Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy, happy!

So after much debate, helpful advice, pondering and trial and error, we're about to turn the corner on the feeding issues with Nick, I think.

Here, he's being curious about a bug on the step, but you can see the improvement in weight and muscle tone.

He's responding well to training, is amazingly willing to please... the kind of willingness that is borne of being abandoned and starved and finding a place to be, where food and willing affection is yours.

Early this morning, I went to sit on the porch and have my coffee.  It's a ritual that makes things as close to 'right in world' for me as I can imagine.  To sit in the old rockers, and order my day, in a sunbeam, with the birds about is a nice, nice start to any day.  Add a good cup of coffee, a companionable pet or two... nothing's finer.


This morning, I made a judgement error... Nana came up and put her big old head in my lap, and  I baby talked a bit... then Nick approached, and Bailey.  Nana instantly got INTO my lap (HELP!), then Nick got into the 'two seater' rocker, then Bailey climbed onto my feet and legs.  Someone ??? drank my coffee and when my legs began to ache from sheer volume of dog weight, I had to make them get down.
Affection is a good thing, even if it interferes with your coffee!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day, is, for me, an incredibly difficult day.
It is a day that we should be happy and full of love, a day of romance.
There are those sentiments for me.  I have been blessed with a love of a lifetime.
And from that love, three children who have made my life complete .
I have friends of whose love I am certain beyond all measure.
But in the midst of this, there is a void;
a chasm so deep and so wide, so heart-wrenching of such magnitude
as to sometimes stop me in my tracks.

On Valentine's day, in 1965,  I was joined on my life's journey by a little girl.
The ultimate Valentine...A baby sister, all blonde and sweet... soft and silky... and mine.

And as can happen, life turned strange...
the two of us were set adrift in the world two years later... alone.

How this could happen, was then, and remains, one of life's mysteries.
The details are not important.

We had each other.

We were taken into the bosom of the old folks, where we grew and we thrived.
We had each other.  In every sense of the words, I was hers and she was mine.
I was responsible for her.  In a legal sense, we belonged to noone, except the other.
There is significant fear in the depth of that obligation when you are seven.
We grew.  We were loved.  We were given a sense of time and place.
We were educated. We laughed and played and cried together.
I taught her to ride a bike, to play paper dolls, to read.
We played in the woods and wandered and swam in the river.
We climbed trees and lay in the tall pasture grass and watched the night skies.
We sang and flew kites and painted our nails.
We were sisters.

Then, one night, she died.  The details of the night haunted me for years.
The hindsight, the retrospective thinking, the wondering why we did not see the symptoms of a brain tumor...
When morning came, I was alone.
She was gone.

Time does change the memories, but it never takes it away.
18 years do not disappear.  The love you shared does not evaporate.

As you go on, and you do go on...
you remember the good things... you realize that you carry her with you...
and on Valentine's day, you are grateful, even though you are sad.

In memory of Robin Elizabeth Watson    *February 14, 1965 - July 23, 1983

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Yesterday, exactly like several days before during this winter, I got ready for a 'winter event'.

I fed and watered the animals extra well. I got up water, in the event of power outage.

I hit the grocery store, again.
While in line at the grocery, (a long, long line I might add), a conversation started up about what we'd all be cooking for the snow event.  When I said that I was going to make a sweet potato pie, the man in front of me, a big, soft, sweet southern boy, there buying himself some toilet paper and beer, turned around and said "That does it, I'm coming home with you! "  Honestly, he looked like the sort of guy that it would be really, really fun to feed sweet potato pie to, though I might have to make several pies to take care of that.

Anyway, when I come out of the grocery store, it was snowing... and not just a flake here or there, it was coming at you sideways.  In the fifteen minutes it took to drive home, the ground was covered.
The dogs were covered.

The crocus were covered... sigh...

The husband did not depart North Carolina in a timely enough manner to make it home in advance of the storm.  He came growling through the door quite late, ill amused at the entire situation.
He was pretty easily assuaged with soup and cornbread.

I'd love to say that I watched the opening of the Olympics, but alas, I fell asleep in my chair... early.
Sometime in the night, I relocated to the bed.
And this morning, quite early, I awoke to that unnatural lightness and to the silence.

What natural beauty!






Friday, February 12, 2010

Ever had a day?

Have you ever had a day where you just scratched your head and wondered?

Perhaps, I'm overthinking in the face of yet another 'winter event'...
       maybe I've had too much 'down time' lately...

but this morning, as I began to put my gears in motion, I've been perplexed.

Let's see...  In the transfer from the washer to the dryer (yes, it was left there overnight), I had 4 socks... 4 socks without mates.  There were several pairs of socks with their mates, but then, there were these four!  Uhm...
I'm embarrassed to say that one of them was mine.
Now, the husband connects his socks together with a safety pin,
which I can count on sticking me at least once while I do laundry.

But the teenager and myself obviously can't manage to keep our socks together.

Let me hasten to add that everyone here does laundry.  I've been a stickler for my kids dong their own laundry... but with only two of us home most days, it's counter-productive to wash a tiny load.

This whole sock thing wouldn't be so troublesome, if I had not gotten some great new socks at Christmas, and the lonely sock was one of those.

So, I backtrack and poke around, trying to find the other hiking sock.  Nope, not in the bathroom... nor in the living room under the chair... nor under the bed.

While looking for the sock, I realize that I need to run the dishwasher.
(Yes, that was left undone at the end of the evening as well!)
I unload the dishwasher, to discover several recycled containers that I use for leftovers... though I had 5 bottoms and 3 lids.... uhm.... huh?

So, I went to look in the porch (where I prep the animal food), as I had cleaned out the fridge and put the leftovers in a bucket for the chickens.
( Chickens LOVE leftovers!  Another story, for another day!)
Yep, there were two of the three errant lids.
On the way back to the kitchen, I found the sock...
I found the sock!
It was on the 'path' between bathroom and laundry area, an obvious case of too large an armload and failure to check the sock count BEFORE washing them.

Sometimes, I do get it all together... sometimes, I do not.

I call this process 'sidetracking'.  On a day that I'm home all day, I sidetrack a LOT.

Some of this is fueled by the fact that 'prep' for 'winter event' here means 'prepare to go without electrical power'  which also means 'there will be no water supply'. See, living in the country means you PREpare.
There will be noone to help you for 4 days if the power goes out.  You will be on your own, left to your own devices to keep warm, cook food and use creative toileting skills that you have learned as outdoorsy sorts.

So, I have to focus... another load of laundry, another load of dishes, run the vacuum, fill some gallon jugs with water, check the pantry for winter staples, possible make a big batch of soup or stew, bake some bread, check the flashlights and the candles and kerosene lamps.  Make certain the stock of animal food is sufficient and get water in place for the animals.

If I get all this done, invariably, I don't need it... but once every two or three years, we do have an event where we're 'down'... and then I'm glad we're ready.
A few years back (and over the combined years) I've learned that life is too short to really angst over the socks.
Or the laundry
or the dishes...

Last night, I made dinner to celebrate with a friend.

And after dinner, the shared conversation was more important than the dishes... or the laundry.

I'll trade a perplexed morning, for a few of hours of friends and family in candlelight.

Dishes can wait.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I am so sorry to have taken so long to share...  and prompted by numerous queries, I do so now.

His name is Nick.


By no means is his tenure here 100% certain.
But, he is a very different dog than arrived here.
He has learned to eat dog food.... lots and lots and lots of dog food.
He has been squashed into submission by Nana.
His moderate obedience gives me hope that we can work out the 'kinks'.
He does the very two things that I need a dog to do.
He barks when something is up.
He keeps people who do not know him in their car.

On the con side of things:  
Five dogs... thats a LOT of dogs.
His 'maleness' has upset the applecart here in 'female' dogland.
We have to go see what the vet says.

So far, so good...
and the man of the house likes his four white feet!