Perceptions 

You and I could spend a lifetime

Seeing the same thing

But draw different conclusions

Because our eyes see

What we want them to see

Through lens colored 

By our world. 

I see a straight line

You see a curve

I see beauty. 

You see ugliness. 

I see chaos 

You see order

My desire for peace

Keeps me moored. 

Your wiring for manic

Keeps you busy. 

Doggone It, Doc!

I took our sweet puppy to the vet to get his booster shots. Mind you, I Yelp the heck out of any place I dare to do business with. Yes, I know Yelp has its issues with fake reviews on either end of the spectrum, but I like to believe not every review is a bought plug or vindictive dagger.  Anyway, my first choice was not picking up, so I went to the second on the list.  The second choice had two Yelp listings. One listing was full of glowing remarks. The second was the complaint line. I rolled the dice. 

Well, the last vet office I visited was pristine and welcoming. Unfortunately, my visit was a one and done because I had to put down my tortoise. This very office was dingy and old.  Dog pee greeted us at the door next to an orange cone asking us to be careful. Giving the place the benefit of the doubt, I proceeded to get Cosmo his boosters. Oddly enough the simple $68 visit escalated to double the cost because they began upselling services. If you love your pet, you want what’s best for your pet, so you go along. At the end of the visit, I was told my pet had a parasite that needed an aggressive treatment that would cost 11 weeks of visits and $1600. WTF?

I tapped out. We needed a second opinion. I may not be a veterinarian, but I can smell bull crap a mile away. So I went to my first choice. Guess what I was told? My dog has the parasite, but every dog has it. The parasite would be a problem if my dog was old. So in order to rid our puppy of the parasite and fight fleas (luckily we don’t have that problem), he gave us a $50 medication. 

Doggone it!

Today in San Bernardino, California an elementary school teacher was shot dead by her estranged husband who later killed himself.  Even sadder, the murderer shot two of her students who happened to be standing by the teacher.  One of the eight year olds later died from his injuries.  Many people are asking how could this have happened.  The answer is scary and I don’t think many people realize how teachers risk their lives every single day.

During my 17 years of teaching elementary school in the inner city, I have faced irate parents who have threatened me with bodily harm, been confronted by unstable staff members, been told to look for suspicious packages (bombs), walked students while pregnant with my first child to and fro during a school lockdown because of a nearby shooting, left work alone after dark through questionable surroundings, watched my students drop to the floor while gunshots rang out nearby, and watched unknown people stroll onto the campus with no school business.  Schools are looked upon as safe zones because the the teachers and staff are determined to help students feel safe.  Unfortunately, there is not enough training to prevent the unexpected from occurring.

With the Betsy DeVos poised to dismantle  public schools, I reflect on how the public tend to disregard the hard job teachers are expected to perform in less than satisfactory conditions. Not all teachers are saints or inspirational in a Dead Poets Society way, but the majority of teachers are hard working, selfless individuals who find themselves charged to do the incredible in impossible circumstances. Miracles are expected with little to inadequate resources. Overcrowded classrooms of children who need their basic needs met before learning geometry are the norm in the inner cities.  Clueless politicians, stressed administrators, and a shaming media pressure teachers to teach, nuture, and protect children with stellar results. Some teachers succeed and some fail. Some live to fight another day, and some never return home (Sandy Hook).

Can’t Talk

Have you ever felt 

Like you can’t talk

To anyone. 

Everyone gives you

Half an ear. 

You know their not

Listening

Because it’s written

Over their face 

And it colors their response

With muted tones. 

Makes you feel invisible. 

Doggie Woes


Today I woke up to a destroyed vegetable garden. I had taken time to fence in my kale, but my dog managed to bypass the fortress to have his way with my meager crops. Luckily I had just harvested a small bounty he had not yet destroyed and pruned my plants to the perfect height. 

After having a restless night of sleep, a stressful trip to the pediatrician, and a breakfast of a banana and coffee,  I was in a mood for that elusive rush of endorphins people are supposed to get from bonding with their dog. So wearing my nice clothes and cute ballerina flats, I go outside to bond with my dog. He blesses my feet with happy puppy pee and streaks my clothes with freshly dug soil. Oblivious to the carnage a mere few feet away, I pat him on the head and give him scratchies behind his ears. He’s loving it and like the Grinch I feel my heart grow a little larger.  

I grab the shovel to hold my breath and lovingly pick up his poo. As I make my way to shovel up my pet’s putrid poo, I see a familiar stalk under the canopy my dear husband had put up for our pet’s comfort. With happy eyes, Cosmo, snatches up the stalk like a prize and gnaws on it with a happy thump of his tail. I feel sick as I backtrack to my garden…

The carnage…

The rich dark soil…

In a panic I look for my potted mint. My oldest saved his Mother’s Day gift to me from certain destruction.  Thank goodness! Happily, Cosmo trots up to the fortress ands thumps his tail with his ball in his mouth. Maybe one day I will look back on this and laugh. Maybe.