The Parable of the Talents: A Decidedly NON Biblical Approach

a5269a8692a632fee09b8792fa0bc403Shhh. I have a little secret. 

You know how when you’re in high school and you pick your classes? And you’ve filled your schedule with math and science and lit and history and you have an extra slot to fill and you’re looking for a class that should give you an “Easy A” and kinda pad your GPA a bit?

And so, you know how you choose art?

Not me. I chose Chemistry. Because I knew I could get an A. And Art? Not so much. 

Truth: I NEVER took an Art class. Ever. Oh, I took Humanities and Art Studies, sure. But pencil to paper? I think not.

So, Oleander: What talent do I secretly long for? I wish I could draw! I wish I could release the images that only my soul can see.

Note: I’m a liar. My soul doesn’t see any images. Mostly my soul is just hungry. For ice cream.

I heard somewhere (okay, fine, I listen to NPR) that the things you learn at puberty are the things that stick with you because of all the firing of neurons and whatnot. So, that explains my ability to play the piano “Bacon, have you practiced today?” and my penchant for men in pink pants. (Go on–click that link. You know you want to!) But drawing? I avoided it like the plague. Because I sucked.

So, in the spirit of Lifelong Learning aka We All Die (WAD), which is a corollary to YOLO (You Only Live Once) but just a little more to the point, I present my attempts at art. The Subject? My dog Rubi, a shih tzu of show-quality breeding, except for the unsettling bulgy eyes and 9 nipples (an uneven number is never ideal).


Rubi, unedited. Hence, the devil eyes. She’s not really a devil. Unless you try to take her cookies. You have been warned.


The following represents my first sketch this morning of my dog:


To my credit, I think this drawing looks like a dog. A dog with steel posts inserted into its front legs, but whatever. I know. I suck.


So, as most fledgling artists do, I turned to YouTube for help. And in 19 minutes, I produced this drawing of my dog, sort of:


Yup. Nailed it. Obviously.

Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that I could become a bonafide artist in nineteen minutes? 

Time to check out some breakdance videos next. And then some banjo lessons. Heck, in the next couple of hours I’m going to check all those talents off my list that I have avoided for fear of failure and humiliation. Who knew that developing talents was as simple as a click of a mouse?

Watch for my Etsy shop shortly. Nineteen minute caricatures of your pets. Provided that YouTube has your breed on file …

IMG_3814Heck, yes!


Okay, Oleander: The topic is Guilty Pleasures. Go!



Actually almost 8 years ago now.

When the hub and I were very young newlyweds, the opportunity presented itself for us to take a young puppy off the hands of my grandfather. Grandpa had gotten himself a puppy only to realize that trying to train a puppy at his age was a bit too much. We thought, Hey, we like dogs. Let’s do it. 

And Rubio came to us 6 months old, fluffy and delightful! But, as Bacon’s prompt might have you know, about a year later, Rubio went blind. He had a genetic condition called Retinal Detachment which caused him to go blind pretty much overnight. Life with a blind dog isn’t too different from life with a sighted dog. Just a lot less fetch. (It’s a joke. It’s okay. You can laugh. He’s not offended by his blindness.)

Last year, we were informed that Rubio had developed Glaucoma in his right eye and it had begun filling with blood. This resulted in a lot of pressure and pain and the recommendation was that we remove both eyes. So, that’s what we did (well, that’s what the veterinarian did…).


After his eye removal surgery.

Dogs are pretty incredible creatures. Mr Rube adapted very quickly to being blind. And until we moved from the apartment we were in when he lost his sight, he barely lost a beat. As he’s aged, he’s slowed down and is a pretty sedentary little guy. But still the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.

I won a radio contest right after Rubio went blind. They were giving away $1500 in laser hair removal. You had to write a short essay (500 words?) about “something you thought would be permanent, but wasn’t.” I wrote about Rubio. I didn’t save whatever I wrote, but it was basically about how when I got that little puppy, the last thing I ever considered was that he’s lose his sight. But, he did. And that we should all appreciate everything we have while we have it, because nothing is for sure.

Rubio taught me a lot in those first few weeks of being blind. I was heartbroken for him. But, he wasn’t. He went about his normal routine. He snuggled up to us. He ate his food. He went on walks. He stumbled more, he bumped into the walls, but he wasn’t sorry for himself. So, I decided I wouldn’t be, either. And I decided that I wouldn’t be sorry for myself when the unexpected (which was bound to) would happen. And that attitude has served me well through many unexpected (some unpleasant) life events.

So, yes. My dog has no eyes. But, don’t feel sorry for him. He doesn’t. He just wants a good ear scratch. Just like any other dog.


My favorite picture of Rube. THIS is joy.

Alright, Oleander. You’re up. Let’s hear about the top spelling/grammar errors that you see on your Facebook feed.