Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Man That We Call Dave

Last night at Dave's retirement dinner, the following poem was read (written by a co-worker) and presented to Dave. I think it speaks volumes and tells a lot about the man I live with. As well as how much his coworkers and bosses think of him.
Actually, I don't know a person Dave ever met that doesn't like him.
Not many of us leave that impression as we go through life. But once in a while a guy like this comes around and I grabbed him up early on while the grabbing was good div>

A Man We That We Call Dave
There is a man that we call Dave that always has a friendly wave.
Probably even as a kid, a friendly wave he always did.
Baseball was his choice for sport, to this he was a talented sort.
But when he grew to be a man, Dave had another master plan.
Standard Bearings called and on he went to take up arms for our intent.
He learned from the best that is true, but devolped a style only he could do.
Selling parts to customers all over the land, he's seen it & done it, in borders on grand. Four score & Seven, that's 47 years, enough to bring mere mortals to tears.
But Dave's no mere mortal, that's blatently true, since Dave's done things no mere mortal could do.
Like put up with me & a host of others, for all those years acting like mothers.
He's sold to the worst & He's sold to the best & I'll betcha at some time he's sold to the rest.
V-belts & sheaves, gearboxes galore, his famous notepads they all adore.
The smile on his face, the twinkle in his eye, his customers do hate to say Goodbye.
But all good things must eventually end, cause this man's got things to do instead.
Like grandkids & traveling, Hawkeyes & such, very few men are blessed with so much.
So, with this in mind the time has come we must say farewell, to a man we've comed to love so swell.
We'll miss the the things that make you, you...but realize you've found better things to do.
So, go now with pride that you accomplished so much, as we all will remember your special touch.
That you ave to our world we'll take to our grave, great memories of a man that we call Dave.
by John Munson January 24, 2009

The Joy's Of Being A Dog Mom

Joys of being a dog mom DOG MOM Before I was a Dog Mom: I made and ate hot meals unmolested. I had unstained, unfurred clothes. I had quiet conversations on the phone. even if the doorbell rang. Before I was a Dog Mom: I slept as late as I wanted And never worried about how late I got to bed or if I could get into my bed. Before I was a Dog Mom: I cleaned my house every day. I never tripped over toys, stuffies, chewies or invited the neighbor's dog over to play. Before I was a Dog Mom: I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers, plastic bags, toilet paper, soap or deodorant were poisonous or dangerous. Before I was a Dog Mom: I had never been Drooled on, Chewed on, Or pinched by puppy teeth. Before I was a Dog Mom: I had complete control of My thoughts My body and mind. I slept all night without sharing the covers or pillow. Before I was a Dog Mom: I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop a hurt. I never knew something so furry and four-legged could affect my heart so deeply. Before I was a Dog Mom: I had never held a sleeping puppy just because I couldn't put it down. I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was well. I didn't know how warm it feels inside to feed a hungry puppy. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important. Before I was a Dog Mom: I had never known the warmth the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being A Dog Mom.

Sent to me from a very dear friend whom I met through the Bichon Frise Dog List (Club). We've been friends for a good many years now. We had 4 Bichons throughout past years, losing our last one Nov. of 2007. Thank Goodness we do stll have Kaycee, our wonder Maltese! But Bichon are indeed an extra special breed and I almost think you have to have had one to know what I mean.

This could be true for cats, too, I just don't know because we haven't had a cat for 35 or more years.

Big hugs!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jan 23rd (New Post)

I am wearing a bright red (Dressy) suit to Dave's retirement dinner Saturday night. The jacket and their sleeves have scalloped edges. Also the bottom of the skirt has that, too. The challenge will be can I wear my red heels (you know my feet are in BAD shape) long enough to walk in the place and sit down (I can take them off under the table). I think I may be overdressed but Dave said if I wanted to wear that, go for it. I was going to wear a light blue pantsuit that has a sweater and a Jacket, but it's washed me out. I look pretty good in red. And I love red! My day to day winter purse is red, my favorite coat is red (although I have a black one, a green one, a leather one, plus a couple jackets.) (My favorite jacket is pink. I have lots of pink Clothes, too.

I got up at 4:30 AM so I could have time to change the sheets and also clean the bathrooms plus drink coffee and get myself ready to go to the travel agnecy by 9 AM. It's no big deal as I get up a lot by 5:30. Maybe with Dave home, I will sleep later, but I doubt it. I DO take an afternoon nappy when I am home though. I am not especially proud of it, but my back and neck really hurt by early afternoon and I take my meds and a nap after lunch.

Spme people have said that the Kennedy men didn't have real great scruples. I don't actually know but I do not think their Dad Joe, did . Why all those women put up with that, I can't figure. Well, Joan Kennedy didn't. I bet Michelle Obama wouldn't put up with that kind of nonsense! I'd like to say Cindy McCain wouldn't, but I did hear than John had an eye for the young women (well, even younger than Cindy and she is younger than his first wife). I think Jill Biden is nice looking woman too. I heard she had a Ph.D. but I do not know what in. She is a 2nd wife, his first wife died in a horrible traffic accident hit by a drunk driver when their children were growing up. Dave doesn't like any Democrat much, but he does respect Joe Biden. Joe Biden always rode the train from Delaware into Washington, DC so that he could go home and be with his children. I don't know how long he's been married to Jill, but she looks a LOT younger than him. I don't agree with most of Joe Biden's politics, but I do respect the man.

I always wear makeup do. I do that even when I am not going to leave the house. Wear earrings, too. Wash, dry, use hot air brush on hair daily. Then I use either a curling iron, or just a hot brush on my hair, depending on how long it's been since my last perm. If I am REALLY sick, I will skip my hair for one day. It's part of me getting my day in order. My way of "controlling my world." That and showering every AM and taking a bubble bath every night. I use lots of lotion (no fancy big brand names though because I go through a ton of them since I shower or bathe 2 x a day. Then at night the getting ready for bed ritual is like I told you mine is. I have become a "dream customer" for the cosmetic companies that have counters in our Younkers, which is our "fanciest" "most upscale" store in our mall. Not that that makes it REALLY "FANCY." I don't have any famous celebrity type make-up. I get Cliique's 3 step, (cleansing wash, toner, & light conditioning lotion). I use Estee (sp?) Lauder Makeup and Mascara, Revlon cream Blush (though), and Lancome Lipstick. I use a little of every counter's fragrances. I especially like Precious by either Elizabeth Arden or Estee Lauder & "Happy" or Happy floral by Clinique. I also tried "PREVAGE" (by Estee Lauder or maybe it's Elizabeth Arden.) It was supposed to take every wrinkle away. Well, guess what, it didn't. So, I didn't buy it again. It was really expensive. Jane and I talk and like she said, none or all of that stuff is going to take our wrinkles away, (they use 20 year old models) but we can still make the best of ourselves. I do this even in the hospital once I am able to brush my teeth!) I use Lancome uplifting cream, and then Clinique (because it's cheaper and just as good to me as any of the more expensive ones) day moisturizer and their night one. Oh, eye cream, eye cream always, too. I was using a mascara remover. Remember when every once in a while I would tell you I had horrible eye pain? Once my doctor even sent me to my Opthamologist. Well, guess what? It was that mascara remover. Sooooo, I do NOT use that anymore! I bet I spend at least $150 a month on my face. (I do not say this to brag, I really believe I need it and I believe my skin is like it is because I do all these steps to keep it the best it can be. (Nothing will make it "YOUNG.") (Other than plastic surgery, which I don't have the $$ for and anyway, I don't know about going through that pain.) This isn't hard to do when I had Dave depositing every 2 wk. into my household and personal expense checking account. However with retirement it may become a BIG challenge!

Today we went to the Travel Agency AAA, and got our Intinery for our trip. Then we went and applied for our passports at the post office. I hope I don't have a problem with that spelling of my first name. I have a letter (from our lawyer notarized that says Mary Kenyon is the same person as Merry Kenyon). When we updated on Wills last year, we planned and asked our attorney to get my name legally changed but she said we didn't need to. My School diplomas, my Social Security, my Driver's license says Merry, too. The guy at the Post office said, Just tell anyone if they question it that you prefer to spell it the way you do. Then he said, the ONLY time you MIGHT run into trouble is if you'd get into a situation where there was terrorist activity!! I thought, "Oh boy," I should have had it changed long ago. Well, I don't have time now! Then we decided we must take a trip to Vancouver in the future since we will have passports 10 yr. And maybe go to Jamaica again. We really liked it there. Other than that, we plan to stay in the USA. We went out to lunch.

Dave was going to take a test to do Census part time, but they canceled the test because our weather got bad AGAIN. Blowing snow and frigidly cold. So, it's set for next week. This is a part time temporary job.

I do hope that the bad weather doesn't keep anyone from the other Standard Bearing Stores from coming for Dave's party! I am a little nervous. And gee, I hope I don't bawl.

I've yapped too long and I yapped way too much about stupid stuff like cosmetics. They are what are I wear, but they are not what I am or what matters most to me that I think define me and make me the person I am. (Rather they are just my weakness, like some people have their nails done, or massages, I don't do those things, I do what I already said.) That and the every other month body perm I get.


Good night my friends!


Thursday, 1/22- Dave's last Work Day

I was mistaken about the Inaugural swearing in. I thought just the judge goofed up, but guess they both did as they had a relatively (anyway) "do-over" yesterday. That seems silly but I suppose they had to fix it or someone would have raised trouble later on.

Michelle Obama IS tall, isn't she,? Michelle is like 5'9" or at least 5' 8" and you can tell she works out; she is not skinny but her body is well toned. Being an X exercise addict, I notice things like that, but if I hadn't the media informed us many times these past few days, LOL but really gorgeous most of the time. I wouldn't say she is "gorgeous" (as in Jackie Kennedy or Nancy Reagan, which is more of a "class" thing than a "beauty" thing). You can't buy or get class. It's got to be breed in you. My Mom dislikedJackie Kennedy, but I thought she was beautiful even if I didn't agree with their political party. Same with Jack Kennedy. Jack, to me was the best looking, Teddy never was and Bobby wasn't as handsome as Jack. Jack had charisma, Well, we had "Camelot" then!! Teddy Kennedy had a mild seizure at a luncheon afterwards, poor guy. He's really trying to "hang in there." I feel sorry for him. He got left alone to carry on as the family leader, quite a job with all of Bobby's kids and Jack's 2 as well. He's a die hard liberal and so I sure do not agree with his politics, but I respect that he takes his Senate seat so seriously and no matter if people like it or not, he is a Patriotic Senior Member of Congress.

I loved Michelle's evening gown! Loved it! I thought it was different and elegant. But everupme hase a right to have your opinion about that. President Obama has hit the groud running. He wasn't my pick, but the majority rules and they picked him. And we need to give him a chance to pull our country together.

I just sat back and enjoyed what I watched of the celebrations (about an hour or more). But I thought if I had not rooted for Obama it would have sickened me. He won because of his stand on things, and not because of his color. The commentaries were a LOT too much. At least for me! But I expected they would be.

I think the trouble with Mrs. Jimmy Carter is that she thought SHE was Jimmy Carter.Gee, I never thought that. I thought Roselyn was this little quiet sort of mousy woman. But I guess that's NOT true. What did Bill Clinton ever do to her? Not that I am a Bill Clinton fan. Of course Nancy Reagan WAS Ronald Reagan for much of the time because of the onset of Alzheimer's, but she could be bitchy too. I choose to believe that Ronnie's Alzheimer's didn't set in until the very end, even after his terms. My Mom use to say differently. But my Mom could be catlike in her comments on politics, much different from my Dad. My Dad was one to see the good in officials I think Hillary Clinton was feeling pressure to act "happy." I mean, she had to feel bad about it not being her being sworn in It's been said that Jackie Kennedy took Benadryl to get through a busy Inagural Day. I have no idea if this is true or not. Frankly, I have my doubts. President Kennedy did have serious back pain and took pain pills periodically for that!

It is too bad about Teddy Kennedy and I know he has worked hard and perhaps redeemed himself, but after Chappaquidick (sp?) I will never really like him. Caroline has withdrawn from the Senate race? This AM I thought that that Caroline had decided she didn't want to be in the "limelight." But heard tonight on ET that she had some issues she didn't want made public knowledge, about some things, one was about what her housekeeper. I really didn't feel she had the experience to get that Senate seat, anyway. Didn't seem right to me that she get it because she was a Kennedy.

If you watched the celebrations, you might have seen after the luncheon where people were standing around. Al Gore was there with Tipper Gore, and she was CHEWING GUM! I do not chew gum UNLESS I am exercising. or flying. I always chewed gum when I ran. My Mom use to say that it wasn't good manners and that it showed lack of good breeding and class to chew gum. Dave chews gum and I hate it. He chews it as nice as you can, but I don't think "gum chewing" looks "proper."

In my opinion, Cindy McCain is very sharp looking! And I also think Jill Biden is a classy looking woman. Good-looking woman though. One thing that struck me however, was that when you see all those famous people standing around, which you don't see very often, you realize that they are "just folks." It could be a luncheon of the local service club

I have a real regime morning and night. The teeth thing, of course. Then I wash my face with this Lancome foam stuff (like a soap but easier and specially made for your face). (My friend Jane got me into Lancome products). Then I use a Lancome Toner or if I am out of that, I use my Clinique toner. Then I use the yellow (first of 3 step Clinique regime). Follow that I use Night time moisturizer.(Usually, Clinique Intensive Care For Dry skin) And sometimes a little (0 Gravity (Clinique) to "lift" up my face - ha, as if that's gonna really happen! Dave says if he had to go through all of that before he went to bed, he'd be wide awake. I do the same regime in the AM except use daytime stuff and I also wear light sheer makeup & mascara & blush). But the biggest time thing for me, is my hair. It's impossible. I spend 2 hours on it if I wash it. No lie and it's not like I have this beautiful head of hair or anything! More the opposite. I am trying to make it look like I have thicker hair than I do. And I tend to spray it too much, so I have to wash it every day usually.

This afternoon I went to the Drugstore. I had to get my BP med and also my anti-inflammatory one. The old insurance decided I don't need that. We don't get why, the doctor doesn't get why, the pharmacy doesn't get why. When I get swtiched to my supplemental, hopefully it will pay for my Celebrex. But I got told today I had a "lifetime limit and I could (in my whole life) only have 7 more pills. LOL And this is the best part. I got told those 7 pills would still cost me my full copay. It's at the top tier of our copay and one of those drugs that cost us $40. So, I said thanks but no thanks and had them call my doctor to RX me Relafan. Relafen can give me heartburn and other problems, but still it's not going to be that bad! Before THIS month is over I damn well better get my Medicare Blue (it's a Blue Cross plan) CARD! Everything from MY Social Security to MY insurance has been screwed up since Dave put in to retire. Standard Bearings extended my coverage for January. Which was very nice of them. Dave was originally going to retire in Nov. Well, then he learned he wouldn't get SS check until Feb. So, he asked to work for one more month. Well, there is only one more week left in this month and so far I have NOT gotten my new insurance card. I have not gotten my SS straightened out. It's a different story every time I try to get it straightened out. Very Stressful! It's bad enough Dave's 401K from work took a huge Dive, when the stock market dropped. But, we aren't the only ones that happened to. Hopefully, this will all work out in time.

I also went to mall. I had gift certificates to spend. Stuff was pretty picked over now though. I waited too long. I got the face stuff I needed and got a couple pair of PJ's and a long sleeve Tshirt I may or may not keep, and a couple bras, etc. I spent what Tim and Patti's gift cert. was. Then I bought each of the boys an outfit and Jack a toy, too. I still have half of what Dave gave me left to spend at Younkers and I that won't be hard to do. I just got a late start today. Besides, I don't like winter clothes like I do summer ones.

Dave had a bittersweet day. I told him he'd feel bad, but he didn't believe me. When I got home from the mall, he was standing in the kitchen looking at the mail in an oh so serious way. I asked him if he was okay and he showed me all the gifts he had gotten and Emails from other stores. And I looked at him, and I could tell he'd been crying. He just almost never does this. So, I gave him a big hug and he cried a little more. He said he expected to only feel relief, but it was hard saying good-bye to the people he has worked with for so many years. (I knew it would be, but he didn't believe me.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Houston Wants Me

This morning I was telling one of my best friends about this story. I got to laughing hard about this and decided to put it in my blog. So, if anyone is really reading my blog, please leave a comment for me on this! This really happened to me about 35 + years ago. But it's as vivid in my mind as if it would be if it was yesterday.

I should write a country western song about this.

I didn't get put in jail! But almost. Once in Houston Texas. I was working for a Marketing Research Company delivering baby things for a big company. We each had a rental care and a map. Like me driving in Houston was a very scary thing. I got in a fender bender is all. I wasn't doing anything wrong and I hadn't been drinking. But the motorcycle cop said because I was an out of state driver I had to post bale. So, off to the jail we went. It was kind of funny. I was upset I hit this parked car. But no one was hurt. Anyway, I asked the cop if he could give me a ride to the police station as I was very nervous and did NOT want to drive! He said, "Lady, didn't you notice, I am on a motorcycle!!" LOL Nope, I didn't think. I'll never forget that courthouse in Houston. And it was hotter than hell that day. I got finger printed and a mug shot taken then paid a fine and was released. I went back to the hotel and I told my supervisors for that gig I wasn't driving anymore no way no how in Houston. By the next day I got an ear ache. I went to a Dr. He said, "Go home!" So, I flew home alone without my coworkers. I was sick at heart and sick physically, too. Dave had a sad case on his hands. I hope this story is amusing to you as it sure has been funny to me after the fact.

Merry the outlaw

Sunday, January 18, 2009

OK To Be Me

'OK to Be Me'
Sometimes people we want to help actually end up helping us even more.
BY: Bob Perks

I'll put this with the "grass is always greener" thinking. Why is it that we are often so unhappy with where we are and spend so much time wishing we were somewhere else?Then there are the "if only's"--"If only I were born in a different time." "If only I were taller...shorter...younger...older." "If only I had married that first person, or waited to get married later."Well, you were born when you were born, you are as tall, short, fat, thin, young, old, and married to whomever you are married to. What are you going to do about it?This lesson was brought home to me on a recent Monday. I saw the man sitting there at the corner waiting to cross the street. Actually I had seen him a few times before. I drive through this intersection nearly everyday. Every time I see him I think, "I should pull over and help him." But I didn't. That is, until this particular day.What made me think he even needed my help? He looked frail to me. I have seen him cross after passing him by; he moved slowly, and he was in a wheelchair. I had been disappointed in myself lately because I usually listen to that inner voice the first time without hesitation.It wasn't until today that I realized I was supposed to wait. I needed this guy more than he needed me.There is conflict in my life right now. A battle is going on, not only in my mind, but in my heart. I have tried to understand, make excuses, forgive someone, but I am failing. Because people are so important to me, when I can't resolve a relationship, I see it as my own fault. My thinking goes, "Maybe you aren't doing your job. Maybe you aren't trying hard enough." I question "me."Anyway, there he was again. Waiting at the corner. This time the voice said strongly, "Help him!"I pulled off the road, got out of my car, and rushed to his side. "My friend, can I help you get across?"He was slightly slumped forward. His hands were covered by gloves, the fingertips cut off revealing his rough, calloused skin and unusually long nails.He turned towards me and said, "Now you made me miss the light!" Sure enough, the light had changed and the traffic started moving."I'm sorry!" I said, and then went on to explain that I had seen him there before and wanted to stop to help him."Not necessary," he said. "I do quite well on my own."Okay, now I felt awkward and rejected in addition to my already confused self-image."Oh, fine. I just...""Come on, it's my turn. I'll help you," he said, interrupting me.I stood there embarrassed, not knowing what to do."Come on, if you're coming!" he shouted, and before I realized it, he was halfway across the street. I rushed to catch up, and grabbing the wheelchair handles, I heard him say, "No, don't push."We walked the rest of the way, and when he came to a stop, he turned and said, "Don't feel sorry for me.""Well, it's not that I was feeling sorry for you...""Yes, you were," he replied. "Or maybe you were feeling sorry for yourself?"That hit me.He motioned with his hand to come closer. I bent towards him, and he placed his hand on my shoulder. "This happened to me when I was in my 50's," he said. "It hit me hard. I hated self-pity, but I hated anyone's pity even more. One day, after questioning myself for weeks, I came to a simple conclusion."He then reached into his shirt pocket. It was stuffed with paper, a pocket protector, and four pens. Flipping through a few pages of a small spiral notebook, he came to a blank page. With the click of his pen, he scribbled a few letters and handed it to me."Here's your lesson for today. Thanks for stopping. Just wave next time." Then off he went.I took the slightly crumpled paper and opening it found this: "OK2BMe"I smiled as I saw him disappear around the corner. Maybe if I had stopped the first time I saw him, I wouldn't have been so hard on myself lately. Next time I won't feel so bad passing him by. I'll just wave. It's "OK 2BME."

Airplanes, Hawaii, Historical Election

New Pilot
Taxing down the tarmac, the jetliner abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What was the problem?" "The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the flight attendant, "and it took us a while to find a new pilot."

Flying, Hawaii, Anxiety & Panic Attacks
We are going to fly to LA, in March before embarking on our cruise to Hawaii ( a retirement gift from Dave's company to him for 47+ years of service. I hate flying. I get claustrophobic. Other than taking a handful of extra Valium, I don't know what to do. If the flight is at all rough, I get really bad. And grip Dave's arm for dear life. Are any of you like this? We could have flown to Hawaii and had over 2 weeks there, but the flight from Minneapolis to Hawaii is 12 (count them) hours. I'd never make it. Besides both Dave & I get stiff if we sit for more than 2 hours. Us'ns are old'ens. LOL So, we didn't think we could handle a 12 hour flight and we opted for the cruise.

Other than resorting to taking extra Valium, I thought of Ambien. But even if I wasn't too chicken to do that, Dave would KILL me if I did that. Because I have Ambien but don't usually take it BECAUSE some strange things around the house I have no memory of the next day occasionally when I took that. My psychiatrist says that happens on higher doses & when you take it all the time. Well, I don't take it all the time, because of what happen. So, yeah, he will RX it, but Dave isn't going to put up with any funny business from me & to be honest it scares me, too.

I ask my shrink if he would RX me another kind of sleeping pill, but he said, "What, are you kidding me? Not in this lifetime. I will only give you Ambien (or the like.)"

Bottom line, maybe I should just drink on the flight, what do you think? (I am kidding.) I never drink more than one glass of wine anymore, so I am not about to get smashed on a 3 hr. flight to LA. Dave would be pretty p.o. at me if I did that. And I really don't enjoy drinking because I am not use to it at all anymore, it gives me a headache and knocks me silly I don't want to be "goofy." . LOL

If you have anxieties or panic attacks when you fly, write me and tell me how you cope with them. People may think I am a dope-head, but those that are really friends, won't judge me. I just asked my shrink about another solution to my insomnia ( I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a night without medication, TOPS-- (And even with (regular) Ambien (And Ambien CR & Lunesta plain do not work for me. Regular Ambien does usually works for about 1/2 the night but isn't a real good solution because after 3-4 hours, I am WIDE awake anyway!! So, I was hoping there might be something else help me STAY asleep all night (like 6 hours or so) and not do strange night walking, or some other bizarre thing. And also NO "hangover" from the pill the next AM.


PS I hope all of you who supported and voted for Obama, enjoy all the celebration of Obama's inauguration. It certainly is exciting as it's history in the making, him taking the train like Lincoln did from Illinois. That was cool. It's a bittersweet time for me as I was a big McCain supporter & I still wish it was him getting sworn in. On the other hand, who would have ever thought we would get to see a man of another race win this election and by a big margin. So, I want you who voted for Obama to know I hope you watch the coverage and enjoy the hoopla. (I would had my guy won.) President-Elect Obama does seem very earnest in wanting to change things, and Dave and I (though we didn't vote for him) wish him the best. And we pray for him and for our country. Something needs to be done, and Dave says we need to give Obama support and a chance to try to help us. So, upon deep reflection and sincere thinking, I throw my hat in the ring. Let the parties begin.

PSS Besides, Arizona needs and wants McCain and there is much work to be done in congress. McCain, whether you liked him or not IS KNOWN to cross party isles and work with the Democrats, which is why he and conservative Republicans had problems. (I am NOT a Conservative, at least I don't think so. But Dave is as Conservative as you can get). He's been riding around making sales calls and listening to talk radio shows for 47 years in his car. Funny, because Dave is usually very easy going about everything else.

Happy Inauguration Day Folks!

And best wishes & hugs, from me to you all of my fellow Americans. We live in the best country in the world, I think and need to remember how lucky we are to live in a democracy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Rescue Comes Home

Because we had two collies, each for about 10 years, this sory is very meaningful and precious to me. And even if you'v never had a collie, if you love pets, I think you will like it!
Love & Hugs,

Max is probably one of the prettiest Collies I've ever seen. His history is hidden in his mind, as a foggy nightmare, coming to the surface every time he sees something to remind him of his life before. They say a dog can't talk. That's nonsense to someone who knows how to listen. I've watched Max staring at me through those dark shining eyes, that have gotten softer in the last few days. But I can imagine the thoughts going through his mind. Are you going to hurt me? Can I trust you? Can I love you? When we brought Max home, he was a mental cripple. He tucked his tail, wouldn't eat, and refused anything hand fed. Every quick motion scared him. Every time we came out the door into the garage, he'd run and cower in fear. I could see visions in my mind. An opening door, a kick in the ribs and someone yelling to get out of the way. A quick motion of a hand, and a slap. I picked up a wooden dowel from my wood shop, and saw in his mind a club or a limb, and a beating he tried to get away from. There was an old scar under his right eye. It's an old story, but one getting too familiar. It's only been a few days, and he still shies away from the door, but he only moves away a little, his tail wagging. It's a good beginning, but only a beginning. We watched Max as he walked. He favored his right front leg, and I noticed a slight lump on the front of it. A veterinarian friend checked it and told me his leg had been broken. Without an X-ray, he told me he suspected a pin or staples had been put into it. He told me that Max was about three years old. Again, I wondered what kind of a life he had endured. He was thin, but all in all, Max was in pretty good shape. His hair is a bit course, but there's a hen house out back and always a few extra eggs to get the hairdo back in shape. Sometimes, Max will lie down, with his head laying on my foot. I'll pet his head and rub his ears and he'll look up at me with those warm and trusting eyes. Over the next few weeks and months, there'll be setbacks and victories, good days and bad. But in time, he'll be a good friend. The broken spirit will mend, the nightmares will fade, and a dog without hope will come to find a loving home, gentle voices, and hands that will never hurt again. Somewhere along the way, Max has received some obedience training. He's leash trained, knows some commands, like down, stay, and heel, and is quite well mannered. He's house broken, and very quiet. Somewhere along the way, everything went very wrong. Fortunately for him, that'll change now. He's already getting used to Ronni's home cooking. The look in his eyes when he looks at her is priceless. He can't seem to get enough hugs or petting, but we're working on it. I can't bring myself to put a "The End" on this. Let's just say, "To be Continued..." -- Bob Shaw
Credit -Bob Shaw through

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Make Your New Year's Resolution Work--Great Thoughts

Sharing with you all! I need to set goals, that I can suceed at, how about you?

(I'd have inserted a Graphic or Picture, but I don't know how to do that in Blogger, must ask my "smart friends"!) (Hope you like this anyhow!)

I promised myself this year would be different from years past -- I would keep each of the resolutions I made for the New Year. I began to reminisce about past resolutions and what it was that had caused them to be so difficult to keep. After careful consideration, I discovered my problem had been that I set myself up for failure right from the beginning. In the excitement of the opportunity for a new beginning, I listed too many resolutions, and my goals were too lofty. So, I surmised, that if I made fewer resolutions, I would have no problem keeping them. I also decided to steer away from those where I was sure to fail. Armed with my newfound wisdom, I grabbed my pen and paper and began to formulate my plan. Instead of I'll read my Bible "daily," I wrote I'll read my Bible "more often." Regarding my writing projects, I told myself I would write "more" rather than "every day." And finally, I wrote I'll eat healthier. No way was I going to write the dreaded "diet" word again! In only three resolutions, I'd taken care of my spiritual, mental and physical well being. Realizing that I'd covered all of the aspects of my life, I sat back in my chair, rather proud of myself. A few days into the New Year, and with my resolutions already a distant memory, I came across a container of chocolates hidden on the far corner of my desk. As I opened the container, I discovered these were not ordinary chocolates. Each chocolate contained a message printed on the inside of the wrapper. I carefully, unfolded the delicate foil and read my message, "Keep the promises you make to yourself." I was elated. I was being granted permission to pamper myself. I smiled as I thought about the possibilities. I was free to spend an entire day watching old movies. Or, I could read for hours without being interrupted. I gently smoothed out the edges and tacked the foil to my bulletin board. When someone wanted to know why I wasn't preparing dinner, I'd point to the message. "I promised myself I'd read today," I'd say. My excitement quickly faded. I discovered the paper where I'd written my resolutions concealed under the container of chocolates. It occurred to me that a resolution is in fact a promise you make to yourself. Even though I hadn't realized it at the time, there had been a problem with my list from the beginning. In an effort to create a way to keep my resolutions, I'd allowed myself to lower my standards and justify myself right out of keeping them. They appeared noncommittal. In looking up the definition for resolution, I discovered that the synonym is courage. I'd never thought of courage in relation to resolutions, but I realized that it does indeed take courage if one is determined to keep a resolution. There was nothing wrong with the idea of me pampering myself on occasion -- in fact, it could be healthy. However, the other items I'd listed were important as well. If kept, these resolutions would enrich my life. Although today is not the beginning of a New Year, it is a new day. With each new day comes the opportunity for a new beginning. My resolution for this day will be to keep those promises I make to myself, however big or small they may seem. In so doing, I will be better able to care for those I love.
-- Marcia Hodges

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lost And Found-Chicken Soup For the Soul

We had waited nearly two years to get a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy. I daydreamed of names, felt the brown puppy fur between my fingers, and smelled a young warm-bellied pup. The breeder called with a possible dog for us; he was four months old, had no training, and could not be AKC registered. I explained he would be our family dog and accompany my husband and son hunting. I assured her that his age and lack of early attention was okay with us. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I was determined to have this dog, no matter what. Thus, on a windy day, in late December, we met him. He was shy and afraid of us, of everything really, but I just knew he was my dog. We named him Kenai after our favorite river in Alaska, where my parents lived.Less than one month later, our only child, our sixteen-year-old son, died. As I grieved, whimpering and crying in y pain, Kenai sat at attention at his fence, listening for my movements in the house. He watched and waited, 24/7. I spent more than an hour each day sitting cross-legged on a railroad tie in the yard, Kenai lying across my lap. His fur became a prayer blanket to me, his eyes a healing solace. I sometimes wondered if he was an angel, sent to companion me in my grief.On April 1st, a little more than two months after Justin died, I made a business trip to California. It was a mistake for me to travel so soon. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was and how little energy I had to expend. I couldn’t wait to get home. On a Sunday evening, I called to check in with Jim, my husband. He sounded awful and told me he had some very bad news. While at the fire station on Interstate 80 in Wyoming where he volunteers, a train passed, blowing its whistle. Kenai, standing next to him, had bolted in fear, simply disappearing into the stark barren landscape. Jim searched for hours and finally drove the forty-five minutes home, bereft. He knew how much Kenai mattered to me, and couldn’t believe this loss.When I got home, we drove to Wyoming and searched and searched. No one had seen him. On Holy Thursday, a friend and I drove to every house, every ranch, and posted lost dog signs. I berated myself for seeking a lost dog, while there were places in the world with people searching for missing family and friends. Yet I knew the loss of our son had left us hopeless. We could do nothing to change it. I had to do something now to try to find Kenai, to ease our loss. I had to believe again.Kenai was only seven months old -- a shy, frightened dog. But I had to try, to hope for a miracle. I posted a missing dog report on summer passed. Whenever we went to our cabin, ten miles south of where we lost Kenai, I scoured the landscape. I knew that perhaps someone had found him and kept him, or he had been eaten by a predator, or killed by a car. But I still looked. Something inside me believed in hope. I stopped telling my husband what I was doing. He felt bad enough.Nearly nine months passed. Christmas was coming and we planned to visit my parents in Alaska. It had been the worst year of our lives, and we needed a respite. On December 23rd, we left Colorado in a snowstorm. Two feet of snow had fallen; cattle were dying on the plains. Arriving in Alaska, the serenity and beauty welcomed us. My parent’s cozy lodge was a comforting place to spend Christmas.The morning of December 24th, my husband was on the telephone. I heard snippets of the conversation. “In a dead cow carcass? Brown dog? Skinny? Can’t get near him?” He hung up, shaken, and explained. A rancher out with her cows had spotted a small animal on a distant ridge. She determined it was a dog. She could see it had a collar and flash of silver around its neck. When she approached the animal, it ran. Searching the Internet for lost dogs, Brenda found my notice I’d long given up on but never deleted. She promised to leave food near the cow carcass the dog used for shelter, and warned there was another big storm coming.At Christmas Mass, I couldn’t concentrate. Images of shepherds, ranchers, sheep, dogs, mangers, cradles, and cow carcasses traversed my mind. Was it possible that Kenai had survived all this time, alone? Did I dare I believe he was alive?I asked myself, as I do every Christmas, “How is the Christ-child birthed within me this year?” Might the birthing be hope in a dog that was lost and found? That what seemed to be dead could live? Dare I believe and hope for a miracle?Brenda promised to keep feeding him until we returned on December 31st and could meet her at the ranch. She was certain the skittish dog was Kenai. Though he wouldn’t let her within twenty-five yards of him, the kibble she left on the snowy ground was wolfed down each morning.January 1st dawned clear and sunny and we drove to Wyoming. Entering the ranch, we stopped to scan the landscape with binoculars. On a distant ridge we saw him. There was no doubt now. My stomach started to churn. Within a few minutes, we met Brenda. I could barely breathe. There was only room for one of us in her tractor cab. Jim stared at me and whispered, “Go.”Maneuvering to the ridge top seemed longer than ten minutes. Cows followed as we lurched through icy snow drifts. The sun radiated brilliance against snow and rock. We stopped where Brenda had left food for Kenai. Heart pounding, I stepped from the cab.Brenda backed the tractor away. I walked forward. Suddenly I saw a flash of brown on the other ridge. Clapping my hands, I called, “Kenai, Kenai, Kenaiii,” over and over and over. Could he hear me, would he remember?Kenai stopped and sniffed the air. Instantly wiggling with recognition from nose to tail, he raced through snowdrifts toward me. Whimpers and cries erupted from both of us. I fell to my knees in the snow, arms wide open, calling him. I could see his puppy collar! A solid, furry hay-smelling body launched into my embrace. He was undersized, but unharmed. We jumped up, tumbled around each other, playing, touching, petting, tears pouring forth. I can’t believe he remembers! He’s safe!When Jim was within one hundred yards of us, I knelt, presenting to him Kenai. Kenai looked to me, then rushed to Jim as I watched, sobbing with joy.Oh yes, I hope. I believe.

Hope you enjoyed this marvelous inspirational story as much as I did!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Hey, Joey Is Here!

HELLO, Everyone!!
Just to let you guys know! Joseph Russel Kenyon arrived 1/02/09~~~!!!!

Joey is awesome! I felt an emotional tie with him! I think I am getting the hang of this Grandmother stuff. It was tough leaving him today! Jack doesn't quite know what to think! He is handome and gorgeous as always. Not to sure about Mom being in the hospital or him being in the birthing suite. But he's being quite good. Baby & Mom are fine. Daddy Tim, is a bit hyper and being a "germ freak." Patti is making fast recovery from her C sections. She is something. Acts like maybe she just went to the dentist. :) She truly looks angelic in the pictures we have of her and Joseph. I will write more tomorrow.

We just got home from Cedar Rapids (where Tim & Patti live) We got here in the nick of time. There is an ice storm going on here. It's nasty and you can't even walk outside. Dave was going to the store, but came back. It's treaturious. Luckily, Dave had gotten our Maltese Kaycee from my friend Jill's (her groomer & our friend) B4 the roads became sheer ice. I think Tim thought we were leaving too soon, but Dave is ever mindful of weather from being a sales man all these years and He WILL NOT drive in blizzards or on ice, not for us, and not even for his job!