There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Monday, April 30, 2007

SweetPea update...you have to read to the end, sorry!


We have had new neighbors since the end of last summer. Other than dropping off welcoming cupcakes for the two children and saying hello, we haven't seen them and only heard them once in a while. Yesterday Bar B Q Steve was out with the cheesy grill from Wallie World getting ready to cook his steak when the kids decided to drop in with their 2 dogs. One dog is a Great Dane named Irish and the other is a mid-size Boxer named Maggie. Penny and Violet were out with us when the 4 visitors arrived.
Long story short, Maggie didn't like either Penny or Violet, Penny didn't like 2 female dogs visiting, Maggie went after Violet and when we put her inside covered in Maggie slobber, Maggie decided to go after Penny. Irish stood on Penny for good measure while Maggie put a tooth puncture in Penny's neck, scratched the top of her head and right ear. When Penny finally got up she was limping. She is fine today...I cleaned her boo-boos and gave her a Rimadyl. So, after our dogs were safely inside, the kids had a great time telling us all of the family secrets. We were told the following items:
1. The oldest child "Z" dissected a squid in class and found the sex organ and it was really gooey.
2. Mom ran over the youngest kid's bike...he is "J."
3. Dad was murdered in California so they moved to Idaho to be close to their grandparents.
4. Step dad works at the local building supply and can give us a good deal they are sure.
5. They have a pregnant cat that was dumped in the street and they named her "Bob." She is black and white, still a kitty really and they have a bed for her under their deck where she is waiting for her babies to be born, mom said they can keep one kitten and will get Bob fixed and that means taking out her sex organ.....all in one breath!
So, we explained how we found Sweetpea, fed her and made a bed for her in the pole building and we all decided to call her BobSweetPea. And we all lived happily ever after. The End.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Two new things and one typically wierd Steve thing

The first sweet violets of Spring in the Selle Valley...I love their daintiness, sweet scent, their ability to come back every year fuller and larger in spread and for giving me a true sense of being home.


My new bike and pretty pink helmet! Steve bought the bike for me yesterday and after tweaking the chain guard a tad, it rides perfectly! I love it; no gears or brake grips...all Rosemary powered!


We live in the forest....that means we are surrounded on all sides for miles and miles by trees...cedars, fir, tamarack, aspen, cottonwood AND PINE. There are several types of pine that Steve really likes...white pine and ponderosa pine. I admit that there are a lot of lodge pole pine as well and they are a bit scraggly. We were outside this morning feeding the deer, birds and squirrels (SweetPea has left probably to have her babies at her other house) when Steve made the comment that we should really think about logging and getting some of the trees close to the house taken down and thinning out the forest a bit. I agreed. As we walked to the east garage to get seeds for that side of the house what did I see but a box filled with pine cones...ponderosa pine cones to be precise. My sweet husband possesses all of the requirements to be a certified pack rat. When I asked him "What in gawd's name are you doing with a box of pine cones?" he replied, "I may want to plant them and grow more trees someday." and I then asked, "Is that the way ponderosa pines grow; people planting pine cones?" No response. I didn't want to push my luck and bring up the forest thinning issue.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Big wheels keep on turnin'

Recently Craig & Diane posted a comment on one of my posts. They have a wonderful blog of their adventures driving a big rig. Check it out. My dad was a long haul trucker almost all of his life. Here he is with his big rig...I had blogged about him in the past and described his usual choice of clothes.....Chambray shirt, cuffed pants for his cigar ashes and his driving cap tilted just enough for him to look cool. If you look carefully I am in the driver seat of the truck. Wasn't my dad just absolutely awesome?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Looking over my shoulder...




I was driving home yesterday after running a few errands and had CSN&Y Deja Vu playing. I was reminiscing about lots of things...


Does anyone remember boatneck blouses?


Remember when crop pants were called peddle pushers?


45 RPM record players that had an auto drop feature...really advanced technology for the time!

How about 78 RPM records?


8 track players???


Viet Nam Missing and POW bracelets?


Getting your boyfriend's class ring and making it fit by putting a "blob" on the back of dental floss and glue?


Skating with clamp on skates that required a key?


Just plain old Padded Bra's?


Wearing matching sweaters and kick pleat skirts?


Sock hops anyone?


Love In's?


Poodle skirts....and yes I had one!


Saddle oxfords?


Doctor bag purses with your name engraved in gold on the side?


Butler Brothers Fine Clothing? Calling Montgomery Wards Monkey Wards?


When nurses wore caps and all white uniforms?


Bronzing baby shoes?


Those door to door picture packages that cost a bundle and you never filled up the free album?


Mope Heads?


Cruising?


Drive In Movies? Driving off with the speaker still attached to your car?


Country Club Malt Beer?


Just wondering if anyone else is as old as me!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I couldn't resist...sorry to any men reading....see previous post

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his Sweat-
shirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"
"It depends," I replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"
He yelled back, " University of Oklahoma ."
And they say blonds are dumb...
-----------------------------------------------------------
A couple is lying in bed. The man says,
"I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world."
The woman replies, "I'll miss you..."
-----------------------------------------------------------
"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack says as he stepped out of the shower, "honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"
"Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Q: What do you call an intelligent, good looking, sensitive man?
A: A rumor
-----------------------------------------------------------
A man and his wife, now in their 60's, were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. On their special day a good fairy came to them and said that because they had been so good that each one of them could have one wish.
The wife wished for a trip around the world with her husband.
Whoosh! Immediately she had airline/cruise tickets in her hands.
The man wished for a female companion 30 years younger...
Whoosh...immediately he turned ninety!!!
Gotta love that fairy!
-----------------------------------------------------------
Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man; Love to forgive him; And Patience for his moods. Because, Lord, if I pray for Strength, I'll beat him to death.
AMEN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -
Q: Why do little boys whine?
A: They are practicing to be men.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Q: What do you call a handcuffed man?
A: Trustworthy.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Q: What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?
A: You did not hold the pillow down long enough.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Q: Why do men whistle when they are sitting on the toilet?
A: It helps them remember which end they need to wipe.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Q: How do you keep your husband from reading your e-mail?
A: Rename the mail folder "Instruction Manuals"
-----------------------------------------------------------

I have been a bit overwhelmed lately and not keeping up on my blog reading. I am sorry. Steve has been home for quite a long while and I have just about heard my name called enough to change it and not tell Steve what my new name is. I am open for name suggestions and I promise to lock him in his office tomorrow and catch up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A friendship poem

The neighbor that used to live right next door (10 acres away) moved last summer and we have missed having their family close by. She sent me this "poem" with a note about missing me....I thought it was pretty funny.



“Real Friendship”(With none of that Sissy Crap!!!!)Are you tired of those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality?Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship.

1. When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you that way.

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you finally got laid.

4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want to catch whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

9. This is my oath..... I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask ?, "Because you are my friend".

Remember....when life hands you Lemons, get some tequila and salt and call me!!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Steve and I had an interesting discussion this morning...I "lost" the discussion I think. We were talking about what percentage of Steve's salary we should deduct for his company's retirement plan. He wants to go full bore...15%. I wanted a compromise to adjust to less income every month...7%. He gets really upset when we talk about retirement.


Technically, I am already retired and collecting my sad little Social Security check. I took the money early to help with this financial mess post car accident. Steve is 2 years younger than me, but if he retires at 62, well, there simply won't be enough income to even pay our mortgage.



He worries that something will happen to him...either his hip will totally fail or he will become incapacitated in some way, and we will be in deep do-do. We have had the what-will-each-of-us- do-when-the-other-one-dies talk too. That always ends with me in tears.


Steve stomped off...an interesting thing to watch with him using a cane....telling me over his shoulder "You are the one that's going to be upset when we don't have enough money to live on when we retire!" This was preceded by my bringing up the "Well, maybe we need to cut back on a few things" comment. Should be an interesting day.

Saturday, April 21, 2007



It has not been the best week for Drake. Last week she was eating and drinking really well. This week she started out OK, but yesterday and today she has done little of either one. I am torn between giving her IV fluids (should that be the treatment indicated) and just letting her eat the Fancy Feast she so loves and enjoy the time she has left. She absolutely hates the KD (kidney diet) food she has to eat...hates it. I give her maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of Fancy Feast every morning so she will take her thyroid medicine and she inhales the stuff. She will be 16 next week. She has been the kitty love of my life. She was my son's cat and when we moved to Idaho she came with us and the rest of the kitty household. She naps next to me when I sit down to read, sleeps under the covers next to me at night, lays on my chest when I snooze in the chair and tells me she loves me every day. She is heat seeking at the moment...sleeping under a lamp, or in the west window napper late in the afternoon. I will call the vet Monday just to see what she thinks...to take her to the vet sends her into a frenzy and she is miserable for days after. We will see what she says. I can't stick a needle into this kitty without help because she is a little bitchy most days....but maybe if Steve helps we could do it together.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Miaow...pics bleow

I have a barn kitty. I don't have a barn, I have a pole building, but I have a barn kitty anyway. That's what stray kitties that adopt someone in Idaho are called if you live in the forest I have been told.....by the kitty.

She is a tuxedo kitty with the sweetest little face and bright orange/yellow eyes. I don't think she is a feral cat because she let me get close to her and pet her after only a few days. I think she was dumped because she let another cat have his way with her. I am not an expert on kitty pregnancy, but I would bet the barn she is with children.

We had put a tote box on end two years ago with an old sleeping bag in it for another cat that was in the pole building, but that cat was a true feral and never slept in the box. It disappeared as have other cats that lived in our forest. The squirrels made short work of the sleeping bag however, and created lovely, well appointed nests. This kitty rearranged the sleeping bag a bit, made it more comfortable and moved in. Steve, being a bigger sucker than I am for kitties, put food out for her......special food that I give the inside kitties at about 13 bucks/4 pounds. Needless to say, we are going to Wallie World and getting something a bit more generic without wheat gluten for her to eat.

I named her.....SweetPea... I guess she is mine for sure. She did disappear for about 4 days so she might be cheating with another family, but no matter....she is sweet. If she is pregnant, I have some wonderful news for her.....she is going to the vet after the birth and having her baby basket taken out.




Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Those of you that read my blog regularly know I have had some debate with myself regarding my faith and the search for God within myself. Given the acts at the Virginia Tech campus, it would be easy for one to say...there is no God otherwise this type of horrific act would not have happened.

I recently read an article in Newsweek that was a debate between an atheist, Sam Harris and a man of religion/God, Rick Warren. Rick Warren's argument went like this....

It is rather simple: it is smarter to bet that God exists, and to believe in him, because if it turns out that he is real, you win everything; if he is not, you lose nothing. So why not take the leap of faith?

Regardless of the recent events, the horrible words we say to and about each other, the hardships we all endure throughout life, war and our national and individual losses...I choose to believe that God has a plan and to trust and believe is the only way to make sense of all of this.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Me, me, me

I'm still boring as ever so I thought I'd bore you even more and blog some things about just self-centered old me......things you may or may not know.

I was born, raised and lived within 25 miles of my birth city until 1998. Then moved to the snow not away from it!!

I have one sibling; a brother that I haven't seen or talked to since 3 months after our mother died.

I have been married 4 times; once to my high school love....an alcoholic to this minute and we have 2 children; twice to my second husband making him my 2nd and 3rd husband and we have one child....he added drug use to his alcoholism; married for the last time to Steve the most decent man I have ever known. I am a slow learner.

I have 6 grandchildren from my 3 kids, I have 4 step-children and an additional 4 grandchildren from them......Steve and I don't separate them except for explanation purposes.

I went to Catholic grammar school, public high school, married before I officially graduated from high school but did graduate. I have 2 Bachelor degrees and some classes towards my Master's but never finished. I loved college but hated every day of any schooling before that. High school was hell for me.

My father was a truck driver and my mom was a stay at home mother who cheated on my dad....3 times that I know of because she didn't hide it from me just from my dad and brother. I wish with all my heart I had just a half an hour more with each of my parents. I went through 7 old answering machine tapes just to see if there were messages from my mom on them.....there were none.

I played the accordion until I was a sophomore in high school and taught 6 year old kids how to play a 12 bass. I hated the accordion and can't play one single note on it now.

I once sang well enough to be in Jr. Glee then the acapella choir in high school.

Every Saturday when I was in grammar school I took the Mooney-Sixth bus uptown and went to the movies. By myself.

As a teenager my favorite thing to do was watch Deanna Durbin and Jane Powell movies at home, read, eat sunflower seeds and drink coke....all at the same time.

As an old lady my favorite thing to do is watch movies at home, read, eat sunflower seeds and drink diet coke....all at the same time.

I am a voracious reader, movie watcher, music listener, and blogger.

I could eat a cheeseburger-lite onions-fries-and-a-chocolate-shake every day.

My favorite ice cream is plain old chocolate.

I clean my house every day as in vacuum, dust and wash my floors. Every day.

I walk my dogs every day.

I loved cats late in life.

I had a pet duck when I was 7. His name was Chub.

I loved to roller skate as a kid.

I cry easily.

I am a natural bitch...I don't have to work at it at all.

I was a natural blond until I was 5 or 6.

My hair...which I hate....went from cute and curly as a toddler to brown and eventually fuzzy by the time I was in 8th grade.

I am extremely self conscious.

I don't do well with public speaking.

I have written 3 children's books but don't know what to do with them.

I always wanted to be a doctor.

I have fairly recent African American/Black ancestors and have the pictures to prove it....

I am proud to be Italian.

I could live in the Library.

I would give anything to live closer to my children.

I have never had a lot of friends...I only have 2 good friends now one and of them probably doesn't know I consider her a good friend.

I am loud.

I have a horribly annoying laugh.

I have my dad's ears and hands.

I don't take baths; I am afraid of the water and can't swim...thus no baths.

I love to get in the car with the dogs and just drive.....anywhere.

I went to a ton of concerts during the 60's and 70's and never smoked pot.

I don't drink.

My favorite color is blue.

I think about the accident that almost killed Steve every single day.

I was a breech birth and had colic for 6 weeks.

I have great rhythm but can't dance...I lead.

I sunburn horribly but since I am afraid of the water I don't have to worry about sunbathing and getting sand in places it doesn't belong.

My fingernails won't grow....they split and bend.

I played alone as a kid; I played with my dolls and paper dolls.

I had a second hand beach cruiser bike that was the best bike ever....my dad sold it and got me a three speed but I could never figure out how to use the gears...same problem with the 12 speed I have now.

I am afraid of the dark.

I have terrible eating habits.....not my manners but my food choices.

I wish I could afford a face lift.

I can't speak a second language....not that I haven't tried to learn several.

I have been to Ireland, The UK, Jamaica and Italy.

I don't travel well and pack way too much stuff.

My glasses are a part of my face. I feel naked without them, thus no contacts or lasix.

I kiss my kitties and my doggies on the mouth and face but hate it when they lick me.

I'm a sucker for puppies and kittens...I guess there could be worse things to be a sucker for.

This is way too much info about me.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I've got nothing today.....I'm not sleeping well, I'm crabby as evidenced by yesterday's rant, and for some reason, I AM HUNGRY.

So, someone.....ask me a question, or just pass me by today. I'll catch up on my reading this afternoon....I may take a nap.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm Italian and my family's connected...so watcha you mouth

Re this post: I started this last night and have added an update towards the bottom. I know the beginning stuff is just old news rantings from an even older lady and you can skip it...but I am really fired up over something local that was in a blog yesterday and so I am posting my big-mouth-it's-my-blog-and-I-can-say-whatever-the-hell-I-want-to-comments!!

I'm not smart...I'm just OK in the brain department. I do have some common sense...and for sure I have opinions. I am an old lady....so I feel in my case I can claim senility in general. I have left comments on other blogs about the following issues and figure what the hell...I might as well get my 1/2 cent in.

I think Howard Nicole Stern is a bottom feeder. I think he saw a $$$$ trail and followed it. If he ever did have sex with Anna Nicole, he whined the whole time.

I think Larry Anna Birkhead is floating in the middle of the pond. He saw a $$$$ trail and followed it. Does he care for his daughter??? That's debatable.


I married not one, but two alcoholic drug users. Trust me, you may love them for a bit, may think you can save or cure or help them but you can't....and then it needs to be over. Sex with an alcoholic/drug user is not fun. I know how Anna Nicole got pregnant....she was shitfaced and used.

Anna's mother? Mother? No.

I have never listened to Imus. I don't like that type of radio, don't find it funny or even close to a chuckle of funny. I think what he said was stupid, stupid, stupid. Who knows what he was thinking? He was stupid. He may have thought it was fine to try being a rapper with a cowboy hat and cow shit on his boots...but it flopped and now he is really in deep shit. He has also paid....lost the TV gig now fired from radio. Someone blogged...When is the lynching?

Who is Al Sharpton? I mean, who died and left him at the microphone? Don King? Did he turn over the mic of big mouth black men to Al? What about Jesse? Is he the kind of guy I would want speaking for me? I don't think so. Do black/African Americans think they gain something from having these men in front of the TV using a stranger's name for self advancement? I guess they do because there they are. Weren't these same two big mouths in front of the mic when the Duke rape stuff was still in the lie and cover up stages yelling for justice for the rape victim? Are they now standing up for the total ass of a prosecutor who will probably be the only one facing charges...not that he should get any sympathy for what he did....but where are the mouthpieces now? Oops I spoke too soon. This guy is apologizing now....get ready. But, wait....the prosecutor is white. He'll need the other Howard Foulmouth Stern speaking for him.

I am still pissed at Madonna, Brangelina, Meg Ryan and all of the other I-want-to-look-cool- and-adopt-a-foreign-orphan stars. They are no better than Paris, Nicole, Lindsay et al who carry chihuahuas in their handbags. I know they love these kids....I am absolutely sure they do...but start looking in the good ol' USA because we screw kids up every day and leave them without a home and parents.

I am sick of the elections of 08 already. On the news there was John Edwards in a "rest home" shaving some old man. Ahem, John, they are called Assisted Living Facilities now. He said he shaved his grandfather when he would go with his grandmother to visit. OK. And...... What? Then there is Rudy....he was quoted as knowing that a gallon of milk was somewhere in the range of $1.99 and bread $1.79.....maybe his wife needs to buy a few less flatirons and they need go out into the real world and buy a few groceries and a gallon of gas.

Michael Jackson needs to sell everything he owns, buy a little condo somewhere and have enough money to support his kids and a therapist for the rest of his life.

The brain surgeons and rocket scientists that are building a 4 story, ugly, huge, not a small town kind of building right in the middle of our little town should be sent to Iraq to rebuild that country for free. And take the City Council and Mayor along with them.

Last night I was reading the blogs I love and one posted a list from some magazine about good places to retire young. On the top of that list was Coeur d Alene (CDA), Idaho. CDA is 50 miles south of my home in Sandpoint and has a population of close to 40,000. There were some general comments about the places on the list and then whammo, there was a not-so-nice one about CDA. The blogger said CDA was boring, the sister of a friend lived there and the best she could hope for was TIVO and toenail painting on a Friday, no culture and no good looking men. Naturally I had to comment because I KNOW CDA and her comments were not true. I was nice and pointed out the good features of the town. It went downhill from there and someone else called North Idaho and CDA a gun toting area filled with separatists and white supremacists and Matthew Shephard was mentioned for good measure. There were worse phrases eventually....anti semitics, bigotry, wackos...and more. I didn't make any more comments because I would have been bottom feeding like these folks and it would have been disrespectful to the owner of the blog...but this is my blog and I can say what I want to. Yes, back in the late 80's and early 90's there was an Aryan Nation faction here....17 folks to be exact. How do I know exactly? Because one of these Rocket Surgeons ran for public office and 16 people voted for him. The Southern Poverty Law Center came into CDA and took care of the racists there and did a damn good job of it. Richard Butler died not too long ago and he was the last of them. There was one creep left in our area a few years back, he was arrested on his third DUI, took off before he could go to trial and was found recently in New Mexico, extradited to our town and is currently sitting in jail hopefully rotting. We have a local Human Rights Task Force and we do a damn good job of making sure that from CDA to the Canadian border everyone knows "Idaho is too great for/to hate!" We have art, the theater, sports, and higher education right here in our little piece of paradise. There are folks that live in the woods and survive on very little; they hunt, use alternative energy and keep to themselves. They may smoke a little dope and shoot a gun on the 4th of July, but most of us like the rural aspects of living with the choice to mingle in the big city if we want to. OK, Mark Furman moved here.....but you know what? He is living a normal life, taking his kids to soccer and earns a living and pays taxes and I don't have to look at him. North Idahoans help each other out in bad situations like hauling someone out of a ditch in bad weather, or taking food to someone injured or ill, giving money to those less fortunate...you know...like "regular" people. There is not one single city in the US that does not have problem citizens..not one. I am an Idaho transplant; we chose to move here and yes I whine about missing my kids and the weather. But, North Idaho is a beautiful place to live and work and play and it does not deserve the crap that was said. So there. Take that you Rocket Surgeons!

I read that hot flashes and night sweats in pre and post menopausal women may be an indicator of High Blood Pressure......millions spent when all they had to do was ask me. I am 62...and am constantly in a condition of mild warmth.....I was pre menopausal, menopausal, post menopausal and have had HBP for years....see....correlation. I also have high cholesterol...add that to the stats.

On the bright side...I get a senior discount a lot these days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Good Boy, Beau. Stay. by Anna Quindlen

This is an article from the current issue of NEWSWEEK by Anna Quindlen. I suppose I could get in trouble for publishing it, but I don't know how to link it so read on....and get some tissues.

The object of our discussion, a black Labrador with the ridiculous AKC name of Bristol's Beauregard Buchanan, is at home sleeping on an oriental rug in the foyer. The rug smells. So does Beau. At this late date there is not much reason for him to appear at the vet's in person. He moves now as though his back legs are prosthetics to which he has yet to become accustomed. His sight and his hearing are mostly gone. But he has retained the uncanny ability to know when a certain phony lilt to my voice as I snap on the leash means we are headed to that place where his prostate was once examined. He lies down on the front stoop and refuses to budge. He won't make that mistake again.

I once had an editor who hated dead-dog columns. (I did one anyway.) This is a live-dog column. It's a shame that obituaries and eulogies come only after people are gone and unable to appreciate them. How many times after a memorial service have you said of the deceased, "She would have loved it"? Rumor has it that certain celebs, knowing The New York Times writes important obits well in advance, have tried to get a peek at their own. The expressed rationale is fact-checking, but I suspect it has more to do with self-esteem. Beau, of course, will have no idea what is said about him. But he does seem to know that a laptop in its case near the front door means a trip to the country, which even now, gimpy as he is, sends him into a fandango.

The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter, more compressed. Beau started off wild and crazy. My most enduring memory of his youth is of him galloping around the yard, purloined needlepoint yarn streaming from his mouth. One summer he was skunked three times and spent weeks studded with spines after indulging his taste for advanced decomposition by rolling on a dead porcupine. He did not learn to swim until he realized it was the only way to keep geese off the pond.

But he also ran with his master every morning, posed in front of the fireplace in winter in a recumbent position like an insurance ad, and suffered the addition of a female yellow Lab to the household six years ago. He stayed off the furniture and did not jump on guests. People admired his self-control, on the street and at dinner parties, although one New Year's Eve he was discovered with his muzzle buried to the ears in a bowl of chocolate truffles.Today his milky eyes seem to gaze mysteriously inward as though he is reliving those times. It is important to approach him slowly so that he will not be startled by a pat on the head. Sometimes he splays frog-legged on the linoleum and cannot rise again without a boost in the back; some days he must be carried up the stairs. The yellow dog used to dance in circles and butt-check him violently for her own peculiar amusement. She knows not to do that anymore. Beau once had a catcher's mitt of a mouth, but if you throw him a scrap now it usually bounces unseen off his head. Yet put a pork roast in the oven, and the guy still breathes as audibly as an obscene caller. The eyes and ears are gone, but the nose is eternal. And the tail. The tail still wags. When it stops, then we'll know.


Beau was a gift on my 40th birthday from my closest friend and her husband. In the nearly 15 years since he arrived, nine pounds of belly fat and needle teeth, he has grown ancient by the standards of his breed. And I have grown older. My memory stutters. My knees hurt. Without my reading glasses the words on a page look like ants at a picnic. But my blood pressure is low, my bone scan is good and my mammograms are uneventful. I love my kids, and they love me, and we all love their father, who is still my husband. When I was a mixed-breed puppy, I could never have imagined how simple and basic contentment could be.

And that's what I've learned from watching Beau: to roll with the punches (if not in carrion), to take things as they come, to measure myself not in terms of the past or the future but of the present, to raise my nose in the air from time to time and, at least metaphorically, holler, "I smell bacon!" I'm not what I once was, and neither is he. The geese are making a mess of the pond, and the yellow Lab gets to run every morning with her master while Beau waits patiently for both of them to return. Each morning I check to see if the old guy is actually breathing, and each day I try to take his measure—is he hurting? Is he happy? Is the trade-off between being infirm and being alive worth it? And when the time comes to ask myself that same question, at least I will have had experience calibrating the answer. Sometimes an old dog teaches you new tricks.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Our babies...Have a Blessed Easter...be back Monday

In order: Sophie in a snit, Fuzz and Mimi the siblings getting along, and sweet, sick Drakie.






Friday, April 06, 2007



What cometh through yonder window where Princess Mimi rests her dainty little head? Nay! Can it be the Sun coming to brighten thy day? Hark, all ye wanderers through the Valley of Selle in Winter. The sun cometh!!!! Feeleth the healing wonder of the Sun!

About damm timeth!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I love this kid beyond words

I wasn't going to be able to post today, but was having withdrawal symptoms the moment I left the house this morning. Steve was delayed last night...AGAIN...in Chicago and couldn't get out until this morning. He had a doctor appointment today and I would have seriously considered doing some damage to United Airlines if he didn't make that appointment, but we did. The doc said it was his back that was making his thigh hurt. Much more info than that, but to keep it short and not go into physical details...it is his back not his 4 times replaced right hip. ...thank you Jesus and I mean that.


So...the meat of this blog is this. In February when we were in California, my son gave me 14 CD's that he had copied for me. Of course I cried...they were pretty much all my favorites and a few really neat new ones like the Yoshida Brothers....Japanese rock music using old traditional instruments...really cool.

I wanted to listen to all of the CD's before I downloaded them to my iPod.... I sometimes play my CD's at home but my favorite thing to do is get in the car with the dogs (when Steve is gone) and drive, play my music at deafening levels and sing along. The dogs don't complain and it reminds me of when my kids were small and I would load them into my old white Dodge van that I had "decorated" with carpet, curtains and home size stereo speakers. The kids would sit in the back and we would head off to Belmont Shore and I would blast the music, sing at the top of my lungs while my oldest son played his air guitar, my daughter would laugh and make fun of me and my youngest son would sing every single word along with me and NO mistakes.

When I took off this morning to meet Steve I took Neil Young's Decade CD's....they would be the first ones that Gil had copied that I would play. I started off with my XM radio music....I have 6 favorite stations and am a constant button pusher. There were some really good songs on this morning and some of the words brought back memories..... maybe you will remember these lyrics.... the pompatus of love , really love your peaches want to shake your tree....one of these days I'm gonna shake that hangy down thing good bye....people can you feel it love is everywhere...Ahwhoo Werewolf of London, gotta love that boogie woogie country girl, I'm the boy that showed the girl the stars above....and have you ever really, really listened to the words to Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt....even if you think you have listen again....


So, I was driving along the highway seeing the forest come alive for Spring, singing like a fool and thoroughly enjoying myself. I was stopped at the light in Athol (yes, that is the name of the town) and took out the first CD of Decade. On the inside of the paper title and song list sheet what did I see but a note from my son....and here it is. I pulled into the gas station on the corner and read the note and cried like....a mom I guess.
Regardless of my questionable mothering skills decades ago, I did give all three of my kids two things that make them stellar people....their love of the written word and music.
They all have eclectic preferences...they listen to everything from RAP to soft Opera and I would bet that their CD purchases number in the thousands each....really.
When I got home this evening I looked inside all of those CD's and each and every one of them has a personal message for me. Just when I thought I couldn't love my child more, I do. Just when I thought he couldn't do one more thing to make me proud of him, he does. And call me crazy but...I think Neil Young is a lyrical genius.