Pat and Buckle: the True Story (part 12)

Patricia is the ambitious sort of rock, who takes on every new endeavor with gusto. There are few things she won’t try, and she strives to excel at all of them.

Cooking is a fine example. She went from toast to cookie dough to rotisserie chicken in no time. She watches cooking shows while she works out. She installed recipe apps on my tablet. She adds ingredients to my grocery list. (She is fortunate I can read her writing; others might be puzzled over what “weeet flr” and “wpt crmm” mean.)

She just loves the bread machine. It’s like a carnival ride when it shifts into “knead” mode.

She does face challenges not encountered by the casual human chef. While making meatballs, she rolled herself up inside one by accident. I had to go through and poke each meatball, and listen for the one that said “ouch”.

Enchiladas created similar difficulties. Luckily I spotted the lump in one the tortillas before they went into the oven.

She also faces endless jokes about making “stone soup.” Don’t go there. It isn’t funny any more.

She even helps with the washing up, ever vigilant to keep her eyeballs dry, lest they fall off.

Let us know when you’re in the neighborhood, and Pat will rustle up a meal for you that you’ll remember all your life.




Pat and Buckle: the True Story (part 11)

Patricia and I have had our hands full deciding on her ensemble for her wedding to Buckle. Neither one of us are really into the latest fashion. She always wears the same pink bow, and I’m usually in yoga pants. (She has an excuse for her consistency. My pants are not hot-glued on.) Still, we perused a few sites to get an idea of what Pat’s style is, and I think we’re heading in the right direction.

My niece is getting married this summer, and has chosen a lovely lace dress. I showed a picture of it to Pat.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESShe was quite taken with it.

We have done our best to duplicate the look, but my niece certainly wears it better. Maybe it’s the style, maybe it’s the length, or maybe it’s the fact that Patricia has no legs.


I have my doubts about the form-fitting satin look.

It’s just not her.

I’m just grateful we don’t have to worry about shopping for shoes to go with it.

Choosing a bouquet is next on her list. I have not yet had the heart to ask her how she plans to carry it.

Pat and Buckle: the True Story (part ten)

Love is in the air. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last week, and in the excitement, I have neglected to relate a very important event in the lives of our favorite rocks.

On Valentine’s Day, Buckle and Pat made the decision to marry one another. Buckle gave Pat a beautiful ring. (Which looked strangely familiar, and similar to one missing from my jewelry box, but never mind that. It’s hard for him to get the the mall.)

Since then, the house has been abuzz with plans. They want the ceremony to take place at Lake Ontario, so all their friends back home can come. They have been making lists of the preparations needed.

Got the basics covered. Does anyone know a good caterer?

The search for the perfect wedding gown is already proving a challenge.

It’s cute how they share my reading glasses. Chain made by

 Pat looked at dresses specially designed for the petite bride, but even they won’t withstand all the alterations necessary. I have been commissioned to design and sew the dress and veil. I’m a fair seamstress; I think I can rise to Pat’s expectations. She isn’t the type to go all Bride-zilla on me.


Buckle is having a harder time trying to rent a tuxedo.


Buckle and Pat: the True Story (part nine)


It is truly a joy to have pet rocks in the house. They have so many advantages over conventional pets, such as cats or porcupines.

They have never wandered far from home. They made it to the bus stop on the corner, but Buckle couldn’t get up the bottom step of the 6A downtown.

They never rip apart my belongings, and they have never ruined a rug. Pat did borrow my favorite flowered scarf and forgot to return it, though.

They don’t get all excited and race from one end of the house to another.

Not on foot, anyway.

They never bite anyone. I found Pat on the internet researching poisons, but she assures me it’s just for the book she’s writing.

It’s true that sometimes we have had to help them out of a precarious situation, but doesn’t every pet owner have to do things like this?

We keep a stepladder handy.

Yes, in spite of the loud parties, and Pat eating all of my popcorn when we went to see “The Force Awakens,” and them skateboarding through the house, and using sharp knives without permission, and Pat spilling water all over the dining room table after she was TOLD to leave the glass alone, and borrowing my phone all the time, and Buckle watching Netflix until four in the morning, and them eating an entire bag of salt and vinegar potato chips and being sick all night, and Buckle drinking my last beer, and the two of them cheating at Monopoly …

I forgot where I was going with that.


Pat and Buckle: the True Story (part eight)

We are a music loving family. The local classical station is always on, and my sons play clarinet, keyboard, guitar, and ukulele. It’s no wonder we can’t keep Buckle and Pat away from the instruments in the house. They started with the plastic recorder in the toy room. That hurt my ears, so they moved onto the set of bongos. That worked out fairly well, as they could each sit on one drum and bounce. They were envious of the boys, though, and it wasn’t long before Pat and Buckle had appropriated their instruments, and were practicing just as hard as my sons.

My son’s band teacher stresses proper embouchure, but it’s far more difficult when you lack lips.

They talk of putting a band together. Pat can play both rhythm and lead guitar, and ukulele solos whenever they come up. Buckle is augmenting his clarinet with some light saxophone. (It has to be light or else he can’t lift it.)  They advertised for a bass player. Some fellow named Roger called, but his vision for an album didn’t quite mesh with theirs.

The teamwork is admirable, but they can only play bar chords.

If you’re interested in jamming, stop on over. We still need a drummer.

Buckle and Pat: the True Story (part seven)


Whenever my youngest is gone, whether to a buddy’s house for a sleepover, or a weekend at Grandma’s, I frequently find Pat or Buckle rummaging around in her room. I’ve caught them in the Barbie car, playing hide and seek in the cupboards of the play kitchen, and taking naps on her Princess blanket. They are just fascinated by her things.

He looks just like his TimBit.

Buckle found her Princess camera the other day, and undertook a new hobby.

He did some online reading about rock photography, while munching a snack.



I could have taught him a thing or two – I do have some experience in the field myself. Well, if not in the field, at least on my dining room table.

Oh, for crying out loud.


Pat was eager to help Buckle practice. She is the perfect subject for Buckle to try out his new camera. She can sit still for hours at a time.



That’s her favorite hat.



Fashion photography didn’t go much better.



Once Buckle sets his mind on something, though, he is as unmovable as a granite mountain. We did some more online searching for famous photographers he could learn from. I steered him away from the Mapplethorpe, and directed him toward Annie Leibovitz and Anne Geddes. His coffee table book should be ready for publishing soon.

Buckle and Pat: the True Story (part six)

While Buckle is perfectly content to share his life with just Pat and the family, Pat has some other interests.

Pat loves geology, and spends a great deal of time learning more about the rock culture she comes from. She is particularly fascinated by the Great Lakes, which gave her birth, after all. She likes to take trips back to Lake Ontario when she can, and she has some requests for this summer’s camping trips. When we head back to the lake, Pat will be sitting on the dashboard, eager for that first glimpse of shimmering blue on the horizon.

                     Late night rave.                           I have no idea where Pat got that crown.

Pat also loves animals. She enjoys snuggling with my dog, playing with the cats, and chatting with our gecko, Link. Sometimes they gather up some friends and have a party. The Napkin Crocodile, and a pony or two will stop over to play dominoes or Cards Against Humanity. It can get rather boisterous.

When she inquired about my dog, Biscuit, I told her that Biscuit had been adopted from a shelter. That set her thinking. There must be so many rocks in need of a home. She was grateful to have a family, but what about the thousands – perhaps millions –  of rocks that didn’t? Pat determined to find a rock in need, and make it her own.

It didn’t take long for her to find him. He clearly needed looking after, and Pat’s heart melted when she saw him. She named him “Rocky” (not much of an imagination has Pat) and made him a little leash and collar.   

Some might have seen only his flaws, but Pat saw the love in his eyes.

She even put a bell on the collar in case he runs away. Pat is dedicated to caring for Rocky. As soon as she hears his familiar, “boof! boof!” she goes running to check on him.

Buckle shakes his head; he is not a pet lover. He thinks it’s very silly how Pat fusses – it’s a rock, for crying out loud! But I have noticed it doesn’t stop him from taking the leash when Pat needs a break.

I am also pretty sure I heard Buckle singing one of his little songs to Rocky just this morning.

Buckle: The True Story (part five)

Buckle found a new confidence, with Pat depending on him. Someone was looking up to him now. And as it sometimes does, this burgeoning sense of importance had some negative side effects.

He started weightlifting. He worked his way up to being able to press a Q-tip. I approve heartily of fitness, but since his focus was on Pat’s reaction, rather than personal improvement, he was careless. Pat rushed to tell me that while working out, Buckle got himself stuck in the medicine cabinet, and needed rescuing.

                     Mountain climbing.                            With no protective gear, mind you.

And risky behavior? Never mind eyeball stands, that was tame. Now I was finding Buckle in precarious and frightening situations. He climbed to the top of the china cabinet with a rubber band, intending to bungee jump. He built a sailboard out of a popsicle stick and a napkin. I retrieved him from the bottom of the bathtub and dried him off. Then he tried parkour, and my bookshelves and hardwood floors took a pounding from his landings. All of it was just showing off to Pat.


I wasn’t sure how to get through to my reckless rock. My warnings went unheeded – it was like he had no ears. It was only when Pat tried a  risky stunt of her own that Buckle realized how his foolishness had placed her in danger.

Buckle was very upset. He was even more upset when he found out the pop culture reference, and what it meant. He vowed to be a better example to his beloved Pat. They realize now that the greatest adventure is life itself.

Well, that and extreme hardcore subterranean deep basement exploration. I really should go check on their progress; haven’t heard a sound from them in a while.


New and Old and New

Tonight we mark the passing of an “old year” and the beginning of a “new” one. I accept that this date is traditionally marked as the closing of the “old year” by western culture. And I am also aware that for many other cultures, it is not. Paganism has taught me that there are many days marked as the New Year, depending on tradition and place. It could really be any time of year, but the important thing is that we choose one – ONE – defining day to mark the end of something and the start of something else. That’s us human beings again: trying to quantify everything; trying to put lines and edges on that which is cyclical and eternal.

source: flickr
source: deviant art; labeled for reuse

And on one hand it makes perfect sense, and on the other hand it makes none. I take the concept of the Wheel of the Year very seriously; it is my favorite aspect of Paganism. The perfect ring, no discernable beginning nor end, flowing from life to death and back to life again. You could spin that Wheel, and put a pin on any place it chanced to stop, and say, “There. There it is: the point at which it all ends and then begins again,” but you’re fooling yourself. I see in my mind’s eye the Goddess and the God laughing at our silly attempts to create demarcation where there is none, never was, and never will be.

Still, we are human. And a calendar only has so many pages. There must come a point when the last page is ripped off, and we open a fresh, blank booklet of little squares. We mark off the birthdays and anniversaries that mean something to us, and fill in appointments and conferences and nights out. The Wheel may turn on, and the dates may be arbitrary, but to function as a society, we do need to agree on when things should occur.

Happy New Year to you all: tonight, tomorrow, every day. May each day find you making a resolution to be good to yourself, to give to others, to live your beliefs, to be kind, and to love with all your heart. Bless you all, and thank you for being my friend.