Archives

Simple Pleasures. Blessed abundance.

As I sit here wondering what to chat about this morning, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed by my blessings. I am so incredibly lucky to lead the life that I do! I have so many simply abundant blessings that I don’t even know where to begin. I gaze out the window at the expanse of land surrounding me. The clouds hang on the mountains in the distance and I have so much joy and appreciation for the rain. I just did all that transplanting this past few days, and I have been impatiently awaiting the Spring storms. There is something so refreshing about the Spring rain, encouraging new life, telling those roots to reach deep into their soil and find the nourishment to grow. The smell. Oh the fantastic smell that Spring rain brings! I could sit outside all day, just to smell the freshness of the cool rain. I wouldn’t get much done though, would I? So, i opt for stepping out every little while for a brand new fresh whiff. It’s so inspiring! So uplifting. The grass already has a new shade of green peeping up, just from the overnight moisture. I can’t wait to put on those lovely purple galoshers and head out to see how the transplants are doing. Or maybe today is a red galoshers day?

WP_20160515_001

Well, life took a detour one paragraph in, and I got distracted by a two and a half hour phone call. How blessed am I that I can just stop my day and take two and a half hours to just visit with one of my closest friends? This wasn’t a catching up call. We have been close since just out of high school, but I guess today we had some real stuff to chat about. Such an uplifting conversation, and while I started this post thinking about my blessings, they have just been highlighted and uplifted in this conversation that leaves me feeling invigorated about this blessed life I am living. My friend and I have grown together, raised kids together from different states, and just become who we are as individuals, together, over the years. We have had ups and downs, as any friendship will, but we stand the test of time through the good and the bad. As we both embark on new adventures this season, it is so refreshing to have a close friend, one who has seen it all, and see’s the great possibilities that the future holds for each of us. We are blessed to enjoy the little things and cry over the pain together, and she belongs on my list of things I am most thankful to be blessed with.

And now my husband is calling from his lunch break. How blessed am I to have such a fantastic man in my life? And that he has a fantastic job? And that on his short, half hour lunch break, it is me he is thinking of? Seriously, I can find blessing in abundance everywhere right now. I have a lovely adult teen son, who has never been in trouble in his life. I hear his voice coming from his room and am filled with gratitude for my family.

I have this lovely pack of pets, all very well behaved. Totally and completely in love with me. Three awesome rescue dogs, and two lovely cats. Also rescues. It is a blessing to be able to provide a safe, stable environment, for all of them. They are getting old. Every one of them has more than ten years of life lived, and its such a delight to see them still in good health and full of abundant energy for this wonderful Spring day.

While I was talking on the phone excitedly with my friend, about all the doors that seem to be opening and what ideas I have for the immediate future, the sun managed to burn off most of the clouds. Now it is damp, fresh, cool, crisp, bright, and sparkly out there. I wandered through quickly. Didn’t even bother with the purple galoshers. Everything has so much more green than it had yesterday! I found more asparagus popping up. In just a few short weeks we will be eating from the garden again. Oh sweet, Heavenly relief!

All this dwelling on blessings really hit hard last night. I was watching a recorded episodes of “Live free or die” and perusing YouTube videos of Glacier National Park all at once. Glacier National Park is to date, my favorite place on the planet. I think we are due an adventure up there soon. Thinking about taking a long weekend to head up to Glacier really got me thinking how blessed I am to live in this beautiful “last best place”. A place where wild still exists, and the race is just a bit slower than the rest of the country. I spent time reflecting on the fact that I am surrounded by beauty at every turn, but moreso, that I am just a short drive from both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Two of the most unique, amazing places that I have ever been are right in my back yard. That thought is what really got me thinking about the abundance of blessings in my life, and that thought got those blessings flooding my mind to a point of near overwhelm.

At the same time that I was browsing videos of Glacier and daydreaming about a road trip, I heard one of the “Live free or die” cast members start to talk about his relationship with fire. He was talking about how the majority of the population has no relationship with fire, and how they rely on it for daily life. How the majority of people’s relationship with fire consists of turning on a burner on the stove to cook dinner, if they even cook at all. For a moment, I considered that his off grid life has him so disconnected, that he doesn’t even realize that fire is a major component of plenty of peoples lives, and it started to sink in that he was indeed correct. I just happen to live differently from most people. I have a relationship with fire. I rely on fire to warm my home. I wake up to cold mornings and the first thing I do is start my fire. Before coffee. Before dogs get a potty. First, get the fire started. And it made me realize that I am coming along in this dream for a simpler, less rat raced life. I am not off grid. I am not at the level of simplicity that he is, but I am headed that direction, and again, perspective on how blessed my life is.

So, here I sit. Blessed beyond comprehension. I have this bountiful life. I have land around me, and a gorgeous horizon full of snowy mountain peaks. I have this lovely handful of pets distributed around my feet as I sit here writing my thoughts to share with whoever feels compelled to read them. I have a nice, juicy roast in the bean pot in the oven, and boy do I love my bean pots. I could write a whole post on them alone. If you ever get a chance to try one, don’t hesitate. They are fantastic. I have a delightful child who consistently makes me proud, in the next room, and a darling hubby who takes time out of working his tail off to provide for us, taking a moment to message me from work, just to say “Hi, how are you today?”

I have fully equipped and ready to stock beehives. I have a grand vegetable garden getting ready to start producing for the year. I have some of the freshest, cleanest well water that you could imagine. I live next to a river and get to watch birds of prey hunt over the pasture out my bay window. I have abundance! My house is warm. My closet is full. There is a big, hearty chunk of meat in the oven, and a hugely satisfying pot of soup on the stove to go with it.

I have Faith.

And, I am about to embark on yet another new adventure. My blessings can only grow with each new adventure, and already I am blessed with bounty that I never imagined for myself. Hard to believe I get to keep growing that bounty, but oh so exciting!! I am ready for this adventure. I am excited to walk through the coming days with my eyes and ears wide open. I can not wait to see what is next! I look forward to experiencing each moment. Isn’t that a blessing in itself? The excitement to experience each moment. I am thankful to see my blessings. I am thankful that I am not on a constant hamster wheel, trying to get more, more, more. Insight that I am not confined to that social structure may perhaps be the best blessing of all.

Often I hear people express that they would love a lifestyle like mine, but…..

but. can’t. won’t.

It makes me want to convince them that they can, while feeling a sense of sadness that my words are falling on deaf ears, because in their mind they have “but, can’t, won’t” for every statement I make. I know that it is a simple reorganization of priorities. The ability to look at your obstacles and brainstorm a way around them. Life is about the choices you make. I choose a simple, country life, but because I choose a simple, country life, I don’t choose the latest vehicle upgrade or the fanciest name brand clothes, and my cell phone might be going on three years old now. My laptop from which I write this post, has quirks that cause my cursor to jump all over the page, randomly, and I often have to delete and retype my words multiple times. I take time to download digital coupons to my grocery card, because those savings add up pretty fast and food is exorbitantly expensive. I cook my food, almost all of it, at home. I don’t keep up with the rat race, and it doesn’t occur to me, until someone who finds my way of life foreign, questions a factor.

I have this fabulously dependable little SUV that I purchased for six thousand dollars, eleven years ago. This was a particularly rough day for her, but she pulled through. I love that little beast. She is quirky, and she knows when someone that isn’t me gets behind her wheel. If you aren’t gentle with her, she locks up on you. She won’t let the key out of the ignition, or she refuses let you shift out of “Park” until you give her a friendly, loving jiggle. Countless times, my husband has looked at me with a sigh and said “I need you to get the key”. I don’t know why, but she usually lets go right away for me. A quirky, but dependable car, she has never failed to get me where I am going. Not. Once. Ever. She has taken me on long, winding, mountain drives. She has bounced in the mud off the beaten path in deep mountain terrain. She has rolled off the interstate at a mere twenty miles an hour, for over 15 miles, flashing her check engine light the entire way, but she never stops till she gets me to a safe place. She is paid for. Completely paid for. She qualifies for permanent registration. She has cheap auto insurance. And she is dependable. She is big enough to hold all of my pets, and has a high enough clearance on her to deal with some of the worst roads. She stood strong when a dodge Ram slid through an icy intersection and crashed smack into her front bumper, leaving me with not even a sore muscle to complain of. I really am thankful for this dependable little car.

I have never had anything but appreciation for this little car. And then one day, I went to an event. An old neighbor, and dear friend, invited us to an annual Fourth of July celebration. I had seen her every single year for this event, for the entirety of our relationship, but a few years ago, I pulled up in front of her house, and her response was the strangest thing. She got a quizzical look on her face, and said to me “Oh. your still driving that thing?”

She wasn’t being rude. She wasn’t being condescending. She was just genuinely shocked that I would still be driving this car. I replied “Of course, why wouldn’t I be?”  and later that night it started to sink in. What is surprising about driving an older, dependable, paid for car? It is not in terrible shape, it is not a rust bucket. It has a bit of hail damage, but nothing horrendous.

Not long after that I had a similar experience with a client. I was giving him a ride to town. He had noticed that we own three older vehicles, none in terrible shape, but all old enough to qualify for permanent registration for several years now. We also own an old truck that we only really use for big jobs. As we were riding, he asks me, first, if he can clean my car for me for ten bucks, to which I said no. And then he went on to ask me why we didn’t trade in all of our “old, crappy cars” for a nice new one.

I giggle as I think of my response to him. The furthest answer from the truth, but how could I explain my entire philosophy of frugality to an adult teen child from a fairly well off family, living the epitome of the race? I said “you just asked me if you could clean this car for ten bucks, why would I want a brand new car for my pets and family to make filthy with hair and mud?”

It left him silent, but the two incidents, so close together, really shined a light on something about myself that I hadn’t really seen yet.

I don’t care.

I don’t care that I have the shiniest, trendiest new car. I care to have the peace of a sturdy, dependable car, that is paid for. It is wonderful to not have to rely on a bus to get me to the grocery store. I don’t care, if I get out of that car, and you think my jeans aren’t cool enough or that my purple galoshers don’t match my red hoodie. I don’t care at all that I no longer fit into this society by the standards of this society. I am not in this race, and I have no desire to beat anyone to the finish line. I am here to stroll through the adventure, stopping to smell the roses and enjoy the finer things in life. The blessing that is no car payment. The blessing that is comfort in my own skin. The blessing that is embracing who I am, finding a way to exit the race, and being happy to meander along, participating at a pace that allows me to enjoy the abundant gift of life.

I love the blessing to think for myself. To make decisions based on my understanding of a situation, and not because it is what society and my peers expect of me. It is too high pressure trying to live a life where others expectations are the goals you aim for, and today I reflect on the blessing that is me embracing me. In all my eccentric glory, I am simply grateful to be alive, and living an abundant lifestyle that suits me perfectly. I hope each and every one of you finds that kind of blessing and abundance in your lives. I hope with all of my heart that every one of you learns how to be their most abundant self, and experiences it to it’s fullest while on this Earth. Until next time my friends, don’t forget to embrace life in true authenticity. These are the moments that will matter most. Now go enjoy something simple!

Advertisements

Ready to go…

Oh my goodness! What a fabulous few days it has been since I have last written. I have two girls, on the same page, who think so differently, and they are going through the same types of things. They both turn to me for an ear to listen, and I love sharing my perspective! I always learn so much, and I can always find a time in the conversation when perspective changes. It is incredibly rewarding, and God equips me with words I could never have found on my own. Some of the profound things I come up with in these conversations shock me, and I know it can only be God, equipping me with the words that they need.  It is as much intended as a lesson for me as my conversational counterpart, I believe.

I have been inundated with little tidbits of good news today. My weekend was fabulous. Far too fast, and I actually got tears in my eyes and had to get another good long hug when my hubby left this time, but he surprised my be telling me that if he got a weekend off, he would come visit me at my moms, which is only a half hour further away than our home, its just the other direction. Awesome!

A cousin whom I admire deeply also informed me that she had plans to try to fly out, and ride back with me. Her home is at the halfway point, and it would be nice to have her with for the first part of the trip!

My cats nasty, nasty wound is clearing up very nicely. I was worried for a few days that I may have screwed her up for life, but the scab fell off and it is healing beautifully. I have always had a good instinct for these things, and I know when I need a vet, and what I can probably hack. I had a moment of worry there for a minute, but it passed and she looks great.

I spent the day working on preparations for my trip home on Friday. I got a lot done. My car is in top notch shape, got a tune up and oil change, and my boy and I spent the day detailing it and cleaning it up nice. Perfect, its all ready to go. I am checking the chores off the list and moving forward with my preparations. It should be a good week, and it should fly by. It was a hundred and six degrees today, and I am beat. Cleaning the car in the hot sun will wear you out quickly!

My house is pretty clean, just a little maintenance to get it up to par for a vacation. Made arrangements for a plant and cat sitter, and I am getting everything in order to leave for an extended period. It will be nice to come home to a clean, organized home!  A fresh start to routine and moving forward with rescue ranch plans!.

I really look forward to traveling with my son! He and I have not taken a big road trip since he was very little, and it should be quite the adventure! I hope to do some poking around in the Black Hills,and see some touristy type stuff that I would not normally stop for. I will be sure to take lots of pictures!

It has been a long, productive day, and I am exhausted. Many blessings friends…until next time.

Lifted up

Oh how lifted up I feel. I spent a couple weeks in a turmoil fueled by anger. I fought and fought, but just couldn’t seem to get out of that funk. I finally sat down and wrote a very long, very humbling prayer. The next two days held a series of challenges and changes, and now I feel as though I have returned. I have spent my day in deep conversation with a very dear friend who has been struggling with what she believes for so long. It was a fabulous day! We discussed God’s light and love. We discussed the roles of wives and husbands, and where God stands in it all. Most women are so reluctant to understand the idea of submitting to their husbands. Our church happened to present it in a way that made total and perfect sense to me. A sense of freedom. A freedom that most people cannot even grasp. My girlfriend was so excited to learn about the proverbs 31 woman. She was thrilled at the idea of becoming a woman after God’s heart. I was so incredibly thrilled to hear all of this. She wants a man who puts God first, but realizes she has to be a woman of God to find that. I am so incredibly excited for her! She is beginning the journey of her lifetime!

Meanwhile, after spending a day talking about God’s love and light, well, I must say, I feel absolutely lifted up as well. I am looking forward to the next few weeks, and so incredibly thankful that I was able to ask God for help finally. It has been a really long two weeks. Argh!

He was there, just like He always promises, with a hedge of protection, just waiting for me to ask for it. After two days of checking myself and making sure I was remembering the very simple things that I know deeply and took for granted, well, I feel like myself again! Oh man…it has been long. Thank You, Father, for pulling me from the wreckage! Immediately the ways in which I am so used to doing my work for Him started to pop up in my life again. Immediately, I have calls and messages coming in with questions about the Bible. I have a respite client (and oh! Thank you that they didn’t need me the last two weeks, as I have not represented so poorly in quite some time). I am crafting, beading, cooking, cleaning, and baking again. I am writing and keeping up with my responsibilities. Oh, it feels so good to be back!

I am looking forward to the next couple months, and getting started on that rescue ranch. I am really excited about an abundant garden, a clothesline, simple things.

A little canary has adopted me. I think it is a canary. It is most certainly a tiny house bird, and it is very pretty. It is also banded. It comes up on my porch whenever I am outside and talks to me. It sits on the plant hanger and talks and talks to me. I believe it is asking me for help, and I am going to get a cage and invite it in when I get back from my trip home. My neighbor agreed to feed it for me while I am gone. I am going to try to find its home, it is a banded bird, and I bet someone is looking for it. Oh it is so pretty, and there is no way it will make it through the winter here. This bird has been a gentle reminder of God’s compassion for the last few days, and I think it came to remind me what I am supposed to be doing…

This little bird captivates me, but it feels different than the average bird, and even my dog takes notice when it lands in the bird feeder. She shows no interest in the doves and chickadees and finches feeding in that feeder, but when that little house bird shows up, she also becomes captivated by that feeder. I am glad the bird knows that this is a safe place. It makes me feel safe that God trusts me with His little ones.

I am so excited about the journey that awaits me the next few months. I cannot wait to see the ranch home that God blesses us with, and meet my first foster child. I am excited about my garden and crafting space and chickens too, but first, I have to go home and see mom. I am VERY excited about my journey back to the place I once called home next week. This weekend should be very nice, we are going to hit the state fair to celebrate some birthdays, and then when we come back, hubby will head off back to work, and I will spend the next four days getting all my affairs in order to leave for a week and a half. I am not sure about my cats. I will have to keep them locked up in the house, but that means having someone over to feed them and clean the boxes…the one person I feel really comfortable asking that of, is not going to be in the area at the time. I have faith it will work out. That week is going to come and go so fast, and then I come home and redirect for a whole new journey.

Oh how I have longed for that path. I have waited and waited. I have researched and daydreamed, and written countless words about that day, and it is so close. Mostly, today I am filled with God’s love, and I am just happy to be here.

Blessings my friends…until next time.

 

Spay/Neuter satisfaction

WooHoo! With two vets today, we managed to spay and neuter a hundred and one animals. We worked hard, it was hot, and everyone was fighting the crabbiness that sets in when heat swelters around you for so many days on end, but we kept a generally positive attitude, through all of the challenges that come with organizing an event like this. Lets face it, you cannot fix that many animals in one day without a few challenges, and today was particularly challenging, but oh man, it is oh so rewarding to go home and think of all the animals that we helped today. Their people are so gracious, most of the time. I could go on and on about my feelings about the different types of pet owners, but maybe not today. What I will say today though, is that I am particularly thankful for pet owners who are patient and compassionate. I am thankful for the ones who are happy to help in any way they can, but I am especially thankful for the ones who are happy to sit there as long as their pet needs to sit. Some people are pulling and tugging their doped up dogs across the floor trying to force their legs to work despite the Ketamine. Some people insist that there is just no way their dog can ride in the front of the car on the way home, some insist all kinds of weird stuff. but most are happy to learn, have questions, want to know what their dogs are going through, and are patient and kind. Those are my very favorite people! Most are thankful. Most are grateful. Most go away with a smile and a gracious thank you. Some do not, but it makes the rest so much easier to appreciate. I love when it feels good to thank them for coming. I love knowing how much difference we made today. I have my hang ups, but this is neither the time nor the place. I do look forward to being in charge of my own stuff in the future more often. The cancer benefit I did for my girl, well, after some time pondering on it, I became blatantly aware of of how generous this community is, and how much I am capable of, and I look forward to being able to pull off events that are as organized at that one was.   One thing I am very pleased about is my wonderful set of volunteers. I have managed to establish a very dependable set of volunteers, who know what they are supposed to be doing and where they belong.  It took years to do, but I am proud of them. I realized that it was a product of being able to weed out the names that are on every volunteer list and call them first for every event. I invited one of them to join the committee tonight. I need help, and that is all there is to it.  Any way you look at it, todays event was fabulous, and I walked away with a great sense of satisfaction, and a strong desire to come home and work on my own non profit programs. Tomorrow.

Today, I am beat. I am tired. I have nothing very sensible to say. I am hot and sticky and I am replaying the event over and over in my head. I have a bunch of details I am hung up on and I really should be writing in my journal so I can put them behind me. Some of the negatives of the event are weighing heavy on me and I need to find a productive way to process them and decide what to do with them. Do I file them away, and continue, or do I remember them, move on in my life, and give this project to someone else? I am pretty sure I am not ready to move on yet. I really love this job. Even on a volunteer basis, I cannot imagine not getting to be in there, recovering all those dogs. It is all worth it for the ten hours I spend recovering and caring for incapacitated dogs. I would pay someone to let me do that…so, I can’t imagine walking away from this opportunity, so I need to figure out how to deal.

I am very thrilled that this event has passed. Some basic clean up stuff tomorrow, return coffee pots, the van, meds, etc. I am ready to wrap it up and call it done, and move forward with this very short, hot summer. I look forward to going to see my mom, but now that the event has passed, its a mere week and a half away, and wow! That is quick. I have a lot to do before I go. Especially if I want to come back and find a ranch asap. All of a sudden my brain is flooded with a whole new series of thoughts. I cannot wait to see my mom. I am looking forward to the fact that we have nothing planned. I love the idea of sitting next to her pond and putting my feet up while the dogs romp and play, and of course, my son will love it in grammas big ole backyard, with trees he can climb and a pond he can play in. Oh it will be so relaxing. No running around, no tourism, just chillin at moms! yay! I love that my mother and I have reached that wonderful place. It takes some mom/daughter teams a lifetime. Some never master it, but my mom…hands down my best friend! It was not so long ago that that was not true. I remember very clearly when my therapist looked at me and said “Oh, it’s always mom’s fault”. She was very condescending. I doubt she meant to be, but wether she was going through something of her own, or just calling it like it is, it stung. She was partially right, and partially wrong. Some stuff simply was moms fault. The big difference between then and now, is that I have learned that mom worked with the tools she had, just like every other person on the planet, and well, what else can I say? Can’t really not forgive a person for anything when you realize that. She did the best she could. She did all she knew how, and even through her failures, she still only wanted what was best for us, even if she didn’t know how to get it or even what it was. I realize now that she never loved anyone like she loved her children, just like every mother. I realize she had a shame platform, much like my own, and as I healed mine, I saw hers unfold in front of me and every “mistake” I ever thought she made, made some sort of sense. I realized that I took stuff personal that she was not even aware she was doing, and now, I realize its not personal, and ask her if it is a behavior she is aware of. It is lovely! We are honest and candid with each other, on a deep and trusting level, for the first time ever, and in the last five years. It makes me feel joyous inside! I look forward to going home, to say the least, but really only want to see my mom. I suppose I have friends who will be angry, or have hurt feelings, if I don’t call them. I will try my best to be a good friend, but I am really going to see mom. She is sick, and feels like crap. Aside from the fact that my brother lives in Wisconsin, neither my brother or sister is really a “nurturer” type. There are things that would help her, that she just doesn’t have the energy to do for herself, and I can run some errands for her, pick up some health food supplements, you know simple stuff. Help with laundry, dinner, and some vacuuming. Whatever I can help with will make me happy, even if it seems like menial tasks, because I know how exhausting the menial can be when you are broken.

Ok, I think my brain is drained. I need to go wash off this sticky. My boys almost asleep, mutts are fed and pottied, and I think it is safe to hop in the shower and forget about it for a minute. Many blessings, my friends.

Ahhh…sweet relief!

Relief…where do I begin? I woke up this morning, in a strange town, in a strange bed, with pillows taking the place of my husband. Thankfully, I felt well enough to go on my adventure, but today was the first day I had no pain and swelling was minimal. I am blatantly aware of little blessings today, and the relief that they bring. It was a HUGE relief to wake up this morning with no pain and minimal swelling in my face! Yay for eating what I wanted to today! It was nice to not be constantly bothered by the throbbing in my face!

Our drive was uneventful and nice. We made it to our destination in great time, and had a lovely time. My roomie was a great person to “bunk” with, and it was all around pleasurable. Our day was a smashing success, despite little challenges all day long, and we managed to spay and neuter over a hundred and twenty animals. I would say that most certainly falls into the relief category! The clients were awesome today, no impatient pet parents trying to tug their still anesthetized dogs off the floor in an effort to unsuccessfully convince me that they are ready to go home. I LOVE patient pet people!

As concerned as I am about the lack of precipitation this winter, it snowed today. Quite a bit. We got so many phone calls and text messages telling us that is was nasty out, and the roads were twenty five mile an hour road conditions all the way home. They were a little disturbing. Go figure, it waits till I am out of town to snow a bunch, and now I have to drive back in a seventy something van that really needs to be replaced, and being a non-profit, we just don’t have the money, so we drive it till it dies…hopefully not in a snowstorm! One of these days, maybe we will be blessed with a donor…for now, we just keep praying we make it to the next event, and home! So, we drearily heave our exhausted bodies into this van, unenthusiastic about the dreaded drive home through the treacherous storm. It’s gonna be a long night! We have what should be a three and half hour drive ahead of us, but through weather predictions, and in this ragged old beast of a van, we are looking at a six or seven hour night, minimum! Oh my! Imagine our relief when we found the roads to be dry and clear all the way home! Twenty three miles out, we had to get off the interstate, and drive local roads…at which point the concern became apparent. There must have been an inch of ice under that snow! Still, we are tired, cold, hungry, and still have to drop off the van at the storage unit, pick up coordinators car, drive to her house, start my car, scrape my windows, wait for it to warm up, and drive another fifteen miles on those icy roads to get to the comfort of my home.

Ahhh…familiar roads. I could drive them blindfolded…such a relief! The light pollution reflecting off the newly fallen snow, was just enough to highlight the range that reminds me I am home, and at this point all I can think about is greeting my husband in a few short minutes, and kissing my boy goodnight. I spend the next half hour winding my way through the frozen streets, slipping and sliding through every take off from stop. These roads are awful! Thank God I have my family, and wonderful pets to daydream about, while my eyes are riveted on every little obstacle on the road between them and I. The only thing that matters is that I get to them, and it is relieving to know that they are only moments away!

Now you must know that the sweet relief of pulling into my driveway was so overwhelming that I had my door open, and was stepping out of the car, before I realized that I needed to gather my belongings, and shut off the car. I pulled my foot back in, gathered my things all up in one big armed trip, and trudged my way through the snow to my freshly shoveled sidewalk. I entered my home to find a pack of mutts so excited to see me that I could not find a place to set my bags. My husband could not get near me. That statement is not fair, unless you know that I have well mannered dogs, who know that I am going to take my jacket off and put my keys, purse, mail, and whatever else I may be carrying, down before they get attention. While they may follow me around the house until they get my attention, the rarely get in my space before I have room for them. You must also realize, that while they most certainly recognize my husband as the dominant male in the house, I am the dog handler, and the one whom they are with all day every day. It was me who trained them, and it is primarily me who potties, feeds, and exercises them. I am their pack alpha, and I left them for almost a full 36 hours. I swear they thought I was never coming back! Even my two cats are willing to sleep snuggled up in the same vicinity as the mutts in an effort to grab a miniscule piece of my attention. All I want to do is kiss my husband and get out of those snowy wet clothes. Hours later, I am still chilled to the bone, and I am about to revisit that hot cocoa craze I have been in. The guys did not destroy my house (they didn’t do dishes either, but who cares, I am just happy to have them), I got my kiss, got out of those snowy, wet and cold jeans, and into something much more cozy and comfortable, got another kiss from my hubby, and went to find my boy for a goodnight kiss too… Until tonight, I am not sure I realized how much I appreciate a kiss from the ones whom I truly deeply love.

Pets sufficiently appeased…for the most part, hubby off to work now, which is ok. The cold is outside, and I am in. All is well. I am going to snuggle down into my cozy warm bed, thank God for the wonderful outpouring of relief on my day, and sink into the sweetest relief of all…pure, delightful, in my own bed, with my own pillows, best kind of restful, oblivious sleep.  Sweet dreams, my friends, and may you all enjoy the kind of deep slumber that I anticipate for myself on this ever so blessed evening.