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Knoxville Polar Bear Club

I have now been outside, in a bathing suit, playing in cold water for the second time in January 2009. I returned home from Knoxville’s first Geek Breakfast to find the dogs outside frolicking in the mud. Dharma looked like she was doing an impersonation of a happy pig on a hot sunny day. So I stripped down and changed into only a swimsuit and my Teva Mush flipflops. Now, Molly, a 110 pound German Shepherd, is rather obedient but still doesn’t like being soaked in cold water so I get a little bit of a back exercise from her. On top of the existing pain from my trench war, I’m left unsure that I can do anything with Dharma but when I call her she approaches obediently. I’m impressed and hopeful. I hit her with the water and it turns bad quickly. Dharma howls like a werewolf in pain. She fights and twists. Holding her by the collar just won’t work. I grab her firmly by the scruff of the neck. She howls louder and tries to wrestle free. I fear that if I let go she’ll run from the yard and disappear. The blister on my thumb from the trench wars peels off leaving painful raw skin. Dharma jumps up on the lawn chairs and I worry that she’ll break a nail or hurt a leg. I wrestle her away form the chair and she knocks it over giving her access to the glass top table on the porch. She gets two paws on it and I expect to go crashing through but manage to pull her back and regain control. She sits but howls as the postman drives up to the mailbox. He waves but I know he secretly wanted to film the hilarity. "See anything interesting on your route today Bob?" "You wouldn’t believe me if I told you." Thank goodness that snow never came!

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The scream was like a banshee in pain

The house quieted. Evan declared, "Give me bop. I go bed now." And with a little reluctance, he put himself to sleep. Noah coaxed Amy to bed but she sprang back after he slipped out to read a book. In the meantime, I took the dogs outside and sat on the porch, shirtless to enjoy the cool evening air with no mosquitoes and chant. Shortly into chanting, the peaceful neighborhood with its waxing gibbous moon (96% full) being sung to by crickets erupted into a cacophony of barks and howls. I continued to chant and Dharma and Molly, my German Shepherds, sat silently alert. Then there was the shriek! Altogether to close! Thanks to our camping in the Okefenokee, I am quiet familiar with the sound of fighting raccoon and I do not want my dogs tangling with one of those. Chanting ends. I usher the dogs inside to find Amy having trouble sleeping so we go to her bed and chant together until she is calm enough to sleep.

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From the mouths of babes

Amy, three, with Noah, twelve, beside her: "Can the dogs go with us to school?" (she means carpool)
Dad: "Sure but don’t let them in the car until I wipe their feet."
Noah, Evan, Amy and the dogs walk out the door. Dad from the front porch hollers: "Don’t let the dogs in the car until their feet get wiped."
Noah walks to car and puts hand on door handle. Dad yells: "Don’t let the dogs in the van!"
Noah opens the door and lets Dharma in with no effort to stop her.
Dad goes on a tirade: {this part is unprintable}
Noah: "I thought you were talking to Amy."

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The punctuation at the end of the sentence

What is today’s punchline? We locked the dogs in the bathroom to get Noah to his black belt test tonight. One of the dogs could not wait until we got home so we have runny dog poop all over the bathroom and two dogs to bathe. Of course I have to be up at 6am so I can get the car to Firestone for a new tire, rotation and alignment check. There may be a midnight beer run in order.

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Veterans Day parade was much fun!

Multimedia messageEvan, Cathy, Molly and I picked up Granddaddy and the 5 of us when downtown to watch Sarah march with Bearden High School’s band’s flag team in the Veterans Day parade. We parked in the State Street garage for only a dollar and walked 2 blocks to be near the front of the parade route. The aircraft fascinated me. Multimedia messageI loved the helicopters playing overhead. The vintage planes doing the missing man formation was excellent. As a matter of fact, all the military vehicles were awe inspiring. Evan waved at the tank driving down the street and the turret spun around to wave back at him! Those things move quickly!

Evan was in a foul mood to begin with and getting him to wave took some effort. The nice lady who got near him and showered him with candy helped a lot. After the attack of the "cannie!" he was much chipper and social. About half way through the parade he started to get into the waving.

Multimedia messageMolly was on great behavior but quivered whenever a noisy vehicle or drum section of a band walked by. She was on alert whenever Evan would wander too far. She has to be able to see him and much prefers to be beside him. Multimedia messageShe was a hit with all the police officers and many of the military. You could see them in the parade pointing to her, smiling and chatting amongst themselves. She eventually relaxed enough that I didn’t even have to hold her leash.

I was disappointed in the attendance at the parade. More people should take time to let this parade be their lunch break or to bring their families out. The weather was perfect. The patriotism high! Mardi Gras spoiled me for parades and I never thought I would enjoy this kind of parade again. I was wrong. This parade left me feeling very good!

Btw, Barney Fife was there! He’s great! Don Knots would be proud.

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Seduced

Last night I decided to not sleep until January but the Sirens called and I decided to grab just a couple of hours rest. That’s where my seductress got me. Despite having the stolen covers between her skin and mine, her warmth was soothing and the weight of her body leaning against my back anchoring. We were not cuddling but she lay partially across my legs further assuring I would stay in the bed and it worked. Each time I jolted awake, I dared not leave the bed for fear of disturbing her…at least that was my rationalization. Shouldn’t the dog be sleeping at the foot of the bed?!

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Burglars in the house? Ask the neighbor to deal with it.

Last Saturday, I took advantage of a gift card to Calhoun’s and took Cathy and Tommy out to dinner. We chose the Calhoun’s in Turkey Creek and afterwards shopped at World Market. Everything was nice and relaxed until a concerned neighbor called to report that our front door was wide open. Slight panic and concern for Molly ensued. Logical thinking went out the window and I begged my neighbor to please go confront the burglars in my house which she did. Afterwards, she called to report that Molly was sleeping on the couch, she chased the outside cat back outside, locked and closed the door. Tommy, being last out, felt horrible. The relaxing evening we had up to that point now held a tingling tension.

Bonfire with friends

Last night we joined a friend for a bonfire at their house. Upon returning home, our front door was wide open. Being the last out, I knew I had locked and securely closed the door. Moment of self-doubt. Then redemption! The scratches on the inside doorknob reveal that Molly, the German shepherd, can let herself out of the house! So, why does she scratch at the door to be let in?

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Freaky Dog

Molly’s purple Jolly Ball has been behind the house for a couple of weeks. Her green one is down the side yard against a tree. The red one has been her favored ball recently but has vanished (it always returns).

So yesterday, I say to Molly, "Go get your purple ball." She runs outside with purpose and within 2 minutes is sitting at the front door with the purple ball!

I told Cathy about this and she brushed it off as coincidence then prompted Molly, "Go get the purple ball!" to which Molly went straight over to Evan’s 2 foot diameter $2.50 purchased at Target knowing good and well Molly would eat it ball which happens to be purple and nudged it deliberately with her nose then looked straight at us. Weird! Btw, Evan’s ball is made at Hedstrom who made a very pretty and incredibly useless website.