Not going to look it in the mouth…

“There’s a delivery for you!”

“Ummm… i don’t think i ordered anything….”

Tim has been delivering mail in my building for nearly all of the 30+ years i’ve been working there. He had the right name, and the right office, but i absolutely had no idea what could be in the small box he put in my hand.

“It’s from Amazon? i have that stuff sent home… Someone must have made a mistake, or sent me something?”

Tim stuck around to find out if he would need to re-deliver, or return, the box. i cut open the tape, and pulled out a wrapped gift.

“Well, someone sent you a present! Guess the mystery is solved!”

“Not entirely… i have no idea who would send me a gift at work!”

He started to move on to his next stop, but at this point was just as curious as i was regarding the contents of the mysterious gift box.

“Stick around! Let’s get to the bottom of this!”

Reading the Amazon gift tag, i quickly determined the source…

“Dear Daisyfae,

Hope this note holder comes handy when you need it. Thank you very much for your reference. I cannot begin to thank you enough.

From, Wei”

A few weeks earlier, i had received a request for a reference letter… A young scientist, fairly recently earning his PhD, was working through the arduous process to establish permanent residency in the U.S. It helps to have professional references included in the package.

If i know the work of an individual, i can often pull together a pretty good reference letter. It’s a small thing, and generally doesn’t take me a tremendous amount of time. i was familiar with Wei’s research area, and his work, and managed to knock out a good letter in about fifteen minutes.

Explaining this quickly to Tim, i unwrapped the paper around the box.

“i have no idea what this is… Don’t leave yet, Tim! i might need a witness!”

We both cracked up laughing as i pulled the note holder from the box. It was absolutely adorable!

the most beautiful gift ever“Bulldogs? How perfect! And Wei doesn’t even know me all that well…”

It is one of the most beautiful gifts i’ve ever received…

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The Perfect Day

The dog was dying.  His owner decided to give his pet a perfect day.  i’d read this sweet story of how one man prepared for the loss of a beloved companion a few years ago.

Since then, i’ve given this some thought, and have planned to do something similar for my old pup, Mr. Pickles.  Rather than wait, i’ve thrown in elements of ‘perfect days’ for my dog as we go about the business of living – why give him just one?  Three weeks ago on a hot June day, Studley and i decided Mr. P needed to go out for ice cream…

He loved it…

Mr. P gets ice cream

Having a dinner of Mexican food and killer margaritas with my children, Studley, and his daughter, we discussed the elements of Mr. Pickles perfect day.  Discussing all the things he loves, we tried to lay out the things he most loves… Cheese.  Chasing a ball.  Chasing the cat*.  Naps.  Splashing in water.  Riding in the jeep.  Eating his own turds.**

i was interrupted during dinner by a call from my niece, DQ.  Mom had been admitted to the hospital earlier this week with fluid in her lungs.  Stepping out to take the call, i got some fairly grim news.  The lung cancer is probably back, and not treatable.  Mom was feeling rotten, also battling a staph infection in her blood.  We made plans to meet with a counselor from hospice.

Returning to the table, i kept the news to myself for a bit – not wanting to take a steaming shit on a really good time.  i filled my children in on the news from The Park when we got home.

The Boy:  Maybe it’s time to craft a Perfect Day for Granny…

daisyfae:  i’ve already done a bit of that… but yeah, we could do more!

In January, i brought Mom to visit when my sister, T and her partner came to town for a long weekend.  We spoiled Mom with attention, and food and entertainment.  Not to mention blessed quiet, which is in short supply in her current living arrangements.

Last May, i had her up for another fun-filled weekend!  Cooked steaks on the grill on a Friday night, then went to a local women’s league luncheon the next day, where she was showered with attention amidst a great deal of silliness.  Putting on two ridiculous Derby hats that i’d crafted, we went to a bourbon tasting – where she enjoyed a perfect mint julep.  Sunday morning, we brought her to the horse show, where she got to see her “baby” compete in the arena with all the other kids…

The prognosis for Mom isn’t great, but it seems the cancer is slow moving.  She’ll need more in-home skilled nursing care in the future.  But she’s not quite dead yet, and finding ways to give her elements of “The Perfect Day” is deeply embedded in my brain.

Derby Day

 * The Boy thought it would be most fun if we tape the cats back legs together, allowing Mr. Pickles a better chance to “play”.  Although Huey is a team player, i’m not sure i’ll go that far…

** Nope.  Not gonna happen.

You can go home again…

The Boy is home for a couple of weeks. We are awaiting the arrival of The Girl tonight. They haven’t seen each other in about two years, so it’s good that the schedules for their holidays partially aligned, and they will spend a few days together under my roof.

The first few days with The Boy have been entertaining. A few snippets from his return.

~~~~~~

Fortunately my fleet is now operational. There will be a full week with both spawn under roof, and they will likely both want to go in different directions. i also have a pesky day job, and will need to be somewhere else. We had to craft a plan of attack for vehicular assignments…

daisyfae: The Girl hasn’t driven a car in two years. She’s going to have the Civic. That was her car, she’s comfortable driving it, and probably the safest option. i’m going to have to get you checked out on the Jeep.

The Boy: I could just drive the Jag.

daisyfae: Ummm…. No. Let’s get you checked out on the Jeep. You’ll have to be gentle – new transmission isn’t really broken in yet.

So i took him out in the neighborhood for a practice run. He knows how to drive a standard transmission, but it’s not the same as driving the Jeep. Sure, he’s now qualified to drive a variety of military vehicles, HMMVs, troop carriers and the like…. But not my Jeep.

He hopped in, as excited as the day he got to drive the lawn tractor for the first time. For the first time? i got in the right seat. No one else drives my Jeep. Just hasn’t happened. A few scoots around the neighborhood, and some test runs in the cemetery to practice stops, tight turns, and hills. He chirped the tires, damn near ran us into a maintenance shed, but got the hang of it pretty quickly. i turned him loose. He was ready to solo.

i was a fucking wreck after he tooled down the street – off to the skate park to play skateboards.

Going on about my business, i went on with my plans for the evening. Happy to see the Jeep safely home when i returned. Checked in with him the next morning…

The Boy: It was really fun, but that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to drive.

daisyfae: You can do it, but just be careful. You know how i feel about that one…

The Boy: Yeah, it was a helluva lot easier to drive after you got out.

~~~~~~

This morning, we were sorting logistics for retrieving The Girl from the airport.

The Boy: I figure we can pick her up in the Jag, no?

daisyfae: No. She’ll have luggage, and probably want the front seat, which means you get shoe-horned in the back.

The Boy: Whatever. I’m good with any means of transportation.

daisyfae: No smoking in the Jag, either.

The Boy: Obviously! I’m not dumb!

daisyfae: Just making sure. You have always had a bit of ‘law scholar’ in you – and if not expressly prohibited…

The Boy: I do have a degree in Drunkard Pro Se Law from the University of Phoenix.

together we win

He is physically fit – working out is a critical part of his job. He was pretty solid when i saw him at his graduation in March, but he’s stronger now. When Studley showed up at my place to say ‘hello’…

The Boy: My boobs are pecs now! Want to feel them?

Studley: No, not really. I prefer boobs to pecs, but thanks anyway.