The Wizard of Drool

This post is about dog drool and Walter’s copious dispersal thereof.  He’s very good at slinging the slobber so don’t forget to pick up your Drool Abatement Kit before proceeding.

Safety First!

 

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Having a drool-producing canine can be an annoyance.  If you have a big dog like Walter, it can be life-changing.  He drools…a LOT!  Think of a St. Bernard and a Newfie combined.  Yeah, you get the picture.  The very drippy, soggy picture…

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  There are two types of Great Danes:  American and European.  American Danes have, what I would call, normal jowls.  European Danes have jowls that droop to their knees.  Walter should have had taut, trim American jowls like most of his ancestors.

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No hint of drooly, droopy jowls when he was a puppy

 

Instead, his jowls are so droopy, it’s amazing that he doesn’t trip over them.  All of his ancestors were American except for one European great or great-great (I forget) grandfather who came from Euro stock.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Walter is a throwback, I should have thrown him back years ago!

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The Wizard of Drool

 

If there was a Department of Drool at Hogwarts, Walter would be the Wizard of Drool.  The Wiz of Drool has a rather fun ring to it, don’t you think?  He could also be the Wiz of Whiz but that was the subject of one of my previous posts.  Walter’s urinary indiscretions are, after all, legendary.  Between the drool and the pee, Walter’s most-heard words are “Walter, no!  Walter, get away from me!”  Walter never goes away.  If there is any chance at all that he can pass a little slobber along, he will find a way to do it.

People are not his only targets, either.  Windows and doors are obvious choices, but for Walter, any vertical surface is fair game.  Horizontal surfaces are not immune either.  I always say that anything less than 7 feet off the ground isn’t safe from him.  (If you are a banana, I might stretch that to 8 feet.  Walter loves bananas.)  But the drool knows no limits.  Ceiling-slobber is not unheard of.  Do you know how hard it is to clean dog drool off a tin ceiling?  Repeatedly?  I do, and I wish I didn’t.

 

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Tulip wore Walter’s head as a hat…just before he ‘kissed’ her

 

The cats have not been left unscathed, either.  Our little kitten Tulip likes Walter.  I don’t know why, but she does.  One particularly slobbery day, Tulip walked up to Walter and he gave her a kiss…one long lick from her toes to the top of her head.  I’ve never seen a cat shake like a dog does in order to shed water, but she did just that.  Oh, Walter…

 

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The drooliest, droopiest jowls ever!

 

One might think that dog drool is only a negative thing and nothing positive could possibly come from it, but that’s not true.  Much like his shoe-peeing prowess, the drool thing tends to keep away unwanted visitors.  Being an introvert, that is sometimes a handy thing.  “Oh yes, he tends to jump and drool on you.  He peed on your shoes?  Yes, he tends to do that, too.  Oh, must you go so soon?”  Heh heh heh  Goodbye salespeople, religious pamphlet-bearers, and the dreaded “oh I just thought I’d drop by”-ers.  Seeya!  Or not.

Unfortunately, Walter’s fluid-sharing predilections can keep away wanted visitors, as well.  This can be a problem.  I will often try to corral Walter in the living room if it’s just going to be a kitchen table sort of visit.  But if we want to sit and chat on the sofa for a while, I have to march Walter past the wanted visitors to the other end of the house.  He does not like to be marched past potential targets…especially if they are unsullied drool-wise.  Drool virgins are his favorites. I feel sorry for the drool virgins.  There are few things scarier than a 150-pound drooling dog who is eyeing your shoes for their potential as a good pee-stop.  He really likes to slobber chests, too.  Boob-drool is more common than I care to admit. I just thought I’d mention these things to all of you who make excuses for Walter and think he is just awesome.  I dare you to come and visit me for a dose of boob-drool!  I.DARE.YOU!

 

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“Any drool virgins down there?”

 

The other day, I realized that Walter had outdone himself drool-wise.  He had a long line of it strung across the top of his own head.  That takes skill.  I got out the drool towel and cleaned him off.  Yes, I have a drool-towel.  Actually, it’s a purple batik drool-bandana and when I’m not using it to clean him up, he wears it as a fashion accessory!

 

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He Peed Where?

I’m not sure if I shared this fun fact about Walter, but if not, it’s time I did.  Don’t tell him I mentioned this or he might be embarrassed.  What am I saying?  Walter is never embarrassed.  Walter doesn’t care what the world thinks of him.  Not one iota.  He just goes about doing his Walter things, in his Walter way.

This particular Walter thing embarrasses me, however.  You see, when Walter gets very excited, he pees a little.  Or, depending on the situation, he pees a lot!  When someone he likes comes to the house, he will jump up and down ecstatically while sprinkling the floor with pee.  This is very embarrassing.  Especially if it happens when a stranger comes to visit.  Someone new can be rather surprised to see a Great Dane pee in excitement!  How do you say to someone:  “Hey, he likes you!  Look at that, he peed!”  Yeah, it’s not something I brag about.

That’s bad enough, but this wouldn’t be much of a story if it ended there.   A quick mop-up and an apology can usually remedy that problem quickly.  But if he gets too close to the person coming in the door, he’s been known to pee on their foot!  I am not one who likes to entertain, but having my dog pee on a guest’s foot is going a little too far!

But that isn’t the worst of it.  Now I will say that this is probably not all Walter’s fault.  Mostly, but not all.  I’ve often written about the gal who comes to clean/landscape/dog sit for us.  Wendy is a marvel.  And Wendy loves Walter.  More to the point, Walter LOVES his Auntie Wendy.  He gets very excited when he sees her.  We have already ascertained what Walter does when he gets excited.  You know what’s coming…

Now, this is where I have to explain why this incident wasn’t completely Walter’s fault.  Wendy likes to play with him and get him all worked up.  She will pretend to step on his toes and chase him around. There have been vacuum cleaner wars and games of hide and seek.  They will be all over the place as they play.  This particular time, Wendy reached down for a dog toy and that was so exciting that Walter took his chance and peed on her head!  This behavior would normally embarrass me no end, but I think she asked for it.  She knew how he is and she knew the risks of playing with him like that.  I might not have been terribly sympathetic.  Actually, I might have laughed uproariously.

But this wasn’t the ‘crowning glory’ of Walter’s urinary indiscretions.   Not long ago, Walter had to go to a vet he normally doesn’t see.  He needed a quick, minor procedure done and she took him out back to perform it.  A few minutes later the tech returned him to me and he was all happy.  Since he wasn’t used to this vet, I asked how it went.  The tech said:  “He peed on her head!”  I’m not sure what kind of relationship this tech had with the vet, but she said it with a big grin on her face.  After a very embarrassing moment, she tried to reassure me that it happens all of the time.  Somehow, I think she was just trying to make me feel better.  I mean, how many dogs would do that?  How many could!?

Do you know how hard it is to skulk shamefully out of a vet’s office with a bouncy Great Dane riling up all of the other patients?  There was no uproarious laughter this time.  Walter was happy as can be, but I was the one leaving with my tail between my legs.

My Niece’s Wedding

 

Last fall, we attended our niece’s wedding.  Amy is a free spirit and doesn’t always go along the lines of staunch tradition.  It’s just one of the many things I love about her.  I should have known that the wedding would be fun after getting their ‘save the date’ card.

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The wedding was being held at a lovely ski resort and we were really looking forward to a weekend getaway and hanging out with the family.  Our family is a lot of fun and it was shaping up to be a great time.

When we arrived and started to get ready, it was obvious that the toilet was being a little “sluggish” and the water dropped ever so slowly upon flushing.  Of course, I had to see how bad it was.  I’m not sure what I thought would happen.  It’s not as if I have magical powers in such matters.  I am not a toilet whisperer.  Still, I hit the handle and things went from bad to worse…all over the floor kinda worse.  This was surprising because it was a pretty classy hotel.  Ah well, luckily it was relatively clean toilet water if you know what I mean.  Sigh…

The housekeeping gal was just as nice as could be.  In short order, it was all cleaned up and we could get on with getting ready.  I should say that Bill could get on with getting ready because I had the good sense to arrive in the clothes I was going to wear to the ceremony.  So I tapped my toe as I watched the clock.  Bill was making ponderously slow progress.  Those of you who know Bill well will not be surprised at this.

It was ten minutes before the ceremony and he was almost ready, but not ready ‘enough’ for me.  So when I knew we were cutting it way too close, I just looked at him and said:  “you’re on your own buddy!”  This might seem cruel but I was not going to miss the wedding of two of my very favorite people.

I knew that the site of the ceremony wasn’t too far from our room.  Getting there looked like a piece of cake on the little hotel map.  Let me tell you, hotel maps can’t be trusted.  That’s not really fair because the ceremony was being held exactly where I expected it to be in relation to the hotel, and exactly as it looked on that little map.  In spite of the fact that the map appeared correct, I was not expecting to exit the building onto a rickety deck-like structure. There I came upon a couple of workers having a smoke safely out of the view of guests.  Obviously, I had taken the service entrance and I had ‘caught’ them.

My guess is that their worry about being found evaporated when they saw me jump over the drainage ditch as I determinedly made my way to my seat.   Let me tell you, I am a very large woman.  I am not a drainage ditch jumping kinda gal.  But at this point, I only had five minutes till show time and I wasn’t about to go back inside and take a more dignified route.  I was on a mission!  Besides, dignity has never been my strong suit.

I arrived at the site of the ceremony just in time.  Thank goodness Bill’s cousin and his wife saved us seats.  I guess I didn’t have to worry too much because Amy hadn’t walked down the aisle yet.  I chatted a bit and still no Bill.  He was going to be in big trouble if he missed this, or walked in late, making a spectacle of himself.  The clock was ticking!

Still no Bill.  I was sure that none of the family was ever going to let him forget it if he missed Amy’s wedding.  I knew beyond a doubt that they would never forgive him for tardiness related to toilet issues.  Family lore is full of Bill’s lack of punctuality, and much of that lore is bathroom-related.  We used to joke that it took him 3 hours to take a shower.  As the years went by, the joke morphed into a more general thing.  If he even looked at a bathroom, the family would groan in unison.  If that toilet in the room kept Bill from arriving at the wedding on time, he would never hear the end of it.

As the wedding guests fidgeted a bit, and the groom stood there looking more and more nervous, there was still no sign of the bride…or Bill!  I vacillated between feeling sorry for everyone waiting and being thankful that Bill might just make it because the wedding party was late.  It seemed to take forever, but Bill arrived.  Just seconds later, Amy came down the grassy path to the birch tree arch.  What a stroke of luck that Bill arrived just seconds before Amy came into view!

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The ceremony was short but filled with all of the things one could wish for at a wedding.  There was so much love and it heartwarming.  There was also a lot of humor.  Our family has no shortage of that.

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The fellow officiating was Sloan’s dad.  Now, Paul is neither a preacher or a justice of the peace, but he did a great job. Amy and Sloan are not religious, but Paul found it necessary to ad lib a bit as he went along.  I think he mentioned the God Belichick and I’m almost positive he made a correlation between Tom Brady and Jesus.  I’m also sure he did this to amuse his son who happens to be a rabid New England Patriots fan.  I’m surprised the guests didn’t give a rousing Patriots cheer.  I’m also surprised some didn’t walk out due to the blasphemy of it all, but we weren’t that kind of crowd.

It was even more hilarious when he ended the ceremony with along the lines of:  “with the power invested in me by a sketchy outfit online for $39, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”  And the fun continued…

As you can tell, it really was unconventional and one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever attended.  After the ceremony, all in good spirits, we headed toward the reception venue. Once there, we learned the reason for Amy’s delay in walking down the aisle.

Remember when I left Bill behind because he was late in getting ready? Apparently, as he rushed toward the site of the wedding, he realized he really needed to ‘go’ and stopped at the restroom right near the spot where everyone was gathering to walk down the aisle.  Once the wedding party was ready, Amy’s Dad told them they had to wait.  He said:  “He’s my brother, we can’t do this until he’s in his seat.”  So the wedding was held up as they waited for Bill to exit the bathroom.

Everyone thought it was hilarious that the family joke had played out in such a big way.  Bill wanted to sink into the floor but his embarrassment was short-lived.  Within minutes, all eyes were on the mother of the bride as she started dancing on the table.

 

 

Guest in Jest #69 Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

I can’t quite believe it, but 33 years ago today I married my long-suffering husband, Bill.  I’m not sure what you envisioned our wedding might be like, but I’d wager you’d be wrong.

Bill and I first met when he delivered my mail for a three weeks.  And then I moved.  Not because of him, mind you, but I like to tell him it was.  If you want the whole story of that meeting and whatnot, I actually wrote a post ages ago and called it Part 1 and then left it till now.  So I guess this is the second and final part.  Here’s the first post, in case you are curious.   How I Met My Husband Part 1

If you want to see the Prologue, here’s the link to that.  How I Met My Husband – The Prologue  Yes, there is a prologue.  Don’t ask me why there is a prologue because I don’t remember.  I started writing this whole mess over a year ago and I would have forgotten all about it except it’s now the second day of November and it’s exactly 33 years since I married the poor unfortunate man and it’s Guest in Jest day and I figured if I’m going to beg for posts, the least I could do was be my very own Guest…in Jest.  GASP  Sorry, that was pretty long-winded and I ran out of air.

When I left off this story I had just received an April Fools phone call from Bill, whom I’d only really communicated with via the backs of letters going to and from my Aunt Polly.  I know that sounds weird, but if you want to know why and how, you’ll have to click the link up there and get caught up.

Continuing the story, Bill and I decided to go on a date.  He picked me up that afternoon and we spent the day having a picnic by the river, talking, having dinner, talking some more, going to a movie, and talking more into the middle of the night.  It was one of those “I knew the first time I met him” sort of scenarios.  Actually, I knew the first time I met him and we talked for 10 hours sort of scenarios.  And that’s how I met Bill.

After four months of long distance (an hour apart) dating, we decided to live together.  This meant I had to move back to the area where I grew up.  I wasn’t terribly happy about that, but love conquers all, as they say.

Bill and I found this fabulous little apartment in Skowhegan.  It was an old house that had just been converted to apartments and all of the architectural details had been preserved.  It was a great place.  Who needs more than a bedroom, a kitchen and a living room?  We were happy and it wasn’t long before we started talking about getting married.  At this point it was six months after we first met.  I know it was fast.  But there was that whole “I knew the first time I met him” thing going on.  Still, we were in no hurry.

When we mentioned our intentions to Bill’s parents, his Mom went into full Mother-of–the-Groom mode.  If I looked into her eyes, I could practically see her calculating venue sizes and table plans.  Bill and I started to get nervous.  His family wasn’t rich, but they did fine and they were very well respected in the community.  Bill’s Mom wanted to make sure that our wedding was grand enough to impress not only friends and family, but a large part of the well-heeled portion of the community.  This was becoming a problem.

As each day went by, there was something new; another addition to the grandiose plan.  This train had left the station.  It was on the tracks and gaining steam.  We decided to let her go on planning because she couldn’t do anything concrete without our consent, right?  As the days passed, I started to worry about that, too.

While that was going on in the background, we decided to have a party to mark our first Halloween together.  We invited all of our friends.  It was going to be a lot of fun!  It was certainly something to take our minds off the ridiculous wedding plans.  I don’t even remember how many people she wanted to invite, but it was a lot.  Many of them Bill didn’t even know.  The social event of the season was going to star two very unhappy people.

We were talking about this debacle and then we looked at each other and it hit us.  We didn’t have to do any of those things.  It was our wedding and we could have what we wanted.  Right that minute we wanted to elope.  But where?  We couldn’t really take off for parts unknown when we had already invited people for the Halloween party and…then the lightbulb truly went off.  We would elope in our very own living room and the previously planned Halloween party would be our reception!

And that’s what we did.  Bill had a best man and I had a best woman.  Bill’s brother and his wife took pictures, and a friend of ours married us.  That was it.  We got married, went out to dinner, and then we came home and put on our Halloween costumes.  All of our friends arrived and as the party was in full swing we told everyone we were married!  yay!!!  They didn’t believe us.  Not a single one of them thought we’d actually done it.  It took a while to convince them, but we finally did.  But that wasn’t the end…

We still had to tell our parents what we’d done.  In full disclosure, I didn’t have to tell my Mom because I’d already told her what we planned to do.  She was always the ‘whatever makes you happy’ kind of person.  Even so, telling her she couldn’t come to our wedding was a big deal.  She knew what had been happening with Bill’s Mom, and that this was the most expedient way to stop the wedding freight train.  Like the saint she was, she agreed it was the best course of action.

So that left Bill’s parents.  It so happened that they were away for the weekend.  That was just a happy coincidence, but it meant we didn’t have to show up and tell them in person.  Bill made the call during the party.  When he came back he was smiling.  I was dying to know how it went. “WHAT HAPPENED!?” I yelled over the din.  He grinned and told me she said:  “I knew you’d do something like this!”

 

 

 

There’s No Need To Fear!

There is a t-shirt out there that says:  “OWNING A GREAT DANE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM ALONE.”  I can’t even begin to tell you how very true that is.  In case you were wondering why Great Danes inspire a t-shirt like this, there is no great mystery.  Every breed of dog has a t-shirt with the same wording.  Every dog wants to be part of your bathroom routine.  For some it’s endearing, for others it’s a total nuisance.

Walter is adamant that he be part of every action I take when I first get up.  We have a pattern.  He used to get so excited that he would jump up and put his paws on my shoulders and practically bowl me over in his excitement.  Now I really appreciate that he loves me that much, but falling over is not exactly what I want to be doing when I really have to pee.  There could be accidents…and not just from bodily injury.

I finally came up with a solution that worked pretty well.  I trained him to grab a toy as we headed toward the bathroom, and that stopped him from jumping.  Though he does rear up like a small stallion sometimes, toy in mouth, he at least has stopped jumping on me.  Yay!  Problem solved!

He isn’t a total gentleman as we head toward the bathroom, though.  He still puts his head down, toy in mouth, and pushes my hind end because I’m obviously not going fast enough.  He knows that once I’m seated he will get his ears scratched and he can offer me his paw.  See?  We have a routine.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while might remember that Walter takes his toys very seriously.  Sometimes he actually drops one at my feet and that just shows how much he loves me.  He rarely drops his toys for any reason, but this is special.  It’s ‘our’ bathroom time.  It might be a bit unconventional but it’s a routine I can handle.

Let me just preface this part of the story with the understanding that Walter has a lot of toys.  A LOT of toys.  Two bushel baskets full of toys.  There has never been a dearth of dog toys in this house.  Each toy has a place in Walter’s regimen.  He has his tug toys, his chew toys, and his plushies that he likes to carry around.  The latter category is usually what he chooses to accompany us to the bathroom.

His first toy when he was a pup was a plush Gumby.  It was a staple for ages until it was mercilessly destroyed by Greta, another Dane we had at the time.  See here for a description of that unfortunate event:  Gumby is Dead

After Greta killed Gumby, I ordered TWO Gumbys for Walter. Hey, recent events had proven that you probably should have a backup Gumby at all times.  Walter was not going to be Gumby-less, that’s for sure.  Not if I had anything to say about it!  When I ordered the Gumbys, I noticed that Amazon also had a lot of talking cartoon character dog toys so I got a couple of those, too.

Back to the bathroom.  You knew we’d get back there again eventually, didn’t you?  So there I was, sitting there doing what one does in a bathroom and Walter was sitting in front of me, toy in mouth, asking for attention.  We were a little distracted when a bird flew by the window and we both watched for a minute.  Wild birds are so cool, and Walter thinks so, too.

I finished my business and and stood up.  That’s when I felt a weird sensation and heard this:

Sound heard from my pants!

Yup, while were both distracted by that bird, Walter had dropped the talking Underdog plushie in my pants!  I would have been pissed if I wasn’t laughing so hard!

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“Maybe We Could Meet At The Beach”

Have you ever dreamed of something knowing it would never come true?  Ok, I don’t mean a date with latest hot movie star.  I’m referring to something that is possible, but highly improbable.  In my case, it was an offhand comment one of my very own WordPress followers made to me months ago.  Dominique said something along the lines of:  “We should meet in person, maybe at the beach!”  We both laughed saying how cool that would be.  Little did we know…

Half of that dream came true for us a couple of weeks ago. Four of us met in Dominique’s fair city of Montreal.  The dream came true, and then some.  Not only did I get to meet Dominique from 3C Style, I also met Dee Dee from INVISIBLE-NO-MORE and Darren from The Arty Plantsman.  Yup, I got to meet three of my favorite bloggers in real life!  Dreams do come true!  I never in a million years would have guessed that the four of us, from the West Coast, the East Coast, Canada and England would ever be in the same place at the same time.  But we did!!

The tricky part of this journey was that I wanted to stay at the same hotel that Darren and Dee Dee were in.  The hotel only had one night free in the appropriate timeframe, so I booked it.  That meant 5 hours to Montreal, 24 hours there, and then the next day driving five hours home.  I just want to make it clear that I am married to a saint.  Since I can no longer drive, he made the trip and even did it with a smile on his face.  He even braved city traffic like a champ.  Yup, I picked a good one.

Bill really liked my blogging friends, and this trip dispelled an insane belief of his…he thought that there wasn’t any possible way that online friends could be as close as friends you could talk to face to face.  It didn’t take him long to figure out that wasn’t true.  He was astounded how the four of us enjoyed each other’s company and what a strong bond we have.  Hah!!!  That argument has been put to bed!  He knows better now!

The funny thing was that Bill met them before I did.  We arrived at the hotel and he went in search of a bottle of water.  He came back telling me that my friends were in the café next to the lobby.  He knew this because a guy he didn’t know called out his name.  Here he was in Montreal and someone is called him by name as he crosses a hotel lobby.  I don’t know how he did it, but Darren remembered a pic I had posted many months ago that showed Bill feeding some geese.  Darren has a memory like a steel trap, keep that in mind if you do something best forgotten.

You might wonder what on earth we could do in the span of 24 hours.  Let me tell you, we packed those few hours to the brim!  We had dinner at this wonderful Indian restaurant and just chatted up a storm.  Even though many of you have seen this selfie on Instagram, I’ll still post it in here and you can see just how much fun we were having. Dee Dee is on the left, Darren is at the top, Dominique on the right and I’m peeking up from the bottom.  My selfie skills are suspect, but I really like this photo.

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Dominique took the one below and that’s Bill on the left.  I tell you that because you might be in a hotel lobby someday and want to shout out his name.  I’m just sayin’

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I only saw Dee Dee for one evening but she and Bill hit it off immediately because they both love protein drinks.  It makes me shudder when I think about what color they are.  Care to guess?  I expect some really fun responses to this one.  Below you will see another one of my truncated selfies, but Dee Dee looks great!

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Dominique provided many fun moments.  It just goes to show you how much I really love her because she’s a *shudder* Coke fan and I prefer Pepsi.  You know how we cola people are.  There is no middle ground, it’s either one or the other and never both.  In spite of her totally misguided Coke ways, I did get this pic…she said she’d hold the can as long as she didn’t have to drink the contents.  Pffft!

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Darren provided us with the greatest gift of all.  He smiled.  He got a call from Dominique because she had a boot emergency and it actually made him laugh!  Before the trip, he told us he never does either but I have pics to prove him wrong.  Actually, I have pics of all sorts of things…except the boots.  I would have paid to have been there for that.  You must ask her about it when you next visit her blog.  😉

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Dominique was a perfect host as she drove us around the Old City showing us points of interest.  She drives the busy streets of the city like a mad woman.  I loved it!  We had lunch at a charming café and I had so much fun, I can’t wait to go again.

We tentatively have plans to get together in the spring.  And who knows, maybe we’ll meet at the beach!

 

 

 

 

The Truck Hamper Experience

Well over a decade ago all of our appliances died at once.  Not all at once like at the very same minute, more like all at once in the very same month.  One after the other, they all bit the dust.

First, it was the fridge.  It stopped fridging.  Things that should be cold got warm.  This was unacceptable.  Then the dryer met its maker.  If I remember correctly, it was made by Whirlpool.  So yes, you may infer that the dryer met Whirlpool when it stopped drying.  The washer met Whirlpool, as well.  Whirlpool is a very just appliance god.  Whirlpool made sure that the washer wasn’t separated from its mate.  If they were going to go, they were going to go together.

It was obviously time to go appliance shopping.  We headed to Sears.  Remember Sears?  Yeah, this was WELL over a decade ago.  Anyhow, we went there and bought a washer, dryer, fridge and just for fun, a dishwasher and upright freezer.  I got a black fridge (very cool) and the washer and dryer were in this really cool slate gray.  That color would be perfect in our laundry room.  Woohoo!  Now you would think this would be the happy ending that anyone would wish for after surviving an appliance apocalypse, but it wasn’t that easy.

The new fridge was awesome and it fridged everything just right.  The upright freezer was an outstanding addition to our appliance fleet.  I could freeze as much as my heart desired.  Apparently, my heart desired a lot of frozen stuff because we filled it rather quickly.   How did I ever live without a dishwasher?  I love my dishwasher and it loves me.  I just know it does.

The dryer was delivered but it was hard to know just how well it worked because the washing machine was back ordered.  The really cool shade of slate gray I ordered would be available in a week.  I could live with that, no problem.

The week turned into two.  It was no longer a ‘no problem’ sort of deal.  It was a problem.  When it stretched out to three weeks and then four, it was a big freaking (not the first word that came to mind as I typed this) PROBLEM!

You might be asking yourself why we didn’t just go to the laundromat, and that would be a valid question.  I didn’t go there because of an oath I made to myself.  When Bill and I were first married, we did the apartment/laundromat thing and I was not a fan.  But the necessity of clean clothes made my path clear. I had no alternative and I accepted that…until we bought the house and had appliances of our own.  It was then that I vowed I would never do another load of laundry in a laundromat ever again!  Just because this stupid washer in a cool shade of slate gray was going to be late, I was not going to let myself down.

As you can imagine, there were certain ramifications that resulted from this decision.  About a week into this fiasco, we ran out of hamper space.  As time went on, I was wearing outfits to work that were increasingly “interesting.”  I dug clothes out from the back of my closet that hadn’t seen the light of day in ages.  My mixing and matching of separates became more ‘peculiar,’ or as I like to think of it, ‘creative’ as time went on.

I drove by that laundromat twice a day, and I won’t say I wasn’t tempted.  However, an oath is an oath and I wasn’t about to break it.  I had to come up with another plan.

By the second week, we were stuffing dirty clothes in garbage bags.  That helped alleviate the hamper problem, but where to put the bags till that freaking (again, not the first word I thought of) washer showed up.  Then it hit me.  The truck!!!  We both had cars but we also had an old Chevy Luv pickup truck with a cap on it.  The truck looked a lot like the one up there at the top of the page, only it was black.  That truck became our new hamper.  The truck hamper was born!  By the time that freaking washer arrived, the back of that truck was full of dirty laundry in garbage bags.

I sense you have some questions.  Let me see if I can answer some of them here and now:

“How on earth could the truck be so full of laundry that it piled up to the ceiling of the cap?”  Perhaps the better question is “How long did we have to endure this washerless existence?”  About three months.  I’ll just pause for a second for you to process that.  Three months of not washing clothes.

Did we end up wearing dirty clothes during any of this?  We did not.  I did a lot of clothes shopping during that time, I won’t lie.  When my mode of dress became too outlandish, I had to buy some new duds.  Hey, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make!

During the truck hamper experience, I bought 100 pairs of underwear.  Ok, it probably wasn’t exactly a hundred, it was well over 100!  No lie.  The truck hamper experience happened well over 10 years ago. Every once in a while I will tell Bill that I’m still wearing truck hamper underwear and we’ll have a good laugh.  I haven’t bought a pair of underwear since!

Yes, I do wear underwear till it has holes in it.  Yes, my mother would be mortified if I had to be picked up by an ambulance and they saw that I had holey underwear.  Still, I am proud of the fact that I still wear truck hamper underwear!  It is a testament to keeping my oath to myself!

Last year I had to smile as they were hauling off that washer.  I’m sure the appliance guys wondered why I was so amused.  They had no idea that some of that truck hamper underwear outlived the washer, including the pair I was wearing then and there.

 

Greta Thinks She’s A Labrador Retriever

Remember when you were first in love and the idea of taking a shower together seemed like such a romantic thing to do?  That is until you realized that only one person could get under the shower head at a time.  Plus, there really wasn’t enough room and soapy elbows polked soapy “insert your favorite body part here.”  Ever since I came to that realization I have had wonderful, solitary showers…until now.

You know that moment when you’re just starting to rinse the shampoo out of your hair and your eyes are closed and you suddenly get licked on the tush?  Oh?  You don’t get licked on the tush in the shower?  I never have, either…until we got Greta.  Let me tell you, that is one weird sensation when you aren’t expecting it!  At least she wasn’t coming after me with a knife “Psycho” style.  Though I think the yelp of surprise that came out of me would have made Hitchcock proud!

Greta loves water.  I’ve never seen anything like this in a Great Dane before.  Danes drink water out of a bowl.  On a hot day, they might walk into the lake and get their legs wet.  This is how a Great Dane should act.  Great Danes are not water-loving dogs.  Danes are not Labradors!  Apparently, Greta never got the memo.  Apparently, Greta thinks she’s a Labrador Retriever.  So far she’s only licked me, but if she tries to retrieve me, we’re both in for a surprise!

Anyhow, back to the shower situation.  After trying repeatedly to keep her head from poking around the shower curtain, I finally pulled the curtain around so she couldn’t get to me.  I figured she’d get tired of being thwarted in her tush-licking endeavor and go away.  That’s when I heard the noise.  She was climbing into the tub!  It was my turn to peek around the shower curtain and sure enough, her two front legs were in and she was just about to climb in completely when I stopped her!  I’m too old to share a shower, especially if my shower buddy is a Great Dane who thinks she’s a Labrador!

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What Else Are You Hiding From Me?

A couple of days ago, Bill and I were riding in the car and he nonchalantly mentioned that the pants he was wearing were 30 years old.  This elicited a number of emotions on my part:

  1.  How did these pants escape the Great Closet Purge of 1988?
  2. Why were these pants in tolerable shape after 30 years?
  3. What other clothing from previous decades might he be hiding from me?
  4. How on earth could he still be able to wear clothing that he wore 30 years ago?
  5. Did he have even an inkling what turn our conversation was going to take?

Ok, I admit that probably wasn’t exactly the order in which I thought those things.  There were a few eye rolls in there and a bit of self-loathing, too.  I couldn’t fit a leg into a skirt I wore thirty years ago.

In order to abate my weight-related introspection, I turned my attention back to Bill and his ability to hide ancient clothing from me.  It went something like this:

Me:  “Where did these come from?”

Bill:  “I bought them in Dexter in July of 1988 on the way to Joe’s camp party.

Me:  “That is not what I meant and you know it!  Where have you been hiding them all these years?”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me: “Do you have any other ancient articles of clothing hanging about or are these pants it?”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me:  “Spill it, what else do you have lurking in the back of your closet!”

Bill:  “I got rid of that wool brown and white jacket that I wore in high school that you hated so much.”  He said this rather hoping it would divert my attention to something he actually got rid of that I loathed.  It didn’t work.

Me:  “That was NOT my question.  But it’s good you did that because we’d be having a bonfire otherwise.  What else?”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me:  “Don’t tell me you have that plaid shirt that I can literally see through!”

Bill:  “Ummm”

Me:  “Where is it?”

Bill:  “I got that shirt in 1978 when I was a junior in high school and I’m not ready to give it up.  It has sentimental meaning to me.  Besides, it’s a PERFECT mowing shirt.

Me:  “That was 40 years ago!  Why is it that any old piece of clothing is the “perfect” mowing attire?  You have four pairs of “perfect” mowing shoes that are coming apart at the seams!  You have a t-shirt that has more holes than fabric.  It is not a good sign when you have to wear sunscreen UNDER your shirt.  You are always saying you need more closet space for your sports gear.  Maybe if we weed out some of your decades-old “mowing” clothes we can make some room.”

Bill flattened himself against the closet door protecting the contents held within.  Why is it I think he has a pair of bellbottoms in there?  Maybe they are “perfect” mowing bellbottoms.  Worse yet, they probably still fit him!

 

Guest in Jest #44 The Arty Plantsman

Summer 1988.

My wife Susan and I had been married just over a year. We lived next door to her parents (I know, believe me, I know…).

I was working shifts and often at home during the day. Susan was working standard days and usually out. Susan’s best friend Lynne would often pop in for a coffee with me when walking her dog. Susan’s mum had (unfounded) suspicions about this…

On this occasion, the sun was shining so we had our coffee sitting on the lawn out back. We could hear Susan’s parents chatting as they worked in their garden on the other side of the tall hedge.

After a little while Lynne’s dog, Jess, got bored of all this sitting around and started to mess around. Resulting in Lynne screaming at the top of her voice:

“GET YOUR TONGUE OUT OF MY EAR!”

Next door went totally silent……….

 

A few weeks later:

Another coffee visit. Susan arrives just after Lynne has gone. Susan’s mum makes a point of telling her this on the doorstep. Susan comes into the house to discover me in the bedroom pulling my trousers on…

There is actually a perfectly innocent explanation for this – can anyone guess what it is in the comments?