Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Thanksgiving Drama

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday! I think I love Thanksgiving because it comes without the stress, hustle, chaos and presents. But I really do love the turkey dinner; all of the sides, and the pumpkin pie is my very favorite! I could actually eat it throughout the year, and do sometimes buy it when I see it at the store. I mentioned this to my Mom several years ago and she told me that she craved pumpkin-pie when she was pregnant with me--So, my loving pumpkin pie must be something I was born with!! :-)

I do enjoy cooking. Thanksgiving dinner is a simple meal to prepare and it’s not hard to roast a turkey...But the mess and work for just two people?? I guess this is why I am always grateful when we get an invitation to someone's home for dinner, which is what we did. Today I'm fixing a turkey breast in the crock-pot for us and a few sides to go along with it. In honor of my Mom, I'll make "5-Cup Salad." My Mom, LOVED this but often she couldn't remember what the 5th cup was, and now I'm finding I can't remember all 5 cups either, and have to look up the recipe. I do have to admit that I never really liked the salad much when she was living, but I made it last year in her memory, and actually enjoyed it. I continue to miss her more than I've ever missed anyone--especially around the holidays because there are so many memories...

On the flip side we had a rabbit find its way into the fenced part of our yard. The poor thing had all the dogs descend on it and it was screaming. Of course I was screaming too and had Carl get the dogs away. When he picked it up, it was like a rag-doll and wouldn't move--We were both surprised that it wasn't bleeding. Thinking it was a goner, Carl was just going to put it up in the woods to let it die. But I felt responsible for it, and of course we both didn't want it to suffer, so we wrapped it in a towel and set up a crate so I could take it to the vet later. When I went out to check on it about an hour later, the rabbit was up, alert and moving around inside the crate. A little worse for wear as you can tell by the picture, but it seemed okay, so we said our good-byes and let it go.

Just after that on our morning walk CarrieAnne rolled in something delicious (to her anyway) in the woods and needed a bath...Add that to an earlier power outage, cold wind and sleeting rain, I think after we've had our post-Thanksgiving lunch, I'm going back to bed!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunny Days of November

I wanted to start by thanking everyone for your comments about Hamlet. He's doing really well, and is adjusting to life in "the group home" with no problems. He's really a very sweet and nice Golden. He seems a bit sad at times and doesn't "smile" like the other Goldens do, but I'm hoping that soon he'll once again feel joy and happiness as he settles into his life with us, and knows that he's safe.

We have had a couple of sunny days this week in Virginia. When the sun is out, I remember why I love the fall. I love the leaves, and the feeling of cool crisp air, and just the overall feeling of the season. Another reason I love it is that the fall wardrobe is so much more me than any other season. I really look forward to the jackets, sweaters, vests, a long sleeve denim shirt, and getting to wear my flannel pajamas! I love them all, and feel comfortable and cozy wearing the layers of sweaters over long sleeves and of course I love warm socks!!

On one of the sunny days the dogs and I got out and enjoyed the sunshine. We took a walk up to the field in back of us. I always like seeing all the little bird nests that were hidden in the branches of the trees. It also reminded me that there are some rather large rocks that I want Carl to get and bring down to our house. The rocks are all part of a stone fence that divided the two properties at one time. The wall has long since fallen over, and in the summer you can barely see them. I'd wanted to get them in the spring, but it warmed up pretty quickly, and I always worry about finding a snake or something else equally terrifying!

The leaves are now pretty much off the maple tree, and all the other trees too...It's all time I guess because this week we cruise right to Thanksgiving! Today while I was out running errands, one of the local radio stations is playing nothing but Christmas music...Is it really time for Christmas?

Friday, November 13, 2009

A New Addition!!

I've been saying for months that I was "done" being a foster home for the Golden Retriever Rescue. I've given the rescue 10 years which included four of them spent as the president. But because of the issues I was having with a board member over Tanner, it made me pretty determined to find another rescue to support. But I guess that fate had another plan this week...I was called on Tuesday and asked about picking up a dog that was at my vet. I had to go and get dog food anyway, and the vets office is right next to the shop where I buy the food--Added to that, the dog needed to be taken to another vets office for overnight care that was on my way home. I was hardly going to be going out of my way. The dog, Hamlet, has a bit of a sad story. He's about 13 years old, and was left and abandoned by his family when their house was foreclosed on. The story from the neighbors is that they had turned him out and he was wandering the neighborhood. The neighbor knew that the house had been foreclosed on, and thought that the family probably no longer wanted Hamlet, so he called Animal Control to come and pick him up. However, Hamlet still had his original collar on with an ID, and Animal Control contacted them. The owner came and picked him up from the shelter. I've found out that in our county that whenever a dog is picked up and the owner is identified, the county bills the owner for keeping them there and any expense incurred--I think they got him back because they didn't want to pay any of these "extra" fees. So when they got him back, instead of letting him outside, or finding someone to take him, they put him in the garage and left the house for good. It was several days before someone found Hamlet. He was left in the dark garage with no water or food...He was pretty ill with pancreatitis because he'd eaten trash left in the garage and was of course dehydrated--He'd thrown up the garbage and even part of a plastic fork! When I met him on Tuesday evening, he was so out of it and couldn't even stand or hold his head up. Needless to say, Hamlet's story got to me, and I agreed to foster him. Prayers were answered and by Wednesday evening Hamlet was ready to come to our house! The intros to our crew have gone well, and he's fitting in nicely. Hamlet is feeling much better! He's a typical senior Golden Retriever, easy going and always on the look out for a tidbit of something to eat--All good signs!! I've told several people about Hamlet this week and we all are a bit angry at this family for what they did to him. I just cannot imagine being so callous and uncaring--How could they just leave Hamlet in the garage with no food or water? Did they think that someone may not find him? I will never understand why or how someone would be able to do this--But I've decided it's best that I'm not able to, because that would put me on their level.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Full Speed through Fall!

Full speed ahead through the fall! It's been warm the last few days, but the cold days are starting to outnumber the warm ones. I love that we've set the clocks back so we can get the dogs out earlier in the morning, but don't like driving home in dark from in the work. I'm constantly looking for deer to jump out in front of me, and I always am grateful when Carl and I get home safely. The leaves are also falling off the trees and a couple of the dogs have loved playing and rolling in them. We have a beautiful maple tree on the side of the house and this year its colors didn't seem as bright as our last 2 falls we've been here, it still had just as many leaves!

We officially adopted Tanner (who is about 13 years old & has glaucoma) at the beginning of November. It was just getting to be too much stress dealing with the rescue and the person who approved medical care. "She" was on her own ego trip and because we didn't get along, she always had the opinion that she knew the best treatment for Tanner, which was usually the opposite of what the vet and I felt was best for him. It's a positive move to be able to make the decisions for him that I know are best--An interesting caveat is that she resigned from the board of directors of the rescue last week...Thank-goodness!

Charlie was also groomed last week, and I think he looks great! I always think I like the shaggy-dog look best, but when he gets his new "do" I think he looks really cute! His coat when it's grown is so thick and I know he's hot under it all, even in the cooler temps. I refer to Charlie as "my little man." He is my defender and protector; I've never had a dog that was as loyal as he is, especially to "just" me! He came from Old English Sheepdog rescue about 4 years ago. I pulled him for them from a shelter in Berryville. We thought he was a sheepdog mix, and he turned out to be a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. I wasn't really that taken by him at first. Charlie is so different than the Goldens because it's all about him, whereas with Goldens, it's all about you. I worked with Sheepdog rescue to try and place him, and after a couple of people said they thought he looked like he "belonged" to me, I finally gave in and took another look at the dog that had one blue eye...I've never looked back. I am crazy about him!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reflections of Two Years

As usual, I've lost track of time--I don't know where October went. All I know is that before I turned around it was gone and so was all of its precious time it contained. But what is even more mind-boggling is to think of what's happened to us in the last two years. Two years ago in October, we sold our house in Ashburn, and bought our place here on Mountain Road. One week after that, my Mom passed away. Looking back on the last 2 years, it seems like it flew by in a blink. But I have to admit that it's easy to see missed goals, time wasted, and some of life’s other disappointments. It is however just as easy to choose to see the beauty, the blessings, the gifts and the miracles we’ve had during this same time.

We have grown to love living where we do, even though I know some think it's out in the middle of nowhere. I grew up around army posts and in neighborhoods full of kids--But the time spent at my Grandfathers while growing up, gave me my love for the country! Moving away from it all was something Carl & I thought about, dreamed about, and prayed about. We pictured it and it finally became a reality.

It's hard to fully explain all the things I've grown to love about living where I do. While I have to admit I could have done without the barage of stink bugs this year, being here has taught me to appreciate and see the world in a much different way. I have learned to see the beauty of the trees in all seasons...The rain, and the changing weather...The stars that seem so close in the night sky...The wonder in nature each time we see the deer, the ground hogs and hearing the birds singing and the owls in the wee hours of the morning...I always watch for and enjoy seeing the rabbits that have grown up this summer and live along our property...Watching and discovering all that is here.

Most of all I love that we have so much more room inside and out for our dogs! I love their excitement as they bark and run through the woods exploring and smelling and sometimes rolling in what they find. I love how happy and content they seem to be, and how content I feel in being here! While moving here two years ago came at a time when I had just lost my Mom, being here has helped to heal and ease the pain because there is so much life here on Mountain Road!! We are so blessed!