Ticks and Grandma Camp

I read a scary facebook post this morning from a member of a dog group. No, not about the state of the world, the state of the US, Ohio, or the gas prices when I am driving to daily rehearsals. No, much worse. The writer had walked her dog at Mentor Headlands (close to us) and the dog played host to about seven ticks. She put them in a jar and took a picture. This is very troubling! As you know, I hate/despise/dread/abhor ticks. When we were young and went on our annual Canadian migration, there were two threats that we didn’t have at our house in Toledo (not counting bears and other minor annoyances…). The two horrible critters were leeches and ticks. I had a leech between my toes once and pulled it off before I even knew what it was. Then I freaked out. Disgusting, yes, but at least they don’t crawl. Ticks crawl. Just like my skin right now. Last year was what I thought a banner year for ticks. But it sounds like this year will be worse. So, what is a tick-phobic dog owning person to do? Chester is on the flea/tick/heartworm medication but what about me? Why don’t they make chew tabs for people??? I guess I’ll have to invest in some bug spray, stay on the path, and wear white socks. I will let you know how it works but meanwhile, make sure your dog is up to date with tick prevention or has a collar, and check yourself too. I know, gross.

I am not going to show you any pictures of ticks. I will show you Chester’s new toy.

Our grandson got it for him for Mother’s Day. In a four-year-old mind, that makes sense and it is a very sweet gesture. I am impressed that the grandson picked a Kong toy, as they are supposed to be hard to destroy. Chester did not destroy it….instantly. the first night he tried!

 It tired him out.

By the end of day two, he opened a very precise hole in the chest of the toy and removed the squeaker. I think he has a future as a surgeon.

That made him happy, so he took a week or so to pull out the stuffing. He still has some stuffing in the head, so this is a successful toy! Chester is also happy because his little white dog friend was at the back fence again. Their tails were wagging energetically as they took turns peeing on the same bush.

Switching gears, I am taking Grandson #1 for a week this summer (not necessarily overnight each night though). We have dubbed it “Grandma Camp.” I won’t have him until the end of July but I’m starting to plan. It is the week of the Lake County Fair, so I could just take him and sit around eating elephant ears and milkshakes and playing the break the balloon by throwing darts game.

It’s just a step up to axe throwing! We could do that too!

My ex-coworkers and I had a blast!

We could go to the Antique Co-op, or the Junk and Treasure Barn, and buy old stuff and eat hot dogs out of the thing that rolls them around. Mmm Mmm good. They had one of them at the little league field for years until it was determined that lack of running water was probably not conducive to healthy wieners. Then they switched to candy. So much better, right?

Or we could go to a Captains baseball game and eat nachos and popcorn and lemon ice.

Classic Park, home of the Lake County Captains

Dollar Dog night is a big draw at the Guardians games, so I’ll have to see if the Captains has something like that other than nickel beer. A bobblehead would be a nice freebie, or a Captains hat or t-shirt.

We could go to Jordan Park and he can climb while I sit and drink coffee and take pictures.

All these are possibilities, as are skydiving, deep sea diving in Lake Erie, riding in the Goodyear Blimp and spelunking in Southern Ohio. However, some are more probable than others. For example, I’m probably not going to eat a hot dog out of the turning thing. I am looking forward to a whole week of fun! What would you do with an 8-year-old? One thing for certain, we will dose up with tick repellant!

A human metropolis, A complete civilization, Sleek! And Fast! At once a poem and the perfection of physical engineering…

These are lines from the Titanic that I have to learn to say without spitting. I am a kinesthetic learner so I have to actually type the words to learn them. So you lucky people are going to be the unlucky beneficiaries of my learning style. Sorry….have a good week!

Winter Wonderland and MacArthur Park…

We made it back! Our trip to Arnstein was beautiful. We didn’t freeze like a bunch of Elsas and Olafs. We snowshoed, hiked in the snow, walked across the lake, played Euchre and Hearts, and ate Oreos. Well, I ate Oreos. My sister and niece ate healthy food. My brother did OK too with healthy food. Me, I ate Oreos. We bought a bunch of Canadian craft beers and had “flights” where we sampled them. All in all it was a relaxing, joyous trip.

I just wish I could remember my niece’s name. Who is this girl? She isn’t the same as the niece I had before. She is a competent and delightful person with a great head on her shoulders. I just can’t remember…let’s see….my nephews are Nick and Matt and Stephen, but who is she? I’ll think about it.  It’s interesting–there is some land we found out about that may be for sale in the spring. My niece expressed interest in it. My brother, sister and I love this land.  it’s where many good memories are. Now I see the same feelings in Nick, Matt, Mike, Jeff, Izzy, and the niece. I hope they find as many moments of peace there with their families as we did.

So change of thoughtwave..this morning I heard MacArthur Park on the 60s channel. I can’t believe how many songs are famous as covers. There does not seem to be anything new in this world. Three of the songs I heard were done again as covers more recently and with success.  MacArthur Park is the one sticking with me. This was sung by Richard Harris, in 1968. I was more familiar with the 1978 version by Donna Summer. This version was like the trippy Bohemian Rhapsody of 1968. It started like the typical MacArthur Park, then went into a slow, string filled section, then burst into the head banging rock part. Then back to normal. Mr. Harris doesn’t have the same voice as Donna Summer, but who does? (and that’s a big not me folks) I then heard Aretha Franklin singing The Weight (take a load off fanny…etc), and another one that I forgot (just like the niece’s name). I think most original music is not on the radio or listening channels, they should just have a cover channel. But I digress.

The first time I heard MacArthur Park was at a high school halftime show when I was about 11. The Whitmer marching band played it. It was homecoming. I was not in high school but my dad was a teacher there, so we sat with him and mom in the teacher seats. Every year he would buy my sister and me a corsage for homecoming. They were yellow carnations with a black and glittery gold “W”. What a great memory that was! I never was asked to a homecoming dance, so these flowers remained the special homecoming tradition in my mind, not that a homecoming dance would have replaced them anyway. Remember, back then we didn’t go as “friend groups” or alone, instead it was no date, no go. Kind of stupid. Anyway, when I first heard MacArthur Park, I remembered the name because I fell head over heels in love with it. I had no idea what the words were, since it was a marching band, and that would be expecting alot to have them sing and play at the same time. See we didn’t have you tube or music on demand. I had to try to listen to it on WIOT or CKLW. I guess I could have bought the record, but I didn’t know who sang it, and just didn’t. It would be another 10 years until I heard it again as a Donna Summer song, but I remembered every note.

There are experiences that stay with us, inside our core beings, waiting to be dusted off and brought to the forefront. It has been a few years since I was in Arnstein. It was like I never left. I see this in my siblings but also the next generation. Some of it will change, like MacArthur Park went from the Harris version to Donna and disco. It was still good, the core remained. I was so happy to see that my niece (what on earth is her name??) loves it as much as we do. I’m glad we were able to make it up there again. And I’m glad I heard MacArthur Park today.

PS: Alyssa, just kidding. Her name is Alyssa Rae and she is my favorite niece ever. She reads this blog and was whining, I mean commenting that I hadn’t mentioned her name. Here you go Alyssa!  You rock!

Image of birch tree in Canadian winter
Andy and Alyssa 🙂
The beauty of Clear Lake