Category Archives: teaching

Dee’s Dog

I have lived here for years and everyone has always called out for Zoe and called me just “Zoe’s Mom.”

Today my husband took her out and someone actually said to a friend, “that’s Dee’s dog.” I’ve raised her for nearly 14 years, she’s losing her hearing as well as her sight. We have enjoyed all this time with her. She is still happy, healthy and friendly to all. Well, she did try to chase the neighborhood turkey, “Tom,” a couple of weeks ago but was on leash and didn’t get anywhere near. Zoe was afraid of two baby goats when she was a pup, visiting the farm. She knew not to go for that old turkey that runs wild here and is pardoned by the neighborhood every Thanksgiving.

Pet reminder. Go through basic training with your pup and learn hand signals. Even with cataracts she can see, but if she doesn’t hear me I have to pet her head and do the hand signal to “come” and she will follow me to the collar and leash and out the door. When your dear old dog begins to lose faculties, down, sit, come, stay, even heel will be useful. Signals also help when your spouse is off a long, late flight and sound asleep so I don’t have to say a word. Take care of your dog(s) and significant other. Cheers! Dee


Dictionary Game

My aunts came up with this. Fifteen of us on an extended vacation. “halfway” in cars. We never know if we’d be stuck in rain or snow so my two favorite English teachers came up with a game.

They brought a dictionary and as kids, we had to open a page and look at a word we’d never heard of and learn and make up a meaning. “This is how lemmings fall off cliffs.” We could make up the verbiage, all write it down on a slip of paper and someone who was not playing would read out the papers and the contestants would vote for the most plausible definition.

It taught me a lot about our family, education, and made me want to learn. Oh, I was always one to turn to funny so never “won.” Lemmings. It wasn’t about that for me, just being with family.

There may be a family reunion for the first time in many years. We’ve gained a few in marriages and children, but lost a few along the way. If our Aunts cannot bring board games to the table, I’ve a possible solution as a gift for the M’s or us, after we play the Dictionary Game. Winner gets it. We have to see who shows up, first! This is not halfway!

We have to fly from 1500 to 3000 miles away so we’ll see when it is and how it goes. That was not a proper sentence. I always think about my aunts when I write. I purposely break rules and they know it, but I like to cook, and they taught me that as well. I break rules there and everywhere.

I never got to be a rebel. Perhaps those few years on the hill during my childhood let me do so rappelling off cliffs, swinging, foraging, dealing with snakes and crayfish (crawdads) et al  but that was just being a kid with boy neighbors.

Rebel didn’t start until my thirties. I met some of the best people and worst people I’ve ever known.

Cheers! Dee

Language, Thought, Wisdom

I was always told I’d be a teacher.  No, I’ve never been a school teacher but have many educators that have taught me language, thought and wisdom. Yes, I am a teacher in other ways.

When I was a little kid I had to look at a dictionary when I used the “loo” and say and spell a word, say it was a noun and use it in a sentence.

My dear neighbor G, a genius, taught me psychoses and other words. My favorite has always been fear of the number thirteen. Look it up.

Between my family and neighbors I was blessed with an education my school could never provide. The good Fathers blessed me with rounding out that education with art and history.

I read The Diary of Anne Frank and Death Be Not Proud when I was seven and taught my little sister how to read. Reading is not all of it, when put together by mentors, mine are mostly gone now, you learn how to think.

Thinking, learning, pasting things together in one’s mind may lead to a body of knowledge. That may lead to wisdom and perhaps, vision. My father is a visionary. He is an optimist, as is his eldest daughter. Dee


I had a bad day, yesterday. Zoe did as well. I am re-thinking our boarding choices. One company charges $200 per day for limited service so why go on one vacation in 14 years? We don’t spend that much in a day.

Zoe had her nails trimmed (I held her) and spent 1.5 hours at the desk with other dogs and they wouldn’t let me pick her up. I said no. I’ll pay for four hours and you only had her 1/3 of that time. They said for me to come back later. No-one ever told me about pickup time or forms or whatever. My eye appointment was bogus, they wanted me to sit there for hours.

I got my dog and thanked the groomer who trimmed her nails. Yes, she got a healthy tip. The owner was not nice in person so I’m questioning where to keep Zoe while we’re off in the wild blue yonder. My asking for her premature release was a trigger for the new owner who might hold it against Zoe. That’s a problem for me.

The eye place.They said they didn’t know if they had a lens made and it would take hours. I left the glasses and called an optician we’ve met (with my husband for his contacts, not with the dog) and he said they’re done and all I have to do is come back tomorrow.

In the end, retired, I talk to people, mentors are still around. I meet them every day. I try to learn something every day, whether it’s from a neighbor, butcher, doctor, scholar. Some, very few, stick in my mind. Art, Fr. John. People, Fr. Cap and Led. Helen and Pam and Chris.

I got a job in politics and thought I was in policy. I wrote laws. Good ones. I did not have a mentor there nor at my next job as a pseudo- lobbyist. I quit and went to cooking school with my life savings.

What is my job? I make lemonade from lemons. I help people and animals, and take care of my husband and dog. I made a Braille game to help grandkids know about and meet their grandparents’ new neighbors, who have a blind dog. Also got them a magnetic Backgammon game to play in the back seat of the car (yes, the pieces stick) going home.

I only got to see them for a moment. Zoe did as they arrived but Z needed to go out. The gifts are still here, to go with Grandma and Grandpa when they visit.

Yesterday a lovely Indian woman went down on her knees and petted Zoe. That has never happened. Zoe had her nails cut and spent 1.5 hours with errant dogs at the desk and was desperate to see me and go home. This interaction at home was what my Jewish friends would call a mitzvah. It was a happy moment for us both and I already sent them a thank-you note for her kindness.

With all the terror I wish to see the kindness in people and life. Dee


or getting a leg up on the competition. As an infant one cannot walk, but as soon as s/he can there’s a ladder.

I probably did not know the concept until my teens, but learned the reality soon thereafter. Think of our supposed “melting pot” of cultures. Each one that got in to our nation kicked down another culture to make their way in the world.

As a kid people talked about Wops and Micks and Polacks. They were friends and neighbors. I didn’t understand the terms of the diatribe because I didn’t know it was one, didn’t get the words and that I had to take a stand. I did, at age eight, in favor of a boy who was gay. I didn’t know it, nor about sex or gay. I just knew he was seen as “different.”

Did I climb the ladder and push anyone, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation off that ladder? NO. Job inequality? Yes, equal rights and pay. Do I fight for the rights of my family? Yes.

The question is if I keep a person from a different condition, let’s say someone with one parent who doesn’t have money for an education, and kick her off the ladder, NO, I would never do that. Not for being a citizen, voter, retired worker, perhaps I should call this blog Melting Pot Mom, but I still need to be Napping Dog Press! I have met so many wonderful people over the years, from everywhere. It’s been a lifetime of adventures.

My husband is still sleeping off a tough work week and long commute home. We have three days together, a treat for me and Zoe the dog.

One of the reasons husband and I have been together so long is that we do not believe in the ladder of age, color, anything. We believe in bootstraps. Education, jobs, belief in one’s abilities. We’ve never kicked down, we lift up. A happy July 4th to you, your family and friends. Dee


Yes, that is what I am and have been for years. I would like to give a gift to my nephew. It’ll take a while to put together. Ten recipes with instructions and completed with whatever is needed to finish the dish.

I know that he’s going to be OK but as he needs to eat while getting an education I may have to go to our local university to check out dorm rooms. Plus, he has to wow the girl of his dreams, whoever she may be.

Years ago my father, as a gift, brought a psychic to dinner to read my fortune. She said I was a teacher. I am, a leader, visionary and teacher since I was a child.

Going to cooking school has enlightened me and I worry about college students eating food that is not good for them or their education. Hopefully college moms (hear me PDXKnitterati) will help on this quest. Few ingredients, pots or pans, healthy and fast. No, not just ramen noodles….. Cheers! Dee



I Have a Friend

This can never be uncategorized, as you deem every post. We started our WordPress blogs the same week and were deemed worthy of reading. I’m sure she has tons more readers than I as she is so talented in many areas.

I visited her, she visited me and after all these years, we’ve never met. If I had a “bucket list” it would include meeting PDX. She gave me means to recruit a great singer/songwriter for our listening and enjoyment at Nanny’s 82nd birthday. Surprise!

PDX gave me a hand-made Pippi Longstocking hat I wear all the time. I gave her signed CD’s from her vocal heroine, our singer/songwriter and guest for several visits who wrote and sang Fellina’s version of the legendary Marty Robbins’ El Paso.

My husband actually sang El Paso our final night in Scotland. No, he does not drink, then all the restaurant patrons stood up and sang “Deep in The Heart of Texas” with us. My husband sings a great baritone. I do harmony in music and life.

We love the people who make a difference in our lives. Tomorrow I’ll try to make braids to go with Pippi as I take our old dog out for a walk. Dee


Places I’ve lived, visited, places made and changed my life.

I was born in one state and lived there, except for a few years, until age 29. At least 12 places that included babyhood, childhood, school, college, and work.

Another state with two residences in middle school and high school. Another with two residences as an adult. Another state, two residences with my husband.

Another state for a few years with my husband and dog. Yet another for a few years with both dear ones.

That’s about 20 homes in my life. Oh, I must include one posting overseas. That makes it 21.

Visiting will take longer. I just wrote my grade school principal (they sent an email) and thanked him for the base of my education and my excellent teachers, mainly in music and math, and general education, people who inspired me to be smart and not be shy and sit in the back of the classroom.

I believe it is important to thank the people who shaped your life, parents, teachers, mentors. ‘Tis the season. Dee

ps Years ago I bought this hand-made door hanger with a moose, a bear and an evergreen tree. My husband hates it. This morning I went to storage and found our stockings and two jingle bell wreaths for the inside and outside of our front door. He is so glad I got rid of the moose! (shhhh, it is in our closet awaiting repatriation after Spring and July 4……)

pps It was difficult to be a girl and be seen to be smart those days, or be more successful than a boy in any athletic endeavor. It was probably tough for guys as well as they were A/V and seen as geeks. Small school, everyone tried to fit in. Luckily I had teachers who egged me on, and we keep in touch.


Learning and Teaching

I’m getting older, but still like to learn something new every day, or every week.

Now I find myself teaching rather than learning and would love to keep doing both.

My father is older and he has always taught me. Perhaps I’ve taught him a few things over the years as well. My husband and I teach each other, and so do our families.

At my age, soon to change another year, I embrace teaching as well as learning. One learns wisdom, hopefully along with knowledge, throughout the years. I always think of myself as a young thirties thirsty for knowledge acolyte.

It is funny that I’ve always been a teacher, but never a real teacher. My aunts, professional English teachers, would be proud. They had a dictionary on top of the commode in the powder room (guest bath) and when I returned I had to have a word I’d never known, spelling, noun or verb and use it in a sentence.

Twice their age when they were teaching me, I’m teaching others. I’ve been doing so for decades, from kids learning gymnastics from me when I was 16 until now. I just didn’t recognize how much I had learned that I could offer others.

Retired, I only give guidance to those who appreciate and use it to their own ends. All volunteer, of course. I still love learning and will until my dying day. Cheers! Dee