He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 91:1

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Puppies, dogs and curly tails

     I love dogs.  I mean, LOVE dogs.  You know how much I love my grandchildren.  It's not like that.  It is different, but nevertheless, I have to use the word 'love' since the humble English language does not have another word to adequately express how I feel about this species. I smile when I see one.  

    Many years ago Mr. G and I were with our girls and three extra teenagers in Charleston, S.C. for a family vacation.  Each morning as I took a walk I would see a lady in a golf cart with a small light brown dog riding with her.  It had little black ears flying in the wind and a look on that smushed-in face like it was smiling.  It was so cute I almost ran after the cart, well, I did run after the cart!  While walking the beach one evening, this little compact puppy came prancing, and I mean PRANCING, down the beach with her owner.  This sweet thing was wearing a pink bathing suit.  I'm not really into dressing dogs, but this was the cutest, funniest dog with a wagging curly tail sticking out of a perfectly made opening in the back of that bathing suit.  She came right up to us and wanted to be petted. This little squat of a dog was a Pug, and her name was Merry Christmas.  I never recalled seeing a Pug, and it was rather funny, almost ugly, but so much so that it was irresistible.  I was smitten.  Every time we saw this puppy I was mush.
pug by jess golden
pug by jess golden

  I am sure I bored the five teenagers to death talking about this dog, but I do believe it was a Divine appointment.  Let me finish, lest you roll your eyes!  We came home, and I was to go with my mom down to her family farm for a short visit.  On the way, I told my mother about this experience and she said, "You know, the people that rent the farm raise some cute little dogs.  Maybe you would want to go see them".

   The man renting the farm property came by the house that evening, and low and behold, what kind of dogs do you think he raised?  PUGS.  Well, I certainly made a fool of myself jumping up and down and squealing (you know, the girlie squeal) when he told me this.  He invited us over the next morning to view the current litter of puppies.

    You can guess the rest.......  About a month later, Mr. G, my mother and I returned to the farm a picked up the cutest, roundest, squirmy little brown puppy with  black velvet ears.  We named him Noah.  

     Noah  was the sweetest, smartest, cutest dog I had ever been around. I guess we all say that about our dogs~most of the time.  But, he WAS.  He rang a Christmas bell hanging on the back of the door when he wanted to go out.  He tricked us into getting a treat by ringing that bell, (which got us off the couch) then he would run to the treat jar in the kitchen for a doggie "bone".  He knew when you said "Get in the van" that it was time to go somewhere.  Noah always knew he got the last bite of everything. I mean, everything. Steak, chicken, cookies, pie, and especially ice cream.  He would get his very own bowl if it was homemade.

     When Noah had been in our family for several years, my sister came for a long visit.  (This could be a  very long story, but I'll leave out everything but that we were separated when I was three, she was six, due to a terrible car accident).  She loves dogs just like I do!  She immediately took up with Noah.  While petting him, she said,  "You know, I think we had a Pug when you were very little.  I have a picture at home.  I'll send it to you."

    I was blown away.  The picture arrived, and sure enough, there was my sister and a blurry picture of a dog the exact size of a Pug, with a curly tail.  You could distinguish the black mask and black ears just like Noah's.  My family owned a Pug when I was a baby, and toddler.  Go figure.  My love for Pugs was planted there as a baby, and I had no memory of it.

     Noah was a comfort to me.  He was my shadow and helped me when my children were leaving home to marry or go to college.  Dogs can be a friend, companion, therapist, listener,  and fill the empty nest.  They don't care if you are having a bad hair day and they love you when you are in a bad mood. They lay with you when you are sick, and get excited about things when you have something to celebrate.

     Noah went on to the great park in the sky a few years ago.  I am hoping that God has in His plan to reunite us with our beloved pets.  If not, I will never, in this life or the next, forget the sweetest puppy on earth.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Loft

My sweet son-in-laws agreed to help clean out the bonus/attic room for me!  Woo-hoo ;) 

Years ago we began calling it "the loft".

It will soon be the play room for the grandkids, and a sewing room. 
So far this room has been a sewing/craft room, then a guest room, Holly's bedroom, then Robin's bedroom, then the attic storage, and now it has come full circle and will return to a sewing/playroom!  

  We'll put up bead board and paint the walls and get a new area rug, and new ceiling fan.  More projects!  

While all the lifting, tossing and heaving was going on, Paisley and I just hung out and ate our toes. Don't you wish you could do that? 

       I hope to post progress on this renovation.  We still have much of a mess up there, but it is looking better.  It might take a while before it is all done. Ansley is asking when it will be finished.  Not yet, Ansley.  NOT YET!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Memories of the Fourth


Here in Tennessee, we had a HOT dry day for the fourth. Mr. G grilled and I stayed inside out of the heat, for the most of the day.  Robin did a photo shoot with the big kids at the creek. Millie and I made cupcakes and she decorated them with red, white and blue sprinkles and stars.

  Mr. G fixed some fabulous chicken; David pitched in his stirring arm and ingredients for the best mashed potatoes I've ever eaten; and I added my Green Bean Almondine, which is the family favorite green dish.  Even the kids like it.

  Hope your fourth was a great one.  Here are a few pics Robin took to remember our day.

Mexican Caviar
 (recipe under Summer Recipes on right side bar)

Pictures by Robin, Fullness of Grace Photography

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Family Beach Vacation

I'm dreaming of being back at the beach!  Our family beach vacation this year was the best ever!

My mother-in-law bought a beach condo many years ago~but our family grew over the years from two daughters to two daughters with husbands and added two children each.  We totally outgrew the condo!  So a couple of years ago we rented a house about thirty miles down the beach and we all piled in.  It was so much fun we decided we would do it again.  FUN FUN.....

The little community of houses a short walk from the beach was charming~white picket fences, cobbled pavers on the street, and each house named to fit the owners.  It was lovely and quiet, hot and humid,  never-ending chatter and patter of small feet on the wood floors.  It is not an overstatement that I loved every minute of it.

Our oldest grandchild, Ansley, is six.  Being the oldest of the grandkids, she took charge of the soon to be four-year-olds, Millie and Addison.

They played from six a.m. till they hit the bed about nine every night.  Cousin love.  I hope they always have as much fun together as they do now.  It was almost sad.  Poppie and I didn't get to visit with them too much since they were playing on the screened in porch or upstairs doing their 'thang'.

Our newest grandchild, Paisley turned four months old while at the beach.  I spent a lot of time feeding her, rocking her, looking at her, and just being a nonnie.  She loves the beach.  She was content to nap most of the time listening to the beach noises and the sound of the waves.

My sister lives about fourty miles from where we stayed, and we had a fun visit from her and her hubby, daughter and all three of her grandkids.  Seven cousins on the beach was just too much happiness for anyone to have!  They played for several hours running back and forth from the beach to the umbrellas, digging holes, pouring in water, getting snacks, getting sprayed with sunscreen, and just enjoying each other.

 The adults just kept "camp" as we talked, visited, caught up on all the news.  A breeze was blowing off the water, so even high temps made the day one of the best.

Millie the Mermaid turned four at the beach, and celebrated with a too cute party!  It was all about ocean, beach and mermaids.

Robin,  of (http://www.robinsblessednest.com) is our resident photographer.  She is never far from her Canon, and most of these pictures are hers.  (Thanks, sweetie!)  Many of these are already on her blog.  But, I HAVE to borrow them.  I hold Paisley while she shoots.  So, at least I get to use the pics, right?

The last evening we were at the beach was family picture night.  She took at least a thousand, and I shot the ones of her family.  (Yes, I CAN do a little photography...)  I love the way they turned out.                      
                                                                My sweet family.

Thank you, Lord, for beach blessings, but mostly for family and those sweet times together.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

God Bless America!

                                  Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

That picture says it all, doesn't it?  Someone sent it to me via email last year, so I do not have a source or credit for it.  It's an awesome statement!  May God bless us even in our lack of conviction, our disregard of His principles, and forgetting who has allowed all our blessings on this nation.  Thank you, Lord, for grace and mercy.  Thank you for our country, our land, our heritage.

     Last year we celebrated the fourth with a cookout and the kids were here.  We ate, we got wet, and then we pulled our lawn chairs out to the field and watched the fireworks.  Many surrounding communities and subdivisions have their own fireworks display, so we don't even have to go anywhere else to see a beautiful show.  Just out on the patio, deck, or the best spot out on the back four.  (mind you, not the back FORTY, the back FOUR).

July 4, 2009~my three little firecrackers!

Fun in the sprinkler!

      This water is cold.

  I hope you have a great fourth this year.  
Our plans have changed this week due to sick kids and my hurt back.  I think Mr. G and I will make some homemade ice cream........We haven't made any this year. Now's the time.
   Happy, happy FOURTH OF JULY!

         Happy Birthday to my Mama, and my beautiful niece, Shannon.
  Love you both so much!