Sunday, December 29, 2013

What An Amazing Week!

Hope you and your families had a truly special holiday.  

This has truly been a very magical and beautiful week.  It started on Monday night.  We went to see Chanticleer at the Carmel Mission.  If you have never heard them, they are an incredible male chorus out of San Francisco.  It was one of the best concerts I have ever attended.  So absolutely beautiful. They are best known for performing Biebl's Ave Maria.  Here is a link:  Chanticleer Ave Maria  The audience was so enthusiastic and gave them such a long standing ovation that lasted for several minutes, so at the last moment they performed the Ave Maria even though it was not on the program.  I nearly cried.  It was stunning.

We were both a little sleepy for work the next day, but did not have time to be sleepy.  There was much to be done.  I got out of work early and prepped for a long evening.  We had Norwegian Christmas Eve dinner with my BFF's family and then headed out our late night service at our church.  I am in the choir so we had to be there early to warm up and prepare. However, it was a huge service, with the Bishop presiding, so we needed to be at our best.  It was such a beautiful, joyous service.  It was worth it, getting out around midnight.  

Christmas Day was perfect.   My sweetheart gave me the most beautiful yellow sapphire and diamond ring.  I was not expecting such a beautiful and extravagant gift.  It is so pretty and I do not think I will ever take it off.  Liesl has been a very good girl this year and had a stocking full of wonderful things including some special bones from Whole Foods.  

The best part of the day was dinner with my wonderful family.  We cooked and everyone came to my sweetheart's condo.  My family is pretty goofy, so we laughed a lot.  Although my sweetheart is of British descent, he was not familiar with the tradition of poppers and wearing a silly paper crown all through dinner (his Grandmother, whom he and his family lived with was from Great Britain. Many of his traditions are very British.)  The subject came up earlier this year as we were watching the Vicar of Dibley (I heart Geraldine!) and it was one of the Christmas shows.  He wondered why everyone was wearing paper crowns on the show.  I am proud to say that he has now spent a Christmas in a silly paper crown, too.  There was a family imposed penalty for whomever removed their crown first.

Speaking of Great Britain, I can not wait until the first episode of the new season of Downton Abby next week.  We are planning a dinner of bangers and mash and an English Ale.  I am so excited!  We are trying to figure out a good dessert for our meal.  It is going to be awesome.

I am going to try to actually stitch in the new year.  It is one of my resolutions.  It has been way too long and I really miss it.  Maybe I will start small with an ornament of something just to get my feet wet again.  In the meantime, there are books to be read, a garden to be planned, naps to be taken and much joy to be experienced.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Checking in

Oh, my goodness, December has just blown by!

So yesterday, we were in Petsmart, picking out gifts for a certain schnauzer someone.  That was when a young boy came in with his grandmother.  He was carrying the littlest baby schnauzer.  I knew that little mustachioed face anywhere.  Oh, my goodness.  It was hard to believe that so much cuteness could be contained in such a little bitty body.  I said to the grandmother, that it was such a beautiful baby schnauzer.  She said that it was her second one.  I exclaimed that they are such amazing dogs and that it was more like having a person around.  She said, "Oh, no, they ARE people."  LOL  Then she said to me, "This little guy is only eight weeks old and can you believe he had the nerve to get mad at me this morning?"  Sadly, I can totally relate.  LOL  I know all together the level of drama and emotion that a schnauzer is capable of.  I live it on a daily basis.  

Tomorrow is actually the anniversary of a little furry someone trotting into my life and laying claim to all of my stuff.  LOL  Six years ago, this scraggly little four month old puppy came home on my lap. She acted all innocent and shy.  Until the next morning that is when she made sure that we knew who was really in charge going forward.

Liesl is pretty happy and still such a character.  We are having an issue though because if I call her she goes to her daddy.  She is so happy to have a male in her life and thinks that he is all hers.  He is her buddy and chief protector.  

So now we are getting ready for Christmas.  This week is going to be wild and I am finding myself making long to do lists.  I told my honey that next weekend we are not doing a dog gone thing.  Thankfully, he agrees.

So the presents are wrapped.  We did most of the grocery shopping today.  My sweetie loves to entertain and has all of his Christmas china lined up like soldiers in the kitchen all ready to set the table.  It is gorgeous Christmas china, too.  Having had dinner parties with him before, I know that every single piece of silverware in the house will indeed be set on the table.  And he has a LOT!  But it will be beautiful.  I am super excited.  

But for now, I am a bit tired.  I think I will go cuddle up to my little dog who has visions of biscuits dancing in her furry little head.  I will be thankful as I get all of that sweet puppy warmth for six wonderful years with my very special girl.  I love her more than I can ever say.   I am truly blessed.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Magical Season

Admittedly, for many years now since my kids have grown up, the holidays have been more something to get through rather than celebrate.  I usually got my Christmas spirit by Christmas Eve with the big service at church, the traditional Norwegian dinner with friends and Christmas Day with my family. However, the weeks leading up to Christmas in particular have always been filled with stress, worry about if the gifts I got for my kids were nice enough, and panic about how I was going to get everything done.  In a way, it kind of took away from the fun of the holiday.

This year is very different.  My sweetheart is someone who LOVES holidays.  And he does them up big time.  LOL  He decorated my porch again.  This time with beautiful poinsettias on the steps and red and white cyclamen in pots.  He has made plans for several events during the season and is especially cheerful.  Today we went to a Christmas ballet.  It was absolutely beautiful and so festive.  I have to say that I am feeling a bit o' the Christmas spirit.  We have listened to Christmas music and shopping has actually been a bit fun.  Tonight we were laughing out loud at some really silly Christmas cards in the card section at Target.  It has been fun.

I have to say that despite the firestorm of criticism this week, we actually enjoyed watching The Sound of Music on Thursday night.  I went into it not expecting it to be like the classic movie.  We both really thought it was entertaining.  The Sound of Music holds a special place in my heart because it is where my sweet Liesl got her name.  (She is only six going on seven, lol.)   I thought it was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a Thursday evening (I can not stay up until eleven on a school night.) 

I shall have to figure out a way to do a little holiday baking soon.  I will make my homemade marshmallows. I will also make just a couple of traditional ones that the family loves like thumbprint cookies.  It is fun to bake for my grown up kids again.  Maybe I will bake some doggie cookies for my Liesl, too.  

I did buy myself a little Christmas present a week ago.  It comes with story.  On Black Friday in the late afternoon my honey had to go to Office Depot.  While I was in there, they had a Kindle Fire HD 8GB.  I had been toying with the idea of buying one for a while.  This one was $139 and you got a $25 gift card with the purchase.  I thought it sounded like a good price.  The associate in the computer aisle said that they had two left.  However, when I went up to the front to pay, they said that they were out of the 8 GB.  My honey asked how much it would be if I got the next size up, but I just said, "No, the fact that they do not have this particular one in stock is the sign that I do not need to buy one today."  So we left.  (My age and experience have taught me not to chase after things to make them work.)  This Monday at Amazon they advertised the 16GB Kindle Fire for only $119.  Higher memory capacity for less money.  It is funny how things turn out.  I received my Kindle Fire on Thursday and love it.  It has pretty good sound so I can play my Bach radio on Pandora.  I am a happy girl.

Well, I am off to get some sleep.  My dear one has more Yule fun planned for tomorrow, so I need to get my beauty rest!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Truly Great Thanksgiving!

Hope each of you had a stellar Thanksgiving.  Ours was wonderful!  We hosted the dinner at the church, which was a huge hit!  Everyone had such a great time and we had so much food!  My personal theory is that church potluck food is the best food.  (A dear friend once told me that food that is blessed is the best food.)  My theory is that everyone makes their best recipes and makes them with love.  The food was so incredible.  

The nice thing about a church dinner is that everyone stays and helps to clean up.  So clean up was done really fast!  My honey was up at four with Liesl making the turkey.  She was so cute.  She would not leave his side.  Anyway, we were both really tired.  However, my best friend really wanted us to come over, so off we went to have pie with her and her large family.  As we were driving home, we said, "Well, we totally ROCKED this Thanksgiving!"  LOL  We both fell asleep within five minutes of sitting on the living room sofa.  

I have not really been in the mood to start shopping yet for Christmas.  It was a busy weekend, too. Yesterday was the first day in advent and our choir was busy!  The services were truly inspirational. We are so ready for the season.  We have tickets to some great events this season.  I am so very excited!

It was hard to go back to work today after six days off.  Once I got started though, it was quite pleasant.  Walking with Liesl in the cold morning air is a great way to start the day.  I am the coordinator for the big audit at work this week.  It is okay though as it is a bit of a change of pace.  I really have a pretty cool job.  

Well, it is supposed to be super duper cold here tonight so I guess I had better go tuck in my little furgirl.  Stay warm, everyone!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Feeling Thankful

I think that like many people this week, I am really reflecting on all that I am thankful for.  While this is how I generally live my life, I have an awareness of how much my life has changed in just a year.  Last year at this time, I was dealing with a serious health condition and worried about the future.  This year has been so extraordinary and I feel profoundly blessed.  I got a job in a new industry and have been learning so much.  My Liesl continues to make me laugh and I love her so much.  My friendships continue to grow and flourish.  My children are doing well and are happy.  Best of all, God brought new love into my life.  He is the person that I always hoped existed and feel so profoundly blessed to share the journey with him.  He is the kindest, sweetest, most honest person that I have ever known. Plus he has a very silly sense of humor and loves Liesl.  When he leaves the house he always leaves her a little treasure hunt by hiding little cookies around for her to find.  I thought that I spoiled her until I met him.  

My honey and I are in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner at church this week, so I will be cooking a lot tomorrow.  Everyone who is coming is bringing something yummy so it should be quite a feast.  It should be a lot of fun.  I can't wait.

Liesl will get a little feast on Thanksgiving.  She is still on her home cooked diet.  She gets pork and potato every night.  It was balanced by a top notch veterinary school, so she also gets prescribed vitamins, and two kinds of oil added to her meals.  However, on Thanksgiving she will get some turkey, sweet potato and maybe a little cranberry sauce.  She might even get a little taste of pumpkin pie.  Remember if you give your doggie Thanksgiving dinner, turkey should be white meat only.  Dark meat is extremely high in fat, and not so good for our furry friends as it could result in a painful episode of pancreatitus.  Let's keep our furbabies safe.

Before I sign off tonight I have to share that I think those commercials with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell are hilarious.  James Earl Jones was super cool to begin with, but now he is even cooler.  Those commercials make me laugh out loud.

Well, a little schnauzer is awaiting her tucking into her pink blankie.  It has been so cold here that she has actually been wanting to come up on the bed in the middle of the night to snuggle.  If you have been reading this blog for the past couple of years then you know cuddling is not Liesl's thing.  So when she does choose to snuggle, it is truly a gift.  Puppy cuddles when one is sleeping are truly the best.  There is nothing like that kind of warmth.  It warms you heart most of all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Girl's Night

Well, it is a girl's night at the cozy cottage.  My sweet guy has a meeting at church tonight so it is just Liesl and me.  I came home and got directly into my polar tek jammies.  Then I made dinner for Liesl and made a baked potato for dinner for me, which I promptly ate in front of the television.  By 7 pm I was in bed, taking a test for my online class. 

One of the nice things I got to do while I was taking my test was give myself a pedi.  I always have my toe nails done.  This time I have them done in a super sparkly red by Butter.  I love me some Butter nail polish.  It goes on, well, like buttah.  Being a bargain conscience girl, I picked up 3-4 bottles when they were only $10 each at Ulta last month.  If you have not tried Ulta yet, you must.  It is like a big Costco for girls, filled with all kinds of wonderful things like nail polish and hair products.  I even get my eyebrows done there.  My sweetheart, being a total guy's guy, does get that slight look of terror when I say I just need to run in there for one thing. LOL

So, as I said, the sweetie had to be at a meeting.  He had a late patient so he had to go directly to the church meeting from his office.  So Liesl is in withdrawal.  She looks totally bummed out.  She keeps getting up to go look at the front door.  These two are so cute together.  

So I am totally getting ready to read my book.  I am reading Dan Brown's new book, Inferno.  It is my first book on my new Kindle Paperwhite, which I LOVE.  I bought it to replace my old Kindle, which died a slow death.  I think I wore it out.  Anyway, I so love the Paperwhite.  That little glow light is particularly helpful at times.  The Dan Brown book is super.  

So I guess I will go read now that Liesl has fallen totally asleep.  I will probably be right behind her.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

On My Soapbox

I have to say, I am a very lucky girl.  My sweetheart is an extremely romantic man, and does a lot of really romantic things as a habit.  One thing that he does is that he insists on taking me out for a very fancy romantic dinner once a week.  He often makes a reservation for sunset so we can watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean while we have supper.  This weekend he took me to a lovely candlelight dinner, which had amazing service and incredible food.  It was a beautiful evening that started with us having a glass of champagne and ended with us sharing a beautiful dessert.

What made me sad was that a beautiful young couple were seated at the table next to us.  I think they were married and obviously had some wealth, as she had a huge ring on.  They were beautifully dressed.  Here is the sad part.  She was texting someone else throughout the entire dinner.  They barely spoke to one another.  He looked a bit sad and ignored and just sort of swiveled his wineglass around and around.  It was sad to watch.

I have a couple of thoughts on this.  The first is, that I think that cell phones are breaking down a lot of interpersonal relationships.  I see a lot of people on the phone with other people instead of being present with the person they are with.  Now I will text (generally back and forth with my honey or my kids) but the phone never comes out when I am having a meal or conversation with someone.  I just think it is rude.  Recently we were out and a family was having dinner at a nearby table.  The parents were playing games on their phones and the kids were totally ignored.

Secondly, I do not understand why people throw away love.  Here was a couple that obviously cared about each other and here was one taking it all for granted, particularly in such a romantic restaurant.  I do not understand treating someone else carelessly and with a lack of respect.  I just think one should absolutely treasure the person one chooses as a partner.  

I feel pretty fortunate to be with the person that I am with.  It is unimaginable to me to not look at that handsome face throughout dinner.  I am grateful that God has brought love and such an amazing person into my life.  I can not imagine texting anyone else through a dinner I am having with him.  I just can't.

Love one another.

Monday, November 11, 2013

An Absolutely Perfect Day

First of all, today we honor all men, women and four legged creatures that have served our country in our Armed Services.  We are all extremely grateful for your service and the sacrifices that you have made on our behalf for our nation.  While we honor and celebrate you today, every day you are in our prayers, and we pray that all whom are currently on active duty would be returned home safe and sound very soon.

Today was an absolutely perfect day.  The only bummer part was that my sweet guy, a Navy vet himself, had to work.  I decided that today was a day to be a domestic diva.  I started the day drinking a cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer, with the Bach channel on Pandora, checking my email with a little dog sleeping next to me on the sofa.  It was a perfect moment for which I am so grateful.

After psyching my myself, I tore my house apart in a cleaning frenzy.  I cleaned kitchen cabinets, polished the furniture, purged a bunch of stuff, pre-made enough of Liesl's meals for about a week to ten days, and scoured my kitchen.  It felt great.  I got so much done.  This is going to be a busy week at work, so it is kind of nice to be a little bit ahead.  I am hoping to be far enough ahead that I may be able to stitch an ornament this week.

My sweetheart came for dinner after he got off work.  He has taken over walking Liesl out on possum patrol after dinner.  He tells her they are going possum hunting.  She seems to understand because she goes trotting outside with a little skip in her step, like this is going to her lucky day.  LOL  Afterwards, he always tells her that she is doing such a good job keeping the possum out of the house.  

I got to give Liesl lots of belly rubs and extra attention today.  We are starting to get our cozy inside weather, so it was nice to stay home and nest.  

While I loved staying home today, it has stayed with me today that there are so many in the Phillipines that have lost theirs as well as loved ones.  Our prayers are being raised up for those impacted by the typhoon.  It has been heart wrenching to see the pictures.  We are joining our prayers with all of yours for all who were in the typhoon's path.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Playin' Possum

Well, we had quite the adventure around here last night.  I made eggplant Parmesan for dinner last night so my ever-so-wonderful honey was over for dinner.  He said that he would finish up cleaning up after supper while I took Liesl outside. Now that we are on daylight savings time, it is super dark at 8pm.  I have shared with you that my yard has the tendency to be like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.  For some reason, even with Barky von Schnauzer, my yard attracts varmints.  So when it is dark, one or both of us will take her outside so that she is not attacked by a raccoon or something.  

So last night Liesl goes bounding out the back door straight for the back fence.  Then she starts her shrieking barks and running and jumping up.  I look up and there is a HUGE possum on the fence, a bit larger than Liesl.  So huge that I am afraid to go near the fence in case it jumps on either of us.  I am yelling at Liesl to come. (I am sure the neighbors were thrilled.)   Liesl is running back and forth along the fence, shrieking, jumping, etc., and totally ignoring me calling her with me in hot pursuit.  So I called to my honey to come help. The possum was just going slowly along the fence following Liesl.  

My sweet boyfriend comes out of the house, and calmly asks if I need help.  Then he walks over near the fence, tells Liesl to come over to him and calmly picks her up.  Liesl just looked at him like," Oh, hey, since you picked me up and all, can you lift me up to the top of the fence?  At this point, the possum just walks slowly along the fence away from us.

Now I have mentioned that Liesl thinks that he is HER boyfriend.  I found it interesting that she went to him after ignoring me.  (She is in SO much trouble.  LOL )  I asked him why the possum had not run away.  He explained that the possum was taunting Liesl.  I found this totally weird, so I asked him why a possum would do that.  He said that it was probably fun for him to see Liesl so excited.  

I thought the matter was over, however, it became the night from heck.  That possum was all Liesl could think about.  I was awoken by Liesl ringing her bell to go outside at 12:30 am.  In general, she knows that I will not let her out in the middle of the night so she does not even try.  But the possibility of possum was too great, so she rang that darn bell at 12:30...and 2 am...and 3:15 and 4:10. I was a very grumpy, sleep deprived puppy momma at work today...

I am off to bed now, ridiculously early.

I am totally in need of sleep so I will sign off.  Wish me good luck that we will have a possum free night tonight.  Oy vey.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Okay, are these the awesomest shoes ever, or what?!  I will now admit to you that I am a total girlie-girl.  I love make-up (thank goodness we have an Ulta nearby!) sparkly jewelry and shoes.  Most days I wear a dress or a skirt to work.  I feel more comfortable in them.  I like pedicures and nailpolish. Mostly, I like anything sparkly.  My son says that I am like a racoon and drawn to anything shiny.  

I so love shoes.  I like to patrol the shoe aisles of Marshall's or Ross.  My beloved partner knows that I have more shoes than I should and yet he makes no discouraging remarks as I pick up a prospective new pair to add to my little shoe family.  This, as I exclaim, "Oooooh.  Lookie!!!!"  In fact, he will even carry the boxes around for me.  He is my shining prince.

So we were out today poking around in Marshal'ls when my eyes fell upon these beauties and I knew instantly that I must make them mine.  Sequins and patent leather.  They are awesome in every sense of the word.  A lady in the store said that they were beautiful and asked where I might wear them.   I exclaimed, "Everywhere!"  I said that I would even wear these with jeans.  She said that she has a lot of pretty dress shoes and only gets to wear them once and then they just sit in the closet.

So I will share my personal philosophy.  Wear your good stuff.  If it makes you happy, wear it.  Do not save things for a special occasion.  Several years ago I worked in the fine jewelry business and women would come in and finally get the dream ring or string of pearls only to go put it in the safety deposit box.  I told them to wear it.  

Several years ago I had a friend that every time her girlfriends came over for lunch, even if she was making them a tuna sandwich, she served it on her best china.  I really think that each day is special.  It is a blessing.  Life is fragile and we should use and wear our special things to make ordinary days special.  So wear the sparkly shoes, use the good china and break open that special bottle of perfume you have been saving.  Today is your special occasion because you are special.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Oh, my goodness.  I am not really much of a Halloween kind of girl.  However, I have to say that I work at a place where they take Halloween to a new level.  I was totally impressed.  Whole departments dressed as teams and decorated their departments.  They were not just pinning up a few pumpkin pictures.  Au contraire -- there was a full on haunted house, made up of several cubicles.  My favorite though was in response to the fact that several of us are always complaining how cold it is in our side of the building.  They had a sign outside the office that said it was cold storage.  Inside they had pictures of meat hanging from the ceiling and pictures of trays of meat on the wall.  It was hilarious.  (I tell my boss a lot that it is so cold in the office we could hang meat in the office.  I also complain about penguin and polar bear infestations, reindeer eating my lunch, etc.  It really is freezing.) Anyway, to top off their decor, they all dressed like butchers.  It was hilarious.  I thought that it was so creative.

We also had a big potluck for lunch with all of the employees.  The food was super yummy and it was fun to hang out with my coworkers.  We have a nice team of people.  

I can not believe that tomorrow is November 1st.  Wow!  This year has been so amazing and I can not believe that it is almost over. ( Hopefully, next year will be even better!)  I am really looking forward to the extra hour this weekend.  I am trying to figure out how to spend it so I do not waste it!  Should I stitch? Sleep?  Take a great hike?  Drink a nice glass of wine?  What to do, what to do?...

I hope you all have a great Halloween, a happy weekend and an awesome extra hour!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Say Cheese!!!

Once a month my beloved and I have dinner with two other couples from church.  We take turns at each other's homes, which is just lovely.  It is cozy and we just get to relax and talk over a scrumptious dinner.  Last week, one of the couples brought a cheese platter.  My friend encouraged me to try this cheese.  Without telling me what it was, she asked me if I liked it and if I could discern what the extra flavor was.  I could not, but when she told me, my mind was blown!  Then when she told me it was from Trader Joe's, my sweetie and I started planning a trip to TJ's.  

This cheese is amazing!  It is not at all what you expect.  The chocolate almost tastes smokey in the cheese.  It is so good and rich.  Is there anything else that could make it better?  Perhaps bacon.  But bacon makes pretty much anything better.  So today when we were over at TJ's picking up yet another block of this cheese, my beloved suggested that I get a block of the white cheddar with bacon and we could have the two cheeses together as a snack with some wine.  Is he awesome or what?

It has been so cold here today.  I have been blasting the heat and preparing for a long winter.  It is supposed to rain here hard in December and January, which is good because we really need it.  I am ready to have a cozy winter.  We are trying to beat the rain and putting in grass for Liesl in the back yard so that she has an even better paradise.  Liesl loves her yard and now that I have been here a couple of years, it is time to make it even better.

Well, I am off to get ready for the work week and do my homework for my class.  I wish you all a beautiful week full of joy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

Hello again!  It is hard to believe that it has been almost three months since I last posted.  Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind!  Life is amazing, as always.  I am so grateful for all of the wonderful blessings.

Love continues to grow and flourish around the cozy cottage.  I have met the person that I have always hoped existed, but wondered sometimes if he would be possible.  Over the past few years, friends have encouraged me to try online dating and such, but I always said that when it was time for me to fall in love again, God would put the right person in my path.  I would not have to go looking for him.  He sent me such an incredibly kind, gentle, honest, Christian man.  However, I must share him...

It seems that a certain furry someone thinks that he is HER boyfriend.  She gets ca-razy when he arrives at the cozy cottage.  It can only be because he is here to see her.  She is out of control.  LOL  

So here is my recent Liesl story:  About a week ago, Liesl was chewing on a toy or something with the intent of de-stuffing it.  She rarely does this anymore, but I strongly discourage her from doing it.  So I sternly told her to stop it.  My sweetheart was sitting next to me on the sofa, and she walked over to him, all pitiful looking.  She went over and looked all sad like, "Mom yelled at me and hurt my feelings." It was a full on dramatic performance.  Oscar worthy, really.  LOL

So that is about it for now.  I just wanted to check in and say hello!  I will check in again, soon!

Friday, August 2, 2013

1 Corinthians 13:13

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

My dear friends,

I am taking a little break for a while from posting for a couple of weeks to a month.  The reason is a good one - I have fallen in love with the most remarkable man I have ever known (and he with me!) and we are starting a new relationship.  He is an intelligent, deeply strong, caring man who is centered in Christ's love and who is so kind to every single person he meets.  We share the very same core value system.  He is one of my best dreams come true.

One of the most important questions that I asked in the beginning is if he likes dogs and he responded that he does.  He and Liesl are in love with each other.  The first time she met him, he met us on a walk.  She did not give him the hairy eyeball or anything.  She walked past him, then turned around and gave him a knowing smile and we continued on our walk.  He talks so sweetly and quietly to her and you can tell that she loves him like he has always been around.  I can not tell you how much my heart melts when I see this.  

So right now, I feel it so important to invest time in my relationship.  I am so thankful for this blessing that God has sent to me.  So I will write when I can about any new adventures.

So when I can, I shall post soon.  If you would hang in there I would so appreciate.  You are each in my prayers.  I pray that each of you shall be profoundly blessed.

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Shoes!

It has been a long time in coming.  I have needed new sneakers in the worst way.  But this is one of those things one can not rush.  Sneakers are a major commitment, like marriage or buying a new car. Your sneakers get you through long walks, doing your chores, running errands, and running away from people in the grocery store when you think you are not going to see anyone you know, so you go with no make up on and your hair looking like Kramer on Seinfeld.  But, of course, you see a plethora of people who you know, work with, go to church with, etc.  Anyway, back to sneakers.  It is a major relationship.  I have been looking but have not found anything until today when my eyes fell upon these babies.  Hot pink and neon yellow.  They are awesome!  It was love at first sight and I knew that I had to make them mine.  As a side note, my camera shutter speed is super slow.  You will note the appearance of a certain schnauzer nose.  This nose was not there as I was aiming the camera, but instead appeared in that little delay.  It is a very cute nose.  However, my shoe picture has been schnauzer photo bombed.

Liesl was pretty proud of herself.  Afterward, in what can only be described as a "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille" moment, she decided to pose.  This is not a common occurrence.  Usually she sees the camera come out and she is on the move.  I have a host of photos with just an ear or tail in them, where a small dog had been a second earlier.  So anyway, here is my pretty girl, posing.  She looks very wise here.

So speaking of Liesl, the diet is going well.  We are still awaiting the official diet from the nutritionist, but I am still trying to cook really healthy for her.  She still has a bit of itchiness, but her overall health and attitude is great.  She is so much happier on the home cooked diet.  What is funny though is that she is suddenly hooked on fruit.  She ate all of my blueberries one night, a whole mango the next.  Last night she took a few bites of watermelon.  She likes blueberries better though.  But I feel like I have the equivalent of a teenage boy standing in front of the fridge with the door open.  She sees that I am having fruit and immediately trots over with determination with her "and what are we having for snack" look.  LOL  Actually, I feel better sharing the good stuff with her and will do anything to keep her healthy and with me for a long time.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I think I must fall in love with the Monterey Peninsula, the place I call home, at least once a day.  I think that it is the most beautiful place on earth.  There is always something that reminds me of how much I love it.  Tonight, it was on our evening walk.  The light was just right, it was just the right temperature out, and there was the smell of salt in the air.  For me, there is the way the foghorns sound so lonely late at night, or the lights on the purse seiners in the fog.  It is the changing colors of the bay. Some days it is blue or green.  Some days it is silver or so gray that you can not see where the water ends and the fog begins.  I love the abundance of sea food, the friendliness of the people, the fact that the area is dog-centric, the places to hike, and the general vibe.  

I will share that we walk slow here.  Really slow.  I realized it when I moved here, kicking and screaming on a job transfer about 22 years ago.  I moved from the Bay Area and was young and a bit on the impatient side then. Now I shuffle along like my neighbors.  A friend of mine just moved here from a major city.  I warned him about the slow walking thing.  He said, "Oh my gosh, you are right! It has been driving me nuts!"  That is how we roll here.  

There are times I will be walking along a path by the ocean I will suddenly catch my breath at the overwhelming beauty here.  It is so awesome.  It is amazing to be stunned by how beautiful the place you live is.  In addition, we have so much history here.  Monterey was the first capital of California. We walk in the same places as the characters in John Steinbeck's novels.  The historic mission in Carmel is a very special place.  It is the site where Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions is interred.  It is a place where Robert Louis Stevenson convalesced and Ansel Adams lived. Thomas Kinkade even had a home here and I imagine that many of his paintings must have been inspired by the storybook, fairy tale cottages of Carmel.  

So tonight I go to bed, grateful for my little piece of earth here and all that surrounds it on the Monterey Peninsula.  I am hopeful that tonight the fog horns will sing me to sleep.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Old WIP

It suddenly occurred to me last evening that it is fair season.  This year has been so incredibly busy that it had just slipped my mind.  I want to be supportive of the fair even in years when I do not feel very competitive.  I just want to make sure that they have entries.  So I dug through my WIP stack and found this one.  It is unfinished because I made an error on the border so I have having to redo all of those little red, white and blue Smyrna stars.  I will work on it this week and determine if I have time to finish and frame it in time for entry.  It does not match the decor of any of my rooms, so I am not sure what I will do with it after it is all done.  

It has been a good weekend.  Liesl and I had to go up to Santa Cruz, about an hour away, yesterday for her testing.  Luckily, the specialist has Saturday hours.  He is so kind to Liesl and even gave her a big kiss on her nose.  Liesl loves to be kissed, so she was happy even after all of the testing and ultra-sounding.  He told me that she has passed one of the bladder stones, thank goodness.  That is good news.  He said that the other one has not grown either. Then he told me that he would call me today after he had the results of the bile test on her liver.  

I am so grateful for your prayers for Liesl.  Words can not express how much I appreciate it.  I have been praying.  Today at church, as usual, I prayed for Liesl.  All of the sudden I was just overcome with a sense of peace and a sense that it was going to be okay.  

The doctor called me today, even though it was his day off.  He is really dedicated.  He said that he had mostly good news.  He said that her urine test came back looking much better.  She still has to pass the stone, but there is no protein showing up any more.  He also said that her liver values came back with a 20% improvement, most likely in response to her being on a low fat diet.  He said that he would prefer to do a biopsy, but that he understands my not wanting to put her through an invasive procedure.  He gave me a couple of options, which included just taking a wait and see approach to see if anything changes. We discussed the options and are on the same page.  He said that he strongly suspects the issue to be benign. He said that the bile test shows that her liver is doing its job. In the meantime, I am investing in the customized diet plan being prepared by a nutritionist so that I can cook her meals, which will be low fat.  The doctor agrees that this is a good choice for Liesl, so he is sending in the required paperwork to have the diet plan prepared for her. He said that he feels she would benefit from home cooked meals.  I told him that I would just plan ahead and cook ahead for her.  I still believe in the health benefits of a meal prepared with love.  Plus she eats them with gusto!

So I feel so blessed and grateful.  I have decided that we are both going to be as healthy as possible.  I am grateful that she has a doctor who is so dedicated.  He keeps telling me what a sweet dog she is.  She will have to go back in about six weeks just to make sure that the new diet is working after we get it.  

So tonight I feel some of the weight of worry lifted off of my heart.  I am so grateful for this.  

So my last share of the evening is the new development in my trying to lay my head on Liesl's bed. Last night I went to lay my head on her bed.  She just stood there over me with her nose an inch from my cheek.  Breathing.  Hard.  It was unnerving.  How does she know to just mess with my head like that?  She is a total character.

Friday, July 19, 2013


It never fails to amaze me how really cold it can be here on the Monterey Peninsula in July.  Tonight was just so cold.  I had on a down vest when we went walking tonight.  When we got home, I had to put on the heat for a while.  If only it had been raining, then it would have been a perfect cozy night for stitching.  It will be very nice here in the next month or so.  It is always gorgeous here in September and October when we finally get our summer.   

I was finally able to get my huge project completed at work today.  I felt really good about it.  My boss said that I did a phenomenal job on it, which really made me feel good.  I worked really hard on it and actually did not sleep a couple of nights ago because I kept waking up from dreams about it.  I also kept dreaming that I was having meetings about the project.  I put a lot of pressure on myself professionally, and I just wanted to do a really good job.  Hopefully now I can put life a bit more in balance.  I need to balance with more creative pursuits.  

I am wondering how long this cold spell will last.  It was so cold last night that I felt puppy arms land on the bed, which indicated that someone furry wanted up on the bed.  This is so not the time of year that she usually wants to sleep on the bed.  However, it was cold so she wanted to snuggle.  This was such a treat.  In general, she likes to sleep on her own bed.  Last night was one of those rare treats that are out of the ordinary.  She snuggled up to my side.  I was so grateful for the unexpected gift.  I sleep really well with doggie cuddles.

Speaking of my cute doggie, I would be so grateful if you would include her in your prayers tonight and tomorrow.  She has to go in for her follow up appointment with the internal specialist.  I am praying that her little stones have passed, so that we do not have to take drastic measures.  I am also praying the doctor finds that her liver is still what he thinks it is (fatty liver) and that it is still doing its job.  He is running another test.  I just want to know that she is okay and that she will be with me a long time.  As you can tell, I just love her.  She is so special to me and I am so grateful for her and all of the fun adventures we have together.  So if you can ask for her good health in your prayers we would be so grateful.

Well, I am going to try to not worry and go to sleep.  I pray that you have a happy Saturday and that you enjoy and abundance of blessings.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Is It Wednesday Already?!

Whoo boy!  It has been a really busy week at work.  I am working on a huge project and I come home tired.  I have been going to bed around 8 pm because I am just too tired to sit up.  Tonight we did not even go for a walk.  I felt like a bad puppy momma but figured that I needed to just come home and stare at the news.  I figured that I would just make it up to Liesl by playing on the floor with her a little longer than usual. She was still happy.  She is all about getting attention from her momma.

So we have a new installment of the "Poor Sleepy Momma" game where I lay my head on the bed that she does not ever want to use, but does not want me using it either.  Last night, I started laying down on the floor, saying the usual, "Poor sleepy momma."  As I was laying my head down suddenly in midair I was nose to schnauzer nose.  She met me on the way down, as though to say, "Don't even try it."  I had to laugh.  

So instead I sat up and got her toy lamb, Lambchop (yes, it looks exactly like Sherri Lewis' Lambchop. )  Lambchop is her favorite toy right now.  She has even slept with Lambchop, which is generally not her thing.  So I put Lambchop on her bed and said," Nite-nite, Lambchop."  She thought this was most excellent and got her Ladybug, and put Ladybug on the bed next to Lampchop.  I wondered if she knew how clever that was, so I thought I would see if she would do it again.  So I put Squirrel on the bed, too.  She ran over to all of her stuffed toys and performed a search using criteria that only she understands and came back with Bunny, who she put on the bed.  I got her duck and added it to the growing pile.  She added her blue octopus, then decided she was bored and walked away fake sneezing.  Yes, as part of the dramatic repertoire, Liesl fake sneezes.  

Speaking of being bored.   I am getting bored again with Lady of the Thread.  There are so many color changes that it is no fun and I put off pulling out my stitching until I can barely keep my eyes open,  I may have to do an M designs initial or something like that that is monochromatic.  I think it would be good to do until I get full on stitching mojo back.  In fact, now that I have written it, I think I will get my patterns out and see what would be a good project to do.

Well, it is 9 pm and I feel like such a party animal staying up all kinds of late.  I guess I had better get some shut eye as tomorrow there will be other accounting dragons for me to slay with my trusty Excel program and ten key.  I totally wish the old green visors were still in accounting vogue.  Guess I will just have to go with the Calvin Klein black business suit as my armor.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Long Post

Tonight I am so grateful for intuition.  I have been cooking Liesl's meals for three days now.  I am happy to report that she has not had any need for Benadryl for about 21 hours.  She had been in need of one every 5-6 hours and it did not seem to be helping much.  I am happy to report that we both had a good night of sleep last night.  Other than giving Liesl a Benadryl at 2:30 am, I slept a total of 10 hours straight.  I was awoken at 8:30 by a pair of puppy arms landing on the bed and having a big black nose up against my nose.  There was a look in her eyes that said, "Breakfast is not going to cook itself..."

The other benefit beyond the lack of itching is that Liesl is SO happy after she eats her dinner.  Tonight she had salmon, rice and broccoli.  Coincidentally, I had the same thing.  LOL  Now Liesl loves her some salmon.  I suspect she is part grizzly bear.  I think if given the opportunity, she would devour an entire salmon herself.  So she was very happy after dinner.  She came over to me with a big smile and her eyes all bright and sparkly.  

It was a pretty good day today.  I treated myself to a pedicure.  The place that I go to has the massage chairs, which are awesome.  Then the nice lady who did my pedicure did a really thorough foot massage.  It took everything I had not to fall asleep in the chair.  It was so relaxing.  I read my magazine, too.  It was like a little mini vacation.  

I also got to stitch tonight, since it was so peaceful.  The Lady of the Thread is really coming along nicely.

I also got to indulge in my other hobby tonight-genealogical research.  I have found that I really learn about myself as I learn about the people who have come before me, and basically laid that groundwork for the life that I have now.  I have shared in the past that on my mother's side of the family, most of the family came from Macclesfield, Cheshire, England.  Most were silk workers, which is somewhat funny since I have always had a real love of silk.  I love raw silk and super soft silk.  My great great grandfather came to this country with his siblings to work in the silk mills in Paterson, NJ when the silk trade moved there. 

Most recently, after working on that side of the family for the past ten years, I decided to research my father's side of the family.  I know that a family tree exists somewhere for his paternal line.  What was really interesting to me though was what I discovered about his mother's side of the family.  I had seen a census report that her family was Bohemian.  I did not realize the full scale of the Bohemian influence of the family going way back.  

What I have learned since my discovery is that Bohemia was a country that was 2/3 Czechoslovakian. However, it also contained part of Austria and Moravia. When people hear the term "Bohemian" some tend to think of gypsies.  Bohemians were actually mostly farmers.  During the middle of the 19th Century, there was a large exodus of Bohemians from Europe to Nebraska.  From 1856 to World War I there were 50,000 Bohemians in Nebraska.

My grandmother was Austrian Bohemian, however, her family also is made up of Czechoslovakian Bohemians as well as Moravian Bohemians.  I was not totally aware of these cultures in the family make up and I am absolutely fascinated.  I was really fascinated to see that my great grandmother was born on an ocean freighter in the Atlantic Ocean on the way to America.  I love to see their names-Magdelina, Frantisek, Josef, Ludmila, Vaclav, etc.  In a way, I feel like I have known these names all of my life.

So I truly honor my ancestors and think about them a lot.  It is because of the choices that they made that I have the life that I have now.  It must have been really difficult to move to an entirely new world.  When most of my entire family from both sides were immigrating to America, this country was only about a century old. I have to wonder what they thought awaited them.  It took so much courage.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It Has Been A Week...

It has been a trying week.  For the past several nights Liesl has been having some sort of allergic reaction that has had her so miserable that we both were only getting a couple of hours of sleep a night.  The Benadryl was not working.  I was going into work a total wreck.  Yesterday, I realized that it may be the special food that the vet had put her on.  The second ingredient is corn grits.  I have always avoided corn in her diet.  She was so uncomfortable that I decided I was going to cook her dinner in order to give her a clearer food and with hold the specialty food for a few days.  I made her the favorite dinner of chicken breast, rice and broccoli.  She still did not sleep well, but I felt like I had done the right thing.  

This morning I emailed her internal specialist to let him know what I was doing and to ask his guidance.  She has an appointment with him next week and he is going to be running some additional tests. (I am praying that she passed those nasty little stones.)  I told him how uncomfortable she is and how I was concerned that she was not getting restful sleep.  He said that the symptoms could also be related to hayfever, but said that we had three options for Liesl's diet.  He said that we could continue the food she is on, I could cook her food, or we could try another good food which might have the same effect as the first option.  I told him that I would rather cook for her and would use any foods that he suggests.  I also said that I think that there are tremendous health benefits from food cooked with love.  He said that he agrees.  He said that the home cooking may not be the best solution long term but we should see if she was feeling better by next week with me cooking her food.  I feel grateful for the opportunity and that I have been given a great privilege.  I am already thinking about how to incorporate more fruits and veggies into her meals.

So tonight I came home and cooked her chicken, rice and broccoli.  She was so happy.  She was giving me kisses, doing schnauzer spin turns, chasing her toys, etc.  She is still a little itchy but not as bad.  I do not know if it is due to a lack of an allergen or just because she is so darn happy to have her favorite dinner.  She was so smiley and happy.  It makes my heart happy to see her like this after seeing her so miserable.

So here is a continuation of my game of laying on her bed.  Remember how the other day she just planted her nose on my cheek?  So the other night I laid my head on her doggie bed, and said, "Oh, poor sleepy mama..."  This time she came over and put her stuffed toy lamb on my head and left it there.  LOL  She is so darn funny.  I am not sure how she got such a sophisticated sense of humor.  I am waiting a few days to see what she comes up with next.  She is a total character.

So I am hoping for rest this weekend.  I think we both need it.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Perfect Sunday

Well, today turned out to be lovely.  Yesterday was just so cold and gray.  Liesl was not even feeling it when when we took our walk at the lake.  Her little beard was just blowing all over the place and she looked at me like "Do we really have to do this?"  She was super happy when it was cuddle time on the park bench.  I was happy for the puppy warmth. It was so cold last night that I had to even put the heat on a couple of times and went to bed in a sweater and warm, cozy socks.  Brr.  

Today was nice and warm though.  The sun was out.  After church, Liesl and I took a walk around Carmel.  Normally she loves downtown Carmel, but it is so crowded with tourists right now. All of those legs must look scary and confusing when you are only a foot tall.  We ended up taking a road less traveled and got to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Carmel.  

So I have a funny Liesl story.  Schnauzers are very territorial and do not like to share their stuff.  When she was a puppy, she would get upset when I was putting her toys away.  She would try to grab the toys with an attitude that said, "But that's MINE."  LOL  Now she actually helps me put her toys in the toybasket.  It is pretty cute.  Anyway, the thing she does not like to share now is her bed in the living room.  It is filled with that bean bad type filling and she does not like it.  She will not sleep on it because she does not like the sound.  This does not mean that she will let me use it though.  When we are playing I will lay my head on it and say, "Oh, poor sleepy momma..."  This will usually bring her running and she will try to pull it away or find a way to move me along.  Last night though she came running and just put her nose on my cheek.  And kept it there.  For a really long time.  It was freaky.  Now number one, her nose is cold.  Number two, her nose is wet.  Number three, she was staring at me.  It was unnerving.  So I just started laughing.  She knew exactly what she was doing and thought she was hilarious.  

So I did it again.  I laid down on her bed and she came running.  This time she stuck her nose onto my nose and just stared me in the eye.  Okay, now she is just playing head games with me.  She thought it was funny and I just could not stop laughing at smart it was.  I do not think I will be laying on that bed any time soon.  And I will be sleeping with one eye open.  LOL

So tonight was nice.  I stitched while catching up on my episodes of Real Housewives of NJ.  I do love me some trashy TV.  RHONJ is right up there at the top of my list.  There are not many people I can admit this to in person, because they just look at me like I have a geranium growing out of my forehead.  Yes, there is really good quality programming on TV and believe me I do love PBS and any number of documentaries on history, but there is something about RHONJ, RHOBH, Duck Dynasty, etc., that is just entertaining.  So I am all caught up and made progress on my stitching.

So now the furgirl is all tucked in.  She has had her night-night cookie.  The house is quiet and I am preparing  mentally for work tomorrow.  I am grateful for the weekend.  I am grateful that it has been both cozy and fun.  I am grateful that I had enough to eat, a good book to read, and lots of doggie hugs.  Life is so beautiful.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Oh my gosh, it is cold again.  I actually had to kick on the heat this evening and put on a sweatshirt.  It is funny because yesterday was really hot.  I have a feeling I will be wearing sweaters all weekend.  

Today was a super day at work.  We got to wear jeans again.  Plus, since it was a skeleton crew today with everyone off for the holiday, they brought in lunch again for us.  We had pizza from the fancy place in town.  This pizza is a bit on the expensive side but is so delicious.  We also had caesar salad and cheesy bread.  It was such a great lunch.  It was also nice to sit and eat with my colleagues and get to know them a little better.  I work with really, really nice & super smart people.  I am so grateful to have my job.  I know a lot of people have it really tough out there, and I thank God every day that I have my job.  

I ended up having a wonderful and quiet 4th of July.  I took Liesl to get her nails trimmed.  I was surprised that the mall was open on the holiday, but they made my appointment for that day.  The mall was packed!  When I take Liesl in to get her nails cut, I also pay extra to have them clean up the pads and trim her fur around her feet since she does not especially like it when I do it.  The young lady who did the work said that while she was at it she trimmed her legs and took out a couple of small mats that were starting under her puppy arms.  I thought that it was really thoughtful of her.  I groom Liesl in stages.  One day I will use the clippers to shave her back and head.  Another day I will trim her face.  Another I will trim her skirt and legs. I do it this way because Liesl has a limit on her patience.  I do not want to put either of us through it when she starts losing that patience.  So I do it in small stages over a month's time.  

I started a project yesterday.  I am doing an overhaul of my craft room.  I did a good cleaning of it and decided that it is time to purge some stuff.  Again, I am doing it in stages.  Tomorrow I am going to go through the closet in there which I use for overflow.  It is time to get rid of the dresses that I have not worn in 20 years.  Then I will have to go through some books and some old craft supplies that may not be good anymore.  I figure that by getting rid of some of this stuff I can help someone else and also make a space for more good things to come into my life.  I am thinking that I may sell some of my cross stitch stash, too.  There are just some things I will never stitch and I would like to see them go to a home where someone else may enjoy them more.  So stay tuned...

We made it through the evening of the 4th of July.  Fireworks are legal in my town.  Oh, my gosh, it was ridiculous how long they went on and how loud they were.  I know that fireworks can be terrifying for dogs, so I refuse to let Liesl be home by herself in the evening of the 4th of July.  She did pretty well.  In general, she is a very secure and mellow little dog.  She sleeps through thunder storms and general fireworks throughout the year.  Last night though, we were inundated.  It started around 8:30 pm.  When it started, she did not pay it any attention.  But then it was unrelenting.  She got up on the sofa, plastered herself to my leg, and tucked her rear legs behind me.  I just kept my hand on her and told her it would be okay.  She tried to go to sleep.

Around 9, I saw that my neighbors across the street had moved their big party outside.  I figured this would be a good time to vacate my living room at the front of the house.  I made sure the windows were closed and went into my bedroom at the back of the house.  Liesl is pretty independent and usually likes to sleep in her own bed.  She was altogether too happy to lie down on my bed with me.  I just kept my hand on her back while I read my book.  She seemed okay with this.  We both were asleep by 10 pm despite the noise.  Then we were both awakened at 12:30 am by the booms from fireworks that were shaking the house.  It was rough on those of us who had to work today.  

So tonight I really appreciate the quiet.  Guess I will go to sleep so that I can work on my clean and purge of my craftroom tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


It is super quiet tonight.  We are back to our foggy, cool weather, which is nice. It made for a nice evening of playing with the fur girl and stitching.  I am so looking forward to the holiday and being able to stitch and have some down time.  I told Liesl that I am off after tomorrow and she just looked at me with an expression that said, "Are there cookies involved?"

Tomorrow is going to be a good day at work.  It is jeans day!  Whoohoo!  No business suit!  I made sure to put nice nail polish on my toesies so that I can wear super cute sandal wedgies with my jeans.  I am the Senior Accountant for my company and today the CFO asked me if I was going to wear jeans tomorrow.  I said, "Are you kidding, I have been planning my outfit all week!"  In addition, my company is buying us all lunch tomorrow from a local taco place so I do not have to pack my lunch either.  Other than the fact that I have to do accounting all day, it should be awesome!  (Actually I love accounting.)  

Tonight was really nice.  I did stitch for a while.  I watched Deadliest Catch, too.  Sadly, I think the show has jumped the shark.  There used to be more of a sense of humanity to it, back when Phil was still alive.  Now the captains and crews just seem to be a bunch of bullies.  A lot of it is just mean spirited and it hurts my stomach to watch.  But I digress.  I stitched and promised myself that I would stay up late tomorrow night stitching.  I was telling myself that I am going to stay up late enough to watch Craig  Ferguson, whose show makes me laugh out loud, particularly when he has the puppets talking to the camera.  I am talking big, knowing full well that I will probably only make it to about 9:30.  Especially after my jeans wearing, yummy taco eating, accounting fun filled day.  

So having stayed up all the way to 9:30 tonight, it is probably best that I say good night.  There are soft puppy snores happening and my eyelids are getting heavy.  I need to say my prayers of thanksgiving for God's grace and love.  He has blessed me with so many things that fill my life with joy.  I will count those blessings as I fall off to sleep.  Life is beautiful.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peaceful Sunday

Today was beautiful and serene.  I went to a lovely service at church that just filled me with peace.  One thing that I love about going to church is that it centers me and revives me to face the week ahead.  For a brief moment I am reminded to try not to get caught up in the drama of human beings and to see God's hand in all things, particularly really beautiful things.

I was really happy to come home after church.  I had done all of that work yesterday (Oh, my aching legs from all of that gardening.  I was walking like Frankenstein.) so I had earned a day of rest.  I was really looking forward to coming home, changing into my sweats and stitching the afternoon away.  

I only had a little bit of excitement today.  Liesl can not seem to learn the lesson of messing with bees and tends to end up on the business end of them.  I have lavender in my back yard, which the bees love. Unfortunately, I have to spend a lot of time telling her not to snap at the bees.  Being a strong headed schnauzer, she does it anyway.  She can not help herself.  One thing led to another, and bada-bing, bada-boom, she got stung on her puppy lip.  sigh.  It is so pitiful as she tries to lick at it to sooth it.  So out came the Benadryl and the pill pockets.  And yet, she was out there again this afternoon snapping at bees.  Usually Liesl is pretty good about understanding cause and effect, however, the bees are her siren song.

Other than that, it was a beautiful afternoon.  I put on an afternoon of documentaries on the world's pyramids, got a diet Dr. Pepper out of the fridge, set up my stitching light and stitched the afternoon away.  It was like a little vacation.  At one point I put my stitching aside, got the blanket throw and took a nap to the peaceful sounds of a documentary being narrated.  I had a lovely sleep until someone decided that it was impossible for me to sleep and rub her head and ears.   Therefore, she needed to remedy the situation to her benefit.  She did let me lay there and knows just where to stand so that my hand can rub her sweet head.  

I am looking forward to having the extra day off this week.  I have invitations to do something, but I feel that it is kind of a dangerous day to be on the roads.  Too many people drinking and getting behind the wheel.  So if I can keep the house orderly in the madness that it closing out the quarter at work, I may just take another lazy day on Thursday with my furry girl and take our walks close to home.  I am pretty excited this week because our company has declared Wednesday and Friday as jeans day at work.  This is something that never happens because we have a very professional environment and have a pretty strict dress code for business attire.  So jeans are a super special treat.  We still have to look professional in them and they have to look nice but it is something to look forward to.

I wish you many blessings in the week ahead.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Full Day!

I was so tired from a really busy week at work.  (I am an accountant, and Friday was the last day of the quarter.)  As I was leaving work last night I was almost tempted to spend today in bed.  Luckily, after a full night of sleep and waking up at 7:30 I had a renewed sense of energy.  After a cup of coffee, I decided to go outside and water the plants before it got too hot.  We are in the middle of that heat wave.  Liesl and I headed outside.  Of course, one thing led to another and before I knew it I had out the hedge trimmer and trimmed all the shrubs on the front of the house, then weeded.  It looks super good.  It was way overdue!

I was really energetic by this point and cleaned the kitchen, the living room, scrubbed the bathroom, finished the laundry, including sheets, polished the bedroom furniture, took a nap, took Liesl to the park and even got some stitching in.  It was actually pretty relaxing.

It really was hot today.  My favorite part of the day was right after sunset.  The air was starting to cool with the fog coming in.  So Liesl and I went out on the porch.  Liesl even sat on my lap.  She is not a lap dog, in general, but will sit on my lap when we sit on park benches, or in certain outdoor places.  However, tonight we just got to sit and look at the sky streaked with orange and feel the breeze.  We were both pretty relaxed.  I was so grateful for those really peaceful moments.

I was really grateful for some time to stitch tonight, too.  I put some stand up comedy on Netflix, and worked on Lady of the Thread.  Liesl did her happy victory laps with her bone, then laid down in front of the open window to take full advantage of the breeze and smell the night smells.  Usually it is too cold to have the window open at night so she was intrigued and was sniffing the air a lot.  

I am so grateful for today.  It felt so good to get so much accomplished around the house and spend some special time with my special furry girl.  While I love spending time with friends, or being out and about on the Monterey Peninsula,  my favorite place to be is home.  It is my sanctuary and the place where I best charge my batteries.  There really is no place like home.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baby It's Hot Outside

Holy Smokes!  It is hot!  It was funny because all of the ladies in my company who normally wear suits and business attire were all in dresses today, including me.  Thank goodness pantyhose is out of fashion.  It was so nice to wear a dress that I came home and put on a cute skirt before taking Liesl out for a walk.  I was thinking to myself, "Why do I not wear skirts more often?"  They are certainly more comfortable than pants.

When it gets hot like this we have what is called "Earthquake Weather." It was muggy a couple of days ago and then just hot the past couple of days.  When it gets like this and the air gets really still, generally we have an earthquake that we can actually feel.  Actually little earthquakes are always happening all over the world, as the earth's tectonic plates constantly shift around.  But I digress.  So tonight was had a small earthquake, a 3.9 on the Richter Scale.  Generally, we can barely feel them at that point.  Most Californians do not even get off the sofa for anything less than a 5.  In general we just look at each other and say, "Did we just have an earthquake?"  Having lived through Loma Prieta I still wait though breathlessly through it though.

After work, I thought it was just too hot to take Liesl walking in the park.  So I figured I would take her into Petco to get her nails trimmed.  She got lucky tonight because they did not have a groomer available.  Usually they just let me drop in.  However, the groomer was on a meal break.  So Liesl was a happy girl.  I figured it would be cooler to walk Liesl at the mall while I was there.

Now I have to tell you, Liesl LOVES the mall.  It is an outdoor mall in Monterey.  There is so much for her to look at, so many smells, so many people.  She loves being there and trots around so happily.  Generally at some point someone tells her how pretty she is.  She seems to understand and trots with her ears back after that.  She is a bit of a diva.  LOL

So I am so happy tomorrow is Friday.  It is supposed to be scorching all weekend, so we may just contain our activities to the cooler part of the days.  Then I am all about a nap during the hottest part of the day.  All in all, it will be nice to be off.  I am really looking forward to the extra day off next week.  I shall have to think of something special to do.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Oh, my gosh, it is so hot.  Last night was so muggy that it was hard to get to sleep.  Of course I had the windows open, which meant that every knucklehead in the neighborhood had to make noise.  Last night someone was running what sounded like a table saw and hammering.  While I had trouble falling asleep with the ruckus, I figured that they would probably stop around 10 pm or so.  Boy, was I wrong.  I woke up at 12:30 am to the sounds of a table saw and hammering.  What is wrong with people?!  The I was awakened again at around 2 am to the sound of a car door slamming.  I think it was my neighbor across the street, who I think works for a hotel.  This person suddenly realized that the trash cans needed to be put out for pick up this morning,  So they proceeded to drag their big cans on wheels loudly out to the curb.  Rumble, rumble, slam against the curb.  Grrrrr.

I did not get back to sleep until around 3:30 am.  I was so tired.  I figure I will be be asleep before I finish this post.  So if I stop in the middle of a sentence, please forgive me.

So I have a couple of book recommendations.  I am currently re-reading "Heaven is For Real."  It is such a cool little book.  I keep it on my Kindle, so that I can re-read it from time to time.  The other book is a book called, "Jesus Calling" which is a little daily devotional.  If you have the opportunity and are a person of faith, I highly recommend adding this book to your collection.  Each day is a small passage, but is so well written that I am just flooded with peace every time I pick it up.  I would recommend getting the little hardcover book so that you can just flip around in it.  My experience with this book is similar to my experience with my Bible.  Generally, I will just ask that God show the message that I need that day and let it fall open.  Pretty much 100% of the time, the exact message that I need will be right there.  So I do not necessarily read the passage of the day on the date listed.  Here is a link to the book on Amazon.  Jesus Calling

So it is sweltering, but I am going to attempt sleep.  I am so tired.  The neighbors better keep the din down tonight.  Hopefully they got it all out of their system last night.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Murky Monday

It was a cold, gray, rainy day today.  I was thinking of how nice it would be to be home, stitching on my sofa, drinking a cup of tea, while watching a movie on Netflix.  Instead, I had to play boring old accountant (versus my night job as a ninja!)  We are prepping for the end of the quarter, which is always exciting.  Well, as exciting as you can get in accounting.  But it pays the mortgage and keeps us in dog toys and biscuits.

I thought about stitching tonight, but I am so sleepy and despite my thinking I would make it, I will be turning out the light here at about 8:30.  I know, I am livin' La Vida Loca.  I am trying to keep my eyes open as I write this.  Please pardon any typos henceforth.

So I thought I would share a couple of funny Liesl stories.  I have mentioned in the past that she has a pretty good sense of humor and knows that she is funny.  Schnauzers in general are like this. So yesterday we were at the park, Liesl was sniffing along the ground.  I have not wanted to traumatize her lately with a haircut, particularly on her beard.  So she was dragging that beard along.  We had only just started our walk, and she kept stopping every few steps.  I would encourage her to take few steps and she would stop.  My heart sank and I thought she was not feeling well.  I walked around to the front of her to look at her face.  She was giving me the look that my cousin, Tara, calls "the Whale Eye."  LOL  Then all of the sudden I saw her kind of grin and I noticed a lump on her beard.  It is common for her to pick up sticks, bark, bugs, leaves, etc. in her beard. So I looked a little more closely to pull whatever it was out.  She had a chicken leg bone in her mouth!

People tend to picnic and this park a lot and we find chicken bones a lot.  Usually I see her before she picks one up (but with the long beard, it was harder to see) and I tell her to leave it.  She knows she is not allowed to have them. Sometimes, I have to pry her little jaws open to retrieve it.  This time, it appears that the look she was giving me was, "Seriously.  Do you not see this bone in my mouth?"  When I saw the bone and the look on her face, I started to laugh.  She spit the bone out, gave me a huge grin, then trotted off with a happy trot that said she was quite proud of the joke she had played on me.  

The second story took place last evening.  I was making her chicken soup to encourage more liquid into her system.  After I felt it was done, I left it to cool on the stove (before transferring it to the fridge.)  I turned out the light in the kitchen and went into another room to read.  About 10-15 minutes later, I realized that she was not in the room with me and I had not heard her for a while.  I went back into the kitchen and she was sitting there in the dark, with a fixed stare (trying to use the Force) on the pot of chicken soup.  Somehow she knew that it was her soup, I guess.  So I cooled a little bowl for her.  She was a happy girl and decided to party for a while after that.  She was chewing bones, then doing her victory laps trotting around the house (she does this when she is happy, particularly with a bone.)  It is like she can not contain herself and has to trot around the house because she is so happy about it.  It is pretty gosh darn cute.

So those are my happy stories.  She cracks me up.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Doing A Bit Better

Big thanks to the lovely readers who wrote some comments lately.  I am really grateful.  Based on the comments the other day, I was motivated to action.  I have been thinking in general about the things that I can do for my furgirl right now to take the best possible care of her.  So I had a list of questions, and phoned the doctor to make the appointment for the test.  He was with a patient so I left a voicemail.

He called me back today with an additional test result that was encouraging.  He then asked me if I would like to proceed with the other test.  I said that I would, however, I was very concerned because Liesl became very stressed this week with all of the doctor visits, blood tests, scary machines, etc.  I explained my concern about having her go through that again so soon and that on top of it I felt that my stress and hyper-vigilance was further stressing her out, so the more stressed she got, the more stress I felt, until it was just feeding each other.  I said that I have absolute trust in him that if he felt she needed the test immediately, I would put her in the car today or at his earliest appointment.  He was so gracious and compassionate in his response.  He said that it is obvious that Liesl and I have a very close relationship, and it would be natural for Liesl to be intuitive to my stress.  He said that he would like to do the test to further confirm his suspected diagnosis, however, he felt that we should wait the four weeks until she comes back to look at her bladder stones.  He said that by then we can see the effect of the low fat diet on her liver numbers, too.

I told him that I have been trying think of how to take the best possible care of her, and in the meantime, to help her pass the stones, I asked him if I could give her cranberry juice.  He said that cranberry juice has been proven to be effective in humans and dogs in urinary tracts, so I could try it.  He said that it may not have an effect on the stones but would possibly be good for the rest of the urinary system.  While she is not feeling it for the juice, I may blend it with banana and put it in an ice cube tray for her to have pupsicles.  I suspect she will have pink beard as result.

I also asked if it would be okay if I made her homemade chicken soup, with some veggies, so that she would have more liquid moving through her system.  He said that I could, just make sure that I did not use salt or any veggies with oxalate.  I asked him if she would have to stay on the prescription diet after 30 days because I was concerned about the ingredients in the food, like pork by products, which I would never give her otherwise.  He then asked me if I would like to cook for her.  I said that I would love to and that I would much rather have control of the quality of ingredients that go into her food.  He said there is a movement now for more whole foods in dogs diets, and so for a fee of about $200, a nutritionist can put together a whole diet of whole foods based on Liesl's specific dietary needs.  I think I will try to do this no matter what diet she ends up on.

What impressed me was how thorough he was in his responses and how compassionate he is about Liesl.  I feel blessed that she has a good doctor. 

I feel that in addition to the cranberry juice and soup, I can give her lots of love, exercise and play with her so that she is happy.  I think these things will increase her endorphin levels, which have a healing effect on the body.  I found tonight that while I was laughing, joyful and playing with her, she was happier.  She has a little bed in the living room that I will jokingly tell her that I am going to sleep on and then I rest my head on it.  Usually she just stands over me, like "What the heck." Tonight she head butted the bed from the opposite side, lifting it from underneath, in an effort to dump my head off her bed.  She is sassy, I tell you.

The final thing that I can do is pretty important.  Tonight I was invited out to dinner with one of my dearest long term friends.This is a friend who has a way of giving advice and telling me the truth in a way that I absolutely get it.  She asked how I was taking care of myself right now.  I told her that all of my focus is on Liesl and I will take care of myself after I get through this period.  She looked straight at me and said, "Who will take care of Liesl if you get sick again?"  She then said that it would seem that if I really want to take the best possible care of Liesl that I need to make sure that I am eating correctly and taking good care of myself so that I can be fully able to do what is necessary.   It was a wake up call.

So overall today instead of stressed, I feel blessed.  I feel blessed by all of you who pray, send good thoughts, read about this journey, and post comments.  I feel blessed that Liesl has the best possible medical care, by someone who is genuinely kind and concerned.  I feel blessed by my friends.  I feel blessed to have God in my life, walking through all parts of my life journey with me.