A Poem for Toot

Our wonderful friend (and author) Kate Thornton wrote this poem to commemorate the passing of our sweet little girl. It is a tribute not only to Toot, but to every beloved pet anyone has ever loved and lost, so I share it with you now.

“They transcend the barriers
of language, thought, culture, species
To remind us that they are not really individuals
but a long line of successful succession
An unbroken parade of that which we hold most high
that for which we all strive, that which is right there
All the time. Every time.
Missy, Coco, Toot, Spot, the single names we give them
Their real names unknown
Lady, Tippy, Caesar, Spooky, all the gentle spirits
Who reflect us in all our broken disarray and love us
They love us. They cannot do otherwise.
They would do anything for us
Except live forever.
And hurt us only once, when they leave
But return again and again, the succession of dogs unbroken
Though our hearts may be, until the next wet nose reminds us
that they are still here”


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Godspeed, darling little Toot


Our adored precious angel sweetheart Toot left us tonight. Quietly, peacefully, unexpectedly. No trouble – just sorrow. From the day we got her – April 3, 2008 (she was 5), until tonight, she never gave us anything but joy and laughter and a saucy attitude. She had a certain little swagger – her flag of a tail swishing – that will be unforgettable. She was our darling. She only outlived her “sissie” Cleo by 8 months. I have no idea how we are going to cope with this – I only know that it’s going to be bad. I feel so very sorry for our new puppy, too, who will now grow up an only dog. Poor little Lucy knows Toot is gone – no doubt about that. Toot was the only other dog little Lucy has ever known, and she adored her.
All I can say is, if there is a heaven, Toot will be waiting for me, right there with Cleo and Fluffy and Tulip and Alpha and Pom Pom and Tiko and Bingo and all my other babies.
Kinky Friedman, one of my all-time favorite authors and an all-around good guy, quoted this when his beloved cat Cuddles died. It is very true, and it is a comfort to me now:
“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”
Irving Townsend
So, until we meet again, rest in peace, sweet little Toot. Go play with Cleo and Fluffy and wait for me, please. I’ll be along one of these days.

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Even a bad photographer takes a good picture now and then.

Kind of amazed, looking at this picture. Because it’s beautiful, and I’m the one who took it – with my cell phone camera. I guess sometimes even a blind squirrel finds an acorn…

Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature
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Route 66, then and now

When my friend Pat and I toured a large part of the southwest and midwest for 6 weeks last spring, we visited every quilt shop we could find, stopped at any thing and any place that looked interesting, from The Devil’s Tower to Nauvoo to Taliesin, and toured all of the Presidential Libraries and homes we could. It was the trip of a lifetime. Our meandering route took us south along the Mississippi, and also across parts of Route 66.

When I ran across the wonderful blog created by photographer Natalie Slater called “The Mother Road Re-visited: Route 66 Then and Now”, it reminded me of many of the sights we saw along the way that hinted at a more vibrant past. The gifs she has created change back and forth between buildings, intersections, etc. as they were in their “heyday” and as they are now. They are wonderful to behold, and brought back memories of the highways and byways we traveled on our marvelous journey.  It’s fascinating to see how different some sites are now, and how some have remained completely recognizable.


Here is one of Natalie’s gifs, just to give you an idea. Check it out when you have a minute.


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The Christmas Battlefield

As my cousin David’s 5th grade teacher once said: “There is NOTHING as OVER as Christmas”…


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Da babies have new nicknames.

Our  little shih tzu Miss Toot is now completely blind. Her sense of direction was lousy when she had sight, and it is now nil. On top of that, with her little pushed-in snout, her sense of smell isn’t all that great, either. So Mommy or Daddy have to carry her out to “take the air”.

We don’t want her anywhere near the pool – she has already had two nice but unanticipated little swims therein. So we deposit her on the grass, and let nature take its course. Then, we watch. She invariably heads off with great confidence and a cocky little gait – in the absolute erroneous direction. So, we haul her back inside. and she gets a nice drink of water. Out with the old, in with the new.

I have decided that her new nickname is “Wrong Way Corrigan”.

Lucy the tzoodle (that’s shih tzu/poodle, also known, when she’s being bad, as our shiht-poo), on the other hand, is young and full of piss and vinegar. Also, she will eat/chew on virtually anything. John is always picking up sticks that she brings in, along with other vegetation. But today, I was at my computer and heard a loud kerfuffel in the bedroom.

It was John, and frankly he was yelling at Lucy. Being 10 months old and a Whirling Dervish much of the time, Lucy gets yelled at a lot, by both of us – but this sounded serious.

“ARE YOU CRAZY, you silly dog? Don’t you KNOW how bad that is for you? Of COURSE you don’t – so I’m telling you now. DON’T EAT THIS. BAD BAD BAD for you, you dumb puppy! How many times do we have to tell you? DO YOU WANT A BAD PUPPY TUMMY ACHE? DO YOU WANT A TRIP TO VET? NO, you DON’T! Take Daddy’s word for this! STOP, Lucy, STOP! Go back to STICKS, PLEASE! I won’t even yell at you over sticks anymore, I PROMISE!”

Yep. Threatening, passing on important information, and negotiating – with a puppy. Always successful. Still, he tries. And she looks at him with true adoration, so maybe SOMETHING is getting through.

Meantime, I am interested now. This was a major kerfuffel. John had been in the shower, and when he came out, he had found Lucy chowing down on something yummy. She had one piece in her mouth, and he stepped on a couple of other pieces in his bare feet. Hence the kerfuffel.

He got it off the carpet and out of her mouth. It was pieces of the pool deck, which has some bad areas. Not many, and not large, but enough for a puppy to delight in, and to bring into her area for later nom noms.

We KNOW she’s teething, and that almost anything tastes good to her. But seriously – pool decking?

Being a huge fan of Bosch and of his creator, Michael Connelly, I had but one choice, of course.

Lucy is now the “Concrete Blonde”.


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Don’t let the door hit you as you exit.

Ralph W. Sockman (you really should google him) said, among MANY OTHER THINGS:

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”

I’m splitting this into two parts.

Part One:

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.”

Now, most of my friends and I are in the minority at the moment, and it isn’t pretty. We need a little sustenance. So, let us turn back time and listen once again to Longfellow, who frankly was a good kid when he had it.

“Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.”

And to any of you Trump supporters who may still be (ma)lingering on my blog – this second part is for YOU.

Part Two:

The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”

If you cannot do that –

Please don’t let the door hit you on your way OUT.

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