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Furniture Fracas

I’ve never been a big believer in fine furniture. I like to sit on my chairs and couches, walk on my rugs and put food and drinks on the end tables. Consequently, my furniture is not always the most attractive or the nicest, but I at least am familiar with it. I’m not sure I can say the same for Roy after this weekend.
My good, overstuffed rocker, which matched Roy’s, had finally given up the fight. While Roy’s chair held up well, mine had slowly, gradually broken down over the years. I tend to sleep in it when I’m having a restless night and working as a pseudo-bed for a woman my size had caused it to send in its resignation by dropping closer and closer to the floor while spitting mysterious bolts out of every orifice. When it began to overturn randomly and spill me onto the floor, I knew it was time to find something else.

I brought up the idea one night when Roy was tired from working late and not in the mood to discuss furnishings.

“I need a new chair,” I said as he was shoveling in his supper in a hurry. 

“There’s nothing wrong with my chair,” he answered in a distracted fashion, tuning in to the news.

“I know that. It’s my chair,” I answered testily.

“Your chair is fine,” he was no longer interested in the subject, I could tell.

“My chair is a broken-down ride at the amusement park from hell,” I whined. “It tips and rocks and dumps me out in the middle of the ride. I need something new.”

“Fine, go ahead, go shopping,” he muttered, his mind on the newspaper now in front of him.

It was what I had been waiting to hear. I was being turned loose with the family checkbook and permission to get extravagant. Okay, okay, so he never said get extravagant, but I can interpret it any way I want, right? It was time to be bold.

I looked and considered several dozen chairs at the store. I made the salesman a little edgy I think, because I kept going from chair to chair, searching for the perfect one. I know nothing about chairs so I kept asking questions like, “How much weight does the foot rest on this one hold? I have fat feet you know.” On the leather one, I inquired, “How many cows died in order for this chair to live?”

Finally, I found it. It was the perfect chair. It was dark brown, plush, overstuffed and had a foot rest that I could actually operate. The problem? It was a little expensive. Okay, it was very expensive. But it was the one I wanted, so I shut my eyes and got it.

Roy was still busy so I didn’t bother him with little things like the price or the fact that I had to haul it home. I put it in the pickup (or rather, they did) and I drove on my merry way home. But while I was at the store, I picked up a large, very pretty cover for my ugly old couch and brought that home at the same time.

By swearing, sweating and sometimes dragging the thing, I managed to get the chair into the living room and all set up. It looked beautiful…expensive, but beautiful. Then, for good measure, I put the new cover on the couch and  it looked pretty good too. Then I sat down to wait for Roy to come home and admire my new chair.

I was honest; I met him at the door and told him the price first thing. “How much?” he hollered, “that’s ridiculous.”

He was still blustering when he walked into the living room. He walked right by my brand new chair and ran his hands over the new cover on the old couch.

“Oh, this is really nice,” he said. “I thought you were getting a chair, but this is really a bargain for a couch.”

And now for my dilemma: Do I tell him the truth or do I just sit in my expensive new chair and let it go?

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Forget me not…for I may forget you!

You know, even those of us who are not so unlucky as to have Alzheimer’s, may have our own little problems with memory. And I’d like to say that my memory problems have become an issue with age, but that’s not true, either. I just have that unorganized kind of mind that makes a good memory very difficult.

There is a commercial on right now, cautioning about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in which a woman is trying to find her keys and her husband discovers that she has put them in the refrigerator. keysThe caption then reads, “If you place things in unusual places it may be the symptom of early onset of Alzheimer’s.” If that is so, I have been in the early stages of that unfortunate disease since I was about 15! In fact, when I am looking for a misplaced item, the refrigerator and freezer are some of the first places on my list to look!

I admire people with perfect memories, I really do. It’s just that I can’t always remember why. In any given week, I can forget any number of things. My students love it when I forget to ask for homework that they may have forgotten to do, but my dentist and hairdresser are not nearly so fond of the fact that I forget those appointments.

This week, it was intended for me to bring some food to church for the coffee hour. I bought all kinds of cookies and breads to deliver, put them in the car so I would remember to take them to the church before I left town for the weekend, and then left town in the other vehicle. When I came home, it was entirely likely that I can no longer go to that church, but it is also true that I will remember the bread and cookies for a long time, because they ripened unfortunately in the warmth of my car over several days!

I do have tricks to try and help my flabby memory. I make notes and use sticky-note paper to put things up all over the house. Things like, “Be certain to put clothes in the dryer so you have underwear for tomorrow,” or “Turn the roast on in the oven or have raw meat for supper.”

I put kettles on to boil and then get busy elsewhere and don’t remember them until the smoke alarm jars my recollection. I like to watch old movies on television and I’m always delighted when I find one I haven’t seen before. Of course, halfway through I frequently find that oh, yeah, I have seen this one before, but luckily, I have no recollection of how it ends, so it’s all brand new again.

The good news is that my poor memory has remained in the same condition since, oh, I can’t remember when. I can always hope that it doesn’t get any worse, but as I move into old age, it may be that I start putting bigger things than the keys in the freezer…like the cat. Until then, I guess I’ll continue to enjoy life as it is, as long as I can remember why!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Bringing Up Josie

Raising children was a complex and interesting process. As a parent, I can honestly say that I will probably never think I am done raising my children. But since I have taken on the task of raising a puppy, parenthood may seem like a picnic.

Josie on a rare occasion - chewing something she's supposed to!

Josie on a rare occasion – chewing something she’s supposed to!

The first thing I have discovered is that there is nothing so energetic as a small puppy like our Josie. This dog can take a walk around the yard at a dead run, pull everything she can find out of the garbage cans and chew it up and still have the energy to run a mile and a half on a half mile walk. She wants to play constantly and for a couple beyond their play years, this can become problematical for us.

Of course, everything she gets, she chews. So far she has eaten my address book, two books I was attempting to read, my glasses (it’s alright, though, because I have nothing to read) and every plastic canvas creation I have attempted in the last month.

We have the bathroom situation figured out. She goes outside…unless she goes inside. So far, my screaming at her when she starts to pee on the rug only means she pees faster to get me to stop screaming. She hasn’t figured out  yet why something we praise her for doing out in the grass is something she gets in trouble for if she does it a few feet away on the living room floor.

As a typical puppy, it is second nature for her to bite everything she plays with. She can start out licking your hand or foot but biting will soon follow. I read somewhere that the best way to train a dog not to bite is to roll up some paper and slap her sharply on the nose every time she bites. Josie bit my foot and I slapped her sharply and said, “No.” She sat back and considered it a moment, and then tried again. Again, I said, “No.” and slapped her with the paper. She settled down at once, lying down and looking very cute and innocent.11896253_10100576420082496_4848608320393750555_n

Satisfied with my attempt at doggie discipline, I went to get her a treat from the kitchen. I returned with the treat, only to find that she was chewing the rolled up paper to shreds. I didn’t give her the treat, but I did have to give her some points for problem solving.  The problem she hasn’t solved is how to get rid of all the paper in the house so I can’t roll up anymore!

My rugs may be taking the hardest part of bringing up the puppy. They are being constantly washed after Josie uses them for her bathroom breaks and when she’s not doing that, she is chewing them up. She especially likes the one I have under my small desk in the living room. I wasn’t too worried about the rug because she couldn’t get it out from under the desk. I found out I was wrong the day I heard the crash from the living room and Josie came running with the rug in her mouth and the wreckage from my desk tipping over strewn out behind her.

I had thought she was getting better, but today, while working in the basement, I could hear her, running madly around on the main floor. She must have heard me on the stairs, coming to check on her, because she met me at the door of the basement and flopped down on her belly to give herself a more innocent appearance. The innocent air didn’t help, however, since she had a string stuck in her teeth and hanging  from her mouth and streaming out to the rug that she was slowly unraveling.

Josie on the move!

Josie on the move!

Yes, bringing up Josie is a challenge, but I take heart from the fact that our children eventually grew up under our guidance, surely Josie will too. Right? Right? Josie, spit my shoe out of your mouth and tell me I’m right!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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At Least I Keep My Ears…

In a world full of artistically creative people, I believe I got the short end of the paintbrush when it comes to the visual arts. I can write, yes, but painting, drawing, sculpting; these are all foreign concepts to me. From the first time the kindergarten teacher looked at the stick horse I had drawn (much larger than the people) and observed the little lump of clay squished between my fingers, she swallowed hard and said, “Well, isn’t that….nice.” What she was really saying was,”Michelangelo and Van Gogh have nothing to worry about.”

This isn’t something that weighs very heavily on my mind most of the time. After all, Michelangelo had to lie on his back and paint over his head and Van Gogh had some issue which caused him to cut off his ear, so I’m just as well off, right?

Every so often, however, I put myself in a situation which illustrates my lack of ability and such was the case this week. There is a new trend in parties in which women gather together, have snacks and wine and paint pictures. I’ve often wondered about these parties, but this week, I got to go to one.

We sat down before blank canvases set on small table easels. I followed the instructions of the woman conducting the lesson and went up to get myself some paint. A plate with black, white and then some purple paint. I set it back on the table beside the canvas. The canvas promptly toppled over and fell in the paint. I took this as a bad sign. I’m pretty sure the canvas intended it as an aborted suicide attempt.

I thought at first that we would be choosing our subject and I had my large stick horse with the too small legs and the rabbit ears all ready, but alas, it seems we were all to draw a scene with a sun or moon and graduating shades of paint topped by a dead tree full of scroll branches and a swing. Okay, I could do that.

While everyone was painting their graduating shades of paint around a white center, the leader was admonishing us to blend the different layers. I thought I did that, but by the time I was done, it looked more like that weird tunnel from the twilight zone. When the leader wanted our attention, she would call out, “Ladies, ladies, ladies.” We were to respond with, “Yes, yes, yes.” And have a drink of wine.

As it happens, I don’t drink alcohol (although I thought about changing this policy that night), so I had brought a huge glass of Sprite. I love Sprite, so when she said, “Ladies, ladies, ladies,” I had a big slurp of Sprite. This created two problems, however. One, I couldn’t her instructions over my slurping and even worse, I had to running to the bathroom, so I missed even more instructions.

I managed to get a dead, black tree on the canvas in front of the Twilight Zone tunnel, but my branches didn’t curl in that scroll that she had made. In fact, the branches looked more like an open safety pin and a baby’s curl. I tried to make a tire swing (wanting something a little different) and my first attempt looked slightly pornographic. When I was done with the picture, everyone walked by and, using the same tone and look as my kindergarten teacher, said, “That’s…..nice.”

The "finished" product.

The “finished” product.

It’s okay that I’m not good at painting, though. At least I didn’t have to lie on my back and paint over my head and I wasn’t required to chop off either of my ears. But the next time I’m invited to one of these drink and paint parties, I’m going to drink and let somebody else paint!

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