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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday - Part II

This Sunday ran in Phases.

Phase I

When last I left you I had taken Trixie for her walkies. Upon our return, evelyn had prepared a superb breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. Naturally, some of the bacon I shared with Trixie.

I finished reading the Sunday paper and then, as is my custom, I headed for bed to lie down and watch, or, more correctly, listen to the football game. I removed my right ear hearing aid as I would be lying on my right side, leaving my left ear free to listen to the game in case I closed my eyes or otherwise drifted off to naptime. I put the right ear's hearing aid in the drawer of my bedside table and closed the drawer. At least I thought I did. Most of the way.

Trixie likes to take a nap with daddy in the morning and this was no exception.

At halftime I got up, got dressed, as I had to go visit my eldest son. I found my left ear hearing aid on my desk, where I had left it to answer the phone. I went back to the bedroom to pick up my other hearing aid and . . . it was gone! Nowhere in the bedside table drawer. The drawer was open.

I began to get this empty feeling in my stomach and, sure enough, after searching for about two minutes I found 1/2 of the missing hearing aid on the floor, teeth marks on the remaining plastic.

Three hearing aids this rascal of a pup has now eaten! I am now missing my right ear. Or at least the hearing in that ear is diminished. I shall try one more time to see if the VA will replace it with a new one. That, too, may offer problems.

Phase II

I was notified earlier this week that the VA has audited my Social Security and tax returns and it appears I am not eligible because I exceed the household income limit substantially. I had listed only my Social Security income, thinking any and all other income was 'passive income' and didn't really count. I am apparently misinformed . . . and I may have to pay the VA back for my hearing aids. Arrrrgh! The annuity my mom left me, interest on various securities, the two properties I inherited in Florida, all combined to put me way over the limit. I shall consult with my CPA and see if he can save a wretch like me but, if not, I may have to get the old check book out and grin and bear it.

In spite of Trixie's latest transgression (breaking and entering - opening my bedside table drawer with her nose or paws or both, stealing my hearing aid and attempting to destroy the evidence) I, once again, forgave her. (Though I did speak very harshly to her - showing her the chewed up and now useless hearing aid and saying forcefully, "This is a 'no!' . . ." several times. She cringed, curled up on the bed, looked at me with those sad, brown eyes and, once again, melted my heart. This time, however, I didn't pick her up and hold her and pet her. I stormed out of the bedroom in my most dramatic fashion.

Phase III

After returning from a brief visit with my eldest son, I approached the street that leads to our house and saw a woman leading what I first thought was a Great Dane. As I approached, I saw it was not a large dog at all but either a Shetland Pony or a Miniature Horse. I stopped to ask her and she confirmed it was a Miniature Horse. I asked her if she'd wait a minute or two as I wanted evelyn to see it. She agreed, I parked, hollered at evelyn, put the leash on Trixie, and we all went out to meet "Bandit," a very gentle, brown, miniature horse. She calmly munched on our grassy lawn as we chatted with her owner, an attractive blonde lady named Shay. She had just gotten rid of two other horses and decided to take Bandit for a walk around the neighborhood for some exercise. Turns out evelyn had seen the horse, but many years ago. To my great surprise, Trixie barked at both the lady and the horse but I commanded her "No bark!" and she soon listened. The barking stopped and the sniffing started. Lo and behold, she seemed to really love this horse! The horse tolerated her nicely and they sniffed each other. They were making friends.

Meanwhile, we got to know a bit about the lady. She only lives about four houses away from us. We thought an elderly couple lived there but it's just her and her miniature horse. Seems her husband up and left her on November 19th. We expressed our condolences and were willing to listen but she didn't seem inclined to discuss her personal marital problems with us. I felt a pang of regret at not being able to hear what could have been some juicy gossip.

After a bit, we took Trixie back inside, after bidding farewell to Shay and Bandit, her wonder horse. He is a stallion but she plans on having him gelded. I urged her to breed him at least once; she could probably make a fair amount of money by selling the foal. Her mind seemed elsewhere, though. Probably on the now-absent husband.

Phase IV

I watched a bit of the afternoon football game, switching back and forth between that and a fascinating program on PBS's NOVA about a midget Japanese submarine that had helped in the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was thoroughly engrossed in observing both, switching channels back and forth, when evelyn reminded me we had agreed to meet Marty, her eldest son, and his girl friend, Trish, for dinner, to celebrate his 48th birthday. Reluctantly, I turned off the tv, gathered trusty and faithful pup, Trixie, and headed for the driveway to get into Ms. Fancy Pants New Car for the drive to Carlsbad.

The drive was uneventful. We arrived at Marty's, Trixie ran to meet and play with Marty's dog. We watched the final three minutes of the Green Bay/Philadelphia game and then were off to Dini's, an upscale restaurant in Carlsbad, where we had a glorious view of the setting sun.

Folks who don't know the beach area are unaware of a phenomenon that often occurs at sunset on the ocean. I think I wrote about this one other time earlier, when we were dining at the same restaurant at sunset. Just as the sun sets below the ocean's horizon there is a green flare - it's very quick . . . just a green 'afterglow' immediately after the sun sets. We were lucky enough to see it last time. Tonight, we watched and watched . . . but the sun set . . . no green glow. There were low lying clouds just above the horizon . . . and it may have masked our eagerly awaited 'glow.' Perhaps next time.

No matter. We had a superb dinner, great company, many laughs . . . and that's how a birthday celebration is supposed to be. Evelyn gave Marty a beautiful waterproof camera that he can mount on his surfboard and take pictures of either the shore, or turn it around and catch a picture of himself while surfing. He was tickled pink. He will take it in May when he takes his son, Tyler, to the island of Bali in Indonesia on a long awaited father/son surfing trip. Marty is a tremendous father. He's divorced but spends as much time as he can with Tyler. They are really tight and I love to see them together. Marty is aces with me. I think he's tops.

Phase V

A couple weeks ago evelyn and I went to Trader Joe's here in Escondido. Got a lot of neat things. A really inexpensive (and very good) bottle of red wine. I saw a bottle of Cognac, Courvosier, no less. It said $9.99. Unheard of! I don't drink much at all but couldn't resist this price so I bought it.

About a week later evelyn checked the receipt and found I had bought a $35 bottle of Cognac. I must have saw a sign advertising a cheaper cognac, or a cheaper wine . . . but it was too late. Stores won't take back liquor, once purchased. At least that's what they say.

So, as I write this I have just begun my second glass of fine Cognac. I'm amazed I can still type without a dozen typos and shall proof my note before sending, just to make sure.

Trixie is all tired out and is ready for bed. I am as well.

I assure you, when I retire I shall take my left hearing aid off and put it in the bedside table and close the drawer all the way.

Phase VI.

Nitey night.

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