Friday, September 25, 2015

Kia and Me

Three years ago I would have never ever even thought about going to a dog park, but three years ago I did not have this little face to wake up to every morning.   I love my dog Kia Louise.  She makes me smile every single day.  You fellow dog lovers know what I am talking about.  Let’s get together for tea and talk about our dogs for hours, shall we?

Kia is a part rat terrier I think, maybe part cattle dog.   My vet suspects some Jack Russell in there.  All I know is she, like me, does not have a dimmer switch.  The girl is either all go or all flop.  I love that about her. When she sleeps, she sleeps.   See evidence below: 

 The flip side is true too, though.  When she needs to move, she needs to move and her favorite thing to do is to run. 

That is why we found the dog park.  Brian taught her run after the ball and return it and that is what she does. Over and over and over and over again.

The Ball Maniac 

Her running is a thing of beauty.  She goes for it, full throttle.  People look at her in amazement.  They comment on how fast she streaks across the park.   Brian and I watch her and smile at each other.   She’s amazing.  She’s our girl.

I can honestly say that the dog park is one of my favorite places to go.  We have a beautiful one here in town.  What other place can you go to see so many different dogs, running and playing together?   Most come up for a reassuring pat or a rub behind the ears.

Cassandra.  She always comes over for some Betty Love.

Best of all, we’ve made friends at the dog park, and Kia has made a best friend.  Hazel, an Australian  Shepherd and her family are now a large part of our lives. 

Hazel's Glamour Shot
Kia goes to Hazel’s house for play dates and stays overnight when we are out of town.  Hazel spends every Friday here while her parents work and many Saturdays.  Kia and Hazel love each other very much.

Can you feel the love?

Three years ago, when I found Kia at the shelter, she was alone, scared and wondering if she would ever find a true home.   

Come to think of it, she found me when I was feeling the same way.  

Now here we are, safe, secure and surrounded by love, both of us stronger than ever. 

It’s amazing where life takes us, isn’t it? 

Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm Still Here.

My People!

I've been gone for a few months.  Somehow, someway, I kind of lost my blogging/writing nerve and mojo.  I am not sure exactly why,  and right or wrong, I felt like visiting others' blogs was a little like showing up to a potluck without a dish to share.

I tried to convince myself I didn't miss blogging, but I do.

I'm not ready to make a big 'ol casserole for you just yet, but how about a few appetizers?  Sound good?

I've missed you.  I've missed the blogging me.   Life is good.  Let's eat.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I colored eggs with a little friend of mine, but couldn't resist taking some pictures of them just as they were in their natural "before" beauty.

My friend took most of the eggs but I managed to keep these six back.

Hope you have a peaceful Easter.

Sending you all lots of love!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Good Night, Irene

Good Night, Irene

I’ve been gone for a bit.  Thanks to all my blog peeps who checked in on me.  My mom died last week so I have been in Kansas laying her to rest and celebrating her life. 

She was 92 and I know she was ready to go, but it doesn’t really make it any easier.  She was my mom and had always been there in my life and now she is gone.  I say this more with amazement than anything else. 

Perhaps it really hasn’t hit me yet.

We had the visitation and the funeral in the small town in which she had grown up and had always lived near.  Most of our family was able to come back.  She had five daughters, eleven grandchildren, and sixteen grandchildren.  On her casket there were flowers representing each of us.  When we weren’t crying, we were laughing,    These events are such emotional roller coasters, aren’t they?

Her obituary listed all the ways in which she was involved and busy with her community.  People from the town came to hear my niece give a beautiful eulogy about her grandmother’s life and legacy.  After the funeral, we traveled from the church to the cemetery over about seven miles of rural highway, the gentle hills rolling as far as the eye could see.  A police car, its lights flashing led the way,  the hearse carrying my mom was right behind. I was in one of the first cars following.  About halfway to the cemetery, I looked back and saw the line of cars, their headlights on, rolling slowly up and down those hills.   It was a beautiful sight.  Opposing traffic pulled over out of respect as we passed by.

After the funeral dinner, we said goodbye to our cousins and the rest of us gathered at the hotel for more visiting, more crying, more laughing before we headed to our homes in Colorado, Oklahoma and California. 

I am sure I will write more about this once I process it all, or I may process it all by writing about it.  My long-time Betty readers know that’s usually how I do it.

One resolution comes to me now:  I want to broaden my life.  I want to live a full, deep, wide life.  This means going outside my comfort zone, saying yes to opportunities when they present themselves,  making time to do what is important.  I don’t want to be fearful about stretching, about doing new things.   I don’t want to hold back and play it safe.  I want be sure that I help others in whatever way they need to be helped.  

Death reminds us that this life is finite.  This time is precious.  This world needs hope and optimism, not more darkness. 

At the end of my life, I hope to look back over all the miles I’ve traveled and see that I have left a long, long line of light.

Good night, Mom.  Thanks for everything.  I love you.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Morning Flowers

Hi everybody!

Life is busy but good here.

We are finishing up a busy semester at school and getting ready for the holiday season.

Hope all is well with you!

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." 

~Erma Bombeck

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Morning Flowers!

Happy Monday, People!

Are you ready for the party called life?

I hope so!

It's Thanksgiving week here in the States.

We have so much for which to be grateful.

It's incredible, isn't it?  

I am grateful for Mondays, for flowers, and for all of you!  

Happy Monday! 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Gifts of the Season

Christmas time is coming up which means many of us will contribute to a toy drive of some kind.  

For years I did what most people do.  I eagerly strolled down the toy aisle, delighted to buy a big colorful gift for a child.  Tonka Toys, Matchbox Cars, Lincoln Logs, Legos, dolls, action figures, Slinkies, crayons were all there to transport me back to my and my sons’ childhood.  

I thought about the delight on the faces of the children who would receive them and smiled as I dropped them in the big box outside the store.

Then one year I worked behind the scenes with one of the organizations that sponsored the toy drive.  It was fun to be given a basket along with a list of ages of the children in the families I was picking for.
In front of me were giant crates of donated toys, organized and labeled according to age ranges and gender. 

The crate for the little ones was overflowing and the adolescents had a good selection as well.  Even the crate labeled “Girls Ages 12-16” had a good supply of things like scarves, purses, and fun blank books, and jewelry boxes.  

It was when I got the “Boys: Ages 12-16” that my heart sank.  The supply was meager and the selection looked like cast-offs from the 99 Cent Store.  When there was nothing left in the crate, I asked the supervisor what to do.  She shrugged and said, “Just give them one out of the little kid boxes.” 

Perhaps it is because I have known the stigma of poverty, or because I am the mother of sons, but this experience really affected me.  Boys between the ages of twelve and sixteen are perhaps some of the most conflicted, most tender, and most misunderstood creatures on the planet.  

They are caught between childhood and adulthood.  Everything in our culture is screaming at them about what they should be and do.  The true little voices inside their heads are devalued and many times drowned out completely. 

Often times when there are financial burdens in the family, the older children are rushed into adulthood.  When the holidays roll around, the resources and attention are given to the younger kids.  
The older males, especially, have to rise to the occasion, and do what is expected.   Inside they may still be little boys, but circumstances dictate they sacrifice for the good of the family.  

They do it because they have to. The options open to then are as colorless and meager as the collection of items I saw in the crate that day.

So now, I don’t head to the toy aisle when it’s time to make my yearly donation.  Instead, I buy several presents I know will be right for boys between the ages of twelve and sixteen.  I look for good wallets, battery-operated coin sorters, I-Tune gift cards, cool watches, key chains that double as tools, and great t-shirts.  

I like to think of the boy who receives my present leaning up against the wall on Christmas morning, watching all the little kids open their presents, grinning at their exuberance, and then opening his, nodding and smiling.  

I hope my present helps balance the gap between childhood and adulthood.  

More than anything else I hope it keeps his pride intact and his boyish heart alive for just a little bit longer.