Word Up!

“A breach, T.L.? It’s where things break down. An opening. Like an old wall that has a crack in it. There’s a breach in the wall, and the weeds grow through it.”

“How do YOU know?”

“I’m in seventh grade. I KNOW things. You’re only in third or something.”


“Whatever, you haven’t learned ‘breach’ yet. Now you have. It’s an opening.”

“Who died and made you the dictionary?”


“I guess that’s why I got it wrong.”

“Got what wrong?”

“On the vocabulary test. I hate school. I never learn anything.”

“You just did. You learned ‘breach’.”

“Not from school. From you. My stupid brother. My stupid teacher doesn’t teach as good as my stupid brother.”

“You have to learn this stuff Tina Louise. Do you want to spend your life in fourth grade.”


“Let’s see your list.”

Tina Louise went into the kitchen and dug the test out of the trash. She took a paper towel, wet it a little, cleaned the ketchup off the top and took it back to her room.


“You only got one right?”

“I hate school. I hate vocabulary.”

“Ha ha ha! You said ‘breach’ was ‘pants’.”

“Like the ‘Little Breaches Rodeo’.”

“That’s not breaches. That’s ‘britches’.”

“Don’t tell mom and dad, OK?”

“T.L., you know you’re gonna’ get a report card. They’ll find out. How many of these have you flunked?”

“Pretty much all of them.”

“You want me to help you?”

“I hate my teacher. I hate school. All we do is learn stuff and take tests.”

“That’s school, T.L.”

“I don’t want to go any more.”

“OK, what about this one. You got it right.”

“Yeah. ONE.”

“OK, that’s better than NONE. What about this one? Let’s try it.”

“Dis-pos-able. Vocabulary is disposable. I can’t learn it. It’s disposable for me.”

Derrick looked at the crumpled piece of paper smoothed out, washed by his little sister and smelling of ketchup. He didn’t want to laugh at her, but it was becoming more and more difficult not to.

“Apparently not, TL.”

I’m in a creative funk and I figure the best way out of it is to write a story every day and maybe draw a picture. It’s very hot here in Heaven, it’s impossible to get out with the dogs at the moment. I have a hangover from the past year and a bad case of ennui. I can’t complain because it’s been a LOOOONNNNGGG time since I’ve felt a funk like this and I can see where it came from. I’m a very lucky person — something that’s also clear to me — and I know that this will pass. One of the things most in demand by life itself is patience. 🙂

35 thoughts on “Word Up!

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been in a funk too. Didn’t realize it until recently. Just couldn’t come up with anything to write. Sigh. Hopefully soon though!

      • I enjoy summer, but I love winter and fall the most. For me, just a million changes and trying to wrap my head around so much. Got Loki training cost 2400. ouch. Made a difference tho. The trainer trains last chance dogs very aggressive. |He doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body. In fact she said he’s heads above other german she’s in intelligence, personality and is a working dog .\(he came from working dog father, show dog mom) and adams thinking of training him to become tracker. .|He LOVES that. He chases the grandkids. They throw the ball to distract then hide. He finds them instantly. Loves that game. Faves – kids, balls, hide and seek. lol But I certainly get where your coming from.

        • I believe in professional training for dogs who need it. Dusty T. Dog would NEVER have been able to live with people (other than me) without it. When I got my first hip replacement, he went to live with my trainer and came back much less terrified of the world. Poor little guy had been badly abused as a puppy and it traumatized him. My two huskies — Jasmine and Lily — were professionally trained before they came to live with me. My third husky came to me completely wild and unsocialized, I paid to have her trained, too. Some dogs really need it and it’s a godsend for them. Dogs like German shepherds and huskies have so much of their identity in their breeding that they’re going to be who they are. It takes a lot sometimes to help them see how to conform just a little bit. If Bear had a different owner, I can imagine her having problems adjusting to being a pet, but her person is me and thanks to all the huskies, I’m happy to have an independent loving dog. And, as she’s gotten older, all the obedience I’ve taught her has become part of who she is. Some dogs are meant to be the partner of their people, and Bear is one of them. There was an immense German shepherd stray on my street in CA and he decided to be my dog. There was no way I could keep him, but wow. what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful animal he was. I had to take him to the shelter for his own safety since I couldn’t keep him (6 dogs was the legal limit and he would have been #7) but I felt honored to have known him. Give Loki big hugs for me.

          • I shall indeed. He’s such an exquisite dog. He had been bittenfour times as a pup and because adam wasn’t willing obious as to why he wouldn’t take him back to dog parks, he needed socializing because he was unsure whether to stand his ground or play The trainer said she’s never met a more intelligent GS and was frustrated because he knew but was stubborn and didn’t want to listen, not that he didn’t know what was what, lol. Adam said, yeah, exactly why I brought him to you. He has reached a plateau and won’t listen, can’t get eye contact on occasion. Well, he’s improved I must say. He seems far more confident..

            • Dogs really want to get it right. Big dogs don’t reach maturity until they’re about 3 which is also kind of frustrating for owners. I don’t think dog parks are for all dogs. My big boy husky, Cody O’Dog, would just try to eliminate all the other dogs and, otherwise, he was friendly, well mannered, dog friendly and a prince among dogs. Dog parks confused him. I think they reminded him of the 4 months he had to live in a shelter. 😦

              • That makes sense. These parks unfortunately contain idiots who don’t know the first thing about dog training. They jump on strangers, take other dogs toys, bite. It wasn’t a good experience for Loki and he remembers which GS are good at. Remembering. So we’re trying to socialize him again. He’s fabulous with people and cats. just not sure about other dogs.

                • Bear is great with dogs who come to visit us or who are introduced properly meaning I spend a little time visiting with their people before their dog meets Bear. That’s how she knows they’re friends. Dogs out there in the world? Since one came at me she’s absolutely fierce about protecting me from strange dogs. That won’t change. She’s a livestock guardian dog and, in her mind, she’s responsible for my safety. German Shepherds are so incredibly smart that of course Loki remembers ❤

                  • Yep, you nailed it on the head. I love you! You understand, you know, you get it! Loki is protective, and I pity anyone that should attempt to break in or get near he doesn’t like. Adam took him to a park. He didn’t like this guy. Adam had never seen him respond like that, hair up, snarling…turns out, the guys a pedophile. He was caught on camera and identified. Loki knew at a glance. It was astounding.

                    • Dusty T. Dog who was suspected to be part GSD knew the good people from the bad. The icky guy who used to hang out where I used to walk the dogs made Dusty’s hackles rise. I never heard Dusty bark in THAT tone of voice and he had a generally fierce-sounding bark. I think he would have gone for the guy’s throat. Dogs are forces for good in the world, even those that are trained to fight are only trying to save themselves from the abuse they get from their sick owners. ❤ Good boy, Loki!

                    • Dont know if I mentioned it, but Adams thinking of enroling him in tracking because the woman that was training him said he’s a work dog and he LOVES playing hide and seek with the grand kids and she said he’d be in his element. So that’ll happen soon I think. He’s heads above other gs in intelligence and man we’ve seen that tracking abiity first hand and he is constantly astounding. I missed the heck out of him when he was gone 2 weeks, it seemed like an eternity. My son said, mom you are the most tender hearted person I’ve ever seen. Loki has a collar that buzzes, doesn’t zap him, and he’s sensitive to it alone and he helped and I started bawling my eyes out, lol. Couldn’t help myself. He’s such an incredible beautiful animal. I have become an emotional wreck. Must be the age thing kicking in. sigh. lol

                    • That collar worked on my incorrigible husky! The trainer put it on her and finally something got through to her wild husky brain. And, all I had to do to get Cheyenne’s attention was show her the collar and she was ready to work! To her it meant treats and attention and love. ❤

                      Yes, dogs like Loki do need a job. That would be so cool if he did that!

  2. Tina Louise needs to spend a few days with my cousin. Observing someone who can’t read or even copy a short poem, follow directions, understand her bank statement, activate a credit card or add up a bill and calculate the change, might give TL the kind of education she needs right now.

  3. If T.L. could’ve helped create that video you would no longer feel like she couldn’t learn! I understand the funk. I’ve been volunteering with adults with disabilities. This group of guys absolutely have stolen my heart. 💛 so this video you shared is one of the most fascinating I’ve ever watched. When the electric guitars started swirling and hitting glasses I thought, “oh wow!”…and then it got bigger and better! And so did the message. Sending you cool hugs and love from a too hot Missouri. Can’t believe you’re getting those temps! 💛🤗🐶

    • the temps are nightmares because of being so close to the sun. You actually FEEL burned if you stand in it. It was hot like this everywhere else I’ve lived, but was only this painful when I lived on the Tropic of Cancer in China. Isn’t that machine amazing? My friend Lois has a son who’s developmentally disabled and while sometimes his maddening and sometimes scary, most of the time he’s inspiring and funny. ❤

    • the wind came up, the sky clouded over, Bear and I HEADED OUT. The refuge was (again) a refuge. One of the geese couples has 10 babies nearly grown (this time next month they’ll be gone), the other couple only has one left. We saw “our” cows. It was fantastic. I hate summer because we’re trapped by the heat (and I know you know what I mean). ❤ Bear sends love to you and Finn. Teddy would, too, but he's asleep at my feet.

      • I’m SO glad you headed out to trample over hell in your hikers! I live for those moments. Today I get to spend 4 hours with my “guys”! It’s a precious relief from heat. Still trying to decide when to mow again…next week looks good lol. Aw, Teddy sleeping. Finley is napping at mine now too. 💛💜❤️🐶🤗

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