Foxy Mama's Blog

Stories, musings and ramblings from the front porch. Pull up a rocking chair and sit for a spell...


Thursday, January 12, 2006

A small tale...

Our town, like so many other towns and cities across America, has leash laws and pooper-scooper laws. A lot of people in our town have dogs and the owners can be seen walking their canine friends at all hours of the day or night and in all kinds of weather. If nothing else the dogs in this town are forcing their owners into a more healthful existence by providing the exercise and fresh air they both need to thrive. One of the familiar accessories that can be seen on these dog-walking folks is a plastic bag, either held in the hand, looped over a belt or protruding from a pocket.

I happened to look out my window a little bit ago, something I do frequently since the computer is in a corner next to the window and I often take little breaks by leaning back and looking out the window. There’s always something interesting to see, if only the squirrels frollicking about, which always makes me feel slightly giddy and sometimes provides me with some good belly laughs at their blithe antics.

What I saw this time when I looked out the window was a cross between laughter and disgust. What caught my eye first was the college girl from the house across the street and the way she was walking…as if traversing the snow in barefeet or perhaps bedroom slippers…and then there was the dog. The girl and the dog looked unfamiliar so I concluded they were probably visitors (not that I gave it all that much thought to begin with) because the house across the street generates lots of visitors and not always early ones either, unless they stayed the night and left in the morning…the term “morning” being subjective.

Anyway, the dog was a most interesting looking beast, somewhat like a grayhound but large, perhaps like a great dane in size and color, although the fur was light and not mottled like the markings Dane’s fur tends to have. It wasn’t a bad looking dog and it trotted happily along on its long, slender legs totally oblivious to the mincing steps of the suspected owner. Down the driveway they came until the girl turned onto the sidewalk in front of the house, directly across from ours, then they crossed by in front of the house while the dog foraged about for…well, something.

Ah, the dog was foraging about for the right potty spot, which it found finally, directly in front of the elderly lady’s house next door to the “college house.” The girl didn’t appear to have the ubiquitous bag with her. In fact, she was poorly dressed for the venture to begin with. At this point I found myself curious about the outcome of this miserable girl and her cur. The dog squatted right on the front lawn of the old lady’s lawn while the girl tugged on the leash desperately but to no avail. Too late, the product was already rolling along on the assembly line. The girl’s ministrations, though fraught with stress, failed to move the dog to a more suitable spot, such as the front lawn of the students’ house where she came from to begin with, and the deed was accomplished. This was just too good.

As an aside, have you ever noticed how completely awkward and downright self-conscious a dog looks while squatting and “unloading?” It’s pitiable. Anyway, I wondered what the girl was going to do. Would she just walk away and hope that no one noticed, as so many folks do, laws not withstanding? Or would she do the “right thing” and clean up after her buddy? Perhaps feeling the stare of unseen eyes or perhaps just having been brought up responsibly, the girl looked about for something to remove the offending substance with. Ah, luck was with her! There it was…a cup, laying there in the snow from some lazy coffe drinker who no doubt was unaware at the time he or she tossed it how important that abandoned coffee cup would become.

Our heroine daintily picked up the cup from in front of the college house, walked back over to the elderly lady’s lawn next door and scooped up the “product,” all the while the dog danced winsomely around, oblivious to the drama. What happened next was the fascinating part of this narrative. The girl, after scooping, walked a couple of steps back in front of the college house and tossed the steaming contents of the cup onto the lawn there, walked a few more steps and when she got to the driveway to make her way back, presumably to the door she had exited earlier, turned and tossed the cup itself unceremoniously back onto the front lawn of the house and once again minced her way up the driveway with her pooch and disappeared.

I’ve never seen that dog before but I know I’ll never forget it. The girl was just another of the rabble that come and go from that house and maybe I’ve seen her and maybe I haven’t and maybe I will again and maybe I won’t. But that dog and that girl were certainly inspiring, perhaps not in the way one would like to be inspiring but inspiring just the same.

I just had to share…


Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy new year!...

It is now January 9 of the year 2006 and I am disgruntled. On December 31st of last year I ordered stamps online from the United States Post Office. Knowing of the impending rate increase, to take place on January 8th (yesterday), I decided to order early…$.02, $.04 and $.05 stamps because I still have so many of the $.37 stamps on hand. I make my own cards so I like to use interesting stamps on the envelopes when possible and I have accrued quite a healthy stock of postage stamps.

It is now January 9 of the year 2006. Have I mentioned that already? Well… I have not received those stamps yet! On principle, it killed me to pay an extra dollar for delivery charges to have those stamps sent to my house but the weather has been “iffy” and my arthritis has been grumbling quite a bit so I figured I’d “bite the bullet” this time around and not go out. Besides, gasoline is certainly not cheap and by the time you add up the gasoline cost plus wear and tear on the car, I’d probably rack up $1.00 in cost to get the stamps anyway.

It is now January 9, 2006. I ordered enough of those small increment stamps to run up a tab of $7.70, which represents quite a few stamps when you consider that they’re only a few cents each. The order was to be delivered “Priority Mail.” I guess I’m not much of a priority to the U. S. Post Office since nine days have elapsed already and I have not seen “hide nor hare” of the stamps I ordered.

Since it is January 9, 2006 and nine days ago I ordered lots and lots of stamps and I have not seen these stamps yet, I am feeling quite “irked” at the U.S. Post Office right now. Let me say that I buy and use quite a few stamps over the course of a year since I send out a lot of cards and mail. The post office makes more than a few shekels on me each year because I am a creative person and I like to share my creativity with others and make their lives just a tad more fun and interesting.

On January 9, 2006today, I am being prevented from sharing the creative fruits of my labors. Oh, okay, I have some $.01 stamps still on hand since I often have to tack on extra stamps to cover the cost of hand stamping some “lumpy” or particularly fragile envelopes but these one cent’ers will not last long at this rate. The envelopes are not as attractive with zillions of extra unmatching stamps either. Humbug!

So…on the 9th day of January, 2006, 9 days after I ordered a few hundred stamps to be delivered by Priority Mail, I am still WAITING!!! This is Priority (!) Mail? I doubt it. The U.S. Post Office is a monopoly and I think they’re being pretty darn cocky about it. Gone is the “credo” of the early U.S. Post Office about neither sleet nor snow nor rain nor hale not preventing delivery of mail. Gone is the ethic about preparedness and responsibility. Aw shucks, I’m downright sore about this!

Nine days into January of the new year of 2006 I am still waiting to become a Priority of the United States Post Office. Okay, I admit…I did buy a roll of one hundred of the new $.39 stamps back before Christmas and put them away for future use…but…I still have a couple hundred different $.37 stamps that I would like to use up first! More practical! Prettier! Doggonit, I planned ahead. I exercised responsibilty. I spent money! Where is my product? If other businesses operated this way we wouldn’t tolerate it and they’d go “out” of business pretty quickly. I wouldn’t shop there and neither would you.

On January 9, 2006 I sit here and contemplate my role in the furtherance of the U.S. Post Office’s future. Dang, I hate feeling so impotent! I keep getting little cards from them urging me to order online and not have to stand in line and encounter the sometimes very rude people behind their counters (only some, most are courteous, and besides they didn’t say that about the rude people, I just added that in because it sometimes happens and it always makes me feel crappy). They mention convenience in these little notes. Convenience!! For whom?! Certainly it hasn’t been too convenient for me and I paid an extra buck for this inconvenience! I’m beginning to wonder if anyone receives any of the stuff I send. I do know that the mailman(woman, whatever…) comes later and later these days.

Oh well, here it is January 9, 2006 and I resolved not to complain so much this year. I was happy to put last year behind me and sally forth into a brighter future. Last year at this time Older Sonny was still in the hospital and we hadn’t even celebrated our Christmas, let alone ushering in a new year in celebration. There wasn’t anything to celebrate and the year continued on a downhill spiral bereft of hope. I had a hard time posting because I felt so awful and in fact, this is my first post since November 8th, which many of you have reminded me often. I just couldn’t subject you to my gloom. I am trying to look ahead to better days now and I resolve to work on my optimism a little more. Now don’t you think that the United States Post Office ought to help out a bit on that? Say yes and I’ll send you a card…

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