Friday, July 16, 2010

Blessing #29 - “Jack"

Yesterday I paid homage to Trouble, my husband’s cat, but my schnauzer, Jack, is not happy with me and is asking when I’m going to write about him and what he means to me.  Let me start at the beginning.  After Buddy’s cocker, Peanut, lost his fight with cancer, we really missed having a HOUSE dog out here in the country.  We do not have any neighbors, and we were missing the barking and that feeling of protection we get with a dog around the house.  My daughter had a schnauzer which we liked a lot, so I decided to start looking for one for us.  I found an ad notice in the paper for one about 150 miles from here, so Buddy and I drove over to get him.  When we drove up in the driveway, we were awed by all the angels that were everywhere about the property.  We went in the house, and it was the same way in there....a little bizarre for us. We had never seen so many angels anywhere in all of our lives. The guys left us in the living room and went out to a “run” at the rear of the house and brought little Jack to us. He was the runt of the litter, but we fell in love with him immediately, paid our money, and brought our little baby home.  Within a few months we knew we had “adopted” a very developmentally challenged dog.  Apparently he was never allowed out of the little short concrete run attached to his dog house and did not have a clue how to interact with people.  He didn’t walk like the dogs we had had in the past, he was afraid of people, and after 7 years he still has lots of problems.  When he would go into our little bathroom, he would back out....he did not know how to turn around to walk out! The “angel people” really did a job on him....or should I say they did NOTHING with him other than give him food and water. We don’t care, though. We call him our 3rd son and cannot imagine our lives without him.  He is my baby and follows me continually from one end of the house to the other sometimes tripping me and other times literally walking into me.  He loves his little crate in our dining room, and he thinks “cookie” means to go get in bed....with or without a treat.  He is hilarious and  absolutely adores Buddy and me.  Sometimes I think I will scream when he won’t leave me alone when I am cleaning and working about the house, but  just let him so his thing and we get along just fine. He and Trouble get along quite well....and their kitty/doggie olympics absolutely crack us up.  When you talk about a pet giving you unconditional love, he is at the top of the scale.  He is always at our sides...but I say he is MY dog. Where Trouble was Blessing #28, he is definitely Blessing #29.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.”
~Ben Williams

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blessing #28 - “Trouble"

“Trouble” is the name of Buddy’s beloved yellow and white cat, and Buddy is the only person with whom he interacts.  He hides under Bud’s bed when anyone comes into the house. He will NOT go outside under any conditions. Once the bed is fully made in the morning, there will suddenly appear a big lump... that is Trouble snoozing away his day under ALL the covers. Somehow he wiggles his way in under the bedspread, blanket, and top sheet. He insists on being fed both either in the washroom or in Bud’s room and it is his choice. He demands his treats be given out whenever he starts crying, and the crying is so loud he gets his way immediately. When Trouble is ready for Bud to get up in the morning and feed him, he bites on his face and nose. My husband has had treasured pets through our 31 years together, but Trouble is different from all the others.  The two of them talk to one another in their own little language, and they play together like two little kids. I cannot  imagine Buddy without his sidekick.  The cat brings him so much love and pleasure and that works both ways. I am basically a non-being in Trouble’s mind. The only time he’ll even acknowledge me is when Buddy is gone, and he’s out of water. Then he’ll come poking over to me - but not too close - crying his loudest. Once I replenish the water bowl he disappears back under the covers until Buddy gets home. Pets are wonderful to have, but this cat is a particular blessing because Buddy adores him so.  I love watching the two of them always makes me giggle. Trouble is the best cat in the whole wide world, my husband adores him, and for those reasons I have given him the honor of being designated as Blessing #28.

"Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.”
~Paul Gray

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blessing #27 - Having An Adequate Income in This Day and Time

I know you are wondering what I mean by “income” being one of my blessings, but this is the way I look at it.  Buddy and I are two of the fortunate ones who have retired from state jobs and now have jobs we love to supplement our retirement. It is mind boggling, but half of his retirement goes to pay for health insurance - it is UNBELIEVABLE what we pay - and my social security and state retirement help to pay the monthly living expenses.  Because we are fortunate enough to have work, we are able to have money to buy good, healthy food, gas, go to visit the children and grandchildren, and live a very simple but fulfilling life together.  We no longer travel to far away places for pleasure as we did in the past, and we have to watch “the non-essentials” we want to buy. ..but that is OK.  We are so  happy here in our old farmhouse out in the country. We have everything we, a home we are now buying for the second time, our old cars,a big blue beast of a farm truck for dumpster runs, pretty good health for our ages, our jobs, and a family plus two animals that love us very much.  We are so VERY fortunate not have to worry about insurance, food, and having our own home as so many Americans do.  The funds we have coming in, for now, allow us to live our lives happily and without too much worry.  Of course, we are concerned about what the future holds for us healthwise and workwise, but at this point we are just fine. We are very thankful for what we have. Yes, it is definitely a blessing we have enough funds coming in from our work and retirement to allow us to continue to live our simple, happy lives. We are so very fortunate.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blessing #26 - Being a Citizen of the United States of America

     This blessing is pretty much self-explanatory.  I’m one of those seriously patriotic people who everyday at some point thinks about how lucky I am to live in the United States and be allowed to enjoy all of the freedoms offered to me thorough my citizenship. There are many other beautiful places in the world I’ve visited and where I could have lived, but to be born, bred, and live in the United States of America to me is the best.  I love traveling to other countries, visiting with the people, and looking at all of the beautiful scenery and special landmarks, but I am ALWAYS very thankful and happy to return home.  
     When trying to plan out this square, I had the worst time working out how I was going to get in all the stripes and all the stars.  After much frustration, I asked my husband if he had any ideas for the “1 inch square,” and his brainstorm was brilliant...follow the correct order of the stripes but put 13 stars in a circle. Well, I made 13 little French knots, but the circle didn’t come out to actually be of a true circular shape.  Still, I love my little flag, and I think is was very important to include it as Blessing #26 in my 100 Blessing Sampler.

"Don't forget to stop every once in a while and actually thank God for blessing America - he gets a lot of requests, you know. 
 ~Carrie Latet
“There is nothing wrong with American that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”
~William J. CLinton

“My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings whey are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”
~Thomas Jefferson

Friday, July 2, 2010

Updated Collage of My Sampler

I wanted to get an idea of what my sampler was going to like so here are my completed squares side by side using a SmileBox collage templet. I seem to have more luck with SBox that with Flickr and the other programs out there. Now I have a little better feeling of how the completed sampler is going to take shape.

Click to play this Smilebox collage: Counting My Blessings