Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Caring for Becke - Part Two


According to pet med.md Our Becke is 82 years old in human years. WOW she has lived a long time. In those years she has become a Therapy dog, a R.E.A.D.ing dog, a Service dog, a Freestyle dog, an Agility dog, and a big sister.  She loves to travel and meet people and none of that has changed. But some things have changed.

There are sometimes subtle changes in a senior dog that we don't pick up because they adjusted so well to their circumstances. Changes like movement. They may just be slower or they may have problems moving due to arthris or other "old age" conditions. Have a good "senior" check up from your vet who can check on things like liver and kidneys functions. Have the vet check their spine for compression and look at those hips and shoulders for things like dysplasia. If you find those problems, then follow your vets advice to help them whether that is meds, surgery, diet changes, supplements, or acupuncture to help them feel better. It costs more to do the blood work, but having your beloved senior is SO worth it!!   Becke is doing well in many areas but she is on a special Glucosamine supplement to help her joints as well as lots of fish oil to lubricate things. She does have some mild arthritis. Remember too, they may have changes in things that they used before. Becke hasn't been able to use any flea and tick spot on treatments since she was 10 years old.  Her skin is just to sensitive now.  She does, however, have some other issues related to age.

Adjust their activity level accordingly.  They may not tell you it hurts to do the things they once did, here are some examples from Becke.

In agility she jumps at 8 inches now and no longer wants to do the dog walk, A-Frame or See-Saw. So we "play" at agility and do jumps, weaves, and tunnels. She still likes to move, but she is slower.

We also practice her recalls and I use a combination of voice and hand signals. She is slow but steady and I love watching her move! Remember moving is the key- here's a video of her recall.

video

Our walks are shorter right now because it's so bloody cold out there for me so when we walk outside, we walk short distances rather than one long walk.  The plan is to keep her moving. As we humans age, we know all too well that getting going is the hard part, so it's better to move often and not allow ourselves to get stiff. We do the same thing with Becke. She walks, even if it's up and down the hall.

Another issue with age can be eye sight. Some dogs go completly blind long before owners know it because the dog has adjusted so well.  They may have pretty good eyesight but they can't judge distance or depth as well as they once did. You may notice that the dog doesn't jump up on the couch anymore. It may not be that they have arthritis but that they can't figure out the height of the couch anymore.  Make sure the room is well lit to help them determine the distance and height they need to get up there. Stairs/ramps to the couch may be helpful as well, same for the bed if the dog sleeps with you.

Becke has a hard time figuring out how high the bed is. With us standing in a well lit spot in the bedroom next to the bed, she can gauge the height of the bed by where it hits us on our body.  With August out of the way, she can jump up and get on the bed. Getting down requires the big lights on and one of us standing by the bed so she can gauge how far down, down is.

Leave the furniture where it is. Nothing is harder on a dog loosing their eyesight, or depth perception than having the furniture moving around!  If you do move it, make sure that the lights stay on nice and bright to allow time for the dog to relearn the set up. 

The car is a problem for Becke. We have an SUV so ramps to the back seat don't fit right and ramps to the back of the car has angled so high that she will not try so Hubby picks her up and gets her into the car. She can get out on her own if we hold on to her harness.

Tomorrow we'll talk about some other issues older dogs have.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge: This and That



Poor Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond, she is still sick. I sure hope she gets well soon, being ill is not fun!  Thanks Joyce for coming up with the questions this week.

1. In the USA this coming Sunday millions will be watching as the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49's in the Superbowl. What was the last event you attended that could be described as super?

Hubby and I went to see Les Mis a week ago and it was a super movie as was our date. We've not been on a movie date in a long time and it was such an amazing movie. I so enjoyed our time together. Super movie shared with super good company = super time.

2. Share something you're a fan of these days?

Sunshine!  It has been bitter cold here and when we did see the sun it was too far away and not very strong so nothing felt warm.
I see the days getting longer but so far most of the 24 hours is night. I am looking forward to the morning sunshine showing up. I love waking up with the sun on my face. So I'm a fan of the sunshine!

3. How do you feel about wings? In case anyone is confused, I'm talking the edible appetizer kind. What's your preferred seasoning on a wing-hot, mild, teryiaki, sweet and sour, other? Do you make your own or is there a favorite place you like to go for wings?

I like wings that are mild and grilled!  I don't make ours and usually get them at the grocery store.

4. As long as we're talking sports today...have you followed the Lance Armstrong story? Did you watch his interview with Oprah and if so what was your reaction to his confession and subsequent remarks?
I did not watch the interview at all since I really don't care for him. He cheated and then hurt people who told the truth. He even financially ruined some of them for telling the truth!! He is only doing this so he can get into the Olympics.  He is a coward, a bully and I have no interest in seeing him in any sports EVER. But I'm not bitter.....

5. What's a question you hate to be asked?
I really cannot think of a question that I don't mind answering.  I would rather answer a question, then have someone "guess" what I might say and then spread rumors based on the "guess". Better to ask and get the answer straight from me.

6. The coaches in this Sunday's big game happen to be real life brothers. Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49er's and his older brother John Harbaugh coaches the Baltimore Ravens. Were you and your sibling(s) competitive? In what way? Are you still? If you're an only child how did you handle competition growing up?
I have one sister and we were too far apart to be competitive at all. We are not competitive now either.

7. What's your favorite game involving a ball and when did you last play?
I would have to say catch with our granddaughters. Nothing like playing with the grand kids.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Becke is officially 13 years old today! Breakfast was scrambled eggs with cheese and a piece of bacon. Supper will include a little lobster!  Life is good! Happy Birthday Becke, the wonder dog, and many, many more happy returns of the day, please!
So now it's your turn to answer the questions and join in on the fun.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Caring for Becke-Part One


On Wednesday 1/30/13 Integrity StarBeck, a.k.a. Becke the wonder dog will turn 13 years old.  I am so grateful for every day, week, month and year that she has been with us.  

We got Becke at the age of 4 1/2 years old. She was living with a breeder and was used twice for breeding. The first time at 1 1/2 years old.  She had 3 puppies, which meant she had a C-section since the puppies were way too big for normal delivery. The breeder decided to wait for her to finish growing in hopes she would have more room for puppies.  So at 4 they tried again, only to find out she was carrying 3 puppies again! 
Playing in the snow in 2011
The breeder then decided she was not going to use her again no matter how beautiful she is. At the same time we were looking for either an adult dog or a older teen so we were the perfect match. After she had the puppies, we took our older black lab-mix up to meet her and they were just fine together so once all the puppies were weaned and had gone to their new homes, she came to live with us.  This is called a "Re-homing" and not "Rescuing".

She was always kind, gentle, easy-tempered and smart. All the perfect personality traits breeders are looking for but she just couldn't carry a full litter.  Their loss was our gain!
Summer of 2011
Since she was a breeding dog, she didn't have any obedience training at all. She could stand, and stand for a long time, but she didn't know sit, or down, or even how to climb stairs (they had a ranch with no steps) and she wasn't house trained since she lived in a kennel and had an indoor/outdoor pen so she just went out whenever..... no need to ask.

I knew what I was getting into and had a plan.

Since we have a split entry style home we have stairs and so her training began on day 1 with learning stairs.  I'm so glad she likes food....

Teaching her stairs was easy.

Now at age 13 she is still kind, gentle, easy-temperted and smart.  She hasn't killed August the pest and that is saying a lot!
In fact she has taught him many things and protects him when we go out and he becomes overwhelmed with whatever is happening.
August being a pest chewing on Becke's ear in 2011
When we leave work, August comes in from day care and Becke walks up to him to check on him. She is happy to see him go off to day care and happy to see him come back to her.
When we leave the two at home, most times when we get back they are both on Becke's bed resting and in my office, even though they both have beds, August gets on Becke's and shares hers.  When we go to bed at night, August sleeps between me and Becke and no one rolls over the 9 pound pest.
Someone say treat? Big sister and little brother in 2011
I love all the ages of a dog's life. They all have joys and they all have challenges.  Becke is so calm, great with kids, great with other dogs, not bossy, and a gentle diva.  But at 13 years old there are challenges.  Over the next few days, I'll talk about those challenges and how you too can help your senior dog feel better and hopefully live longer.
Tell me about your dog.....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside!!


This is what I woke up to this morning!  Notice the "Feels like" section -18!
Of course the dogs wanted to go out to "go" so I opened the door and both went down the stares did what they needed to do and ran into the house. Then they got back on the bed to warm up!

Baby, it's cold outside!  We have the pellet stove going to keep the inside nice and toasty. At work, we all have little heaters under our desk to help there as well. These are days that I wish I had car seat warmers but the car heat works really well.

The news is all about the weather, or lack of it... We may get up to a plus 16 but it will still feel well below 0 all day with the wind. I have fleece lined jeans, and long Johns to help with the cold. Head wraps and scarfs to breath through are a must. Frostbite can happen in 10 minutes! 

Baby it's cold outside so please keep pets inside! At day care where August goes, they have an inside play room where the dogs will play today.  Becke will stay in my office and I will hover over the small heater.  This time of year my heart breaks when I see a dog outside, or hear about a pet who got away from their home.  I can't image how cold and scared those little ones must be.  

And to top it off there are still people in NJ without power from "Sandy".  Can you believe that! All this time later and still people are there without power. 

So stay warm, bundle up and please, if you are in a place where it's also cold, get your pets inside.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge:


Poor Joyce has been under the weather and yet she still pulled together the questions for us all.  So answer here but also stop by Joyce's blog and wish her well.

1. The popular saying, 'All is fair in love and war' is originally credited to English writer John Lyly.  Is he right?
I don't agree. I don't think that anything is fair, sometimes you just have to let go. Do I want to force someone to love at any cost? NO! I want them to want to love me.  Free will is a wonderful thing.  Do I want to win a battle no matter what. NO! Sometimes we just loose.

2. Are you a cereal eater?  What's your favorite kind?
No, cereal is pretty high in the carb department. I also grew up not being able to drink milk so cereal was out of the question.  I do sometimes like oatmeal, also high in carbs hence the "sometimes," and I now use almond milk which is good.

3. A five year old in Pennsylvania was recently given a ten day school suspension for talking with a friend about shooting one another with a Hello Kitty Bubble gun (the gun blows bubbles).  She did not have the gun with her at school.

A psychological evaluation was also ordered and the incident was recorded on her permanent record.  The suspension was later reduced to two days and her parents are suing to have the incident removed from her file. Your thoughts?  (If you missed the story click here for details).
This is just stupid! Really, it's a bubble gun people and she's 5 years old. She has no understanding about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School and she didn't even have the toy with her!  This will stay on her school record for the rest of her school life?  How stupid, let kids be kids...please!!!!

4. Whatever happened to:  COMMON SENSE -    (see #3?)

5.  January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, billed as a day to reacquaint yourself with a pen and pencil.  Do you like your handwriting? Do you prefer to print or write in cursive?  This date was chosen because its the birth date of John Hancock. What's the last thing you signed your name to?
I do like my handwriting. When I went to school we would all line up at the black board and practice long hand. It was a method called the Palmer Method of writing.  We also had lined paper with a solid bottom line and top line with a dotted line in the middle so you could write the large and small letter correctly.  I now use a combination of both cursive and print most of the time if I'm in a hurry but if not, then I use just the cursive and most people tell me how pretty my hand writing is, others (a lot younger) can't read it because they only know how to text.

6. Speaking of John Hancock...ever been to Philadelphia? Do you have any desire to visit the city of Brotherly Love?  
I have never been to Philadelphia but I would like very much to travel to visit the city.

7.  Share something funny you've heard a child say.  
Well, it's not funny but when my granddaughter says to me "You're the best Granny EVER!!" And wraps her arms around me, I smile.  That just makes my day-week-month-and-year.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.We are back in the deep freeze. We struggle to get to the 20's but with wind chills, we stay in the single digit's!  When I come in from outside, my glasses steam up and I can't see, it hurts my lungs to breath, I wear a scarf around my mouth and breath through it - hoping it warms up a bit before it hits my lungs.  The dogs wear coats and the little one, August plays inside at day care.  Becke stays in my office.  So, I long for spring and that is my random thought. 

Ok so now it's your turn.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Polar Night: A New Novel by a New Author


I've been following Julie Flanders on her blog Julie Flanders for a long time. She is an animal lover who was writing for local animal shelters when I first ran across her and her blog.  I've been stalking following her ever since.  She has a drive that I love!  She would blog about becoming an author and wanting to tell her stories.  

Well, she finally did it and I'm so proud of her.  She set goals, joined writing groups, took on writing challenges and on February 7, 2013 her first novel "Polar Night" will be published.  I will be in line getting her first novel and will be jumping up and down for her. I hope she can picture me jumping up and down!!!

Here is a little blurb about her novel to wet your whistle:
When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska, he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case.

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems.

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same.

Want to know about Julie? 
Julie Flanders is a librarian and a freelance writer who has written for both online and print publications. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home in Cincinnati, Ohio with her dog and cat. Polar Night, a suspense thriller with a supernatural twist, is her first novel. It will be published by Ink Smith Publishing on February 7, 2013. Find Julie online at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Julie - I am so proud of you. I love people who face challenges with grace and in your case--win!!! You are a winner for sure.







Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Review

I really am a morning person so when Saturday morning came at 4am, I just got up. I didn't get dressed but I did get to cleaning.  I love to light some candles and clean up. Since our kitchen really needed  it - I started there.  Working from one end and moving all around the room it was clean and fresh in no time and candles (coffee scented) made the kitchen smell great.

I did discover, however, that there were HUGE dust bunnies under the sideboard.  Since August doesn't shed, that leaves our wonderful Lab Becke to blame.  I must vacuum or sweep up enough dog fur to create an entire dog every week!

I love my Lab, but oh boy does she shed!
Year round!

I also cleaned other parts of the house, but I bet you did as well.

Saturday night I had a date. I like dates. Hubby took me to see Les Miserables. I have just one word for it.   
GO



Go see it. Go see it again. When it comes out on DVD Go buy it.

It's amazing.  I must admit that I've never read the book, or seen any of the other movies by the same name, nor have we seen the live production so I had nothing to compare this too. Yet I laughed and cried and covered my eyes during a few scenes. 

There has been some talk about the singing and I will admit that Ann Hathaway and Hugh Jackman are not opera singers, but for me they have a rawness that came through and the emotion that matched the scene and it works!  There is something about someone in the process of dying with perfect pitch that falls flat. We need the broken voice and flat sound to make it more real.
The costumes are colorful, and just fit the period and life status of the characters.
The scenery at times was breathtaking and at other times heart breaking. The poverty of the times jumps out at you.  I loved it all and was surprised by much of it.  
I have put this on my "Must Buy" when it comes out on DVD.  
Thank you love for a wonderful experience and great company at the movie.

Sunday was full of worship service, food shopping, cooking and relaxing. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you are ready for the new week.  It's back in the deep freeze for us, with temperatures starting out in the negative numbers and most days not getting much higher than the teens!  I better bundle up!  Spring is only 57 days away after all.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Return of Winter


We knew it wouldn't last long, the early spring feel where we could leave off the earmuffs, gloves and scarves, where we could upzip (a little) the heavy coat, and once again wear shoes banning the boots to the closet. We knew that sooner, rather than later, all of winter would return. So it was no surprise to wake up to snow on Wednesday.

The dogs were not happy; well Becke was not happy, at almost 13 getting down and back up those back deck steps gets hard. Add a few inches of snow and ice and she just as soon wait till Spring returns before "letting loose" if you know what I mean.  August doesn't care at all, in fact he was more interested in the dog who lives behind us (but has never seen because there are woods between the two houses). He runs outside, barking in the direction of the house and we hear their dog barking back. The next sound that is heard is the two owners both saying "OK, Get back in here".


We ended up with about 4.5 inches of the stuff and it might have not been a big deal except that it fell during morning rush hour traffic so it was nasty!  We could not see driving to work, there were several cars off the road and a few accidents, in fact my 15 minute drive to work took me 50 minutes! Thank goodness I had a full tank of gas.


It is very pretty to look at, not so pretty to drive in! It's great snowman-making snow, it's not so great to clean off your car so you can drive home.  It brings "Joy" (my one word for the year) to many, I'm happy for them.
It is winter, I get that. 
            It is New Hampshire, I understand. 
                                                 I'm just asking.......

How many days till Spring????
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pay It Forwarded


I've seen this on Facebook before but never joined so when it came up with fellow bloggers, I had to jump on board!

Here is how it works for us bloggers.  The first 5 people to comment on this post saying they would like to join the "Pay It Forwarded 2013" will receive a gift from me at some point during this year. It could be something that I find while out shopping and think you might like it.  It may be something handmade.  It's fun because you never know when the item will show up at your home.  I hope it comes at a time when you most need a little surprise. I'll contact the people who wanted to join and ask for your shipping info so that I can send you something.

Here are a few rules....
1. You must also offer the same thing on your blog. You must do a post and follow through throughout the year.

2. This is only open to USA and Canada bloggers - sorry

3. Remember to leave a comment on THIS post saying you would like to participate in the "Creative Pay It Forward"

4. After I have contacted you for your shipping info, you must do a post offering it on your blog.

See easy!
I look forward to hearing from you and having you playing along with us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's time once again for Hodgepodge




Thank you Joyce for the questions, click the above button to join in.

1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen's English...here's the list for 2013-fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, yolo (an acronym for you only live once), spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings, and guru.Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen.
I am going to pick yolo as my memory will not allow me to remember what this means so every time I see it I have to remind myself what it means all over again. What? People are just too lazy to write the word out! No wonder they no longer teach penmanship, no need to use it.

2. When was the last time you rode a train? Where did you go?
WOW I don't think I have ever traveled by train...

3. Bagels-yay or nay? Favorite 'flavor'? Favorite topping?
Yes to the bagels. I don't eat them often but I do like them.
Grilled - but that is hard to get so I'll take toasted and I have 2 flavors that I like

Pumpkin Pie Bagel from Panera with regular cream cheese
Pumpkin bagel from Dunkin donuts with Pumpkin cream cheese

Once pumpkin season is over then I like to try different flavors to mix it up so I usually find something that will appeal to me.

4. 'Tis the season of awards shows...if you could star in a movie already made which one would you choose?
I would go all the way back to Star Trek The Motion Picture.  I am fascinated by what may be out there. I love the stories about seeing new planets and new species. God created all that we see, who knows that he didn't do it again "OUT THERE". 

5. The move towards single gender classrooms has been making the news in recent months....what say you? Do you think kids perform better if seperated by gender and are taught differently or is that discrimination? If you're a parent, is this something you'd support in regard to your own children?
I grew up at a time when there were single gender schools. We had an all girl and an all boy high school.  At times, in grammar school the girls and boys were separated for gym and "Sex Ed".  It was OK and I don't think we learned better because we were separated by gender. I am more concerned about what these students learn in general because I see kids graduating who cannot fill out a job application, or balance a checkbook. They don't know to cook a meal or talk face to face with a person. They have spent way too much time on video games and take out and are not ready for the real world work force.

6. What's your favorite thing about staying in a hotel?
OK~~~~~ so there is the fact that I don't have to make the bed, or clean the towels. Oh and there is the fact that most have a breakfast bar. Hot coffee at all hours of the day and night is great as well.  Some have an indoor pool that is heated (or at least a hot tub) where I can warm up. Then there is the reason why we are in a hotel, like visiting friends, touring some state and the sights, or on vacation relaxing.  Oh you only wanted 1 thing?  oops!


7. Do you have a 'word' for 2013? What's the story behind your choice?
Yes, my word is Joy.  The story behind my choice is simple, I want to notice all the wonderful things that God has done for me that I otherwise never notice. I especially want to see joy in the mist of pain because as a country we have seen a lot of pain.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
After a few days of Spring like weather that melted most of our snow,we are going back into the deep freeze with more snow on the way. Good thing we had a "touch of Spring", at least we know it's coming.......

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Word: Finding Joy

Today is the first of 12 blog entries about my One Word.  Joy has been easy to see around me this past week.
Warmer temperatures melted just about all the snow that covered our yard - that was joyous to me.
Warmer temperatures reminded me that Spring is is just weeks away when the earth "wakes up" from the slumber it has been under.
The air is cleaner, the sun is warmer, and although when I wake up in the morning, it's still dark, I know that the days are getting longer.
All this is Joy to me.
I find Joy in the everyday things; coffee in the morning, conversation with Hubby as I go to work in the morning.  Happy co-workers, happy dogs; Friends to visit, good health, a warm home, hot food, a blanket made for me by a friend to cuddle under while watching TV at night and
an electric blanket and clean sheets to  allow me to drift off to sleep at night.
This was the blanket made for me to cuddle up under. I love the  combination of colors.

I know that sometimes this year, Joy may be harder to find. I understand that life gets in the way and the business of hurried days may cover up joy. But for today, for this past week- I feel joy.

How about you? Did you find whatever your One Word was?  Why not join us over at Only A Breath and see how the others are doing.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Weekend that Defrosted


After being colder than Alaska, we finally got our January Thaw!  It got up to the high 30's! 
Now I know that for you "Southerners"that may not seem very warm at all, but we were in the teens with wind chills bringing it down to single numbers and some time into the negative numbers.  So temperatures in the high 30's is simply Balmy!

It's not cold enough to open windows and air the house out, but it was warm enough to turn off the pellet stove and take off the gloves and earmuffs.

Saturday was mostly a chore day. One of those days where you run around getting all the shopping done, the laundry done, the house vacuumed and all other things done. It was a very productive day and I fell asleep knowing that I had done a lot that day. The house looked as clean as it smelled.

Sunday saw a great  worship service,  oven roasted chicken with oven roasted veggies and baked sweet potato fries, times with friends at our small group and FOOTBALL.



Football is HUGE in these parts. Not just regular football, Patriot Football. So after our small group there was a football viewing.
This is one of those times when I really feel like I'm not a true New Englander.  You see, I have never understood football.
I've gone to high school games and ended up watching the the crowd.
I've watched football on TV and find myself watching the commercials.
I've asked questions about the games and never understood the answers.
1st down - 2nd down - 3 down - 4th down.  If you don't get 10 yards, you start again... it all becomes a blur and "Blah, blah, blah.........." and I give up.
I find the game long and it has a lot of time outs to ask questions or trade players because they are tired, or someone else has to play now.... I give up!

I joke about not being a Yankee but at times like football season, I really do feel out of it.
I didn't hang around for the game, I came home and let the party continue without me. I know that they'd have more fun without me asking all the silly questions.  I love them too much to ruin their fun.

Besides I really wanted to watch "Once Upon A Time"
I really like this show. I am always amazed at the story line and keeping up with the characters lives.  Are you watching this show? Who do you think is the father of Henry? I have my suspicions.....I hope I'm right.

I got to watch the show curled up under my new blanket - made for me by one of my Christian "sisters".  I wanted something colorful, loud, girly, bold, reminding me of spring and summer and extra warm. I got all of that, don't you agree?



So how was your weekend?

Friday, January 11, 2013

One Word 2013



Last year I saw that some people were picking one word to concentrate on. Maybe their word was "Love", or "Grace" or "Family" but whatever the one word was, it was the focus of their thoughts for the year. So much easier to focus on one word than a "To Do List" of resolutions to work on, most of which I will forget about in no time. 

I liked the idea so much so that I went to One Word Three Sixty Five this year to sign up. I jumped on board. To make this even easier to join, over at Only a Breath you can recieve your free blog button in 2 different sizes to use and all you have to do is "like back" your word post to her. Then on the 15th of each month, join the community as we talk about what our One Word has taught us over the month.
Thank you so much Melanie.

So my one word is  

This year I choose to seek out and find joy in everyday things.  We've had such bad news as a nation last year didn't we?  We start to see all the negativity in the world and we become cynical about life in general.

Yet life is full of 

choose to focus on Joy.  The joy of simple things like relaxing in a bubble bath with no distractons. The joy of climbing into a warm bed (thanks to the electric blanket) and clean sheets to drift off to the land of nod.
The Joy of a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning
The joy of a dog's cold nose right up againt your face
The joy of holding the hand of the one I love most on this earth.

All of these joys remind me that even in the midst of troubles (and we all have troubles) there is joy, if we only look for it. 
So my one word for 2013 is
Do you have one word for 2013?
Have a wonderful and Joyous weekend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Winter Hodgepodge Time




Joyce created a set of questions for us this week as she has done for 108weeks now!  Now that is dedication! 


1. What is ONE thing or area in your home or life you hope to report is completely organized when 2013 draws to a close? Do you have a plan to make it happen?
WOW, Joyce gets right to it doesn't she? The very first question has me wondering what I want to organize in 2013.  I guess it would be to be a person of humor, no matter what. To seek out the funny, knowing that all things will pass away so enjoy the ride, even when it's not very nice.

2. What's the worst uniform you've ever had to wear for a job?
Years ago I was a "Candy Striper", do you remember those?  I was at a hospital and delivered flowers or cards to people. I had this dress with the striped apron on top. It was pretty awful. Other than that,  I've had jobs that had uniform tops (sweat shirts with the logo on it) and such and they are all fine with me.  One is really cute in fact, it has dogs faces on the front and dogs tails on the back. I'm wearing it today.

3. What was your last kitchen 'mishap'? This question comes to you courtesy of Betty who blogs over at A Glimpse Into Midlife...everyone go say hi to Betty!
I made beans on the stove and forgot them and they burned. I got busy doing something else and totally forgot them. We did eat the top layer and let the rest go to the trash.

4. How do you protect yourself from other people's negativity?
I'm not around a lot of people who are negative a lot. If a friend has a bad day, they I chalk it up to the bad day. If someone is always negative, they don't stay on my friend list very long. They can be draining can't they!  If they are not a friend, it's easy to just overlook the negativity and move on. I will pray for them however, I mean, who whats to be in a negative mood all the time!!

5. Who in your family do you most resemble (physically)? If you have children, who do people say they favor? Do you agree?
I don't look like either of my parents, they had brown hair, brown eyes and were under 5'4" tall. Then there is me, blond, blue eyes and 5'6".  I never saw the milk man.....
Our son looks like me and our daughter looks like daddy. People see it as well and yes we do agree.

6. January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day...will you be celebrating?
National Bubble Bath Day! Now that's an holiday that I can really get into in. Love bubble baths.

7. Some of the 'world's best winter festivals' are - Mardi Gras (New Orleans), Quebec Winter Festival (Canada), Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah), Rio Carnivale (Brazil), Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan), Venice Carnivale (Italy) and the Harbin Ice Festival (Northern China). Of those listed (and if cost were not a factor) which would you most like to attend and why?
Well Mardi Gras in New Orleans will be a lot warmer than anything in NH so I guess send me there.  I'm not interested in the customers or the skimpy clothes but some of the food and warm weather would be nice.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
We are finally having warmer weather than Alaska!  We have been colder than them for over a week and finally we will be above freezing and may even see mid 40's!  I plan to enjoy this winter thaw.

So now it's your turn. How would you answer these questions?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My voice is back....and just in time.


Thank you all so much, I am feeling better and after a day of drinking tea and sucking on lozenges, I have my voice back.  My doctor (Hubby) and the 2 nurses (Becke & August) have taken very good care of me and helped me recover from whatever I had.

 Just in time too because tonight I am giving my annual lecture about getting our pets ready for emergencies.  Over the past few years, I have given a free lecture about winter emergencies and what should be in an evacuation kit. It's something that I feel very strongly about.  I bring my dogs' kit and show just how much they need to have ready and so it's important to have it ready now, because when the emergency happens, that is NOT the time to start to gather everything together.  We have it ready to put in the car and go!

Now up here we don't see many tornadoes and we don't have a lot of hurricanes, but we do get ice storms causing trees to fall on power lines and those can kill power to our homes for days or weeks and for those reasons, home owners need to evacuate.  If you have to leave your home, so does your pet.

Are you ready? Do you know what to have ready in order to care for your pet away from home?  Do you know what human foods and what house plants are poisonous to your pet? If you and your pet had to evacuate from your house, could you care for your pet someplace else? Do you know where to go?

Well, you can find out by conacting a local Red Cross office and asking them if they are giving any workshops about this topic...or stop in tonight from 7-8 p.m. at the All Dog's Gym & Inn, in Manchester, NH, to hear me give a lecture. I have hand outs!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Flu, Bug, Cold, or just the Creeping Crud


No matter what you call it, this winter everyone is getting sick.  I had my flu shot. I had my pneumonia shot. I carry hand sanitizer with me and more importantly I use it all the time. I take care of myself and still this weekend I woke up with something.

Oh sure, I'm not running a fever but I'm cold in a house that's 72 degrees.  I don't have a sore throat but I lost my voice (Hubby is OK with that part, especially since I'm not in pain). And I do sleep, a lot!!

Hubby has gone out and bought me a Caramel Frappe a few times because it felt good going down. He also did the food shopping and tried to play with the dogs so that they would be tired but August would not play for long with daddy, instead he did this.

He stayed on top of the blanket that I'm under.  He tries very hard to keep me warm, but at 9 pounds, he covers about 1 foot or about 1/2 a butt cheek. Still, he tried and even brought me a few toys to cheer me up, or to play with, or to make me feel better ~ it was a nice gesture.

Becke wouldn't go out to go potty unless I opened the door and then she went out, did what she had to do and returned ~~~~~ to this.

YUP, she would get right into my face to check on me.  Have you any idea how hard it is to sleep with all those eyes staring on you? At one point, I could feel her breathing on me......nice doggie breath!   Can you believe she will be 13 years old in just a few weeks?  Love that girl! When she wasn't "in my face" she was laying as close as me as she could when I was on the couch.

So with all this care I will be up and about real soon. I hear that 41 states have been hard hit with this bug, flu or what ever they are calling it. All I know is that no matter where I go, someone is sick. 

Now---- where did I put my bubble suit?? How many days till Spring?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back to Normal?


The house has been "De-Christmased". All the gifts are put away (well mine are away, Hubby's are still out and around.  The wrapping paper has been collected by the trash man, the food has been eaten (and weight has been gained). The decorations are pulled down and packed away back in the attic.


It's kind of sad in a way. August has his perch back and can now sit on top of the toy cabinets and view the world just ourside.  He loves the outdoors but it is causing a mess for his long flowing hair!  


Becke was far more interested in our gifts than her stocking gifts and needed help getting her stocking contents out. 


Once August figured out there were toys and food inside of his stocking, he was all about getting the goodies out of it.


But through it all We are Family! We may be nuts at times, but we are loved and we love all the nuts in our gene pool.  

Now, go hug someone!!!



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year - New Hodgepodge



A brand new Year means that a new Hodgepodge for 2013 starts today. Thank you Joyce.

1.  How did you ring in the new year?
To be honest, we both fell sleep and woke up to 2013.   We had pizza for dinner (the Chinese Restaurant was so busy they stopped answering their phone) and ended up toasting in the new year Tuesday night!  Exciting right? 

2.  What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2013?
Well, I'm looking forward to several things, grandgirls birthdays, SUMMER (my favorite time of year), but right now I am enjoying seeing the day light get longer and longer every day.  Gotta love getting 1 minute extra of daylight today.

3.  Steven Spielberg is quoted as saying, "All of us every single year, we're a different person.  I don't think we're the same person all our lives."  What say you?
We do change, we do grow, we do expand our being. I believe that when God accepts us where we are He doesn't want us to stay where He found us but wants us to become more like Him.  That takes time, but over time, we can become more like Him. Therefore we are not the same people we were in the past. 

4. The Pantone color of the year for 2013 is emerald green. Like or dislike? Do you already own something this color?  Will you add something in this shade to your home or wardrobe in 2013? 
I love green. I have lots of green in our home and also I do enjoy wearing it. It's one of those colors that make me feel warm when I wear it so I will most likely add it to my summer wardrobe.

5.  Speaking of emerald...what's your favorite gemstone?
Diamond is my 1st favorite because it's part of my wedding ring and that wedding set is dear to my heart.  Amethyst is my 2nd favorite because it's purple and I'm all "girly-girl"

6. Share a favorite book or movie from 2012.
We don't go to movies very often, they have become loud, crowded, expensive and often way too long to sit in a tiny seat with no leg room. We wait until they come out on TV and watch them then. Unless it's something like a Harry Potter or Star Trek movie, then we are there as soon as it opens (but not at midnight). We get there really early so that we can find the few seats at the back row that also cover the steps so that we have some leg room. Hubby tells me that we went to see "The Avengers" in May 2012. As for a book, I have enjoyed the Elizabeth Lynn Casey series-Southern Sewing Circle Series. Murder mystery with a Christian slant.  It's a good read.

7.  What is something you want to tell yourself at the start of this brand new year?
"It's time to Do-Over"  I like the feeling that I can reset my goals and move forwarded. This year, I plan to look for more humor in life and not put so much pressure on me or others to be what I think they should be.  I will give it over to God faster and let Him deal with the details.
 8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our house has been officially "De-Christmased". It takes a few days to put it all up and it takes one very long day to get it all down. The reason it takes longer to get up than down is I also put up decorations that will stay up all winter.  I love snowmen, so those stay up all winter.  They will come down in March.

Now it's your turn, jump around and visit others, see their answers, add yours and have fun.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Week and News Years Day



I hope that your Christmas was perfect!  I've been reading a few blogs and it sure does look like you had a wonderful time.
We sure did. It was just busy enough to be enjoyable and not so busy that we were worn out from it.  Gifts were opened and enjoyed, cards were shared, cookies were eaten, food was delicious and left overs were enjoyed for a few days. Some of the food never made it into us as we just ran out of space in our stomach.
The tree is still up and so are the decorations, they will start coming down this week and by the week end will all be back in the attic.
The dogs enjoyed their toys and cookies stuffed in their stockings and we enjoyed all the pictures of grandchildren and gifts as well.

Then we got snow!  No, not on Christmas day - that turned out to be a green Christmas, 2 days later - 7 inches of it, heavy wet stuff.  Hard to shovel but the dogs loved it!  Becke has no problem moving in 7 inches of snow and just plows through it to get outside and do whatever she needs to do. August has learned to cope. He "swims" on top of the snow to get to do what he must do.  He tries to follow Becke's foot prints but he's just too little and she is just too big.  So he swims across the top of the snow and sometimes hops over it.  He is so funny and he LOVES the snow. One issue is that he comes in covered in snow balls. We have to put him in the sink with warm water to allow the snowballs to melt and then we dry him and then comb out his hair and then he needs to go out again and it starts all over.
After consulting other Chinese Crested Powder Puff owners on FB and his breeder we are going to try coating his hair with Milk Oil to keep the snow from clumping in his hair!  We hope.

Hubby shoveled a path for him, but like all small dogs, he doesn't take the path laid out before him and instead, makes his own path.  Silly dog!

Saturday night we got more snow.  Not a lot (another 4 inches) but after what we already had, it was just  more stuff for the dogs to plow through. In fact in all we got 11 inches over 3 days and August is 11 inches tall!!

2012 is all done and I am glad it is. It had turned out to be a pretty hard year.  Not just for us but for the country as well. The shootings in CT were just one of the things that happened to us as a country this year.
I hope and pray that 2013 will be a much better year.

Do you make resolutions?  To loose weight? Get healthy? Exercise more? Pinterrest less?  To not make any resolutions this year?  Whatever it is, I hope you can achieve it with grace and humor. My resolution is to face whatever happens with grace and humor.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

Here is the video of August plaing in the snow before it got way too deep for him.

video
I hope you can see it.

If not, try here:   http://youtu.be/jsZfYeBE68E

So have a Happy New Year everyone.  If you're going out, stay safe, don't drink and drive, or text and drive.   If you're staying in, have fun.