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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Homeward Bound

Some eons ago, when I was a little girl my parents took us kids out for Sunday drives.  Those were always exciting times with donuts as the grand finale.

My parents are long gone, but some of those sweet memories resurface, especially since there has been ample time to reflect on past pleasures.

Nowadays Bill takes Elsa-the-dog and me for “rides in the car.”  I think he thinks we need a change of scene and he is so right.  These outings expand our world beyond the walls that bind us since Bill and I are among the most vulnerables to the Corona Virus.

Elsa gets beyond excited when we ask, “Wanna go for a ride in the car?”  She dashes back and forth barking and whining and eagerly jumps in.  But the sad thing is, Elsa does not know how to enjoy life as a dog.   She immediately hunkers down as if to hide from imminent danger, rarely looks out the window, and shakes and shivers with her head in my lap no matter where we may wander.

Because she is so frightened I ride in the back seat with her, and off we go, with Bill as the Chauffeur.

 Elsa does sit up but only if the car stops.  That gives her a window view of sorts with glimpses of an alien world fraught with terror.

  • Sometimes Bill stops at an ATM machine and when he gets out, Elsa goes mad with worry – crying and howling in despair that we have lost a pack member to the insane outside world
  • The parking lot of Walmart is always interesting too.  We went there to see if the GoodWill drop was still open (and it was).  Elsa began whining in anticipation of further pack loss, but we had not brought our donations and we all stuck together inside the relative safety of the car.
  • The Sheetz gas station is colorful too and very scary indeed.  Last time we were there a mask-less fellow was filling up next to us, right by my open window.  Suddenly he began yelling at a friend who was some distance away.  Being Covid-19- paranoid I feared I might contract the virus from his unmasked yelling vapors (so I held my breath)!  I wonder why the CDC has not recommended holding your breath as a preventative measure.
  • Another time we drove to Buena Vista (the nearest little town) and we saw whole families out walking with little kids skipping alongside. None of them were wearing masks either (not the parents, kids or dogs) but they were single family units out in the fresh air.  It was a heartwarming slice of Americana but maybe Elsa has the right idea about hunkering down and avoiding even looking out the window.
  • And our last ride in the car was around our own neighborhood where we saw a new neighbor’s house being built – a lovely A-frame log home atop a hill.

We are hoping Elsa will become accustomed to our outings and will some day enjoy the wind in her hair and the sights (other than a yelling man and an ATV machine) through the window.

In any case, I will remember these precious times, these spontaeous rides, these family/pack trips during a serious pandemic.  They were Bill’s idea for a change of scene that has now become a happy tradition.

How about you?

Wanna go for a ride in the car?

 

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I can never resist writing about our little dog of course.  I rescued Elsa and talked to her and stroked her on the long ride home.  And now, over a year later, she never leaves my side.  Well she does go out with Bill but jumps on me first for permission and then comes running back as if I might disappear while she is selfishly “doing her business.”

20200529_144413

Elsa has a whole array of idiosyncracies, no doubt leftover from experiences with previous owners.

  1.  Toys?  Forgeddaboutit!  She will not play with toys.  And walks away from the squeaky ones (maybe thinking they are hurt?).  Her basket of toys remains in a corner completely and utterly untouched.
  2. Chasing a ball for exercise?  Nope.  She will not chase a ball or anything we might throw.  But, she will chase a bumble bee and maybe even go in for the kill.
  3. She is food driven and has gained way too much weight since she arrived.  Elsa is on a diet now.
  4. Elsa is afraid of:  Almost everything.   Last week we were out on the driveway and we were both looking into the woods at the wind in the trees.  It was an idylic moment all right until a very large branch came crashing down into the forest (many many feet away).  Elsa ran for home and had to be coaxed out for days after.  What do you expect when the sky was really falling?
  5. No need for a leash anymore.  Elsa is afraid of:  The outside.
  6. Don’t Leave!  I fear for probable Anxiety Attacks when I finally begin to drive again and leave the house.  We are ALWAYS together now thanks to the Pandemic. I have never had such a close relationship with a dog.  Will I be housebound forever for fear of leaving the poor pup?  Will it be my separation anxiety or hers?
  7. Elsa will still flinch if you try to pat her head.  But she is getting better now – a bit more trusting.  It has been over a year, so maybe we are making progress – if only the sky would stay up there so we could all Stay Safe!  20200529_144306

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bushel Pillow

When the grandgirls were little and came for a visit I remember singing to them.  I tucked them in at night to Mr. Sandman, recorded in 1954 by the Chordettes.  And there was the popular song from the 50’s sung by Doris Day,  A Bushel and a Peck, a happy piece from my own youth.  My best friend Kit and I actually made a recording of us singing, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, You bet your purdy neck I do!” They used to have booths in the old days where for a quarter you could have your picture taken and even make a recording!  The little record we made disappeared over the years, but the song still makes me smile.

Then all of a sudden I was a Grandmother who loved to make her grandgirls laugh.  They knew and I knew Grammy really could not carry a tune so there was always a lot of giggling going on.

My grandgirls are all grown up now and the tucking in days are over.  But last year for my birthday they came bearing a special gift – a pillow!

But it is not just any old pillow.

This one is a pillow full of memories!

And it has a home in the “kids’ room” where we sang those happy songs.  I love the memories of the laughter and the love, and I am so glad my grandgirls remember too.

And Kit, if you are reading this, “Thanks for the memories”!

Published in 2016 by Okmusix

 

 

 

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B's 85th with Cake

Gathering

There was a gathering last week for (Dad’s/Grampy’s) Bill’s birthday!  And our once quiet little house in rural Virginia became a beehive of activity with lots of talking, shouting, and barking from Elsa-the-dog, all vying to be heard to catch up on our lives.

The Grandgirls 2019

And there was the birthday boy of course.  There were MaltShop Music DVDs from the 1950’s as a backdrop.  What fun.  What memories.  A chocolate birthday cake with chocolate icing was a hit too.

Dining Delight

I made a new dish for dinner which is now a family fave.  It is called Sausage and Linguine.  Basically it is just that with a few other things like red peppers.  It was a major hit though.  Nothing like a recipe with 5 or less ingredients.

Playing with a Rescue Dog

Elsa Loves Son Corky, who managed to actually play with her.  Elsa does not know how to play.  She runs away from squeaky toys (afraid they are crying and hurt), will not fetch a ball or play tug-o’-war either.  Sad.  But she loves Corky.  He treats her like a puppy, challenges her by showing and hiding treats and and Elsa wags her tail and acts much like a puppy even though she is 7 years old now.

Laughter Lingers

I'm in Cork 2019It was a lovely day for Bill’s birthday with calls and cards, and gifts and lots and lots of love.  The GrandGirls left first, returning to D.C., South Carolina and Michigan to resume their busy lives.  Then we had time with son Corky and daughter-in-law Emmy – time for shopping, talking, laughing, planning.  It was all such fun and we loved every minute, but they are all gone now.

The house is quiet again except for a couple of thunder storms.  Elsa is frightened and shaking under my desk at my feet.  I’m sure she misses Corky and all the other big humans who were here such a short time ago.

Ditto.

 

 

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Flowers 60th

Flowers from our friends of 56 years – Janet, Pam, Deb, and Scott – Thank you!

It was a very good year.

It was when I met Bill.

I told my Mom I had finally met a real “man” because Bill was all of 21.

My Dad didn’t like him.

We were married anyway, three years later.

Today is another anniversary.

Today we have been married 60 years!

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Mack Grad 2 w Cork

Corky and Mack

My son is here visiting after the great graduation celebration.  It is always wonderful to see him because he lives so far away in California.

This visit is extra special  though –  1) because of the graduation, and 2) because we saw all three grandgirls, 3) because Corky extended his stay and we can catch up on his life, and 4) because he is so darned helpful.

All in the space of a few days:

  • He moved umbrellas  and heavy pots to get us ready for summer.
  • He added a music app to our computers and phones.
  • He helped his Dad with technical things in the car.
  • He found us a highly recommended Handy Man.
  • He solved the problem of stink bugs in the tractor gas tank. (How did they get in there anyway?)
  • He installed dark blinds in the guest bedroom so guests can sleep longer now.
  • And more.

He is our pride and joy anyway, but this visit has to be marked down as special and this is our way of saying “Thank you son.  We love you.”

 

 

 

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Congratulations Mackenzie!

We are so proud of you.

Our youngest grand is graduating from college!

She is a beauty and as smart, sweet and kind as she is beautiful.

Mack Graduates JMU

 

 

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Elsa

Elsa is beginning to love and trust, but it’s a long haul.

As difficult as it is, I now aim for the floor to meet her on her own level. Elsa is our little rescue dog who has been with us for three months. 

Getting up from the floor is the challenge of course but Big Foot (swollen foot that is now Slim Foot) is allowing weight bearing moves!

At first Elsa seemed confused and suspicious when I hit the carpet but she decided in two days it might be acceptable (if not alarmingly odd) human behavior.

She comes closer now when I am down there, close enough for a belly rub but not quite near enough for a hug.

We are making slow but positive progress.

Yesterday while Elsa and I were connecting on the floor,

the looming shadow of a man-person emerged. 

Gentle Bill wanted to join the party too and was on his way down.

Immediately alarmed, Elsa gave a mighty jump and hit her head on the coffee table. Then she crouched nearby in a terror pose.

She finally realized we humans were down there for family love and noone wanted to hurt her.

She inched closer, sat between us, and rolled over for double belly rubs.

This is true progress because Elsa cringes when we try to pat her head and shows unmistakable signs of previous abuse.

For now,  with patience and gentle handling,

Elsa is beginning to love and trust, but it’s a long haul.

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elsa tri-color

It has been almost four months since we adopted Elsa the Great, the little rescue dog who shivered and shook en route home and who is still frightened of strangers and strange noises or quick movements.

In spite of being a cowardly little girl dog, she exhibits signs of mighty-ness, especially when she succeeds in training her new caretakers.

Elsa has learned many things.

BEGGING WITH BIG EYES REAPS REWARDS

We vowed we would never feed her from the table.  Like most New Year’s resolutions, there are now infractions.  But Elsa’s on the chubby side so it’s mini dog treats (only 5 calories each) for her.  And we even break those in half.  But she’s still getting noticeably rounder.  Could it be the little extra bits we give her for being good, for being cute, for just being Elsa?

ELSA IS COOPERATIVE AND WILL COME WHEN CALLED  (IF THERE IS NO OTHER DISTRACTION)

It snowed one night and she loves to eat snow.

Else loves to eat period.

And if she is released into our little fenced yard (for business purposes), she will stroll around devouring snow and ignore all calls to “Hurry Up!”  “Do your business!”  “O.K.  COME!”

WHOOPIE!  LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!

The sweetest moments are when she gets the “Zoomies.”  Evidently that is when a pup is extremely happy, excited and feeling just – well, WONDERFUL!

It happens when she comes in from a walk and is suddenly thrilled to know we are both on site, and again when we return from the outside world and she has been alone for even an hour, or even when she has had a long drink of water.

She literally tears around the house aiming for a collision with first Bill, then me then back and around the house again and again.  It is a grand show of enormous energy and leaves us laughing at each display of unbridled joy.

KEEP ‘EM WORKING!

elsa sheds

I am thinking of starting a new business selling pillow stuffing!

I never thought about it but Elsa has turned out to be a SHEDDER!  And I mean a MEGA-SHEDDER.

In a day or two I can see hairs floating before my eyes.  And she sheds multi colors since she is a tri-colored dog to begin with.  She’s a combination of black, white and beige/brown.  Take your pick!

Life with a mega shedder takes on a whole new meaning.  It means more exercise for me (good for Big Foot?) with more vacuuming and dusting and cleaning and brushing.

Elsa is now family.

We love her but

we are all still “in training.”

 

 

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ELSA 10-27-18

Elsa or the Bug Eyed Assassin

There is a new addition to my family!

Elsa is a gentle little rescue dog who was “meant to be” ours and has been with us for three days now.

But my son wants us to rename her B.E.A. – the Bug Eyed Assassin. 

I found Elsa on the same day Mackenzie, my grandgirl, brought her own dog for a visit.  Kota is beautiful, graceful, gentle, and sweet.  But Kota never stops moving.  And Kota moves FAST.

Also at home on the pup’s move-in day were Bill and our son and daughter-in-law.

It was love at first sight when my daughter-in-law and I spotted Elsa.  She (the dog, not my daughter-in-law) met all my stringent criteria and she slurped my fingers ever so gently.  So I quickly became a doggie pawrent and began mentally listing all the “things” the poor little thing would require.

Elsa shook and shivered in the car all the way home and was obviously frightened and confused about meeting a bunch of  strangers when we got there but she seemed to take it all in stride.

Then it happened.  Kota (the ever moving speed demon) kept dashing around and around and around and came whizzing by Elsa once too often.

Elsa then used her secret weapon (her evil eye) and began a campaign to stop the whirling dervish in his tracks.  You could say that sweet Elsa revealed another submerged personality that emerged as Alpha Dog B.E.A. (The Bug Eyed Assassin).

As the object of growling, and threatening shows of teeth, poor Kota actually stopped mid-stride and leaped to the safety of her mistress on a chair that was inaccessible to the short little crazed attacker.

Meanwhile The Assassin then patiently waited “on guard” for an opportunity to punctuate her message and stop the monster from any thought of advancing.

Kota n Killer Elsa

Kota Under Siege by Bug Eyed Assassin

Thereafter, if Kota thought about coming down from her safe place for a high-speed run, there was Elsa/BEA casting her “evil eye” at the twice-her-size new friend.

Laugh?  Suffice to say I couldn’t breathe from laughing.  We were all practically rolling on the floor.

It is quiet here now and the Assassin has gone back to being Sweet Little Elsa, the perfect pup.

She is 6 years old by the way, totally house trained, seems to love her two elderly new caregivers, sleeps at the foot of our bed on her Serta Sleeper Dog Mattress, and revels in tummy and ear rubs.

It must seem pretty boring here now though, with all the family gone home.

But do you suppose she misses Kota?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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