State of Grace

The description, “She walks with fluid soft grace, she almost floats” has been used to describe me NEVER! You will never hear the words fluid soft grace, when someone talks about me. I have an uncanny ability trip over thin air, lose my balance when doing the simple task of standing or fall up or down stairs. I’m quite an accomplished professional faller. I also find new ways to either cut myself on the most mundane object. Case in point, I sliced open my knuckle on a piece of aluminum foil the other day. Who gets a paper cut from aluminum foil, me that’s who.

I can’t blame this ability on getting older or some strange side effect from the gravitation pull of a full moon. I’ve been this graceless from childhood and the phase of the moon has no effect on me. My mother even sent me to Charm School when I was budding teenager. I learned how to set a proper table, to sit with my ankles crossed and how to stand with a book on my head. And do you know what happened at the graduation ceremony, I tripped walking across the stage to pick up my diploma. Poor mom, couldn’t get a refund.

I have fallen off the side of the road and face planted in the ditch without any help from the dogs. I’ve crashed and burned falling down a hill carrying a four-foot step ladder. I burn my hands on oven racks almost weekly. (Hum, maybe I should quit cooking) And as I mentioned above, I have lacerated myself with aluminum foil, paper, knives and forks.

Last night I reached a new level of clumsiness. I was cleaning the huge mirror in our bathroom and couldn’t reach the top of the mirror standing in front of the vanity. I know what you’re thinking, I climbed up on the vanity then fell off. You would be wrong, not that I didn’t consider it. Nope, I went and got the small rickety wooden step ladder from our closet, so I could reach the top without falling off the vanity. I set the step ladder up and climbed up to reach the top section on the left side of the mirror. But because the mirror spans the length of the room, I had to move the step ladder to the other side so that I could clean the top right hand side of the mirror. As I set the step ladder down, I placed one leg on the toe of my right shoe, then proceeded to climb up on the step ladder.

Yes, I knew I set the ladder on my shoe and still stepped up on the ladder, I don’t know why I continued, but I did. Needless to say, I crushed one toe so badly it bled in my sock. I hopped off the ladder cursing and hopping around the bedroom. I know what you’re thinking, “What kind of moron would put a ladder on her foot and then step on it?” I don’t have a good answer for you, except I think I move faster than my brain. That sounds as good of an explanation as any, or I’m just a moron. That would work too.

So now my options are I can only use ladders when supervised by an adult or hire a mirror cleaner.

Orso – The New Spokesdog

I have the perfect job for Orso – Spokesdog. Not just any old spokesdog, but a spokesdog for UPS. UPS would be lucky to have him for their mouthpiece as a satisfied customer. Though I’m not sure how to approach UPS and pitch Orso as their spokesdog. It’s perfect when you think about it, Orso is a great big chocolate lab and the UPS official color is brown, it’s a match made in heaven. A big brown dog standing in a big brown truck, and who doesn’t love a big brown slobbery happy dog? Talk about PR perfection, it’s a marketing dream.

Orso loves the UPS man and his big brown truck. Orso knows the sound of the diesel truck coming from a long way away. He will jump up from a dead sleep to run to the front door to watch and wait for his favorite UPS driver. It helps that our regular driver brings large dog biscuits with him and gives one to Orso with each delivery.

When Orso hears the truck, he runs to the door and watches with great big hopeful eyes, and if the truck stops, he will cry and whine and bark this shrill bark, showing his total impatience at how slowly the world turns while he is waiting for the UPS man to climb out of the truck and bring him a dog biscuit. Because we all know that Orso NEVER gets any treats, only the ones the UPS man gives him. Not.
As soon as the driver gets out of the truck and starts to walk to the front door, Orso is standing on his hind legs barking loudly and frantically, as if he has just found his long-lost boy. It’s a bit embarrassing and I must admit to a bit of jealousness, because I’m not so sure, Orso wouldn’t just go with the UPS man. After all, he has food and Orso is a lab.

Orso has become so obsessed with the big brown UPS truck that if we’re out on a walk and he hears a truck, any truck with the telltale diesel engine, Orso will stop and search for the direction the sound is coming from, then turn and wait until the noise gets louder and closer. God forbid he sees the truck while we’re walking. That turns into an Aflac claim just waiting to happen. Twice this week the UPS truck came up the street while we were out on our morning walk. Orso turned and started barking at the truck hoping to get the driver to stop, which he did right there in the middle of the street.

Our driver, then turned the truck off and climbed into the back of his truck, just to get Orso a biscuit. Orso had already climbed up into the truck and was waiting for the treat. Our UPS driver told me that Orso was the only dog on his route that gets so excited to see him. I think that the driver gets as big a kick out of seeing Orso as Orso does when he sees him.

It’s a sad day when the truck doesn’t stop or if our regular driver is off and there is no biscuit. Orso doesn’t understand why not every delivery person that comes to our door is as prepared to meet a happy hungry lab. I guess I should keep a stash of dog treats by the door so if someone comes empty-handed I can save the day.

Orso – Spokesdog for UPS, has a ring to it don’t you think?

Mother Nature Didn’t get the Memo

I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that we have had the oddest winter across North America. There have been record rainfall in places that don’t get much rain, record warm temperatures in states that usually worry about the wind chill factor instead of heat index and states that normally have snow measured in feet have had to contend with inches instead. Someone forgot to let Mother Nature know how winter is supposed to work around here.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the weather west of the Cascades is typically the rainy season, with temperatures sinking only to the low forties and maybe a few high thirties thrown in here and there. Not this year, no, we have had temperatures dip to the twenties, with consistent lows in the thirties. Our high temperatures are normally in the high forties and low fifties, but this year we’ve not seen too many days that get up to fifty degrees. Adding insult to injury, we’ve recorded more snow than Chicago, Illinois and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Talk about a slap in the face.

Part of the appeal of coming to the Pacific Northwest was that we don’t really have super hot humid summers or cold cold winters. Well the first year I got out here, we were in the middle of a drought with temperatures in the eighties and nineties, and the apartment complex we lived in didn’t have air conditioning. Now this winter, we’ve had a real winter, with cold temperatures and that four letter word, snow. Talk about a rip-off, I’m beginning to think I’m a jinx, that or maybe Mother Nature has it in for me.

Mother Nature, if you’re out there, come off vacation and get back to work. You have a whole country that is out of whack and needs your guiding hand. Please open your emails.