Thursday, March 31, 2011


Every time we start talking about a move, "What about the dog?" is inevitably the girls' first question.
Actually, that's been the question for several non-homo-sapien type members of our family through the years.

Somewhere along the line - totally by accident I assure you - we've become a sort of foster home for anything homeless and half-way cute.

We've taken in rabbits, turtles, cats, and even a few fish. But mostly, our little zoo runs high to dogs!

When Joey married me, he also married Chloe. I got her when she was just a pup. She had always had my undivided attention, and was definitely queen of the castle. Sooo,

naturally they jockeyed constantly for dominant status got along famously!
When we lost Chloe, the girls were heartbroken. We were coming up on Valentine's Day, so Joey decided a new dog might perk them up.

Hello Atticus!

Joe dropped by our local shelter and found a beautiful silky terrier.
Alas, Atticus lasted only 48 hours with us. In that time, Joe and I were both bitten and the girls were terrified. Apparently the dog had been abused in his previous home and would just as soon rip your throat out as look at you was a little too aggressive for a family with children.
Back to the shelter, Cujo!
Atticus, we were told, was taken out of general population and sent to a behavioral therapist. We were allowed to choose another dog.

Sadie, a chocolate lab, was the sweetest thing ever! We loved her dearly. She was with us for one year before the army moved us. We weren't able to take her, so we found her a home with a retired judge who spoiled her rotten. She now passes her days lounging on her bed in front of the fireplace, and 'herding' cattle from the comfort of a cozy truck cab.

Then there were the Great Pyrenees, Duke and Duchess. Gorgeous dogs with thick white coats, and absolutely no concept of where to do the 'doo'! We gave this brother and sister team a home until they could be moved to Arkansas - where they both went to work on goat farms.

And now for the newest member of our family.

You may remember him from previous blogs.
 (Wrong Crowd)
Breeders call him a "Teagle". His mom was a Beagle and his dad was a wire-haired Fox Terrier.
We call him Buddy. (Or T-R-O-U-B-L-E, in keeping with the situation.)

We've had the Budster for almost three years.
And, yes, it looks like he'll be making the Colorado trip with us!

Now between and betwixt all these dogs, a few other short timers have come and gone;

Cotten-An abandoned kitten found on the roadside.

Peter-who kept the girls company,
While their daddy was in Iraq.

Stripe just happened into our yard,
which in the girls' eyes
made him 'theirs'.
Koi - who needed a new home after the
'Rickshaw Rally' VBS

A couple of Beta fish,
Just because they were pretty.

For the most part, we've enjoyed our little visitors. But Now the girls are talking about Cheetahs and horses! Needless to say, this ups the anti a bit.

I guess I'll just remember the cardinal rule of strays;
"If you feed it, it will stay!"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rocky Mountain High . . .

So, basically, here's how it works.
When Joey is near the end of time at a particular duty station, the conversations start.
Where to next? Overseas or stateside? What's best for the girls? What about the folks?
We make a list of places we're willing to go, and when the time comes, the Army tells us what they have available.
Compare the two lists and voila! Our next home is chosen.

Our Mississippi time is up this fall. Sooooo . . .

Fort Carson, Colorado, here we come!

Pike's Peak, Denver Broncos, skiing.
That about sums up my knowledge of Colorado.
Guess I'd better start studying!

And buy coats.
And hiking boots.
And maybe put some John Denver on the iPod . . .

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pizza Sauce and Paradise Talk

"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." Luke 18:16.

'New Birth' day.

Madison was saved in March of 2007.

Shelby was saved in March of 2008.

What better occasion to celebrate?

The third weekend of March is all about the girls. A time for them to look back and remember the most precious gift they will ever receive.

This year, instead of dinner out, they decided they wanted to cook.
They took pencil and paper out to their 'think tank', aka the trampoline, and made up a menu with all their favs.

*Bacon, eggs and biscuits for breakfast.
*Home-made-to-order pizzas for lunch.
*Fettuccine and grilled chicken for dinner.

Throw a mint chocolate shake in there somewhere for good measure, and you've got it!

We ate, talked, played games and had a great day.

That night, while tucking them into bed, we talked about their special days. Neither one can now remember the exact words that were spoken. But the meaning of those words has not diminished. And I pray it never will.

". . .rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20b

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You say that like it's a bad thing . . . I'm just sayin'

The other night Joe noticed something odd. All was calm and quiet, at 4 pm! Way too peaceful for that time of day.
Those of you who still have kids at home know exactly what I mean.
The calm before the storm!

Turns out, all four of us had our noses buried in computers!
Maddie was on the Mac, Shelby was on the PC, Joe was on the laptop, and I was using the iPad.

Now before you pass judgement or start texting me the names and numbers of family therapists, please hear me out.

I've come to realize that 'normality' is a relative concept.
Usually what's normal to one, is totally foreign to another.

Normal for us is seeing Joe head off to work early, and having him home by noon almost every day.
(One of the benifits of being stationed at a National Guard post as opposed to Regular Army.)
Every other waking moment, this family spends together. We've been blessed that way.
We love it, we really do, but we still need a break now and then!

I know the girls get sick of seeing me 24/7. And as precious as they are to me, sometimes I just need mommy time!

So I say, if a little time spent in different rooms reading, playing Webkinz, or just surfing the web helps alleviate a little stress, that's just fine and dandy!

I mean, how can I miss you if you never go away?

I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rubik's kind of love. . .

Ahhhhh, the 80's.

Member's Only jackets, Swatch Watches, and the coming of the most heinous game ever conceived in the minds of men - the Rubik's cube.
How many care-free hours were ruined by the gut wrenching frustration of this so called puzzle?
How many calm, rational people were reduced to quivering bundles of nerves? We may never know.

Melodramatic much? I know, but seriously, that thing made me crazy! Half an hour and I would go into this crazy Yosemite Sam impersonation, "Gol-dern, rackin-frackin, whosie-whatsit...!"
It wasn't pretty.

Fast forward twenty years. My house has become a giant Rubik's Cube.

Every time we move it's a puzzle to get everything to fit just right. And when it does, it's magic!

Our current house, the nicest we've ever had, pure magic. Everything has it's place. Whether or not it's in that place depends upon my schedule or my mood. But I digress.
We are really enjoying our time here and the last thing we want to do is mix things up.

Enter the Rubik's Conundrum.

"I picked up all my stuff, the rest is hers!"
"Nu,uh! She got that stuff out - not me!!"
"Yeah, but it's on you're side of the room, so you have to pick it up!"
"You kicked it to my side on purpose!"
And on, and on, and on . . .

Sunday, the (ahem) day of rest, we spent all afternoon doing heavy lifting.
Half of our bedroom was pushed into the kitchen so the office could be moved to our bedroom.
The girls' bedroom was divided and Shelby was moved into the office.
One of the storage closets in the office was moved to Maddie's room.
(Each girl now has a clothes closet and a storage closet. Hafta keep it even ya'know!)
The furniture from our bedroom was moved from it's kitchen pit-stop into Shelby's room.
(The girls previously shared a dresser.)
And finally, the office book shelves found a new home in the living room.

Rubik's Cube. Destroy one location to fix another.

Three days later and we're finally finding places for the last few straggling items.
Who wants to totally rearrange a house just months shy of a move? (More on that later.)

Rubik's kinda love. The girls wanted their own rooms and we were willing to flip, twist and turn to make it happen.
Oh, come on! You know you'd do the same!

The diminutive foremen had a blast instructing us on how they wanted their new spaces set up.
Then came the ceremonial 'Hanging of The Posters'.
And, of course, as with any break-up, there's the nasty business of dividing the assets.
A verbal contract was quickly hammered out in pre-teen legalese.

*Maddie gets the TV.
*Shelby gets the computer.
*Maddie gets the dog bed.
*Shelby gets the iPod docking station.

    To whit . . .
    Afore mentioned . . .
    Therefore, thereby and therewith . . .

Did I mention? On their very first night of independence . . .
the girls asked if they could sleep together.