Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Charles Schultz was on to something years ago when he penned Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Many of you know that we have been looking for a dog after losing Buckley last summer.  We had some emotional visits to the SPCA only to be told that we could not adopt a large breed with a small child.  Basically we were found unfit to adopt.  Perplexed but more so pissed, I vocalized my utter frustration on Facebook on a Wednesday night, and that's when the the world started to spin again just a bit faster.

My dear sister-in-law and friend Missy told me about a possible rescue situation from a family in Narberth, PA.  The next day I spoke to one of the owners for an hour, which led to 2 more days of talking with both owners at length.  By Sunday I was heading to Pennsylvania to pick-up Buddy.

Alex was so proud.  Her smile curled up around here cheeks and then her body shuddered.  It's as if her joy was busting through the seams of her body.  I haven't seen a smile curl like that since watching the ending of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

Buddy is handsome, shapely, calm, and well-trained.  He is a fan of sticks, digging, catching balls, and jumping great heights for a frisbee.  
Cindy, can you throw the stick again? Ok, fine take another picture.

He is a lab who will crush you with his weight love and hog up 90% of the bed; but somehow (maybe just for now) has control of his licker.  Did I mention that the dog purrs like a cat? Seriously, no lie. 

He now coined "the black jelly bean." So snuggly. So loving.  So gentle. So many memories to come.

Welcome home boy. XO


A Day at the Beach

You can feel spring.  It's coming.  Warm afternoons.  Blooming daffodils. The beach beaconed us. Some may say that Alex showed up a bit overdressed for the event.
Even after removing the Dorothy shoes, the crinoline and tule proved to be too much.  

Layers Removed. Smiles emerging. Sounds of a little one begging to jump into the water.

A hole in the sand equates to a playground.

And once again she reminds me to keep it simple.  Live in today. Enjoy what you have.
Trust me, I'm enjoying what I have.

Thanks Mike & Jana for capturing this moment. We had a wonderful weekend with you.



Last night marked another Fat Tuesday. For some, it's the final day of Mardi Gras, a chance to dine on pancakes, or the beginning of the Lenten Season. For me, Fat Tuesday will forever mark the day I lost my Mom. She died, cradled with love at 11:45pm on Fat Tuesday. One moment here, the next spiritless, free from the body that caged her.

I remember asking her hours before she died to pucker up so that I could kiss her. It took all of her might to contradict the loss of strength and the morphine, but the lips pursed and we had that moment as daughter and mother, as closest of friends, as fellow gardeners, as kitchen mates, as fellow teacher and student, as troublemakers, as Florence and Jennifer. She wasn't afraid to die. She just didn't want to leave us in the process.

I dreaded the night with its depth and darkness, and the sleep that would pull me unconsciously into another world. Because night eventually awakens into day. And sunlight would not bring hope, but would confirm that the world spins madly without her.  My heart grew that night, burst, and then flooded my body with grief.

I remember someone asking me days later, "what did you give up for Lent?" And casually I turned around and said, "I gave up my Mom, and you?" Did I intend to unnerve the person & rob them of words?  No. But I could not lie or deny my heart. I felt that for the first time in my life I understood the gravity and the sacrifice of Lent.  I understood the gravity of God's sacrifice.  The aptitude of love.  The meaning of suffering and of growth.

And now as a parent myself, I understand the depth of the love for a child. It's a powerful and larger than yourself. And I think of my mom. I realize that naturally she loved us a million times more than we loved her.  
You can't understand the breadth of it until you stand in those shoes as a parent. And I wear those shoes proudly. And I am so grateful.


What Color is Love?

Sometimes love is pink.  Spinning madly, dancing like no one is watching. 
"Mama, I need Ba-yeah Sippers"
Enjoying the view. Savoring the moment.


A Beautiful Day

Saturday was simply a beautiful day.  It was mild & windy with limited appearances of the sun; but still perfect once you count discovering a terrific park, visiting with Poppy, and landing the deal of the century on a new range. 

The new gem of area parks is Kinder Farm Park.  It's a trek - located 15 miles from home - but houses the largest playground EVER smack in the middle of a working farm.  How cool is that?
Poppy was down for the weekend and I wanted to give Alex and Dad the opportunity to play together. The swings brought them endless joy.

And the 20' tube slides intimidated Alex at first, but she sure did enjoy it after watching a few "big" kids show her the ropes.
Yes Alex does have a black eye. She's not a scrapper, but gave herself one exiting a glider this week.

We walked around the farm and talked to several of the 4-H kids that care for the animals.  We saw 4 pregnant goats, several oversized rabbits (large enough to eat my friends' dogs Teddy or Sandy), sheep and their lambs, several talkative cows, and lots of fowl.  SImply stunning hens.

Dad almost lost a few digits to a young black cow.  I guess he failed to read the 40 odd signs posted at eye level that said not to stick your fingers into the pens!!!

There were plenty of rocks and roots to clamor, which are  as entertaining to a child as a good swing ride.  
Add sticks to list of top 10 entertaining objects found in nature.

Here's wishing you a wonderful weekend. Range Porn to come.