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Lesson One: Word Recognition

It is well known that dogs can understand up to 40 words.

Today, you will choose the first ten words you would most like your dog to learn.

You will see that some of these examples contain more than one word; for our purposes, they function as one multisyllabic word.

Here our the first ten we’ve decided on for Tweedy:

1. GOOD BOY!/G’BOY!

2. COME, TWEEDY, COME!

3. BAD DOG!

4. OFF!

5. NO!

6. TREAT?

7. OUTSIDE?

8. DOWN!

9. DROP IT!

10. in your crate

You know how helpful it is to encourage visual recognition when a young one is first learning words. To facilitate this, we have taped note cards with each word or phrase in boldface letters on corresponding objects around the house.

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Good luck with your pooch. Don’t forget to lead every lesson with the three Cs: confidence, calmness, and consistency.

Remember that no matter how many shoes he ruins, no matter how many $100 vacuum cords he chews, no matter how many wool rugs on which he poops, your dog’s ultimate goal is to please you, his loving owner.

NEXT WEEK: Lesson Two: Is Fido Ready for a Second Language?

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Until we meet again, rrrrrrruff from twinkly and Tweedy!

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These last few weeks have been no exception to a sea of changes that seemed to coincide with the start of my blog, January 01, 2011.

You may recall that my youngest graduated from the 8th Grade less than 2 weeks ago. You may recall that I am peri-menopausal, if not outright menopausal (don’t hold your breath, you have to go a WHOLE YEAR without a period before you are considered good enough to be fully old, crone-like, ancient menopausal). You may remember that we had 2 cats get killed within 6 months of each other. You may also remember that Hubby and I celebrated 21 years of marriage recently.

Completing 8th Grade in a Waldorf school is a BIG DEAL, I have stated before. I mean to write a nice, long, lovely post about this, but in some way I am uninspired.

To be honest, as yours truly is want to be, 20 years, and now 21 years of marriage, has been a monumental time of change for me and Hubby. We have always striven to make our relationship better and stronger, to dig deep in when things haven’t worked, but some remnants of old stuff have been getting in the way so Hubby and I find ourselves delving again, deeply and fundamentally. Why do I tell this here? For one, it’s a cultural taboo to talk about these things, at least until you’ve earned about 40 or 50 years in. Then, everyone is all ears about how do you make a marriage work and how did you do it and what is your best advice to young newlyweds.

Sometimes I think my poetry has dried up, but it’s not true, I write quite a bit. Sometimes I think I’m a bad mom. Sometimes I think that the garlic scape growing out of the compost bin is the loveliest thing in my life. Not only because garlic scapes are beautiful curled green things, but because there’s some accident there—I did not plant garlic in my compost bin.

I want to post poems here, I want to save them, I want to gnash my teeth. I want to scream at the poetry that gets published in respectable journals, I want to shout fuck you to name-dropping authors who are full of themselves and whose essays barely touch the surface of human experience.

I wanted to tell you about the ladybug that hitched a ride on the top tube of my new bike yesterday, my virgin ride on it, how I felt blessed, but how I was just trying to find an excuse that the world makes sense.

I did want to share about my cracked rib, but I didn’t want to divulge how it happened. I told a few people as the subject came up, but I hemmed and hawed with most people who asked.

I am not shy, so let’s say it involved a massage table, which has a very hard surface after all, and let’s say it involved sex and let’s say I’m being honest.

My right side has been feeling pained, deep intense pain like when you get the wind knocked out of you.

the solar plexus

When I was a little girl, in preschool or maybe kindergarten, at the little private school I attended for kids with high IQs in a suburb of Detroit, I remember getting the wind knocked out of me and going to see the nurse. Her name was Mim, we called her that at least, and I remember a white nurse’s hat and pink stripes, maybe even white shoes; somehow I associate her with the color pink. I loved her. I remember a stick of ammonia, smelling salts. I remember lying down in the nurse’s room more than once. How much I loved her and now, when I think of that time, how small I see myself, tiny and sad of heart.

I will write again. I will post poems, but maybe not my latest poems. I will save them for the waters or maybe for paper.

Sometimes poems reveal things and sometimes poems hide things and sometimes the time for either has not yet come.

This is me, one of the first photos I ever took of myself in a mirror (I found another one from earlier, when I still lived in the dorms at Kent State). This photo is from October, 1983, in a house I rented with 4 other people, Lake Street, Kent, Ohio. We found out my father had cancer in August 1983. One of many beginnings of growing up too soon and also one of many times when I wasn’t ready to let go of that tiny girl inside.

Remember to pay attention. You might miss something otherwise.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all women, even those of you who aren’t mothers. It is the way it is. For all of us.

How did my Mother’s Day begin?

At 3 am, I was waked to the sound of retching, cat retching. The cat had puked on the down quilt under which I slumbered. The dear.

This was a perfect reminder of what mothers do most of the other 364 days (and nights) of our lives.

So I did what mothers have always done, cleaned up puke. Did laundry. Felt my hungry, grumbling stomach. Yes, this is the reason motherhood makes you fat. When you wake in the middle of the night to the delightful sounds and smells of poop or puke or pee or crying (all of these belonging to someone else), you find after your arduous tasks that you are hungry. So you eat breakfast. In four hours, when you wake again, you will be hungry for your real breakfast and you will eat again. You will be tired. You will drink coffee, you will crave energy in the form of sugar and fat because you are sleep-deprived; you will eat some more. Love the fat. As Susun Weed says pack your bags for the long journey.

Yesterday, I had the honor of going on a nice bike ride with 2 of my gal pals. What did I learn anew? That every ride is a good ride. Yes, it goes hand-in-hand with there are no perfect conditions (though yesterday’s weather and lack of traffic means it came pretty close).

I was finally able to prevent my mid-traps from becoming excessively painful; they were only tight. I also had more of what I needed all around, cheer, stamina, upright torso, free neck, widening chest, freeing away to the knees, knees forward, tight in on my climbs, lots of good breath. But I was slightly dehydrated and still lacking protein because I got a headache and my legs shook once. Must eat eggs more often. Eggs=mothers. See how this all fits together?

I also had my first exposure to obtaining a biker’s tan. I have mixed feelings about it. Still, I am sure we all got a buttload of Vitamin D under the perfectly clear skies.

I realized yesterday that I am becoming much less of a biking bitch; I am slowly evolving into a BIKING CITIZEN. It’s hard to give up these well-earned parts of myself (it’s been about a month). I’m not convinced that I won’t need my bitchy in the near future, so I’m not swearing off of it yet.

Next tasks include harder faster longer and more hills. But I’m not attached. I’m easy, zen, cool, a unified whole, a non-end-gaining, non-doing-when-possible, bike chick; open to possibilities.

Here is what I posted last year for the Music Monday after Mother’s Day. It is the best lyric for women that I know.

Now I am going to paint my slutty toenails with a slutty color for Mother’s Day because I can. Fuck the debates and the cover of Time magazine. Own it, whatever it is, ladies. It’s our day, all 365 of them, year in and year out.

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Many lovely, small moments transpired on our road trip up to Montreal on Monday, but today’s post will not inform you of those.

Certainly one of the most interesting things to happen on Monday was when we drove to visit our friend in the hospital and I followed a car (with Quebec plates!) the wrong way onto a one-way street.

Life is so different in Canada!

My entire experience in Quebec has been colored slightly by my interaction with the border guard on Monday:

BG: Bonjour!

moi: Bonjour!

BG: Parlez-vous anglais?

moi: Oui!

BG: If you speak English, then do not speak French.

Well, Bienvenue to you, too, you French-Canadian so-and-so!

We are staying in a lovely room, with the most sensible compact kitchenette I have ever seen.

Annie et moi dans le restaurant FRITES ALORS!

the infamous water spot in the middle of my lens seems to be more prominent since we’ve arrived in Montreal

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

And now for some difficult news: we found out yesterday morning that our dear cat, Miss Lilly, was hit by a car. Yes, we have been juggling that information from afar for 24-hours (also relaying it to China where Violet will be terribly upset as Miss Lilly is really her cat).

Here is what we know: she was outside and came in yesterday (Tuesday) morning, in very bad shape. The house sitter and a good friend brought the cat to the vet.

Lilly was in shock, no tone in her tail, one hind leg working, the other not, scraped nails (indicative of car hit). No open wounds, no bleeding. low temp, low tone.

Since yesterday, she has been on intravenous fluids and pain meds and her temperature has recovered slightly, but they still need to keep her warm with heating pads and hot water bottles. She has not eaten, nor pee/poo.

There are no visible fractures to legs, pelvis, or spine, which means there has likely been impact trauma to the spinal cord. Sometimes, as swelling goes down, more functioning is restored. We are now waiting for further signs of whether there is spinal cord damage or if perhaps only her leg/hindquarters were impacted. They need to wait until she poops or pees to know if she’s able to function or not. She does have the use of one of her legs, a good sign. A cat can live without its tail and even without a leg, but not bowel or bladder function. So we wait. I call and get updates several times a day. I can’t see her until we are back in the States tomorrow (we will arrive later tonight).

Very hard.

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I done wrote a long post, but rather than subject you to it, I’ve decided to do the video first and the blabbin’ later, that way you can read it or shuck it as you see fit

I’m thinkin’ ’bout MY DOORBELL

(don’t worry, the herky-jerky is all part of the fun!)

I’m thinkin’ ’bout

the half rabbit that was left for us at the back door this morning. I mean, a perfect pair of rabbit legs, hiney, and a cottontail courtesy of our cat Miss Lilly. She is a killer extraordinaire. Tally for Spring aught 12 so far? 2 perfect and rather large chipmunks on successive days; 1 vole; one largish mole, which I found endearing for some reason due to its perfectly evolved digging “paws” and weird nose; one spleen or liver or something yesterday; and today’s beautiful bunny wabbit. Miss Lilly had a steamboat, she also had a bell, but she is good at being a cat no matter.

in the distance from the fields in Hadley, the beauty of the downy fluff of new buds on the trees on the Holyoke Range

that I have to hang up bras to dry for 3 females

that I otter be makin’ my granola, but I am too exhausted

how much I (yes, I purposely left off the ‘ve) been doing for Hubby and Eldest, in order that they may have an easier time getting out the door to China on Weds. This is usual–extra laundry organization, extra purchase of snacks for car trip to JFK, extra car care–oil change (it’s due anyway), car inspex (it’s overdue anyway), clear it out of junk (always overdue), fill the tank. Hubby’s on his own for getting the tires changed out and wasn’t that a kick in the nuts (not that I’d know but I have experienced EXTREME ovarian pain) since this was the first year he’d gotten snow tires (as a remedy for no longer having a Suburu) and we didn’t even have snow?

that my man and my kid will be gone for 10 days

my extreme lack of sleep, cumulative for weeks now (I seemed to catch up a coupla days here and there, but last night was a doozy)

I know, it came to me today when I was running god’s errands, that I am manic because I am trying to deflect the fact of their imminent departure. You have no idea how much I hate it when my man’s done gone. My kid–it seems more like she should be doing things like this and I’ll miss her madly and worry about her, too, but I’m never used to Hubby Away.

I’m happy though and I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout MY DOORBELL

11:29 PM: LATE-BREAKING ADDENDUM: I also remembered today, as I wrote out a check for my groceries, that this was the birthday of one of my Big High School Crushes. It was a funny memory, I laughed. I’m so smack-dab middle-aged, I don’t even want to think about it let alone admit that I qualify for this label. Oh, high school, oh crush, oh DKV!

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I love our new cat

She doesn’t really have a name yet (even though we got her in December). Considerations have included Strider, Minerva, Felix, Ladybug, Jelly Bean, Little. I call her Ladybug or Little, so I think my official name for her is Ladybug Little Jelly Bean Glatter. She was in bad shape when we adopted her, very sickly and so thin. Now her belly is busting at the seams, so the Jelly Bean part and all those double letters suit her well.

I like the spring peepers’ mating chorus

I love that I found a new artist, Janet K.Miller, last week when I searched google images for “butter devil” and that Janet was completely open and welcoming about me using an image of her painting on my blog. I also really dig her work and I look forward to buying one of the pens she sells on her website.

I love that I can search google images for “butter devil”

I love using google images

heart potato (not from google images)

I love that I am finally back to singing Sacred Harp. I have now gone back 2 Tuesdays in-a-row after my long hiatus (7 or 8 weeks or something crazy like that).

I love our bookkeeper

I love that I am almost done with our taxes, almost enough to send them in to our accountant

And that’s all she wrote

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Remember how prickly I can be about details? Well, I got the geography wrong yesterday–some names and some finer points. Burma is Myanmar. So when I wrote Burma, it should simply have been Myanmar. And I think I meant the Malay Peninsula, because Myanmar doesn’t really have one (a peninsula, don’t get any ideas).

The things in my head are curries. And beautiful, vulvar orchids (even though you know what the Latin word orchis means, right?). And pythons (Burmese python, right?). And cats (a Burmese is a kind of cat, right?) and dogs (same thing, only in dog form). Nope, scratch that. That’s a Bernese Mountain dog. I used to massage a couple who had one of those. Large, neurotic dog, originally bred in the Swiss mountains and related to the better-known St. Bernard. At least that’s what I remember from my clients….I’d best shut up before I get any more facts wrong….

So for any fellow sticklers, you’ve now seen that I, too, can make mistakes of a geographical nature. Not like I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground or anything, but you get the idea.

Sigh.

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