Friday, July 8, 2016

Dear Abby - "Dixie the Tiny Dog" by Peter Himmelman

(1964 vintage Gaines Burger ad)

Dear Friends,

How are you doing?  How was your 4th of July weekend?  I enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and lots of time with my Momma.  I did not, as you may guess, enjoy the fireworks.  Saturday night they irritated me.  Sunday night they made me shiver.  By Monday night, the 4th of July, I was ready to hide under the covers.  Enough said!  I hope they are done for quite a while.

I have a song to share with you this week.  I love it and hope you will too.  It is about a dachshund named Dixie and it is called "Dixie the Tiny Dog."  It was written and sung by Peter Himmelman. 

My Momma first heard this song some years ago online and she was so happy to find it again to share with me.   I think it captures the life of a little dachshund pretty perfectly.  That's why I have to share it with you!

"I'm a tiny dog named Dixie
I have small feet which pitter patter on the Linoleum floor.
You can hear my toenails in the middle of the night.

My tag says I belong to the Johnsons but they don't own me;
they just feed me. They just bought me one day.
No one owns me.  I am Dixie the Tiny dog.

And in the middle of the day I sit in the sun 
and I hear young children call me a wiener dog-
perhaps that's what I am.  
The Germanic term is dachshund and I like that.

I'm thin and I'm proud, no one can make fun of me.
I can slip through the bars of a prison if I were ever incarcerated 

but I don't know what I would do wrong-
my body yields no evil inclination.
I'm a pure wiener dog.

My name is Dixie and I go dancing cross the floor 
in the evening of the Johnsons when everyone is sleeping.
Sometimes I look for a morsel of food but they are so clean, 
they are almost anal retentive in their cleanliness habit 
and there is nothing for me. 
But I don't despair because I know tomorrow 
my Gaines Burger will be there 
and they will unwrap the plastic from them 
and feed me this succulent dish and I will eat.

And oh I've watched the German shepherds with their long necks, 
their graceful necks dipping into the toilet to drink 
whenever they want to have a drink of cool water in that well 
but I must plead, I must beg, I must whine 
for Mr. Johnson to put out my bowl 
or one of the Johnson boys to refill it after I drink it 
because I am Dixie the dog and I like water.

And in the middle of night you can see me dancing 
a small Fred Astaire tap dance with my little toenails 
they go click click click against the linoleum 
and I run down the hall and I slide 
and the back of me goes in front of me-slowly.

I'm long and I'm thin
I'm Dixie the tiny dog and I like it."

Here for your enjoyment - this is a sweet video:

Do you have a favorite song about dogs?  I am thinking of making a list of them here and would love to look for songs you enjoy.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - Finding Fontainebleau by Thad Carhart

Book Synopsis
Finding Fontainebleau recounts the adventures of Carhart and his family—his NATO officer father, his mother, four siblings, and their dog—in the provincial town of Fontainebleau, France, in the 1950s. Dominating life in the town is the beautiful Château of Fontainebleau. Begun in 1137, fifty years before the Louvre and more than five hundred before Versailles, the Château was a home for Marie-Antoinette, François I, and the two Napoleons, among others, all of whom added to its splendors without appreciably destroying the work of their predecessors.

With characteristic warmth and humor, Carhart takes readers along as he and his family experience the pleasures and particularities of French life: learning the codes and rules of a French classroom where wine bottles dispense ink, camping in Italy and Spain, tasting fresh baguettes. Readers see post-war life in France as never before, from the parks and museums of Paris (much less crowded in the 1950s, when you could walk through completely empty galleries in the Louvre) to the quieter joys of a town like Fontainebleau, where everyday citizens have lived on the edges of history since the 12th century and continue to care for their lieux de mémoire—places of memory.

Intertwined with stories of France’s post-war recovery are profiles of the monarchs who resided at Fontainebleau throughout the centuries and left their architectural stamp on the palace and its sizeable grounds. Carhart finds himself drawn back as an adult, eager to rediscover the town of his childhood. Finding Fontainebleau imagines a bright future for this important site of French cultural heritage, as Carhart introduces us to the remarkable group of architects, restorers, and curators who care for and refashion the Château’s hundreds of rooms for a new generation of visitors. Guided by Patrick Ponsot, head of the Château’s restoration programs, the author takes us behind the scenes and shows us a side of the Château that tourists never see.

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My Review
I love books set in France and anything about life in the 1950's, so knew I would enjoy Finding Fontainebleau.  It is truly a delight.

The memoir begins with young Thad and his family moving to France because of his father's work with NATO.  Readers will discover the charm of Fontainebleau and life in France as Thad and his family do.  The tone of the book is warm and nostalgic. 

Later, when Thad moves back to France as an adult with his wife and young children, he explores Fontainebleau again and shares fascinating details about the history, art, and architecture.

This is such a lovely book, with beautiful descriptions and places you will enjoy visiting as a reader.  The writing is exceptional.  (I really want to read more by this author now!)  I recommend it very highly.  
Author Bio
Twenty-six years ago THAD CARHART moved to Paris with his wife and two infant children. He lives there now, with frequent visits to New York and Northern California. His first book, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, appeared in 2000, published by Random House. Across the Endless River, a historical novel, came out in 2009 with Doubleday.

One lucky reader will win a print copy of Finding Fontainebleau.  This giveaway is open worldwide and ends 7/15.  The winner will be notified by email, and needs to respond within 48 hours.  The author or his publicist will mail the book directly to the winner.
I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.