This a picture of my father and his grandmother. It was taken in the spring of nineteen forty three.

He had just completed boot camp, and somehow made his way from Sandiego California to Arthur Indiana for a brief visit.

They had no way of knowing, that they would not see each other again for over three years.

He was about to be sent to Guadacanal, Guam, Saipan, Peileiu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and eventually Japan.

He would be chosen for the First Marine Raider Battalion. They were Special Forces trained to do things, I will write about another time. I bring this up, because this week is his birthday. He was born at midnight February nineteenth. Because of this he always said his birthday was February nineteenth and twentieth. Even his obits couldn’t get it straight, so he pulled it off all his life and even afterwards.

My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow the seventeenth. She almost held out long enough. They never got to meet. She was conceived within days of his death. In our family we always say they passed each other on the way up and down.

That would be just like my dad. ” Once a Marine always a Marine”. He would have made sure someone took his place on the Battlefield of life to fill that void.

Where did he learn to be that way?

A lot of the credit goes to that little woman standing next to him. She raised him for much of his early childhood.

She was born in 1868, but I knew her. I was thirteen when she died. I miss her.

Happy Birthday Dad! I miss you.

Happy Birthday Daughter. I miss you too.



Lazy bones on a Saturday in bed

Momma’s in the kitchen, cookin’ bread

Tryin’ hard to do it just right

Tryin’ hard to follow the light

Down that road

With that load

It seems like a thousand years ago

He took her to a picture show

The movie and the popcorn did their charm

When they walked out she was on his arm

Down that road with that load

Months later ole Lazy bones was born

Months after that his dad was gone

She kept on doing what she could

Wantin’ bad for things to be good

Down that road

With that load

Lazy bones wakes up smellin’ bread

A six year old smile and a teddy bear named Fred

They hug , kiss and snuggle to their souls

She pours some milk, he eats the bread, they go

Down that road

With that load

Down that road

With that load



Thank God ! They are friends at last.
I took this picture when we weren’t home, to find out how they behaved when were gone.

Well not really , although we have the technology to do so. My wife says I like to talk like that because I am distantly related to Yogi Berra. She may be right since I’m always saying things like him. Actually, nobody talks like him anymore because there’s so many people already doing it.

This is Uschi and China Blue. You have never met China before because before we got her, I used to like cats. She’s half Russian Blue and half Siamese and never shuts up. We got her for my daughter’s eleventh birthday birthday. That was over fifteen years ago.

My daughter is a grown woman now living in another country, and we are blessed with a decision she made just before she turned eleven.

So now eighteen months ago I bring home a giant puppy. I had no idea what effect this would have on an old grouchy set in her ways cat. Some people and cats don’t like for you to move their food dish. We didn’t move her food dish, but I’m pretty sure we brought the equivalent of an earth quake into her life.

For month after month she made clear her opinion of the changes in a way that can really only be accurately displayed with video and audio. The audio on any device would have to be turned down to just above mute. Did I mention she never shuts up?

After nearly a year and a half they began to come to terms.

The first signs were when she would tolerate Uschi in the same room. She wouldn’t shut up, but they could exist within sight of each other. Then China started using power plays to teach this huge beast who the real boss is. She started to claim the rug you can barely see in the bottom of the picture. That’s Uschi’s seeping pad and security blanket and very important to her.

China won that territory. She only uses it occasionaly to remind Uschi who’s boss.

To keep this story under two thousand pages I’ll just tell you that, eventually they began to touch, and then they learned to groom each other.

Now you see them plotting against us while we are gone.

It’s taken a long time, but now they are best friends. An old Cat and a Dog ten times her her size have made peace.

People could learn a lot from these two.

Of course China still never shuts up.

New Doggie In Town

New Doggie  In Town

This is Dixie.
Uschi and I went for our regular mid morning walk down the dead end street where we live yesterday. We always do this after some chores and some play and and some training.

As we approached the last house on our short little street, I heard a young woman’s voice that I recognized yelling,” Uschi! Uschi!

People always ignore me when I’m out with Uschi. They fawn all over her, but me …oh no. It’s like I’m not even there. It reminds me of when I entered my forties and became invisible to teenage girls. What am I? Maybe her butler or pooper scooper or one of her subjects?

At any rate; scampering out of the house comes our neighbor calling out, ” We got our
new puppy!” We got our new puppy!”

At first I didn’t even see the cute little pup all cuddled up in her new mom’s arms. When I did it was love at first sight.
After much excitement and introductions we learned that she is a Goldendoodle. She is eight weeks old and they just adopted her the day before.

Her father is a standard sized Golden Retriever and her mother is a mid sized Poodle. She is as sweet as can be and very smart. She has beautiful highlights, and I think they found a very good new friend.

One thing for sure is there was love oozing all over the place, and this puppy is blessed with a wonderful new home.

Uschi has a new friend, and our neighborhood is better than before.

Thank God for doggies.

My Dog and History


It’s a New Year now, and time to come clean about some things.

I have often written about my best friend Little Bear. She has been used in several posts. A couple times without her permission, I must confess.
I have even misrepresented her gender; a venial sin at least in this time of over kill political correctness.
You must admit though, that she is very photogenic. If I had used pictures of myself I’d still be waiting for my first view.

Here’s the thing though. Her name is not Little Bear. It sort of is, but not exactly. Bear with me here. I know that was terrible, but desperate world famous writers, must do desperate things to wade through their own delusions.
Her real name is…… {drum roll here}…. Uschi!
Uschi? Are you serious right now? Is that Japanese, or Chinese or American Indian, or what? Surprise! Surprise! It’s German.
Here’s how it all happened.

Someone in our house got Dog fever real bad. You can probably guess, it wasn’t my wife. She’s somewhat younger than me, and her immune system is stronger, so she was able to fight it off. She loves dogs, but wasn’t ready for a giant new baby in the house. I was oblivious to the ramifications of such a project, and that’s why I spelled Dog with a capital letter. I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a Dog.
In order to entice my wife to go along with a new pup, I offered her naming rights. I held onto veto power though, just in case she came up with something like… like…., well I don’t know exactly, but just in case.
She came up with a brilliant idea. She doesn’t know me much better than I know myself.
When our daughter was an undergraduate student, one of her professors was from Germany and named Uschi. She was an extraordinary woman, and gave my daughter advice that changed her life and as a result ours also.
Uschi is a diminutive of Ursala which means little girl bear. Ursala is diminutive of the Latin Ursa meaning little bear. How can a larger word be a diminutive of a smaller word? I have so much to learn.
The picture of Uschi taken about a week after we first met, shows the cutie factor I had to deal with. One of my friends said, ” shes going to be pretty big when she grows into those ears.

The beautiful Picture is of the martyr Ursala around four hundred A.D. I don’t remember what she died for,but because of her fame her name became popular from that day forward.
That’s how my best friend Uschi became a part of history.

I took this first picture tomorrow, since all the bad weather coming our way will make it unpleasant to go out side. I just wanted you to see what Uschi will look like after the great storm hits.


Uschi   6 2012 021