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Brian Fleck

Walkin'

Death by Jenga

The day before starting our big trip to Rome and then on to Sicily for my niece’s wedding, disaster struck Sabra personally three times.
First Pearl, our labradoodle, managed to get her anxiety medication off the middle of the kitchen island and eat a 30-day supply. Regular readers will know that we just went through this ordeal a few weeks ago, and we should be old pros at it by now. Since the two-dollars-a-pop pills don’t contain any real drugs– only herbs– they are as harmless as setting six sawbucks on fire and dropping them into a large, empty, metal trashcan.

Sticks and knives

walkin'

I returned to Chicago for a brief visit with my folks this last week.
Mom wanted help planting her garden, and brother Bob offered to get Dad and me out fishing.

Walkin'

Echinacea breath

Pearl, our ditzy labradoodle, and I are in the doghouse lately.
She committed her sin several weeks ago while we were watching Lexi, a Jack Russell terrier that comes to visit from time to time. Lexi is over 100 years-old in human terms, and has been given only several months to live from a variety of doggie disorders she’s contracted over the past decade.
She keeps turning kibble into cobble, however, if you get my drift.

Walkin'

Building to standards

Several new power saws, four months and a pile of wood later; I finished the cat exercise wheel this week and delivered it to Cat Lady. Her felines were less than impressed and didn’t have a clue on how to use it. This didn’t deter Cat Lady, however, as she got down on the floor and put one knee on the wheel to demonstrate.
“See kitties, this is how you do it,” she said, breaking the wheel in half.

Walkin'

Catwheel continued

How Sabra and I have been using our free time demonstrates the difference between our approaches to doing things.

walkin'

Karen and Cat Lady

I’ve been working in the garage a lot these past couple of months trying to build what is essentially a giant hamster wheel. “Who needs a giant hamster wheel?” you may ask. The answer, silly, is Karen and Cat Lady.
You may have seen Cat Lady about town, she’s the woman that has a special stroller designed to push her cats, currently Sissy Lu and Puffy. While she walks, she talks to her pets much as a mother might, cooing soft words of praise and comfort.

Walkin'

Henlick manuevers

As spring shies to show her pretty face yet another week, it’s been slow times in the Fleck household.

Walkin'

Anniversary epiphanies

Sabra and I married on Valentine’s Day in the year 2000. Suggesting the date was a brilliant move on my part, even if I do say so myself. Not only is it easy to remember, it also saves buying a gift. These are two practical, utilitarian benefits that are buffed up by yet a third: it’s romantic.

Walkin'

Back pain is back

My back went out for the first time in the late 1970s.
I was a twenty-something publishing a newspaper for the military community of Bamberg, Germany.
Once a week I’d check a sedan out from the motor pool and drive 140 miles to the Stars and Stripes headquarters in Darmstadt to get my paper printed. Occasionally, a vehicle from the pool would not be available and I’d have to scramble to find transportation.

Walkin'

Barney and his gun

Barney almost shot me by accident, twice.
The year was 1970, and I was working the night shift on the loading dock of the Marshall Fields Department Store in the Woodfield Mall outside of Chicago. I unloaded semi trailers as they arrived and then sorted the packages into two-dozen piles, one each for the drivers who delivered them the next day.

Walkin'

Household pests

I’ve killed many a musca domestica, aka house fly, in my day.
As a child visiting Wisconsin, one of my favorite barn chores was poisoning the little buggers. Grandma had an old-fashioned pump sprayer, which she filled, I’m guessing, with a capful of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, aka DDT, and water. This was long before we knew that the substance was a scourge to birds, especially ones high on the food chain like hawks and eagles. So spray I did, pumping clouds of toxic vapor in the air.

Walkin'

Aunt Izzy’s table

What I remember most about Aunt Izzy, my mother’s twin sister, is eating dinner at her table.
Our family, the city slickers from Chicago, would visit her family, the farm folk, at least twice a year. Izzy had seven children with husband Ray, and Mom and Dad added five to make an even dozen. Not that there’d be 12 kids at a meal. By the time the younger ones arrived, the older ones had moved out, but there might be eight or more sitting knee to knee, stomachs growling. Somehow she managed to fit us all in and make everyone feel welcome to eat to their heart’s content.