Morning Coffee On The Deck

image2.JPGOur deck is like being in a low tree house in the woods. It is one of my favorite places. Trees all around, nature living life right in front of our eyes. Some mornings deer can be found out here grazing, birds chirping and flying from one branch to the next, and even a pair of red foxes that took up residence nearby can be seen scooting along the tree line in search of food. Sitting here I can see the leaves fluttering in a breeze that is just a bit too gentle to make the wind chime sing that is hanging at the end of one of our over head beams. The crickets are still singing their night song as the last of the darkness hasn’t quite left the deeper parts woods. A nice, unusually cool 68 degrees for an August summer morning.

The deck faces west, into the wooded backdrop, so the sun is rising behind me right now, just beginning to kiss the tops of a few trees with it’s light, making them shine brighter than the lower branches. It is very beautiful to see.

No airplanes are flying over head to disturb the sounds just yet. We sit below the final approach to CVG airport, about 1.5 miles from the end of the runway as the crow flies so they come over us pretty low. Mostly the big cargo planes for DHL, Polar Air and by low I mean you swear you can read the pilot’s name tag.

image1 (1).JPGMe? I’m a vision of “just rolled out of bed” fashion, sporting black yogo pants that the top is rolled over on…twice..due to my weight loss, pink slippers, a pink Hello Kitty pajama shirt and my favorite baseball cap that hides the bed head hair-do I worked on all night. Absolutely stunning if I do say so myself.

I have my breakfast of Red Berry Crunchy O’s and a huge cup of coffee, along with my Kindle and one the books I’m currently reading. Oops, just dropped a crunchy on the deck floor. 5 second rule applies here, yes I did pick it up and eat it.

In about an hour or so my mom, sister and niece will each begin to find their way down to the coffee pot and join me out here in our little slice of paradise. We’ll talk, laugh, and enjoy not doing anything beyond sitting here holding down our chairs for a bit before life kicks us into action for the day.

But for now, it is just about enjoying this blessed gift of peace.

Snakes, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tails

Most folks have heard at some point that little boys are made of snakes, snails and puppy dog tails.

Little girls are made of sugar and spice, and everything nice.  And of course as we age that spice takes over and seasons the everything nice into stuff that often is NOT so nice, strutting around in high heels.  But is another post for another time.

We have a wonderful little Yorkie in the palace, Penny.  She is my daughter’s first dog, who cannot live in harmony with the daughter’s boyfriend’s canine.  This is really not a shocker, as little chubby Penny has a bit of a Princess complex, only it is the negative side of said complex.  Honestly she is a bit of a crotchety old dog, at 10 years and a few months, but only when it comes to other dogs being in ‘her’ pack.  One of the cats, on the other hand, the palace feline princess, is a bully and bosses the dog around.   We have no ‘puppy dog tails’, as it is more of a stump, because they clip Yorkie’s ears and tails.  But for all intents and purposes, in addition to boys who are made up of such lovely stuff, we have the puppy dog tail part covered.

When it comes to snails, yes we have those. Outside.  Where they belong.  Well they are slugs, which my very unscientific brain believes are homeless snails, as in minus a shell.  I nearly stepped on a large, slimy slug one morning last week when I took Penny out to send her first, 5am pee-mail.  I saw it moving on the sidewalk and bent down to see what it was, as without my glasses on in the morning I have to get kind of up close and personal with the world around me to bring it into focus.  So, snails and puppy dog tails.  And a bunch of cat fur that is shed now and then too, throughout the palace.  Thankfully there is this dandy device known as a vacuum cleaner for that issue.

Which brings us to snakes.  There are few things in this world that will cause me to be completely paralyzed with fear, and snakes would be one of those things.  I HATE SNAKES!  I do not care if they don’t bite, aren’t poisonous, and eat rodents.  I HATE SNAKES!!  My son, the cop, who is afraid of tiny tan house spiders, at least will run screaming and naked from the shower if he encounters his 8 legged fear.  When I come across a snake I freeze, cannot move, and if I found one in the shower with me I’d just drop dead of a heart attack, end of story.

At 5am today, Penny was doing her potty dance and adding a slight whimper to it from her crate in our room.  This nixed the idea of “just 10 more minutes” with a touch of the snooze alarm.  Whimpers generally mean “if you don’t get out of that bed, woman, there will be nasty, runny puppy poop to clean up and it will be no one’s fault but your own!”  This I know from the not too distant past (see Over Night Notes To Self for more information).  I got up, got the dog and headed downstairs.  I picked up her leash and she wouldn’t come to me, seemed she was thirsty.  So much for urgency.  When she finally had emptied the water bowl, as the cats looked on with great concern (they always worry no one will refill it), I hooked the leash to her collar and we walked out of the front door.  I did not have my glasses on, so what I first thought I was seeing laying on the sidewalk, was a large stick, or the neighbor’s ivy type plant had grown a rather long off-shoot across the concrete.  I got to the edge of the porch and started to step down, getting up close and personal and HOLY CRAP THAT IS A FREAKING SNAKE!!!!!!  I backed up very fast, to the door.  Penny, is looking at me oddly and trying to go forward.

I am now standing, frozen on the porch, trying to decide what to do.  I could go through the garage and let the dog go out that way, but what if when I move it goes down by the garage door and enters?  ARGH!!!!!!  The dog is starting to pull on the leash, she has business at the other end of the sidewalk and I’m holding up progress.  I’m worried that as she passes over it, the snake is going to whip around and bit the dog.  And of course from the size of the snake  in my imagination, it is going to swallow my poor little Yorkie whole.  But she is pulling harder, so I give her some leash to work with as she heads right toward the monster on the walkway.  I decide that perhaps I am sacrificing the dog, but then it could be fore the greater good.  That of course being that the snake would eat the pup then move on somewhere to hang out for a few weeks while it digests Penny.  I’m sure my daughter could understand that, right?

Penny stopped and sniffed the tail of the snake then stepped over it and kept going.  I gave her all the leash that I could, hoping she would just go in the mulch and come back to the porch, like she does when it is pouring down rain. But NO, she is tugging at it and looking at me like “it’s now or I am dropping this mess on your sidewalk”.  It dawns on me then that the snake had not moved.  So, I bravely, on jello legs lean out and have another look and realize it is just a long skin.  But what if the snake is not done shedding it yet? EEEEEK now what?  I decided I had to get the dog to the other end of the sidewalk so she could send her pee-mail and poo in the grass.  I did a graceful, ballerina style leap over the snake skin, (okay it no doubt looked like a rhino, sporting pink/blue/purple plaid & a pink, Hello Kitty shirt, trying to jump an obstacle)  and then ran down the sidewalk sure it was in hot pursuit.  Puppy did her business and we headed back up the path to the door.  With goosebumps the size of grapes, I timed my next impressive jump so that I was going over the dog and the snake skin, in case the snake was there, the dog would be the closer target.  Sorry, I know, but again, the whole greater good thing, after all the dog cannot cook or do laundry.  I had to save myself!

Before I left for the office I found a long broom stick and went outside to lift the skin off the walkway.  It was at this time that I happened to see just how long (3 ft) this thing was, and the face was looking up at me from the ornamental grasses by the downspout.  It was empty but it sure looked the part, even with my glasses on.

Now, as I end this, let me mention that before I went to bed last night I was reading Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, the part at the end of the TriWizard Tournament.  You know, where he bumps into my ex-husband Lord Voldemort in the grave yard?  And old you-know-who has that big old snake with him, which made my skin crawl thinking about it before I went to sleep.  Before you think this is a figment of my imagination inspired by too much Valerian root in my before bedtime tea, I took a picture of it after I brought the dog inside.

1167953_515091978576331_2034920070_n

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me – hosted by Acting Balanced and Touristic

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered!
Here are the Questions:

1. What was your favorite lunch this past week?
2. Do you shop online?
3. Do you get the “Winter Blues”?
4. Slippers, Socks, Shoes or Bare Feet?

And don’t forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

My Answers:
1. What was your favorite lunch this past week?
WOW…totally uncertain on this one.  I ate with the boss each day, as they were working lunches.  The nachos at AppleBee’s stand out though 🙂

2. Do you shop online?
Why yes I do!  Whenever possible as I totally detest shopping.

3. Do you get the “Winter Blues”?
Not really.  I used too, but I tanned through the winter to fight that.  Now, well I am happy over all in my life so I don’t really get the blues much unless it is PMS related.

4. Slippers, Socks, Shoes or Bare Feet?
Socks.  I cannot stand shoes.  Slippers if I need to wander through the garage or outside to the mailbox but even then, unless it is raining or snowing, I’m likely to wear just socks.  Hence, I buy a lot of socks.  White, footie style socks, so I always have matching socks.

***BONUS QUESTION FOR THOSE THAT CARE TO ANSWER IN THE COMMENT SECTION***

5. Do you have any superstitions?
Yep…13 is my lucky number and I believe black cats are the ones that bring good luck!  🙂

Okay, if you stopped in to read, then please answer #5 in the comment section!

It’s A Cold Beer Kind Of A Night

It is dreary and raining and getting cold outside.  We had thunderstorms this afternoon.  Yes, here in an area where white Christmas does happen, we had thunderstorms today.  Frankly I am not a fan of snow but I’m all over it on Christmas morning, bring it.  But keep the thunderstorms, too out of context in December.

I apologize for my absence this past week, especially to those followers who have gotten used to daily posts from my corner of the world.  Last Monday I went back to school to get my STNA certification (State Tested Nurse Aide).  In class all day, homework and study at night, tests the next morning.  Such has been my life since.  Over the weekend I took a break and spent Friday night watching my granddaughter and I slept in on Saturday and Sunday morning.  I know I know, I should have been in church Sunday but I was beyond exhausted.  I’m pretty certain the Lord understands I was fried and needed the rest.

If I had taken the class at Cincinnati State it is like an 8 week course.  I’m not sure why, as it is 75 hours of training that includes 2 days of clinical, so 8 weeks seems a bit excessive.  But I will say 2 weeks really crams the material in fast.

I’ve never had some dream of doing this, in fact I have never really had any desire to be involved in the medical field in any capacity.  28 years of administrative and office management most of which was in an IT department, then 2 years of childcare and Avon, but never anything like this.  I was drawn to it when I visited the nursing home my sister works in, and when I talked about volunteering there she told me to go get certified and get paid to do the work.  Especially as volunteers cannot do the things I will be able to do to care for the residents.  And the more I learn the more I am drawn to this career.  I’m already looking at several other certifications that would expand the role I can play in caring for the elderly.

So that is where I have been.  I miss writing as it is my therapy, and miss all the memes and hops, but I will be back to those soon.  Friday is the final exam and I’ll be back here Friday afternoon for the Friday Confessional.

381998_391024604316403_639913031_nMeanwhile, I’m having a blast in school.  I LOVE to learn new things, and I’m in a class of only 5 students and we have a great chemistry.  Last week at lunch we took Scary Mary, the mannequin we practice on, and had some fun with her.  She is scary because well she just looks freaky.  And her boobs come off, so you can put man boobs on her and a penis.  Her eyes are creepy and more than one of us has walked through the door into the practice/skill room toward the restroom and jumped because there she is in the bed being all low budget horror movie like.  I’m probably scarred for life and will have nightmares about her.  The photo is Scary Mary at the instructor’s desk.  She has also been on the toilet, and I hope it scared the crap out of a weekend student.  Cruel, I know, but I’m all about sharing the love in this case.

Anyway, so here I am now, waiting on the dryer to finish up, sipping a cold beer, on a cold, rainy night, longing to crawl in to my bed.  I have to be up before the angels in the morning to head to my first day of clinical at the nursing home.  I’ll be catching up on my grown up Christmas list posts over the weekend too.  But for now, I think I’ll play on Farmville2 until the dryer is done, then it is off to bed for me.

#2 ~ My Grown Up Christmas List 2012

2To see the full list click  HERE

#2 – My Son & His Family

My second wish on my list is for my son and his family.

For his beautiful wife and he to have a love that lasts their lifetime, with “Just Enough” and be faithful and loving to each other always.

For his beautiful little girl, who to him is every bit as much his as his soon to be son.  For her to grow up to be a Proverbs 31 woman one day, who has a heart that desires to serve the Lord.

For his son, who is due to arrive this month, may he be born healthy and strong, and that he will grow up to be a man of God, and make his parents proud.

May all their lives be full of “just enough”, always.

Seen as part of a post on another day, entitled “Just Enough”. Author unknown.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

– Author Unknown

Day 28 – 30 Days Of Thankfulness 2012

Today I am thankful for family and friends who can fix things.

My laptop is acting up and I fear it is on death’s bed.  My youngest brother is going to come by and check it out and see if he can do anything.  He is very good with fixing and building computers.  Thankfully.

He is also very good at breaking the news to you, when, as he put it, “I think it went to that great silicon graveyard in the sky.”

I have many friends and family members able to fix just about anything or they can recommend a solution.  Even if it is to open up the window and toss it out, or in the case of my car, hope space garbage falls from the sky and lands on it.

Seriously, though, I am fortunate to be surrounded by funny, yet talented individuals.

🙂

Day 24 ~ 30 Days Of Thankfulness 2012

Mom said it best this morning:

“I’m thankful for a warm house.”

I second that one!  It is 35 degrees outside at the moment.  Someone posted on Facebook a little while ago that they were seeing flurries.  Oh yippie.  I don’t  like winter.  I love snow if I am inside looking out on it with a hot cup of coffee in hand.  But I do NOT like being cold one bit.

So, as it is cold outside, I’m very thankful for the warm house we live in, keeping us comfortable on this cold day.

Day 13 ~ 30 Days Of Thankfulness 2012

I am very thankful this morning for a warm bed to sleep in!

Many are still without power from Hurricane Sandy, and many don’t have a home to go to at all.  And there are homeless individuals all over the world that slept in great discomfort and cold last night.  I don’t take for granted  the creature comforts I have, including that warm, comfortable bed of mine.

 

Monday Quiz About Me!

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me hosted by Acting Balanced and Touristic
Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered!
To join click the icon above!!!
1. What is your favorite kind of soup?
2. When was the last time you saw snow?
3. What is a must have trait if someone is going to live with you?
4. Who was your favorite James Bond? 

And don’t forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

 
My Answers:

1.  What is your favorite kind of soup? 
WOW that is a tough one, as I really do not have a favorite.  My ex makes one called Cheese Burger soup, the recipe came from someone we went to church with, and that might possibly be the favorite.  Hmm, in fact I think I will contact the source and see if she still has that recipe, it is to die for delicious, and if she gives it up, I’ll post it!

2.  When is the last time you saw snow? 
Last winter!  This area of the country (southwest Ohio) sees its share of snow in winter.  Not usually a mega bunch like other areas, but we’re good for several decent snow falls each winter.  Personally I’m a fan of it on Christmas Eve after I go to sleep, it can snow several inches, we can wake to a white Christmas, then the crap can melt on December 26th and not return until Christmas Eve the next year.

3.  What is a must have trait if someone is going to live with you? 
A really good sense of humor and playful spirit.  Life is too short to take it all so seriously, and I like to have fun and laugh, a lot!

4.  Who was your favorite James Bond? 
Sean Connery without a doubt! OMG I still think at 82 the man is sexy!

And now for my question for those that happen by my blog to answer in the comments:

5.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure when you take time out for yourself?

Link up and don’t forget to leave your answer for #5 in the comments!

Day 11 ~ 30 Days Of Thankfulness 2012

We hated them as kids.  Well most of us did.

And now, as adults, we don’t often make time for them as we are all just too busy.

I’m talking about naps.

And I am SO thankful that today, I have time and I’m going to take advantage of that time and take a nap.