Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | January 30, 2010

praying for haiti, but our heart belongs to guatemala

Is there anything better than a birthday?  When you’re eight, that is.  Oh, to be an eight year old boy.  There’s nobody more fun or energetic or silly.  Eight year old boys are very Joyce, but don’t tell Bulldog we said that.  Yes, Bulldog is now one year older and he was full of piss an’ vinegar over it all.  Does it surprise you that Joyce enjoys the term piss an’ vinegar?  Yes, it means rowdy, boisterous, and full of youthful energy.  Everything that Bulldog AND Joyce love.  

The earliest example we could find of piss an’ vinegar is from 1938 in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath:

Grampa walked up and slapped Tom on the chest, and his eyes grinned with affection and pride. “How are ya, Tommy?”
“O.K.,” said Tom. “How ya keepin’ yaself?”
“Full a piss an’ vinegar,” said Grampa.

That John Steinbeck—he knew—all about piss an’ vinegar and those who like to be full of it:  grampas, eight year old boys, and grannies named Joyce.

BTW—did you know there’s a company called Piss and Vinegar ( that makes sassy underwear for men? 

The things you learn in Joyceland!  We are all about keeping you educated in regard to the important things in life . . . 

So, Bulldog was full of it all week long.  Piss an’ vinegar, that is.  His bedroom door had been crepe papered with streamers which kept him feeling all party-like and popular.  He made himself a paper crown to wear, too.  He knows we like to wear a crown now and again and he enjoys one himself on special occasions. 

Bulldog’s kid party was held at Laser Tag Adventure which offered two hours of pure boy heaven.  There was only one little problem:  the laser machine broke halfway through the party.  Talk about a killjoy.  Spike was handing out extra tokens to use in the arcade and all the boys were screaming, “You rock!”  Then the boys entered the laser room and—-yes, BUZZKILL—-the laser was broken. 

When this happens at a party there is only one thing to do—start singing Solid Potato Salad by the Ross Sisters (1/24 post).  So, that’s what we did…….!  The boys really enjoyed our rendition of the ‘root doot de oot doot’ part at the beginning of the song.  But their favorite thing was when we began doing cartwheels and wrapping our feet around our face.  Spike enjoyed that, too.  Oh well, there’s always next year and the dream of finding a party place where everything works, right?

On Bulldog’s birthday we send a special prayer from our heart to Guatemala City and straight to the heart of the poverty-stricken woman who gave birth to him there.  We always think of her on the day of his birth.  And we hope that she can feel our good thoughts and have a sort of ‘knowingness’ that he is happy, healthy, smart, and full of piss an’ vinegar.  It’s not Laser Tag Adventure, but a sort of spiritual laser from our heart to hers.  It’s a funny thing to be bonded to a stranger in this way.  And Bulldog truly feels 150% all ours–especially due to his insatiably sociable nature.  So, while we pray for Haiti, our heart belongs to Guatemala and the people who gave us our Bulldog . . .



  1. […] See the rest here: praying for haiti, but our heart belongs to guatemala « Escape to … […]

  2. What a blessing your little Bulldog is to you…and you to him!

  3. Love it! What a difference between now and nine years ago, right? Can’t imagine it any other way…so glad you let Bulldog into your heart..he surely is a blessing for us all…we thank you and Spike for that!

  4. We’re sending out a special prayer of thanks too for our little bulldog. Can’t imagine our family without him.

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