Sunday, June 29, 2014



My fascination with wheels or objects bearing wheels must have started when I got my first tricycle. I was somewhere around 5. I might have been pushed in some contraption like a buggy before then but that escapes my memory. Bicycle - age 10. Somewhere between tricycle and bicycle I was introduced to roller skates–those nifty ones that you clamped onto your shoes. I mean shoes, too; sandals didn’t do the job. I still have a skate key, if you are old enough to remember them. But no skates. A side note....if you have a skate key you became pretty popular. Skate keys were the first things lost and the last things found. A neighbor had the skates to envy. Shoe skates. Hers were white boots just like the roller rink had. She had little pom pom deals attached to hers. Oh, my.

Mr. Lucky understood this thing I have for wheels. He went to a yard sale once and came back with a tricycle (rusty and quite wonderful), a Radio Flyer wagon, and a wheel barrow. (I had to look this up...wheel barrel or wheel barrow. It’s barrow). What a guy. On Mother’s Day on year I got a new wheel barrow. Another time I got a lawn mower with 4 wheels. Oh boy.

Moving along.... I didn’t marry Mr. Lucky because he had a 1960 Studebaker Lark, but it didn’t hurt his image either. Most importantly he introduced me to motorcycles. Have you ever heard of a Tohatsu? That’s what he put me on first. It had wheels. Later I moved up to a thing of beauty. A 1970 Yamaha Enduro 175. It’s still in the garage. One of the last times I rode it, it threw me on the ground between a rock and a really hard place. As I recall there was a kelly hump and a mammoth tree stump involved, too.

After witnessing me hitting the ground Mr. Lucky thought (wisely) that it was time to switch to four-wheelers. Better still. More WHEELS. So far it appears that I am lots less likely to get thrown to the ground while riding my 4-wheeler.

The yard sale wagon was the start of my collection of wagons. Most of them are rusty, but well loved. However a few years back my son sent me one for my birthday. It’s a beauty, complete with pneumatic tires, removable wood side boards, and much too nice for kids to play with. Every grown woman should have one. The wheel barrow thing just sort of happened. I have used both the wagons and wheel barrows for planters as well as for hauling stuff about in the yard.

As you can imagine I have assorted wheel barrows and wagons scattered about in flower beds and former flower beds. Oh, yeah...and one rusty tricycle. I call it Yard Art.

I’m on the hunt for a kiddie car just in case you have one to give away. I wouldn’t turn away any Tonka trucks, either.

Shortly after I wrote the first final draft of this piece (from the valley) I went out for my "health walk" during which I fell to the ground in fine style. That would be with an audience and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. With little fanfare Mr. Lucky took me to the ER for x-rays. I was sure I had broken my patella or tibia or some other hard to pronounce part of my anatomy. No. Just a torn ACL. The L part stands for ligament. Long story short. Now I get to use a walker (with wheels) until I get better.

Man, I love wheels.





Sunday, June 1, 2014

Man or Woman's Best Friend

During our happy, blissful married life Mr. Lucky and I have had over a dozen dogs. At some point I’ll blat about many of them but first....

Let me tell you all about Fred. He was some sort of a Heeler. If you read up on Heelers, as I did, you’ll find that they are smart, trainable, good with kids, and require very little grooming. He even responded to his new name-Fred. All of that worked for me.

Fred appeared in the neighborhood one spring day; a full grown dog with a collar, but no identification or rabies tag. A notice on the radio and a call to the police about a lost dog didn’t turn up an owner. He soon took up residency under our deck. The neighbors had a bunch of kids that the dog seemed to find necessary to watch. Watch them he did. There is a small stream of water in our backyard that I like to call a creek (in Idaho that’s crick) and that’s a stretch. It’s really a glorified ditch. Anyway, if the kids were anywhere near the creek (crick) Fred was on duty. Watching. Some days it was a full time job. They were busy kids.

Lucky for us he was well trained. Around our house we are what you might call dog training challenged. We did manage to housebreak our kids and they both learned to use silverware. So if guests popped in we would invite them to have a chair. You know...something like this. "Come on in. Sit down." Fred would immediately sit. He was a gentle dog who tolerated female dogs and tried to run off any male dog that happened to come along. The big male lab-cross who lived in the neighborhood was not discouraged by Fred. He pretty much ignored him. Fred just had to suck it up.

We discovered on our first attempt at a road trip with him that Fred was not too keen on riding in the cab of a pickup. We were less than a mile from home when he had a bit of a panic attack. Nothing to do but take him home. Home was a test, too, at first. He refused to come inside, choosing instead to take up residency under our deck. That became his domain. And his alone. Our current dog, to this day, doesn’t go under the deck. Evidently Fred told her to stay out.

Fred loved chips....Doritos, potato, Sun Chips. He was introduced to them by the neighbor kids. The sound of opening a bag of chips would get him running for a city block.

He was not a bit particular about his diet. Fruit, vegetables, and as I mentioned, chips, and dog food. Even cat food. One time we caught him red-handed eating the neighbor’s cat food right on their back porch. One of his favorites was blackberries. He would pick his own. The same with cherry tomatoes, but they were not so dangerous as blackberries.

Fred’s life with us overlapped with a couple of other female dogs. One of them, Sadie, had to have medication a couple of times a day. When her pills came out, so did the cheese as a way to disguise the pill. Sometimes Fred got his cheese first. Not being as well-trained as Fred, Sadie was not likely to come when she was called. When we did get her into the house she was rewarded with a "come-in cookie". Fred figured that out early on. He always got one, too. I’m pretty sure he explained this procedure to our present resident canine, Bonnie. She goes directly to the cupboard when she comes in. He passed on several other good behavior traits to Bonnie. Considering that we are challenged in the area of dog-training we were grateful for Fred’s help.

Fred developed a tumor. It was on his upper jaw and was pretty much inoperable.. You can figure out how this ends. He gave us many years of enjoyment as dogs do. I like to think that we made a good life for him during those years. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of him to share on this post. Well, any pictures that I can locate. You’ll just have to trust me when I say he was a good-looking heeler.