Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On A Missing Phone

One afternoon this last week my husband, Jerry, didn’t leave to pick up our son from school at the usual hour saying he had a meeting after school. I didn’t think it was possible but Jerry had talked to him since I had so I didn’t say anything.
Then our land line rang. It was our son calling because he needed picked up. Either there had been no meeting or it hadn’t lasted as long as Jerry thought.
As Jerry left to get him I had the brief thought that it was odd my son called the land line. Not odd he couldn’t reach his dad on his dad’s phone. That’s happened before. But each time it has he always called me on my phone, not the land line.
So I thought I’d asked him about it when he got home but the first thing he did was ask me, “Mom, where’s Dad’s phone?”
“I don’t know. Ask him. Why?”
“Because I tried to call him, and a strange man answered his phone, twice.”
Okay. Not good. I’m thinking Jerry misplaced his phone completely forgetting I’d seen him on his not long before our son called. Hoping whoever had it was only answering in hopes of finding the phones owner. I called.
A vaguely familiar male voice answered. But he told me I’d called his phone number. I told him I’d dialed my husband’s number and what it was. He told me his number.
It took an additional second or two but the area code, from a different state, helped everything click. Jerry had forwarded his calls to his brother-in-law’s phone.
We spent a half an hour or more talking to him and my sister-in-law laughing about the issue and telling them they’re going to have to take messages for Jerry since they’ll be getting all his calls.
Eventually we hung up and I was faced with finding his phone without being able to call it so we could get it off call forwarding.
Then I wondered if the cell phone company could be any help so I called them and told the customer service representative my problem.
She cracked up. She’d done something similar to her phone just the week before. Apparently accidentally forwarding your phone isn’t all that uncommon because they actually have the means to undo it.
With that fixed I proceeded to call my husband’s phone again. I could hear the buzzing, but couldn’t pin point where it was coming from.
Two of my children all but tore my room apart trying to track down the sound while I sat and kept calling the phone. (I had to hang up when voice mail answered and start over.)
The two of them looked through every drawer, even ones Jerry would have no reason to put anything in, and my daughter was saying we’d probably have to clean under our bed when my son figured out the sound seemed to be coming from behind the bookcase.
The only thing behind the bookcase is the hall closet. So they left my room and opened it, thinking it’d be on top the towels or something where it would make sense for him to misplace it.
Not so easy.
Several calls later my daughter finally found it, buried in a pile of old magazines on an upper shelf that hasn’t been moved in years.

Somehow, I don’t think that was accidental or absentmindedness. Do you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mourning 2

This last week I haven’t been able to get much done, if it wasn’t one thing, it was another, but I’ve spent most of the week having to relax, or stay off my feet. And I guess I could have been writing, but I couldn’t concentrate (oh the joys of ADD).

So what did I do? Well, I thought about watching a movie, but then my eyes fell on my Star Trek collection, reminding me that we recently lost Leonard Nimoy, so as a tribute to him, I decided to watch my DVD’s, and boy do I have them.

In the last couple of years of my husband’s life, he, for either my birthday or Christmas, gave me boxed sets of the first through third seasons of the original series, plus boxed sets of the original series movies and the TNG movies, not everything in that universe, but enough.

I have now worked my way through the entire first season and am into the second season, but I also took some time to watch the commentary and extra features available in the set. Including the piece about Nimoy discussing all the trouble they’d had fashioning his ears, and the casting changes made between the first pilot (The Menagerie) and the pilot featuring Captain Kirk.

All interesting stuff, and certainly stuff I already knew since I’ve owned the DVD’s for some years now, but it’s nice to be able to look back, and see it all again, and to remember what we’ve lost, but it’s also nice, just to watch and remember how much my husband enjoyed giving me these sets. He loved me a lot.

Sometimes it’s the little things, which make life easier to bear. Don’t you think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Okay, it’s time to write my blog post for the week and I’m avoiding it. Big time.
The bills need paid and groceries bought, and the towels need folded. And I have to check my email accounts.
Then I can waste some time on Facebook, which will last for about an hour, unless of course I’ve checked it every day this week, which I have, so there is really no new posts to read. I rarely post myself so now I need something else.
Well, there is always that notion of making all my Christmas presents this year. I could work on that. Ideas for presents I can make for my kids, husband and sister would be a good start. Or I can just work on a couple of handcraft projects I started months ago, maybe even finish one.
Then there is always games. No I’m not a gamer. But Sudoku puzzles are always good for an hour or two. Or talking my kids into a game of Life, Clue or better yet Monopoly is a fantastic way to while away some time. We do have other games, but those get played the most. Monopoly, that’s a great idea. That will take up the most time.
But then it’s the middle of the school day and most of my game playing kids are, well, in school.
Next idea.
Oh look, my sister is online. Let’s talk to her.
Okay she’s focused on her own writing right now so what else can I do.
What time is it?
Oh, snail mail.
That should be good for a few minutes of distraction. First I have to get someone to fetch it. Then of course there it sorting through it and chucking the junk, dealing with the bills. Unless of course it’s one of those day when we don’t get much.
With that done I have to find something else to do.
My husband lost something important, should I drop this and help him find it?
Never mind. That was solved quickly.
Let’s see, what time is it? Not lunch time. What is there for lunch? Um, who needs to do the dishes? Who is making dinner? Oh never mind that. Tonight half the family won’t be home for dinner so its catch as catch can.
Well I’ve used up twenty minutes.
Now if I were vain I could spend time doing my nails or makeup or something. I don’t even own any makeup, and I did my nail care the other day so don’t really need to right now. (See, not vain.) I could always brush my hair. I haven’t done that yet today. It’s long and likes to snarl so it should take a few minutes.
Well, now what else can I do?
Ah, rescued by the phone. And never mind again.
Okay, I’m really wasting time here.
Some people think writing is so easy but most days it’s really like this. Trying to focus on the task at hand with distractions all around you and its worse when you have no clear idea what you want to write about.
That’s why I posted this quote on my screen.
"If you really want to do something you will find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse."  Jim Rohn

I don’t always focus, but at least I always try.

Do you ever have days like this?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jim Boy

The first time I saw him, I yelled for Dad to come help and hollered at my brother, Bryon, for allowing that beast to follow him home from the park. I’m not a dog person. I prefer cats, and I definitely don’t like big dogs. This brute was the biggest German Shepherd I’d ever laid eyes on.

Bryon maintained the dog followed our little half-brother, Benji, not him. I considered myself rather brave to dive forward, grab the toddler, and haul him to safety onto our porch. Bryon may have called him a dog, but all I saw was a monster, a menace, and he was huge. I stood on that porch secure in the knowledge that Dad wasn’t a pet person.

Dad came out, took one look at the beast, and ordered Bryon to take it back to the park.
I thought that would be the end of it, until the dang critter had the audacity to charge forward and stop Benji from falling off the steps. I doubt there is a man in the world that wouldn’t cave if his wife looked at him the way Mom looked at Dad that day and said, “The dog stays.”

I groaned, but then pointed out that there was no way anyone was going to get a collar on that thing, let alone a leash.

Bryon happily dubbed the beast Jim Boy and rushed out to buy a collar. The stupid creature didn’t even fight it. My prediction that he’d never accept a leash never even got tested. Soon after he followed my brothers home, we moved out to the country.
I did learn however that I wasn’t the only one who thought he was too big. Our neighbors thought he was a wolf. More than once I overheard one neighbor telling another neighbor, “I couldn’t believe my eyes, there was this huge wolf chasing a rabbit across my field and, as I watched, I realized that beast had on a red collar!”

I told each one of them that Jim Boy was the gentlest animal on God’s green earth; of course, by that time he’d grown on me. I’d even petted him a time or two.

Jim Boy came to us trained, too. He was housebroken and answered to Bryon every time he whistled.

Jim Boy also stopped Benji, and later Danny, from falling off the front porch more than once, and kept them from falling into the nearby canal at least twice that I know of.

He also kept strangers out of the yard, not that we had a great problem with that out in the boonies as we were. Whenever someone came to our place the first time, we had to go out and introduce him or her to Jim Boy; otherwise, he wouldn’t let them out of their car.

I’m sure he loved living in the country, but one day Dad announced he found a better job in Tacoma, Washington. I looked it up. Tacoma was bigger than Boise. I pointed this out, and pointed out that a huge place like that definitely had leash laws. I even mentioned how long a car ride that would be. Jim Boy loved to ride in the car, but for that long?

We debated it for weeks, in the end Dad took Jim Boy to the vet, made sure his shots were up to date and got some tranquilizers for the trip. The vet told us Jim Boy was indeed half Timber Wolf and gave Dad a small packet of pills. He instructed Dad how to give them to even a reluctant recipient. I watched Dad give him that first one. Not only did Jim Boy not fight it, he lapped it right up, no problem.

On the morning of our third day on the road, while we loaded the car, I remembered the pills and reached for them, only to discover just one missing. We’d forgotten to give him the regular doses and he’d remained as calm and complacent as with the medicine! We teased Dad about wasting money. Jim Boy was too good a dog. We finished our trek feeling we would have no problems having such a large beast for a pet in the big city.

Our first problem arrived when the US Postal Service notified us that we either pen our so-called dog or lose services. We thought no problem. The house Dad rented had a large back yard with nice six-foot high fence around it. Jim Boy didn’t like the backyard. He took one flying leap and sailed right over said fence. The second he soared over it, it dawned on me that any dog who was over six foot on his hind legs wasn’t going to find that fence a challenge.

I even joined in on complaining that it wasn’t fair to confine him to the house. We particularly hated that the postman delivered mail anytime between nine thirty A.M. and half past four P.M. We never knew when he would show. Jim Boy took his confinement docilely.

But that lead to another problem, or rather Konnie and I had a problem. We had a split entry house and Jim Boy took to lying across the head of the upstairs hall, right at the end of the railing overlooking the stairwell.

The three youngest members of our family had no problem crawling over him, and Jim Boy never so much as twitched when they did. The three tallest members of the household could step over him even when he was standing up, but Jim Boy’s shoulders came to about waist height on the two not so tall members of the family. Of course, if he remained recumbent we’d have no problem expect he didn’t remain so.

Ben, Dan, and Patty could crawl all over him, Mom could step over him laden with a baskets of clean laundry, but, if Konnie or I attempted to step over him laden down with homework, he’d stand up!

And I don’t mean he’d yawn, stretch, and languidly get to his feet, after we’d managed to step over his hulk, I’m talking as soon as we had one foot over, he’d suddenly get to his feet, each time sending us to the floor and our books flying. It never failed.

And despite Konnie saying it never happened to her, I remember at least once when it did. I clearly remember one day after school entering the house through the garage (to avoid being the first one the little ones greeted home) only to witness Konnie’s books to go sailing down the stairwell while she yelled at Jim Boy. So it happened to her at least once.

Then one day I sat and watched him. He didn’t move a muscle. All three little ones were crawling back and forth over him like it was a game. Mom stepped over him several times doing chores; he looked sound asleep and totally unaware of what was going on around him. I risked it and stepped. I went sprawling!

The next time I tried asking him to move. He ignored me. I thought for sure he was asleep that time. I was wrong, again. After that, I started grabbing him by the collar and moving him out of the way. He sulked away giving me a look that seemed to say, “You’re ruining my fun.” I didn’t care.

I started taking walks when we lived in the country. I did it as much for the exercise as to get away from our noisy crowded house, but I was afraid of Jim Boy going with me. We still didn’t own a leash, and even we if did, I doubted I’d have been able to hold him. I knew he would come when Bryon whistled, but I can’t whistle. I didn’t think Jim Boy would come back when I called to him. He fooled me again. I called; he came romping back. It got to the point that all I had to do was pat the side of my leg a couple times, and he’d happily sprint toward me.

Jim Boy looked forward to my walks as much I did because I never tried to stop him from snooping around or chasing rabbits. I let him do whatever he wanted as long as he stayed in my sight. But after we moved to Tacoma, I thought going for walks would be a problem, we still had no leash, and I’d seen several people walking their dogs on leashes, though none without. I didn’t know what to do, but I wanted to go for walks.

I resisted for as long as I could, but finally I set out — Jim Boy happily romping along.

It made me smile when I saw a fellow walking a couple of big Rottweilers. Those dogs took one look at Jim Boy, turned tail, and dragged their master away.

The first time I saw a cop coming my way, I called to Jim Boy, except I didn’t know any commands like “heel,” so when he reached my side, I grabbed his collar. Jim Boy sat down. The cop, our next-door neighbor, stopped and told me that technically, I needed a leash, however, as long as Jim Boy was so obedient, it was okay. That helped.

Jim Boy particularly liked walking along the main road in our area. There was no sidewalk and the ground fell away from the road into an overgrown ditch. He would explore around down there while I walked above. I could see him dodging in and out of the bushes, but I doubt anyone driving by could. It was fun to watch him enjoying himself like that, almost like when we lived in the country.

Then one day, as we enjoyed our walk, a fellow in a pickup stopped and offered me a ride. Kids at school may have called me a country bumpkin, but I’d lived in a city until I was fifteen, and I wasn’t naive. The driver and both his buddies were leering at me, and even if I had wanted a ride, I’d never have accepted their offer.

I explained to them that I was taking a walk for the fresh air; they continued leering and pressed harder. As I politely told them again that I was just taking a walk, I tapped my leg. I knew Jim Boy came running instantly, not only because I knew the dog so well, but because of the looks on the faces of those three men. They stopped leering at me and stared wide-eyed with fear over my shoulder, then the driver hurriedly put his truck in gear and sped off as Jim Boy nuzzled my hand. I gave him a big hug. He licked my face. I miss that dang dog!