Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving That Rings Hollow

Though I always love Thanksgiving, and it is my favorite Holiday . . . . even more than Christmas . . . . as I make my traditional Thanksgiving foods and prepare to gather with family, I am grateful for many, many things, but most of all, for the blessing of having a Grandmother, Ferne, who passed away this summer, on July 4th.   She was 98 years old, she lived a very long, full and amazing life.  In her years, from 1915-2014, she witnessed many of the richest times in American history.   But most important, she was a vital part in so many people's lives.  She was undoubtedly the most loving, giving, smart, gifted and creative person I ever met . .. also the single most interesting person I ever met.   Here she is, in 2009, in her nursing home, watching me spin. 

She also was a knitter, spinner, weaving and phenomenal seamstress.   She stayed mentally sharp as a tack her entire life, even when her arthritis left her immobile.  She was the single biggest gift in my life, and I miss her terribly this Thanksgiving. So as I find myself struggling to recreate a few of her recipes, and share them with the family I have left (many have passed away in recent years), I feel her invisibly lingering over my shoulder and guiding my hands and squeezing my heart. 

Love you, Grammy. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Getting Back to Gray . . . A Slow and Painful Insight

This topic should otherwise be titled “Why???? Why, oh why, did I cave in and dye it again?” Ever since that first trip back to the dye bottle, and the colorist, in January 2014, after having spent 14 L-O-N-G months growing it out, why did I cave into some insecurity within myself and color it?
I could just kick myself. After enduring the natural and frumpy root grow out, I have finally come to the hard-won and sickening conclusion that I really messed up. And now the only thing to do is to do it all again … . yes getting myself back to gray.

So now I start the journey AGAIN from going from this

To this (photo taken of me in October 2013 at 14 months grow out RIGHT BEFORE I lost my middle aged mind.
October 25 2013 Right Before and After Haircut 011.jpg
Ironically, I start the journey in August - before I started in August 2012, now I start in August 2014. I swear, it’s so annoying. And it’s going to be awkward at work since I’m in a profession (sales) where I need to maintain a “professional appearance.” Have 3” long roots isn’t going to be pretty OR professional, and I could just kick myself.

But I need to do it. And do it I will. This post is a reminder to myself, and a caveat to others, that if you ever have that insecure moment or period of days, weeks, etc. about your appearance, try to talk yourself out of it, or at least wait a few days, weeks, months, before you pick up the dye bottle again. Unfortunately, there is no easy or fast way back. It’s slow and painstaking, but so worth it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Long Overdue Update

Wow, has anyone missed my blog?  I sure did, but had trouble for the past 4 months logging into it!  Blogger has sold to Google some time ago, and now they've made it next to impossible (at least for a non-techy person like myself) to easily figure out how to sign back in if you use anything but Google.  Shesh!  If not my highly-tech husband and us both devoting over an hour to the effort, I would have perhaps NEVER gotten back in.

At any rate, here I am, and here is my "new hair."  As you can see, once I finally grew the gray totally out,  I decided, in February of this year, to return to coloring it again.  Ha! I know, that seems crazy considering it took me 14 months to grow it completely out, but I'm not quite ready for gray hair yet. I was completely sick of the fake-looking red I had for so long, so now I have some light brown with blonde highlights.  What do you think? 

Also, as you know, my long-devoted and dearly loved dog, Domino, passed away in early February.  In fact, that was the last blog post I was able to make.  But now we have a 2 year old rescue dog named Charlie.  He's nearly three years old, and has already had 2 previous owners.  We are the third.  Hopefully third time is a charm for him? 

He's supposedly a LARGE Boston Terrier (28 pounds) but in researching the breeds, and having him out and about, many people have suggested that he looks more like a French Bulldog/possibly Boston Terrier mix.  I don't know what he is, but he's as cute as a button and by far the smartest, funniest dog I can imagine.  He's such a clown and constantly keeps us entertained.  In the photo here, it appears his eyes are bright blue but that's not the case, they are deep brown. It just must have been my flash that changed his eye color. Doesn't he bear a striking resemblance to this dog on the Pledge floor cleaning container?

Sorry to make this such a long blog post, but I'm thrilled to be able to get back on here again.  In spite of finally getting a Facebook account, let me just say that Facebook is not my "thing."  If you want to keep up with me, this blog is the best way, and I swear I'll update it more now that I've found my way back in.

Happy Memorial Day for those Veteran's who sacrificed their lives for us.  My family went to the cemetery yesterday and decorated the graves of all our loved ones.  That's such a special tradition, one of the few left in my family that has too FEW family members left living, and those of us who are alive are spread across the country.  But going to the cemetery with Bob, Emily and my Mom to decorate the graves is always very moving for me.  I miss those we've lost so much.  I also wish I had a bigger family.  I miss my brother, Casey, who was a military man, so much.  Can't believe he was gone at age 45. 

I'm still trying to lose weight (that is a never ending battle).  I'm still working a lot of hours, but absolutely LOVING my job as a headhunter/recruiter and I've been doing it for just over a year now.  What a blessing it was that God brought that career into my life.  It's late in life to start, but I've never done anything as soul-satisfying in my entire life.  I actually LOVE going to work every day.

Well, I guess I will end this for now, but promise to be back with you all again VERY soon.   

Ta ta! 

Friday, February 07, 2014

A Sad Ending to a Sweet Dog Story

This is a story of a girl (my girl) who picked a Shih Tzu puppy out of a small litter 14 years ago.  The girl picked the puppy and picked his name, too.  She called him "Domino" because he was black and white just like . . . . a domino.  What else?  She couldn't resist the puppy who actually selected HER by walking right up to her and making himself comfy in her lap, slathering her with happy puppy kisses.

He was born on February 2, 2000 and he immediately became her closest friend.  He was a tiny puppy who looked at her with adoring big brown eyes and used to ride around on her outstretched arm like a stuffed animal.  They adored one another. 

Unlike many puppies, he was easily house trained and destroyed very few items around the house.  Even in his teething days, he was a model puppy, chewing on his own toys and leaving our shoes, our furniture and OUR toys alone. His favorite toy was an Alf stuffed animal that we picked up from a thrift store.  He loved to play "tug of war" with that Alf and would be very protective of the doll if you teased him by pretending to take off with it.  It was a running game to find his Alf and get it back. 

Domino grew into a loving, quiet dog.  He barked so seldom, in fact, that when he was just 8 months old, we took a fall weekend trip to the Lake of the Ozarks where we rented a cabin.  When we were ready to go, the puppy had disappeared and couldn't be found anywhere.  We knew he was on the leash, but he'd slipped away while we were busy loading the car and we couldn't find him anywhere.  We searched, we called for him, and even searched down at the lakefront, worried he'd gone into the water and drowned, but couldn't find him and all of us were worried sick.  Then, just as we were at our wit's end, our daughter spotted his black and white fluffy tail wagging at the vacant cabin porch next door.  His tiny black and white body was surrounded in autumn leaves where he'd gone to play, but only his tail was visible.  His leash had gotten tangled and stuck on a piece of wood on the porch so she'd been unable to respond when we called.   My daughter spotted him and we all shouted with relief.  Our little dog was safe and back in her arms for the ride home!

During the years as my daughter grew up, the dog grew too, and they both grew to love one another more and more with each year that passed. As a child, he was her constant companion, her closet Confidante when she was lonely, sad, happy, playful  . . . . . whatever her mood or activity, he shared in it.  She often said that since she was an only child, Domino was like a little brother she never had.  They were inseparable! 

All her friends that came over to the house also played with Domino and nearly everyone loved him, because he unconditionally liked and welcomed everyone into our home.  Even those who didn't normally like animals seemed to take a liking to our dog.

When Emily was about 10 or 11, she had just a little spending money from her allowance, but she made a point of buying Domino a dog bed so he could lay close by the fire which he LOVED to do.  Since his hair was often kept short and easy to style, he wore dog sweaters during every fall and winter.  He loved to snuggle by the fire in his bed or be close to family members, following us from room to room around the house.

As Emily got older, and Domino did too, he always looked for her, waited for her to come home from school . . . . then later from work . . . . . from outings with her friends . . . . . from wherever she'd been, he settled right at home with her again and so happy to have her back.

He adored food, and his one bad doggy habit was begging for tablescraps, which we sometimes gave in and gave him some. 

Domino thoroughly enjoyed looking good and getting groomed.  He was a dream at the groomers and the he always put up with whatever it took to come home looking spiffy and cute in his latest dog scarf and enjoyed an oatmeal bath that they gave him.  He KNEW when he looked good and would often prance and run around the house with delight when he came home.

He loved car rides  . . . . and vacations with the family.  So we often took vacations based on hotels, cabins and motels that allowed dogs so we could bring our favorite member of the family.  He really got a kick out of going along for the ride.  At hotels, just like at home, Domino was the PERFECT hotel guest.  He never soiled the carpet and allowed us to tuck him into our arm and take him along wherever dogs were allowed.

As his gotten older recently, he's suffered from arthritis, his eyes were growing a bit dim and his hearing failing, but his sweet little self just kept right on going.  He'd struggle to get up and down the stairs, but he always climbed into bed with us at night or sat close to use in the livingroom, or climbed into the lap of whoever most needed cheering up.  The dog had a sense of who needed love the most and always gave of himself and his never-ending affection.

So it was with great sadness that yesterday, right at noon, with my husband sitting in the livingroom with him, Domino stood up, walked over to Bob, then collapsed at his feet and died, letting out just a faint sigh as he fell.  He passed as peacefully and as quickly as anyone could . . . . but he was definitely gone, just 4 days after turning 14. 

We are saddened, but grateful that this dear little dog shared our lives all these years.  We will miss you, Dom.  We sure will.