Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Springing into Action

Woo-Hoo! We finally have a warm, dry day. It's not windy or nothin'!!! I know there are quite a few of you that have already seen the beginnings of Spring. It's really too early for me to be bragging. But hey, I'm on a blog roll, so why not? And is it really bragging if what I am about to show has nothing to do with me? Nuh-uh! No, absolutely nothing! Notta...zilch! I didn't lay one finger or hand on any of it. I didn't even offer a glove to either hand that was plotting and planting it. Actually, he would probably have my head on a platter if he knew I was showing any of it before it took shape...but he's not here and he never looks at my blogs. What he doesn't know, won't hurt him. Right?...So I will forge on with what I started. Bear in mind that we have had cold & wet weather. Our yard dried out enough that last night he was able to mow grass and knock down the dandelions. They were getting so tall that it looked like our dog was going potty in the jungle.

Also, bear in mind that I do not know the names of any of the plants or trees that we have. I'm going to try not to unveil too much until he gets it the way he wants it (because there are still more things to plant and arrange). Really right now it looks kind of sad. But if he gets as much time to play in the dirt as he did a few years ago, it will look pretty awesome. When it comes to landscaping, the past 2 years have not been his shining moment of glory because he uprooted a lot of our trees & plants to re-landscape and level out. Whatever that means! He hauled in more dirt and every time grass would start sprouting...he would haul in more dirt. So our backyard consisted mostly of dirt for that season---It was so sad and desperate looking!! That's why I'm ecstatic about a few green leaves and what-not. We no longer have to water dirt and make believe!

This tree will get full and turn a bright red. Then it's leaves will become light and feathery. They will turn charcoal in color. It actually looks like smoke is hovering around it. Hence the name: Smoke Tree.

This bush is up by our house. It's another one that does some pretty amazing metamorphosis as the season progresses. I don't know what all he has planned for this garden, but he usually changes it up every season. Now if we could just keep our daughter from accidentally "parking" her car in any of it.

I Don't know what it is. But it's pretty, right?

This is one he has in one of his gardens in our backyard. Look! It's trying to do it's thing.

OK. That's enough for now. I'm beginning to feel ashamed of myself for prying into his private work before it is completed or it has time to come into it's beauty. But will I delete this post? Heavens NO! Let's just keep it between ourselves, shall we?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cuteness: Wearing Thin

I was never what you would call an animal lover. I mean, I didn't hate animals, but I never saw the need to have an animal. OH! Sure, when I was little, I always wanted a dog. And I'm pretty sure for most of my childhood years, my family had an outside dog. But after the first 2 or 3 dogs were ran over by a car and killed or died from distemper, I pretty much learned to keep my emotions and attachments at bay. We never had animals in the house. Unless you count a hamster that my brother had for a few months. It was always kept in a cage. (For the record, it died, too). So you can see why I never had a yearning for an animal.

My husband's family are all animal lovers. So, naturally, my daughter has inherited the trait. When she was younger, she sometimes felt like an only child because her brothers were older and they lived at their mother's house most of the time. She asked me for a dog once when she was about 4 years old. I told her that we couldn't have a dog until we moved to the country or put a fence around our back yard. She never mentioned wanting a dog again, so I thought that she had forgotten all about it. She attended a Christian School. They always had closing prayer at the end of each day. Each child would pray for the needs of loved ones and for the community. Then the teacher would take prayer requests from each child. In the third quarter of her first grade year, her teacher told me that she wished we would get my daughter a dog because the poor little thing had been praying for a dog every day since she was in kindergarten. That made me feel somewhat like a heathen! But I explained to the teacher that we simply did not live in a place that would accommodate dogs. She gave me a look that implied that she felt that excuse was simply not a good enough reason to deprive my child of a dog. The odds were stacking up against me. I guess my feeble words were no match against the big old blue eyes of a 5 & 6 year old girl pleading with God for a dog. Well, about 6 weeks later the leader of my Mom's gospel group told her that the Lord had laid it upon his heart to give his dog to my daughter. What could I say? I'm not one to argue with the Lord!!! SO, on the last day of my daughter's first grade year, we went to get Sugar. She was a Shichon (half Bichon Frise, half Shih-Tzu) puppy. Actually she was 1 1/2 years old when we got her. She was fully trained and a pleasure to be around. Don't get me wrong, she was added work for me...but she was an extremely clean dog. She grew up with my daughter. She gave the whole family years of devoted love and loyalty. We had her for over 11 years. But the inevitable happened. She suddenly got sick one day. I put her in the animal hospital on my daughter's 18th birthday. 3 days later, I made one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I told the vet to put Sugar to sleep because she was in the final stages of leukemia. What devastation!!!!

For 5 months, we were such a pathetic family. We would stop where ever we were just to watch puppies playing. Which was a little dangerous... especially the times when I stopped my car right in middle of the street to watch puppies in the neighbors' yards. They probably thought I was a stalker or worse, a dog-napper. But when I started seeing our dog out of the corner of my eye at our house or stepping over her like she was still here....I felt that I had another decision to make. Either I had to have the whole family committed to one of those "special" places or we had to get another dog. I started searching the internet. I found some really cute dogs! But they all had really cute prices. I wanted another dog...but I didn't want to spend a small fortune for one. After all, we had the best dog in the world and she had been free. (Just the price of a 2 year long prayer). We found a Shichon that was reasonably priced pretty close to our home town. She was 7 weeks old when we got her.

This is what Sissie looked like when we brought her home:

Cute, huh? But she didn't understand ANY words. Her brain was a clean slate. This was a whole new ballgame for me. I didn't know how to communicate with her. Our other dog understood so many commands and words. Those first few months, when I spoke to Sissie, she looked at me like I had 2 heads. AND her bathroom habits were unspeakable. I don't speak of them because she had none...she would just go where ever she happened to be standing at the time. I quickly learned that she would not go potty in her crate. I learned to love her crate!!!! But by the time she was 3 months old, she was trained to go outside. I just had to remember to take her out often because I had not figured out a way to make her go to the door when she needed to go out. We were still missing & grieving over our other dog. A friend suggested that we needed to get Sissie a playmate. (Yeah, right! And I needed 3 root canals for sheer pleasure, too!) THEN ONE DAY it happened! I got a call from my daughter. A lady and her daughter were at the place where she worked and they had Bichon Frise puppies for sale. Would I come up and look at them? (EXCUSE ME? WHAT?!!!!!) :-( I told her that I would come and look at them because she was really excited and it seemed important to her. I thought maybe it was because they looked like Sugar. But I warned her that we already had a dog. I was just beginning to get through to Sissie. She was learning new words and commands. There was no way that I wanted to start that process all over again with a new puppy. But being the good mom that I am, I went to look at the dogs. They were the funniest, most deformed looking dogs that I had ever seen. 3 of them had exaggerated overbites. But as soon as I held the most ugliest, deformed looking one of them all...I was hooked! My daughter said she wanted to buy the ugliest one with the most deformity because no one would buy it and we just couldn't let it go homeless. I told her that if she was willing to pay for it, she could have it. I thought that would put a damper on things. You see, my daughter can be as tight with her money as I am with my money. But guess what? Roxie was 11 weeks old when she came to live with us. ----Nuff said----I'll spare you of showing the puppy pictures. A s soon as Roxie arrived, we cleaned her up, and gave her a hair cut. She didn't look as much like a possum/sheep. Either I've gotten use to looking at her or she really has gotten cuter! Here's what they look like now. Sissie is 16 months old and Roxie is 14 months old.



Sissie & Roxie

Both dogs are like typical siblings....meaning they have some traits that are alike but they have completely different personalities. Sissie is very hyper. She loves to play. She is a people pleaser. It hurts her feelings if she thinks she has made someone mad. She understands quite a few words now. She stands by the door now when she has to go potty. (YAY!) :-) She does a lot of tricks...sit, shake hands, lay down, roll over, catch, fetch. She knows the words: NO, stop, kitty cat, want a chip?, go downstairs, go outside, potty, get a bath, & get in the corner and put your head down. She is kind of funny looking, too. She is skinny. Her legs have out grown her body and she has a small head. But we think she's beautiful!

Roxie on the other hand is a completely different story. She is a cuddler. She would rather lay down than stand or run. She loves to be loved on. She refuses to go potty outside on a leash. She insist on using a puppy pad in our bathroom. AND she waits for me to close the door so that she can have some privacy while she goes potty. She'll go to the snack cabinet and bang it with her nose to let me know that she wants a snack. When I tell her she can't have a snack...she argues with me...she does a pretty good howl. In fact, she argues/howls at me about a few other things. The puppy cuteness has worn thin! She can try my patience at times. She knows the meaning of "Get in the corner and put your head down", too. This is where she has her "time out" when she misbehaves or gets on my last nerve.

The funny thing is Roxie is the closest to being like a little kid. She is my shadow whenever I'm home. She always wants love and attention. Needless to say, we love both of our dogs. They have taken the sting out of losing Sugar. But now, I tend to be more cautious when my daughter's phone calls begin with, "Mom, you should see......"

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Spring Low Down

I will spare you of telling every detail of my Spring Cleaning progress. I have a good start on it but I'm not even 1/4 of the way finished. I figure that I'm going to milk this turning fifty thing as much as I can. You know, the whole "I'm starting to slow down because I'm not as young as I use to be" thing? The tricky thing with this excuse is that I have to be very careful of when and how many times I use it. If I'm not careful, my family may catch on and give me more chores to do.

I've been reading posts from some of you who live in different states. My goodness! Your spring has sprung. Beautiful yards & landscapes. We have some budding going on but no real blossoms in our yard. I've noticed along the roads that some of the foliage and trees have some very pretty colors showing. Our Lilac bush has some color.

As soon as our yard & landscaping comes alive with different colors, I will show them to you.
Until then, I will show you what my daughter's boyfriend gave to her for Easter.

Easter Lilies are her favorite flowers. He had the roses delivered to her at work for their 2 year dating mile mark. Not knowing that he was going to give her Easter Lilies, Mr. Chat bought her an identical Easter Lily plant. Now she has 2 of them. As soon as the weather clears up she wants to plant the lilies in our yard.

Another thing about turning more flowers....I was given a Steak-n-Shake Cheeseburger, a milk shake, and "The Passion of Christ" DVD. Not a bad gift. Mr. Chat has learned how to give me the best of both worlds. He knows that our daughter always displays her flowers in our living room. So I was able to enjoy flowers and their beauty with each sip of my milk shake. Mr. Chat is NO DUMMY!

On a more serious note: Aren't we so blessed and so loved to have a Lord that would voluntarily go through the unspeakable pain and suffering that He endured so that we could have eternal life if we so choose? It's there for all who want to receive of charge!!!! He paid the price so that we would not have to.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Virtual Tour

Did I mention that I only redecorate every 15 years? That's why I'm having so much fun this week. Once I have it the way I want will stay that way until it gets very old! So at the risk of running you all up the wall, I will show you what the rooms I've re-done look like so far. Then I will give you a break for the next few blogs.

Here is what I've done so far;

The other sides of my living room:

My Dining Room:

My tiny bathroom:

That's all I've done so far. Our next project will be the kitchen. I painted the kitchen walls in a spiced cider color last year. But the floor and the counter are still in my 90's blue color scheme. I want to redo the floors and the counter in a stone tuscany color tile and decorate in a kind of coffee shop theme. I haven't really decided because my ideas change as a project goes along. So I really won't know until we actually start it. If anybody has any ideas, feel free to pass them on. I'm open to suggestions. This has been a lot of fun!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Show and Tell

I know night time is the worse time to take indoor pictures. I should wait until daylight when the lighting is better. I should also wait until I have all of my furniture and decorations back in place. But I am so excited! I can't wait!!!!! Our floor is done (Thanks to Mr. Chat, my Dad, Mr. Chat's nephew, a friend of ours, and my daughter's boyfriend). I promised to share pictures so here they are:

YAY!!!!! Now I wonder when we can re-do our kitchen? That floor is way over due. But I'll be good and give everyone time to rest.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

At Home Project

Mr. Chat is on vacation this week. We aren't going anywhere. In fact, in June , he and his oldest son are going to meet with his brothers in Texas for their annual fishing week. No! This week will be a working vacation as usual. We won't be going anywhere. But there is something getting accomplished that I have wanted done for over a year now.

No, I didn't club Mr. Chat over the head with a hammer!
When our house was built...I was much younger. My taste ran more on the contemporary side. All of my walls were painted white. I had silver carpeting and black furniture. It was pretty. I had a lot of compliments on it. But after 15 years...I was very tired of it. My daughter always said it looked SOOOO 90's. It did look pretty sterile. Most of our friends didn't seem to be able to get cozy, comfortable like we did in their homes.
So about a year and a half ago, I added colors to my walls and we bought new living room furniture. It really added warmth to our home. People tend to act more comfortable when they come for a visit now.
My problem....the silver carpet. About 6 months after I painted the walls...we finally found the floor with the colors and the design we liked. This was not as easy as it sounds. Shopping together can be quite a challenge for the two of us. Mr. Chat & I have the same taste in some things, while in other things, we simply do not have the same likes or ideas at all. Sometimes he thinks my tastes on certain things tend to run on the girly side. But that's not true at all. He has too much masculine tastes on some things. LOL! So when we found THE floor, we hurried and bought it before either of us had a chance to change our minds or talk the other one out of it. BUT It has been stored in our garage for almost a year because Mr. Chat has been working so many hours at work (and trying to finish random other projects he has started) that he hasn't had time to lay the new floor.
I had a surprise when I got home from work today. All of my furniture was piled in all of the wrong rooms and my carpet was rolled up and thrown into the bed of Mr. Chat's pickup. This is what I found when I walked through the front door-----I couldn't go through the garage door because my sofa is sitting in the garage!

YAY!!!! I will share the results with you when the floor is finished. Don't I have a good husband?