How I Spent My Winter by Addie C.

1. I am slowly returning to blogging.

2. Officially, I’ve 1264 followers. I’m fairly certain only 47.243 of them are human.

3. Spring cleaning. Still. Mother insists on cleaning the windows–I feel if they are too smudgy for you, close the curtains. She won. The window cleaning people are here Tuesday. What? You thought I Was going to climb a ladder. Ha.Ha.And Ha!, again.

4. I’ve introduced Joe to coffee milk. He likes it just fine.

5. I’ve still not finished decorating my new bedroom which is my old bedroom except I had it painted Timber Wolf Gray with white trim and it was supposed to become my guest room while I moved into the new addition with the on-suite bathroom except Mother decided to follow her dog and move in with me and take over the new, new bedroom, so, I’m back in the old, new bedroom. Capisce?

6. I’m hooked on Orphan Black even if there are a couple of huge plot holes and big continuity errors. The lead, Tatiana Maslany,
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is amazing. Each version she plays has her own quirks and facial expressions, and, well, she’s amazing.

7. Sam and I are extending our walks. I’ve lost 25lbs since the beginning of February–more to go!Someone I know recently said to me I was looking svelte. I said: Thanks! I’m working on the velte part, but, I’ve always been svel. *crickets*–and am not working on seeing if I can get my skin to suck it up a bit so I can wear a sleeveless LBD to my niece’s wedding in July. Otherwise, I have to find flesh colored duct tape and wrap it around my upper arms. No one will notice, amiright?

8. Sam is also learning more and more commands. He’s still a puppy, so, the whole attention span issue is there, still…he’s learning.

Unless Lass insists on being there, then, I’m screwed. I really am sure he’s a hoarder, not a herder. He’s taken over Lass’ new bed and my new rug with all his stuff. His bed is so full of toys and bones, he can’t sleep in it anymore.

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9. Bud is deep in training for the upcoming biking season. Not the bike with a motor, but, the bike my tall son propels himself. He eats more than the entire third grade in the local school, rides before and after work and one day on the weekend, putting in hundreds of miles a week. He visited a friend who also rides, and they went up and down a mountain…twice. In a day. Twice. His text to me was: Who burned 4500 calories today and can now eat whatever the Hell he wants? Me. I’m pretty sure it takes me six months to burn 4500 calories. His next big ride is the Santa Fe Century, which he rides with his Dad and Anne.

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10. My biggest Pinterest re-pin remains–drum roll, please–Nutella Cheesecake. It’s lush.

11. Look! I snuck another photo of Joe into my blog!! I’m ready to face the music.
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12. It’s Spring. Next weekend, I’ll plant my herbs and flowers and clear out the yard. It’s time for new gloves, a floppy hat and a fresh bottle of SPF 364.

13. Still missing the presence of bloggers I love reading, and, like as people. Harper, Grippy and Tim, who actually straddles the line between Doesn’t Post Anymore and Posts on Rare Occasions. That latter group also contains Maggie and Brigitte. (Damn links wouldn’t work!) I love all the posts of those who carry on the hard world of the blog–and I mean that seriously–and wish I had those others to read on a regular basis.

14. Game of Thrones starts tonight! and I found Jolly Time popcorn is only 3 Weight Watcher points. Bliss.

Your turn.

Caveat Emptor

With the new addition almost completed–my contractor doesn’t want to finish my punch list–I’m turning to what is left of the back yard. A shed is being built, I had the 8×30 foot deck put on the back, cut down a tree that died during last the neverending winter, had my flower beds turned, have flowerpots painted and ready to go and I’m starting my herbs indoors.

With the removal of the old tree, I’m in need for a new one, and Mother insisted we buy an Empress Tree because she likes them. It’s a fast growing tree–60 feet in 5 years–that originated in China and is an invasive tree here in the U.S. I was lured by the promise of rapid growth since the deck faces southwest, and, well, it’s pretty.

See?

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Pretty!

I found a site online, with pretty–that word lures me in every time–photos and glowing feedback. I’m now fairly sure it came from friends and neighbors who were paid a great price for their participation.

An unbelievable price. A stupendous price. A price that made my eyes gleam in money saving joy.

I ordered them, emails were dispatched,credit card details given. I rubbed my hands in What a Bargain! glee, and I waited. I received the confirming email. The Order Processed email. The longed for Your Order Has Shipped email, where words like ‘deliver’ and ‘delivery truck’ were used. I had the holes dug for two trees…the others were going to be gifts. I envisioned the soft summer air moving over the purple flower filled branches, shading my house, giving the grass beneath it a cool yard for the dogs to sleep away the upcoming hot season. I was smug in my online purchase.

I was the Queen of What a Deal Prices!!

Coming home from an errand today, I saw a 2′ long box on my dear little brick front porch. What is this, I wondered? Carrying it inside, I checked for white powder–I am not paranoid; paranoid implies you think they are out to get you…I know they are–and opened the side of the box.

My Special Deal, Great Price! trees, Buy Four For $20! Only $7.00 In Shipping! had arrived. All six…in one box.

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Yeah. I’m seeing a bit of a difference from what I have, and the photos I was shown. Do you?

Now I’m worried that bridge in Brooklyn I bought on that same TooGoodToBeTrue site (Buy a Bridge and Get Oceanfront Property To Go With It!) isn’t going to be quite what I’ve imagined, either.

That Time of Year

This was my adored Grandad’s favorite piece of music. He passed the love and appreciation of both the piece and the composer along to my Dad who handed it over to me, and, I gave it to my children.

I listen to it on occasion, when I’m missing those two fabulous men more than usual. I love this flash mob clip, and, since I react to the piece the same way every time, by the time the final chorus starts, I can seldom see the screen clearly.

I cry from complete and utter admiration at the beauty created in notes by a deaf man, the overwhelming sense of joy it brings me and from my deep sense of loss.

I miss you, Grandad. I miss you, Daddy–especially today.

As Time Goes By

 

Look!! It’s Spring!! So much has happened in the last number of months!!

Okay, I’m lying. The only big thing was in November and I’m not ready to bring it out of the cabinet in my head. No one is ill, no one was murdered, so, it’s all good.

Joe will be a year old on *redacted*!! I’m not allowed to show any more current photos or give out his birthdate. For some reason, his parents don’t want me to brag. I mean, who do they think they are?? I am allowed to show an older photo on occasion, so, here are twoImage 

 

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with him and Anne.  He is my heart and soul–Bud is still saying he was here first. I told him to get married and produce a grandchild, preferably a girl, and he’ll be back in my good graces. Until then, suck it up–and I adore my time with him. He still carries that sweet baby smell…more and more, though, little toddler scents are hovering over him. More real food, real milk, damp from toddling about. For now, however, he remains my baby boy that I’d kill to protect. This means his parents are no longer going to be able to fit into my Zombie Invasion get-away car. I may squeeze Bud in, simply because his size and expertise with an AK-47 (earned by using it in some video game) may be handy. Okay, I’ll strap them on the roof. Geeze.

It’s also almost a month since  Yaz  Sam came here to live. He knows a number of commands, both verbal and hand gestures, and his breeder suggested I train him for Agility Trials. It will take a year to get him ready–he’s still a baby, and I can only work with him a couple of times a day for 20 minutes or so, else he loses attention. He is getting leggy, and I love when he wags his nubbin tail. There was a meeting between my two boys, and, since both are babies, one of them was bitten. I think Sam is over it, though, and will forget when Joe drew blood. I’d hoped to have a spring bulb garden this year…he and Lass have removed each bulb and that area now contains partially chewed bones and a green squeaky toy. He loves to herd Lass, letting her run while he lies in the grass, then, he rushes across the yard at an angle to intercept her and turn her in another direction. Instinct. She’s his leader in our pack, I’m their Alpha, and we all ignore Mother.  I’ve discovered these are one person dogs–amiable to others in the pack, devoted to their Human. No matter where I go in the house, he is on my heels. I don’t do crate training, so, he sleeps on my bed. If I wake in the night to go to the bathroom, he’s there, waiting to go back to bed.

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I remain happy about the renovations, not so happy about my new roommate, and I’ve lost 22lbs since February 1st.

All in all, I’m content.

We Have a Name

After going over all of the great names here, friends chipping in ideas on FaceBook and reading lists on the Internet, my Mother’s suggestions–I don’t care what she liked, Sox is a cat name–Anne showed me a book that settled his name.

It’s a book I read to my children and one I’ll read to Joe and, well…

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How Much is That Doggy in the Window?

Lass, like the rest of us, grows older each day and, unlike the rest of us, her life will be over in the next few years. Granted, she’s white–which prevents tell-tale graying–and still bounds up on the bed and she chases squirrels with a vengeance, still, she doesn’t bound with the frequency she did a couple of years ago, finding comfort in a dog bed. She tends to chase for a few moments, then, she resorts to barking to show them who is who in the yard.

I find both her and DC snoozing in patches of sunlight, content with warmth and easy with each other. Lass really is Mother’s dog–although she respects me as the Alpha in our ‘pack’–she’s doing the aging thing and, if I’m honest, I want a bit of change.

So, on the 28th, I’m taking possession of a puppy. I’d hoped to find an older rescue dog, however, he grabbed my heart. Our yard isn’t big enough for a large nor even a medium size dog, therefore I’d been looking at Westies again, along with a few other terrier breeds. I love terriers…they are wonderful dogs to own, I’ve had Australian terriers, a terrier mix and now, Lass. Mother favors shepherds…with the exception of Lass, of course.

During my searches, I found a breeder 10 miles away with excellent credentials. I first approached her about an eight month old bitch that was a rescue. Sadly, she was cut out for big yards and children, therefore, I was back at square one.

Happily, she called me last week, to offer a three month old dog–in breeding terms, a dog is the term used for males–that had been dumped off. He has his papers, is almost potty trained, he’s a mini so the yard will be a good size, and, she gave me an excellent price. He’s just adorable, I can’t wait for him to come home! He will be neutered–sorry, my male readers–because he’s a pet, not a breeder and I’m a responsible pet owner.

Here’s where I need you, my friends. He’s nameless…I’m accustomed to female animals, and have no idea what to name a boy. The only name that pops into my head is Baxter. Not so good, right?

I’d appreciate suggestions…if I use yours, you will win my undying gratitude. Sorry, no 3D prizes available. I can’t wait for him to be old enough to play with Joe–right now, they are both too young for the other.

To prompt you along, here are photos of My Nameless mini Australian Shepherd.

Thanks in advance!

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Jonny–a short story

Inspired by Brigitte, here is my take on her prompt–to be written in 20 minutes. I took 22, then two hours and a call to Apple on how to cut and paste into WP–about a couple possibly facing divorce. Feel free to comment!

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by the time jonny mcphearson’s sister, rose, had given birth to sudi, he was in the middle of his third marriage. from the looks of things, this one was going the same route as the other two–women worn out far too early in life by pregnancies, running a house alone, helping to run a farm. their lives consisted of children, chores, canning, cleaning and cooking. up at 4am, in bed at midnight…even a strong man would eventually be worked to death. jonny didn’t marry strong women–he preferred his wives to be delicate and have the first markings of womanhood upon them. he courted and married girls–even in a time of young marriages, his were frowned upon by many.

he’d go to the city to find a new wife when it became too much to care for all himself, when his sisters and mother told him they had their own to deal with, and it was up to him to take care of his situation. he’d leave for a month or two, leaving his children behind with this sister or that cousin, taking work in a factory, offering himself up as a farm boy yearning to go back home where the air was good and the soil was rich and with the right woman by his side, he’d prosper. he unerringly knew the young girls who didn’t want the life of a factory workers wife, of breathing in the smoke of the mills, knowing their water would never lose its taste of chemicals. they saw the picture he painted with veils over their common sense, and he inevitably found himself with more than one to choose from to become mrs. jonny mcphearson. he tested the financial waters of their various families, and took to wife the one who had an advantageous dowry, even though, as with his second wife, it was nothing more than a house full of furniture. it was far, far better than what he had at home.

the wife picked, the family bedazzled with their daughter’s good fortune–not only a handsome man from a large family whose farms joined his in a circle around the one owned by his parents, but, a good christian man who had come to the city to work, and, with good fortune, found happiness with their little girl. no, they hadn’t planned on her getting married so soon, still, he treated her like a princess and promised she could come home every other month for a weekend. she’d bring back fresh farm milk and eggs and produce, all held in her arms plumped by good food and good air, eyes and skin glowing. he swore he’d not get her with child for a few years, to allow her time to grow into the idea of being a wife, much less a mother. he did not mention he’d been married before, nor did he mention he had children at home, children who were in dire need of everything. he kept this nugget of his life tucked away in his pocket, preferring to have his honeymoon before reality returned.

he’d arrive, usually in the late afternoon, his new bride by his side, she’d be blushing, holding back a bit out of the knowledge all these people knew what the two of them had done the night before, a bit out of fear of the large group gathered, a bit out of confusion when she heard the voices calling out “daddy!” as they ran to her husband, a man she’d thought childless. there was no going back, only steps into a future exactly like the one she’d hoped to avoid–married young, burdened with children and a house and the knowledge that it would never be more, and more likely be less. she felt the joy of what she’d hoped for in life drop away, felt her shoulders bow under what was to be, felt the knowledge this was going to be the first of many lies from her husband…and she understood her life would never be her own as long as she stayed. eyes narrowed, mouth set in a line, she thrummed with the need to find her way out, any way she could, be it running away, divorce or death. and she had no intention of that death being hers. She lifted her chin, widened her smile, waved and laughed.

she was ready to play his game.