The magic of puppies

CorgiPuppyDanielStockmanFlickrDaniel Stockman/Flickr

So yesterday, I was at Redding Roasters and there were three or four other people hanging out and talking with Kaitlyn. After I’d bought the world’s best coffee, Kaitlyn turned around and then came out from behind the counter with the most adorable, fuzzy little Corgi puppy in her arms. She had a big grin on her face and I immediately squeed and reached for the puppy. Kaitlyn gave it over and I stood there cuddling it and kissing it (hugging it, petting it, squeezing it and wanting to name it George…).

The puppy was splayed out on my chest with its warm belly on my left boob and its head on my shoulder and I never wanted to let it go. I asked if it was a boy or girl and heard a voice from behind me: “Her name is Maggie.”

I turned around to see a woman standing there smiling and realized that when Kaitlyn had brought the puppy out, she had been about to reach past me and hand her back to her mom, but I’d intercepted and puppy-nabbed.

I babbled something like, “Omigosh I stole your puppy I’m so sorry I didn’t realize can I still hold her a little bit more oh pleeeeease?”

The woman was laughing and said of course I could, and I cuddled the puppy like she was going to be taken from me at any moment — which of course she would be soon as her mom got tired of me slobbering all over her baby. The woman was very nice and didn’t seem at all fazed by my reluctance to let go. I finally realized I should hand the puppy over to her mom before I had to be asked to, so I did.

I never thought to ask Kaitlyn why the puppy was behind the counter. Maybe I wasn’t the only puppy-napper at Redding Roasters that day.

IWillNameHimGeorgeHQ2The Abominable Snow Rabbit/Warner Bros.

“Don’t you just love a good piece of wood?”

LumberMikeMozartFlickrLumber/Mike Mozart/Flickr

When I used to shoot stock photography, in the forum we’d all joke about how we had tried to apply the Undo or Clone or whatever (as in Photoshop) in real life. I’ve often wished I could hit an imaginary Back button in real life, and especially an Undo as applies to words.  I’m pretty sure I won the Undo award at Home Depot tonight.

One of the guys who works there (he’s at least in his 40s, so is not some silly kid) is used to me, and I’ve said some dumb-ass stuff to him before, believe me, but I’m still cringing from tonight. I was in the lumber section and long story short, he said did I see the planks over there? We walked over there and I gasped. “Ooh! I walked right by those! Those are nice.”

“Yeah, these will be good for what you want, I bet.”

We both stood there running our hands over the planks, talking about what I’d use them for, etc. And I mean we were having a normal conversation while caressing the planks the whole time. I said I’d have to go back home and “measure twice, cut once” and he nodded sagely. Our conversation was pretty much done but I couldn’t stop touching (okay, stroking, caressing, running my hands all over) the planks. I said, “I just love a good piece of wood. Don’t you just love a good piece of wood? Gosh this feels good.”

His face.

Tears actually came up in his eyes right away, but he kept an almost straight face. He has a mustache and his entire mouth disappeared under it as he struggled. His face got all pink right away too. I remember kind of blinking and I’m pretty sure my face crumpled up. We just stood there looking at each other and it was totally not awkward. It was just a sort of an acknowledgment of: Yup, you said that, there is no save.

I made some kind of horrible apologetic face that probably made me look like I had to throw up, and there was a stupid smile in there somewhere. His eyebrows went up like: All righty, then… move along.

I said, “Right. Measure twice, cut once. So… going home now.” He nodded. I walked away wanting to cry.

I know this is funny now, but it wasn’t so much at the time. Well, it kind of was, and I could have brayed out my usual awkward laughter as when something like this happens, but tonight was really a bit beyond the usual.

And I still have to go back there. Oh boy.

I can’t unhear this (Mom)

Copyright 2015 YawningDog/Kate GarrensonMom: Artist’s Hands by YawningDog

Mom has been retired for about six months now. She’s 73 (looks 60 — I should be so lucky). She’s also an artist — a frustrated artist who hasn’t had the time, opportunity or self-confidence to hone her craft other than sporadically.

It didn’t take long for her to go all Telephone Thing on me nearly every day (usually twice a day at minimum). That’s understandable — she’s retired but is currently living with one of my brothers until her cottage is finished (that’s a story in itself, and not a good one). So, not only is she down from working 70 hours a week to none, she’s lost at sea in her own ocean.

The History of Mom will have to be another post, so let me just get this out of my system.

She called tonight just before I was about to put dinner on the table. She tends to go on and on when on the phone (and in person), so I said, “What’s up?”

CallingWoman1MarcelOosterwijkCalling woman I by Marcel Oosterwijk on Flickr

“What are you up to?”


“Oh, okay, I’ll let you get back to it. I just wanted to tell you that there’s been a development.”

“A development.”

“A development in my life. But yeah, but I’ll call you tomorrow and tell you all about it.”

I have visions of tossing and turning all night wondering what this development could be. The way things have been in her life lately, it could be anything from a new recipe to a potential boyfriend, and I’d like to get the discovery over with now. “Mom, you can’t just say there’s been a development in your life and then say you’ll tell me all about it in 24 hours.”

“But you’re busy.”


“A hummus platter.”

I actually take the phone away from my ear, frown at it, put it back. There’s no way she’s calling me about hummus. “What?”

“I was talking to the waitress.”

“Okay. So…?”


“Well… should I have sex?”

My first thought: she just said this in a restaurant. My second thought came out of my mouth — “How the hell should I know?” — at the same time my inner child put its hands over its ears and chanted, La la la la, I can’t hear you!

lalalalaIdontwanttohearthisHildeSkjolbergFlickrLalalala.. I don’t wanna hear this by Hilde Slkjølberg on Flickr

“Well, there are mitigating circumstances.”


“Mom… if you have desire and want to do it, then do it. If there are circumstances that might make you, I dunno, question doing it or regret it afterwards or whatever, then don’t do it.”


“Well… in a nutshell. Hmm. Okay, thanks, honey.”

“Okay Mom.”



Yikers. My ears. My psyche.

Copyright 2015 YawningDog/Kate GarrensonShocked Eyes by YawningDog