Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008

I let the big dogs out to potty just at sunset tonight, and I was privileged to catch this sunset in action. It reminded me that this is the last sunset of 2008, so I captured it, just for you!!!


So as we say Goodbye to the old year and Welcome, 2009, please try to Forget the Bad Times, Treasure the Good Times, and remember this little ditty that I always say:

"Yesterday is History

Tomorrow is a Mystery,

Today is the PRESENT...

That's why we call it a GIFT"

God bless you, all.

p.s. drink sensibly, or have someone else drive...puh-leeeeze!

Tink and Tank

Do you know the difference between a Tink and a Tank? Well, look below and see!


Tinkerbelle is the smallest puppy in the litter. Some people might call her a ‘runt’ but since I do not appreciate that word I will just say that Tink is small for her age, but she is strong and determined! She will be just right for someone who wants an AKC German Shepherd who is 'smaller in stature' than most. On the other hand, there is Tank. He is enormous, the largest puppy in the litter! He already seems to be a big, loveable, cuddly mass of puppy love that just wants to eat and be held. He is very strong, too, but moves in a very easy-going manner. Just a big, bumbling sort of a guy.


These two are my favorite puppies out of the litter (in case you haven’t noticed.) This is a terrible thing, really, because I swore that I would not get attached to them so that it won’t be so hard to let them go when it is time. Why, I even crocheted little necklaces to tell them apart, so we could just call them “Green” and “Red” and “Purple” etc. Not ‘real’ names, just colors. (sigh)


Oh, well, I’ve gone and done it again, I guess. I just have to keep repeating “FOUR DOGS IS ENOUGH…FOUR DOGS IS ENOUGH….!”


Can't ya just smell that puppy breath???

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Don is a GRANDPA!

It seems like only yesterday that little Heidi was destroying our home and tearing me to little shreds with her tiny, razor-sharp teeth. And here we are today, December 28, 2008, and Heidi has little puppies of her own!

It all started at 11:00 this morning, when Don left to take Lorraine to the Emergency Room in Westbrook. Lorraine has been yelping and screaming since yesterday morning, when she mysteriously ‘broke another bone.” This has been happening off and on for about a year now. She never shows any broken bones on an X-ray, her heart is in better condition than teen-agers, and her blood-work is fabulous. However, you would think that she was dying by the sounds of it. Amazing how this happens whenever somebody else in the house is hurting.

Shortly after they left I heard a tiny noise at the foot of the bed, and a licking sound. I have been spending most of my time in bed since Dec 20th, when I injured my back again. I tripped while carrying a bag of Christmas gifts, caught myself before hitting the ground, and smashed what is left of my discs together and crushed the nerve. I am on muscle relaxors and prescription pain meds and don’t get out of bed much. But today, I was up and turning on lights in a hurry.

What I found was Heidi, looking all embarrassed and curled up in a tiny wad in the POMERANIANS TINY BED, while the displaced Pom Sasha stood looking around in amazement and Gretchen stood over a tiny, dark, wriggling mass on the bedroom carpet. Her look of astonishment went from the ‘mass’, to Heidi, and back to the mass again, and said: “NOW look what ya did, ya NINNY!!!” And poor Heidi was trying to turn herself inside out with embarrassment.

So I hauled out several old bed sheets and towels, and got her ‘uncurled’ from the Pomeranian bed and shooed everybody else out of the bedroom, and showed her what to do with the little dark screaming thing. And from that point on, all went quite well. Heidi was due to have her puppies on New Year’s Eve, so she is 3 days early. But that is perfectly normal, as parturition can range 3 or so days either side of the due date.

I had gone up to the cities for an early Christmas at mom’s (see Christmas slideshow, below). I met up with a college chum whom I have kept in contact with. Becky and I used to study together, and spent many Tuesday nights commiserating over Applebee’s "PERFECT" Marguerittas, bemoaning our homework load, teacher’s expectations, and life’s other great tragedies. I don’t know as if we ever solved any imperative problems that way, but we sure had loads of fun, anyhow. So, Becky graduated and works as a Certified Veterinary Technician in Eden Prairie now. She made it to the big time! And I am so proud of you, Beck! And Becky brought us in for an ultrasound and an X-ray to see how many babies there were. The Vet –whose name, by the way, REALLY IS Dr. Doolittle – determined that there would be SEVEN puppies for sure, and possibly EIGHT. Well, as of this minute, there are SEVEN and we have FIVE GIRLS and TWO BOYS. Grandpa is very, very pleased!!! And, BTW, Lorraine is fine as well. She just needed more of those ‘happy pills’ again.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I received an email the other day entitled “Silent Night.” It told of a true story, an event which occurred in 1914 during WWI in “No-Man’s Land” in Germany. This incident has been dubbed "The Christmas Truce of 1914".

In order to improve morale, the German High Command sent out a Christmas tree to every unit. It seemed like such a small thing, this gift of a tree. But this ‘small’ gift inspired the hearts of the German soldiers. When the British and French forces saw the lights of the trees, they thought that an enemy attack was eminent. But this was not to be the case.

In some areas, the Germans came over towards the enemy’s’ side and asked if they would join them in a concert that night, provided that there would be no shooting. The Brits met them halfway, and they shook hands in the middle of the field. In other regiments, the Germans held up signs reading “No Shoot” and began singing Christmas songs. Soon, both sides were swapping Christmas Carols in the cold, starry, night air. And in yet another area, the Brits and Germans engaged in a soccer match in the icy mud of No Man’s Land, after the German’s came out and offered them hand-shakes, drinks, and cigars. In every one of these cases, someone had to be brave, lay aside their differences and make the first move towards Peace.

I started thinking about Don, and the stories he has told me of the trenches during Vietnam during the war over there. His trenches were filled, not with snow and ice, but rats, snakes, and swampy water. But then, I realized that ALL trenches, no matter where you are, are filled with these same things: self-doubt, sorrow, and fear of the unknown. And that some trenches are visible only to those who are entrenched in them.

Yes, we have ALL been in a trench at one time or another during our lifetime. Sometimes, we have needed a helping hand to lift us out. At other times, we have been that ‘helping hand’ for someone else. But no matter where we are in our life’s journey, we must remember that we are NEVER ALONE. At this time of year, we remember The One who came to earth to assure us of that. Our friend and brother, Jesus Christ. He went to the ULTIMATE trench for us when He willingly took our sins and nailed them to the Cross.

We may not be able to personally reach our young men and women in the military who are in real-life trenches this Holiday Season. But we can reach our friends, family, and loved ones who are all around us. There just has to be one brave person, who can lay aside their differances and make the first move towards Peace.

Our wish for you this Christmas is plain and simple: we wish you the PEACE which passes all understanding. No matter which side of the trench you may be on.

Sincerely, Don and Jody


Friday, December 12, 2008

Gretchen's Big Adventure

I am beginning to wonder about this dog. Seriously. It seems that she is always getting into some sort of snafu or another. And I am afraid that one of these times, it will be her last big adventure.

Gretchen went with Don to the Cities this past week as he was having two more VA appointments, and we both thought that Gretchen would benefit from the change of scenery. Gretchen has been acting very depressed lately, and we can only attribute it to the fact that Heidi is going to have babies, and she is not. When Heidi went into heat awhile back, it triggered a chain reaction in our house that was just wild. First, we had Heidi running around, leaving red splotches everywhere she sat. We brought a red and black (saddle back) AKC male German Shepherd down from the cities, and we kept him for a week while they got ‘married.’ And within two weeks, we had Gretchen doing the same thing. Except, without the same end results. BUT WAIT!!! That’s not all! Little old Sasha, who is 13 years old and who will be 14 on January 28th ALSO went into heat! And she was far worse than the other two, combined! Sasha, who is a tiny Pomeranian, has had two pregnancies in her lifetime. Each pregnancy resulted in the birth of 5, large, healthy puppies, one of which is my little Jeremiah. “Jeremiah is a small dog, he is a good friend of mine….” Well, being the veteran and Grand Dame that she is, Sasha was actually running BACKWARDS up to the other dogs, and drove everyone in the house nuts for almost two weeks! So I told Don, “See, there IS hope for Lorraine, after all!” Lorraine is Don’s 88 year-old aunt who lives with us. (Tee, hee, hee). So anyway, Heidi is preggers, Gretchie is not, and Gretchen is now very, very depressed.

So Don went up to the cities and did the VA thing, all without incident. And then, he made the trip home.

They pulled into the McDonalds at St. Peter shortly before midnight last night. Don put his order in at the squawk box, and in the process or driving forward to pay at the first window for his food, Gretchen reached up with her head, and turned on the passenger-side light on the mirror. Don says that she wanted them to see how pretty she is, probably in order to get a dog biscuit. They get excited at the bank drive-thru also. But this is the first time she has ever turned the light on. So they got up to the window to pick up the food, and the guy waiting on them said “Hey! I’ve got a dog just like that at home!” To which Don replied, “Cool!” And then, Gretchie shut the light off again.

No, just kidding….

Don shut the light off, and they headed down the road. When they got to Mankato, Don’s intent was to stop at Cub food in order to purchase some cooking items for the Christmas baking. When he went to get out of the car, he noticed that his bootlaces were untied. So he hung his feet outside the door and tied one boot, and in the process of tying the 2nd boot, he felt a dog flying over his back from the passenger seat, and into the parking lot. Another customer was just coming out from the store with his cart full of groceries. Gretchen ran over near him. He immediately looked fearful, but Don called out that she is gentle, and would not hurt him. So he assisted Don in trying to catch Gretchen, who was racing all over the parking lot like her typical idiot self, totally ignoring them. Normally, the parking lot at Cub foods in Mankato is totally filled with cars, and the highway going past the store is a very, very busy street. Fortunately, at this time of night it is fairly quiet. Don was not seeing any humor in the situation, as he was trying to figure out just how he was going to explain to me that my dog got creamed in Mankato on the way home. Gretchen then turned around and ran toward the other guy, who was calling her by name. And when she got almost up to him, she raced around the car, and came over towards Don. When she got up close to Don, she darted around him and headed towards Cub Foods. Evidently, she had some shopping to do. She was on a mission. She went up to the entrance door, which opened just as it should. (This evidently is also a “doggie-door” besides being a human door.) She went inside the cart area, grabbed a cart (no, just kidding..) and then went to the inside entrance door, which also automatically opened. And then, Gretchen went inside Cub foods.

Don and the other guy looked at one another and headed into the store after her. Guess what department she headed for? You got it – the MEAT department! She had heard that there was a great sale on beef and pork… So, the other guy got on one side of the aisle, and Don got on the other side, and since she was in the middle of the aisle she had to go towards either one or the other. And she chose to go towards the other guy, who grabbed her leash and gave her back to Don. Meanwhile, there was an employee washing the floor, who was watching this whole event with interest, and laughing.

Don then took the detainee back out to the car, where she immediately sat down in the driver’s seat so that she could pick him up at the door when he was through shopping. NOT!

The proceeding story is all “According to Don” who was witness to the whole event…. And other than the places where we have said “just kidding’ these events are ALL TRUE. Folks, you read it here, first. Meanwhile, Don is taking reservations for those who want to take Gretchen shopping, THE NEXT TIME.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Decorating!!!

Ya know, I don't mind helping 'ma' out around the house and stuff, but GEEZ, this is rediculous!!!