Friday, April 9, 2010

Gotta job, so gotta run; Lucille the Lab-57

After 20 months of job searching and 120 job applications -- 16 months after leaving my job of 15 years -- and just before my emergency unemployment benefits ran out, I have a job!

Let's take time out here for the happy dance. All together now!

I began work two weeks ago as development director for the Alabama and Georgia Land Trusts, a non-profit that helps landowners preserve land through conservation easements. I like everything about working again – great boss, a good cause, reasons to learn new things and meet new people every day, plus a paycheck and benefits – except for the loss of time to write this blog and that 80,000-word-almost-finished novel.

No complaints here, however. I will blog and get Mojo Jones and the Black Cat Bone finished and ready to shop it around when I have a chance -- early and late and weekends. I’ll write more about the Land Trusts later (and posting on that group’s blog is part of my paid work now), but for now I wanted to officially post that I am gainfully employed. Thank you very much.

Lucille, the Lab-57

Lucille, our mostly Lab who joined the Walburn family back in late January, is growing, chewing, jumping and being a most-of-the-time smart, precious, only-sometimes-disobidient puppy. However, she’s looking less and less like a mostly Labrador and more like what I like to call a Lab-57.

Sure, she’s got two big webbed front paws and an otter-like tail like a Labrador. But, kind of like Johnny Cash’s song about the car built from years of auto parts, One Piece at a Time, (and It Didn’t Cost Me a Dime), Lucille is a lab-terrier-chow-spaniel-spitz-fluffy-smooth-black-blonde-white mix like no other.

Her head is shaped like a terrier, maybe, with curly spaniel ears. Lucille runs like a greyhound and fetches like a retriever. She smells out all aromas – cat litter, chipmunks, food, squirrels, a buried bone – like a bloodhound.

She has long fluffy hair in the front, and short smooth hair in the back, with blonde patches akin to artist brushes of light. Plus, she has white-tipped back paws, like a permanent French pedicure, and a white chin spot. She has a black spot right in the middle of her tongue – I call it a tongue tattoo – like I don’t know what mix of dog.

Lucille must be double-or-triple jointed (like whatever mix has that), because she can lie down with paws going out in every direction, or the front two one way and the back the other.

So, Lucille, who replaced a pure Lab, our special Suzie, is what I’d call exotic. She’s a dozen different dogs in one.

Like our other pet, Tiger the cat, found in a graveyard as a kitten by Mary Claire’s friend Ginny Leigh, Lucille is no purebred.

Our Lucille is like no other – quite the multi-faceted character -- which is appropriate for a pet in our household of non-cookie-cutter people. She fits right in, which is what pets are all about anyway.

Song of the week:

One Piece at a Time
 written by Wayne Kemp, recorded by Johnny Cash, 1976

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

Picture(s) of the Week:

First, our growing Lucille, the Lab-57, in picture 1, about March 10, and again, today, April 9, tongue tat visible.

I found this picture of Johnny Cash (and band?) in the One Piece at a Time car on Wikipedia when researching the lyrics and had to share it.