"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heaven or Hell!

Days drift by in numbered succession
We work to buy another possession.
Routines of life burns the candle low
There is another world beyond this I know
Break through the fog and into the light
Open wide the cracks, escape from the blight
How to emerge from the darkness and gloom
And not remain trapped in an earthly tomb
Do what's right, set aside your fears
Keep your chin up and smile through your tears
Patience will bless us, with affliction we'll grow
Set aside temptation, for we reap what we sow   
Yet for sure Heaven or Hell awaits for us all
And there is one who gleefuly wants us to fall
Or you can turn to Him who loves without condition
Looking over us all, pulling us back from perdition
He knew long ago the mistakes we would make
And gave us the grand plan for us all to partake
He waits at the gate arms wide to embrace
His countenance is in you, it shines in your face

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Dog Ate What? and he still lives?

Yesterday I took our dog Biscuit to the vaccine clinic...he was so obedient and gentile...and I mean the dog not the buffoon vet-assistants who gave the rabies shots. They were nasty and rude. (Now in the past I picked up our dog shots and gave them myself! but I guess that is in the olden days here in Santa Clarita when it was a farming community. So this is only the second shot for an animal where I had to take the patient to the clinic...)

There I was getting our old doggie a rabies shot for his license......(What does that license get him...permission to pee on our lawn?) anyway, I signed in at the walk-in-dog-clinic. I was in line behind an old skinny-girl Labrador who looked like she had been on chemo, her hair was so thin. I stood there with my bear-fur dog...that's what his fur-hair is like before it sheds. It's 110 today so maybe he will start soon, he's a late shedder...(Is that a word?) I wasn't sure of his age, but the very large check-in-lady said he was 12, (according to their records)..so in people years he's 84...almost as old as my mom, and in much better shape.

I continued to stand behind the mange-almost hairless dog who was 10 yrs or 70 in people years, a mere whipper-snapper compared to the Biscuit . As I got closer to Frick and Frack, the two guys giving the shots...I began to cringe and close my eyes due to their really rotten sterile technique...they took off the caps of the needles with their teeth. (You flunk my pharmacology class Dude!) Then they were waiving the UN-covered needles around like maracas in a Desi Arnez band. I ducked to avoid being skewered. The piece-de-resistance was putting the syringe, and needle sans-cap...under the foot and stomping down while at the same time- giving another shot...(That is a double flunk action DUDE!) Oh! did I say, I never saw a needle disposal container, AND THEY RE-CAPPED several times as I watched in Horror!...(What is the result of multiple finger sticks of rabies vaccine?) I wanted to flee before the guys had foaming seizures, but obediently stood in line to pay my money and then fled out the door....I am hoping...yes hoping our poor old canine friend is pushing up daisies before he must have another shot at that place.

But sadly, he constantly rallies like a puppy and runs after the ball, even when he drops it himself and thinks some invisible person is playing with him. He still has OCD and lines up rocks and balls, bones and other Geerfkaa he finds. You could consider him a dog MONK...like the TV show. And yet, He has finally become an endearing dog...but if we move, which is the plan next year we are not sure what will happen to the sweet old guy.

If anyone wants to adopt him let us know as he no longer excavates the yard, does not bark unless a stranger enters the gate,  And has had his shots!

So Have fun reading Biscuit-rewind if you are interested in adoption and see what you as his new family will NOT have problems with...
After Tuna (our first dog... who was of questionable linage) died we had several other dogs join our family. Bandit was an absolutely nutty Dalmatian, he put out fires. If we set off a firecracker, he would pounce on it with his paws and put it out. Fairly soon after we got him, he jumped the fence. We never saw him again.
Shoe came along…a long haired retriever of sorts, black with white patches. He became the Rooster of the back yard. Megan had chickens in a coop along the back fence. Shoe would sit like a king with all the hen-ladies surrounding him, pecking, grooming and getting any bugs or dirt off. In return, he protected his girls from the many raccoons who prowled the neighborhood and would have loved to make a chicken dinner of his harem.
Next came Bevis who was massive, protective and gentle…and he loved the beach! He could swim 2 or 3 hundred yards into the water to retrieve his beloved ball and swim back to the shore like a seal. When Bevis died all the kids were gone from the house and Mike was on a mission to Texas. I wanted someone, anyone, to meet and greet me when I got home from work. Patrick was working long hours at a hospital job over an hour away from Santa Clarita so I wanted another dog. I watched the paper dutifully and soon found an advertisement for retriever puppies. There were only two males, a wild acting black one with white marks on his chest and a cute sleepy golden one. Hoping to get a calm dog we chose the golden and named him Biscuit. Big mistake, as soon as we got his shots (which I gave...bad move) and other puppy ministrations (de-worming) he became a crazy monster who could jump straight up into the air about 6 feet and began to dig and demolish the back yard like an archeologist searching for King Tut’s tomb.
He particularly liked PVC pipe, and excavated all the sprinkler lines in the back yard. Patrick was incensed and thought getting him a new home would be better than dog-o-cide. I tried to minimize Biscuit’s behavior and would often replace the sprinklers before Pat came home. One time he got into the house and got shoes, the TV remote and my daughter-in-laws’ cell phone and IPod. At that point he was very close to being abandoned in the Mohave Desert. Then we discovered he could open the sliding back door by using his nose to push it open (The pee stain is still on the living room rug...brand new at the time... which I could never get out) and would also get into the garage and my clean clothes in the hamper…spreading them all over the backyard in the dirt. We were unaware of another of his tricks until one day when taking him for a walk.
He was about 14 months old but somehow was one of the most obedient dogs when on a walk especially when we had a weighted pack on him full of about 12 pounds of nuts and bolts from one of the buckets Pat had left over from one of his jobs. (see “What do you do with a dozen doorknobs.”) Caesar the dog whisperer had suggested having a weighted harness was a good way to calm down an over energetic dog, so I was willing to try anything at this point since it appeared Biscuit was soon going to the dog jail as a result of his gangster behavior.
After we were about half way around the block he stopped to manage his usual poop deposit which I dutifully picked up in one of the doggie bags I carried. I dropped the deposit in a trash can which was on the curb waiting for the garbage men and we continued on a while, talking about the vicissitudes of life. It was Patrick who noticed what looked like a string hanging from Biscuits’ rear. I watched it dangling back and forth and thinking it was something he sat in so put a dog-bag over my hand to retrieve the string swinging from under his tail.
As I grabbed the string he walked forward and as soon as he did we both realized the string was getting longer as it came out from his rear.  He walked forward,  and by then about two feet of string emerged and finally out came tied to the end of the string was a wooden pull handle which made an audible pop as it came emerged and fell to the ground. He had eaten the lawnmower pull cord…handle and all…
It was if we had revved him up and started him like the lawnmower. He ran forward yipping as the handle extricated and we couldn’t believe our eyes…but it was true. When we got home we discovered sure enough, the handle and pull cord were missing from the power machine! He had devoured the cord…handle and all. Patrick’s only comment was, “That’s your dog.” Now how could you get rid of a dog who was that clever…and that stupid?  
And now that dumb dog is 84, older than Coon, our first dog, when he passed. I have a feeling all our dogs in heaven are looking down and laughing!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Football players watched my butt in dance class! How I became a writer...

When I was in the second grade I clearly remember writing a play about bunnies. I asked my friends to help me put on the play, and after I made the costumes and had a few rehearsals during recess asked my teacher if we could perform it for our class.
Not long after that we put it on for the entire school. I guess she liked the play, or the way I wrote, or how I convinced so many of my friends to wear the paper ears I made.
I’m not sure why I was drawn to books, but I was often found in the library. I loved reading as a kid and still do. I read about two to three books a week when I can. In the summer at the age of eight I walked two miles to Van Nuys dragging a wagon to carry home the ten books I was allowed to check out. Ten was the limit of books you could check out. After doing that every few days for several weeks the Librarian took pity on me especially after she saw the wagon and I told her I walked the two miles down busy Oxnard St. from near the college to check out the books. After that she broke the rule and allowed me to check out twenty books so I only had to make the trip twice a week.
In Junior High School I took the bus in the morning as it was three miles away. I told my dad not to pay for the afternoon bus pass as I often missed the ride and walked home because I was in the library.  It wasn’t long before I was asked to work in the library because I knew how to use the Dewey Decimal system to file away books.  I loved it because then there was no limit to the number of books I could take home. All the while I was writing stories poems and plays, which I then directed. The plays I wrote always had dancing, my other love. (my tap dancing never improved but my Ballet was impeccable.)
I think I set my sights on nursing rather than dancing or writing (although I have kept up both) because I read so many books that idealized the profession.  When I started nursing school at the age of 16 I had never been sick, or been in a hospital but knew more about hospital life than most others in the program because of the books I read. Of course in College I needed gas money (32 cents/gal.) to get to the hospitals we were training at. So I got a job at the library and in the summers got paid jobs to dance and sing in shows and programs.  I was a theater minor and took drama, dance and theater management along with nursing. I wrote away for my own fun and most of those stories are lost in some trash heap.
I met my sweetheart in the library.  Actually we first met when he sat behind me in Junior High home room and bugged me by putting his finger up the single long curl of my ponytail. Later he told me he couldn’t resist fiddling with my hair because it tempted him every day swinging back and forth in front of his face. He was a chubby kid who every day bothered me. I was the skinny girl who tried to be cool, but actually was a book loving nerd.
In college working at the library most nights I had a clipboard for the football players to sign-in for attending study hall. I guess they wanted to make sure none of the players got bad grades. Several times a week this one tall very handsome fellow signed in. (how did he get sooo tall?) Then he proceeded to bug me all night checking books in and out. He made tons of work for me.  I did not recognize him from Junior High School, but he tells me he knew exactly who I was…he continued to delight in bugging me. To this day he is a tease. We had one sort-of blind date that went so well as far as attraction went that after the date I told him I couldn’t see him anymore. I liked him and was attracted to him way too much (we had a snog session that lasted for hours) as I was supposed to be spoken for by my High School boyfriend who was attending Annapolis. Later of course it was obvious that particular high school relationship was not going to work out well. Dennis turned to his religion once away from home. As you can imagine, a Christian Scientist who believes medicine is unnecessary did not mix well with a nurse who was becoming dedicated to her profession. I was unable to understand the mindset of that particular religion.
I remember one odd thing was that we had some of the football players in dance class. The coach had the idea that modern ballet would make them more agile on the football field.  I remember they all stood at the back of the class. I thought this was because they didn’t know what they were doing and were embarrassed. I learned later it was because they like to watch the butts of the girls in leotards up front. By then I was pretty shapely and unbeknownst to me, became one of the targets for the watch patrol.
My writing career after I married and began a family was limited at best and with a few short bursts of writing poems about my children almost came to a halt.  Then it started up again with plays and roadshows. My writing must have been good enough, along with my directing as many productions won accolades although none was ever printed.  As the years passed my scripts and poems written at others request piled up in a drawer. Often I would write to keep a record of important life experiences. Now that I look back, many wonderful opportunities were missed but now I am trying to catch up after raising my family. The problem still exists that time is elusive as life pushes in and prevents my sitting down to put my thoughts on a computer chip (I almost said put my thoughts on paper, however that medium is almost archaic)
My longtime dream was one day to write a novel. One that was interesting had some shred of reality to it, as well as mystery and romance. Inside my head, thumping to get out was my story and when I finally got some of it recorded on a computer it was lost and I became discouraged. (That does not happen when you use pen and ink.) When my sister-in-law complained I had sent her pages and then stopped I began thinking of my story once again. She wanted to know how the story ends. When I told her I knew what I wanted to happen but the characters would tell me what should happen she didn’t understand and demanded to know the end of the story. If you are a writer you understand the zone…and how sometimes time disappears as you write and the story unfolds without you help. 
I’m stopping now and will continue later. I want to edit and get my novel ready. For what I’m not sure, I guess hope and faith that someone will want to read it and know how it ends is the goal.  Thank you to the author of the last book I read who wrote of her writing passion and how it began for she created the need to record this little history of my writing…and why it took me so long to pour my wild brain onto paper/computer.