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Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Favorites...Summertime

It has been a busy week, what with all the end-of-school-year festivities, ceremonies and shenanigans I had to attend. And then Devin's baseball practices started up while Dracen's season was finishing up so it was baseball overload there for a few days. 

The fact that I don't have to get up at that ridiculous dark thirty hour for over three.whole.months thrills me more than it probably should. I swear I think I get more excited about that than the kids do. But somehow I  forgot to turn my weekday alarm off last night when I went to bed and was all kinds of confused and disoriented when that thing went off at its normal just-before-the-butt-crack-of-dawn hour this morning but the satisfaction I got from laughing in that iPhone's face when I turned it off and rolled back over was just about worth it. (I have issues. Clearly.)

I'm still sitting here in my pajamas in the sunroom (after 10:00 a.m.) sipping coffee out of my Wonder Woman mug with the gorilla-glued handle and feeling no shame in my game whatsoever about it.

Devin had two friends over last night who all promptly disappeared into the bonus room and aside from the time they came down scavenging for food before we went to bed last night, I haven't heard hide nor hair from any of them and Dracen is still hard at sleep as well. I think I see a summer chore list in their near future but today I'm giving them a free first-day-of-summer-vacation pass...

Fun in the Sun
I've always loved this summer pic of Dracen taken at 
the beach in 2007. He still does that curling of the lip thing.

Fancy Firepit
I've been wanting to build a firepit in the
backyard for awhile now and hope to bring that plan
to fruition this summer. I am practically drooling over this one...

I have no idea where this is, but I'd love to
spend about a week in that hammock doing nothing
but reading and napping. 

I'm seriously crushing on these.

How cute is this?
Perfect for Memorial Day or the 4th.

Great advice
This cracked me up.

Swimming Hole
This just made me smile.

Love this for summer.

  My little friend
I don't know what is up with the chipmunks this year
but they are everywhere around here.
This one was kind enough to pose for me the other morning.


Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...2013 North Carolina Wiener Roast

The Darlings were raring to go when we woke them up for the  wiener roast Saturday morning. This was our fourth straight year attending and I swear they acted as if they knew exactly what was going down. Poor Lucky had no clue what he was in for but he was excited simply because they were excited.

It is held at the Castle McCulloch in Jamestown which is about an hour and forty-five minute drive for us. I thought we'd made a huge mistake by taking Lucky along in the beginning because as soon as we got out of the car and he saw the other Dachsies and friends getting out of the car next to us, he was beside himself with excitement and immediately began showing his arse in a big way. This prompted the Darlings to then show their little arses as well, and so the three of them proceeded to have an all-out barking match with the stranger dogs.

None of them are aggressive but were all beyond ready to get to the entrance and into the event asap and had no patience whatsoever for our attempts to put a harness on Lucky. I may have uttered a couple (or several) four letter words under my breath but this was clearly some sort of Rubik's cube trick harness that would not, for the love of all that is holy, stay on right. So we finally gave in, put the leash on his collar, held our breath that he wouldn't come out of it and made our way (very ungracefully) toward the gate. 

I, of course, had to find a bathroom right away (because I have determined that my bladder is roughly the size of a pea) and when I came out Lucky was sporting a new fire hydrant harness that Charlie informed me we needed to pay the nice lady for. And since Brisco's was looking a little dingy, he thought he had to have a new one too.

I have concluded that taking them to this event is pretty much the dog world equivalent of taking toddlers to Disney World. 

They all settled down once we were in and wasted no time introducing themselves. In other words, there was a whole lot of butt-sniffing going on and Mr. Happy-go-lucky Lucky got way more than his fair share of flashing teeth and nips at the nose but  he remained a gentleman, never once complaining or nipping back.

I made the discovery, about 15 minutes after our arrival, that I had gone off and left my SD card for the camera in my computer. I was all kinds of unhappy about that but what are you gonna do?

iPhone to the rescue.

Let the butt-sniffin' begin...

Charlene (Li'l Bit) is a bit more shy than the boys and therefore, requested demanded to be toted around all day. 
Dracen kept disappearing into the castle to check on his bids at the silent auction while the rest of us waited around outside. He likes to be sneaky independent. 

 (Dracen "accidentally" allowed Brisco (Big Boy) to take a dip in that murky water shortly after we arrived. 
So much for that clean new harness)

Dracen ended up winning the bid on this all-things-Dachshund basket which he proudly presented to me as a Mother's Day gift...(Aww)

The wiener races are always held at the end of the day, after they're all exhausted and ready to go home. I entered both of them this time and here they are (tuckered out) just minutes before the races began...
I had entered Brisco two of the previous three years and both times he refused to run. This year I went ahead and entered him one more time and decided to give Charlene her shot at it this year too. They were in separate weight classes, miniature and tweenie.

Charlene was up first. 

Dracen got in place with her at the start line and I headed around to the finish line to catch her. Here's how she did...

Bless her sweet little wiener heart.

I pretty much expected Brisco's to go much the way it went the other years but he surprised me this year. I won't go so far as to say he ran it to win it but he did quick trot it all the way to the finish line this time. I was so proud of my boy.

(And I have made numerous attempts at uploading his race video but the stars are not lining up right and I have now reached my limit with the patience thing so it's just not going to happen.)

Instead here's a shot of the look he gave me afterward...

I took that as a please-can-we-go-home-now-I'm-worn-slap-out kind of look so we packed everybody up and headed toward home... 

Where they all three slept for approximately 19 hours.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Lost and Found

Somehow we always manage to make it to school on time but Dracen was late this morning because I found it extremely difficult to remain calm. Big fail there this time, although I didn't completely lose my mind. We never did find his tennis shoes. He ended up wearing his Vans that I found in my closet because he was in there after church yesterday (when he was supposed to be changing and getting ready to go visit his momaws) wrapping my scarves around his neck and clomping around in my high heels. 

He and Devin had gone to hit some baseballs with Popaw Bob yesterday evening, after we got in from visiting my mom, and came in about 10 minutes before his bedtime, limping because Devin had hit a hard line drive right smack into the back of his calf muscle. So in that 10 minutes before he went to bed, he somehow managed to lose his shoes since he had been wearing them last night. 

I came home after dropping them off this morning, searched the house from top to bottom again and then called to make sure he had not left them in Popaw's truck although he assured me he had not and that someone must have surely stolen them from wherever he left them in the house. Grrr. They were indeed not in the truck so I hung up the phone in the kitchen and immediately spotted them peeking out from under the kitchen island, behind a Diet Dr. Pepper carton. Y'all. These shoes are BRIGHT RED. 

I have never been more ready for school to be out. 

In other news, we had to put Max the (female) guinea pig down Friday afternoon. The boys had gotten them for their birthdays the year they turned 10 and 6, so almost four years ago. (I wrote about the loss of Junebug in February of last year) Max had lost a good bit of her hair over the past several months but always seemed to feel fine until very recently. Turns out she had a pretty good-sized mass inside and there was nothing the vet could do for her so we made the choice to put her to rest. I think I took it harder than either of the boys though we were all feeling a little blue.

The Wiener Roast on Saturday was the perfect thing to lift our spirits. I will save the details of that for Wiener Wednesday although I was unable to document it with photos like I'd hoped, seeing as how I went off and left the SD card in my computer.(that was a fun discovery) The few shots I was able to get with my iPhone will have to do. Charlie did manage to get a video of the races which we entered both the Darlings in this time. I will tell you how they each did on Wednesday...

Unless I lose my mind before then.

And since I remembered to put the card back in the camera yesterday, I was able to capture this (which may now just possibly be one of my all-time favorite photos in the history of ever) of Dracen and Lola, the tamest little chicken this side of the Mississippi. 

More on the chickens later.

They don't live at our house. 

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Favorites...Happy Mother's Day!

We are on the downhill swing now with only nine school days (after today) left until summer. I don't think my mind has yet fully grasped the fact that Devin will be starting high school in August. HIGH SCHOOL. And Dracen will begin his last two years of elementary school. I've never been more thankful that our middle school here is only two grades, 7th and 8th, because let me tell you, it has been a doozie. He told me this morning that several kids got sent home early yesterday for making themselves pass out. How insane is that? 

In other news, spring finally decided to show up here over the past two days. It has been absolutely beautiful though showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow and we are supposed to head to Jamestown for the annual North Carolina Wiener Roast put on by the Dachshund rescue groups. This will be our fourth straight year attending and I think I'm going to give Charlene her shot at the races this year since Brisco (the bolter) has refused to race both times I've entered him.

Should be interesting.

Dracen says he's going to sneak behind my back in order to win and buy me a Dachshund gift for Mother's Day in the silent auction. That child can be so thoughtful when he wants to be. He took it upon himself to cook us dinner Monday night. (spaghetti and salad) and folded his arms across his chest, huffed and puffed, and threatened to throw the towel in if I didn't stop trying to help him although I was only trying to guide him in order to prevent him from burning the house down. I have to say, I was impressed. Although he didn't seem to mind me "helping" with the cleanup afterwards since he was nowhere to be found during that process. 

And since it is Mother's Day weekend I chose this adorable photo for my first favorite this week...

Staying close to mom
How much cuter can cute get?

Bike ride!
Now I don't care who you are,
this right here is just plain funny.

Powerful thought
This really hit home with me.

I like you
Made me chuckle and also reminded me
of that line from Django I shared with
y'all a couple of weeks ago, which has also
become my favorite way to address Li'l Bit...
"Hey, little troublemaker."


I'd wear it
So I don't normally wear writing on my
shirts but I think I could consider making
an exception for this (name that movie).

DIY Inspiration
This was an old dresser turned wine cabinet.
I think I could do it.

I'd love to get my coffee on in one of these.
Would make a great Mother's Day gift too.

My Mom and Me

"Fore She Was Mama"
This song cracks me up.
And here's to hoping my boys never
find my box. (just joking, there's no box)
You believe me, don't you?

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...E.B. White

Most of us know E.B. White as the beloved author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little but did you know he was also a fan of the little long dogs? I only recently made the discovery myself.

Here he is with one of his Dachshunds on the cover of a book of his essays I bought last week...
I laughed out loud when I read the first paragraph of A Report in Spring, an essay he wrote in May of 1957...

"...There had been talk in our family of getting a "sensible" dog this time, and my wife and I had gone over the list of sensible dogs, and had even ventured once or twice into the company of sensible dogs...But after a period of uncertainty and waste motion my wife suddenly exclaimed one evening, "Oh, let's just get a Dachshund!" She had had a glass of wine, and I could see that the truth was coming out. Her tone was one of exasperation laced with affection. So I engaged a black male without further ado." 

Who wants a sensible dog anyway? Pfft.
Katharine and E.B. White with Dachshund, Minnie, in the 1940's. 

My heart smiled when I read about his beloved Fred in Bedfellows, written in February, 1956 because it reminded me so much of my late Dixie Dog and of Brisco Darling, current Chief of the Squirrel Patrol...

"Fred was a window gazer and bird watcher, particularly during his later years...I think of him as he used to look on our bed in Maine- an old four-poster, too high from the floor for him to reach unassisted... Once up, he settled into his pose of bird watching, propped luxuriously against a pillow, as close as he could get to the window, his soft brown eyes alight with expectation and scientific knowledge. He seemed never to tire of his work...and managed to give the impression that he was a secret agent of the Department of Justice...When he sighted a squirrel, Fred would straighten up from his pillow, tense his frame, and then, in a moment or two, begin to tremble." 

And I think I shared part of this quote by him once here before but it's just further proof that Mr. White was quite familiar with the spunky nature of the Dachshund...

"Being the owner of Dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can't be trained and shouldn't be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do."   

I find this so hysterical because it is oh so true...oh so true!
E.B. White (July 11, 1899 - October 1, 1985)
Thanks for the smiles, Mr. White. 

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Be Still Tuesday...The Gift of Time

"Games are outgrown and toys decay, but he'll never forget if you give him a day." ~Unknown

Two and a half weeks after I turned eight years old, I was awoken one early morning by my stepfather, Doug. I remember feeling a little confused because my mother was always the one to wake me, which usually took several tries. (Dracen comes by it honestly). 

But on this out-of-the-ordinary morning, I recall a sort of magical peacefulness in the air for reasons I was unaware until he spoke the words,  "You have a little brother. Danny Ray is here." He was a whole month early but a healthy baby boy.

That was thirty-four years ago today. (Happy Birthday, Danny!) 

The only thing just as exciting as getting a baby brother was something my mom called maternity leave. I think she only got something like six weeks but I was over the moon because she had always worked outside the home. 

I have precisely two memories from those weeks...

The first time I rode the bus home (it was a different bus since I usually rode a bus to my babysitter's house across town), the bus driver drove right past my house and I, being the extreme introvert that I was, didn't say a word...just kept on riding the bus. The bus was empty and parked before the driver noticed me sitting quietly in the back, staring out the window. I don't remember the details but my mom was notified and I got home somehow. 

The other memory came to mind the other day, just out of the blue, so I thought I'd share it here today...

Just like most kids in the 70's and 80's, I loved playing board games...Monopoly, LIFE, Payday, Sorry, Clue, and a little less well-known one that was right up my girly girl alley, What Shall I Wear? (anybody else remember that one?). I got off the school bus one afternoon during the maternity leave and walked in the back door to be greeted by my mom's smiling face, along with this game set up and ready to play on the kitchen table. 

I felt so extra special and loved in that moment which is no doubt why that particular memory has managed to stay with me for all these years while so many others have been lost with passing time.

Though I didn't know it back then, she was no doubt exhausted and probably feeling a little overwhelmed, just as most mothers are with a new baby in the house, yet she made a conscious choice to give those few precious minutes of her time to me... 

And look what happened. 

Thirty-four years later it remains a treasured memory in my heart which just goes to show that the best gift we can give simply is, was, and always will be that of our time and our presence. 

Can you recall a moment when someone made you feel special by the giving of their time?

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