Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Daisie!!

Because of her current condition, we were determined to make Daisie's birthday extra special for her. We tried to avoid the mistakes of previous years and choose only things that she would enjoy.

She got a new, soft collar to wear during her recovery...

...and a couple of DELICIOUS birthday biscuits!

She loved them!!

And as a special favor, we did not make her wear a birthday hat.

Better yet, we made Olive wear it...

 It made Daisie's day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Patheticism... not a word, but I think it should be. There's a lot of it going on around here since Daisie got home from the doggie hospital. Poor thing...Pitifulism is another candidate for describing her state as well.

Actually, I think either, or both, could be the name of a new American religion...for the "Somebody ought to help me" people. I know they're out there in droves...But that's a post for PISH TOSH...

Anyway, Miss Daisie came home on Thursday, and her patheticism was justified. She was one hurtin' pup! Her incision is probably 9 inches long over her knee and down her leg. She's all bruised, swollen and then to add insult to injury, I asked them to also remove some masses that she had on her neck, shoulder and rump. (They had been tested and were benign, but it's good to get rid of them while she was under anesthesia anyway.) 

The result is a patchwork quilt of hair and hairlessness, and stitches almost anywhere you try to pet her. The one bright spot -- NO CONE OF SHAME!!! Well, so far...if she gets toothy with her stitches instead of just licking them, that will be the next indignity.

Now -- I'm going to post a picture or two, and if you tend to be squeamish, or scared of hairless animals, you might want to scroll down quickly.

If you're like me, you want to enlarge it to count the stitches and see how many different colors are present! I'm kind of weird that way...I did always want to be in the medical field. I don't mind blood; it's the other bodily secretions that put me off.

But I digress( -- and twice in one post!!)

The poor suffering Daisie...although here she is at least moving around. Two days past surgery, and already she is showing improvement, though from the look on her face you can see where I got the term "patheticism".

Frankenstein leg...lots of staples...

Our patchwork the healing sunshine.

There are lots of "awwww's" that are voiced when anyone sees her...She's getting a lot of tender loving care from us all. I even made her scrambled eggs for breakfast, just to get her to eat something.
And this morning I noticed that she keeps checking her dish without eating any dog food. Hmmm...she wouldn't be exploiting her pathetic state now, would she?

Well, I will GLADLY make her some scrambled eggs one more time...and especially because we haven't told her yet about the exercise restrictions...3 MONTHS on the leash!! Yes -- that would be the 3 SUMMER MONTHS ON THE COTTON PICKIN' LEASH!!

It's gonna be a long one...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Three Legged Dog...

Poor Daisie -- she REALLY did it this time...
At about one year of age, Daisie partially tore her ACL, right rear knee. It's been a weak spot ever since. Whenever she plays hard -- chasing, jumping, making lateral moves, and 360's(you would be amazed at what boxers can do!) -- she ends up limping for a few days. She is put on enforced rest, no easy task, and the problem resolves...

A week ago, she came in from her wanderings in the field, carrying her leg, obviously miserable. We have no idea what she did this time, but whatever it was finished things off in that joint, and surgery was unavoidable.

So yesterday, I brought her to the vet -- not her favorite place in the world -- and when I left she was shaking with nervousness. Of course, only "animal people", as I call them, work in the vet's office, so the assistant was very sweet to my nervous Daisie as she took her back
 to The Great Unknown and Likely Not Fun Place.

I am pleased to report that I maintained my composure and acted like "this is just a dog and I do not need to act as if my child were going under the knife"...

But: MY CHILD WAS GOING UNDER THE KNIFE!! And I spent a restless, unproductive day wondering about her...

I admit it: I am an avowed Dog Lover and dedicated Animal Lover, with few exceptions (ferrets and reptiles are 2 of them).  I joke that we got our boxer because the kids would no longer let me cut their meat, and I needed someone to mother. The truth is, of course, that I hadn't cut their meat for a long time, but they WERE more than happy to see me mother someone other than them.

And I was happy to do it. 

They do think I am a bit overdone on the dog-mothering thing -- especially when I speak for Daisie (I am known as "The Voice of Dog"...). However, when they consider the alternative, they refrain from turning my attention off the dog and on to them.

My dog obsession and highly anthropomorphic imagination can be blamed on my dad, who got a dog for the farm on my first birthday. Of course, I interpreted this as getting a dog for ME. We named her Happy, for Happy Birthday, and she was with us for 13 years, through two farm moves, and she contributed to my life a love that has stayed with me, and will forever...


Back in those days, you didn't spay your dog, and there was always a home for the puppies that resulted. Over her lifetime, Hap had 97 puppies (yes, we kept track) and I loved (and wanted to live with) each one of them. I still love the smell of puppies -- and no wonder when you consider the scenes above. Oh! Those were happy days...

So yesterday, when the dog who lives with me now, was not at home, and "under the knife", I was just out of sorts. Things around here were not right... I am so blessed to have a house dog now! I had to wait 42 years for that, and I love it!)
I admit it, Daisie's my baby...

My family is just grateful that she's too big for me to carry in a purse.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Class of '79...

Back Row: Lori Timmer Jones, Kaye Baron, Colleen Bode Unema, Gaye Vander Giessen Davis
Middle Row: Lorrie Korevaar Whatley, Elaine Gunst Dixon, Leslie Likkel Honcoop
Front Row: Lisa Mellema Groeneweg, Bonnie Van Dellen Korthuis, Mary Broersma Long, Karen Polinder Herrema, Kathi Vander Haak Jansen

A week ago today I was privileged to join 11 of my high school classmates for a weekend of collectively celebrating our 50th birthdays.

I've been thinking all week what to say about it...It was so great, that I have been struggling to find a way to describe it.

32 years after graduation, we still like each other. We've retained many of our youthful personality traits, but they are manifested in much more mature ways now...better fun than ever.

We have history, and don't need to explain where we came from. We certainly reminisced, and laughed, and confessed a little, over the events of the past -- but we all had the same framework of memories.

We shared about where we have gone with our lives in the days since...the joys, the disappointments, the surprises, the tough times, the blessings...and we were sad and glad for each other. We have always wished each other well, but it was a weekend to hear what had come in our lives since the early days of our friendships.

I admire them all, these wonderful women, with their wisdom, their graciousness, their character, their vivacity! I am privileged to know them, and to connect with them once again.

I suppose not many people would be anxious to spend a weekend with the girls from their high school days. It speaks to the quality of these women that this weekend has become a highlight of celebrating my 50th year.

I feel so very blessed!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

You did what??

The Farmer bought this truck...


The Farmer has been looking in every boneyard (aka old abandoned equipment/junkyard), for months now, trying to find a truck suitable for his newest venture in the world of manure (aka natural fertilizer) application. (His obsession with natural fertlizer has been alluded to, and actually is worthy of its own post...I just can't bear to write about it.)

Unable to find what he was looking for, he resorted to searching (and searching and searching and...)online, and then discovered Ebay.


His trepidation about buying online was reduced to hesitation, then was hindered only by lack of opportunity, until the other day I found him hurrying in and out of the office to check his computer. I figured something was not right -- something like the status bar had disappeared and he didn't know how to find it back, or he accidentally minimized his email and thought it was gone forever after spending 1 hour typing 3 well-considered sentences...You know, the usual.

But no -- he's checking to see how many bids have been added to his because he's buying a TRUCK!! You wouldn't just test the waters buying, say a garden tool or lawn mower accessory on Ebay...
No! Let's start by buying a Kenworth!

I was seriously stunned...but coherent enough to ask when the auction ended, and let him know that he better be online then because that's when the bids would fly.

I guess it's true that I could, therefore, be accused of complicity, or collusion, or conspiracy in this crime...
but I didn't think he'd WIN!!

At 7:15pm, I joined him to watch the countdown, as he won his truck...

Oh boy.

Fortunately, this truck was located in Seattle, not Michigan or Wisconsin or even Boise as some he had considered were. So yesterday, Jess brought The Farmer down to The BIG City to pick it up.

It's JUST what he wanted!! Old enough to be reasonably priced, new enough to be able to do the job...and just enough rattling for character.

It HAS to stop raining now so that The Farmer doesn't have as much time to spend on the computer -- because the ice has seriously been broken for him in the world of online shopping!

I'm scared.

Thursday, May 12, 2011




Wait -- it is now pouring rain and hail...wait...wait...okay!


Really! It's newsworthy!! And it just makes us feel like this:

We're stopping everything to SOAK IT IN...

Although, I actually am feeling a surge of motivation...
And it's a good thing because my desk looks like this:

Of course, this also means that I will spend much of the day INSIDE, catching up on chores that I ignored while I moped at the downpour of yesterday...

We're starting to feel like we are in a Narnia-like time warp, where it is always Winter,
 and never Spring.

So, while yesterday we stared at the rain in despair,
today, we gaze out the window in wonder.

Or we would if the windows weren't so dirty...

{Just call me Eeyore}

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Signs of age...

1.Well, that didn't take 'em long...

Actually, for an unknown and strange reason, I got a bunch of mailings from AARP about 25 years ago.  I finally got fed up with it and sent them a letter saying that I was a 26 year old mother of a 4 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old. I didn' t have time to think about retirement and besides, at that point, I was entirely doubtful that I would live that long...The mailings stopped.

Until now.

2. Paperless billing -- tired of filing more and more papers, I have begun to avail myself of this convenient option.

So far, it has cost me 3 late fees...It's getting to be an expensive convenience.

3. As I left the grocery store parking lot, I saw many people carrying lovely bouquets of flowers to their cars, and then I remembered that was what I came for. I had to go around the block and come back...on the upside, we have more than enough eggs for the rest of the month.

4. I know there was something else...hmmmm...

5. #2-4 have been happening for some time now...It's just bugging me more this week for some reason.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's my birthday...

...and I've had a great day!

It actually started with dinner last night. The Farmer treated me and our kiddos to Anthony's. Marvelous!

Then today, I had carrot cake for breakfast.

I went for coffee at Woods with my ma, pa and sisters.

I found treasures at the thrift store and antique shop.

I ate potato chips for lunch, and a cookie.

Flowers were delivered!

I enjoyed all the lovely greetings on Facebook, and in the mailbox.

The lawn was mowed for me.

I sat and watched the dogs lay in the sunshine...

I put my new treasures in their places...and enjoyed looking at them.

I didn't cook dinner.

And, best of all, I never hurried once!

I repeat, it was a great day...

And I'm glad about that, because I was a little ambivalent about my birthday this year. I love my birthday usually, and make sure its full of stuff I enjoy...

But this year, I turned 50...
That's me, and my mom, fifty years ago...
(I was a red-head then...wasn't it cute?!)
(My mom was pretty cute too!)

I've always thought it silly when people had "trouble" with getting older. Getting older never changed my opinion of them in the least! Of course, things (meaning things about your body) change, but you're older! What do you expect? Why be upset about it? The main thing is that you are still a good person, no matter what happens to the outside of you!

That was my theory anyway -- and it was a good one, until it was MY body that changed...Until I looked in the mirror and thought, "What happened?" So much of my life, I've been waiting until conditions were just right for me to look my best...What was I thinking? That it was going to get better??? Ha! I wasted all my prime years thinking I looked bad...stupid girl!

But more than the wrinkles, rolls, age spots (I prefer to call them "freckles", large "freckles"), and diminished physical capabilities (I can be injured just bending over to pick up a sock these days) is the disturbing realization that I am now MY PARENTS' AGE...

In my mind, my parents have been 50 for, oh...about the last 20 years. I mean, every year I think of them as being 50ish --- and I think of me as

But that's not true anymore...FIFTY! ME! And if that's not hard enough to accept, I have to acknowledge that my parents aren't in their 50's anymore either...What???

As The Farmer says, turning 50 is sobering. It brings up all kinds of contemplative questions about what you've done with your life. It brings you face-to-face with some hard truths...

Apparently, I will never be a singer like Evie Tornquist. It's not gonna happen. I don't think there's much chance I'll be famous. I'm too tired to buy an old house and restore it. I doubt that barrel-racing or even horseback riding will be in my future...I will not ever have that hobby dairy farm or puppy boarding facility... And I still don't have any ideas about that book I was going to write...I won't -- (because I CAN'T -- that's the painful realization) do everything I've always dreamed about...

It's hard, facing the facts.

But it's kind of freeing as well...It's a lot of things you can stop worrying about, or pushing for... It's the "IYAM WHAT IYAM" stage of my life... In the last year -- my 49th, and what I have called "The Year of Completeness" (seven sevens, you know) -- I have stopped striving after superfluous stuff (which of course meant that I had to recognize that which is superfluous -- more contemplation)... I am much more discriminating about the things in which I choose to put time and effort. I think I finally have reasonable expectations of myself -- and maybe even of others! I realized that I'm a lot less gracious, and a lot more picky about "The Rules of Life"(as arbitrarily determined by my own interpretation of right and wrong) than I need to be so I'm learning more acceptance and graciousness.  I don't worry like I used to...God takes care of stuff -- all stuff! Life's too short to be fussing about something all the time. I make an effort to enjoy what I am doing, seeing, feeling in the moment.

I guess these are the benefits that come with the costs of being 50...I just wish sometimes that these epiphanies had come sooner...Undeniably, 50 is the back side of the hill...

Here's hoping the hill is long enough to really enjoy the late acquisition of wisdom!

I am a little nervous about that...

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (