Friday, August 14, 2009

J. K. Rowlings Owes ME

In almost 11 years I will be coming up on an anniversary. It's not the Hallmark kind, and I certainly won't receive a knock-your-socks off piece of jewelry, flowers, or go out for a romantic dinner. Truth be known, I'm secretly waiting for a royalty check but that will never happen.

Let's play Judge Judy. Back in the late fall of 1998 I had a bad case of walking pneumonia. Except that this case left me prone - and it was three weeks before Christmas. As I was alternating hacking and lamenting to my husband that he would never be able to pull off Christmas shopping without me, he suggested that I look for gifts on the Internet. And then do the really unthinkable, buy them on the Internet. Could he actually be the "r" word this time - RIGHT? And so I did!!

I had read an article in Newsweek about a marvelous sounding book by a new British author that I thought my son David might like. So I found the December 7th issue and skimmed through it again about "The Literary Sorceress" and ordered The Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling.

Also in the magazine was an article extolling the benefit of online shopping. Now you are probably wondering if I have some sort of photographic memory like a character on the TV series, Heroes? Hardly. Could I be a pack rat and have kept the said issue? A fire and flood have helped to mange our basement clutter.

Actually, I'm an online junkie and helped me out with past issues of Newsweek.

Christmas was saved! And we all know that holidays aren't all about the presents but the fun and time shared and memories made with loved ones. Every day I read aloud to David and we both became both enchanted and enthralled in Rowling's book.

I TOLD EVERYONE ABOUT THIS BOOK!!! I shouted it from the rooftops!!! I emailed everyone I knew. I wrote it in the snow. I'm a teacher and I told all of MY students about this book. I told all of the teachers at MY SCHOOL about this book. I TOLD my good friend who was teaching 4th grade, "YOU MUST READ THIS ALOUD TO YOUR CLASS!!" AND SHE DID!!!! I bought this book for everyone for every occasion for birthdays in New Jersey and New York. I told them they needed to give it as gifts and they listened to me - because they know I am a wise, wise woman.

And then after all my hard work it became a best-seller. I was so proud for I had chosen well. My friends patted me on the back and said, "Good work, you told us so!"

So Judge Judy, what do you think? Don't I deserve a piece of that check?
To purchase this book at my store, go to:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where have all the flowers gone?

No, I'm not going to start singing the Kingston Trio's ballad. It's a rhetorical question - where have all the flowers gone?
Last year I worked very hard on my backyard flower garden. I planted, weeded, replanted seedlings, fertilized, watered, weeded, mulched and basically repeated the entire process numerous times - minus the mulching. And then everything was budding and ready to pop when suddenly it looked like overnight a haircutting crew came through and chopped the tops off of everything!!
How could this be - I have a beagle? A feisty Goliath of a beagle. No that's his name. Or was his name. We lost our beloved Goliath on May 30, 2009 at the young age of 15 years and 11 1/2 months. But even last summer at age 14 the bunnies and squirrels and groundhogs knew that Goliath's backyard was fair game by then.
So in June we got Cooper. Well, puppies are adorable and, like babies you tend to spoil them. While housebreaking Cooper it became apparent that one of the favorite spots for Cooper to use was "my garden." He also developed a fondness during the summer for taking a snooze in the day lillies.
This year was going to be the year right out of Homes and Garden. I weed about ten times a day as I'm outside coaxing Cooper to go "potty."So how are the flowers this year? GONE!!!! Cooper and his best friend, Irie the boxer, play hide and seek and tag all through my garden. My day lillies are crushed, even a heavy dose of viagra couldn't keep my gladiolas up. As for the zinnia blooms, I don't believe what researchers say - that dogs can see only black and white - Cooper goes for the pink blooms every time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dog Daze of Summer

It's August. The dog days of summer have turned into the dog "daze". You know the look; the whine, the sticky fingers. Repetition has set in. The excitement of fireflies and the ice cream truck music have gotten on your last nerve.

But how can this happen to a puppy who is going through his first August? How can the turn of the calendar page make a rambunctious puppy suddenly ready to cave come Sunday when the calendar flipped to August 1st?

Saturday July 31st, Cooper - our 3 month old beagle puppy - stayed up until midnight playing tug of war and chase with Irie - our daughter's 2 year old boxer. We had company over and they were busying dragging out every doggy toy imaginable to show our friends. Our friend Janet finally asked, "Do they always stay up this late playing?"

We don't think so - we put Cooper in his crate right before 11:00 and unless Irie and Cooper have figured out to manipulate the crate handle with their paws - all bets for nocturnal play dates are off. When my husband and I went to bed that night we congratulated ourselves again for having such an adorable puppy and better yet - for having quite a few successful days in a row without any accidents in the house. Nothing like high five pillow talk.

Come Sunday morning Cooper slept in - YES!!! When we take Cooper outside to do his morning ritual, he finishes quickly, sits briefly and takes in the backyard and all its glory - making sure that everything is still where it should be - and plops down for a stretch. He's romping and sniffing a little less.

As for the housebreaking? Last night Cooper walked over to his doggy bed and squatted - 12 inches from the back door.