The Cacophony of the Week–Playing Catchup

Tonight’s catchup post is brought to you by a stomach bug/fever suffering young’un and a tired Mama.

First of all, this happened this week.

The green in our foyer.  I love this color.

The green in our foyer. I love this color.

This color, out of all of them, was the most stubborn.  It took three or four coats.  The first one looked like my littles had painted the wall.  It was such a thin paint.  I’m learning all about bases and the like.  Base C, and a color with as much yellow in it as this one–those take way more than just two coats.  But I LOVE it.  It just suits.  Us. The room.  This house.  It does.  And there’s a lesson in this.  The two colors I love the most, this green and the gold in the kitchen/living room–I had no samples for.  Not that I will give up trying samples out.  I like the ones I chose after trying way too many colors out, but these two I ran out of time and had to get the gallons needed THEN.  I took a huge leap of something and made the choice.  The gold without backup and the green with my Fella and Aub sharing their thoughts.

From the green of the foyer to the pink of the soon to be library.  Yeah, we go from Kermit to Miss Piggy.  That makes me smile.

From the green of the foyer to the pink of the soon to be library. Yeah, we go from Kermit to Miss Piggy. That makes me smile. (and it looks better than this picture shows)

And turns out I love what happens when I make a choice without obsessing over it.  Is there a lesson in this?  Perhaps.  But I’m a really slow learner.

 

Cooter took this picture of his empty cake saucer.  He loved his chocolate cake.  There wasn't a chance to take a picture of it before it was eaten.  He's just that fast.

Cooter took this picture of his empty cake saucer. He loved his chocolate cake. There wasn’t a chance to take a picture of it before it was eaten. He’s just that fast.

And this happened.  With a child with severe food allergies, we don’t go to a lot of restaurants.  And we especially do not do buffets.  The risk for cross-contamination is just too great.  The last buffet I remember us going to, looking back, I realize she had a mild reaction.  That was before the bad one that made me wake up and start carrying an epi-pen everywhere.

Wednesday was the day I met Mr. A. A. Law in person and finished handling some business for my Great Aunt and Mama.  For those who might be wondering, I behaved myself.  I apologized to the women whom I inadvertently took my frustrations out on via a bad attitude when I spoke on the phone with them last week.  I was prepared to have a conversation with Mr. Law if the opportunity presented itself.  It did not.  And I’m okay with that.  But I acted like I was raised to behave, and that’s all that concerns me.

His office was right across the street from Side Tracks, the buffet restaurant that my Great Aunt used to take us to.  Cooter, who made the trip with me–exactly because he figured we’d have to eat out and he really wanted to,  joined me there for a trip down memory lane.  He’s been there before, back when he ate baby food sitting in his car seat/carrier.  He doesn’t remember going at all.  When his little eyes got over the disappointment over so many vegetables (he’s a self-proclaimed fruitatarian, y’all) and he chose some rice, catfish, and a biscuit, he saw the desserts.  Cake and pie slices wrapped securely under plastic wrap.   He looked, with his eyes popping, “Whaaat is thaaaat?”  “Dessert, buddy.”  “Can I have some?”  Sure, I said.  And he was off.  He carefully perused and chose a slice of chocolate cake.  Bless him.  The joy in that little guy that day is a memory I hope to treasure for a long time.  He took pictures of the plates on the table and he was fascinated with my catfish bones.  If I may for just a minute indulge in a bit of pity pot sitting, food allergies stink.  I wish I could take our Princess too.  I wish we could go in a restaurant without mapping out a game plan first.  I wish I didn’t have to quiet my anxieties every time we have a meal prepared by someone else.  But we do.  And I will do it over and over to keep her safe.  And maybe my meal with my little guy was all the more special because we can’t do it all the time.

And then there’s this.

"Sophie!"

“Sophie!”

"What?"  :)

“What?” 🙂

Miss Sophie sure worried us all after her fairly routine surgery.  She wouldn’t get up and walk around.  I called the vet.  Twice.  One time at 11:30 at night.  He is a kind, understanding person, and I’m thankful for that.  He knows I’m overprotective and a worrier, but when Miss Sophie wasn’t up and walking around three days after surgery, I knew something was wrong.  Turns out maybe she doesn’t like accessorizing.  When I took her cone off, she got up and started moving.  Slowly at first, but then she was back to her old self.  And that little face and wagging tail on the one who barks and pouts when I leave the room–I am thankful for her.

 

Lastly, I was reminded today of what little good it does for me to worry over things.  Things in the future.  Now, don’t think I’m going to stop.  I’m a work in progress and change for me will take as long as the rerouting of Highway 96 out my way will take.  LONG time.  Still.  Lesson learned.  Again.  I’ve been worrying for a week over how to fit things in and do what we were supposed to do today and tomorrow.  I just about had it all figured out, after much worry and figuring and planning, and then this morning at 4 a.m. I heard a little voice next to my bed.  “Mama, I feel like I have to throw up.”  Followed by proof.

And just like that.  Plans for today and tomorrow cancelled.  (Tomorrow’s cancellation was validated by a fever this evening.  Yeah, we’re staying put for a while.)

All that worry for naught.  I do that a lot.  Burn a lot of energy and wear myself out doing just that.  Worrying.

But with Anxiety Girl as my BFF, how could it be otherwise?

Wishing you all a day filled with surprises and good things as full as the dessert bar at Side Tracks.

Love to all.

 

Playing with Ice Cubes and Holy Moments

So this happened this evening.

Sophie Ru chasing after an ice mouse.

Sophie Ru chasing after an ice mouse.

This is what happens when you have an overzealous ice dispenser, a playful puppy, and two littles (and okay, one Mama) to cheer her on.

Daddy was the first to call those pieces of ice that scattered when you were trying to fill a cup “ice mice.”  Try with all your might, it was hard to catch those things.  In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, “Slippery little suckers.”

And so Sophie found out.  It was quite by accident.  Our ice dispenser sometimes shoots out one last cube though you and your cup might have moved on.  It has been known to land on the floor.  Sophie saw something moving and went after it.  And after it.  And after it.  It was funny to watch because sometimes she’d catch it and try to carry it in her mouth and then she’d act surprised and drop it and there it’d go across the floor again.

"I got it!"

“I got it!”

This.  This is why I so needed a puppy.

"Is it going to move again?"

“I’ve got my eye on you.”

Laughter has filled this house…..the littles (okay, me too) have been kicking that ice cube all over the place…..and then off she’d go again.  She loved trying to catch that ice cube. (or cubes, there might have been more than one–totally by accident.  Absolutely.)

Who needs cable or electronics when you’ve got this much fun an ice cube away?

Sleepy baby.  Wore herself out and crashed next to her water bowl.  Sweet dreams.

Sleepy baby. Wore herself out and crashed next to her water bowl. Sweet dreams.

Of course, as with all things, the fun must come to an end…..and we were all exhausted.  It’s hard being the life of the party.

Tonight I am thankful for moments like these.  Impromptu joy.  Unexpected laughter.  The exuberance of new life.  In the midst of sorting out all kinds of emotions and thoughts that come with living this life, it is a good and holy thing to laugh with my children, to watch them learn and grow with every moment, and to see the light reflected in their eyes and realize that, for a while, the shadows are gone.

Those moments when light and laughter and simple joy chase the shadows into the corners–that’s what I’m most thankful for tonight.

Go play with an ice cube.  Love to all.

Celebrating Things Big and Really Quite Small

Celebration.  Jubilee.  Partying with the big fish.  (sorry, that one’s from way back)

This has been a week of things such as that.

And we have celebrated in all kinds of ways.

Cupcakes--perfect for any celebration!

Cupcakes–perfect for any celebration!

Some folks celebrate with food.   We usually do.

Balloons add a festive touch.

Balloons add a festive touch.

Balloons are especially fun for birthdays, weddings, housewarmings, new babies, and so much more.

These beautiful ladies now grace my kitchen.  My new favorite painting by Barbara Wilkinson--"Substantial Ladies Dancing."  Don't you just want to join them?

These beautiful ladies now grace my kitchen. My new favorite painting by Barbara Wilkinson–“Substantial Ladies Dancing.” Don’t you just want to join them?

Some people show their excitement and joy by dancing.

I finally learned to make the granny square triangles for my banner--Pinterest WIN!

I finally learned to make the granny square triangles for my banner–Pinterest WIN!

Some people create and decorate to show their enthusiasm.

This has been a week of new life and love and just all kinds of wonderful things.  All of which we have celebrated in one way or another.  A new baby with hugs and tears and gratitude.  A good week at school for our college girl with thankful hearts and storytelling and dancing with joy.  Progress in learning with composing a new song to sing around the house.  And finally, we have one more bit of news to celebrate as this week draws to a close–

remember when I told y’all Imma need me a puppy?

Here's our newest little one--isn't she adorable?

Here’s our newest little one–isn’t she adorable?

Well, here she is.  And isn’t she worth the wait?

Since coming home to her celebratory banner and cuddly corner, she has spent the afternoon snoozing for the most part.  She likes to run for a couple of minutes outside and then she’s stretched out snoozing–outside or in, it doesn’t seem to matter to her.  She’s also quite smart–she took on our college girl in a match of wits and won.

Tonight I doubt if there are three happier children anywhere else on the planet than right here with the Zoo Crew.  I’m pretty pleased as punch myself.  I’m reminded of Sister’s words, whispered to me in the wee hours of Friday morning after quite the eventful night.  “You know,” she said, with heavy lids, “a puppy doesn’t need feeding in the middle of the night.”  I smiled. “Yes. I know.”

But even if she’s wrong and this little girl needs something during the night that I need to wake up for, I am thankful for this season in my life.  As Mama said so often, “To everything there is a season.”  And this is my season to watch my littles grow a little less small as they care for and play and laugh with this long-waited for puppy.  Everyone needs their own Spot.  And now we have ours.

pic of ME puppy shirt

Imma Need Me a Puppy

It’s been a long decade so far.

I’m in dire need of change.

For the better this time.  Please.

The past three years have been filled with a lot of sadness and heartbreak and caregiving and tender, sacred moments.  I’m not saying I’ve had any more to deal with than anyone else, but, not for nothin’ y’all, I’m tired.

I need a little pick me up.

Or maybe a little something to pick up. *teeheeheeing gleefully*

As time winds down to the day that my oldest heads out on the next leg of her life journey, I find myself in need of something to care for, to cuddle, to sit next to when I’m reading.  And y’all, Cooter, my baby, is six and it’s just not his thing anymore.

I want me a puppy.

I grew up with dogs and puppies.  My great-grandparents were known in the area for the rat terriers they raised.  My Granny also bred dogs.  Her Bassett puppies were so adorable, I still melt when I think of them.  It’s in the family.

My first dog was Pete.  We had him when it was just me and Mama and Daddy and we lived in Meriwether County. He was a beautiful dog.

pic of puppy me and Pete 1

And a good buddy.

pic of puppy me and Pete 2

Later on we had Blue.  He was a little smaller but had a great big heart.

pic of puppy me and Blue 1

pic of puppy me and Blue 2A few years later, Daddy was working on a farm near my Granny’s, and one day a dog showed up.  Daddy took a liking to him and brought him home for us.  He was named Slocum, because I told Daddy he was slow to come when I called him.  But he was the greatest dance partner EVER.

pic of puppy me and Slocum

Over the years there were many other dogs.  Shadow and Sugarfoot came along when Mama took us to go get a new puppy.  Mama and my sister loved Sugarfoot and I loved Shadow.  The folks giving them away offered Mama a big bag of food if she took both.  I’ve already said how much Mama loved her a bargain, so yes, both of those little loves came home with us.  We also had Belle the Bassett, and Samantha the German Shepherd.  Samantha just showed up one day at our first house in Byron.  She attached immediately.  I remember one day a mean stray showed up when I went to check the mail.  That dog barked and growled at me.  Samantha walked sideways and pushed me all the way back to my front door, barking and protecting me the whole time.  A special one that one.

When I graduated from college, I got myself a puppy that was 1/2 Bassett, 1/4 Fiest, and 1/4 Chihuahua.  So sweet.  Her name was Madge.  She was my little lady.  Until she got aggravated and scrunched that cute little face up at you.  In my previous life I was part of the family with Millie, a Boston Terrier.  Smartest dog I’ve ever known.  You could ask her if she was hungry or thirsty or wanted candy.  And depending on what she wanted, she’d either be still or start bouncing on her back legs.  She knew what you were asking.  She also became very defensive of me, which I really appreciated.  Then there were Scarlett, Rhett, Prissy, and Pittypat, the Beagles–my attempt to join the ranks of the breeders in my family.  It might have gone well if I hadn’t had to move back home.  But that’s another story.

When my girl and I ventured out on our own we added Bosley and LizzieLou Ashalee to our family.  They were both sweet dogs and brought us comfort and protection and companionship.  Years later after our family returned from Japan and we settled into our own home, we added sweet Tater, the Golden Lab/Bassett mix we adopted.  He was a sweet dog, but he just got wanderlust and started digging out.  This started right after the boxers next door started digging out.  I swanee those dogs whispered their secrets to him under the fence.  *sigh* Anyway, we were lucky to find a farm to take him in where he could roam and roam and live with a beautiful American bulldog buddy.

And so here we are now.  Dog-less.  Because of allergies we are downsizing our cats to only the outdoor ones.  And I’m sad.

I want me a puppy.  A hypoallergenic, indoor, follow me around and remind me of the fun in life, genuine puppy.  I used to say it was hard to sit on your pity pot when you had a little one sitting in your lap.  Now that my littles have just about outgrown the lap-sitting phase, I’m going to modify that statement:  It’s hard to sit on your pity pot when you have a dog looking in your eye and licking your face.  I just know it would be.

The crew and I have talked about it.  I told them we’d name her “Miss Kay” when we get her.  (Note the positive thinking use of “when.”)  I’ve mentioned this want (dare I say need?) to some of my friends.  One sweet friend said she wanted to go with me when I get my puppy.  Another suggested maybe I should get a rutabaga instead.  That tickled my funnybone.  I think that might just be a good name for my new little one.  Aub says we could call her “Rudy” for short.  I like it.

And so the decision-making and discussion continues.  I think back over the years and dogs that my parents let us have.  What I appreciate so much now that I’m grown is that they let us get those dogs, despite being pretty sure of how it would turn out.  That they would wind up taking care of the dog, that hearts would be broken eventually, that ultimately one of the dogs would tear up or chew up something.  It’s just the nature of the animals–both the children and the dogs.  And yet, they still said yes.  More times than not.

As I do my research on breeds (Yorkie or Morkie) and remember all that having a puppy again would require, I know there are downsides to the warm and fuzzies.  I have had my share of piddle puddles and getting up at 3 a.m. to housebreak a puppy and heartworm treatments and losing a puppy to parvo or a dog to an automobile.  It’s hard stuff.  But in the end, for me, the warm and fuzzies win out.

Years and years ago, I gave my Granny a print by Mary Engelbreit which had a quote by Robert Whalen on it.  She and I both loved it so much that when I found the art on a t-shirt I got it.  It reminds me of two parts of my life that made me very happy–my Granny and my puppies.

pic of ME puppy shirt

As the winds of change come sweeping down the plain, I find myself more and more certain that, while a puppy might not fix everything, it would come mighty, mighty close.  Yep, I’m thinking Imma need me that puppy.