Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Best Friend (Soft Whisper)

Did you see this? 
For 14 years, I had the honor of having "Joshua's Sister Jessica Sue" for my dog.  Josh was our last collie.  Jessi was our first Bichon Frise.  She was my soulmate.  I loved her with all my heart. We had her put down at 14 as she was suffering arthritis and digestive problems.  It's the hardest thing in the world when you have to do this, even though you know it's the right thing to do.

Well, sometimes I still hear Jessi whisper.  And I still miss her sooooooooooo....I still shed a few tears at times, but I know she's happy, and glad that we have Teddy (our current 9 yr. old Bichon  & Kaycee, our 7 1/2 yr. old Maltese).  Jessi loved other dogs, besides people.
In a message dated 10/16/2007 8:15:44 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:
by Lanie Blackmon

My best friend spoke to me last night
a soft whisper in my ear.
I woke up and looked around the room,
I was startled, yet I had no fear.

My best friend said that all is fine
Rainbow Bridge is so much more.
That there was so much love up there,
even a beautiful ocean shore.

There are fields and fields of green green grass
and the sky has different shades of blue.
There are flowers, mountains, trees and clouds,
everything they said it was, is true.

My best friend whispered in my ear last night
saying "Please don't cry or be sad.
That what was done, had to be done,
for me to live my life now, so be glad."

My best friend said that I did the right thing
an unselfish act on my part.
And that the pain and sadness I feel
will be gone soon from my heart.

I asked my best friend, "How could this be
I miss you so much everyday.
That my heart hurts so much for you,
I wish there could of been another way."

My best friend whispered in my ear last night
"You will always be in my heart.
Go on and live and love another,
because we will never really be apart."

My best friend whispered in my ear last night
"It's time for me to go towards the light.
I just wanted to stop and say to you
Go on my best friend, I'll be alright."

"I carry your unconditional love with me
I have done this from the very start."
I whispered back to my best friend last night,
"I'll always love you with all my heart."

"So goodbye my best friend," as I looked up at the sky
A shooting star I see in a straight line
Moving fast across the sky and out of sight,
I whispered, "Goodbye my best friend.  Now, I'll be fine."

         --  Lanie Blackmon    <lovemy4goldens at>

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Little Cottage By The Lake

As most of you know, I grew up in Minnesota.  I lived in a small town of not quite 1000 people.  I had the best possible childhood. We were two hours from Minneapolis, MN for shopping and doctor (specialist) trips.  We had a cabin at the lake about 10 miles from town.  It is a spring fed lake and so clear you can (to this day) see the bottom, even when you go out deep in it.  I received this Heartwarmer's Story today, and when I saw this title, I just KNEW I had to put in here.  If no one reads it but me, I am still happy.  I loved the lake and the cabin.  I am a Scorpian, and that helped.

I confess, that WE did NOT have clams, (Nancy, are you reading this?  Cuz I know you DID.)  We had turkey or chicken and steak that my Dad grilled outside and that's what OUR fall extended family celebration day offered..  I am a midwestern girl, but I must say I while I have grown to love lobster, shrimp, and crab, I DETEST clams, and squid (what is that stuff?), and do not eat it to this day. 

Still this story got me, down to my toes.  I hope you will dream along with me and read it....I bet it might just "get" you, too.

Love you all,



by Stefanie Wass

      What a crisp, colorful autumn afternoon.
      Crimson tipped maples paint the rural landscape as we make our way to my aunt's shady lakeside cottage.  Overhead, a flock of geese fly in "V" formation, seemingly pointing us to the Western Pennsylvania border, past miles of roadside pumpkin stands and endless fields of late season sweet corn.
      Finally, my husband turns down the familiar gravel road.  I spot the lake, glistening in the warm October sun.
      "We're here!"  I rustle my girls from the back seat.  "Hurry and say hello to everyone."
      The small white cottage reminds me of a doll house -- the good cozy kind, where friends and family happily gather, spilling out into the yard when the quarters get a bit tight.  I smile as I walk past the well manicured lawn, bedecked for fall with orange and yellow mums peeking from cast iron buckets.
      As always, dried cornstalks climb the back porch rails.  I spy a row of perfectly orange pumpkins, gifts from my uncle's garden.  I wonder if my girls will remember to take one home at day's end.  For years, my uncle has sent home a pumpkin with each child, just in time for Halloween.
      Hopping out of the car, the girls crunch through the leaves, hoping to sample appetizers on the back porch table.  In an instant, their cheeks are stuffed with crab dip, Amish Swiss cheese, and trail bologna.
      Family seems to be everywhere.  Cousins, aunts, and uncles trickle out from the cottage, sharing hugs and gossip in the wooded yard.  Gathered in groups, my chatty Scotch Irish clan prepares for our autumn tradition -- an outdoor clambake, held annually on the first Sunday in October.
      Husks fly off golden ears of sweet corn as we all pitch in, removing silky threads from more than forty cobs.  Great aunts, unaware that they could be sitting down, scurry about setting tables, slicing juicy red tomatoes, and taking surreptitious sips of homemade
berry wine.  The men hover as they always do, around the fire pit.
      I chuckle at this primitive scene -- men tending the fire and women preparing the vegetables.  Why is this always the case?
      Salty steam wafts upward from the coals as the tempting smells of clams and chicken tease my taste buds.  What could be better than this? Somehow, I can't imagine being anywhere else on this idyllic
autumn afternoon.  Sitting around card tables in the yard, we manage to quiet down for a prayer of thanksgiving.
      Then, at long last, it is time to dig in.  Tearing open the mesh bag of steamers, I can hardly wait to swirl each clam in drawn butter.  What a gloriously gritty delicacy.  Heaven seems near as a lobster tail is placed upon my plate, followed by sweet potatoes and a cup of steaming clam broth.
      My daughters, content with an ear of sweet corn each, amazingly don't seem to care that much for seafood.
      "I can help you out there." my husband teases, reaching for their leftover lobster.  We laugh with my cousins as we swap family news and gorge on a final, overindulgent treat -- homemade cheesecake and APPLE pie.
      As the sun sets, we pour second cups of coffee, warm mugs that prolong our time together, if only for a few precious minutes.
      "Don't forget to take a pumpkin home with you," my aunt reminds us. "Did you get a candle off the mantel?"
      Our girls pick their future jack-o-lanterns as I select my party favor -- a homemade cranberry scented votive.  In the year ahead, the candle will take me back to this place, filling my house with the
light and warmth of family.
      "Thanks again for the clams, the pumpkin, the candle!"
      It is the following morning and I am struggling to email my aunt.  How can I show my appreciation for it all -- the glorious weather, the delectable food?
      Finding next year's calendar, I flip ahead to October, making sure to highlight the first Sunday in bright orange marker.  Perhaps the best sort of thank you involves simply being present for cherished traditions.
      Next year, and hopefully for many years to come, I will be there, feasting with family at the little cottage by the lake.

               -- Stefanie Wass    <swass at>

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Patient

I have to share this with you all, I was very moved by this story.  It brought back many thoughts and memories I have of caring for my Mom.

 Love, Merry

by Ellie Braun-Haley

      The transition from living in your own home and directing every aspect of your life to being confined to a wheelchair and being dependent on others for everything, is a traumatic change.
      Five months after mother's 91st birthday my mother fell and this one single incident changed mother's life.
      She was in hospital for months and then moved to a nursing facility.  We knew she would never go home again and then came the day when she too knew it.
      When I visited my mother I recognized she was putting up a brave front, yet I knew inwardly she was questioning her own value.
      She was completely helpless, confined to a bed unless someone moved her to a wheelchair.  The sinks were not even set up for wheelchairs so she had difficulty even brushing her own teeth.
Closets held her clothing up high, as if she had elastic arms.  Her legs would barely respond to lift or shift and her conversations indicated she felt as useless as those legs.
      Mother was wondering why she was still on this earth. Four infections had drained mother to the point where she no longer read or did crossword puzzles or played cards with herself.
      Wishing to stimulate her interest in something I asked her if I could read a short story to her.  She nodded her consent and laid her head back on the pillow.
       I told her the story of The Patient...
                  *              *              *
      The Patient was bedridden and only able to chat a bit and smile. All the nurses looked forward to going into The Patient's room because they were overworked, tired and in need of something -- perhaps the milk of human kindness.
      In The Patient's room they fed on the warmth of the smile they received.  Each person was uplifted by the good cheer, gentle words, and by the abundant and concerned thoughtfulness of this one senior Patient.
      There were some in the hospital who yelled and whined. There were some who cried and others who literally abused the staff with slapping, biting and harsh words, but not The Patient.
      No, when the staff entered the room of The Patient it was as if they knew they would find sanctuary!  All understood, in this room, with this one Patient, they would always be uplifted.
      Cleaning staff, nurses, even doctors fed on the endless supply of enevolence dished out by The Patient, and The Patient, in turn, seemed to understand how very valuable this kind of service was to everyone.  The Patient understood her calling, and realized she was needed!
                  *              *              *
      As I finished telling the story, a light seemed to go on within mother, and she exclaimed, "Goodness, the staff here all say they like coming into my room because I am so cheerful.  I never thought about the impact of it before."
      It was as if a heavy load had lifted from mother's shoulders and she looked more relaxed than she had in a long time. Mother's children have always known she blesses many lives with her loving disposition.  How wonderful for mother to now understand her actions make a big difference and her very presence is a gift to many.
      Now and then I have heard a saying "grow where you are planted." It dawned on me that mother was growing in a new way.
      God impressed upon me to tell mother the story of The Patient and I realized immediately this was indeed the answer to helping her understand her worth.

           -- Ellie Braun-Haley   <shaley at>
This story comes from

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Soldiers fighting for us!


This is very moving.  I didn't just cry, I sobbed.  So scroll down and click on the thingie and listen in!  I think we all need to think about this and remember just what our soldiers are doing so that we can enjoy the freedom that we do.  And if you don't think like me politically,  that's fine, but we have not had any terrorism since 9/11. And we all know who was president then and still is.

Those of you who know me well, know I purposely normally do NOT discuss (or argue) religion or politics with my friends or family.  I feel so strongly about this song and this issue, I am making an exception to that and I am taking a stand and expressing my true feelings on this.  You don't have to agree, but I still hope you will listen to this song!

Also, I personally feel that we should thank Rudy Guiliani (my spelling?) whether you want him to be in office again or you don't.  Those people got our country through some horrific times no matter what your political views are.
I  usually avoid sending anything like this on, but I am not going to do that.  This IS a good song! I think.

A good friend of mine sent this to me!  I have to send it on.  He said:
The words to the song you're about to hear were penned by a female soldier named Karen Reed, while on duty in Iraq. Every word is true and heartfelt. Truly a masterpiece! To those of you who don't like country music -- listen to it anyway. It won't kill you!


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Val's 2nd half of Getting to Know You Quiz

 Hi Everyone:
This is the 2nd half of Val's "Getting to Know You" Quiz.
Play if you like.  (The blue are my answers)  Leave me your URL or email me.
25. Ever been in a fight? verbal ones.  Maybe some
    small physical ones when younger,but I am calmer with age! LOL
26. Are you wearing nailpolish? no
27. What time is it? 9:25 AM
28. Innie or Outie? Innie
29. Ever used a Ouija board?
as a teenager (I think they
    are ridiculois.)

30. Sweet or sour?
mostly sour
31. Sun or Moon? moon
32. What shoes did you wear today?
  Beige Crocs while ironing in basement earlier.
33. Favorite eye color of the opposite sex?  dark brown or bright blue
36. Time of day you were born? 6:30 PM
37. Do you know your blood type? 0 negative
38. Do you know how to kill a zombie? I am clueless here.
39. Do you smoke?  NO
40. What would you spend 5,000 dollars on right now if
      you were handed it?
  Probably spend $2000 on a shopping spree & pay off a small credit card!  If any left, save it!
41. Who is your favorite musical artist?
good old Glenn Campbell
42. Which animal(s) remind you of yourself? Woof
43. What's your background on your pc?
My son Tim and I.
44. Did you grow up in the city or country? Think it's called a town for me as it was not even 1000 people.
45. Would you ever consider going on a reality tv show
      if offered a large sum of money?
Price Is Right or Millionaire, no talent show for this chic either.
47. What's one thing you're really good at cooking? Tacos
48. Kisses or hugs? Hugs!
49. You have 10 dollars to spend in the dollar store..what
     do you get?I don't like dollar stores, so I would probably buy wrapping paper and then get out of there quickly.
50. Slurpee flavor? Don't really guess I have one, sorry.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Val's quiz--My first 24 questions and answers

Val's First 24 Questions-Getting to know you/me... 
 1. Are you taller than your mom? I am about two inches taller than my Mom (& I am only 5' 2"!!) was.
 2. What color is your shower curtain? Glass shower door upstairs, downstairs bathroom has blue fishies all over the shower curtain, and the waist basket,  etc.  Cuz I love to swim, you know.
 3. What is the closest thing to you right now that is red? 
    A little computer keyboard dusty thingie!
 4. What is your ring tone? 
  It is some classical type music, LOUD, too! LOL
 5. Does anything hurt on your body right now?     
 mostly back and neck.
 6. What color is your favorite pillow? 
It is a oversized big head (king sized) but thick pillow, white.  Has a pink case on it right now. But you can't see it as I have my pillows with the shams in front of the pillows that get used. The shams match the quilt on the bed.
 7. What is your favorite video game? Me, do video games?  You've got to be kidding!
 8. Had a nap today?  I tried but it didn't work out, guess it wasn't meant to be!
 9. Gold or Silver?  That depends on my mood. I like both!
10. Is there an animal that creeps you out?
Yes!  Mice and then birds!
11. Who was the last person you rode an elevator with?
It's been so long I am not sure, but I think I was alone.
12. Did you go ice skating as a kid?  Yes, but I spent most of my time in the warming house as my feet always froze.  (I think I had Raynaud's syndrome even then but it wasn't ever diagnosed until I got into my 30's.
13. Ever have stitches? I have had stitches from cuts (I fell out of the car as a child) & from car accident or two.  And many, many (too many times) from all my surgeries.
14. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
You know me, Diet Caffeine Free Diet Coke!
15. How long ago did you hug someone?
When I was trying to take that nap, I hugged Teddy, our Bichon Frise dog.  Kaycee (my Maltese was sleeping on her blankey on the rug (acting aloof) lol
16. What's something you want to do before you die?
Get rid of some of my anxieties, or learn to cope with them better. (Be comfortable in my own skin.)
17. Have you ever caught something on fire? Yes, an oven mitt and I burn my hands all the time in the toaster oven.
18. Have you ever seen a ghost?  No, except for the movie Ghost, lol.
19. Have you ever seen northern lights? Yes
20. Do you know how to use chop sticks? No, but I wish I did!  (Maybe that's something else I should put under what I want to do before I die.)
21. Name something good that happened today.  I heard from a friend who's been ill that I've been worried about!
22. What room are you in? My dining room/computer room.
23. Are you worried about something you can't control?
     Who me worry?  Yes, I am the queen of worriers.

24. Do you take daily medications? Unfortunately I take several daily medications, like 5 or 6.
If anyone would like to play along, leave your URL and I'd love to read your answers, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Remembering Our Collies


For 21 years, we had collies.  These were the years our son Tim was growing up.  First we had Michael, "Mike."  Tim named him Mike..  (Tim is our only child.)  Mike was the perfect Collie.  He was just like Lassie.  He was a sable colored beautiful Collie.  He was also the best dog we have ever had in our 45 years of marriage.  He left the yard only once, and got into the neighbor's garbage, my husband Dave disciplined him, and honestly I can't remember him over disobeying in any way again!  We let him outside without tying him up, and we had no fence at that house.   He never left the yard or our driveway!  He never barked at things or people.  He just stayed in the house, and when he went outside, stayed in the yard!   Neighbors and friends all told us we'd never get another dog like Mike again, but we didn't believe them. We thought that's just how collies naturally came.  My husband, Dave, use to have an old Van that he'd take Mike on errands with him in.  He always left the van  sliding door open and told Mike to stay as he went into neighborhood stores. Mike ALWAYS did, too!  (This was not at big shopping centers or huge malls.)  Mike had to be put to sleep due to serious health problems at age 10.  Right before Christmas. That was the saddest Christmas we ever had.  Tim wrote a story about Mike, and my Dad read it outloud before we had our Christmas Eve celebration.  (Tim was about 13 or so then.)  There was not a dry eye in the house.  Oh, we missed him so much. 

About 2 months later both my husband Dave and I had been searching the want ads for another Collie, but we didn't tell each other. When we did talk about it, we said, "Oh, it's way too soon to get another dog."  I was working part time at the time, and Tim was in school and after school activities.  We didn't know if it would be fair to get a dog who would be left alone that much.  However, it was only a matter of time.  One night I came home from work, and I was honestly not too surprised to see another Collie pup.  I had said we were getting a girl this next time, and so I excitedly greeted the new puppy, saying, "her" and "she."  Well, it turned out "she" was another "he."  His name was Joshua Joe.  Dave and Tim found him advertised in the paper. The people that had him had a little one year old and the wife was again pregnant. They loved Josh, but said he was too active for them with their little children.  This Collie was not naturally docile, or "perfect."  He was a wild guy as a puppy!    But in time he settled down, and when he was out of his puppyhood, he became a wonderful dog as well.  (Though not as obedient as Mike had been, he was still a great dog and we loved him!)  He lived for 11 years.  We had to put him down due to a variety of things, arthritis in his hips and back legs, and etc.  It was horrible. We did not get another Collie.  We had gotten our first Bichon Frise, (my soulmate) Jessica Sue.  She had brought old Josh back to life for a while, but Collies just have a shorter life span than little dogs.  It was time for Josh to go.  Still, always, I remember the Collies and so does my husband Dave and our son Tim.  When I read this article.  I had to share it along with my story of two wonderful and beautiful dogs we loved and will always remember.  We know that they are at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for us.  Together, along with some of our Bichons who we lost in the years that followed, we will then go (hopefully) into Heaven. 

I hope you enjoy this story, I did.



by Angela Walker

      It all started when I was scrolling through an online classified site.
      I normally just conduct a search by typing COLLIE in the search bar.  On this day, I had the time and decided to scroll through all the ads when an ad titled DOG LEFT TO DIE, in a neighboring town,
caught me attention, so I click on it.
      The ad was posted by a concerned citizen who for days had
watched a Collie standing or laying on the side of the road waiting
for his owners, who had obviously dumped him, to come back for him. She stated he was mangy and very emaciated and that they should be ashamed of themselves for leaving such a devoted, loyal, forgiving dog to fend for himself.
      She hadtried several times to catch him but every time she got
close he took off.  I emailed the poster to find out the specifics.
      The very kind lady emailed me back to say that she had posted
the ad the day before and thought that he had not survived the
terrible storms the night before because she had not seen him.  She
had searched several times that morning and around noon.
      I emailed her back and told her most strays will come out of
hiding in the early morning or late evening hours when it is cooler.
At 8pm that night she replied to say she had seen him again on a
different street but he was obviously on the move now, looking for
      This was wonderful news.  Now we knew he was still alive.
      By 8:30 that night two other Houston Collie Rescue volunteers
and I had come up with a plan -- we would meet the next morning and scour the neighborhood.
      We met the next morning and decided to take one vehicle.  We
turned down the street where he was last seen.  I was looking on one
side of the street, and the two other volunteers, Barb and Virginia
were searching the other side.
      All the sudden, Virginia spotted him standing on an empty lot.
We all get out of the vehicle and formulated a plan to catch him.
      When we first got out of the car he took off running from us.
So, I went straight toward him while Virginia and Barb came at him
from the very far side of the empty lot.  I had canned dog food on
the plate and Barb said, "Call him Laddie."  (For some reason,
everyone names their Collies Laddie or Lassie.)
      I started calling him, telling him what a wonderful, pretty,
precious boy he was.  I sat down on the ground with the food at arm's length and kept calling him in my baby, happy voice.  When he got a foot away, he slinked down to the ground and crawled to the plate on his belly.
      I then gently touched the top of his head and with the other
hand slipped the leash over his head.  Once he finished eating he
pranced to the car.  I was almost in tears.
      Thiswas my first stray dog rescue and I know they won't always
be that easy.  He was tired of running and was so hungry I think he
was ready to be caught.  He gave us all Collie kisses before we
loaded him in the kennel for the ride to Virginia's, who will foster
      I believe it was God's will that we rescued this baby.  Why did
I scroll through the ads, instead of narrowing my search?  Why was it so easy to catch him with the kind citizen couldn't?
      He will have to complete heartworm treatment before he is
adopted, but we will see him through that.
      From this day on he will have the life that every dog should
have but unfortunately, far too many don't.

             -- Angela Walker    <karasaunt at>


Our Grandson, Jack's Christening!

I thought you might like to hear about our weekend. We went to be sponsors for Jack's baptism this last weekend. Our son Tim and his wife Patti, and grandson Jack (Jonathan David Kenyon) live in Cedar Rapid's IA.  Days we spent with Patti, Tim and also Patti's Mom a lot of that time.  We did stay at a motel as Tim & Patti's house is really SMALL.  Jack is now 4 months old.
It was a beatiful Christening. Patti got Jack a special Christening Onsie on EBAY.  It had his name embroidered on it, in gold. (It was white.)  He had a little Christening blanket with his name on it too, and the baptismal date on all this, also.  He had on little white socks,
and he was quite the little man.  He was good.  He cried just a little when the Pastor put the water on him.  He also cried a bit during the church service but not for long, and it was nothing major! 
The baptism was the very first part of the service!  Patti did the nicest thing, she got up toward the middle of the service at church, walked down to me, and handed me Jack, asking me if I wanted to hold him.  I was so touched by this, I almost cried. I am a sentimental sap anyway, you know.  Then we had communion and were up and down, etc.  And Jack wanted to be held upright, not like I had him when he was sleeping.  He really is too heavy for me to hold standing up for very long. Jack is 14 pounds they say.  I am not supposed to lift more than like 15 lb, but I am not use to holding him while standing!(because of my back, and my neck.)   He is is so long now, too!  April, Patti's Mom, could see I was trying, and not able to get him "upright",  & so she asked me if I wanted her to take him for a minute.  I didn't want to say yes, but I didn't want to drop Jack on the floor either, so I nodded my head yes.  I thought that was just so nice of her.  I hope Patti and Tim don't think I didn't want to hold Jack; I just couldn't do it that when we were doing the long standing stuff.  We all had our chances to hold him all weekend long. It was cloudy when we went into the church.  But by the time we came out the sun was shinning and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
We are honored to be Jack's sponsors!   We got Jack a Savings Bond. I also got him a  LITTLE pewter thing to hang from the mobile in his crib (it says, "On the Day that you were born, the angels danced.)"  And I truly believe they really did!
Patti had a reception at home after church. Lots of goodies and everything was just so nice!  Also, we got to meet some more of her family.
Patti's Mom, April, brought over her dog, Agnes,(her Maltese) for a while on Saturday (don't ask me why).  She looked exactly like our Maltese, Kaycee!  Could be her twin!  We fell in love with her. They both weigh about 8 lb. Agnes is only 3, and a bit more active than Kaycee. 
Patti and Tim are very involved in the church!  They go to a Bible Study as well as church.    This is like a dream to me.   I know Jack will be in Sunday School, and they will meet other young parents and that's great.
Also, I told Dave WE ARE going to get back into the habit of going to our church here regularly again. In the past, it meant so much to me. We have somehow become sporadic in our church attendance. Even so, people from church will come up to me and will say how much they  have missed us both.  This weekend "inspired" me to go more regularly.
Ps  Did I mention that Jack has two teeth?  Two right in the bottom front!  They are so cute! Well, I just might be predjucdiced but Jack is adorable and handsome.  He is a very good baby!
Pss Hey, you all know cameras aren't my thing. but I will try to get some pictures of this event on here soon!
PSSS  This time we were left our dogs with our groomer Jill.  (She dog sits, too). They have nice white blankets in their little kennels at night there!  She had sent me a 1/2 price gift certificate for grooming BOTH dogs! Wow!  That was cool!  No one around here does Teddy like she does.  She's good with Kaycee's cut too, but Kaycee is not hard to do cutting her short. She just has long hair on her tail and on her face and head.  Kaycee's STILL got her little pink bow in  three days later!  She usually won't stand for keeping bows and "stuff" in her hair! Ted has a a little bow tie sort of thing on his collar.   Ted has lost a couple more pounds.  Maybe we'll get him down to normal yet!  The dogs were happy to see Dave when he picked them up, but not wildly so like when they get left at the veterinary kennel.  Jill kept them both for the what she usually gets for dog sitting one- $40 a day I think.  But the vet clinic charges aoubt $30 for both, and they stink and are wild when they get out of there.  They weren't like that.  It was almost like one of my friends calls doggy "Camp". They get to get out and play and eat, etc. Whenever we go away and the dogs get left somewhere she always teases me and asks me how Ted and Kaycee liked "camp."  Well, Jill may not be quite like "Camp", LOL but she treats them very well and they got walked and attention several times a day!  Nice! (Pricey, but nice)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


 Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following...They MUST be real places, names, things...NOTHING made up!  If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question. Once you're done, forward on to friends and back to the person who sent it to you.

This is a lot harder than you think.

Now Go! Put your url in my comments section so that I can read yours!

State Your Name: Merry              

 1.  Famous singer/band: Marty Robbins

 2.  4 letter word: milk

 3.  Street name: Mulberry Lane

 4.  Color: Muave

 5.  Gifts/ presents: Money

 6.  Vehicle: Mercury

 7.  Items on a menu: Meatloaf

 8   Boy Name: Michael

 9.  Girl Name: Meredith

10.  Movie Title: Murder For Hire

11.  Drink: Manhattan

12.  Occupation: Medical Assistant

13.  Flower: Mum

14.  Celebrity: Marilyn Monroe

15.  Magazine: Money Magazine, (Modern Romance, LOL LOL)

16.  US City: Minneapolis

17.  Pro Sports: Mud Wrestling (I don't think this counts but I was desparate.)

18.  Reason for being late for work: MAD

19.  Something you throw away: (Dave has accused me of throwing money away.)  I don't.  I SPEND IT. (LOL) I do throw pennies away, I hate 'em.

20.  Animal: Moose


Monday, September 3, 2007


Hi Everybody!  Some jokes I wanted to share with you! Enjoy, hope you haven't seen them before. 

Hugs to All of You!



Hell's in bad shape 

There was a fence that divided Heaven from Hell. One day God notices that the devil's side is in pretty bad shape. It is falling down, badly in need of paint, weeds growing up around it, etc.

So, God hollers over the fence, “Hey Satan, why don't you fix up your side of the fence?”

Satan hollers back, “Why don't you mind your own business.”

So God says, “I'll hire a lawyer and sue you if you don't.”

The devil replies, "Yeah, right. Where are YOU going to find a lawyer?"

Jack's Last Will and Testament

Jack has died. His lawyer is standing before the family and reads out Jack's Last Will and Testament:

"To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house, 50 acres of land, and 1 million dollars. To my son Barry, I leave my Big Lexus and the Jaguar. To my daughter Suzy, I leave my yacht and $250,000. And to my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my treadmill."

Baste a turkey

A State Police colleague of mine once received a call from a woman who asked him how to baste a turkey. After a stunned moment, he, being a fairly good cook, described the procedure. Then he asked, "But why would you call the State Police to find out how to baste a turkey?"

There was only a slight hesitation before she replied, "Well, you knew, didn't you?" and hung up.

Too Late, He's Long Dead

The orthopaedic surgeon I work for was moving to a new office, and his staff was helping transport many of the items.

I sat the display skeleton in the front of my car, and had fastened the seatbelt around it to stop it falling over. I hadn't considered the drive across town.

At one traffic light, the stares of the people in the car beside me became obvious, and I looked across and explained, "I'm delivering him to my doctor's office."

The other driver leaned out of his window. "I hate to tell you, man," he said, "but I think it's too late!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our Parents

by Frank Cotter

The challenge taken from those who raised us
Nurtured hands that clapped to praise us

Supportive words that kept us steady
Help and guidance was always ready

Our steady gait they helped to fashion
Candied sweets they tried to ration

Protecting us from those who'd harm us
Strength and character enough to charm us

The rules and laws they tried to teach us
The times in vain they tried to reach us

Our youthful days they kept us spoiled
Their sacrifice through weekly toil

We eased into their working places
The burden erased from elder faces

Our youthful hands took plow and tiller
Doctor, lawyer and factory miller

We took the reins from tied drivers
Dedicated, lifetime strivers

Its now their time to rest and savor
To smell the air and taste each flavor

We owe our elders a taste of splendor
A life of hope thats warm and tender

           -- Frank P. Cotter   

<fcotter at>

I hope you all liked this one.  Merry


Monday, August 27, 2007

HI Everyone

Thought these would bring a smile to some of you!



 Words Of Wisdom

 1.     There are two sides to every divorce: Yours and Shithead's.

2.     The closest I ever got to a 4.0 in college was my blood alcohol content.
3.     I live in my own little world but it's OK, everyone knows me here.
4.     I saw a rather large woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it.  I said, "Thyroid problem?"
5.     I don't do drugs 'cause I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
6.     A sign In a Chinese Pet Store: "Buy one dog, get one flea."
7.     Money can't buy happiness but itsure makes misery easier to live with.
8.     I got a sweater for Christmas.  I really wanted a screamer or a moaner.
9.     If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the "terminal"?
10. I don't approve of political jokes.  I've seen too many of them get elected.
11. The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
12. If life deals you lemons, makelemonade; if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
13. I love being married.  It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
14. Shopping tip: You can get shoes for a buck at bowling alleys.
15. I am a nobody, nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect.
16. Everyday I beat my own previous record for number of consecutive days I've stayed alive.
17. That Claudia Schiffer must be a genius because I told a friend my plan to attain world peace, and he told me I have "Schiffer Brains."
18. No one ever says "It's only a game!" when their team is winning.
19. Ever notice that people who spend money on beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets, are always complaining about being broke and not feeling well?
20. How long a minute is, depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.
21. Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?
22. Marriage changes passion...suddenly you're in bed with a relative.
23. Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?
24. Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.
25. Every time I walk into a singles bar I can hear Mom's wise words:  "Don't pick that up, you don't know where it's been


Wednesday, August 1, 2007


How are you all?  I really missed you!  It seems so long since we have been in touch!  I hope all is well as can possibly be with you.  PLease keep me informed!!!!
We were unable to stay in my home town of Hinckley as Matina McBride was performing at the gambling casino auditorium, so ever motel within a hundred miles was booked up. We did stop in Hinckley, so I could go by my Dad's business, my grandparents house, my old school, and all of that.  Oh, also the cemetery.  But it wasn't the same. We didn't get to eat at World famous Tobies Restaurant, and that was disappointing.  I had this feeling then, this trip was not off to a good start.
We stayed in Duluth (another 100 miles away). Duluth is up really north. We went to the mall in Duluth which is lovely.  So much bigger than our little Mason City mall!  I got tons of stuff.  It was cold that day, so I bought warm things. Well, of course, the rest of the week it was in the 90's so I couldn't wear it, but I will wear it in the fall.  Everything summer wise was on clearance, but it was pretty picked over, so I didn't see much I wanted to buy (that I could afford) LOL.  It was fun to look, though.  I bought 4 hard cover books and somehow Dave lost my sack of books  in that mall.  He was carrying all my heavy stuff.  Dave never loses anything, but this killed me!  I planned on reading all week. It's about 70,000 population (that's a guess). Too big for me, but it's beautiful.  It borders on Lake Superior and there are lots of sites to see. We didn't go to see them as we have spent time at the North shore before, but Duluth is growing and considered one of the top places to live in the USA. It's a growing town and gorgeous!   It's a little big for us small town critters, but would be great for a family!  Many things to do and see.  We got a nail in the tire of Dave's brand new car there.  Right before 5 PM.  We just made it to a "Tires Are Us" before it closed! We stayed at a Day's Inn (budget motel, you know?) in Duluth and it cost $185!  Unbelievable!
The next day we got to Rutgers resort near Barnard.  It is a fantastic lodge and has cabins, condos, and rooms, and lodge dwellings.  The food was 5 star for sure. We had to dress moderately for dinner (no shorts, etc). It was pretty fancy.  Our breakfasts and dinners were included in our room rate. We didn't have lunch (didn't need it!) The meals were very fancy!  That was the best part of being there!  We had waiters from Russia, Sweden (exchange college students) and all over I can't remember where.  Plus lots of local kids from miles around.  Never had we had service like we did there. It was very classy. It has been there (the lodge for over 100 years!)  There were lots of old pictures and it was fun to wonder the halls and look at all of them!
Our cabin was a disappointment to put it mildly.  The room the king bed was in did NOT have air conditioning in or a TV.  I have to have both of those things.  I thought I had checked it out but they didn't have those things. It did have 2 bathrooms, but they weren't what I'd call fancy.  Adequate is more like it.  The lighting wasn't makeup friendly either. But then, I AM very fussy, I admit it. For what it cost to stay there, I really felt we deserved ALL those frills AND MORE!  In the living room, there was one rocking chair and 2 day beds (really twin beds with padded backs on them.)  You couldn't sit down and have your back supported at ALL, it killed my back.  I slept in that room as the TV was there and I fall asleep watching TV, but also because the room the king bed was in the air conditioning didn't begin to get to and it was super hot back there.  Dave slept back there. The "daybeds" (in the living room) I slept in weren't good for sleeping either.  I had one long week trying to get 3 or 4 hr. of sleep.  I watched a lot of cable TV and read.  But it was not worth the money.  I couldn't get comfortable in that place lying down or sitting.  I was GLAD when the week was over. I know I shouldn't say this, but that's the truth. Dave enjoyed his golfing but we had no beach (although our cabin was on the lake), no dock, and no boat with our cabin or even available to rent.  You could go for a pontoon ride for a hefty fee, or rent a speed boat (very costly) but we didn'twant anything FAST, we wanted slow and relaxing things.  One day we did ride the bicycle boat things. That was fun.  The pillows were thinly filled down.  HORRIBLE. We were more than ready to leave on Saturday, but will always remember and cherish the meals, the evenings we spent dining there especially. Very exotic dishes but they also had buffet every breakfast and dinner as well.
Dave played golf and enjoyed it.  I went on the beach, but little kids throw sand on the beach and run and scream and well, kids today don't act like kids use to act.  So I moved to the outdoor pool.  That was fine for sunning, but not swimming. Kids and families were in there.  Not many people or children know how to swim properly.  It amazed me!  I could swim by the time I was 2 or 3.   I got tired of sitting alone hearing kids scream and fight and I then went to the indoor pool, which was pretty good choice.  It was decent sized and most people want to be outside so often I would have that pool to myself.  I enjoyed that a lot!  I enjoyed the hot tub a lot, too!  Dave tuned 64 on July 23, when we were at Rutgers. He had already bought his present a little unique pricey guitar that is much quieter than regular ones. He got it to take on his overnight business trips to play in motel rooms and not disturb anyone. This makes his 5th guitar, I think.  I just got him a card, but I sure felt bad about not buying a present, too.  It just didn't seem "right."  You know?  He had told me under no circumstances to buy a gift as he had spent plenty on this gift so I didn't, but it wasn't much fun to just buy him a card.  Secretly, I think he missed not having a present to open, but he'll never admit it! LOL  I did have balloons around his dinner chair that night and the staff sang to him and he got a little birthday cake.  I was trying to make it special and  think I did, but I also think I embarrassed him a little.  He's a shy guy in many ways!
From there we went to Fargo to see my Aunt Clara. She is 88.  She has changed. She is still (thank God) remarkably healthy and super active, especially for a woman that age. But we noticed a big change in her personality.  She argued (tried to) politics with me. She didn't have to do this with Dave as they were for the same people mostly. She was down right RUDE to me.  She called me STUPID for sticking up for some liberal causes, even though basically, I too, am a Republican, I am not that conservative.  I also believe that we have freedom of choice and the main thing is for people to care, to vote no matter which way they vote. She just jumped on me (Mentally) over that.  She jumped on my telling her I washed and ironed and cleaned a lot.  She jumped on me for just about everything I do.  She jumped on my for having my book collection (library of my own). She rudely said I was wasteful. I am proud of all my books. They are my babies.  It's not like I over buy that many things.  She said my computer time was a waste of my life.  I tried to tell her I have good friends here, but she wasn't buying that. She said I was completely just wasting my time.  She NEVER use to be like this!
This was very hard on me. I have always been her favorite niece but everything that came out of my mouth was WRONG and she told me "You need to get a LIFE."  I tried to explain about my back and neck and my chronic pain problems (I shouldn't have had to as she should know & anyway, in pictures my bent neck shows easily.)  I don't know if she didn't believe me, or just didn't understand.   I can't be as active as I was 15 years ago.  She doesn't realize how unusual it is for someone 88 to be in the shape she is in!!!  She has had 2 knees replaced and has hearing aides, but other than that is in good health and takes no medications!  I can't be as active as I use to be!  Or even walk like I use to, and she made me feel quite worthless especially after I didn't agree with her views on different things.  She has never had any other kind of surgery other than her knees and cataracts!
She cooked delicious meals for us!!  I know she was trying.  I truly did appreciate all the effort she put in to making our stay comfortable!  I always offered to help, but she wouldn't let me, not even with the clean up.  I wasn't too upset over that as I am fussy about my kitchen myself.  She sent home another HUGE package of outfits for Jonathan, toys, too.  Isn't that special?  She already sent Patti and Tim a box of stuff for him and a blanket she crocheted.  Then she sent a sack of toys for him!  I am afraid he might already be too big for the 3 mo. size, but what could I say, she didn't have receipts. We are going to give this to Tim and Patti.  I don't think she realizes we may live in the same state, but I don't get to see Jack except about once a month if that.  Dave gets to every other week as he travels there on business for his job. 
I don't think she realizes how much she hurt me. There were times, I just broke down and stopped talking because I could see she was only going to "disagree" with me.  I fought tears the whole time we were there.  Last year all was wonderful and I was lovable; this year I am a lost cause I guess.  I KNOW it's not ME.  I KNOW it's her age. But I have NO IDEA of how picking on me made her feel good. She ran me down verbally as much as she could. Dave even saw this, but didn't want to create a scene with my elderly Aunt.  She IS a good person, and she has worked for good causes all of her life. She is a giving and a generous person.  But as far as she and I are concerned, I am a lost cause today.  She would do this even MORE if Dave went outside.  I was raised to respect my elders, so I mostly didn't say anything.  Dave could see she was very set in her ways, but he didn't see or hear the worst of her verbal attacks on me.  She was NOT rude or argumentative with him.  We went to the Fargo (North Dakota) mall on Sunday.  I got a NEW PILLOW.  LOL  I got such a huge hard pillow, I can't sleep on it.  I will use it to watch TV with, or to put against my back.  I wanted to make sure it was FIRM after those flimsy ones at the lake, and it's TOO FIRM. LOL  Geez, I couldn't win! So, I am going to go buy a MEMORY PILLOW!   I bought some king sized sheets and other things on sale in Fargo. Their mall is so much bigger than ours that the selection  was much better than what we have here.  I almost bought a new king quilt and shams, because they were BEAUTIFUL and on sale; but what I have isn't really worn out yet and besides, by now we had NO extra room in our car!! Sunday night we went out to dinner at Red Lobster. We don't have one here anymore (it closed) so that was fun. It also got us out of Clara's apartment.  We lost Dave in the Mall.  Funny, but sad.  She got MAD then (at him) (but it didn't last!).  I thought it was funny.  She was getting upset, and saying how would we get home (Dave had driven, etc).  I had my cell phone & knew we could call a taxi if mall security didn't produce Dave.  But then Dave found us in the bookstore in the Mall.  Dave had promised to buy me all the books he had lost in the Duluth Mall, so he did, but he wasn't thrilled about that.  He got over it quickly though!
Oh, also, she only watches Fox News or Twin's baseball games or in the winter; Viking football games.  She watches NO other shows on TV. She told me I could change the channel but when I would do it, she'd grab the remote and tell me "Oh, Merry we don't want to watch that!" And she'd switch it back to sports or news ALL DAY & ALL NIGHT LONG. 
When we left she told me not to send her a gift. Last year I sent her an angel candle and also a little angel candle holder with a lid that said, TO MY FAVORITE AUNT.  I looked all over to find JUST the right present.  She told me this time she needs nothing and doesn't want a gift.  I was hurt only because she kept at it.  I guess I will just send her a nice thank you card and a note.  She thanked us 20 times I bet, for coming so I know it meant something, that we stopped and stayed there. At least that Dave did.  But I am not on her favorite list anymore even though she is MY aunt.
We both missed our dogs.  Oh, did we miss our dogs!  They were thrilled to get out of the kennel. Dave took Kaycee's kennel & her out first and the assistant was holding Ted on his leash, but she couldn't keep him under control. A 24 pound dog, but he is strong as steel.  He was NOT taking chances on getting left behind at that kennel!! He pulled the assistant out the door to go with Kaycee and Dave!! That was funny.   Poor Dave got a sore throat and swollen glands on vacation.  He sure didn't show it.  He slowed down a little but he didn't complain at all.  He is an unusual, special person.  I would have been complaining at least a bit.  He went to the doctor Tuesday.  The doctor gave him an RX but said don't fill it for a couple days as you may not need it, this was a virus and I guess Dave has it pretty much beaten us his own.  I never seem to have resistance to beat them!
Monday we went to Iowa Falls (because we have no one decent to go to here) for my shrink apt. in Iowa Falls. It is only one hour away.  He is "filling in" there. He has been filling in for 2 yr. He came for 2 weeks and is still there.  I got my psych meds. I get my pain meds and my blood pressure med. from my family doctor. We still have no new shrink in Mason City.  My next apt in Iowa Falls is OCT. 23.  I pray Dr. Weldon stays in Iowa Falls that long.  He hopes to go home sometime in October...he is from Panama.  He is such a kind man.  He actually talks to me for about 1/2 hr.  Here the lousy shrink talked 3-5 minutes tops!
Okay, I have gone on so long.  I did not know how to tell you all about this in any concise way.  I am sorry if I bored you, or if I sounded like I feel sorry for myself.  I DON'T!!  It just wasn't the best vacation we ever took by FAR!
Write me guys, any and all of you have a chance.
Love Always,

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Final try & a Sucess--Last thought on July 4

I have tried all night to get a couple graphics on this page & finally I think I made it.  Say hooray everyone!  Yay, for Merry!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Words Women Use

Hi Everyone,

A friend sent me this.  I really think it's funny!  (It's a guy friend.)  Anyway, I hope no one is offended by it at all.  I just wanted to share something I thought was funny.




Words Women Use here it is again jen - for your memories

1.) FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right, and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour.  Don't be mad about this, it is just the same 5 minutes you use when it's your turn to help do things around the house.

3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine (see #1).

4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh: This is not actually a word but a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. "That's okay" means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you. Do not question or faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying "%@&* YOU!"

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times; but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "what's wrong" - for the woman's response refer to #3.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Swim Merry Swim

The Place I was always happy & comfortable at was the water.  Let's see if captured this properly.  LOL