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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

The 3 grands cooking

Complete with dogs and grandgirls and son and daughter-in-law, our house became a home again after nearly two years of no visitors due to the Covid-19 virus restrictions. I still think of the three grands as children but here they were, all gainfully employed and taking time from their busy schedules to meet up again and comfort this Grammy with the new hip.

The youngest grand-girl arrived with some beautiful flowers that promptly set off an allergic reaction. The middle grand put them out on the deck so we could see them through the glass doors but not get close to the pollen.

There were also Dove chocolate bites – no allergic reaction there. And a bandana for Elsa!

Then they cooked and made it a double celebration. Not only were we reunited after such a long time, but they also wanted to celebrate Bill’s upcoming birthday making a ham and noodles dish he loves. After telling them the story of his Mom making apple streudle, they looked that up and made that too.

While I was in surgery and Bill was biting his nails waiting, our son and daughter-in-law were taking care of Elsa and the house. I came home to Emmy’s famous chicken noodle soup and other fabulous dishes that kept her in the kitchen. and waiting on me “hand and foot.”

Son, Corky kept the house together, fixing things and comforting Elsa, who now loves him back and is pining for him. Though she kept up a steady stream of barking, she seems to be missing all the chaos.

Our middle grandgirl brought her GoldenDoodle 8 month old puppy (named Indie) who we decided to keep separated from Elsa. Elsa is a rescue and we were not really sure how she would interact. Fortunately Indie and the family fell in love with the pool, the weather was good and everybody was happy. I am not allowed in a pool of course so I watched from the kitchen window.

Daughter-in-Law, Emmy
Son, Corky

I always envied folks their family reunions but never suspected there would be one of my own. We are a relatively small unit but how lovely to know how committed we all are to each other and how much love we share.

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This is Me, Elsa

They call me a Rescue Dog but I am really just a dog, a descendent of the mighty wolves of long ago. I actually remember bits and pieces of that ancient time when we depended upon our wolf families to survive. This leftover is a dog who still thinks the family/pack is everything.

I remember my ancient mother licking my face to tell me I was safe and cared for. And I remember roughhouse playing with my siblings as practice for real hunting and fighting. But mostly I remember the “now times” and my first, second and third human families.

My name is Elsa.

I am a little rescue dog with big wolf ideas.

In this life I have some bad memories.

My first human family did not really want puppies so they gave me to a kennel where I lived in a cage. Then a mean couple finally adopted me. I had a home but it was not a happy place because the man hit the lady and made her cry. I would growl at him and bark but he hit her anyway and he hit me too. I think he broke one of my ribs because it still sticks out and I don’t like anyone touching there. I also cringe and flinch if you try to pat me on my head.

The mean couple trained me to never to “go” on the grass. They thought the neighbors would complain. To avoid getting hit or kicked I learned to always go on the edges, on the concrete or gravel even though that was uncomfortable and sometimes hot on my feet.

I never learned to play either because there were no toys in that house. As hard as I tried I suppose I never did anything right because the mean couple ended up leaving me at a kennel. Their reason given was they simply did not want me. I was back living in a cage.

The next people who adopted me gave me back too and said it was because of hospitalization. I never bit anyone but maybe they thought I did. I am not sure why they were hospitalized. Then I was put in a foster program instead of in a kennel. The foster people tried to be nice but they had too many dogs to care for. Every Saturday they took us to a pet store in Virginia where people came to meet us and maybe take us away.

How I hated Saturdays! The noise was unbearable because all the foster dogs barked and cried at once. We were all so afraid of all the strangers and there was this awful smell of fear.

But there was a lady who walked with a stick who came in that Saturday.

They brought her a chair and they took me to a cage that was right next to her. I fought with the two attendants who were trying to put me in there when the lady said, “Please don’t put her in that cage. I will hold her.” And so I sat on-leash, next to the lady with my head on her foot, shivering and looking into her eyes to thank her in the only way I could.

That nice lady was named Dor and she was with another nice one named Emmy. They did not know me and I could not tell them how afraid I am of cars. Cars always take me to another horrible place. But Emmy and an attendant put me in the back seat of a car where I did some serious shaking and shivering. Emmy drove and Dor sat next to me. She wrapped me in her coat, held me close, and talked to me in a soft voice. She said, “It’s o.k. You are going home to a nice place where people will love you.” And she kept stroking my face and my ears like my real dog mother used to do and all the wolf mothers before her.

And I thought, “I will never forget this human. I will never forget.”

We drove for a long time to a house with other people and even a dog named Kota, who was much bigger than me and very very nervous. In fact, Kota turned out to be so nervous, she could not be still.

We went inside but I was sure they would soon take me to another kennel and another cage. I really wanted to explore but there were so many people talking at once and Kota kept running around nonstop. Finally I growled as if I were Mighty Wolf and scared Kota onto a chair with her mistress.

It was a relief to sleep that night in a dark room with Dor and Bill. I slept on a blanket at the foot of their bed and it was heavenly quiet. Everybody left in the morning except for Dor and Bill. Now we three would get to know each other and I somehow knew this would be my forever family,

I think I am as smart as any other dog, but it took a day and a night and some more experiences to believe I had a new home where the humans actually liked me.

Dor was the one human I decided to take care of.

I followed her everywhere and still do.

I sit behind her chair but if she moves I move.

I have been here two years now and all this time she thought I was the one who needed protecting. Even when I bark at strangers she thinks I am afraid for myself.

The truth is, I am protecting HER – not me. I do love all her soft words of praise and love and the gentle petting too. But I know my real purpose is to protect her and my family.

I knew this from the very first moment I heard her say,

“Please don’t put her in that cage. I will hold her.”

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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.”

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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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It was just another visit from our son and three grandgirls.  That was way back in November.  It was prepademic you know.  And none of us had a clue about a virus that was to shut us all down and stop family visits from out of town.

We were all sitting around the kitchen table shoulder to shoulder and I remember telling them about the wonderful exotic tropical fruits that grew in my backyard when I was a little girl.  I lived in South Florida where we had avocado trees, bananas, oranges, kumquats, mangos and guavas.

We also had Sapodillas!

“What is THAT?” they asked.

“Oh, I haven’t tasted a Sapodilla since I was a little girl about 70 years ago,” I said.  “A Sapodilla looks exactly like a kiwi (but uglier) on the outside.  But on the inside the fruit is brownish and has the most beautiful shiny brown/black thumbnail sized seeds.  And the fruit tastes so sweet!”

All three girls sounded interested but we eventually moved on to other subjects.

Enter the Pandemic ShutDown and I haven’t seen my family since.

Can you guess what the three Grandgirls got me for Mother’s Day?

A beautiful box arrived in the mail and it was:

FIVE POUNDS OF SAPODILLAS!

I simply could not believe it.

“WOW!  WOW!  WOW!”  I said. “This is an amazing gift and how did they ever remember and how did they ever find it and what a precious thing that they thought of it and acted on it so many months later!”

And my first taste was like floating back back back to childhood.

There was my Dad again and I was just a little girl.  He was once more telling me not to eat the seeed and saying, “You will love this my little Gypsy.  It will taste just like honey.”

And it did.  And it does.

And it was the nicest gift ever because it was a gift of memories.   I only wish the Grandgirls had been here too, so I could have introduced them the same way as my Dad did.

Now every little bite of the five pounds is gone.  And only the memories linger.

And the smiles!

Note:  You will probably never see a sapodilla in the grocery store.  At least I haven’t in all my years.  The kids found them online.

Sapodilla (Sapota)

Sapodilla or sapota (chikoo) is a popular tropical fruit. Sapota is a tropical evergreen, fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Sapotaceae, in the genus: Manilkara. The fruit, popular as nasebrry, is a most relished tropical delicacy.

sapodilla
Sapota fruit cut section. Note for dark brown seed.

 

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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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dirty windshield

Would you believe I am afraid to drive through an automatic car wash?

But, last week, determined to be brave, I drove right up to the car wash place and inserted $7.00 in the order meter thing.  Then clicked the button.

A lighted sign said “Drive Ahead.”

I drove ahead, adroitly crossed the hump and put the car in neutral as instructed.

Then

  •  A new sign lit up that said,  “Back Up to Start”.
  • So I backed up and another sign said “Drive Ahead”.
  • I drove ahead and again crossed the hump and put the car in neutral.
  • And a new sign lit up.  “Back Up to Start.” 
  • And thus it went.  Drive on. Back up.  Drive on.  Back up. 

After about 6 times and concerned that the car driver behind me watching this fiasco would lose patience, I finally drove ahead and out of the place in a dirty car minus $7!

Fortunately, my son is now visiting and he went through the car wash for me – with no stop and go either!

This is a grand visit with our son and Bill and I are expecting the three grandgirls too this weekend.  Sons and granddaughters make for a wonderful family I am so proud of.  But, I am sorry daughter-in-law, Emmy could not join them here this time because daughters-in-law are wonderful people too and it would be so sweet to have everybody together.

C & Em

Daughter-in-Law and Son, Our Beautiful People

 

 

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cheese shop candy

What do dogs, health food and beer have in common?

A day in the outside world with son and youngest grandgirl.   (Two more grandgirls are also  expected here this week).

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Knowing how much Bill and I wish for a four-legged friend, our son and grandgirl took us on a dog search at PetSmart in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Every Saturday from 10AM to 2:00PM various foster people bring available rescue dogs there for open air viewing and visitations.

How exciting and sometimes sad it was to meet and greet all the homeless canines available.  Many were being adopted quickly and of course I fell in love with one.

“Paddy” is a big dog in a 20 pound body – an Aussie/Sheltie mix with the most intelligent adorable face.  He seemed as calm as could be in the face of maniacal barking all around him and sat by my feet allowing me to stroke his sweet head.

Even so, I was advised that Australian Shepherds are extremely high energy and difficult and I took the handler at her word. The message was that Paddy needs a young family to take him home and of course he was snatched up immediately.

I still have regrets and miss Paddy even though I only knew him for a few minutes.  I hope he is happy in his new digs.

Healthy Eating?

Next Stop:  The Cheese Shop in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia.  This is where you can get old fashioned candies (healthy?), magnificent cheeses, and all sorts of nuts, jams, jellies, and spices!

The Cheese Shop has been on my favorites list for over 20 years and it just keeps getting better as well as more and more expensive than it was way back then.  We wound up with peanut butter pretzel pillows, several varieties of candies like caramel creams, chocolate covered coffee beans, elderberry jam, beef sticks, muenster and farmer cheese, and more!

Bound for Beer

Next was the Devil’s Backbone Outpost for dinner.

It’s a brewery just north of Lexington, Virginia that has recently opened a “kitchen” in addition to their well established beer bar/tap room.  A great big dining area was bustling when we arrived and there was even musical entertainment brought in from Lynchburg, Virginia.

We wound up sitting outside with a stellar view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a cool, delicious evening of beer tasting, happy talk and uniquely tasty grub.

It was a grand day.

And even though we returned home with no dog to cuddle, I am grateful for a grand family, good times, and all that candy on my “no/no” list.

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Jess Stops By May 2017Kendall Reclining Mack here May 2017 It doesn’t seem so long ago our three grandgirls were little girls – Jess gurgling in her stroller, Mack wanting hugs and more hugs, Kendall the dancing nymph.

And suddenly they are women driving!  And they are beginning to drop-in to see us on their own.

The same sofa in our living room is where they all wind up – sometimes one at a time, sometimes in twos or threes.

Their smiles are huge.

And so are ours.

Two are coming again tomorrow!  And that is our excitement.

We will miss the oldest but she is in Nepal for the adventure of a lifetime.

 

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platter of sandwiches

I used to make up 12 or more sandwiches for when “the kids” (our grandgirls) came for a visit.

Ham and cheese, Ham and no cheese, roast beef with mustard or without, turkey plain, turkey with mayo and mustard, turkey with lettuce, or without….. ad infinitum.

And those sans would somehow evaporate in one afternoon!

Lately our grandgirls are beginning to evaporate too.

Two are out of college and beginning adult lives in different states.  One remains in a college close by.  We just attended the middle girl’s graduation and celebrated her degree in Business/Marketing, but couldn’t make the older girl’s because it was the same day, only in Michigan.

Us n Kendall

Wonder who the graduate is?  Both Kendall and Grammy are wearing school colors May 5, 2017.

We had a surprise visit this week from Jessica and what a joy she is!  And how happy we were to see her since she will not only be embarking on a career in Human Resource Management and a new life in another state, but first she going on a trip to Tibet!

Jess Graduates Grad Schl

The big smile in front is Jess.

These days, it is folly to make up huge platters of sandwiches for the onslaught of “the kids” who used to all descend at once.  What fun we all had making memories with trips to Safari Park, the Dollar Store, the lake and the pool, games of jacks and scrabble, and just all “vegging out” watching SpongeBob Square Pants on television.

SpongeBob_SquarePants_characters_cast

It is a little sad, but I no longer ask the question, “Mustard or Mayo?”

One of the last times they were all three here together, they made a stir fry dinner and wouldn’t even let me in the kitchen!

Perhaps soon it will be the reverse and when I come to visit them they will ask ME –

“Mustard or Mayonaise?”

 

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Son and the grandgirls were here over the Christmas holiday.  Here they are studying something important.   Can you imagine what it is?

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Drone

 

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