My black cat, Tesla, eats fish food and bird seed. My other cat, part bangle, named Formica Dinette Patrice Foxford, cries if John leaves without saying good bye. She walks though the house, her crying muffled by a stuffed twelve inch long green alligator. When she was a small kitten she muffed her cries with a FIVE foot long alligator that crocked like a frog as she drug it through the house. John’s mother made the funny thing to block the wind from coming in under our front door. Some how little Formica even got it up and down our very steep stairs. A twelve inch long kitty dragging a five foot long security pet! Wow!
In my books “Dragon’s Tale” and “Leafman Attacks” Paul and Anna each carry stuffed animals, Anna’s being a dragon, Paul’s is a homemade action man. In real life my son Paul carried a Podd doll everywhere he went. It was a character from one of his favorite books (Trouble For Trumpets by Peter Dallas-Smith and illustrated by Peter Cross). I made several replacement Podds for Paul. Each about four inches tall with a tan person-shaped body, a fat tummy and a head similar to a hippo’s. Paul stored Podd in his pocket and it would fall into the toilet when he leaned forward to flush. I still have his last Podd and hang it on our Christmas trees. See my books at Amazon.
Often horses have dogs or cats as companions so I wonder, do one celled animals have smaller cell animals as security friends? nancymauerman.com
Phyllis Diller died recently and I remembered how disappointed I was years ago when I heard that Fang, the husband she’d told me about most all of my life, was fake! BUT now I have a Fang of my own, although his name is John, and let me assure you he is real.
I didn’t know what to blog for today so I said, “John, DO something!”
Which he did, but it wasn’t blogable. A friend dropped by, though, with a story. Bob is a cabinet maker, his wife is the best tile layer in Portland and the book keeper for their family. We talked about the police, that serve in south east Portland. He’s friends with many and mentioned he gets stopped for no reason all the time. The officer flashes lights at him, pulls him over, and strolls up to his window, just to say hello. Bob also mentioned that they often roll up to his house and walk right in, to use the rest room or get a drink of water, say ‘hello’ and leave. It occurs to me, I’ve never been in his house, but police just file through willy nilly.
This reminds me of the book ‘Leafman Attacks’ where Anna’s grandmothe had a couple of visitors with stories too. The reality of those two tails wove together into a tragedy that almost destroyed the entire city of Portland. see “Leafman Attacks” on Amazon. nancymauerman.com
I have a hard time focusing so when I decided to read Shakespeare I read it out loud to my seven year old son and four year old daughter while they were eating. It was the only time they weren’t quivering with action and talking.
I can remember running into the word, “pensive” looking it up in the dictionary, explaining it to them and finishing the play. The next week Paul leaned his chin on his fist and said, “I’m pensive.” then he rested his chin on both fists saying, “I’m double pensive.” They named their first dog Cardinal Wolsey and understood the plot and various sub- plots and applied them to their games.
As a result of having been taught by Paul and Anna I write children’s picture books with full characters, and plots that run through several books. I introduce new and invented words that are explained and reused immediately and alliterations and word combinations that feel good in your mouth. Full characters and fun words creates stories that get better at each reading instead of causing dread, shaking, and fear in the out loud readers. See books by Nancy Mauerman at Amazon. nancymauerman.com
John grew up on the edge of Salt Lake City and was second to the youngest of many boys on the block. There was a very tall poplar tree in John’s back yard. It established a challenge and a contest. Who could climb the highest and bite hard into the bark to make his mark. The one boy, younger and lighter, bit the bark quite a bit higher than John and to this day my husband is still wondering out loud how he’d gotten up into those thin wispy branches.
My son, Paul, was also drawn to trees. Our big knobby apple tree’s lowest branches were about eight feet off the ground. Out of the corner of my eye I’d see a flash. It was Paul falling onto a sea of hard ground and bumpy roots all hard as stone. But he’d climb again and fall out a few minutes later. The branches were nice and wide, they even grew gardens of grass and ferns, and why Paul could develop the talent to get up there but not the talent to stay I’ll never know but he was down almost as soon as he got up every time.
So my two favorite men loved trees; one bit the bark and the other used his as a launching pad.
The old apple tree is drawn in my book, “Dragon’s Tale” and in my book, to be finished some time this year, “Superman and The Bad Mermaid Queen”. nancymauerman.com
By the summer’s end
rain barrel’s finally filled
sun diamond webs
My love of language and words comes from John, although he’s a male and speaks “guy talk” persistently. A few days ago I was in the kitchen and he called in,”I could probably eat a sandwich.”
I think,”Yea, you probably could, after all you have a mouth, teeth, tongue, and at least one hand to get it there. Oh yes, you speak another language.” and I remember to back up mentally and ignore the words and hear what he’s TRYING to say. “I could eat a sandwich” means, “While you are in there will you make me a sandwich?” Throwing in the word , “probably” means, “I’m not ordering you around, I don’t want to impose, If you have a minute, if you don’t mind”.
The next day John came home from the Podiatrist laughing because he and his male doctor were talking in circles, many circles, a looong conversation, about treatment options because they were both speaking “Guy.”
My conclusion: It is truly surprising that MEN can communicate well enough to build a 747! See yesterday’s blog. nancymauerman.com
While I was reading a book about technology I ran across this question; which is more complicated, a 747 or a carrot? I think of all the people it takes to collect, refine, and transport materials to various locations then all the skills, training, and working together, of others, to construct a plane. I wonder if an equivalent number could take dry ground, water, air, and sun to construct a carrot?
I am truly impressed with ‘man’ as we work together for good. Yes, I’m aware that for every single thing man does well, someone will use that thing for bad, but the majority of men start young to reconstruct themselves into men who care about others and the world around them. Man can reconstruct himself and construct a 747 but not a carrot.
And yes again, I’m aware that I used the term ‘men ‘ to mean men and women but then I haven’t ridden a horse in a long long time! I’m not about to say I haven’t ridden stallions, mares and or geldings in a long long time, so get over it. nancymauerman.com
I stopped in at Home Town Pizza on my way to His Bakery yesterday, just to say ‘hello’. I explained to the nice man I didn’t want to order this time, I just wanted to meet the creator of Portland’s best pizza, having only ordered by phone and received delivery all these years.
“We’re the ones who have been leaving green olives at your back door periodically.” I told him. He just looked baffled, so I continued, “Yea, it’s been awhile, but we leave a couple of jars outside your door in mornings before you open and call in an order the same evening. Because we’d been told previously, ‘ We don’t put green olives on our pizza.’ and my husband would say, ‘Well, you should.’ But after a G. O. delivery John could say , ‘Yes you do. I left some at your back door.’ and then we’d get a vegetarian, green olive, pizza pie delivered.”
The man, I found out was the owner of the family business, WAS STILL BAFFLED. He said, ” We don’t have a back door.”
I pivoted around and around on my side of the counter and perused the back wall. I know this is probably like his second home and it’s a very small room so he probably also knows every inch but, he can’t be right. He was. No back door.
He told me, “There’s a back door to the building but not to this room.” Now I’m baffled.
I can only guess that flying persimmons were hovering over the building and triggered an official military incident. They caught the green olive jars that were flying around too and then broke into Home Town’s store front, with jars in hand. They checked to see if there were any other flying vegetationary objects. They must have forgotten to take the olives with them when they left. So when John called, the man looked down and said, “Oh yea, green olives.” Then he forgot the whole thing, it being such an odd incident that it didn’t find a place in his mind. This happened in WW I, when the British painted immense angular shapes on their giant battleships in nice pinks, pale greens and other delicious story book colors. Because looking at such a thing through periscopes scrabbled the brains of their enemies, it’s called dazzle paint.
That could explain the first time we left olives; I can’t understand the next several times so I’m still baffled. nancymauerman.com
When crickets grow too big for my anole lizards I either put them outside, in my Hildegard of Bingen bathtub or the large ginger jar on top of my refrigerator.
In the jar they live under egg cartons and kiwi branches with fish flakes, oatmeal, and cotton soaked in water and sing to John and I.
In Hildegard’s tub they are a cat adventure.
Hildegard, born 1098 A D, is one of my heroes, not because she’s a woman (which I am) nor because she’d Catholic (which I’m not) but because she’s a singer, composer of music and lyrics (still enjoyed today),a profound visionary, an artist, she was a diplomat, and especially because she is a person who believes that in following Christ’s teachings carefully we can gain great freedom, joy, and celebration of life. I’ve painted the outside of my tub with long red ladders leading up into high windows in the clouds, an image symbolizing her influence in my life. (yes I’m aware I’ve mixed my adverbial tenses). Thank you for reading. nancymauerman.com
John has incurable leukemia and about eight years ago he was given around two years to live. I can’t see that this fact has changed him, his personhood, habits, or actions much, if at all.
He’s been thinking he needs to check jobs off a list this week, having a bunch of them woven between various doctors appointments so when he announced yesterday, “It’s a goood thing I’m a procrastinator!”, I was cautiously curious.
“Why?'” I said.
He knew I’d ask; he paused before he said, “I’d be DEAD by now if I wasn’t!”
Life is good when John’s home! nancymauerman.com