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September 2013

Double the Fun: Twenty on Tuesday


I love to travel -- whether it's for a quick weekend away . . . or for a long-planned trip to some far-away location.


But, at the end of the trip, I am always happy to get back home!  What do I miss about my house when I'm away?  Well. . .

  1. Tom (if he's not traveling with me).
  2. My dogs (if they're not traveling with me.)
  3. The taste of my water.
  4. The water pressure of my shower.
  5. My garden.
  6. A sense of permanence and routine.
  7. My iMac (because once you get used to a 27" screen, there's no going back). 
  8. And reliable wifi.
  9. My gym (even though it's not "home," it's "home". . . y'know?).
  10. A place for everything.  (Well.  Allegedly.)

AND NOW . . . The DOUBLE part!


Because Tom wanted to play along, too.  As you have read here, Tom travels to India quite often for his work.  When he goes to India, he is always, always, always especially happy to return home.  (Not that there's anything wrong with India; just that it makes him appreciate the comforts of home in a whole, new way.)  Here's what he misses about home when he's away . . . in India . . .

  1. Me.
  2. The dogs.
  3. Drinking water out of the tap.
  4. Good beer.
  5. Being able to brush his teeth with tap water.  (Instead of Listerine.)
  6. Fresh fruit.
  7. Clean air.
  8. Sane driving.
  9. Not standing out.
  10. Relentless beggars who touch him.

How about YOU?  What do YOU miss about your own house when you're away?


Join the fun!  Sign up here for Ten on Tuesday.

No Doubt

When we first brought Jo-Jo home, she was totally intimidated by her new surroundings and pretty unsure of Tom and I. 

Until she saw Jenny! 

Jenny is the one that enouraged her to step out of her pet-carrier and into the world of Our House.  Jenny is the one that nudged her out into the backyard.

And then Jenny promptly went and sulked in the hydrangeas.


Jenny became The Diva.  She was totally out of joint for a few days.  She ignored us.  She grabbed toys from Jo-Jo.  She ignored Jo-Jo.  She was pissy.

We hoped she'd come around.  Tom had no doubts.  (I didn't really either, but I hated to see her "suffer" -- and I really hated to see her behave so badly.)

Well.  I'm happy to report . . .


that after just a week. . .


they seem to be getting along . . .


and having a lot of fun . . .



No doubt!

A Surprise ... In More Ways Than One

One evening last week, I was out running and nearly home when a truck pulling a trailer passed me going Very Fast.  I couldn't help but notice the words on the trailer:


Even so, I was surprised when I got home and noticed what can only be called a "Carnival Atmosphere" in my normally quiet neighborhood.

Because THIS. . .


A hot air balloon (the same one that went low over my house a couple of weeks ago) had made a surprise - but controlled - landing in my neighbor's front lawn, right across the street.

Big Excitement!

Neighbors poured out of their houses and came out with their cameras.  We took turns posing for shots with the balloon in the background.


It's just something that doesn't happen everyday!


After a time, when the Balloon Chase Vehicle guys decided they wouldn't be able to put the balloon UP again (too many trees and houses and basketball posts), they moved the balloon out into the street and let the air out.


I got a bit of that on a video (see below), but I misjudged how big and how close it would be.  Besides, the balloon was landing across my front lawn!  (I don't shoot videos often, and I was holding the camera in the wrong direction . . . but you'll get the idea.)


It takes a surprising amount of time to take a balloon down and pack it up in the Balloon Chase Vehicle!


Most of the crowd hung around and watched for another hour or so as they rolled and packed and stored the balloon.  Tom and I could keep tabs on the action from our front windows.


In the days since, I've been thinking about the Unexpected Balloon Landing event in relation to my One Little Word process this year.  Although I don't blog about it very often, I've been keeping up with the monthly OLW prompts and keeping my word for the year - SURPRISE - in my thoughts and journals.

SURPRISE is a funny OLW word.  Because most of the OLW prompts and activities are focused on how you can . . .

invite your word into your life

translate your word into action in your world

see the word around you

What I've discovered this year . . . is that I can't really DO most of that with the particular word I've chosen.  I mean. . . once you PLAN something . . . or TAKE ACTION . . . it is no longer a SURPRISE!

But I have been able to SEE the word around me.  To be AWARE of how often I am surprised.  Sometimes the surprise is subtle -- an unexpected shadow, a strange cloud formation, a bird song.  And sometimes the surprise is huge -- my reaction to a situation, a new possibility, a puppy!

This is my third year of doing One Little Word.  My word this year is more challenging than I had expected, but I'm getting a lot more out of the process than I ever have before.


Throwback Thursday: The J-Pets

It didn't start out that way . . . and it wasn't intentional (at first!) . . . but when it comes to pets, we have a pattern going.

First, there was Jelly.


Tom and I adopted Jelly in Boise, Idaho in 1980.  She moved with us all over the country:  Idaho, Colorado, Texas, and, finally, Michigan.  Her full name was Bonanza Jellybean (after one of the characters in Tom Robbins' Even Cowgirls Get the Blues), but we called her Jelly for short.  She was wild and fun; a cat with Real Personality.  She died in 1990, when Erin was 9 months old.

Next came Jambo.


Jambo (her full name was Jambo Marie) was a tiny, delicate kitty.  Very low-key; perfectly fine just fading into the background.  Jambo found her way into our lives in 1982 . . . and she lived for 18 years!  Jambo overlapped with Jelly . . . and both kids . . . and with the next pet in our line-up. . .


Erin and Jake 1

Oh, Jake.  He was such a special dog that I still get choked up when I think about him.  Jake was the dog of my children's childhoods!  We adopted him from the shelter in 1993 - when he was 4 months old -- and Erin was 4 and Brian was 1.  They grew up together . . . three puppies.  Jake was a wonder.  Really, a perfect dog in every way.  Guardian.  Playmate.  Friend.  (Except. . .well. . . there was that carpet incident. . . )  Jake lived to be 14; nearly making it to Erin's high school graduation.  (But not quite.)

After Jake was gone, we decided to be without-a-pet for a while.  To mourn and to re-group.  But it didn't last long.  Within 6 weeks of Jake's passing, we adopted . . .



Jenny came to us from the shelter as an 8-week-old puppy in the summer of 2007, just after Erin's high school graduation. 

It was at this point, when we were thinking of a name for our new pup, that we realized . . . all of our pets' names had begun with the letter J




We decided it was a tradition we wanted to maintain.  With Jenny, the J was intentional!

And now . . . Jo-Jo continues the J-line . . .


of our J-pets!



Play the Way You Feel It

Back when I graduated from high school, THIS song was playing on everyone's cassette player . . .


And that Stevie Nicks! 

I wanted to BE her.

(All the guys wanted to be WITH her.)

She was so . . .





But, mostly, back in 1977, Stevie Nicks was . . . Different!

Her style was different.  Her voice was different.  Her clothes were different.  Her look was different. 

I wanted to imitate.

But I really couldn't.  Because . . . where did Stevie Nicks even SHOP?

(Not at the stores I visited, I can tell you that!)

But, over the years, every once in a while, I would find something . . . some article of clothing . . .

Something drapey.

Something with fringe.

Usually black.

Long and slinky.

And I would buy it.  And I would think to myself, "Stevie Nicks would SO wear this!"

Which is why, 36 years later, I decided to knit this.


The Slink.


Because.  Really.


Stevie Nicks would SO wear this!


Ravelry details here.


Get Back, Jo-Jo!

Soundtrack. . .


Y'know. . .

It's really hard to take a picture of a puppy.


They move.


So fast.


That it's nearly impossible to get a shot.


But, eventually, they do settle down.  (Even puppies need a rest.)

And that's when we can pause to say. . .

Welcome Jo-Jo!


Jo-Jo came into our lives on Friday.  She's an 8-month old yellow lab - and she is thinking that her new life is pretty fine.   She seems delighted to experience the All of It -- in a controlled, fenced backyard, with plenty of toys, butterflies, flowers, sprinklers, and (oh, joy!) a small, backyard pond perfectly suited for "swimming."  (Oh, brother!)


Jo-Jo is having a fine time -- and adjusting quickly to life with us!


As for Jenny?


Well.  She's being a bit of a diva.  But she's coming around.  Her theme song these days?