Sunday, July 29, 2012

Buns and Big 'Ol Nasty Dog Meet the Extended Family

Meet my cousins, Sandra and Sherry.  
They are sisters.  A phenomenal duo.  Forces of Nature. 
Seated is Sherry.  Six foot one, blond, blue-eyed, single.
Standing is Sandra. Five foot eleven. Married, mother of 4.
Years ago, Sherry decided she wanted children.  She became a foster mom to Cara, in the purple shirt.  It didn't take too long before she wanted to give Cara a permanent home and adopted her.  
Next came Tatiana, in the white shirt.  These two were adopted as little girls.  Finally, there was Maddie.  Maddie's been with Sherry since she was several months old.  These girls are thriving under the love of these two women.
Sandra, in the back, works like a man.  She demolishes and renovates rooms.  Right now she's renovating a second home with her husband.   She puts up dry wall, she hammers, plasters, caulks, paints, mows, landscapes, fishes, scouts, and is "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound".  
I'd really like to do the things she does.  Here, she just looks serene. 
We invited them over for lunch yesterday.

Being greeted at the front door by a big black dog can produce a little apprehension in anyone.  These girls were a little caught off guard initially.  But very quickly, Big 'Ol Nasty Dog won their hearts.  
And affection.  And attention.  
He was in his glory.

While Big 'Ol Nasty Dog gets a sprucing up, I think little 'Tati" is asking our son if she can take him for a spin around the house.

Our dog is ready.  But no horseback riding the pooch today.

This is definitely more up his alley.  Showing off his manicure and getting loves from cute little girls.

He loves being doted upon.  These sweet girls did a lot of doting.
He was one happy canine today.  

Not to be left out, Buns had to get his fill of...basil!
This rabbit will do anything for food.  Unlike Big 'Ol Nasty Dog, who is anorexic, we have to make sure Buns is not overeating.
His antics brought the biggest of smiles.

If you feed him, he will come...  And follow you around the room, and dart between your legs...

He, too, got all the attention (and basil) he could possibly want.

My son and daughter entertained these beautiful children all afternoon so we, the "adults" could enjoy our lunch and conversation.  I love this "New Man" of mine and my "Smarty Girl".  I love that they love children and animals.  I'm so grateful that all my kids have this wonderful trait.

They played air hockey, darts, video games and then... they learned how to play 21!  Blackjack games are very useful for teaching math and all sorts of lessons on life!  They played until my little nephew won.

Finally, it was time to close out our time together by imitating Big 'Ol Nasty Dog: the little ones got manicures and pedicures by Smarty Girl.  

But before I close out this post, I just want to thank my husband, pictured in the background in well deserved relaxation mode.  Thank you for the awesome homemade pizzas, cleaning up the kitchen afterwards, and your graciousness. 

Love from Whippoorwill Road,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Nemesis

I hate exercising.  I don't like sweating; I don't like getting hot.  I wish I were one of those people who loved getting up at 5:30 am every morning to go to the gym or go out jogging.  
But I'm shy and self-conscious.  I don't want to go to the gym and work out with strangers.  I don't want to go walking outside because, well, I'm self-conscious and, well, it's sweltering outside!  

So, that leaves my only option:  working out in my basement on this machine.  Not this one in particular but a treadmill all the same. 
I have a love/hate relationship with this machine.  It speeds up, slows down, goes level and then raises up.  It got me into shape so that I could go on daily hikes in Switzerland with my Swiss friend, Daniela.  She's the blond, long-legged one.  
In the photo above, we are in front of the three famous Alps peaks: The Mönch (The Monk), The Jungfrau (The Virgin), and the Eiger.  The photo was taken in Grindelwald.  
That was in September 2009.  I've put on a little weight since that photo.
This is me with the Matterhorn in the background.  As good as that treadmill was and as disciplined I was at the time, it did not prepare me to hike up to this level.  We took the train.

Which brings me back to my nemesis.  Not only do I hate exercising, but I love sweets.  I love bread.  My husband bakes the best homemade bread in my world.  No recipe, no bread machine.  All kneaded by hand with love.  It's what I live for when it's in the house.  Almost every carbohydrate that makes one look like the Pillsbury Doughboy is my Achilles' heel.   

However, it's time to buckle down...again.  So, for the past two days, I have used my treadmill.  It's my "frenemy."

But it's time to get healthier, to be happier with how I look and feel, and to be more energetic.  But first, I'm just going to have to sample my daughter's scratch-made chocolate cake.  

I mean, how could I say, "No." to this sweet face.  Because I'm just a phenomenal mother who gives up so much for her children, I will sacrifice.  That's just who I am.

To the basement I go on
Whippoorwill Road,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Garage and Dog Makeover

Our garage has been 1/4 painted for the last 7 years.  Everyday when I pulled my truck into the garage, I stared at brush strokes on the wall in front of me.
When I woke up this afternoon (I work nights), this is what I beheld:

I'm sure my husband loved having help from our second eldest son, Clay, who recently moved from Charlotte, NC.
I am so happy about this makeover.  

Once again, we had thunder with a light rain.  Big 'Ole Nasty Dog goes into 'Freak Out' mode.  
He trembles, he pants, he paces, he slobbers.  He's a mess.
Clay tries to reassure him but he's just not listening.

So, in order to dull the sound of thunder, Clay tries to muffle Big 'Ole Nasty Dogs ears.

 It didn't work.  He made a mad dash into the garage to be with people and he brushed up against wet paint.  However, with that touch of paint on his ears, he looks even more handsome.

Then my daughter tries to relax him by giving him a pedicure...  Maybe I should say, a "pawdicure".

We also played loud music in an attempt to drown out the distant rumbling.  Big 'Ole Nasty Dog enjoyed his makeover.  
He's a metrosexual in this regard: loves meticulous grooming, a new wardrobe, and now... having his nails done.  
I'm so glad we never got into brushing his teeth.

I think we need to seriously consider some Valium for him.  Or Xanax.  Or Ativan...  Whatever the vet thinks will help him endure the dreaded thunder.  

When things were quiet again, Buns and Big 'Ole Nasty Dog shared a moment of peace.

He looks a little embarrassed here.  I guess it's a little humbling when a rabbit has to come over to make sure you're alright.  
Oh well, that's what makes us love him.  

Here's to being accepted with flaws and all
on Whippoorwill Road,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Music to My Ears

The glorious sound of rain... finally!
The frogs were singing.  I was singing.
And Big 'Ole Nasty Dog was pacing and panting in the house.

Then, this morning, the Tree Service guys came out to remove some diseased, dead and dangerous trees from the property.
They started in the back.

Went over to the side of the property.

Then on to the side of the house.  

And ended up in the front driveway where they cut down a leaning pine, chipped it up and off they drove. 

I have two large loads of mulch to use around the back yard trees.  Once it breaks down a little, I'm going to spread it around in order to rebuild the soil and retain much needed moisture.  

Unfortunately, the big pine that was toppled in the woods broke two limbs from other trees.  I'm going to have to deal with that later. 

I'm just so thankful it rained 
on Whippoorwill Road,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fireworks Among Our Family

My sister and her family are visiting from Missouri,
a time for their children to reconnect with some of their Georgia cousins.
Tomorrow, there will be a lot more cousins...
... and aunts, great aunts, and uncles.

But tonight is a time for...  Ka-Boom!  Courtesy of my Missouri sister and her husband.

It starts with little dump trucks shooting sparks.  Then they dump spinning explosives.

Time for aerial fireworks.

These release parachutes after a brilliant explosion.  The goal of the little kids is to catch them before they hit the ground.

This type of firework rains down colorful ribbons.

Which is great for draping yourself...

... or covering up your cousin.

These kids, three of which are officially 'adults' now, really have a great time with one another.  No matter what age.

As the smoke cleared...

and the moon rose, I couldn't help but usher up a word of thanks.
For this beautiful country, beautiful land, beautiful night, beautiful family and beautiful life.  
We have so much to be grateful for this Fourth of July.

Love living in the land of the free.
Happy Independence Day,