Hot Diggity Dog!

I’ve been thinking about dogs lately. Actually, I think about dogs quite a bit, since my family has four of them! Each of them is unique and special, with their own personality. If a person doesn’t understand that, than it is pretty clear to me that he/she has never owned a dog. I really can’t imagine my life without my canine companions. They make me laugh. They make me yell (sometimes). They shed and howl and bark. They jump and lick and are loyal beyond anything else.

IMG_1155

Ace is technically my daughters dog, although she “shares” him with the rest of the family. He is a twelve year old baby. He may be getting old, and because his joints ache, he takes longer to get moving, but he loves to love. Even though he is a 70 lb, pure bred Scotch Collie, he does not understand why he can’t be a lap dog, after all he is a dog and we have laps. Ace has been the best guard dog….running the perimeter of our property, letting the coyotes know that they are not welcome here. Now, he spends his days laying around the yard, and barking at the UPS guy…..not because he will eat the guy (in his old age he doesn’t have many front teeth left), but because he knows the guy will give him a treat. According to Ace, the UPS guy is smart. The FedEx guy needs to get with the program.

IMG_1206

Lonnie is a Terrier mix, the vet thinks maybe a Terrier and a Schipperke. Lonnie is my son’s dog…he and I went to the shelter and picked Lonnie out of a line-up. From the moment I saw the, then 5 year old little guy, with his big brown eyes and energetic spirit, I knew he was the one….so did my son. In a few months we will celebrate 5 years with Lonnie. I can’t imagine life without this guy. He makes me laugh. He can do several tricks and runs in circles when he knows it is time to go outside. I enjoy laying on the living room floor with this little guy laying next to me. He also enjoys a good massage and belly rub during our TV time. This dog isn’t spoiled, at all. Really. I promise.

IMG_1995

August of 2014, the family decided to get another dog. My daughter and I made a trip back to the local shelter. Rocky was a 1.5 year old brindle Boxer and not really sure what other breed, mix. I think maybe a lab? Really not sure, and Rocky isn’t saying. Rocky was the dog in the back of the kennel with his tail tucked between his legs, nervous to come to the fence so he could be pet. He wanted to, but he was scared. Come to find out, he had been an owner surrender, his first family couldn’t afford his care. He was then adopted and brought back, because another family dog didn’t get along with him. Poor guy. He needed a family to love. My daughter and I looked at each other. We knew this shy brindle was going to be our newest family member. After bringing Rocky home, it took a little while for him to not be so scared…..you’d never know it to look at him now! Rocky has a vicious bark and scares the delivery drivers, “I think he would eat me for lunch!”, but Rocky is a true love bug. He is content to run around the yard and play with his other furry friends, or lay at my feet while I’m sitting at the table. He has soulful brown eyes, and I swear he knows how great life is now, compared to what it was. He is grateful. I can feel it, and see it in his expression. I love this guy and am so happy we chose him……even if he has chewed up my solar lights, ripped up plants, and mauled all his toys. Such is the life of a dog owner.

P1030457

Lastly, is our little surprise, Mitford. Last September, Miss Sophia (the neighbor’s dog) and our Ace were the proud parents of six little bundles of joy. Sophia decided to have her precious pups up under our deck. We could hear them crying, so my daughter did an army crawl through the (very) narrow space under our deck to retrieve the puppies and bring them up on the deck where we could all admire them. Pudgy and blind, but we fell in love with them. We and the neighbors each kept a puppy and the rest were given to good homes. Mitford will celebrate his first birthday on the 29th of this month. He has the beautiful soft fur and curled up tail of his mama, and the coloring and size of his daddy. Mitford has enough energy for everyone. He is a natural “fetcher” and loves to chase–and bring back his toys for more. I love to pet him, as his fur is incredibly soft. He irritates his grumpy daddy with all his shenanigans, but loves running around with his buddy, Rocky.

Yes. I love dogs. I have always considered myself a dog person. I was fine with this title until about ten years ago…..then I married a cat person. Now, I’ve expanded my love to the feline persuasion too. I’ll blog about them in my next post.
God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 

Christmas, Circa 1970’s

I pulled a favorite Christmas blog from my archives. It is always fun to go back in time and remember………

Maybe you too, can relate?

Christmas Nostalgia

Last night I was looking up Woolsworth online.   I remembered that store from my childhood and the Santa house that always sat in front of the store during the month of December.  Isn’t it interesting how one remembers little things?  I found out that Woolsworth closed it’s doors forever in the United States in 1997.  It had a fascinating history. There is even a book written about Woolsworth, that I believe I’d like to read. It was the best five and dime store, long before Walmart ever thought about being a discount giant!

So anyway, I was thinking about Christmas and remembering things from my childhood. I surfed the internet and found a blog that this lady had written about her childhood in the 50’s. She talked about what Christmas used to be like before all the electronic gadgets and gizmos.  I really enjoyed her story telling.  It made me nostalgic thinking of my own childhood Christmas’. (not from the 50’s though!) My childhood Christmas memories took place in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Every Christmas Eve my Mom and Dad, and my sister and I would go to my paternal grandparents house. So would all the other  relatives from that side of the family. The downstairs was decorated (which my sister and I had decorated a few weeks before —like putting a big red nose on my grandfather’s deer head that was mounted on the wall) the food was laid out as far as the eye could see! After the kids ate we’d all sneak back upstairs to the living room with the big Christmas tree. We’d “oh and ah” over all the gifts…..because we always got to open our gifts from Mammaw and Pappaw on Christmas Eve night.  Before any gift opening went on we all went to the Christmas Eve service at church.  I remember how beautiful our little stone church looked when decorated for Christmas. The stained glass windows, the greenery and candles…..and it was quiet. There was a hush over the congregation on this very special night.  I remember singing Silent Night, and Joy To The World.  Then it was back to my grandparents for more eating….and opening of presents. Woo hoo!  I remember how exciting it was as a child–the anticipation was half the fun!

Christmas morning my sister and I woke up to gifts under the family tree. There are some “interesting” pictures of us on Christmas morning, with some serious “bed head” going on.  The kind that only young children can pull off!  Pictures in front of the tree….and boy did we have some doozies of live trees. One year our tree looked like a big evergreen bush instead of a tree. The truth is that with decorations and lots of tinsel (which my mom always said needed to be “placed” and not thrown on the tree–which was my idea of how to get it done) the tree looked pretty.

I remember my mom had several big Christmas albums (were they called 78’s?). I loved it when she’d get the albums out and put them on the stereo (which was in a huge wooden cabinet). Nat King Cole and Mahalia Jackson would sing songs of Christmas. I can still hear them even all these years later.

After our gift opening—we got dressed and headed over to the houses of my mom’s side of the family. We ate breakfast at one aunt and uncles, brunch at another, lunch somewhere else and then desserts at yet another. This gave us ample opportunity to eat and visit and look at everyone’s decorated trees and gifts they had received. It was a huge day-long extravaganza. I was blessed enough to have all my extended family living near by. I loved that as a child, but oh how much more I appreciate the opportunity I had,  now that I am an adult with my own children!

I remember my Mom’s sausage and cheese on rye breakfast treats,  my Aunt D’s seafood dinner, my Aunt B’s desserts…I could go on and on, but I’m making myself hungry.Looking back over my blog I see that we did a lot of eating during the holidays.  It’s true, but man was it good stuff!

Christmas memories. Good times.

102_3854

My Heart Is Full

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. I can feel time slowing down, even in the midst of meal prep, plans for Black Friday shopping, and the beginning of decorating for Christmas. Slowing down to the day of thanks.

A day set aside to be especially grateful for all our blessings.

Throughout the year, each day brings new gifts.

So many times, I take for granted all that I have. It is too easy to allow that to happen.

Stopping now, to write them down…..the gifts…each and every one.

My heart is full.

102_4130

Thankful for: 

*a warm house

*a new puppy

*all my animals

*quilts

*hot cocoa on cold days

*a supportive husband

*new adventures

*a weekend away with my husband

*healthy children

*a son enjoying college

*watching a movie with my daughter

*time with the oldest

*all my needs taken care of, and most of my wants

*family time

*holidays

*love

Time Spent Together Is Never Wasted

I received my COUNTRY magazine in the mail this weekend. As I browsed through the magazine, my eyes fell on an article about rediscovering the art of visiting, by Carole Christman Koch. I agreed with the author, that families and friends used to visit a lot more than they do now. I personally have many wonderful memories of Thursday night, family visits, to my grandparent’s house. I remember Tuesday nights were grocery shopping nights with my mom, aunt and little sister. There were many happy days spent with aunts, uncles and cousins. I would go to friends’ houses and they to mine. That kind of thing rarely happens anymore. Everyone grew up and went their own way. Life became complicated and busy. Schedules were tight and the calendar overflowed with activities.

And what the soul really needed, longed for, is rest.P1020495

Visiting used to be that way.

No real agenda. No fancy food or drinks.

Just good company.

Yesterday, my husband and I hosted our son’s graduation party at our house. I’ll be honest, it was a lot of work to get everything ready, and I definitely needed help with it all, but the visiting part was pure joy. Chairs on the deck, drinking sweet tea, and sharing life. One of our friends said, “We live so close…we will invite you over soon. This has been really nice.”

And he was right. It was nice connecting with others…and it is good for us all.

Time spent together is never wasted.

 

One Hot Mama Mess

On this first Friday in May, are you ready – give us five minutes on the word MESS?!

 

kings-books1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is May, less than a month before my son’s graduation from high school. Who knew how much had to be done, get done, come undone? I’ve got stuff piled on top of stuff…announcements and pictures and lists of things to do for his graduation party….and my daughter is homeschooling and that brings with it a whole other mess of “to do’s”. I’m also a teacher and it is the end of the school year and there is paperwork, and testing, and assignments to finish and progress reports to fill out and it makes me tired thinking about it all! My husband tells me to relax. I tell him I don’t know how.

I’ve scheduled a couple of “girls day out” things in the midst of it all. I will need that time to recuperate, for sure…..either that or just pass out…..which now that I think about it, might not be such a bad thing. I would at least get a few moments of rest, but I digress…..back to my mess!

 

 

IMG_1168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I sit here typing, I’ve noticed dog fur tumbleweeds on the floor, and fingerprints, a carpet that needs vacuumed and a table that needs wiped. Dishes that are in the sink and a half drank glass of tea. I try to keep things neat around this joint, but Better Homes and Gardens will probably not be knocking on my door anytime soon.

The yard needs mowed, the chicken coop needs cleaned and we must get the deck power washed and the furniture brought out of storage.

 

 

102_4899

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep…..I’ll be either be completely bald, or have a head full of gray hair by the end of this month. Now, won’t that look great for those graduation pictures?! By the way, that reminds me I need to get a hair cut. I need to pencil that in on the calendar. Um……right there between the appointment for the dogs vaccinations and my birthday.

 

 

IMG_1206

IMG_1287

All Stories Have A Beginning

Today’s writing prompt is:  your story

Whitespace Community Linkup @ faithbarista.com

 

My Story–Part 1

It is interesting, those things that we remember so vividly from our childhood. The things that we don’t think about very often, but are a part of us, woven into the very fabric of our lives. All stories have a beginning, they all start somewhere. My particular story has me going back to my Mid-Atlantic home state of Maryland. I grew up in a rural county, with rolling hills and farmland, away from the lights and noise of Baltimore and Washington D.C.. Most of my family lived close by and it was not unusual to have frequent family get togethers. Relationships were cemented during those early years. Time spent playing with cousins, going to church, riding my bike, and figuring out school life. Looking back, my school was quite the melting pot. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was nothing to have friends with last names like Slobodnik, Kavalish, Capporola, Modi, or Polignone. The school bus would let me off at the main road. I would walk the half mile back the gravel road that led to home. Funny thing, I remember those walks home as some of the best times. I would sing, pretend to have conversations and practice what I would say, talk to God,  pick wild flowers, stop and watch the clouds in the sky, and occasionally run into a ground hog that was surprised to see me on the road. Those quiet times allowed me the time to breathe and think and just enjoy. To this very day, I thrive when I’m allowed to carve out some quiet time in my otherwise busy schedule.  That is the way I am…the way God made me.

The days turned into years, and into the next stage of my life. The tight grasp on what was familiar, loosened. My path, after graduation, took me far from home…..and, I had no idea what lay ahead. It was probably better that way, the not knowing.

Tomorrow I will tell more of my story……

 

IMG_1168

 

 

 

Come Visit

I like to contribute, when I can, to Five Minute Friday over at Lisa Jo’s blog. The place where we write on the topic for 5 minutes. Exactly five minutes. Don’t worry about typos, or making a mess. It is just you and the word.

So, I will take 5 minutes to write about the word of the week, VISIT. Here. I. Go !!!

*****************************************

 

Door2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the word visit. It makes me think of family and friends and sharing memories. It makes my heart full.

I visit Maryland in my thoughts, often. The place where I grew up, and learned about all the things that made me who I am. When I go back to visit during the holidays, a part of me reconnects with my childhood. It doesn’t really matter that I am 45, Maryland is all about my childhood and the family that shares my memories.

I want and need to visit in Tennessee. The place that I spent over two decades of my adult life. College life, friendships that have lasted over time and distance, my years of teaching,  learning to bleed orange for the University of Tennessee, pinto beans and cornbread and fried green tomatoes. Enlarging my vocabulary to add “fixin’ to”,and  “y’all”. Everyone should spend time in the south.

Family and friends in Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. I need to road trip.

After all the visiting I would come back. Home to the quiet rural landscape of Ohio. My new home.

He Is The Maker Of Dreams

It’s Monday, and I feel really good about it being Monday. Not that it matters what I think, because Monday would happen regardless of my feelings about it. Anyway, it is going to be a good day. I don’t know why, I just feel it.

I was up and at it at 5 in the morning. Yes, 5am. I really am a morning person if given the choice. Of course, if I get up that early I’d really prefer to go to bed early. That is not always possible because I am the only morning person in this house of five. Although, earbuds and a Nexus have helped my husband to quietly watch TV  in bed, while I roll over and start snoozing. I’m all for technology that is quiet and lets me sleep.

My son is doing an internship at a local Christian radio station in town. I’m enjoying listening to him in the morning for a couple of hours before he heads off to school. It makes me happy to hear him, and hear the smile that is in his voice. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my little boy isn’t really my little boy anymore. He is my eighteen year old, young adult. When did that happen? The years they truly do go by so quickly. I try so hard to record the moments, the every day minutes that make the memories.

I am also a step mom to two young adults. The house seems to be over run with young adults. My husband and I are currently outnumbered.  I am trying to get my daughter to seriously consider massage therapy as a viable career, she is not so sure. I am trying to convince her that I would be glad to sacrifice my time for her to have someone to practice on. Just sayin’. I feel it is my duty, as her mom, to help her in her endeavors. My oldest son is not completely sure what he is doing with his life. He is more of the free spirit, which is great if being a free spirit also makes him some money. I think he would agree with that.

I realize how blessed I am….on most days. Not always. Some days are mopey (and dopey!) and muddled and I wonder who I am, much less what I am doing. I know I am happy to be married to a man that loves me…and that I love back. When he is away on business I am reminded how much I love and miss him. There is a hole left here when he is gone. (And if he is reading this, and he probably isn’t because he hardly ever reads my blog posts unless I make him, I do miss you sweetheart!)

As the new year is well into its second week, I’ve been thinking. Thinking not really about resolutions but about dreams and passions. I have many varied interests, and at 45 I really am considering what I’ll be doing with the rest of my life. (Which I hope is many more years, and I die peacefully in my sleep somewhere in my 90’s.) I’m currently reading a book by Holly Gerth about God Sized Dreams. God makes each of us unique, each with our own dreams and passions. He can use those dreams to make something wonderful for each of us, and to bring Him glory.

I am ready, for whatever. My answer to Him is “Yes!”.

********************************************************

Today I am thankful for: IMG_0341

* the dark of early morning

* mocha coffee at Sweet Aromas

* listening to my son on the radio

* my daughter up and at it, early

* family

* my bed is made

* my house is clean

* friends that make me smile

* a chance to help others

* God who is the Creator of dreams

  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1  NIV

 

The Days Leading Up To Christmas

The day is wrapped in early morning quiet.cropped-img_01701.jpg

The blanket of snow muffles all sound.

It is barely light, and the icy blue sky has the barest tinge of pink.

A cold winter blush.

Layers of clothes and the warm snuggle of sweaters and soft fluffy socks.

The soft twinkle of tree lights and the faint scent of pine and cinnamon.

Bing is singing traditional favorites, and I sing along.

Warm cookies, straight out of the oven. Melted chocolate sweet on the tongue.

My senses are overwhelmed in the days leading up to Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Is Always Giving Thanks

Am I the only one that is surprised that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK!!?? Where does the time go? I try to be prepared, but alas I AM NOT. Sigh

ThanksgivingIMG_0352

 

T-Today is a new chapter

 

H-Happiness is right in front of me.

 

A-Attitude is what makes it or breaks it

 

N-Near and Dear are my family

 

K-Kellogg’s Cornflakes because I need them to make my yummy, hash brown casserole

 

S-Savior that makes all else possible

 

G-Growing and Learning new things every day

 

I-Independence in the country I live in and as an individual

 

V-Visiting Family and Friends

 

I- Influence on the next generation

 

N-Night time sky filled with breath taking stars

 

G- Gobs of food and a full stomach

 

Plenty to be thankful for. Some stuff that even seems weird. All of us have things to be thankful for, it’s all a matter of perspective. Gratitude is all in how you look at it….or look for it.

 

Wishing you and those you love a very Happy Thanksgiving.

*******************************************

Remember there really is so much to be thankful for. Big things. Small things…and all those things in between.