Tag Archives: dog

Random Thoughts, III

Good morning Everyone!


1) No matter what you do, your dog will never chew your least favorite pair of socks.


2) The dryer won’t eat one, either.


3) So you think you see the end of the line at Disneyworld?  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

rain, umbrella

4) Best ways to make it rain:

a) Pay to get your car washed;

b) Plan an outdoor workday for yard work and painting;

c) Plan an extravagant outdoor event with no alternative indoor venue.

5) Children and dogs have a built-in parent romance interference sensor.

6) I find it hard to believe that Publisher’s Clearing House is really going to give away all of that money to someone who didn’t buy something from them.

7) Light bulbs always blow in threes.

8) Robotic vacuums rock!

9) Why is it that a person will wait patiently at a drive-thru for 10  minutes for someone else to get their food through the window, but honk at the car in front of them if it fails to move within 10 seconds of the line moving forward?

10) Your dog is programmed to wake you up at least 30 minutes before you are ready and then will sleep for hours after he or she has been fed and walked and you are up for good.

11) Should you worry if someone less mechanically inclined than yourself in your family calls to ask you where the hammer and screwdriver are?

12) If a child tells you he or she is doing nothing, be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Have a great day everyone!


How Not To Sew In 10 Easy Steps

Good morning Everyone!

I made a trip to the fabric store yesterday.  The only place I like to shop at more than the fabric store is the craft store, which is why I try to limit my visits to both.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

I would love to tell you how to sew, but I find I am better at explaining how NOT to sew.  Following any one, or all, of these 10 steps will ensure that, sooner or later, you will have attempted and failed to make an item of clothing that you can wear. Lest you be afraid that I am not speaking with authority, let me hasten to assure you that I have committed each one of these mistakes at one time or another in my 32 year career as an intermittent seamstress hobbyist.

Pattern Maker, sewing

Not This Kind of Pattern Maker!

1)  Fail to remember the name of the pattern maker. 

This one works especially well if you purchased fabric some time ago, picked out a pattern and now find that you need a different sized pattern.  Kind of like automobiles in America used to have the Big Three, in sewing, there are what I think of as “The Big Four” – Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick and Vogue.   Here is an example to help you visualize how properly to perform this step.  I have two different kinds of seersucker fabric that I would like to use to make a short/top outfit.  When I bought the fabric a couple of years ago, I selected pattern 4097 to go with it.  Yesterday, I noticed that it now appears that I need a different size pattern 4097.  I spent several minutes at the pattern store confirming that Simplicity 4097 no longer is available, only to discover when I got home that it was McCall’s 4097 that I needed, thereby delaying the construction of the garments further.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

2)  Do not pay close attention to what you are doing while shopping. 

Upon entering the fabric store of your choice, enter the same kind of trance that I enter in a craft store, where I come out of Nirvana with little memory of the past hour, and suddenly realize that in that time I have purchased a latchhook kit, a “how to knit” book for the 30th time and a picture frame that I have no picture for.  (I don’t do latchhook, can’t seem to learn how to knit – it’s making the second row that seems to defeat me – and normally only buy picture frames that fit pictures that I want to hang.)  Doing this in a fabric store greatly aids you in completing steps 3-6 along with ensuring that you walk out of the store with $100 worth of a smashing burgundy swirled taffeta fabric for which you have no use.

Pins, sewing

3)   Assume that pattern sizes are the same as ready to wear sizes.

This step will ensure that your clothing will not fit.  The sizes aren’t even close.   A pattern size that fits is usually at least four sizes higher than the size you would buy at a department store.  Pattern makers never bought into vanity sizing.

Scissors, Pin Cushion. Buttons, thread, tape measure

4)  Don’t bring your measurements with you.

Hey, I’m with you on this step.  I know it is much more comfortable just guessing at how many inches wide your bust, waistline and hip is.  Doing so has the added benefit of ensuring that you buy a pattern that is not going to fit you when it’s done.  You really get triple bonus points for this manner of not sewing, because you not only end up with something you can’t use, you also get to put in all the time and effort into sewing the garment before you realize it.  In the unlikely event that you want a garment you can wear when it’s finished, bring your (updated, true) measurements to the fabric store for pattern selection, even if you have to store them in an underground dungeon guarded by a dragon and two trolls to conceal them from the rest of the world the rest of the time.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

5) Believe Vogue patterns when they say a pattern is easy. 

Vogue labels its patterns in terms of difficulty.  The other three of the big four do so with at least some of their patterns.  However, unlike the other three, Vogue’s idea of easy is very different from a beginner’s idea of easy.  I have begun to think that perhaps by “easy” they mean “easy for an accomplished career seamstress.”  Or maybe it just means “easy for anyone else except you, Nancy.”  For those few people who actually want to end up with a garment they can wear, you are pretty safe with Vogue’s “pretty easy” or lower ratings.

My Seersucker Short Stash – Try saying that three times fast!

6) Buy the fabric amount listed for a smaller size. 

I am a pro at doing this.  The back of a pattern contains a wealth of information, and does it in two different languages.  This means that the chart listing the needed amounts of fabric is very crowded and it is easy to select the wrong fabric size for the garment.  In addition, this step has the added benefit of being unfixable, since the fabric normally has sold out between the time you bought it and the time you discover the mistake.  For those few wishing to avoid such a mistake, the pen is your friend – circle the correct size and fabric amount on the garment before you start looking for fabric.

My Sunday Go To Meeting Scissors, with a case to ensure that no one but me uses them!

7) Use the wrong layout for the pattern size you need, and cut out part of it before you notice your mistake. 

Sewing patterns show you how to lay the various pattern pieces out before cutting.  However, to minimize the amount of fabric needed, a pattern will normally present several different layouts.  It also matters whether you have purchased a fabric 44 – 45″ wide or 58-60″ wide.  The best way for this mistake to occur is to use the 58-60″ layout for a 44-45″ wide fabric, and do it for an incorrect size.  44-45″ fabric is never big enough to complete a 58-60″ layout.  For those few who might care to avoid this mistake, remember your mantra – the pen is your friend.  Circle the correct layout(s) before you begin to place and cut out pattern pieces.

Brother Sewing Machine

My Sewing Machine

8) Use someone else’s sewing machine. 

Sewing machines have a life and a mind of their own.  They adopt one primary owner and throw the rest of us under the bus.  It was at least 15 years before my mother’s machine reconciled itself to the fact that her children would be using it also.  Until then, each of us faced a myriad of tangled threads, knots and machine malfunctions while our mother never faced one.  Mom recently gave it to my sister, who had to remind it at one point that it was not going to get to go back home to Mom, so it might as well reconcile itself to her.  I’m not sure it has done so.

My Gingher Scissors Are Perfect for Step 9.

9) Trim seams recklessly and with abandon. 

Picture the Swedish Chef meets  “Sewing with Nancy.”

Black lab, crazy Dog

With Darwin around, we don’t need to borrow a lab puppy.

10) Leave the garment lying around carelessly. 

If, in spite of your best efforts, you end up with a garment that you can wear, there is one last-ditch effort you can try to be sure that you are “not” sewing.  It does require an extra ingredient – at least one animal that likes to chew.  If you don’t have one, borrow a friend’s Labrador puppy, age 1 or older.  Leave the garment somewhere where the animal can easily reach it, and go away.  The outfit will be destroyed in about 10 minutes, tops.

Sew, Sewing Tools

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

And so there you have it, ladies and gentlemen – How Not to Sew in 10 Easy Steps.

Have a great weekend!


Mandy’s Turn

husky basset hound mix



I asked the people puppy what our  Mom is doing when she sits in front of the big black rectangle and moves her fingers while I eat breakfast.  My people puppy told me that Mom was writing, and showed me some of the posts about me in the blog our Mom writes.  I think she was a little confused when she wrote them.  She’s not really a morning person, you know – I have to work really hard to wake her up at the proper time.  Sometimes I have to circle the bed from 4 a.m. until almost 7!  I used to be able to walk on her hair to wake her up, but for some strange reason she cut most of it off, and now it is too short for me to do that.  It’s a shame, because she made some really neat noises when I would do it.

Newfound Gap

My people puppy

Any way, to help her out and make sure you don’t get the wrong idea, I thought I’d give you the real scoop on things.

Australian shepherd mix, dog in back yard, dog in sun

My sister, Tyra

It may surprise you to learn that I am adopted.  In fact, all of my siblings – my people puppy and Darwin and Tyra – are adopted as well.  It doesn’t matter, though, because Mom and Dad love all of us lots.  I do think it is a little unfair that the people puppy gets to go everywhere with them, and I don’t, but I try hard not to mind because I know that Mom and Dad love me best – why, they call me “Bad Dog” (that’s one of my nicknames) more than any of my siblings, which means that I am very special.  (My sister, Tyra, rolls her eyes when I say that like I am wrong, but I know that she’s just a little jealous about it.)

Black lab, crazy Dog

My brother Darwin – he’s a little crazy!

Although I would like to travel with Mom and Dad more, my life here is pretty good.  Darwin, my younger brother, and I play together a lot, although I am still having to teach him about proper food etiquette – I don’t like it when he tries to hang around my food bowl.  My sister Tyra is very sweet, but has a hard time moving around the house now without someone to help her.  Mom and Dad do a really good job helping her.  That’s a good thing, because if they didn’t do it, I’d probably have to!

Mom and Dad are a little odd about some things, though.  I’m always very polite and wait until they’re done, but if they’re finished with their food, why can’t I go ahead and help myself to it?  It’s not like they want it anymore!  The same is true with stuff in the trash can – does it really matter what happens to it once they are through with it?  Any reasonable person would know that such things are fair game once they hit the trash, but not Mom and Dad!  I guess every set of parents have their eccentricities.

Family picture

Mom and Dad, in 2008, during yet another trip I wasn’t allowed to go on!

They also spend part of their nights watching this square frame in the living room that makes sounds and shows pictures.  I watch it sometimes, but it,s not really that interesting – nothing on it is real.  You can see and hear the pictures, but there’s no smells attached to them.  Every thing that’s real has a specific smell.

Oh, and I need to set the record straight about the day I came home.  Mom wrote that I ran away twice, but I really didn’t.  I was just so happy that I had a chance to stretch my legs that I took a couple of joy laps.  The look on her face was really funny, too, each time that I did it!  The best part was when she picked me up in the pet store and the people puppy introduced me and told my story to every one we saw.  It really made my day!

Christmas, 2007

Mom in the morning – this was Christmas, 2007 and she was more awake than she usually is in the morning. Still, she wasn’t exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed, even then!

Uh-oh – I can hear Mom emerging from her lair now to get ready for work, so I better sign off.  Just remember what I said, keep the story straight and forgive Mom for her inaccuracies.  Poor thing, she doesn’t understand how to get up in the morning!


Attaching the Unattached

Good morning Everyone!

When I load pictures into my blog, I usually just load them straight from the “New Post” page on WordPress, but yesterday morning I decided to check the tab on My Dashboard marked as “Media” (for the uninitiated, I assume that is short for “Media Library”), when I came across a forlorn group of miscellaneous pictures grouped together under the label “unattached.”

Unwilling to allow them to languish forever in this lonely place, I have chosen a few of them to share with you today, accomplishing two purposes – something to write about today, and the creation of a “happily ever after” relationship for the pictures-formerly-known-as-unattached by providing them with an attachment here.

My first picture came from a couple of days before Halloween, when I took pictures of Kayla in the Rapunzel dress my mother made for her this year.   Here, she is working on (pretend) needlework.

Rapunzel, Halloween

My next choice was this picture from Christmas 2007, when Mandy (aka Bad Dog) was investigating what Kayla was up to Christmas morning.

This picture caught Kayla waiting for the Southern Star (one of the dolphin cruise boats in Destin, an experience I highly recommend).

Boat, Southern Star, dolphin

This sunset over the Gulf of Mexico was too spectacular to leave languishing in the realm of the unattached:

Sunset, Gulf of Mexico, Destin

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

So was this picture of the bridge across the Destin Pass.

Bridge over the Destin Pass

I loved this picture of Mandy (Bad Dog) looking up from her fortress spot from which to view the world at our old house.

Dog, Couch, Window, husky-basset hound mix

I also liked this picture of Darwin (aka No-No) coming into the kitchen begging for food.  He’s good with the sad face look, isn’t he?

Dog, Labrador Retriever

So there you have them – seven pictures who have happily been relegated from the forlorn category of “Unattached”  to the “Attached”!

Have a great day everyone!


Through the Donut Hole

Good morning Everyone!

Sinclairs, Lake Martin, Kowaliga

Sinclairs at Lake Martin, from the Sinclair’s website

My mother was visiting us last weekend and while Mom was here we decided to drive over to a restaurant that is on the banks of Lake Martin, Sinclairs on the Lake.  We sat down to a beautiful waterfront view, and an excellent meal, but before the meal arrived, Mark and Kayla completed their ritual walk along the boat pier that lets boats dock right by the restaurant.  While they were doing so, a little black and white cocker spaniel streaked by them, bound and determined to get into the restaurant, having just seen her master go through the door.

Cocker Spaniel

A black and white cocker spaniel similar to the one we saw.

Mark helped to catch her, and inside the restaurant, Mom and I watched the cocker spaniel being brought back to the boat to await her owner, struggling against the leash all the way.

Shadow, Dog


It reminded me of an experience we had with our first dog, Shadow.  Even though she was half cocker, half lab, Shadow detested the water.  However, paradoxically, she loved to ride in the boat.  Her favorite speed was wake speed; she would sit in the front of the boat then and enjoy watching the world go by.  Whenever we went faster, my appearance was required in the front of the boat to hold her as we sped through the water.  When she decided that Mark was going too fast, or the ride was too bumpy, she would jump out of my arms and walk back to where Mark was driving, and stare at him.

Bayliner bowrider boat

A new model Bayliner similar to what we owned back in the day from www.bayliner.com

She was the smartest dog we ever owned, hands down, although Tyra comes close.  Once, she was too smart for her own good.

We had taken Mark’s sister, brother-in-law and our nephews, out in the boat, found a likely spot on the lake and anchored the boat where we could play and swim in the water.  One of the toys we were using was a huge inner tube.

Inner Tube

Inner Tube Similar to the One We Owned

We left Shadow in the boat because we knew how much she hated the water.  She sat on the front of the boat, watching us, and we went ahead with our water sport.  Before we  could turn back around, a black streak came flying off of the boat, ringing the inner tube in the center and slipping right through it.

It was at that moment that I learned that dogs could cuss.

Apparently, Shadow had eyed the inner tube carefully, and not realizing the hole in the center was floorless, had decided that she could jump onto the inner tube to be nearer to us as we were playing without getting wet.

She came up from under the inner tube swimming (it’s not that she couldn’t swim; she just hated the water) and mad as a hornet, blaming us for her misadventure.  She did deign, however, to let Mark help her back into the boat as she scrabbled up its fiberglass sides, desperate to get out of the hated water.

All was forgiven, of course, once we all got back in the boat and headed back to the dock.

Dog in Boat

Shadow riding at wake speed.

Have a great day everyone!


Of Green Beans and Chocolate

Good morning Everyone!

Double Stuf Oreo Package

As Mark was leaving this morning, he remarked that perhaps it would be a good idea to move the Double Stuf Oreo bag off of the coffee table in the den since “Even a blind dog can find an Oreo now and then.”  (He was speaking both figuratively and literally; as well-behaved and blind as she is, I suspect that Tyra, when provided with a bag of Oreos just barely within her reach and a full 12 hour day within which to work on it, would figure out a way to reach the tantalizing treats.)

In the process of returning the Oreos back to their safe haven in the pantry, I also noticed the various canned food items arrayed on the shelves in the pantry, including the canned, French Style green beans.

Yucky!  From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Before I go any further, I have a confession to make – I truly hate most kinds of cooked vegetables.  Their unpleasant taste wrinkles my face in disgust just thinking about them.  It is the rare cooked vegetable that I come across that does not taste bitter to me.  (Salad stuff including various kinds of lettuce and tomato and carrots, etc. I do like.)  On the other hand, it is the rare chocolate flavored anything that I don’t like, and then it is usually because someone decided to taint the pure chocolate taste with coconut.  I have to force myself to eat the one, and restrain myself when it comes to the other.

computer files

But, if you’ll stop and think a minute, somewhere in my brain and nerve responses, I have filed away what chocolate tastes like and what green beans taste like.  Somehow, some way, it should be possible to switch the two files, just like you could in a computer, and place the “chocolate” taste under vegetables and the “vegetable” taste under chocolate.  Imagine a world where I could “indulge” myself on cooked carrots, cabbage and green beans, and consistently turn my nose up at Hershey’s, Reese’s and Oreos!


Just imagine the riches I could rake in by selling my secret to the rest of those in America who would also like to lose weight – why, I might even be able to challenge Bill Gates or Warren Buffet on the list of the top wealthiest individuals!   I might even get to star in an infomercial or two of my own, and what a hoot that would be.

Battling On

Bravely Battling On

Until that day, I will bravely battle on, counting out green beans singly as I place them on my plate in an attempt to make sure I eat the very minimum necessary to come close to the recommended daily requirements (I don’t have to be right up there; what else are multi-vitamins for?)

Have a great day everyone!


Heeeerrrrreee’s Tyra!

Good morning Everyone!

Tyra, on January 20, 2012

Today’s post is about our oldest dog Tyra.  Tyra, whose nicknames include Tyra Belle, Big Dog and occasionally The Saint (refer to the many posts about Mandy and Darwin to understand why), does not exactly receive equal time in this blog so today I wanted to focus on her. 

Tyra, looking up from the love seat

The main reason Tyra doesn’t receive more time on this blog is not that we love her any less than the other two dogs, but simply because she is the best behaved of the three dogs so she often gives me the least to write about.  To be honest, she is the best behaved of all five dogs we have ever owned, and that is saying something!  Tyra’s main goal in life appears to be to please us, while Mandy’s goal in life is to be happy and maintain her excellent self-esteem, and Darwin’s centers somewhere between playing and getting really good back scratches whenever possible.

Tyra, October 1, 2006 in the back yard

Tyra, 10 years old now, is an Australian Shepherd mix, we think, and came to live with us on February 14, 2004, about 10 1/2 months before Kayla came.  She was three when we selected her from the Humane Shelter.  The sign on the run she was sharing with another dog said that she was a Rottweiler mix, but I have lived with this dog for almost eight years now, and there is no Rottweiler in her anywhere.  We weren’t sure what she was until one day when we saw a picture of an Australian Shepherd, which was spot on to what Tyra looks like when we let her hair grow out.

Second Picture, Tyra backyard, October 1, 2006

Tyra was taken to the Humane Shelter by the first family that adopted her and left, the reason being that they had a baby and “didn’t have time to care for her anymore.”  I always have thought that to be incredibly sad for Tyra,even if incredibly lucky for us; I don’t know how you could do that to a dog as loving as she is.  She still has nightmares occasionally, when she will start to moan in her sleep – whether it is about that experience or something else, I don’t know – but a soft touch and just a whisper that everything’s okay and she’s safe with us at home soothes her, even if she doesn’t wake up. 

Woof, Back Yard, October 1, 2006

When we got Tyra, our first dog, Shadow, had been dead for over a year, and I was starting to worry about our second dog, Woof, and how lonely she seemed to be getting.  Mark and I went to the shelter that day to select a dog, and as we were looking over the runs, we came across a pair of medium-sized dogs kenneled together .  One of the signs on the run said, “My name is Tyra, and I can sit!”  Mark said, “Sit,” Tyra sat, and the rest is history.  I haven’t seen her sit on command too many times since then, but bless her heart, the one time in her life it counted, she pulled it off! 

Tyra and Woof Camping in the Travel Trailer

Woof and Tyra had a cordial, not necessarily close relationship.  Or at least that’s what I thought until the day we went camping and I was walking both of them, and Tyra thought another dog was about to attack Woof.  Tyra immediately went into defense mode, and there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Tyra would have done anything possible to defend Woof. 

Kayla and Tyra, 12 days after Kayla came to live with us

Tyra and Kayla have a sweet bond.  Kayla took to Tyra almost as soon as Kayla moved in with us.  When Kayla learned that Tyra had only been with us since February, (remember, Kayla came December 1, 2004), something clicked and the two of them have for the most part had a rapport ever since.  Kayla does not boss Tyra around like she does the other two dogs, but is always sweet and gentle with her.  When she plays school, using the dogs to populate her pretend school world, Tyra is never a student.  Once, Tyra was the school nurse; another time, when I was unavailable, Tyra was the principal. 

Kayla's First Visit Ever To Our House With Mark, Tyra and Woof in the Picture

We learned quite by accident that Tyra also is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Kayla.  One day when Kayla was four, Mark was grilling outside in the back yard and Kayla was with him.  Kayla heard the door bell ring, but Mark didn’t, so she went to open the door.  (That was a whole separate conversation.)  When she opened the door, there was a teenage boy there that she didn’t know, and Kayla got scared and screamed.  Tyra flew from the back yard down the hall to the front door, pushed Kayla to the side, and chased the teenage boy and his three friends (all of whom, bless their souls, were only asking for directions) onto the hood of their car in the 10 seconds it took Mark to realize something had happened and get out there as well. 

Our Family, Early in 2005

Tyra is not, however, without her quirks.  After all, she is only human canine!  She absolutely loves camping, and bananas.  All the dogs like going for a ride, but when we had our travel trailer, she would absolutely lose her mind as soon as she realized that we were going on an expedition.  She would laugh from the time we got in the car until we returned home.  I had never seen anything like it.  As far as bananas go, they appear to be a miracle cure for her for everything from arthritic hips to fatigue.  The mere sight or smell of a banana will start her prancing like a three-year old dog again. 

Why Won't They Give Me My Spot?

Tyra’s evening routine requires that she be given a seat on the couch beside Mark.  We got this picture of her on the sofa recently, when I was on one side, and Kayla was on the other side of Mark.  She does not look happy!

About time!

All was well, though, once she was placed in her favorite spot.

It's all good!

Tyra also gets extra privileges now that she has attained the status of the official geriatric dog in the household.  See, Life with a Geriatric Dog.  These include elevator service onto our bed every night and occasional joy rides in the car with Mark, Kayla and I while the other two dogs are left at home.  She also is indisputably the leader of the three dogs, although they all three of them ultimately defer to Mark.  She is a benevolent leader, fortunately, and we have been amazed at the restraint she has shown towards both Mandy and Darwin.  They really have to work at it to hack her off.

You will notice in some of these pictures that one of Tyra’s eyes is much larger than the other.  That is due to a condition called canine glaucoma.  There is no cure, and both we and our vet believe she can’t see out of that eye any more, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed her down one bit.  I watch her when she play wrestles with Darwin (they have their own version of mouth wrestling; I have yet to figure out any of the rules besides the cardinal rule, which is that Tyra wins.  Always.  No matter what.) and she just seems to look at him out of her other eye with a twinkle that says, “I can still beat you, even with one eye tied behind my back – but I won’t take advantage of you, even so.”

That’s my dog.

Have a great day !



Good morning everyone!


Yes, today he is even crazier than he was in this picture!

The mind of one large, black Labrador Retriever/Great Dane mix named Darwin.  The mind was last seen functioning on Friday morning, September 2, immediately before he was dropped off at the kennel.  It was first noticed missing yesterday, September 6 after he was returned from the kennel.  The kennel does not have said mind, so we can only assume it was lost somewhere in transit. 

If you find Darwin’s mind, please return it immediately.  Doing so will greatly aid the survival of said Darwin, as he is mercilessly harassing both his sisters to play with him, running around the house like crazy, crashing into furniture as he tries to clear corners with paws and legs too big to give him good traction on the wooden floor, chewing everything he can get his mouth on, investigating counters for left-over food and just generally being a nuisance.  At this time, no reward is being offered as we are not sure of the size or effectiveness of said mind should it ever be recovered.

 Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Have a great day everyone!


First Day of School!

Good morning Everyone!

As hard as it is to believe, our summer vacation is over, and school started today!  It really does seem like it was only last week that summer vacation was just starting.  See, The First day of Summer Vacation

Since it was the first day of school, of course pictures were called for.  Kayla is entering fourth grade this year, and was gracious enough to wear the outfit I bought for her for the first day of school without any fuss. Kayla started our picture-taking session by telling Darwin what to do.

Kayla telling Darwin what to do.

He wasn’t exactly listening.

Darwin wasn't exactly listening.

So we left Darwin out of the next few pictures.  I tried hard to get a good one of her smiling but I’m not sure how well I succeeded. 

What IS it with her and the camera?

This picture I though was a good close-up.

Just playing around

Almost time to go....

Then she realized she really was leaving in just a minute:

I really am going to leave in a minute, aren't I?

 Once Mark came out, Darwin decided to re-enter the picture-taking process.

Daddy and Darwin Make Me Smile!

 Then, a small miracle happened – Darwin stood still long enough for me to get a good shot of all three of them!

As I watched Kayla and Mark walk out the door, ghosts of memory walked out beside them –  each of the little girls that Kayla used to be that also went out that same door for a new school year.  My favorite memory is from kindergarten.  We took pictures that day too.

Mark and Kayla, first day of kindergarten


At the door, ready to go, with Tyra

We drove Kayla to school for the first day of Kindergarten, and walked into the school with her to take her to the classroom.  Although she insisted the whole time she wasn’t nervous, of course we knew she was.  Still, we got to the front doors of the school, she took each of our hands, and as we opened the door to go in together, she took a deep breath, and a solidly determined look came over her face – she was going to succeed in entering this new phase of her life, no matter what.  We knew she was going to be okay after that.

Here’s hoping you and yours, whatever grade they may be in, have or had a good first day of school this year!

Have a great day everyone!


Of Kongs and Water Squirting Implements

Good morning everyone! 

So far No-No is off to a rousing start this morning – I have had to rescue one sandal, one pillow cushion, one yellow plastic container of some kind of silly putty and one dustrag from his clutches so far.   It got bad enough that I spent a considerable amount of time searching the house for a chew toy of his called “Kong.”  Once I found it, I gave  it to him.  Now he is a crazed, but happy, camper, and our belongings are temporarily safe, since Bad Dog has restricted herself to chewing  on the blankets in No-no’s carrier. 

Darwin (No-No) With His Chew Toy

I also have new rules to add to the list of Rules I Never Thought I’d Need:

Do not sneak a medicine measuring syringe into the bathtub.

Do not squirt the dog, the ceiling or the floor with water using said syringe.

Kayla called out from the bathroom last night as she was taking her bath, “Mom, I need you!”  Mark called back, “What do you want?”  and she answered “Never mind.” 

After about 15 or 20 minutes though, once she was sure Mark was in our bedroom, she came out and told me she needed me.  I went in to the bathroom with her.  As soon as I opened the bathroom door, Mandy scooted out. Kayla crooned at Mandy, “It’s okay for you to go out, since you’ve already been squirted.”  (I’m sure Mandy appreciated that sentiment!)

Kayla then held up a plastic medicine measuring syringe and announced that she had been filling it with water and squirting Mandy and herself with it, but then she had tried to squirt the ceiling with it, and all that had accomplished was a track of water across the ceiling.  She wanted to know how to fix it. 

I told her a) let the ceiling dry; if it messed up as a result, she would just have to paint it later;  b) dry the floor, which was soaking wet, c) (between gritted teeth) get in the bathtub, take a bath with soap and the use of shampoo on her hair, along with a good rinse for everything and d) don’t squirt anybody or anything else with the medicine syringe, which is not meant to be used as a bathroom toy. 

Have a great day everyone!