Fluffy, the House Duck

Another post inspired by another of my favorite Bloggers!

Check this out for context…

https://dailymusing57.com/2016/12/01/thursdays-special-pick-a-word-3/

Here’s the story I referred to in my comment to Lisa. A lot of it is the version I wrote when I was 9 or 10 years old, and then I added to it (mostly the sarcasm) at about 15 years old.

But, as Paul Harvey used to say, “And now, the rest of the story.”

Fluffy, the House Duck

Having a duck for a pet was NOT my idea in the first place. I was much more of a Lassie or a Rin Tin Tin gal. I couldn’t help it that they had a drawing for a prize the Saturday afternoon before Easter when we were just innocently attending the matinee showing of Pinocchio at the Roxy Theater. I didn’t ask for my very own ticket stub to have the triumphant number, thus making me a winner of something for the first time, ever, in my whole life. I never even intended to be a contestant. I was only seven.

It also wasn’t my fault that I had to carry that squirmy baby duck in one hand and hold onto my squirmy 4-year-old sister with my other. So, who could blame me for dropping that duck, a time or two, on the way home? It was 10 blocks to walk after all. And since I was a first time duck owner, how was I to know that baby duck’s wings were not supposed to stick straight up in the air like this duck’s did; well, after those 3 or 4 drops anyway.

Oh, I guess it was cute enough, all soft and fluffy and yellow, but I had wanted a dog, a BIG dog, my whole entire life. No, I get a duck, with funny broken wings that never did lie flat against its body like they were supposed to. And it never did fly. It mostly just flapped.

Not wanting to invest much of my creative energy in this creature, I just started calling it Fluffy…because it was.

I was the oldest kid which, in our family gave me tons of extra jobs to do, but it also gave me the right to have my very own room. So, if I was going to have to SHARE my room now with a duck, it better not poop and pee everywhere. How was I supposed to know that you couldn’t housebreak a duck? I just did it. It took a few weeks but after it learned, it only pooped in a cardboard box. The whereabouts of the peeing I am less sure.

I’m sure now that my folks thought this duck was a “short timer” because of the broken wings and all. But, it was still in my room, months later, when it had lost all that yellow fuzz and become this pretty brown and iridescent colored animal whose cute little squeak  had disappeared and been replaced with a VERY LOUD quack. It was that quack that must have inspired my Dad to get busy out there in our back yard, creating a duck paradise.

One Sunday morning when I got up, he asked me to come out into the yard. Now see if you can picture this. It was a huge back yard with the requisite San Diego banana trees and citrus trees (lemons so sweet you could peel and eat them like oranges). We also had a swing set, a home made gazebo and two beautiful, flowering Oleander trees, the dangers of which, we had already been taught; (“It’s OK to smell the blossoms, but if the trees are ever on fire, do NOT breathe the smoke.) From the edge of the cement patio, where the garden hose could easily reach, my Dad had dug two trenches out to the Oleander trees. Then he had dug moat-like ponds around each tree and connected those with another trench. This elaborate system of waterways was to be Fluffy’s new home. Finally, it could be a REAL duck (just like Pinocchio had become a real boy). That was the plan anyway.

Well, I guess you can’t teach an old duck new tricks.

Although old Fluff seemed content enough in the daytime to swim around and around those trees, as soon as it would start getting dark, there would be that duck, loudly protesting, on the back porch, until it was let in for the night. So I continued to have a night time roommate…..until one morning when the strangest thing happened.

Fluffy, who, OK, OK, by now, was my pal, had remained non-gender specific. Then, this one morning I woke up and there was a large brownish egg next to Fluffy in her “nest” (which consisted of a bunch of rags in one corner).

I was amazed.

My Mom was appalled.

I think it was some kind of Last Straw. For me, it simply solved the gender question. I was pretty sure it was the girls that laid eggs. From then on there was an egg every morning but no matter how hard I tried to wake up early, not make a move in my bed and to watch, I never was able to witness this amazing feat.

“That damn duck should NOT be in this house!” is what I heard, day and night, and then I heard “well, at least we can eat the eggs.” Of all the nerve! They wanted to EAT the EGGS. AAARGH!! I mean, REALLY! I wasn’t sure why I even cared but hey, I figured, my duck, my eggs. At one point, we actually had 11 eggs in the fridge but they mysteriously disappeared one morning. I don’t even want to think about where they went.

Somewhere along in here, the next door neighbors adopted a HUGE, yellow Tom Cat, biggest one I had ever seen. He roamed the neighborhood pretty freely and this, for some reason, had my normally calm Dad very upset. What happened next, I didn’t even find out about until years later when my father, figuring the statute of limitations was up on Parental Betrayal, told me the whole story.

Evidently, Daddy was extremely worried that I would be wounded beyond healing if one day while Fluffy was paddling around in the back yard, that big old yellow cat stopped by for a meal. So, plotting with my mother and all my younger sisters (it seems I was to be betrayed by my entire family) they came up with a plan.

One Saturday morning they told me that due to my “oldest kid privileges”, I got to go to Story Time at the public library. (The trick they were about to play on me was dirty enough without using that big gun to get me to cooperate.) I was dropped off and told they would be back for me in 2 hours. I thought I was pretty hot stuff. Not even 8 years old yet, but old enough to go to the library all by myself. Their sinister plan was to charge back to the house, capture my duck and take her to Balboa Park up by the zoo where all the wild ducks wandered free. This actually was a well-intentioned plan. They thought it would be easier for me to recover from the inevitable loss of my duck if I was told she had a miraculous cure, her broken wings magically repaired, and she simply flew away while I was at Story time.

Nice try Dad.

The tale he confessed years later went like this. They all drove to a secluded place in the park where there was a pond and lots of city ducks. Dad, with my pal Fluffy under his arm, my traitorous family sitting in the car watching, walked out across the expanse of lawn toward the pond. He said a few words of good-bye, and tossed my duck toward the water. Satisfied that he had done his duty as a loving, protective father, he turned to walk back to the car.

Well, Fluffy was having none of this. She duck-waddled after Dad until she caught up with him, and then pacing herself to stay even with him, calmly followed him back to the car.

This could be a very long story. Let me just say that after several attempts, Dad gave up, and they brought Fluffy back home. Hey, imprinting is imprinting and like I said before, you can’t teach an old duck….

I think I had fluffy until I was about ten. She eventually learned to live outside, day and night. I was finally convinced that we shouldn’t waste her eggs, and duck egg omelets became a weekly treat. And ultimately, just as my Dad had feared, that damn orange cat got her.

But, I tell you what. She was my pal and what I know now is that she was an extremely unique duck. Not a bad first pet. Not bad at all.

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That’s me in the center…clearly in love with my duck! (also pictured are neighbor girl and my sister, Eileen)

Song

Song

“Tell us about a piece of music that stayed with you.”

I love that Word Press gives us all these challenges! Not because I can’t think of anything to write about, but because it helps me narrow topics down!

The first time I heard the song A Life Uncommon by Jewel, I was moved to tears.

(small disclaimer…the last few seconds of wording on this particular youtube are about Christianity and though I consider myself part Christian, I am also part Hindu, part Buddhist, part Jewish, part Unitarian Universalist and part “still working it all out”.)

I loved the song and could not stop thinking about it!

Such inspirational lyrics!

Don’t worry mother, it’ll be alright
And don’t worry sister, say your prayers and sleep tight
It’ll be fine lover of mine
It’ll be just fine

Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon

I’ve heard your anguish
I’ve heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren’t worn out
Set down your chains, until only faith remains
Set down your chains

And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lent your strength to that
Which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one and the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring out clear
With sounds of freedom
Sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
There is a new army coming and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live

And lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead…
Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill you lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

Written by Jewel Kilcher • Copyright © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing
“No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.” WOW!

Then I heard the song at the Unity church by this wonderful duo, Garnett and Beverly. Oh man, can these two SING!!!  http://www.garnettandbeverly.com/

After hearing them sing it, I decided I wanted to EARN having this very song be performed at the party I want folks to have when I die!!

But there is another chapter.

Many years ago now, I had the miraculous experience of reuniting with my daughter, Pamela, having given her up to be raised by the most wonderful parents. As I was getting to know her, I did what many of us do when we first fall in love, and boy, did I ever fall. I made her a playlist of all my favorite songs…songs that I hoped would tell her about me. (Pam is truly amazing, and a talented singer herself, so I thought music would be a great connection!!)

The song, Life Uncommon, was the first and most important song on that playlist, with the disclaimer that I was still learning to live this way.

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Three generations…my mother, my daughter, Pamela, and me, all around the same age. I couldn’t see any resemblance between my daughter and me but could see it between Pam and my mother.

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Me and my birth daughter!

 

 

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Cousins, their first visit…Pamela’s daughter and Michael’s son. How cute are they? watching something on TV that has Julius feeling protective…

 

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Me with my son and his sister together, a dream come true!

And giving me….a life uncommon….

 

Song Lyric Sunday/ANGER, even better!

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-82116/#like-2043

 

Nobody Else in the World But You

by Don Henley

You live in a house of mirrors
Reflecting your splendid isolation
You have so much of everything
Except for true consideration
The way you dance
The way you walk
The way you drive
The way you talk
The way you eat
The way you drink
The way you act
The way that you don’t think

It’s like there’s-
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here, too

Hey now, did your momma teach you anything?
Some things still got to be respected
Is it a sign of the times, or is it just your callous heart?
How did you get so disconnected?

The way you push
The way you shove
The way you hate
The way you love
The lies you spin
The scenes you make
The grief you give
The space you take
It’s like there’s-

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here, too

And now it’s time you did a little giving, baby
The world is not your plaything, no, no, no

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
It’s like there’s-nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed there are lots of other people here, too

Written by Don Henley, Stanley Lynch, Jai L. Winding • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Lyrics by GooglePlay

Song Lyric Sunday August 21, 2016

(WARNING! “R” rated for language! Mine, not necessarily the song choice)

OK, first things first. All the instructions are down below because I want to launch into my choice for this Sunday’s Song Lyrics theme, ANGER! Perfect in my life today!!

I have had the worst pissed off week I have had in ages. I fly fairly level these days in my life. But when someone really close to me dumps a shitload of their saved up garbage on my head with no warning, fury is the only natural response. Especially when it comes in an email disguised with a long-awaited, closeness-promoting title!

Oh eventually, I’ll get clear about what’s mine and what’s not, but right now, today? Here’s my song!!

Pump up your volume and sing along if there is someone you are mad at!

 

 

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-82116/#like-2043
Our theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song that explores anger.  (I know anger is a secondary emotion, so maybe that isn’t the best word choice, but I think it’s broad enough we should be able to come up with something.)  

As always, you can go your own way and post a song that has nothing to do with the prompt.  We’re all here sharing our love of music and lyrics, and most of all, having a great time!

Also, if you would like to suggest a theme, I am open to suggestions.   Please either pop it in the comments or send me an email at redesp75@yahoo.com.

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due and it’s honestly just a simple Google search
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  • Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

Feel free to use the Song Lyric Sunday badge by copying it into your post or add it to your site to show you are participating.

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Song Lyric Sunday on Tuesday

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-73116/

“So, our theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song that was featured in a movie.  It can be a song from a favorite movie, or one of your favorite songs that was featured in a movie.”

Oh Helen, not only can I never seem to pick only one song to fit the theme you work so hard to come up with for us. Now, I can’t even get it done on SUNDAY!!

My excuse this week is a memorial on Sunday for an adopted sister, very emotional, and I had already been thinking of this song before I got home and read the challenge for July 31rst.

It is from a movie I had seen years ago with this sister. “Boys on the Side”. We loved it and I have watched it again and again over the years. If you have seen the movie, we compared ourselves to the three main female character’s personality-wise. She, the wild Drew Barrymore girl. Me, the more traditional Mary Louise Parker woman, and both of us, a little of Whoopie!

Over the many years of our “sister” friendship, we switched those roles with each other often and in the end, she was the one, ravaged by an illness, not AIDS but equally vicious (3rd stage alcoholism) who left the planet first.

I cannot hear this song or see this video without huge grief. I see myself singing this to my little “sister”. The video quality is poor and it is an actual scene from the movie but I will try to include the more upbeat Bonnie Raitt version at the end. The whole soundtrack is really amazing!!

Here are the lyrics: (from Google Play)

You Got It by Roy Orbison

Every time I look into your lovely eyes,
I see a love that money just can’t buy.
One look from you, I drift away.
I pray that you are here to stay.

Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.
Baby!

Every time I hold you I begin to understand,
Everything about you tells me I’m your man.
I live my life to be with you.
No one can do the things you do.
Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.
Baby!
Anything you want
Anything you need
Anything at all

I’m glad to give my love to you.
I know you feel the way I do.
Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.
Baby!
Anything you want, you got it
Anything you need, you got it
Anything at all, you got it
Baby
Anything at all
Baby
You got it

 

It will not let me paste the Bonnie Raitt version…just repeats the one above but google

You Got It by Bonnie Raitt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpAw52dbT2w)

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PS I’ll watch for another chance to post these but two more movies with great songs, or favorite songs in a movie. They are Somewhere Over the Rainbow from Finding Forrester (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnTGvmVSryI) and anthing from the movie Love and Mercy (the Brian Wilson story)!!!