Saturday, February 04, 2012

Life with a Dog

Last June, Father's Day to be exact, we adopted a dog. I didn't want a dog, I was missing the dog we had lost the previous April. I didn't need a dog, there are vet bills, there is food to buy, and a host of other expenses that go along with having a dog.....besides, I missed my Sugar. That was the entire point of my resistance. I didn't want to replace Sugar, I didn't want her to leave my memory. I just didn't want to open my heart again to another dog, you love them, you care for them, you spoil them, you enjoy their company, you pet them, you love them (oh, I said that before) and you loose them.

So Father's Day comes along, and I am at a loss for a present for my husband. I know he has been on line, looking at the adoptees at our local animal shelter, a non profit shelter in our area, and the Bide A Wee. I suggest that we go to the shelter in Calverton. (about 20 or so miles away from us) We looked at a few of their dogs, none really struck us as being a "fit" for us. One didn't like other animals, barked snarled and tried to go after one that was walking nearby...another wasn't interested in us at all, ignored us, even when we talked to him and tried to pet him, another just wanted to run all over the property of the shelter, no interaction again. Well, we shrugged our shoulders and got ready to leave. As we were leaving, my husband said that he would like to go to Bide A Wee to see what they had.....A much better facility. Newer kennels, no stinky smells, they had puppies, they had old dogs, they had younger dogs, some more aggressive than others, and they had ABE.
Abe is a Shepherd Rottweiler mix. That is what they can tell. He is from Kentucky, a shelter dog all his life. Bide A Wee rescued him from the shelter in Kentucky, a kill shelter. He is neutered, vaccinated, and really cute.....he was so friendly, bringing us a ball, jumping on us and kissing us. We gave references, which they called while we were interacting with Abe....we had to go home, to get the truck, we had my convertable....and the adoption donation (aka fee). Well, needless to say, an hour later, Abe was in the truck, with us riding to our home. He sat patiently, let the kids pet him, hug him and looked out the window.
Flash foward to today....Abe has had exactly 4 accidents in our home, asks to go out, sleeps on the bed with us, and brings boundless joy to us all. He loves us all equally, and freely gives kisses.

The bottom line here is: I didn't want a dog, but I didn't know how much I needed THIS dog. He is our friend, our child, our companion,and a big part of our family. I fell in love with him the minute he kissed my hand. He makes me laugh, he is so smart, and he is ours. He loves us without condition. All we need to do is feed him, pet him and scratch his belly. He will follow us to the end of the earth. His eyes tell a story of love.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Lately, I have been in a dinner rut. Not sure what to prepare, and not planning. Flying by the seat of my pants, so to speak. I have veggies in the freezer, potatoes, rice and pasta in the house, but the protein, the main part of the meal, well, that is another story. I am never sure, beyond, Cassidy, Scott and myself, who will be at the table, nightly. There are times when Patrick is working, so we are 4. Then there are times when Daniel goes to his girlfriend's, so that makes us 3. For example, last night, we had the five of us, and Daniel's girlfriend. So we were 6, for those of you keeping up with the math! I had no plan going into dinner, so I ran to the butcher, bought their marinated chicken cutlets...they are yummy, cook fast on the grill, and we had a quick dinner. Tonite, I am stumped. I sit here thinking, what will go over well, what is fast, what can we do to make it interesting? TOnite at our house is literally insane. (Daniel has baseball for the school, at 630, drop off at 615. Cassidy has All District Orchestra, drop off at 630, and a Varsity football meet and greet the new coach at 7pm) So, what is a mommy to do? No fast food here, we just don't do that, I can't do that. I really am not a fast food person, once in a while I take Cassidy to lunch at Wendy's, that is a treat. Our fastest food is to go to the local Pizza parlor and have a couple of slices. I enjoy that, it is the place where Patrick works, and a family owned place, we are comfortable there, and the food is good. They have a variety of different types of pizza, even a Greek Salad slice! But I try not to make it a habit to go there, Pizza is not meant to be a steady diet.
So any way, back to my original dilema, what to do about dinner! I was good on MOnday, I made spaghetti sauce in the crock pot....dinner was ready in the time it took for the spaghetti to boil!
I love to cook, I just hate to plan! I plan everything else that goes on, I coordinate drop offs and pickups, I run everyone around, etc. SO planning dinner is a major chore to me, but somehow, I pull it out! Ah, well, will get planning, or at least thinking about it...No worries, everyone will be fed!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hello out there in Blogland! Sorry that I have been a disapointing writer for many a month! I just haven't had anything to write about lately, or more to the point, I haven't felt that my life has been at all interesting enough to write about.
My observations of the world around me just haven't been too keen.
Things here, on the homefront have been a status quo.
Life has been moving at a pace that doesn't allow me to breathe! (Not really, but I think most of you know what I mean)
The boys are the boys, and my daughter is my daughter.
The oldest is a college freshman, at the local community college, and seems to be enjoying it, as well as doing well in classes.
My middle one is a junior in high school, and is doing well.
My youngest is a 5th grader, breezing along and areal girl!
y husband is doing well, healthwise, and I am dong well too.
So there ya have it, in a crazy nutshell.
I am going to try to post more often, spouting my little opinions and such. I will try that is the best that I can promise! I miss my blogger friends!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Random Rambling

Today is the last Monday of High School for my oldest. He will be graduating a week from this comming Friday. I have mixed emotions about this. I am thrilled for him, but sad at the same time. I am excited, and yet, very anxious and nervous for him. I loose sleep at times because I just am not sure we prepared him to enter the "real" world. But anyhow, above is his Senior Portrait. Hope to post again soon!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Here on Long Island, it is getting tougher to feel good about what is going on around us. Almost all of the school district are threatening layoffs, citing loss of school aid from the state. Many of the school districts can cut their budgets by laying off administrators to the tune of 100 thousand dollars per administrator, or more. I wonder what will happen to my two children who will still be in public school. My oldest will be graduating this June, so he will not be a part of these cuts. My middle child is going to be a junior next year, and I fear for his last tow years in high school. Will the classes be huge, will the sports programs run, will there be any programs for these kids. My daughter is in elementary school, she is actively involved in several "clubs" in her school. They are wonderful programs that are held before or after school and the kids benefit greatly from them. Chorus, Show Choir, Recorder Ensemble, French Club, Homework Club, and Intramurals. These will open up worlds to her that I am not financially able to open to her. I cannot afford voice lessons, nor enroll her in a foreign language program at 9 years old. She does play softball for a local league, and basketball in the winter. But beyond those, it isn't feasable to pursue her interests outside of school. Our school taxes consist of more than half of our property tax bill, mor like 65% and they keep rising, with state cuts adding to the tax burden. It seems as though our region carries the state tax burden for schools, and we are relatively small in comparrison to the rest of our state. I know there is nothing that any of my blog readers can do about this little rant, but I just needed to get it off of my chest. It was necessary for me, I am tired of being overtaxed and told that I will be burdened with more taxes for education. SO, now I will get off of my soapbox.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Today, as I start my day, I am trying to put a positive spin on everything. Somedays it is hard to do that, but I make the choice to be positive. Personally, I beleive that being happy and being positive is a choice. You can decide as your feet hit the ground every morning. You can tell yourself, to see the goodness around you, or you can find fault with things. I am not saying to put on a false smile and forget responsibility or your worries. What I am saying is that you and you alone can look inward, and outward, and just be happy that you are here. The alternative stinks.
I have moments of sadness, and moments when I ask why I have been dealt the cards that I have. I am not always "Mrs. Mary Sunshine."
In this writing, I am trying to convey the overall attitude that I have tried to develop over the years.
One of my freinds had a great quote, and I apologize for not remembering who it was originally from, but my friend, Nance commented, "Happiness is a habit....." That hit home for me. I realize that we can't always be the happiest people in the world, but if we make it a habit, we can continue it for the most part. It is like taking a familiar route to the grocery store, or to work, or to a freind's home. We make it a habit.
A few years ago, as many of you know, I was a mess. I was deep in the pits of sadness, questioning why and so much more. Then something happened. I woke up one morning and said, all the the "stuff" that makes me unhappy isn't important. I looked around me, I was thankful for the fact that my husband was with me, that my children were well adjusted and loving human beings, and I decided that this was important, that this is what happiness is made of, the people around you that you love, the simple things.
After having a brush with serious illness, and living with the knowledge that it could all be over tomorrow, the reality wakes you up. End of story. As a family we could have wallowed in self pity, railled against the fates and been the angriest people in the world. Yet, somehow, even though the anger was and is still there, I looked beyond it, I realized that we still had each other at those moments. I realized that no matter what, our very lives depended upon our attitudes. I am not saying that we just pasted the smiles on and pretended. We made life "normal" for our children, we carried on. We woke up each morning, we got them ready for school, sent them to school, helped with homework when necessary, ate dinner together, did activities with them, and continued that every day. When Scott was in the hospital, the kids spoke to him via telephone every day, the boys were old enough to visit, and we took the train in to the city to see him, once a day. It was important for the kids to be able to continue their routines. It was important to break the routine and take them to see their father.
With routine, we move through life normally. With routine, we develop habits. Make outlook a part of the routine. Wake up in the morning with the attitude that you will find some good in the day.
Start small, think big. Dream of things for you, your husband, or your children. Laugh at something silly, even if it doesn't seem appropriate. Smile when you hear a baby laugh. When bad things happen, see the good on the other side. If you get a huge bill in the mail, look at it and see how to make it smaller. Ask yourself how to make it better, you will be able to, one step at a time.
I beleive the key to happiness is taking small steps, eventually the small steps add up to one big step.
Do I have the same dreams I had 20 years ago? No. Did I realize all of those dreams? No. Do I enjoy SOMETHING every day? Yes. Do I know that sometimes everything you wish for cannot be? Yes. Does that make me unhappy? No. Are there days when I regret not realizing all of my dreams? Of course, but the key is not to wallow in that feeling. Reality is that not everything can be handed to you or worked for. Reality is that we are ever evolving beings, times change, economy changes, circumstances change, health changes. Dreams don't always come true, that is for Fairy Tales.....and we can't live in a Fairy Tale, then we would be shattered people all of the time.
SO find your happy moment, look at your day and see that it is good to have sunshine, it is good to see a child smile, it is good to say hello to your friends. If you can find a little thing that makes you happy, you have won!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Time of Reflection.......

On one of the Holiest days of the Catholic religion, I will take time to reflect.
Over the past say, 5 or 6 years, I will say I have been angry at God, angry at the Church, and questioned my beleifs, to the point where my daughter hasn't made her first Communion and my boys haven't been confirmed. I regret not being able to give my children the basic rites of passage in their religion, but and this is a big but......if I can't fully love and embrace what is the Church, then how can I ask them to?
I know that Religion and politics are tabu subjects to place in a public forum, sometimes you get opinions that you don't really want to have or hear. I have never shied away from anyone's opinion, so if it will be, it will be. Basically, I have replaced organized religion with spiritual thoughts, not of GOD, but of how to live a good and moral life.
I doubt that I will go to church today to "get ashes," but will reflect upon what I am missing in the equation of religion and life. Am I a believer? WIll I ever return to the church of my "official" religion? I don't know. I am in a flux state, I am in a place in my life where I need answers to my questions. So maybe we can call the season of lent my journey toward the answers. Small steps are the key to taking the larger ones.....
I am not going to go insane and beleive everything that is presented to me, especially if I feel that it is presented in "Cult Form." I am not running off to a monastery, nor will I be joining a commune at any time soon.
I just want it to feel ok again, to feel that I am not damned to spend eternity in Hell. I am being selfish here, I know, but once in a while a selfish act will answer all of my questions. So maybe over these 40 days, I can find what I am looking for, I can acheive peace in some way, a spiritual peace. I guess that is what this post is about, acheiving peace. Not sure where I will go with the walking of the road toward peace, but it will be a good journey, and one that I hope to come out on the other side feeling like I accomplished something.