Luke the Puppy Dog

My Happy Puppy Tail Ending

This post was going to wait a month so that I could be sure that Luke was going to be staying with me.  A week into our relationship I can’t imagine life without him.  He is my puppy-dog  and I am his person.

How Luke Came To Live in My Little Yellow House

The day after I posted the update about Tank my friend ,Mike, sent a plea into cyber space via Facebook asking if anyone could offer Luke a home.  He had been getting into trouble on the farm and after one of the sheep suffered an attack from all four of the dogs, a new home needed to be found. Luke wasn’t the instigator just young and enthusiastic.  Still they couldn’t keep him around the farm animals.

So, I called Mr. Mike and drove out to Geneva late in the afternoon.  The road was bumpy and had to stop twice for some Gopher Turtles that were sunning themselves in the middle of the dusty tracks .

Luke and his buddies were hanging out in the dog yard.  He was wiggly and just pleased as punch to be meeting a new person.  We took him into the house so adults could talk.   Mike explained that his home was the second for Luke. His first parents discovered they were expecting a child soon after they took him in; they already had two other dogs.  Three dogs and an expectant lady don’t mix, especially one with Like’s energy. It wasn’t an easy decision for the family; to give you an idea his tag read – Luke call Mommy with their number.

Are you my Mommy?

In the end, as you might have guessed, Luke came home with me.  He was so excited to be going on a car ride that he hopped in before we had finished loading his crate.  When we were finally ready to go, he sat himself in the driver’s seat with a happy puppy grin and that wiggly tail moving a million miles an hour.

True to what Mikey’s word, he was awesome in the car and in perfect little gentleman in the pet store. Meeting my friend, Stew, he was relaxed and soon settled down in between the two of us for nap.

Momma, we have to talk…

The kitty boys and him  are getting along, not exactly living in harmony, but no fights or fur flying through the house. He sleeps on my bed at night and since his entrance I have been sleeping through the night.

We have our issues.  Luke won’t go potty while on his leash so everyday we walk to a neighbor’s house so he can run around in the yard and do his business.  Strange, but completely true.  He still prefers my seat to his own in car. In the mornings, he goes with me to get my coffee loving each moment of the ride around the block.  Sometimes, he even lets me back in the car before sniffing the elixir of life.

Is this your seat?

My New Hobby – Exhaustion

Last Thursday night, I fell asleep at 7:30 and woke up in time to go to work the next morning.  I did it again last night.

This evening, I feel asleep once again around seven and  woke up three hours ago. My kitty boys gently reminded me that I had other things to do beyond sleeping.

Jack and Nu Mu

My house is a bit cleaner now, litter box and turtle tank included.  The boys are happy, well except for the kitty who is confined to the potty room but that is another story.  There is more work to be done, but then again there is always more work.

Deciding to clean my house wasn’t an attempt at perfection, far from it. It was an attempt to breathe.

Exhaustion is something that with my work current schedule, I can’t avoid.  Between job no. 1 teaching and job no.2 answering phones for a local theme park, I have worked the last eight days straight. I still have five more days before I have a day off. On top of all of this, I agreed several months ago to chaperone the senior trip to Universal’s Grad Night.  It was a blast and I was happy to do it.

I have also written more than five thousand works on my latest project, read about twenty student research papers and designed lessons for four different classes.

Cleaning the house tonight will allow me just a bit more relaxation time this week and provides me with a little more mental clarity. A clean house may not actually be next to godliness, but it is next to sanity.

It was my choice to clean tonight; no one forced or pressured me.

It is a choice that I am proud of; along with my choice to be positive and happy.  Sometimes we forget that those are choices. We wait for the perfect time to do this or that and never let ourselves breathe. Never let ourselves see the man on the street doing the robot dance as he waits for a safe time to cross the street or let out a laugh because we remember doing that in the fourth grade. We are too focused on getting to the store and using our coupons to save another fifty cents. We will drive an extra ten miles do so; never taking into account the gas we are using or the time.

My time is precious.   It is as valuable as my happiness.

Tomorrow afternoon when I walk in the front door my floors will be clean, the living and dining rooms will be free of clutter and the bedroom won’t contain a basket of clothes waiting for my attention. Then I will be able to take part in my latest hobby-exhaustion napping.  If I wake up before the morning alarm goes off, sweet. Otherwise, I will just let my body exercise its own choice to be happy and sleep.

P.S. A New Poem

The Original Copy

*Normally, I would place notes at the end of the poem, but this is one that I wrote when I was in the sixth or seventh grade.  Sharing it is a bit scary.

I made only minor changes to it here.  Looking back through the poems that I have written over the years is a bit weird.  It helps me to see that I have grown over the years (or in this case decades) as a writer.

Little Words, Big Fears

There are words in my soul

Hidden back behind my heart

Sweet, divine thoughts

To touch the souls of men

But they do not move

Too scared and afraid

To bare themselves to a world

of their own creation.

<>

Only falsity bares itself

And it’s own untrue, evil souls,

If one cannot bear them, one is alone

Like the worlds of my soul

Trapped, too afraid to move

<>

Reality and truth seem too far

Apart in the soul,

All Crave Truth,

All Crave Reality, Honesty

Yet all eats the sick soup of lies

Black and odious stew of Society

with each new taste, The Soul

is imprisoned…..

Ahh… the simple complex things

I am not sure where this post is going, but here I go stepping off the cliff in my own mind.

Human beings are fools.. honestly, we are.  We dominate this gem of a planet and complain about everything under the sun. Even our life giving sun.

For much of the western world, the Christmas season is rapidly approaching.  It is supposed to be a season of love and giving.  Instead for many it is a season of greed and frustration. I am not saying anything new to many of you.  Many folks say that it has always been this way and always will be this way.

So do I have a point?

Well, give me a moment to work on it. As I type I am recovering from an emotional hangover.  I spent last night crying after a fight with a loved one.  Two dear friends listened to me and mentally tucked me in when I finally fell asleep.  I may have been sleeping alone physically; mentally, however, I was being held in the arms of two angels.

This morning, I got up, treated my brain splitting headache and went to work.  My feet shuffled through the house like the condemned. My face painted so that no one would see its stunning impression of a human raccoon.   The kids were cool and did what I asked of them. They have a way of knowing when not to push my buttons.  Especially, I confess second period is one of my favorite classes.  They walked in and we all started writing in our journals. The timer went off and we all just sighed, too tired to notice that it had been in unison. Five students and one teacher letting frustration leave their bodies at the same time.

We could have pushed through the planned lesson, but no learning was going to take place.  So we played a game and relearned how healing laughter is.  One of the girls slipped her journal on my desk, the signal that she wanted it read.

Why is my life so horrible was the gist of the first line. She went on to tell me that her mother whom she was praying to be reunited with was arrested.  She doesn’t know what is going on or why her mother was arrested.  All she knows is that once again life has thrown her a sucker punch and it landed right on her already broken heart.

I wrote her back, as I always do when they ask me to read.  And while I was, I didn’t worry about all the little things that were weighing my shoulders down, I was in the moment, because she needed me to listen and demonstrate that I heard her and cared.  Both of us were smiling when I handled her back the journal.

At lunch I ran out to find food and decided that the golden arches was my best option. Running thru the drive-through, a women stepped forward and asked if I could spare some change.  Her voice sounded like that of an old friend, rich and warm.   I gave her the last two dollars in my wallet.

Today, I felt doomed and trapped when I woke up, and then I was given a gift. It is the same gift that is placed by each of our bedsides every night.  The chance to make my day a good one.  I still feel a little like I have been run over by a freight train, however, the universe has seen to it that there are some bandages holding me together until I mend.

There is so much I could complain about.  So much that many consider wrong in my world.  There is however a soft breeze threading its way through a cracked window giving me relief from the endless Florida heat, a puppy wrapped around me softly breathing and the man who made me cry last night is also the man who walked me up the street to get a slice of gluten free chocolate cake.  I don’t need any gifts for Christmas, there is no need to trample some poor soul to obtain the latest shiny bobble; the simile on my face comes from knowing I am loved and living in the present.

I can’t fix the world, though I believe that people can make a difference when they try. No, stepping off the cliff of my mind tonight has reminded me that we are all on the fool’s journey.  All stepping off the cliffs in our mind again and again, many times not even realizing it; working our way through the world hoping things will change. Forgetting that the definition of failure is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The day didn’t get better because something changed the normal course, it got better because I transformed myself and let things happen naturally, in metaphysical terms, I stopped trying to be the pebble and became the water.  Moving with the course of my life and discovering things were going the right way, after all, forward. The wrong turn after school lead to a new route to my favorite teaching store. The wrong turn in a relationship lead to a new understanding.

I guess my point is that while we are all fools,  we can have a choice to complain about all we have to do in the coming season, all the woes big and small or we can let ourselves be in the present with open eyes and give ourselves to the world like the man who gave his name to the season did. Let’s not fight over the true meaning of the season.  So what if I tend a Yule fire, you decorate a Christmas tree and the family across the street lights a menorah and there won’t be as many presents as last year because Papi was laid off,  we still have right now to be present with those we love or hope to love.

We have to stop trying to keeping up with the Jones, whose house by the way really isn’t that nice on the inside, and learn to be ourselves.  When I sit down for Christmas dinner with my Momma two days after the actual holiday, I am going to love biting into my Sloppy Joe, not regretting for a moment that there won’t be a turkey and dressing.  All I need will be there.

Just Another Manic (Moody) Monday

There are days when I wake up feeling like there is a curtain of dread hiding behind my eyes.  Some might blame this on my profession, teaching teenagers. It would be tempting to accept this and go though my day expanding and festering on this reasoning as each fifty minutes a new group of girls walks into my domain. But they aren’t the creators of the gloom ridden curtain I was peeking out of this morning, and I don’t want to be miserable old stick-in-the-mud teacher who only teaches apathy.

Booger, my largest furry child

One, I am not old, despite my students’ concern over my being unmarried and without a human child of my own. (I work at a school for teen mothers.)  Two, the students already have apathy down. More importantly, I in no way enjoy being depressed or sharing my depression with others. Sharing is not always caring, folks, and T.M.I. is a deadly thing.

The chemicals in my brain and life just don’t always agree. And let’s face it, sometimes life just sucks big time. Writing helps, reading as well, but sometimes I need another escape. Yes, I just implied that books doesn’t solve all my problems.

Last night, I felt the dread pass over me like the wave that hits when you aren’t looking.  It was sudden and rough, sending me tumbling into the rough places of my mind, seemingly originating from nothingness. My weekend was been long, but not sad.  Still, there I was, feeling like a slimy lump on a log.  I didn’t want to write or read or even, for a moment, be.  I was just blah… there was no rhyme or reason… just the blah swishing around my brain.

So I reached out, contacted a friend, and then did something that has always helped, I asked the universe to provide. It wasn’t something specific, just a call for assistance.  For the religious out there, I prayed.  I texted the same friend I had contacted earlier for movie recommendations, and after a brief debate we decided on “Captain America”, explosions and violence always being a cheerful thing.

Curling up in my favorite pjs with my Uli bear I allowed myself get caught up in some movie magic with my furry son, Bogger; it helped.  (It is a shame when we grow up so much that we forget the simple comforts of a teddy bear.) Along with a good night’s sleep, the warmth of my coworkers helped; I was feeling more like myself as I walked into my classroom. It is my second home; then with the ding-a-ling of our makeshift bell came the girls.

Uli T. Bear

They weren’t their normal Monday cranky, they were subdued; diet cranky, if you like. In those first five minutes of class, I had a decision to make:  do I let the gloom curtain surround them and allow it to spread, or ignore it and be who my students expect me to be, their crazy teacher who doesn’t let them get away with squat. The one who expects complete sentences even when they have had two hours of sleep and returns tests ungraded if they didn’t answer all the questions.  The day progressed and while the curtain remained, I didn’t mind it so much.  There was now a breeze blowing through it.

One of my students wrote me a note in her journal asking for advice. Another came into my room wanting to know if I had found the book she wanted to borrow.  A third girl came in to tell me she was moving to New York to be with family, which meant that she would be missing my class to go home and pack.

At lunch, the science teacher noticed hints of the curtain and let me talk.  Others shared my joy as I related to them the stories from my West Palm adventure.

As corny as it may sound, I truly believe that if you ask the universe will provide you with what you truly need.  It may not be what you want, but it does provide if you are willing to at least open the window. Come to think of it, I may have read that last bit in a book.