canine compliment

It happened again just now. A silver pest control truck slowed down and a silver haired mustachioed man said, “THAT is a beautiful dog.” I said, “Thank you” with a smile and he drove on. I turned to Blue, standing beside me in the driveway, and told him he is handsome. Traffic stopping handsome even. He’s a sweet one too. My faithful canine companion. Woof.

April 16, 2015

puppy love

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New girl on the block, Daisy, is crazy for Blue.
ooo la la
woof
*nose touch*
Then me, dragging him away from her fence, after he tugs me to hurry up and get there.
They don’t feel the cold.
Must be LOVE.
That’s amore.
Puppy kind.
woof

February 19, 2015
[Weather Note: at 10:00am the air temperature is 3*F, but “feels like” -15*F in central Illinois.]

routine maintenance

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The firefighters just flushed the hydrant in front of my house
Little unexpected excitement
Blue heard Jake barking while they did the hydrant around the corner
We had to go investigate
Saw the water spraying but stopped by the fence for the dogs to say hi and didn’t go around the corner
Saw three young children and their parents splashing in the street
Smiled at their happy
Then here came the truck to park by our curb
We watched from the sidewalk across the street
‘We’ being two dogs, three adults and the three hopeful children wanting to splash some more
This hydrant not making as many puddles as before
No splashing after all
Parting ways with, “Have a good day” and “See you later”
Blue and I cross for home
Staying dry other than bare feet through the puddles in the street
My boys slept through it
Had it not been for my dog I’d have missed it too

July 5, 2014
A snapshot of a moment from before 9:30am. My oldest woke up right after the dog and I came inside. The youngest will appear with some prodding before noon. The lazy hazy days of summertime are here.

“Mud Season” by Ellen Stimson @ellenstimson

It started one late fall morning, when I read an excerpt from Ellen Stimson’s first book, “Mud Season” in “Reader’s Digest” that had me grinning and laughing. When my oldest son, age 13, woke up I suggested he read that mini tale about rain, cows, a skunk and chickens. He chuckled too. He did. Laughter is even better shared. That was sometime before Christmas. I then ordered several copies of “Mud Season” to give as gifts, and wrapped a copy for myself in Christmas paper too, Mom Style. I began to meander and mosey through it, reading while I ate my meals, often standing up in the kitchen. I’ve never been to Vermont. I love cheese. I’ve always wanted to visit New England. Some of my friends have chickens. I buy farm fresh eggs from them, brown and white ones. Part of me wants to move and live anywhere but here, but we’re staying put. We are. It’s A Good Spot. Earlier today, at 9:27am, I wrote in an email to a friend, “Lots to do and I just want to curl up with a book in bed and tell the world to go away. Maybe with an F thrown in, some days. Unplugging today as much as I can. Breakfast is next. Went to the store first.” Then, at 11:08am, I wrote to her again saying, “I just finished reading “Mud Season” by Ellen Stimson. Thought of you a lot as I read because I loved the way she told her story – honest, funny as hell, with excellent cussing. I sat and read in a quiet house, with my last cup of coffee, while my Blue dog snoozed on the love seat next to me, his head by my side. I’m crying because I read to the end and she included recipes – cheese and cream laden ones. Oh my. More too. All of it really. Through the past few years, during my husband’s cancer fight, I couldn’t read much, but I could write. I love to read and “Mud Season” was a fun book. Memoir. A saucy, sassy one.” The beauty of “Mud Season” is that it felt so much like a multilayered conversation with my closest girlfriends. They are an amazing group of strong, fascinating women with beautiful smiles and musical laughs, who simultaneously pray you through a storm and help you find your smile with stories from their lives. That’s what friends do. Books are friends too. They keep us company, teach us stuff and are meant to be shared, like a good meal and laughter. Poor, Ellen Stimson. I found her on twitter and have been tweeting to her as I read along. At 11:28am, after I finished reading, I tweeted her this picture and said briefly:
“Dear @ellenstimson,
I finished Mud Season this morning. Smiled, laughed and cried w/Blue by my side.
~Janean”
The end. Now the dog is awake, off the love seat and barking to go out. No more time to type, because nature calls, both the dog’s and the beauty of outdoors with glitter on the snow in sunlight under a blue sky, even if the temp is 1*F. It’s time for me to “write for real” with a purpose. Memoir. It beckons me. My first book, “The Blue Collection,” is hiding, right out in the open here at Tumblr. It is a collection of all these micro posts, poems and stories about me and my dog, Blue. Woof. Again. He’s really gotta go at 12:45pm.
(Time lapses.) I took the dog out. My Aunt Janet called as we circled the block. I didn’t slip on the ice as we talked and laughed rat a tat tat fast. Familial shorthand. I saw a friend walking her two little white dogs. Knew today her husband was to hear Doctor News. It wasn’t good. Damn it. Hugged her. Caregiver support. Walked home. Read and replied to emails. Tweeted some. Phone got down to 3% battery before I plugged it in. 2:16pm now, as I’m finally going to click, “post.” I know where the day has gone. Words. The ones I read, the ones I wrote, the ones I spoke. The day has been gobbled up with words. I just remembered to feed the dog. I can hear his food go crunch. It’s time for my lunch as my stomach growls a reminder. “Mud Season” charmed me. That’s what this post is about. I am a rambler. Brevity eludes me, except in poetry, and I’m OK with that.

February 7, 2014

smart dog

I reported at 6:15am, “Blue is sleeping in. Smart dog.”

Of course, just like with human children, when you remark on their sleep habits, they do the opposite to prove you wrong and by 6:38am, my Blue dog appeared beside my bed to see if I was awake too. I scratched his velvety ears and then he woofed to say, “Get up already!” I did.

In record time that dog and I went out and were back inside before 7:00am. Here’s my micro report from that excursion:

At first Blue went romping through the snow drifts thinking, “Woo hoo! This is fun!” Then he started limping and holding up a back paw. Suddenly the spot in front of our house between the sidewalk and curb, where the wind blew the snow down to where you can see the grass with a fire hydrant conveniently located nearby was THE SPOT and we’re both back inside. Dog looked at me not quite sure what kind of snow and cold that was today, nothing like the fun of yesterday. I told him he was a good boy and to go get warm. He ate a bite and is stationed in his front window watching post now. Good morning. Safe travels if you must.

The Weather Channel app declares it is -17*F and feels like -45*F. I keep calling it crazy cold, which is evidently what comes after snot freezing cold on my thermometer. I’m obviously not A Weather Girl. Usually I just wake up, get dressed enough and head outside because it’s time to walk the dog.

January 6, 2014

Blue dog had me laughing on the sidewalk this morning. First, he unearthed this ginormous stick from under the snow, then he turned around and proceeded to carry it home, with his tail wagging to and fro. Every so often he’d turning his head to the side and grin at me, careful to keep his prized giant stick clamped between his wolf-like teeth. This dog, he’s good for me in so many ways. There was no stopping for a photo op either, I took this photo on the move. I took several. This is the only one that shows the whole entire stick, end to end, as well as the end of my gray mittened hand. We’re inside now. Thawing out. Escapades from our second walk of the day. There will be more. Escapades and walks. For the record, I call this, “Blue’s Stick Relocation Program.” He picks them up here, drops them there, and circles back to pick them up again, days later. Funniest of all, was Blue looking over toward Luna’s fence as he walked by. Wanting to show off to his best girl just a l’il, like the hound dog that he is when it comes to pretty girl dogs, squirrels and rabbits. Dog. He’s a dog. Mine. Well, we belong to each other. Woof.

January 3, 2014

nearly here

Thanks for sharing my new front door happy yesterday. Now the day before Christmas is here. The tree is up, enough presents are bought, I have to wrap today. Christmas is coming. The boys are excited and a little worried I didn’t “get” their heavy handed hints. (Of course I did.) Thank you for your continued prayers that give us the strength we need, and my calm as this day dawns. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Blue just woofed. Game on.

December 24, 2013
7:12am