally cost up the wazoo.

exotic vet

Most vets don’t want to see anything that isn’t a cat or a dog.  I can’t say I blame them.

Skunks are a vector for rabies in the wild, which is enough to scare off most people from owning them.  However, the truth is that the only way for any mammal to get rabies is to be bitten by something with rabies.   Domestic, captive born skunks don’t have rabies, and won’t get rabies unless something with rabies bites them.  Captive born and kept indoors, skunks are just as safe to keep as a pet (and not a rabies risk!) as an indoor cat.

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Harmless as Jezebel? I don’t give my indoor cats rabies shots because there’s no way for them to get bitten by something that’s rabid.

Lucy

The dogs do get rabies shots because a.) they go outside and therefore in theory can be bitten by something rabid, and b.) state law requires it.

I am one of those weird people who can really go off on bizarre tangents at times.  I bought – and read with fascination-  this book some while back- Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus..  It’s a compelling read on a rather off the wall subject.  I will have to let the illustrious offspring borrow this one if he’s in the mood for some enlightening late night reading. Of course my tastes in literature are mostly non-fiction (science and history) and often tend to gravitate toward the macabre.

I don’t think I have one “normal” relative.  Not one.  My son passes for normal most of the time, but they are all certifiable.

Mom is probably the one that’s the closest to the cuckoo’s nest- she’s bi-polar with a heaping helping of anxiety, OCD, and extreme naïveté to go along with it.  Jerry is a laundry list of fun beginning with adult ADHD, Helpless Man syndrome, and ending with a rip roaring case of what I call “functional drunk.”

Dad’s gotten a lot more fun since he’s gotten old. It wouldn’t surprise me that like his own father he decides now that he’s 70 years old that, “I’m not old. I’m middle aged.” Nobody had the heart to tell Grandpa when he turned 70 that it was highly unlikely he’d see 140, but he did live to be 91.   I guess it’s all about your attitude.

There’s a phenomenon with some older people where their frontal lobe (the “traffic cop” of the brain) sort of wears out and doesn’t screen one’s conversation as thoroughly as it once did, or probably should.

So Dad, who used to be rather tight-lipped and taciturn, has gotten rather cheeky as he ages.  His oh-so scathing commentary is starting to remind me of my grandmother and great-grandmother (ironically my mother’s mother and grandmother, go figure) and it’s a hoot. It drives Mom nuts, on the rare occasion she actually gets the reference and/or the double entendre. I’m glad that most of the time it goes over her head, for her own sanity and well being.

Mom has her own special brand of near-senility which is even more creepy than my Dad flipping off traffic.  She has always gravitated to the mega-weird parts of Catholicism which is downright scary, but the older she gets the more she watches EWTN, goes to Mass and Confession, and is grabbing on that rosary.  Normally I would say religious disciplines would be a good thing, but she gets Really Weird with it.  She thought that if she left EWTN on all the time full blast that the POMC would see the Catholic light and become a priest.  Never mind that he’s pretty much agnostic and really creeped by “men in dresses.”

To top that off, she’s also blithely ignorant that it’s really, really gauche to ask someone who is a confessional Lutheran and who has done a lot of theological and spiritual soul searching to come on down to the Catholic cathedral to venerate some dead saint’s bones.  Apparently the Catholic school she went to didn’t teach too much about Martin Luther, the 95 Theses, and the Reformation.

I had to decline the bone-gazing and necromancy out of conscience, but as far as she knows I declined because I had to do laundry.  I’d rather tell a little white lie – though I really did do laundry- than go through a detailed theological dissertation on why I don’t venerate saints’ bones.  I don’t need to hurt her feelings.

Even the POMC is borderline OCD. His car and motorcycle both are testament to that.

Both of my sisters could be called “castrating bitches,” due to the fact that they both can run a man like a railroad.

And here I sit with my own frailties and funky wiring.

A Common Sense Guide to Household Warnings

hot coffee

Hell yes, it’s hot!

Ever since that deal with some ass pilot suing McDonald’s over hot coffee, manufacturers have been going nuts with the warning labels.  Now I’m all about household safety, but the things you’re most likely to get injured with usually don’t have warning labels.

The first warning I would hand out is that: Alcohol Complicates Everything. 

272518_Gato-Negro-Merlot

I can say this not only as a former binge drinker, but as a frequent drunk watcher.  I get to witness the consequences of drunken stupidity far more often than anyone should. I see how one could put the cat in the fridge (thankfully Isabel, when she was living, had a loud voice- and was none the worse for her few minutes of Arctic exploration, as she lived almost 16 years) or run outside doing the St. Vitus Dance in one’s whitey-tighties because one is out of beer.  I’ve witnessed a grown man take a piss in a cat box, in a closet, and on more than one highway berm.  I’ve witnessed a grown man do a lot of things that no one over the age of toddlerdom should do.

drunkenmowing

Need I say, “Don’t Drink and Mow, Shithead”?

(hint: yes I do!)

I am not completely absent from the annals of drunk and stupid behavior either, as I probably will never know if I was clothed or not when I answered the door to that hotel room to pay the pizza dude.  I just know I woke up about 3 AM stark naked in a bathtub full of freezing water and a half-eaten Domino’s pizza on the ledge.  To my credit, this incident occurred in 1993, and this was the last time I was ever really shitfaced, as in forget-it-all-drunk.

Even today, I like a very occasional glass of a decent Merlot every now and then, so I’m not on a mission to encourage people to be tee-totalers.  There is a huge difference, though, between a small before-bed nip of wine and quaffing down a fifth of Wild Turkey in the middle of the afternoon.

sharpthings

Sharp things are pointy. Pointy things can draw blood.

I have to say I’ve been party to sharp things/pointy things misadventures.  I’ve put knives through my fingertips and palms (not intentionally of course) and have had more than one losing encounter with a box cutter.  I am not generally a “bleeder.”  I don’t bruise easily.  Some days I have to poke my fingertip several times before I get enough blood to feed the meter (diabetics know what I’m talking about here) for my sugar checks.  So if I’m dealing with cutlery or other things with points or blades, and I see blood, I’ve probably inflicted a pretty decent wound.  It will leave a scar, and it will take awhile to heal.

bob

Normally I wouldn’t think twice about my own dogs.  I respect the fact that they are the same species as the grey wolf, although dogs somewhere along the line figured out that the humans with their opposable thumbs and ability to cultivate crops and livestock could offer them a far more cushy existence than scavenging around in the cold tundra for rodents and carrion.

bitebutt

Dogs have 42 teeth.  Clara’s (even at age 12) got a formidable set.

The only thing that would give me pause regarding my own dogs is their reaction to strange or unauthorized human activity in their space, and even then, the fear in that situation would not be for my own person but for the blood stains and gory mess left behind on my property.  I do have some concern  that should I drop dead in the house alone that they may decide to consume the 145 or so pounds of rotting carrion that my carcass would provide.  However, if I’m dead, will I really care if I become doggie dinner?  I doubt it.

southern security

Now I don’t have pit bulls- my girls are primarily herding breeds (GSD X Malinois and GSD X Chow) and Lucy is not a herder at all but a harmless bulldog/beagle mix who just wants attention and doesn’t care who it comes from.  But I will agree with guns and dogs as home defense.  I hope to never have to utilize either for self defense, but it’s one of those situations where when you need something and it’s not there it could be the difference between life and death.

Now I know why the local Buick dealerships have defibrillators in the service department waiting room.

 defibrillator

‘Lizbeth, I’m comin’ to join ya!

fred sanford

 

 

Coping Mechanisms, Dark Pragmatism and More Postmortem Pics

hearts and flowers

I did draw hatchets, skulls and heavy metal band logos in my extensive high school boredom doodlings. This is why I know not to do it now.

When I get bored, I scribble and doodle.  Sometimes I do it in a more figurative sense- typing is so much faster than writing long hand, at least for me- but drawing can only really be done the old fashioned way, with pens and pencils and markers.

The psychologists and guidance counselors had a field day with me in middle school and high school because of my rather dark themed scribblings and doodlings. When your primary emotion is “terror,” the secondary is almost always “rage.”  (Repressed anger, anyone?- and this was decades before Columbine.)  I would buy plain notebooks (even better if they had a canvas finish) and then I would draw macabre scenes all over them in a variety of colors.  If the discussion went too slow or I got bored in class (pretty much every day) then I would write little snippets of prose or poetry along with whatever notes I was pretending to take inside the notebook.  I didn’t have the advantage of having a laptop or a tablet or a smart phone in school. I graduated in 1986, when the entire school had three computers, all of which had a cassette player serving as a hard drive.  By comparison, the Note 3 smart phone I have today would have been a supercomputer.

I should have learned my lesson regarding concealing incriminating evidence of my twisted thought life when I was in 8th grade. One of the boys decided to appropriate one of my more risqué notebooks and share its contents with the other boys.  This was Not a Good Thing.  The notebook got confiscated by a nosy teacher who wondered what the boys were laughing about.  I ended up in an extremely awkward and embarrassing meeting with the guidance counselor that led to  several months of camping out in the psychologist’s office every Tuesday afternoon.  Since my mother worked for the school system and knew every single one of the teachers and staff, the repercussions of that indiscretion really sucked.

I still kept my funky notebooks with the outlandish scribbles on them, but I was more careful about what I wrote in them in high school, just in case someone would dare to screw with them.  No one ever dared to.  In high school, I found that when I ended up with large friends, who took a special delight in beating the daylights out of people who screwed with me, that my confidential items remained that way.   I didn’t receive any unauthorized touching, spindling or mutilation to my person either, not after one unfortunate thug got her head shaved for spitting Skoal in my hair.  The Skoal Incident- which took place toward the end of my freshman year in high school- marked the end of many years of harassment and beatings from my cohorts in school.

cat fight

Some of my friends liked to fight.  I didn’t.  But by the time I had a car and smokes, I didn’t have to fight.

Granted, I was probably buying friends, (often with cigarettes) which isn’t a healthy thing to do, but it did save me from more than one ass-thumping, I’m sure.   I was in survival mode back then, and it was refreshing to be able to go to school without being dumped head-first into garbage cans, having my hair set on fire, or being shoved up the stairs.  The thought of being shoved up the stairs (concrete stairs with metal caps on the edges) makes my knee caps hurt even now.

Survival is what it is.

I probably shouldn’t have such a fascination for postmortem pics and/or the plight of the unfortunates of Walmart, but I do.

dead family

Pictures are expensive- sooooo- jump right on in there with the stiff!

really creepy dead kid

She doesn’t look terribly fresh, but then again, she’s DEAD.  How fast can the photographer get there on a horse?

The Victorians did pathos and high drama in a way that we just can’t stomach today, but as I’ve said before, back in the times before flush toilets and Clorox, death was in your living room.  Death was your bunkie in more ways than one.

Maybe I should consider it an improvement in my emotional health that my primary emotion is “fear” opposed to “terror.”  That might just be the mitigating effect of Prozac.  I’ve noticed that my secondary emotion- “rage” – has sort of settled into a pragmatic anger.  I try not to get angry unless that anger will do some good, but there are times when I just plain get pissed for no apparent reason.

I actually have some ivory tower time scheduled, although it seems sort of shitty that I have to schedule it in advance rather than just being able to drop off the planet for awhile, unannounced.  This time I hope Jerry leaves me alone for at least a day or two.  I could really use some peace and quiet with just Clara as company for a few days (months…yeah right) but I know Jerry too well.  If I go to the campground he will feel compelled to follow me so I can fetch beer and make trips into town for KFC and so forth.

chicken bucket

Man, that sounds good.

Nuts! No Nuts, No Clue, and Screw You Too

good nuts

Naturally good nuts.  That’s good, because we wouldn’t want artificial nuts.

neuticles1

Unless you’re the owner of a neutered male dog, and you take his loss of sexual potency way too personally.  There are, believe it or not, artificial nuts for neutered dogs.

I’ve never owned a male dog.  I’m of the opinion that female dogs generally are smarter, live longer and have fewer overall health problems- even though spaying a female is a lot more expensive and involved than neutering a male.  I have encountered more than a few male dogs that would make me hesitate to consider a male dog,  but in fairness I’ve also encountered a few that I really liked.  I find it really hard to dislike any dog, with the exception of my cousins’ psycho Chihuahua, Andy- but Andy’s been dead for nearly 40 years.   If anything, poor Andy was an argument against incessant inbreeding.

GoodbyeTesticles

You didn’t need them anyway.

I  may end up with a male dog someday, but I wouldn’t consider having an intact male, even though neutering doesn’t guarantee placid behavior.  Uno, the one-brown, one-blue-eyed, twisted little Shih-Tsu, who used to belong to my mother-in-law, positively tormented poor Isabel (who was a five pound, spayed, elderly, black cat) by chasing her all over the house and attempting to hump her constantly.  He was neutered, but that didn’t seem to matter to Uno and his Red Rocket.  I was glad when we found that guy a good permanent home- away from Isabel.  He was a sweet dog, but humping the cat (aside from being counterproductive) is just plain creepy.

I’ve had three male cats, and they weren’t at all bothered about being nutless.  Other than reduced longevity, (and males are bigger) I really don’t see much difference between spayed female cats and neutered male cats.   I think the male cats I had were secretly relieved of being culled from the gene pool and therefore set free of the obligation to -well- screw like tomcats.

cats

Thought I was going to post a gratuitous pic of feline copulation, eh?

Since I’m on the subject of nuts, (for what reason I have no idea) I have to comment on the illustrious, nutless wonder who is squatting in the White House.  Normally, I can’t stand to listen to Obama speak, and if I feel I must find out what kind of garbage he’s spewing, I just read the transcript later. Unfortunately I was subjected to the Wanna-be-Imperial One’s press conference regarding the Ebola epidemic and his African summit while I was waiting on my car to get serviced at the Toyota dealership.  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish that I had remembered my headphones, or that I had decided to wait outside.

Since I sat through every infuriating minute of it, I thought I would offer the rational person’s Cliff’s Notes on this particular address:

Let’s send billions more dollars in “aid” to Africa that will not be (and never is) used to do anything to ameliorate squalor, disease and poverty, but will be squandered on funding terrorists, supporting regional warlords, and  empowering garden-variety thugs.  While we’re at it, we’re just going to open our borders to every terrorist, scumbag and non-English speaking, uneducated indigent who can manage to traipse on in.   Because terrorists need love too?  Then the Naked Emperor cries and whines and wonders out loud why American corporations are clamoring to incorporate in foreign countries to avoid the evil IRS and its labyrinthine and oppressive tax system. 

Oh, and we can’t send the Ebola medicine to Africa because it’s experimental…and they might die from it.  Even though they are almost certainly going to die from the Ebola, why should we try giving a drug that might help?  Someone might sue us or something.

Really?

I almost threw up all over the customer lounge.   Thankfully by that time, my tire rotation and car wash were done and the service advisor had come to retrieve me.  I just hope they torqued my lug nuts to 76 ft lbs. like the owner’s manual suggests.

no clue

On the way home I had a few insights on B.O.’s asinine rhetoric.

1. Why are we spending a red dime to support any terrorist harboring country? I don’t give a flying fart in a high wind what’s going on there.  It’s not our problem. In fact, as cruel as it sounds, perhaps some of these third world holes could use some thinning of the herd.  Especially when foreign aid never seems to get where it’s supposed to go, and the poverty and desolation persists no matter how many billions of dollars are thrown at it.

2. Why do veterans go without medical treatment, and American citizens are taxed so heavily they can’t afford their own healthcare (even though they work for a living) while our government pisses away our tax dollars to support terrorists and others who only want to kill us and send the world back to the Dark Ages?  Americans’ money could be better spent on our own infrastructure and military, and to secure our borders against the terrorists and thugs, but what do I know?

3. Why is this illegitimate president still squatting in our White House?

Let’s All Go to the Fair (‘Kay…) as If I Had Faith in Humanity to Begin With

 

 

not sexy

I think that might be a skunk on her right thigh.

One does encounter the frightening side of humanity at the Ohio State Fair- or any other public festival-type gathering.  It wasn’t as alarming as I have observed in years past, or perhaps I’m getting a bit jaded to the freak show.  The Marion Popcorn Festival is coming up, which makes the Fair look positively tame.  I’ve also found that it’s a lot easier to take pics with the Note 3 than with a traditional camera because people just think you’re texting or something when you are really taking pics. Maybe that’s mean of me, but I run even worse than I fight.

smokin red

Toasty tobacco flavor!

I wonder if Red here is disabled or if she just figured it was worth $10 to ride around in a Mart Cart all day.  I think she weighs less than 300#, so they probably don’t let her ride the cart in Walmart.  She is setting a lovely example for her (grand?) son though.  Even while she is lecturing another offspring (?) spousal unit (?) on the dangers of wearing just socks without shoes in public.

red with sox

Told ya ta wear some shoes, dumbass!

The dog had Barbie dolls with better hair than poor Red.  I say “the dog” because Suzie, the deranged Dachshund my parents had when I was little, appropriated certain of my sisters’ toys for her own personal use- when she was done eating their socks and underwear, that is.  Suzie didn’t like very many people, but she adored me.  Go figure.  I never had a problem with her, but my sisters couldn’t touch her, or get their toys back once Suzie decided she liked them.

I figured, with Suzie, possession was 9/10.   If Suzie wanted it who was I to stand in her way?  Although I could do anything with Suzie, including getting toys back from her, I wasn’t about to do that for either of my sisters.  I liked Suzie better than either of them.

shorts n boots

Shorts and cowboy boots?

I saw a number of people at the Fair wearing cowboy boots with shorts.  I don’t know why this particular fashion choice bugs me, but it does.  At least she’s not wearing Daisy Dukes. And she was nice enough to cover up her back fat, unlike this unfortunate girl:

gratuitous back fat

Girl, you need a rear view mirror.

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh on fashion choices- after all I dress for comfort most of the time, and especially so if I am going to be traipsing along outside in the heat.  It wasn’t as hot as it normally is which may have cut down on the freak factor this year.

smokey

The talking Smokey the Bear is freaky though.

When I was a little kid I always wondered about Smokey’s preoccupation with forest fires.  I knew too many kids who were only too happy to fry ants with magnifying glasses (yes, I did do that) or set stuff on fire with Zippos (Steve-o,,,)  I always wondered why Smokey talked about not playing with matches, but never mentioned Bics or Zippos or magnifying glasses.

Zippo_light

Not a flashlight substitute, either.

Then again, central Ohio is a swamp and it’s usually raining, or there’s some form of precipitation at least every other day or so,  so wildfires generally don’t happen, and when they do, they generally don’t spread much.  However, the perpetual dampness never stopped the slumlords from burning down non-profitable rental properties to the point that in certain locales it is expensive and well-near impossible to get home owner’s or business insurance.  There’s always accelerants, you know, if you really want something to burn.  Too bad the ass-pilots that use them usually have very little understanding of forensic science.  They can tell you doused the place with gasoline before you torched it.

Smokey seems a little quaint and outdated for these times.  Nobody wants to intentionally burn down forests, because you can’t get insurance on a random forest. Maybe Smokey should be talking about arson?  “Hey, kids, only you can decide not to burn down your non-profitable rental properties, ” or, better yet:  “Hey, kids, don’t drop your crack pipe and burn down your crack house!”  Especially if you just spilled gasoline on the floor.

Ponderous-Dachshund

Mi underwear – Su underwear?

Somehow, some things just aren’t meant to be shared.

I haven’t thought about poor Suzie in a long time.  She was always in fragile health and died at the relatively young age of 7 years. I believe her early demise was largely due to being willing to eat vast quantities of anything, including socks, underwear, marbles, Army men, and things my mother served that were sort of supposed to be food.  Mom’s cooking was rather disastrous a good deal of the time, so there was a lot of food left over to go with Suzie’s Chuck Wagon.

chuckwag70

On second thought, maybe we should have just eaten the Chuck Wagon.

mmmm…Meaty!  in a meat by-product-y sort of way…