Sunday, July 31, 2022

Background on Tattoo Artist

Ruby, Elisa, and Dee during the 2022 date-tattoo-motorcycle visit!

When first we met, in January 2012, Ruby had just turned eleven, and I could see, during her visit here with her mom, Elisa, that the young lady already had a mind of her own. She didn’t hem-and-haw when I asked her about the recipe she concocted for our Saturday night dinner. Nor did she hesitate when I asked what she’d like to do next. I thought she was, in some ways, shy, but she was also extremely capable of speaking up for herself.


During that visit, I learned about what she was like at six. It was then that she showed herself to be a true entrepreneur. One day that Spring, her mom offered to pay her ten pennies for every dandelion she dug up by its roots. 


Ruby hurried outside with fork, knife, and the trowel her mom provided. 


Elisa returned to her writing and didn’t notice, as time passed, that Ruby returned to the kitchen several times for more dinner forks and knives.


 An hour later, when Elisa had finished here blog posting and gone to the sink for a glass of water, Ruby bounded into the kitchen again. 


“Mom,” she asked, “do we have any more forks. Or trowels? That would be good! Any trowels?”


 “Why do you need them? You took a trowel and a fork, too, when you went outside.”


“I’ve got more workers than forks,” Ruby replied. 


“Workers? What are you talking about?”


Ruby’s face, at six, gave nothing away.


Elisa marched with her first-born daughter to the front door.


What greeted her was the sight of a number of children—most Ruby’s age or younger, but a few, older—assiduously digging up dandelions in the front yard. Because a gentle rain had soaked the grass the night before, all the youngsters wore muddy feet or shoes.  Mud smeared their hands. Their shorts. Their tops. Their lips. Clearly, a few had, in their industry, licked the lumps of mud that clung to their cheeks.


“Hi, kids,” Elisa called. Most of them looked up and “highed” her back. Several, however, unwilling to be distracted, simply continued digging, mudding themselves.


Looking down at her six-year-old, Elsa asked, “Ruby, why exactly are all the neighborhood kids digging in our yard?”


With a gap-toothed grin, Ruby said, “I hired them, Mom. I’m the boss. They’re the workers.”


“And do they get those ten pennies I promised you could earn for each dandelion root?” 


“No. No way. They get five. I get the rest.”


“So how much do you think you’ve earned?”


“Lots,” Ruby said, looking up with her gapped-tooth grin. 


“They did all the work though,” Elisa said. “You’ve got to admit that.”


“But I bossed them.”


 “Well,” Elisa said, never being a complete fan of capitalism, “I think you earned three pennies for furnishing the equipment and for being bossy. The kids each get the seven left.”


“No, Mom!”




And so it was that Elisa and Ruby called a halt to the project, gave each child his or her earnings, and accompanied them each home to explain to the parents. 


This was the beginning of Ruby’s entrepreneurship. In my grab-bag of stories, I have more I could share with you about Ruby, but the one you need for my next posting is this: How She Came to Be a Tattoo Artist. 


Next posting, I’ll “expound” on that. I know you all want to see my tattoo, but as those of you who’ve followed my blog for years know, I have a need to always provide background. Only by doing that do I provide justice to a person, a happening, an emotion.


So, two weeks from now will be another story on Ruby at twenty—sixteen years after today’s story—and then, two weeks later, the unveiling of my tattoo and the experience of having Ruby create it for me.





What Elisa’s latest scans at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City revealed about her Stage #4 melanoma of the bone has, as Elisa says, been “awesome.” Many others are using the word “miracle.” Her oncologists say that they’ve kept from her not only the dire seriousness of her cancer but also their doubt that she’d live even two years beyond November 2019 when it was discovered.  


Here’s what has caused the elation: All the tumors are gone from her brain, her lungs, her upper back, her hips, her pelvis, her ankles. She still has tumors at the base of her neck and on her lower—lumbar—spine. But . . . a big BUT . . . these are smaller than they have been. 


So, thank you all for your prayers. Positive thoughts. Healing visualizations. Continuing concern. May peace and joy descend upon you and bring into your life the overwhelming contentment that comes when we know that the Holy Oneness of All Creation, of which we are all a part, has enfolded all of us, once again, in an experience that reveals our Oneness. 





  1. I loved learning a little about Ruby - and look forward to more.
    However, it is your postscript today which fills my heart. Truly wonderful news.
    Thank you.

  2. Enjoyed the story also, Dee. And so glad to hear Elisa's good news. Will continue to keep her in my prayers.

  3. I'm so glad to hear the good news about the cancer diagnosis. She obviously has more to do on this plane before moving on. And thank you for the great story about the little entrepreneur,

  4. I'm bawling. That last paragraph is unexpected. I am thrilled. Thank you.

  5. Loved the story about Ruby's entrepreneur adventure. Smart go getter she was.
    Wonderful and amazing news about Elisa's miracle. Will keep her in my prayers.

  6. What a wonderful Mother/Daughter story. I absolutely love it; it feels like something Mark Twain would have put in a book.

    Happy with your postscript news as well!

  7. Aw, I can just see Ruby and her crew out there in the mud. Very capable little girl, and just what I would expect with Elisa as her mother!

  8. Tears of gratitude dropping from my eyes while reading that most of the Elisa 's tumors have disappeared. It is a miracle indeed dear Dee. Thank you for sharing this beautiful joyous news with us. You seem to me a living chain in which humanity is beaded splendidly!
    Oh I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Ruby at her six. She had an active mind for sure :)
    You were in my thoughts and prayers during my holidays even.

  9. Quite an enterprising young girl. Wonderful that Elisa's tumors have disappeared in so many places. Much we don't know about what happens in our bodies and recoveries.