animals, dogs, dogs, horses, cats, Illustrations, Odd Little Stories

Staffordshire called Trixie

Here is my sweet and very smart old pup “Trixie”. I rescued her in our early days in California. It was in 1976 in the San Fernando Valley. There were a bunch of unruly boys in the neighborhood playing mean games with her. Putting meat on a rope and hanging it from a tree. They set up a lever/pulley system to amuse themselves. She would grab on to the meat and they would hoist her up the tree and as she locked her jaws, they partied. I stole her and she was our rescue dog for a few years after that. I took her everywhere with me: shopping and to work too. She was my little guard dog when I worked in Culver City. When I had my first son, she was wonderful with the baby.

We had another dog at the time that the veterinarian suggested we find a home for. I remember him saying that in some situations, dogs cant accept the new baby. The new baby was more than the Labrador could handle. So I gave the lab away because they were fighting. It was dangerous but I took care of it right away. When we moved to the country, it was great for a while but she disappeared one night. She showed up a few days later; hungry, tired, very dirty. I tried everything to keep her but she kept going out into the hills and then she just disappeared. A few weeks after she left, one morning I took my binoculars and aimed towards the distant rolling hills. I saw her. She had taken up with 3 wild dogs and they were hunting together. My heart was broken. I loved her so and knew now she would never come back. I think of her still. I think of her a lot. I miss you sweet Trixie. You could not help being the dog you were. There was nothing I could do. Here is the digital drawing of her.

Odd Little Stories, short stories, storytelling art, whimsy

Uncle Ray’s Breakfast

Ray was an early riser. He preferred 5 a.m. to anyone else’s normal hours. He loved making bacon and eggs any day. He had a special way about him. He had his all time favorites. He liked making sandwiches with slices of fat red onions on rye bread, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. He was also known for his adoration of “stinky cheese”. He adored Roquefort cheese and we all ran when he opened the wrapper. It was his special treat and he thought we were babies with no guts to stomach it. There were big blue chunks in the white creamy cheese and he always insisted it tasted much milder than it smelled.

Everybody loves the smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning and Raymond in the kitchen always started with a pot of fresh coffee. It was a ceremony. |He was a ceremony. Breakfast always came with his songs. He made sure everybody could hear him. His songs were always funny and he sang while he cooked. He made whole wheat toast, coffee and bacon to go with his basted eggs. Insist the bacon be turned only once. Insist the bacon be not overdone. Insist you leave some bacon grease in the cast iron pan. It should be hot but not so hot as to burn the delicate over easy eggs. They had to be handled with lots of care, cooked slowly and gently, very gently. Three eggs and when they landed in the pan, the flame was already turned down to medium. No excessive heat here, just a gentle fry.

He would tilt the pan and baste his babies by gently ladling a tablespoon of the bacon grease over the tops and watching the yolks change from dark yellow to a lighter and more milky shade. Towards the end, he would splash some water on with his open hand like he was sprinkling stardust a blessing on them. Then he would put a cover on the pan for 5 seconds to create steam to seal in the goodness. Therein was the secret to his famous breakfast. One more special touch was salt and pepper and a touch of ketchup.

Lots of people say ketchup is a crude form of condiment that he learned in the army. I guess the army had powdered eggs that needed all the help they could get. Actually, we loved Ray’s eggs and loved the ketchup on them too. What is better than this country style breakfast? What is better than a wonderful uncle. Raymond wherever you are in heaven, we miss you.

humor, Illustrations, Odd Little Stories, whimsy

The picasso bug adorns Pablo Picasso’s suit

This is a watercolor I did of the master, Pablo Picasso sporting a real picasso bug on his lapel collar. When I discovered that there is a real bug by that name living in Africa, I could not resist painting him. You can find him here