Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Happy Place

This is my most favorite place to be...THE BEACH!  I was so blessed to grow up in Southern California where a trip to the beach was always 30 minutes away!  As a child, my summers were spent squeezing as many neighborhood kids we could into my parents' station wagon (mini-vans were not yet invented) and making the trip down Beach Boulevard from Buena Park to Huntington Beach. Everyone had to carry something from the car to the sand so that all our stuff made it in one trip!  

The beach always held something magical for me.  I never had a bad day at the beach...well maybe once...but all the great times overshadowed that "one" bad time.  I had an argument with a plastic raft and it flipped me over so that I rode the wave "under" the raft and not on top of it.  As the wave brought me to the sand, it brushed me over a bunch of shells...a bunch of "oh doesn't that feel good now" shells!  I survived, but it took me a long time to go back into the water after that. 

I remember the beach was always sunny.  There was always a gentle breeze.  There was always the smell of the sea in the air and in my hair and on my body (along with the sunblock) and then sand all over my feet and inside of my bathing suit and I always had to wash myself off on the patio when I got home!  I didn't care!  I LOVED THE BEACH! 

As I grew older and had a driver's license, I didn't have to wait for mom to drive me to the beach.  I could drive myself...and I did...really want to.  Before school, during school and after school....I would dare myself to take that car and GO!  But I never did! I ditched school once in my entire high school life and do you think I went to the Beach?  No, I hung around so I could get caught!  But I made up for it in college...and I still graduated.  

I have the most wonderful childhood memories of summers at the beach.  As well, I have many wonderful memories as a young adult where I could go and be alone with my thoughts as I listened to the waves and inhaled the familiar smells.  When my children were born, we took them as often as we could.  When we moved to the mid west, I though I wouldn't survive.  There are no beaches in the mid west...there are places that call themselves beaches, with tiny little ripples they call waves...but they are not the beaches of Southern California!   

On our visits home, and after the plane lands and we've hit the closest In-N-Out, we head for the beach. We all become 10 years old again and we welcome the magic of the Beach with open arms!  

My Happy Place is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Please stop by to read about the favorite places of her many friends!

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Married to the Red Suit Guy!

Mr. No Excuses looks a tad bit like Jolly Old St. Nick, and I love the attention we get when we go places during the month of December!  I'm a little envious, however, because I know that everyone is looking at him and not at me!

A co-worker of Mr. No Excuses recently brought her 4 year old son into the office and almost immediately he had the "deer in the headlights reaction!"  Mr. No Excuses jumped right in!

St. Nick:  So, have you been a good boy this year?

Little One with very wide eyes:  Yes.

St. Nick: Well, I have a "Nice" list and a "Naughty" list. So you should go on the "Nice" list, right?

Little One, still with very wide eyes:  Yes.

St. Nick:  Okay then, what would you like Santa to bring you this year?

Little One, with eyes becoming normal for a 4 year old:  A Monster Truck!

St. Nick:  A Monster Truck...what color?

Little One, with happy eyes and ear-to-ear grin:  RED!!!

St. Nick:  How big? (holding out his hands about two feet apart) This big? (then bringing his hands a little closer) How about this big?

Little One:  Uh-huh!

St. Nick:  Okay then.  I am writing this Red Monster Truck about "this big."  You are on the "Nice" list right now, but there are still a few months until Christmas!  Make sure you stay on the "Nice" list, okay?

Little One:  Okay, Santa!

I am embarking upon a part-time seasonal career as Mrs. Claus.  I am researching her, pulling together a costume, collecting Christmas books to read and games to play....and THIS PRECIOUS LITTLE ONE falls right into the lap of Mr. No Excuses!!!  NOT FAIR!!!

But it is so much fun to walk through the mall during the months leading up to Christmas.  We get the best "deer in the headlights" looks ever! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Kids on My Block!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to go back in time...just for a day...and relive the best memories of an earlier life?  On my street, there were nine of us girls within two or three years apart in age.  We were all in school together, in Girl Scouts, goofing off, ballet lessons, dress-up and just hanging out.  Some of the best times were the birthday parties.  Here's mine...

And here is my brother's...

Here we are goofing off....

The boys had their organized sports...ours would come later!

So, we had more parties...

We didn't set up play dates; we just knocked on the doors of our friends and were invited in.  We hung out all day until we heard our mom's voice calling us in for dinner.  We graduated high school, went to college, married and moved away.  And thanks to social media, some of us are finding each other again and we are reliving some of the best memories of our lives!

Today's post, The Kids on My Block, is brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Stop by and enjoy some wonderful memories others have shared by clicking above.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Wishing you a great rest of the week!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I'd Like to Share....

I'm not ready to be an empty-nester!  No, I won't be one! Not me, no not me! My children no longer live with me but I just couldn't stand the thought of being completely "empty." So I brought the dog with me when I moved to Chicago with Mr. Noexcuses.  

Tootsie is a rescue who came to live with us in 2006.  We didn't know her age, or her breed, but we knew she was full of unconditional love!  The shelter guessed her age to be that of about 18 months, but had no clue as to what kind of dog she was.  Once we had her groomed for the first time, she looked like a giant Scottie, but with floppy ears!  As she grew, so did our guesses at her breed...part Schnauzer, part Basset and now we think she may be part Bear!

Over the years her health has been major illnesses, no broken bones and no hanky panky with the boys in the neighborhood!  After returning from a 10 day vacation we noticed a little anxiety panting that seems to have hung around, but nothing truly obnoxious.  We figured she was mad because we went to the beach and didn't take her with us! 

Tootsie loves the outdoors, especially the snow!  I hate the least I hate it at 6:00am or 10:00pm potty breaks, or anytime of day that I have to drive in it.  But she loves it and would stay out for hours if we would let her!  The heat, on the other hand, is not her favorite season!  It makes her very lazy...just like it does the rest of us...and she takes a lot of naps.  In the warmer seasons, she sleeps in the bathroom on the cool to the wall so she feels safe.  We are in a very warm season right now!

Last week as we were getting ready for bed, I could hear her scratching the bathroom floor and wall.  I thought that she was changing positions.  The scratching was continuous and I peeked around the corner to see if she was having a bad dream.  She was trying to get up, but couldn't make her legs work.  She would lift her head and it would drop right back down to the floor.  She was panting heavily which concerned me. I could see that she was awake while all of this was happening, but she never whimpered so I was confused.  She continued to attempt to get up, but could not. My thoughts turned to "seizure" and I began to panic.

I called Blue Pearl, a Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital about 15 minutes away from the house and described her condition.  They were so supportive and helpful and managed to calm me down enough so I could speak with regular words.  They suggested we bring her in so they could take a look.  Since she could not walk, we had to carry her.  This is where the "part bear" comes in.  She is a lug...a lovey lug, but nevertheless a chunky monkey!  

We arrived at the hospital and got her into a very large and open exam room. There were at least three technicians/doctors there to greet us.  We were escorted to a small waiting room while they examined Tootsie and I drew the short stick to fill out the forms. After a short wait, the Vet came in to talk to us.  I missed every other word that was spoken, but I did catch the words "not a seizure" and "probably just dehydration."  There was a concern that it might be an inner ear infection which caused dizziness (an explanation for not being able to stand). I have Vertigo, so I can relate to the room sort of spinning around at any given time. 

They wanted to give her some fluids, check her blood, and keep her overnight for observation if it was okay with us. I felt secure that she was in good hands.  We agreed that this would be a good idea.  We were welcome to stay if we wanted, however, they thought she would be fine and they would call us if there was any change.  Once she was settled and they had the blood results they said they would call and let us know their findings.  The next few hours were hell for me. I turned to my faith and prayed with everything I had. They called a few hours later with good news. There was a minor infection in her ears, and a slight elevation in her liver values. They were going to start her on antibiotics and a liver protectant.  They said Tootsie was resting well.  I felt very hopeful from the sound of the doctor's voice. 

Early the next morning, I called to see how she was doing.  The doctor was very excited to tell me that not only did she stand up on her own during the night, but that she was drinking and went outside to go potty.  I couldn't speak as the tears overflowed from relief and joy.  I think I must have thanked her at least a dozen times and said I would pick her up shortly.  

I feel to fortunate to have such a happy ending to this story.  It might not have been were it not for the incredibly professional, expert and loving attention given to our Princess Bear while she was in the care of Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Elk Grove, Illinois.  

Thank you Blue Pearl, for everything! I hope that others who are in need of your services will think of you because of the story I share.   

This post is brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Please scamper over to see what others have to share today!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Grateful for Sight

Welcome to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  I'm sharing some sunsets (and a sunrise) that I've come across in my travels!

Sunset in Arizona

Sunrise in Brisbane, Australia

Sunset at Overholser Dam, Overholser, OK

Sunset, Coco Beach, FL

Sunset at the North Pole

The Overholser Dam picture provided by Pastor Rick Green, Lake Overholser Church of the Nazarene.  I am so very grateful that I can still watch sunsets and sunrises, as they imprint upon my head and heart just how beautiful nature can be.

Please stop by the Writer's Workshop for more spectacular pieces and pics!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wall Art

Under the Pier

BK - Before Kids....oh, the memories!  Prior to starting our wonderful, energetic, incredible and exciting family, my hubs followed his passion of photography.  He took pictures of everyone, everything and anything that did not move!  He had (and still has) an eye for what would make a beautiful piece of art.  I'd like to share a few of his masterpieces with you.

Lifeguard Station and Dog

Ready the Sails!

Naked Winter Tree

These wonderful photos have been sitting in boxes for the last 30 years.  I think our walls would embrace them and welcome their stories.  Maybe...after the next move...we will use technology to display these works of art where they can be enjoyed anytime, anytime at all!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please shoot over to Mama Kat's Writers Workshop and witness some other great art!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sparks Flying Everywhere!

Beth fidgeted anxiously as the elevator slowly descended to the ground floor. It seemed to take forever to get to the main lobby.

“Where should I go for lunch? How much money do I have? Do I have to stop at the bank? Is my skirt on straight?” The questions kept coming.  “Ugh! Why is this elevator taking so long?” Oh, the trials of a twenty-something!

“Finally” she sighed, as the doors began to open. On the other side of the elevator doors stood a Man God; a perfectly-chiseled-from-head-to-toe young man in a business suit. She looked up at his steel blue eyes and at the same time he looked at hers. The color of his eyes was like nothing she had ever seen. They were piercing, but his body was relaxed and almost welcoming. Both he and Beth were locked in a tracking beam and were focused so intently on each other that not even a bomb would have broken their mutual trances. Everything became dreamlike and in slow-motion, and the sparks began to fly!

As she began to exit the elevator, she felt a force pushing her back. She did not want this euphoric feeling to stop. She finally gave it her all and began to exit the elevator. She passed him with her eyes still locked onto his. His were still fixed on hers, and then he began to smile. She returned the smile immediately. As they passed each other, their hands brushed lightly, setting off more sparks. Beth could feel her heart pounding and a bolt of electricity shooting all the way down to her toes. Turning toward the double glass exit doors, she made her way to the only place that would break this spell, even though it was not what she really wanted. There were sparks flying everywhere!

“Ten more steps” she said to herself, “and I will be free of this tracking beam.” Beth turned back to see if the elevator had closed yet, and saw that it had. But to her surprise, Mr. Gorgeous was still standing just outside of the doors. He was watching her and that made her knees turn to jelly. She grabbed on to one of the door handles to keep from falling to the floor in a puddle of jam. Amidst the sparks, she turned and saw daylight just outside of the glass doors, as it beckoned to her. 

“Just turn the knob and open the door!” Beth screamed to herself. With every ounce of energy, she pushed  open both doors and stepped out into the light.  She felt the sun’s warm rays wrap around her body from head to toe. She pulled out a pair of sunglasses from her purse and put them on. As she pushed the bridge into place, a quick flash of light was seen out of the corner of her left eye. She adjusted her wedding band and sighed.

“Now, where am I going to have lunch?

Today's post has been brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Please stop by for some great reads!