A Wall is a Wall–Or is It?

Houses and buildings have walls, it goes without saying, and and thank goodness bathrooms have walls because Lord knows, walls come in handy for those moments when privacy is what’s needed.
And then there’s Trump’s wall. The wall to end all walls, if you ask me. Continue reading

The Further Misadventures of Henry

Henry, upon realizing the cupboard is bare.

Today, for the first time, I present two stories about Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. That’s two for the price of one! Unusual, I know.

I, Cook, wrote Story #2.  Then, just as I was getting ready to post it, one of my readers, Robert, wrote his own story about Henry, on account that I’ve been sick (as everyone knows–thanks to my Sicko in Seattle post), and he decided that a little tale about the little king might be the thing to draw me out of my cold-ridden misery.  And, he was right. So, thank you, Robert!

Herewith, two tales about a dog who descends from royalty.

1.  Henry Fends for Himself, as told by Robert

Henry sat in his royal basket looking and feeling quite dejected. What am I to do, he thought to himself. Cook is ill and cook is not cooking. What will I do for lunch? The cupboard is bare, not a bone or a royal treat to be found.

Just then, a loud sneeze and a series of sniffles could be heard from Cook’s bed chamber.

There is nothing for it, thought Henry. I will have to mix with the working classes and do this thing they call shopping.

Getting out of the basket, he put his crown on its stand by his basket and made for the door. He opened his special doggie flap in the door and climbed through, muttering to himself. Humph!! Still no crown above the flap. Any cat or dog could use it, not realising it’s just for royalty.

Outside, he debated whether to head left or right, and decided right, as the sun would then shine on his good side. Trotting down the sidewalk, he came to a grocery store. He walked through the door and was promptly picked up and put outside again. After this happened three times, he sat and barked. How dare they not let him in! He was royalty, after all. Then, he spotted the notice on the door that said,

“NO DOGS EXCEPT BLIND GUIDE DOGS ALLOWED.”

Stupid sign, Henry muttered to himself, wondering, how can blind dogs read?

Dejected, he made his way home, and climbing through the dog flap, he smelt something nice. He smelt cooking!!!

Cook looked down at Henry, lying in his basket. “Henry, lunch is ready.”

Henry barked in joy and made his way to his bowl. He must have been imagining it. He must be cracking up!!!


2. Henry’s Thanksgiving in the Country, as told by me, Cook

This morning, I told Henry that it’s time to pack up his bags. For, I’m heading to Chicago to visit my daughter, my brother and his family.  It’s Thanksgiving soon and, while I’m away, Henry’s going to spend the holiday in the country. And, by country I mean he’s going to my friend, Trisha’s house, which isn’t in the country at all.

But, Henry thinks it is, as Trisha–or the scullery maid, as he calls her–has an ample backyard, with lots of room to roam and wonder. She also has a horse in a stable somewhere, which Henry has visited before. So, as I tell him about his impending trip, it’s clear he’s mulling it over in his head.

“Cook, will I be going to the horse stable?” he asks quizzically. Henry calls me Cook, because I’m the one who serves him his meals.

“No doubt about it, Henry. Will that be a problem?”

“I don’t fancy stables. Horses can neigh rather loudly, you know. Practically burst my eardrums last time. Got my paws all muddied while there, too. Bloody mess! Took forever to get them properly cleaned.”

“The scullery maid told me she drew you a bath after that visit, and you were just fine.”

“True, but how I suffered for it.”

“The point is, Henry, you got over it.”

“Did I?” He pauses, then inquires, “What about the Thanksgiving feast? Does the scullery maid know I only eat the white meat?”

“Yes, she knows, and she already said no.”

“Are you sure, Cook? Exactly what did she say?”

“Something about, over her dead—.”

“Never mind,” Henry replies, sulkily. “Noblesse oblige, I suppose. ‘Tis my duty to let her little wards have the good bits. “

“Oh, you mean her kids? So, you’re okay with going?”

“I don’t seem to have a choice, do I? Though, tell me, will the ranch hand be there?”

“Ranch hand? Oh, you mean Cowboy, the scullery maid’s cat. Yes, I suppose he will, seeing as that’s his home.”

“Dash it all! It wouldn’t be so horrid if the ranch hand remembered to bow in my presence. Oh well, what can you expect from the feline purr-suasion?”

“And Henry, word has it there’s a new member in the family. Seems as though the scullery maid has taken in a dog, too.”

“A horse, a cat and now a dog?? Should make for a rather chaotic visit, if you ask me,” muses Henry, adding, “So, when exactly are you returning?”

Sigh. Summing up every ounce of patience, I glibly reply,

“Henry, I’ll be returning soon enough and that’s all you need to know.”

“Fine,” he snorts. “Abandon me to the country if you need to, but please, whatever you do, don’t put this in your blog. I have a reputation to maintain. No one need know that you’ve put me in a mood or that I’m pulling a face. Especially not the scullery maid. Don’t want to start off on the wrong paw, you know.”

Henry prepares for his journey to “the country.”

“Yikes. Too late,” I say. “Already posted.”

“Is that so? Then, make sure they also know how utterly delighted I am, too. In fact, I’m going to don my purple fascinator to show my joy.  I’m going to the country! Maybe I’ll blog about it, too!”

“Sarcasm doesn’t become you, Henry.”

And just like that, Henry leaves the room to fetch his petite chapeau.

Happy Thanksgiving from Henry and me!

Now tell me. Whether or not you celebrate, what are your plans this coming week?

Sicko in Seattle

Seattle held out for 48 hours. For two days, nothing but sunny skies and fall-like temps. Football weather, some would say. We rambled through the city, hitting some favorite spots and a few new ones. Lovely!

Seattle has heart.

Everyone got annoyed with me, of course, because of my obsessive need to take photos, and how I kept forcing my friends to pose this way and that. They were mostly accommodating, but drew the line at leaning against the Gum Wall, Seattle’s latest landmark, which kind of reminds me of the Lennon Wall in Prague, but not really. Sigh. Who cares if it’s among the top 5 germiest tourist attractions, anyway?

As always, Tom was as sweet as can be, patiently following us along while carrying our shopping bags, so we could shop, shop, shop, and not be weighed down with all those, ahem, purchases. And shop, we did, as Pam was wont to remind me, that it is our noblesse oblige to support the vendors of Seattle and help stimulate the economy.

But then, after two days, everything changed. And by everything I mean it rained and got cold.

Miserably cold.

Wet cold.

And then I got sick.

Miserably sick, and insufferably sick.

Greta-Garbo-as-Camille sick.

If you ask me, no one should be around me when I succumb to a cold. That’s when I sink into the depths of despair, feeling every tickle in my throat, every ache in my body and pang in my head, while the mucus steadily builds up in my nasal passages, bursting forth in a cacophony of sneezes. Woe is me!

Starry, starry Seattle.

Luckily, I had two Florence Nightingales tending to my every whim, err, need: Pam and her daughter, Twin 1. They darted to and fro between the kitchen and my death bed, aka, a very comfy chair in the living room and, as quick as the tiny fairies in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, they brought me mugs of hot apple cider, toast and jam, cough drops, cold medicine, mentholated balm to rub on my nose, tissues, and a heated rice bag to wrap around my neck. Add to that oodles of blankets, a footrest so to keep my legs up, and wooly socks to keep my tootsies toasty, I must say, there are worse ways to suffer a malady.

As you can imagine, I didn’t get to do all on my Seattle dream list, which would’ve proven difficult as I’d forgotten just how chilly and wet Seattle can be. But, true to form it was cheeky fun spending time with the ol’ gang—Pam and Twin 1 and Twin 2, who brought along her roommate; Pat, who kept us organized; and Tom, who I learned is a world-renowned collector of seashells, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Pee-wee Herman.

I also got to catch up with–for the first time in 25 years–Pam’s sister and her hubby who drove all the way from eastern Washington, across the Cascades Mountains, over the river and through the woods, just to see me! (Okay, not really. They actually came for a Husky football game, but I’m almost positive that seeing me was a highlight of their weekend.:) )

And on my last full day in town, achy and clogged-headed as I was, I had lunch with Clare, who’s busy working on all sorts of writing projects!

The Highlights:

  • Alder wood king salmon at Ivar’s
  • Visiting my old place of work
  • Browsing the kiosks of Pike Place Market and adding to my collection of art and jewelry
  • Eating out a lot, once at an old fashioned hamburger stand where you drive up, park and a waiter comes out to take your order. Only thing missing were waiters on roller skates

    Signs of autumn.

  • Buying lots of chocolates at the Dilettante Cafe and then eating some, despite having purchased them as gifts
  • Discovering Miranda, a British television comedy series that is gads of fun and laughs
  • Exploring the University District
  • Seeing a movie, Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was delightful and very poignant

Biggest change since I was last in Seattle? It is now law that you must bring your own shopping bag wherever you shop, something I kept forgetting, of course. In San Diego, bringing your own bag is still mostly optional, and bags are available for free.

Seattle, being so environmentally savvy is way ahead of the curve, and if you forget to bring your bag, you can get arrested!

Well, not exactly, but you do have to pay extra for a bag that you once got for free and everyone gives you dirty looks when you do. Also, everywhere we went, in addition to the trash and recycling containers, there were containers for composting. Composting! Even in the movie theater, though frankly, I can’t see stopping to sort out all your trash while leaving the darkened theater in a mad rush for the exit.

Hey Neighbor! And by the way, have you checked out my new blog yet?  It’s called, Hey Neighbor! I write about the ordinary people that make San Diego such an extraordinary place to live.

Well, dearies, I’m still not up to snuff. So, please enjoy these photos while I go and get comfy in bed, nursing myself back to health. How about you? What did you do while I was away?

Seattle is all about umbrellas.

These decorative pieces can last up to five years, but if you want to eat them, do it only during the first two.

Love is in the air–in Seattle, too!

Can you believe it? That’s gum–already chewed! Seattle’s Gum Wall is located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. Hey kids, don’t even think of trying this at home!

We helped find this homeless bear a home.

A gathering of pots on a rare, sunny afternoon.

A house of blues.

Tom and his artful collection.

And One More:

Pee-wee at sunset.