’18 A To Z Challenge – Puppy Love

 

Challenge '18 letter-p

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been proved wrong – again!

I told the wife, that when our Wheaten/Schnauzer/Poodle–cross cur was gone, we would not get another dog.  I explained a thousand times that we are too old, too weak, that we didn’t have the strength, the stamina, the patience….most of all, the money, to buy a purebred, non-allergenic puppy.

Puppies Parents

Our two new little handfuls, with their black Daddy, and white Momma.

By ‘we’, of course, I meant ‘me.’  Suddenly, one day, while I was composing a previous A-To-Z post, she called to me to “come see something on my laptop.”  Halfway down the stairs, I saw the picture of Mom and Dad Scotty Terriers.  Before I could even protest, she shifted to more photos of a bundle of the cutest puppies.  Ohhh, no fair!

Scottish Terriers are usually black, but some of them are white, and a few of them are brindle, which is white, with blonde/gold highlights.  Mom was white.  Dad was black, and the puppies were some of each.  Could we just go to look at them??  They were only a 2 ½ hour drive away.  I’m doomed – doomed I tell you.

Puppies

Aren’t the two new Scottish terrors Terriers cute??

We brought the son – and his checkbook – along.  They valiantly held out, but we all knew that we had not come just to look.  The wife picked the little black female, above.  Then came the hard sell.  Unlike the previous litter, this time the breeder was having trouble getting rid of the males.  If we would also take a male, she would give us a screwing deal on both dogs.

The wife launched a piteous appeal to his heartstrings, to get the son to further loosen his purse-strings.  When he finally bowed to the inevitable, we became a two-dog family.  Happy birthday, Mothers’ Day, Arbor Day, Thanksgiving, anniversary, Christmas, and Leonard Nimoy’s bris.

The next day, we got a panicked phone call.  “Is something wrong??”  Well….  Another couple had come to look at the puppies, and she was attaching ribbons to ours, to assure that we got the ones we’d picked out.  The male the wife had chosen, the only brindle one in the litter – had turned out to be a female??!  Would we accept any other male?  We chose the happy, chubby white male, as a Mini-Me.

We named the male, Duff, a Gaelic word that means ‘black.’  We called the little female, Guin, a Welsh term which means ‘white.’  So, our black dog is White, and our white dog is Black.  At least we’re not out Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog, as Norma Tanega did, back in the mid-60s.

No Chew

Here’s a liter of IRONY!

Plug

I only hope that the male pulled that plug from the socket, before he chewed it off.

At just over six months old, they recently got their first trim.  We had to be vetted by our new groomer.  She was recommended by the wife’s hairdresser.  The woman came to the house to see the dogs in their ‘native environment,’ before she would accept us as clients.  I feel so 90210. 😯 Oh Yeah!  We’ve got two new puppies.  Be thankful that you’re only stuck with me.  At least I’m house-trained.  😉

Puppers

They’ve gone from being a mere handful, to being A Real handful.

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Sisterhood Of The Blog

Reapers

This is where we explore the distaff side of this ‘Meet The Blogger Tour.’

TWOFER!  That’s what I got.  Two for the price of one.

I’ve been stumbling around like a constipated rhino, yodeling, “We’re going to Rants’!  We’re going to Rants’!” but there’s another side to it.  BrainRants would like to be a published author, in fact the reason that he originally started his blog, was so that he could practice composing and publishing 500 words a day, for an entire year.  That’s where I first found him.

He attracted the attention of a lovely, lady author, named H. E. Ellis.  Since I was constantly hanging around his blog back door, like a lost puppy hoping for a pat on the head, she noticed me also.  She had already published a coming-of-age novel titled The Gods Of Asphalt.

Using stories solicited from a circle of bloggers, she compiled an eBook titled Fucked-Up Fairy Tales, to which I was allowed to submit a disappointing little ‘Tortoise and the Hare’ story.  She also assembled a Christmas spoof titled Iconic Interviews, in which I was interviewed as a crusty, corpulent Frosty the Snowman.

After Rants’ marriage ended, the online writing seminars graduated to personal visits.  One backyard brainstorming session of two couples produced the story line of the Grim Reaper, overworked by the deaths of Earth’s burgeoning population and subject to Other-Worldly bureaucracy.  H.E. wrote it as a book titled Reapers With Issues and 3 sequels yet to come.

I purchased an eBook version of it, and also a paperback copy for a memento.  With my usual, unthinking arrogance, I asked if I could get an autographed, first-edition copy.  While H. E. did the actual composition, she gave the other three co-writing credits.  Not only did she sign it herself, but she arranged for the other three to sign it also.

The logistics of the care and concern, time and effort, organization and labor, to get three other people together with one book, is awe-inspiring and heart-warming.  All the more so, because a monkey-wrench got thrown into the situation.

By the time the book was written and published, Rants was back on his second 1-year tour of Afghanistan.  After getting the book signed by the other two, she packaged it up, and shipped it half-way around the world to BrainRants.  He autographed it and added a dedication, and shipped it back Stateside.  It still reeks of camel shit, and desert sand sifts out when I hold it – AND I HOLD IT DEAR TO MY HEART!

So, this is the heart-high Yin, of the Yin and Yang creative and caring couple that we’re going to visit.  They’re each younger than our actual children, but maybe I might persuade them to adopt us.   😀  I forwarded photos of the entire clan, and haven’t heard of any vision or psychiatric problems, so here’s hoping.

WOW #4

Dictionary

For those of you who had planned not to learn anything today;
“Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”

The Word Of the Week is;

JUXTAPOSITION

noun
an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
the state of being close together or side by side.

Word Origin and History for juxtaposition

1660s, from French juxtaposition (1660s), from Latin iuxta “beside, near” + French position (see position (n.)). Latin iuxta is a contraction of *iugista (adv.), superlative of adjective *iugos “closely connected,” from stem of iugum “yoke,” from iungere “to join” (see jugular ).

For medical or technical use, definition 2, and/or the first half of number 1 are assumed.  Things are placed side by side, usually only for comparison.

Not that the word is commonly used in public, but when it is, the common usage has drifted to almost always emphasize contrast.  It indicates surprise or amazement at seeing two things, side by side, that just aren’t ever expected to be together, like a tiara on a pig, or a Picasso on a Port-A-Potty wall.

Starting in the early 90s, I began hearing about ‘The Palace of Auburn Hills’, a new Detroit-area arena/venue. The Detroit Pistons moved there, and some big-name concerts, including 2 consecutive sold-out Michael Jackson shows, have been held there.  I just thought, ‘Detroit’, and left it at that.

About ten years ago, following a trip to Detroit, instead of crossing back to Canada into Windsor, we drove north to cross at Port Huron. We got off the Interstate, onto a highway, and got off the State Highway onto a narrow, two-lane county road.  Finally, about 35 miles north of Detroit, where urban becomes country, we entered Auburn Hills.

The Palace

I remembered about ‘The Palace’, and wondered where it might be. There on the north end of town, just past the John Deere dealer on one side, and the roadhouse bar on the other, both with muddy, unpaved parking lots, it sits in the middle of acres of blacktop paving, a sea of lights, looking like a Las Vegas casino in a Mexico City slum.

It’s like driving a load of trash out to the landfill site, and finding the Taj Mahal perched on top of the mound of garbage, or London’s Tower Bridge stretched over a sedimentation pond in Canada’s oil-sands project. Now, that’s juxtaposition!

Depending on the show, this thing can seat up to 23,000 people, in a little city of 22,000. The Interstate is not too far away, but, like filling a tank-car with a straw, it must take days to empty that parking lot onto a road not as wide as some driveways.   😯

Flash Fiction #48

Belgium

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering

IF IT’S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE BELGIUM

You know, they made a movie about this, back in the ‘60s.  We scrimped and saved for years to afford our only European Vacation.  I suggested France, but you booked us on this 12-night, 13-day, whirlwind nine-country tour.

I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, Pei’s crystal pyramid at the Louvre, the Versailles Palace, perhaps the Cote d’azur.  Instead, I’ve seen cows, and sheep, and oats, and potatoes – all streaming by the other side of the dirty windows of this bus.  I’ve seen smelly harbors and – and….What’s this?  The shrine of Saint Shania Twain?

I wanna go to Disneyland!  😥

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

#451

 

Flash Fiction #27

YOU OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES

Michelin

 

 

 

 

 

Richie had a real mania for anything related to films.  He’d even got an autograph from some kid who held a clapper stick.  He wasn’t hard to convince to come along on an artifact hunting expedition, but, the further we got from the city, the more reluctant he became.

“Why are we way out here?  There’s nothing connected to films in this run-down little village!”

“Sure there is.  They filmed some of the Transformers movies here.” I replied.  “See there.  That’s the changing room for Optimus Prime.  Maybe you could get a tailpipe, or a tire for your rec-room wall.”

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her weekly photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Motor City Madness – Part 4

Coming Home

Thank you to those who have had the patience to virtually accompany me on my Detroit trip.  I have a few, hopefully interesting information nuggets to distribute before we load up and head happily, but resignedly home.

In the display of one of the vendors at the knife show, I saw a four-foot *yardstick*.  I have a three-footer at home which is forty years old, from a long extinct local lumber yard.  This one must have been far older than that.  It had an inscription on it that read, “Four feet are better than three” because it was from a small company in Holland, Michigan, which made wooden shoes.  I find no modern reference to the shoe company, although the small city still has a Wooden Shoe Restaurant, a Wooden Shoe Mall, and a Wooden Shoe Greenhouse.  It’s known, of course, as the Tulip City.

It was incorporated in 1867 by a group of Calvinist Dutch, fleeing religious persecution.  What!  Again?!  Do these loving Christians never give it a rest?  This bunch was like our local Mennonites.  These Luddites wanted to keep “The Good Old Days”, and resisted things like vaccinations and fertiliser.  Also known as The Town of Churches, these highly religious folks have 170 of them for a population of 33,500.  Only The Church City, of Charleston, SC has more churches per capita.

As I returned to our room Sunday morning, after checking out, I walked past a cleaner’s cart with a Tim Horton’s cup on it.  Such a common sight in Canada, I almost missed the significance.  I went back to speak to the cleaner, but she was taking a smoke break.  The ladies in the laundry room were only too happy to take a couple of minutes off and talk.  Since we were there, over two years ago, Tim’s has opened at least six new outlets that they knew of.

One is about three miles west on the road in front of the motel, but Tim’s is opening another, just a mile to the east.  It’s supposed to be near the Outback Restaurant we ate at on Friday night, but I wasn’t looking for it then.  It will make it quicker and easier for motel staff to get their daily caffeine ration.  The laundry ladies say that a lot of people are abandoning Drunken Dunkin Donuts.  The buzz is, that both the coffee and the pastries are better.

We used to get our American satellite stations from Buffalo for years.  We got to know the on-air people and had a bit of interest in the closest U.S. city.  Then Shaw Entertainment swallowed my Star Choice, and now our American channels come from Detroit.  We often see ads for Tim’s.

Dunkin Donuts is making a push to get into Canada.  They have 79 outlets in Quebec, but only 2 in Ontario between Montreal and Ottawa, teamed with Burger King and Pizza Hut.  I don’t think Le Clown, in Montreal laps up their slop, but some of the frogs do.

To accommodate the grandson, we took a room with two double beds.  That’s a real crowded comedown for the wife and me, used to a queen-size bed for years.  For the skinny little grandson, he had all the room he needed, and more.  There’s talk of the son and I going back down in the spring.  A bed apiece won’t be bad.  If the GS can come with us, maybe he can bring an air mattress and sleeping bag.  If his gal comes along, they can rent their own room.

Finally, after gassing up, at prices less than Canada, we headed for the border.  The dump off I-75 to the bridge is now smoother also.  We paid our crossing fee, collectible on the American side, no matter which direction you go, and headed over to face Canada Customs.  I pulled into Murphy’s line.  It was the shortest, but, I think a trucker from Georgia drove through in another lane, while we still sat there.  Maybe the guy at the front had had plastic surgery.  Papers got passed out, and back, and more papers out, and back.  Finally it was our turn.  I reported for the wife and me, and let the grandson deal with the woman in the booth on his own.

I told her what we had, including two, one-liter bottles of vodka.  She then asked me what size the bottles were.  If you ask the question, shouldn’t you listen to the answer?  The grandson explained what, and how much he was bringing back, then our queen of security bent down, looked into the back seat, and asked the wife how much she was declaring.  The wife pointed at me, and said, “I’m with him!”

The drive back home along the 401 was quick and smooth.  The grandson got some nice photos, and even a video of the big wind-turbines.  I don’t know if she knows how to embed videos, but perhaps I can persuade the wife to post a story about the trip from her perspective, and include the pictures.

We stopped at the east-bound mate to the west-bound rest area, for a quick pit stop.  There were some heavy clouds overhead, but they were blowing west, faster than the sun was setting.  Suddenly it appeared in a big notch in the clouds, just like a sunrise in a mountain valley.  That shot would rival anything that Edward Hotspur has published.  If she posts, that one will have to be included.

Okay, verbosity has been expended.  Thanks for coming along on the drive with us.  I’ll get on with nattering about something totally different.

Trippin’

Last Friday, as the sun disappeared south of the equator for the winter, I wished that I could follow it.  On that day, I reached my best-before-date of 68 years old.  The decrepitude is decreeping up on me.

I was allowed to choose a supper menu for my actual birthday meal, and decided on chicken schnitzel with fries and gravy.  We have schnitzel about once a month, but it’s usually pork schnitzel, purchased over at Eurofoods.  Chicken is a bit more labor to prepare, but nice to have once in a while.  Saturday night, when the son’s taste buds were more awake, we had bacon-wrapped filets with baked potatoes and fried zucchini.

Friday for lunch, I made myself another platter of nacho chips.  The son works a midnight shift and is done Saturday morning at 7 AM.  As sometimes happens, the joy of weekend freedom kept him awake.  Instead of going to bed around 10 AM, he was still awake when I finally rolled out about noon.  Since he doesn’t get Tex-Mex as often as I do, he suggested going to Taco Bell for lunch, while we were doing some shopping.  I should have been eating up leftovers to clean out the fridge, but couldn’t resist some face-time with him.

When we got home and admitted what we’d done, the wife asked if I’d forgotten what I’d had for lunch the day before.  I asked her if she’d forgotten what we’d planned for supper on Sunday, when the daughter, grandson and fiancée came over.  The stuff we picked up while we were out was for beef fajitas.  Tex-Mex three days in a row!  Am I happy?  Si, senor!  Muy bueno!

The loot presents I received on Sunday for my birthday included an Esso gift card that I can use for gas this coming weekend, and a Chapters bookstore gift card that will continue to come in handy anytime.  My grandson and his fiancée presented me with a lovely carved letter opener.  When I slid it out of its holder I thought that it was ivory, because I saw off-white, but when I turned it over, I saw amber/honey color, and realized it was banded agate.  The end of the hilt is a Scottish thistle, to commemorate my heritage.

The wife and I got me a coin for my birthday.  Since the Canadian Mint no longer stamps out pennies, they are offering a twenty-dollar, 99.99 fine, silver coin.  It has three Maple leaves as the penny did.  When I ordered it, I thought it was penny-sized, but when it arrived I found that it’s as big as a quarter.

We’re off to metro Detroit for the weekend.  I have to remember to add the “metro”, lest someone think I’m entering the war-zone.  I made a mis-turn one time, and wound up right down-town.  Ours were the only white faces, and none of the well-tanned ones looked too welcoming.  We stay at a motel 20 miles down I-75.  It’s down the street from a big Meijer store, where we plan to do some shopping, and right across the street from the Gibraltar Trade Center, a gigantic flea-market/food-court/display arena, where you can lose an afternoon, and we plan to.

Not that we need one, but the excuse for the trip is a knife show.  We’ve been down for spring shows several times, but this is the first time we’ve come down in the fall.  We’ve never had a problem getting our choice of room type.  It may have to do with college football, but when I reserved the room a week ago, all the ones with king-size beds were taken.  The wife and I have trouble fitting in a standard double after years of a king-size.  I once missed an exit in Pennsylvania, coming home from Charleston, and drove from Pittsburgh, almost to Buffalo, before we found an officially un-open motel with a vacancy at two in the morning, because of college football.

We’ve offered to take the grandson and his fiancée with us.  She politely declined because her job includes weekend work.  If we’d got a king room, we could have got a cot for him.  He’s spent a year out of high school thinking about a career.  He wondered about horticulture, working one summer at a greenhouse, but jobs in that area are scarce (aren’t they everywhere?), the pay is poor, and the work is seasonal.  He currently has a half-day job at a transport depot.

He has decided to go back to school for a year to train for welding.  His schedule will be; walk to school for two hours of class, bus to co-op placement for four hours of training, bus to part-time job for four hours of work, then bus home after a 12/14 hour day.  It’ll be a killer schedule but the job prospects for a welder are fairly good, and the pay is decent too.  His co-op hasn’t kicked in yet and he’s booked the evening off at work.  By the time you read this, we should be on our merry way to the Motor City.

His Mom had to put a rush on his passport.  We provided a copy of our reservation to justify the hurry.  All goes well, he will have picked it up at the local passport office Thursday afternoon.  As partial justification of an earlier claim, we will be taking some orphans back to the U. S. with us.  In just over two years I have accumulated 36 American quarters, 36 dimes, 25 nickels and eight rolls of pennies, for a total of $17.85.  The daughter is sending the grandson with a roll of quarters, six rolls of pennies and a handful of assorted change about half as large as mine.

We’ll wave at Chatham for KayJai as we pass.  We will enjoy the knife show on Saturday, do some shopping, including some beet sugar at Meijer’s Sunday morning, roam the flea market in the afternoon and just generally enjoy the trip and the change of routine and scenery.  Blog to you early next week.