Thoughtful Thursdays

Vacations~ Should be mandated, with full pay, relaxing, and without a schedule.  Vacations should unfold…. in a warm climate.  And near the water. If not the ocean, a lake will do nicely.


During a vacation, it is important, nay, it is essential that you celebrate, embrace and give free reign to your inner ADHD-ness.  I often start out by heading to my sewing room… hmmm, what can I sew today?  This looks good; I sort through my fabric stash, arrange, coordinate and then head downstairs to get a glass of water.  On my way back, I sit down in the den in front of the computer to check email, I visit my favorite blogs, and often shop for things I can’t afford.  When finished, I get up and notice the book shelf. “Hey!  I haven’t read Harry Potter in, oh, ages!  It’s time to read it again.” Then I head into the living room, make sure there is a log on the fire and curl up with an old friend.  Quilting, email, and rising sourdough bread… forgotten.

a white version of skype

iChat~ the greatest invention since Skype.  You can sit comfortably in your ratty green bathrobe, sip your morning coffee, and piece a quilt block while chatting with one of your fabulous daughters.  You can get a second cup of coffee.  Let the dogs out.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.  In.  “That’s enough!  What the hell do you do while I’m at work?!?” 

Get that ball!









My mom~  she’s 76 years young and takes supreme delight in her family. Her grandchildren are a joy to her.  My youngest called the other day to tell Reme her good news.

E- Reme, I’ve been accepted to St. Catherine’s nursing school!

Reme- Oh that’s wonderful!  Where is that now?  When do you go?  What about Texas?

E- laughing, Rem, it’s an option.  I’m still going to lab school in Texas.  And St. Cate’s is in St. Paul.  Reme?  Are you there?  You’re writing this down aren’t you?

Reme- Yes.  Yes, I am.  I want to make sure I don’t forget anything so I can tell my walking friends.

Daughters~  those who visit for the weekend, and those who can’t as they’re too far away.  So they text and iChat and email instead.

Those are my thoughts for this Thursday.  What are yours?



Finn does Yoga

It’s the truth.  That boy has the nicest form when it comes to ‘downward facing dog’ that I’ve ever seen.  The distance between his front paws and back paws is the same, he sinks his ‘heels’ nicely into the floor, chest towards thighs and maintains a flat back.  He is able to hold this pose and breathe.  He’s an inspiration to my practice.

I am working on getting a picture of him during his practice.  It’s rather difficult though.  He takes his yoga seriously and his practice is usually timed with me hauling my sorry ass out of bed… no camera on the night stand and no contacts in my head.  Five-thirty is still dusky and the flash might wake Rose.  Or me.

Finn does other work as well.  He’s no “one-hit wonder”.  As I’ve stated before he’s my my quilting buddy and can often be found dozing on the floor behind my sewing machine.  Other times, he can be found on my projects- giving them a test run- making sure they work.

Yes, I think this will make a very nice dog bed. Good support.

He’s my own quality-control department and asks little in return:  throw the ball, splash in the pool on hot days, and daily walks.  I think that’s more than fair.  You?

The pool needs more water

The pool needs more water mum.

Justification Is Everything

It’s taken a tad over one year, but it’s now official:  Rose has chewed up enough of my ‘cheap’ flip-flops to justify my buying a pair of $89 Birkenstocks today.  Uh huh.

When we first got Rose Marie, she chewed.. lots.  Not surprising:  she was still a puppy; she was also a pit bull.  (Some breeds are more “chew happy” than others…)  Knowing this, I thought I was prepared.  I had Kongs for her, bully sticks, marrow bones, and unbleached rawhide.  Didn’t matter.  When I got into the shower in the morning, it was all about finding Muma’s shoes and chewing them down to parade rest.  (Never Daddy’s boots.  But I’m not bitter.  Nope.)

She always looked contrite when I scolded her via Sign Language.  But seriously, how much ‘yelling’ can you do when your dog is deaf?  However, she got body language.  She knew I was pissed.

She also ruined a perfectly good slip cover on a perfectly good chair.  It started out innocent enough… she was chasing toys, treats, kongs, and the ‘ruffle’ or the ‘cushion’ got in the way.  Uh huh.

Oh, Mum? Sorry... just looking for my bone... uh, uh, yeah, about that cushion...

I keep telling Finn:  “That’s it!  We’re taking her back!”

Thoughtful Thursdays

My dad:  I lost him far too soon.  I miss him each and every day.  I know how proud he would be of my girls with what they’re doing with their lives.  I also know how much he would have enjoyed their husbands- the verbal jousting with P (he’s very clever and would give my dad a run for his money), smoking cee-gars with D.  (plus D likes to blow things up; fireworks and such- Dad would’ve loved that!)

"I'm in my wool Skull sweater that Sara knitted for me. I am bad-ass. I am invincible. I am *warm*

Rose:  she makes me laugh, she’s a pissant, I love her.

Fun:  You should see these two on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings… running through the house, playing tug-o-war with this great toy I stole  borrowed from Love and a 6′ Leash   I will try and video them… seriously- they are that funny.

That’s my top three for this week.  Enjoy each day.  Tell the ones you love- that you love them.  Laugh.

Gotta love small towns…

So Finn went to the fire station yesterday afternoon to get his rabies vaccine. A gorgeous, sunny afternoon.  Shades of the summer to come.  Cars lined both sides of the street.  It looked like a fair.

It didn’t actually look like this, but close

It was hilarious.  All shapes and sizes… and that went for the dogs too. There were moms with kids and puppies, a big burley tattooed guy with this little shaking chihuahua in his one massive forearm, older folks with their elder companions, and a women in high heels wearing a halter top that was too small with a dog named Daisy.  We all knew her name  was Daisy because that’s all we heard:  “Daisy, siiit.  SIT!  Sit down Daisy.  I know you know how to do this.  Daisy, sit down right now.  You sit.  Daisy.  Sit!”

I’m quite sure all Daisy heard was:

I love Gary Larson.

The dog behind us was this huge, shaggy, ‘oh i need to be brushed so badly’ husky with beautiful eyes.  He was really big.  I’m quite sure that fluffy, matted, too-much-fur made him look bigger than he actually was.  He cried. He whined. He kept looking up at his owner as if to say, “Can’t we go home? RIGHT. NOW.”

Finn was wonderful.  He sat.  He stayed.  His “heel” was satisfactory- until we passed by the shubbery.  Something in there smelled pretty damn wonderful. He simply had to check it out.  But with a quick “pop” on his leash, he remembered his manners and we proceeded in the line.  Three little girls in front of us (whose mum was holding the little dog) were taking in all the sights and sounds and although very good, were rather excited as well- evidenced by their occasional little hops and  squeals of excitement.  Big doings here in town, yep.  Big.

The middle one turned around and faced us.  “Can we please pat your dog?”  I was impressed that she asked.  “Of course you can,” I said, “But be warned…” She looked a tad nervous and mom turned around instantly… “he will lick you in return.”

Mom visibly relaxed and all 3 girls descended upon my chocolate guy for petting.  He never broke sit, but he got in some fabulous licks!  They giggled and continued their assault much to Finn’s pleasure.  Comments from mom were funny, “Be careful, not too rough!” (Seriously?  This guy is built like a brick wall.)  One at a time!  (Again, seriously?  The weight ratio wasn’t even close- those 3 couldn’t have weighed anywhere near 85 pounds.)

In the end, Finn got his vaccine and 2 huge, Old Mother Hubbard dog biscuits.  And if I ever do this again?  I’m bringing my camera.

Thoughtful Thursdays

My youngest daughter does ‘Five Things Friday’.  My oldest daughter does ‘SomeThings’.  And, of course, the inspiration for it all is ‘Chix-A-Lot Friday“.  You should check them out.  They’re good.  Really.

So I thought about it. And I came up with “Thoughtful Thursdays”.  My goal?  Acknowledging things I’m grateful for, but might overlook, being present in the moment, and all things silly.

So here goes!

Rose’s trainer:  Tom.  He adores her already, he’s kind and good.  He has given me faith that I will be able to communicate with my deaf pit bull.

S’s text:  Omg. wicked amazing pepperoni mom!  This stuff is delish.  (An aside?  This was an Easter Basket with a ‘pizza theme’.  My first born was eating the toppings.  No pizza in sight.)

E’s pic:  Snaggle tooth Gracie Lou!

Easter:  A beloved best friend who arrives with simply amazing snacks- brie (to die for… literally) and fruit k-bobs that I should have taken pictures of- they were that gorgeous.

My 4 legged kids:  Rose, who keeps my feet warm at night & is the first (and only) dog I’ve ever let up on a bed.  Finn, who makes me laugh and puts up with Rose’s antics, Ming, our Ambassador, who is teaching Sassy how to play, Moses, who is his own self and got up on my lap today and couldn’t get enough love.  (Did he read my blog yesterday?)

Happy Thursday Everyone. Enjoy.

Aaaand there’s 2 more…

This is Ming-Ming.  She’s not the sharpest knife in the rack, but we think it due to lack of oxygen in her formative weeks.  It’s hard for me to believe that some cruel jerk one stuck her in a shoebox, tied it shut, and left her on a dirt road.  When she was turned into the local ASPCA, she wasn’t even weaned yet.  The day we visited, she had just been put out on the adoption floor, after being fostered by a cat who was nursing.

We had been to a movie (?)  I think- and my younger daughter needed to go to work.  She was fretting (I am being kind here) that she’d be late.  I was adamant.  I wanted to check out the kittens.  My older daughter was all over it- E was out numbered.

E :  Mum! Come here.  Look.  This one needs us.

Me:  (after glancing over and seeing she’s in the “Needs an Angel” part of the SPCA)  Um, is it a kitten?

E:  No.  Everyone wants kittens.  This one is special.

I hesitate, knowing full well E is frequently on a mission to save the world, and I?  I just want a kitty.

Me:  E, it’s missing an eye, and I think something is wrong with one of its legs.

E:  Exactly!  This cat needs us.

Me:  (help?  G-d?)

S:  Mum! Mum!  O look!  o’m goodness!

Me:  (thank you G-d!)  Coming!

And there was Ming.  Tiny, laying in the sandbox, and stretching out one big, white, double-paw toward the wire cage.  It was love at first sight (for S and I).  E was a tad angry with me, I know.  But on the way home, she rode in the back seat with our new family member, she let the crying baby out of the crate, she told her it would be “ok”.  And it was E who ultimately named her.  I think it’s quite impossible to stay mad when there is a kitten in close proximity.

And then, there is Moses:

He’s not exactly Einstein either.  We adopted him from the same SPCA and- go figure, E was with me.  Once again, she headed off to the section that requires “Angels”.  And once again, I hesitated, but ultimately followed her in.  I saw Moses and E saw another.  I honestly can’t remember what was wrong with her choice, but I do know that I considered. I think the cat E had chosen was down right ugly, because I keep remembering her comment that I was going for “aesthetics”.  And, well… yes.  I did think Moses had beautiful eyes and funky black-bottomed feet.  When they let us hold him- he couldn’t get enough love.  That cat’s purr filled the room.  We adopted him-  and even E was enthralled.

His first vet visit revealed a skin inflammation so horrid that I had to keep him sequestered.  The reason he loved us so much?  Our scratching and petting was a balm for his itchy skin condition.  Now?  Moses barely tolerates being held.  And as I was the one who would trap  hold him wrapped in a towel while E dribbled the meds into his protesting mouth- he makes it a point to avoid me.  But I know, deep down?  He loves me.

Meet the kids…

These are my ‘kids’ and  I like them a lot.  Any questions? (Can you tell I’ve been an elementary school teacher?)

Finn is my Sausage Clown.  A chubby (my vet says he needs to lose 6 pounds, but I know he’s just ‘big boned’) chocolate lab.  He is 4 years old and  I’ve had him since he was 8-weeks old.  I house trained him in the dead of winter, tucking this chocolate chunk between my ratty green bathrobe and my husband’s ski parka at 2 am, shlepping him down the snow-blowed path to the outer edges of the yard to tinkle.  And then, scooping him up and running back to our warm house, my warm bed, his warm crate.  He’s only ever known love, kindness, playing ball, swimming in the lake, and all things good.

Rose is my hair shirt.  (Our wonderful trainer Tom, calls her “Meathead”.)  We think she is about two years old.  God sent her to us to make me humble (I am) and to inform me that I am not the dog trainer I thought I was.  She is deaf.  She is a pit bull mix.  We adopted her via PetFinder and her agency was less than honest with us.  She has been with us for just over one year.  The first ‘non purebred’ we’ve ever owned, she has become the most expensive dog we’ve ever owned.  The visit to our vet within the first 2 weeks of owning her revealed medical issues that included, but were not limited to, blood in her urine, worms, fleas, an ear infection, and, oh! her micro chip didn’t register or scan.  She needed x-rays, lab work, shots, a special shampoo for her Demodex and follow up visits to manage the blood in her urine.  Her first vet bill was almost as much as we paid for Finn.

And we don’t know what Rose has known in her former life.  We do know she’s afraid of dolls, barks at children, chases cars (or would like to if she weren’t on a leash while being walked), reacts to other dogs in ways that don’t invite “play dates” and cowers when large or tall men move too swiftly.  Sometimes she evens pees a little.

But we also know her tail never stops wagging, and even though she’s been through some very uncomfortable procedures at the vet’s she has never once shown aggression, nipped, or growled at anyone there.  She seems to know she’s being helped.  She loves car rides, truck rides, dump runs, and hiking.  She loves puddles.

Rose has learned some basic commands via ASL and watching Finn.  He has the patience of Job with her.  She’s what we call a pissant- the baby sister who won’t let up: “Play with me” not now “Play with me” not now “PLAY WITH ME!”  oh what the hell- maybe if I run through the house with her, she’ll let me nap.  And off they go to the races.  My daughters find it hard to believe that I allow 2 dogs to race through the den, through the living room, through the back hallway, and back into the kitchen around the butcher block and around again.  Braided rugs are scuffed up beside doors and walls, chairs are knocked askew, and the cats head for higher ground while I sip coffee and cross stitch.  It’s a wonderful way to begin the day.