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Showing posts from 2013

Notes on Christmas (Just) Past

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Want to listen in on a bit of conversation from our Christmas dinner? The candles were lit, the plates were served, the wine was poured, and the rolls were hot out of the oven. Christmas music, courtesy of Missy M's on-the-spot creation of an iPad playlist, was softly playing in the background. Time for family talk:

Me: So, I wonder...
Mr. T. and Missy M (in unison): HERE!
Me: Well, I guess that settles that!!
OK, so you know how often we have moved, right? Right. Over the years, I just got in the habit of wondering where we would be celebrating the next Christmas. Wondering out loud. At Christmas dinner. And, after the rolling of the eyes would cease, we could chat about it. Now...we just do the shorthand version.

[For the record, I agree...I think we will be living right here at Casa 3917 next Christmas.]

For the record, it was a great Christmas! Cold and sunny on the outside, warm and toasty on the inside. Even with 5 dogs in residence, we had a wonderful holiday. We watched ou…

Christmas Lite

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Somehow, I find myself just five days from Christmas Day...and I'm way behind on my blogging. That's the bad news. The good news? I'm pretty much on schedule with just about everything else on my list.
So how's that possible, you ask? Well, part of it is...my list went on a major diet this year. Items dropped off it like pounds do on the Atkins plan. Because of other priorities, I realized we would have to trim more than a Christmas tree or two.
Oh, we managed to get two trees up and decorated: the one in the dining room, which mainly has sheep-themed ornaments (uploaded a pic on last post); and the "main tree" in the great room. Here is a photo of that one:


A few of the Christmas bears are on top of the quilt-covered bookcase behind the main tree. And, we got 10 of the 50+ nutcrackers up and the mantle decorated. See what you think.

The Advent calendar that I made when Missy M was a little girl made it down from the attic, as did the handmade stockings(shown abo…

A Good Week

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It's Friday night...and I'm finally sitting still. Unless you count my fingers tapping on this pretend (iPad) keyboard. Nah...don't count that...not a lot of motion there. That's good, cause not a lot of energy left over from this week. Deep breath...forging ahead...highlights include the following:
Missy M left us on Sunday for her long drive back to the 'Ville. But first, she dragged Christmas decorations boxes out of the attic and into the dining room for us. Sweet ❤️! Of course, it has taken me all week to get the Sheep Tree up and the table decorated in the DR (below). Slow but sure...


Monday meant physical therapy for Mr. T. He's transitioning from prescription pain meds to OTC, so that makes the lovely ice-down period following the exercises something to look forward to. Still lots of pain...but he's making lots of progress. Since he's shed the scrips, he'll be cleared for driving once he sheds the sling. It's a process...
Tuesday was the Ma…

A Truly Happy Thanksgiving

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Goes without saying...but I'll say it anyway: we have had a rough month here at Casa 3917. We've been slogging along, playing the game with the cards we were dealt...as shoddy as they were. But now it appears we're playing with a brand new deck...and we've been dealt a full house. Hooray!


Meet Winston...our newest member of the Drool Gang! He's an 11-month old Australian Shepherd mix puppy we adopted yesterday from the Forsyth County Animal Control shelter in Winston-Salem. He is an alum of Animal Control, having initially been adopted in February...about the same time we adopted Abbie. Although they were both classified as Australian Shepherd mixes and born about the same time (right around New Year's), we have determined from the records that they aren't from the same litter. But, like all the adoptees from Forsyth, they both were micro-chipped before they were made available for adoption.
So, when Winston was found roaming the streets of Winston in October…

Make That a Double

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Coffee. I need coffee...lots of it. Keep it coming. Grind some of those 100% Columbian beans, baby...extra strength. Biggest mug we have, please. Make it a double. It's been a long night. 
Let me catch you up with the story.

Missy M and the grand dogs made the 8-hour journey over the river and through the toll booths, arriving late Wednesday evening. Since Mr. T and I are housebound this Holiday Season, we are hosting both family celebrations here...so she and the mutt-mutts are traveling the Turnpike twice.

Both of her dogs did fine on the long trip, although Dixie simply will not sleep in the car. She's not disruptive (like Gussie could be at times); she sits quietly and watches...watches, the whole way. Ella Rae is more active, shall we say? Jump in the front seat, take a nap. Back to the back seat, look out the window. Back to the front, try to help drive...and so on. But, since ER does nap occasionally, she was ready to roam when they pulled into the driveway.

After a fran…

A Time for Healing

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Glad that week is behind us. Thankfully, the healing has begun.

Recovery from Mr. T's shoulder surgery is going well. He feels much better as he heads into the second week, although the localized pain around the surgery site is pretty intense at times. Most thankful for his pain pills, now that he no longer has the benefit of the On-Q pain block thingee. For some reason, he has the most pain from a spot on his back/shoulder blade that doesn't appear to have been involved in the operation. No stitches, no redness, no lump, bump, or bruise. Odd. Well, maybe we can learn more about it at his upcoming follow-up visit on Friday. We shall see.

"The kiss of sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."
          -- Dorothy Frances Gurney
Those lines from Gurney's poem are on a metal plaque that Momma purchased for her garden in Smithville...then I had in every garden since 1990...until Missy M &quo…

And Then There Were Two

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"His name is Elmo, he's 3 years old, he's red and white, he's extremely shy, and he needs to be an only dog. No other pets in the household," said the GABR foster mom. That information...and that last bit of advice...was about as close to wisdom as we were likely to get in making our second adoption from Guardian Angel Basset Rescue. For even though we knew exactly when Elmo was born – February 25, 2002 (not usually the case with rescues), we would learn precious little else about his first three years of life. But then, all animal adoptions are a crap-shoot, aren't they? So we rolled the dice, had a meet & greet in our driveway in O'Fallon, and signed the papers on Saturday, September 17, 2005.
When I say "we," I mean Missy M. She had moved to her Memphis-area apartment from an on-campus room, and she was missing her two Basset buddies, Duchess and Gus. Gussie-man was our first GABR rescue two years earlier, Elmo would be the second. A beaut…

Drive-thru Surgery and DIY Recovery

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Calm and peace reign over our tiny corner of the Universe. After the sound and fury of yesterday's weather, the day has dawned clear, bright, and fresh. The view out of the Morning Room window is a joy to behold...Autumn in all her rain-refreshed, multi-hued glory...with a cloudless Carolina Blue sky as the backdrop.

How could one not be completely centered and just enjoy that vista and savor one's English Breakfast tea? Probably because one is stressing over one's looming duty to perform. Let's hit rewind to get the full story.
Yesterday began with an abrupt start before the red digits on the bedside clock read 4:15...about 30 minutes after I'd finally fallen asleep. Mr. T was scheduled for surgery on his right shoulder "first thing" at 7:30, and he had to check in at High Point Surgery Center at 6:15. Fortunately we live in a 20-minute town...where you can drive to anything you want to in 20 minutes or less. If we'd still lived in Atlanta, that alarm …

Busy Week Recap

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Whew! I needed a weekend, how about you? Thinking back over the events of the past week, I can see why I might be feeling just a tad on the tired side. Here's the recap:

1. Working in the garden to prepare for our area's First Frost took several hours...in some pretty challenging windy conditions, always an energy zapper. Read more about those activities on our Garden Blog...click here to go there.

2. Putting on my Extension Master Gardener Volunteer hat...well, actually a name badge and a T-shirt...to prep and present a program on Winter Interest Gardening to a local garden club took a few hours, too. I have been out of the Speakers Bureau harness for a few months, so this was a treat, especially since I got to team up with an EMGV and HP friend. And, the icing on the cake was a review and recap lunch and equipment hand-off with SB chair and good friend (EMGV & otherwise!), JA.

3. Making a mad dash to Winston-Salem to attend a "lunch-and-learn" garden workshop a…

Let's Try This Again

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I know I've said it before: I'm nothing if not persistent. Ner (the family's affectionate nickname for Nelle Rhea Stewart, my step great-grandmother) drilled it into my head:
If at first you don't succeedtry, try again.
So, I knew we had to give Abbie's puppy training another try. I realized this as I was standing at the kitchen sink, washing the blood off my arms in preparation for spraying my newest wounds with Bactine. I also knew I'd rather be beaten with a stick. Sigh.
What? That sweet little (almost 50-pound) puppy? 



Vicious?? Say it ain't so!
Back in late July, we signed Abbie up for Puppy Training at our local PetSmart. I met with the trainer and explained how skittish she was around other people...how we couldn't even take her for a walk around the neighborhood because she tried to (a) lunge at people who just wanted to "meet & greet" or (b) run away if another dog was anywhere in the picture. And although Abbie is as smart as a whip, …