Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hair-Raising Days

I head (no pun intended) to the hair stylist about every four-five weeks as my hair grows beyond fast.   Usually, though, the visit is after my work day, the salon being open until 9 PM. I give my regular stylist a lot of credit.  My hair is baby fine, curly (I refer to it as "free range") and well, red. I won't mention the few strands of grey and trying to match that.  It's the hair stylist equivalent of  juggling knives.

I went in this week for a hair cut and some "natural highlights" which involve a  transfer of cash similar to ransom, and an hour and a half with enough foil on my head to attract a number of  conspiracy theory admirers.

I also went in without lunch or dinner due to the day I had at work.  I figured that I could grab some takeout on the way home as my husband was out of town and I hadn't planned on cooking, Abby Lab was being walked a couple of times and fed by my dogwalker due to the long day so she was taken care of.

As my stylist did the trim, I had a ladies magazine on my lap, with my reading glasses off,  as the beautiful genius that does my hair  finished up the cut and blow dry.

Did I mention that when I hit 50  I had to get "reading glasses"and anything just a  foot a way is a bit blurry? First it was the pages at Bible study, then mailboxes, and soon I was looking through the rack for "readers" with all the other grandmothers.

The magazine I was reading at the salon had a colorful picture of a bowl of soup in it.  I started to get really hungry  It looked SO good and that bagel and apple and coffee at 6 a.m.were distant history. I think I drooled on the page. The lady in the next chair over mentioned that, looking quite perplexed when I said "I SO want a bowl of that."   I couldn't wait  until I was free of sculpting gel and a dryer to stop at the gourmet grocers for some of that, the broth, the succulent chicken, perhaps some shrimp,while I curled up with a glass of expensive white wine and Bach.

Then I put my glasses on.
I'd been drooling over cat food. Friskies Fancy Feast no less.

After that,  I stopped  McDonald's for a Filet O Fish and the liquor store for bottle of white wine, just grabbing one from their "pick of the week" display as I was tired.   When I got home and tried to open it with the wine opener and I couldn't puncture the top I realized it was a twist off cap.

Filet O'Fish and McWine.

Maybe I should have just gone for the cat food.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Help or WARNING :-)

This was in the trunk of my husband's rented Camero (he was in Texas yesterday for a meeting).

 I think it's the trunk release catch, but I can't shake the the feeling that it's a warning that the car may try to eat pedestrians.

Be careful out there on your evening walks :-)


Monday, August 29, 2016

Reality Check

Abby - since I've lost some weight I think I need to try on that bathing suit I found in that old trunk of clothes. Those stars in Hollywood wear them at my age, right?

What do you think?

Abby?

Abby???


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Black and White - Timeless Thoughts

Angel Barkley

Trust is not that which binds, 
but that which bonds. - LBJ
Abby

Thanks to our Sunday Blog Hop Hosts Nola and Sugar

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On Words and Dreams

Finishing a project.

Why does it seem that when we set out to do something, the actuality of it seems forever away, and when we're finished, we look back wondering how we did it at all.

Everything we touch, hold, use, or love---was once just an idea. Had the person who first envisioned that thing thought too keenly as to his or her chance of success,it may have never happened at all.

My writing started with social media, some short stories for friends, It was a way to unwind, a way to work through things that were painful, it was a way to view my life and actions as a third party, which sometimes is painful in its revealing of the past and past actions that weren't good choices.

People said "you need to write a book" and I put it off with the inevitable excuse of "after retirement". Part of it was (insert Dr. McCoy voice here "Jim - I'm a doctor, not a writer!") But honestly, the thought of actually writing an entire book was beyond daunting; it was flat out frightening.  Not just that people wouldn't like it, but whether I could actually DO it.
I pictured it in one of those $5 bins at the book store, spent brass of the heart that no one wants to pick up. I pictured the sound of the critics crickets, or worse---their scorn. The Book of Barkley did very well, #1 for a long time, winning multiple awards, but everyone likes dogs - right?  The second book was harder to write and being such a deeply personal story, to weather the failure of.

But I sat down and wrote Saving Grace.  Not because "all the cool kids are doing it" but because it was in me, and if I didn't let it out, it would wither and die, as would some of the memories it bore. As well, telling my story as an unwed teen birth mother, if there was just ONE young woman who made the decision to give her baby up for adoption in lieu of abortion, by reading my words, I knew it was worth every bit of work and worry.

That it touched so many close to me, especially my recently widowed Dad, who sat holding my hand during 34 hours of hard labor, made the risk work it. And when it too, went number one I made the decision to donate THOSE sales to animal rescue, a choice I've never regretted.
But this post isn't about the books, specifically,  it's about dreams.

My parents fell in love as teenagers. World War II interrupted their  wedding plans but they wed on his return from England, so many years later. A lot of the airmen overseas and the women left behind, took up with others, the relationship not withstanding the time and distance.  Dad certainly had a score of beautiful women present opportunities to him, from what my uncles who served with him said. But he came home and immediately married my Mom, after years apart.

He himself, tells few stories of those times. All I have of those lost years is a stack of letters, carefully held together with a ribbon.

I wrote of that in Book Two:  Saving Grace

" There underneath the photos lies a stack of letters. Mom and Dad wrote to one another for four years while he was overseas, not returning Stateside once during that entire time. Reading them feels a little like eavesdropping, as you can almost hear the words as they formed---heartfelt, intimate. I opened one; it was just one single page, and I thought of the way their day stopped at the brink of it. In these letters bridging the time and distance they had to be apart, there was talk of how much they missed one another; of how their families were faring; of good coffee and how Dad missed vegetables from the farm; of burning heat and a cold on the field that would murmur to your very bones. There was playful affection, there was unstated passion and stated promise. Some was in Mom's flowery script, the rest in Dad's meticulous, indomitable hand. "Is everyone there well?" Mom would ask, and Dad would reply that they were, though some were now only well beyond Lamentations."
Barkley waiting for his dad to come home

Dad never imagined that he would not come back, he never told himself that they would not be married, would not have children, would not make a life.  Even in times of great battle he held the final  prize in his hand, never doubting that it would come to be.

He watched over that dream as our Father in heaven watches over us, his creation shaped out of the primal absolute that contained nothing and all, knowing we are equally as capable of being ruined and being saved, but believing we will be saved, as to believe anything else is to perish.

We all have our dreams, just as we all have our fears.  My husband was, and is, a gifted musician, a prodigy as a youngster. He performed with  a symphony orchestra in Austria before he was 18, offered a scholarship to study music.

He wanted to be an engineer.

He still plays, well enough to make me cry.  But his passion is creating---inventing things out of form and void, and steel and noise, things that touch his brain and his heart---for what the heart holds becomes our only truth.
I talk to my father every night, there in his dwindling days.  He has done a lot to be proud of: Golden Glove Boxer, retired Air Force Lt.  Colonel, manager in a large industrial company, past Secretary and President of the Lion's Club,  a Freemason and father.  I asked him if he had any regrets, things he wished he had done.  I asked, not to remind him of regrets, but to see what in his mind's eye is important, looking back almost 100 years.

What he said was his regret was.  "that time in my 20's I spent $5 on hair tonic to grow hair from the bald barber", and he chuckled.

What he said he was most happy for surprised me, until I understood what it mean.

Dad had a wonderful marriage with my step-mom in his later years.  We all thought the world of her, and he genuinely loved her. But as he nears his end days, it's the photos of my Mom that have come out of drawers and sit on the table by his bed. So I was at first taken aback when he said "I'm glad I loved and lost Gracie" (my mom)

But it was not because he was the one that physically remained after she died, but because he was glad that he had followed his heart, not his good sense. Because if he had not, she would not have become the one he had to grieve over, because he chose to abandon the idea of them.
Abby, our senior rescue with her new Dad


Those of us who have lost our precious furry family members understand.  Though we hate that deep hurt of loss when it is their time to leave us, we have no regrets about the months or years with that soul, if offered a choice now to change the experience.  So many precious memories, so much love, we would not have experienced if we'd not dare to dream that dream, of making them part of our lives.

So as you look around your life this day- think to things you'd like to hold onto, picture flesh and blood, wood or glass, cat or dog, paper or plastic.  Do not think about all you will risk to get it. Do not think about how long it might take, or even if it will be what you expected.  Do not think about what happens if you get it and lose it one day. Do not ask if others will like it--- but only that you will like it.

I look at a photo of my parents on their wedding day.  Dad in uniform, my Mom wearing a beautiful dark suit.  They look both innocent and immortal, even if slightly amazed to be saying those vows. Best friends since sixth grade, they were in their mid-twenties before fate was such that they could be joined.
On my table is a violin, worth ten's of thousands of dollars.  I carefully put it away, for in a couple of hours my husband will be home and that table will be littered with all manner of tooling bits and mechanical drawings and plans. They will lie next to a small pile of books to be autographed and mailed for a dog auction and printed pages with notes as book number three  has begun, after taking over a whole year off, to build some new memories away from a computer.    All of those things are objects that print the often silent mold of our dreams and desires, as easy to be ignored as small fairy feet, when they are magic indeed.

Close your eyes and dream your dream---then make it real.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wordless Wednseday - On our Constitution

Abby - do these white shorts make me look fat?

Abby wisely, and silently, pleads the Fifth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Police Blotter! - Never Mind

Abby Lab here - Mom has a good friend that is a minister up in Alaska.  He shared the local police blotter, and she started snorting her coffee reading some of them, especially the one about the wildlife.

So for today - we present Police Blotter:  Never Mind

Welfare Check
Officers responded three times to a residence where an intoxicated occupant repeatedly called the police for assistance with unspecified problems, and then insisted that they leave once they arrived on scene. No criminal activity was observed.

Theft
An intoxicated caller reported a possible theft. The caller was unable to articulate why she thought there was a theft and hung up the phone.

Assistance Rendered
Caller reported being attacked by swooping eagles. She was afraid to move for fear of injury. Officers responded to assist. As the officers arrived, the sun set. The eagles seemed to lose interest in the caller once it was dark.  She was able to continue walking down the hill unmolested by her feathered attackers.

Sportfishing
Caller reported individuals “dip-netting” in the “Church Hole.” Officers responded and found that two German tourists were filming the salmon underwater using GoPros on a pole.

Traffic/Roads
Officers investigated a possible oversized trailer. The trailer was under water when an officer arrived on scene and its dimensions could not be immediately ascertained.

Suspicious Person/Activity
Officer investigated some blinking lights on a piece of heavy equipment. Nothing was found to be amiss.


Animals
Caller reported that someone was feeding the eagles causing a hazard as one of the eagles had flown into her truck. Officers investigated and discovered that the eagles were not being fed but were congregating, as eagles are known to do.



Ambulance Request 

EMS personnel provided care and transport for a man who had been struck in the back with a 35-kg block of frozen fish.

Animal 

Barking dog complaint. An officer responded to the residence at which the barking dogs allegedly live, and found the two dogs there were the only dogs in the neighborhood that were not barking.

Assistance Rendered 

An officer responded to the PCR regarding a report of smoke emanating from the building.  The officer determined that the smoke was coming from a chimney in the Burma Road Chapel.

Assistance Rendered 

An officer responded to the PCR regarding a report of smoke emanating from the building.  The officer again determined that the smoke was coming from a chimney in the Burma Road Chapel.

Animal 

Two police officers and the ACO chased a small vulpine dog that was frolicking in traffic, from East Broadway to Dutton to Jack London Drive, where it eventually fled to the confines of its own home.  The owner was cited. 

Suspicious Person/Activity 

Drunken caller in Florida reported that her husband, in Unalaska, had threatened to kill her. She reported as well that her husband had tried to hit her 19 years earlier, but had instead hit their daughter.  An officer asked the woman to phone with more information when she is sober.

Thanks to our friend Reverand Paul and for also sending the follow up article about the young officer that writes the blotter.


Small Town's Police Blotter Is A Riot

In one Alaskan fishing village, crime is a laughing matter. It's not the crimes that have residents chuckling so much as how they're written about. The Unalaska crime report is full of eagle aggression and intimate encounters gone awry in the Aleutian Islands.


Sgt. Shockley, Dutch Harbor Police Dept.
When Sgt. Jennifer Shockley (now the Deputy Chief) heads out on patrol each day, she's got the police blotter on her mind. Her goal is to paint a detailed picture of the town's often ridiculous crimes.

"I can only imagine that someone who's never been here would think that this is some kind of Twilight Zone town where every form of human oddity and absurdity exists all at once — exacerbated by alcohol," she says."


Monday, August 22, 2016

I Believe I Can Fly - The Labrador Song

 I believe I can fly

 I believe I can touch the sky

 I think about it every night and day
----------------------
 Spread my wings and fly away

I believe I can soar
---------------------

I see me running through that open door

-----------------------------
 I believe I can fly

 I believe I can fly
 I believe I can fly

Lyrics by R. Kelly

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Closing Ceremonies

Abby Lab here.  It's the closing ceremonies for the Blogville Pawlympics.  For a recap of the action, first visit Blogvilles former mayor Madi who will open the ceremonies.
Then, there will be a speech from Blogville founder, my fella Frankie, from

And we can't forget to thank our organizers and hosts- Mayor Candy-Dates and Organizers, Arty, Christmas and Lexi

Now I have to go find my dancing shoes so I can attend the Pawlympic Wrap Up Paw-ty with Frankie and congratulate all the gold medal winners, because everyone in Blogville is a winner.


Go listen to Candy-date Arty's closing statements  at:


and then check back later for  the paw-ty fun.

For more Candy-date closing statesments click on:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Attention - Kitty Lovers in North/Northcentral Indiana and Illinois


UPDATE:  "LUCY" HAS BEEN ADOPTED -  My best friend is sad to see her go but happy she's going where she will get a LOT of attention and loving. Also a  big thanks to my friend's sister who is a nurse practitioner and spread the word online to her friends in the medical community.

This little thing showed up at my best friend's country house in NW Indiana, near Valporaiso, likely dumped. My friend already has 8 rescues who had met the same fate who they then adopted but with extra vet expenses for the many seniors, she can't keep this little girl long term. This little soul appears to be and elf/kitten hybrid and is missing part of her tail (but it's healed nicely) and she has been to the vet for meds for worms and a wellness check. Other then the intestinal worms which are being treated, she's in excellent health and shot and spay expenses will be provided.   She is just a love and wants only to be held, purring even at the vet and she interacts well with other pets.

If anyone is interested in adding her to your family drop me a (do not post) message with a phone number or  email address and I'll have my friend contact you or drop me an email at cliodna58atgmaildotcom.

My friend is off  work weekends and could arrange a drop off if you'd like to adopt this sweet little girl (Abby the Lab thinks all small creatures are full of squeakers so a small kitty would not be a good fit in our house).

Pawlympic Smiles

It's our final event before the big closing ceremonies tomorrow (with speeches from all of the Blogville Mayor Candy-dates - Lexi, Christmas, and Arty.

Today Arty from
is hosting the Pawlympic Smileys event.

Here are just a few of those smiles in action.  Click on the blue link above to see ALL of them!






We'll see you tomorrow at the closing ceremonies! A big thanks to our Pawlympic hosts and event committee members for all of your hard work!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Pawlympics- Freestyle Naps and Stuffie Deadings

Don't go out tonight, the Pawlympics are on!

The Pawlympics are wrapping up with two more days of events following by the incredible closing ceremonies on Sunday for all of Blogville.  We've so appreciated all the contestants, including a few we hadn't met yet, and our old friends, all gathered together.

Today's events start with Freestyle Napping Hosted by:

 Yang's got her nap on.
 Lassi and Benji going for goldzzzzzzzz
Is Abby Lab going to win this one by a nose?
And a wonderful memory of Abby's close friend Angel Joey

Click on the blue link above for all of the amazing nap athletes.

Next up:

Stuffie Deading (Angel Barkley would have SO loved this event.)

Hosted by Jakey at:


 Frankie and Ernie performing some quality control.
Chester knows what's he's doing
Bailie deads the bed
A Case(y) of Deading Denial

Click on the blue link above for all of the stuffie deading and come back tomorrow for our final event before closing ceremonies Sunday.