Making the most of my "Dash"

Archive for the ‘Thankfulness’ Category

The Newest Member of Our Family

Today was a wonderful day for our family!  We added a new member…Mugsy!

Mugsy!  No, he doesn't normally look possessed. Thank you camera.

Mugsy! No, he doesn’t normally look possessed. Thank you camera.

Mister finally gave in to his missing-a-dog-in-his-life feeling.  He had two Shih Tzu‘s for over 16 years, but they passed away several years ago.  From everything he says about them, as well as others who had the pleasure of knowing them, they both were absolute darlings.

Mister fell in love within the first 5 seconds, and same for Mugsy with Mister.  The minute I saw their connection, I was in love too!

Mister fell in love within the first 5 seconds, and same for Mugsy with Mister. The minute I saw their connection, I was in love too!

I have been catching him looking at rescue websites to see if there were any Shih Tzus who needed to be adopted.  This past weekend a facebook friend of ours posted some pictures of a sweet doggie, and that did the Mister in.  He spent the rest of the weekend searching for Shih Tzus in our area, and came up empty.  So, he posted a Craigslist ad asking if anyone knew of someone needing a home for a Shih Tzu.  Less than two hours later we received a reply!

The story is that Mugsy’s first home was with an elderly woman who became too ill to care for him.  Her neighbor took him in, but apparently wasn’t sure how to take care of him and maintain his fur, and so he ended up quite matted.  She gave him to a woman in Bullhead City who rescues dogs from kill shelters in surrounding areas.  She cut his hair and cleaned him up.  Her daughter was the one who replied to our ad, letting us know that she had planned on taking the dog from her mother, but wasn’t able to follow through.  She asked if we would consider him because her mother could no longer care for him, and so she sent us pictures.  Then, I fell half in love with the little feller.

We made arrangements to meet with him today.  The moment we opened the door and saw him, I fell completely in love.  Mister was only four seconds behind me with the falling in love part.  The dog’s name was Jaques, but they called him Joey as well.  He was a delight, running back and forth between all of us.  Playing, pawing at the ground, hopping around, and rolling over to let us pet his belly.  There was no way we were going home without him, and he immediately became part of our family!

All relaxed and enjoying his new home.

All relaxed and enjoying his new home.

We didn’t really like the name Jaques or Joey for him, and since he didn’t seem to respond to well to either name we decided to try Mugsy; short for Mugwump.  He has been responding to us just fine with that name.

We surprised the kids, as they each come home at separate times in the afternoon.  None of them knew of our plan, and were very excited to meet the little feller when I told him they were going home to meet their new fur-brother.  He LOVES the kids.  And by that I mean, this dog is seriously a kid lover.  I am glad for that, because Shih Tzu’s tend to be one-person dogs only, but this one seems to love everyone.  He may be a mix of some sort, and not pure-bred, which may be some of the reason he is doing so well with all of the people here.  The daughter, who contacted us, seems to think he is Havanese, or maybe part Havanese, part Shih Tzu, which is its own breed: Havashu.  Seriously.  A Havashu in Havasu, how funny is that?!

Anyway, he loves us, and we love him.  His first day in the house has been great.  He’s been relaxed, he’s napped, he’s eaten, and he’s done the potty thing in the right place. I am so glad!

Do you have pets?  How did they become a part of your family?

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An Unexpected Hiatus

Hello!  Hello… Hello… Hellooooooo (echo, echo, echooooooo)?!

While I certainly didn’t plan to take any sort of break from blogging, I just looked and saw that my last post was March 16th of 2012… 301 days ago.  7,200 hours ago.  432,000 minutes ago. 25,920,000 seconds ago! (Just in case you needed it broke down like that.)   Time has just whizzed by for me.  So, I will do a brief (well, as brief as I am capable of being) post of what has happened since March of last year.

Grand Canyon

Taking a ride on The Grand Canyon Railway!

First of all I did NOT forget my anniversary on May 7th.  Mister planned a great little trip for us to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon and we took that in late May.  The landscape in our desert states are simply beautiful, and surrounding myself in it was a feast for my eyes, heart and soul.  We went to the Grand Canyon via The Grand Canyon Railway, and it was so much fun!  I absolutely love to travel with Mister.  So many new experiences and lots of laughter shared between us!

Mister's son is an expert on how to efficiently relocate to another state!

Mister’s son is an expert on how to efficiently relocate to another state!

In June, some of my favorite people in the whole world, Mister’s son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter, moved to Havasu!  We are thrilled to have them here, even though we tried to warn them off.  Really, we tried to tell them not to come here.  Not because we didn’t want them to move here, but because the beginning of summer is the absolute worst time to try to acclimate to the desert.  Particularly when previously living in Oregon.  However, they did great and sweated through the Arizona summer heat like champions.  I think they’ve acclimated pretty well, because now we are all freezing our patooties off as it’s currently 39 degrees outside.

In July, we had the monsoon season to beat all other monsoon seasons.  Frankly, I’ve made a rather disturbing observation about our weather.  First, this past summer was one of the most humid in a LONG time.  All the local-yocals were talking about it (but not in front of the tourists… no, we buck-up and tell them that we’re used to this sort of heat and frown down upon them for complaining).  Then, we have this crazy monsoon storm that tore out roads, washed cars away, and created havoc all over town.  Now we’re having the coldest winter in a long time.  My only conclusion is that Mister’s family moved here from Oregon they brought some of the weather with them.  This crazy weather is all their fault.  And THAT is unacceptable.  I’ll have to have a chat with them to send it back.

People 'round these parts don't really make the best decisions  when a monsoon hits.  Obviously.

People ’round these parts don’t really make the best decisions when a monsoon hits. Obviously.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with Mister’s family here in Havasu.  There’s nothing like spending the day with a loving family to help you appreciate all the blessings we are given.  Christmas was lovely as well.  We had a pre-Christmas celebration with the family here and then Mister and I spent Christmas eve and day together in Laughlin, NV (the kids were with their dad for the holiday). We have so much fun together, and this was no exception.  Plus, how can you go wrong playing three and  a half hours of slots on one twenty-dollar bill?!?! Tons of laughter, love and hugs; that’s what our life together is about!

Now it’s January and you may be wondering what prompted this rambling catch-up post.  I suppose it’s that I started to miss writing.  I am one of those people who learn something new and go gung-ho at it for a while.  Then, I see something else new to do and attack learning that with a vengeance.  The other “interest” tends to go by the wayside.  This blog was also  my therapy for a while.  I  had things built up inside my head and heart and I just needed to release it.  Once it was out, I had nothing more to say.  I felt lighter, and happier, and freer than I had for a long time once I had cleared out my head.

I started this blog to remind me to fully live my life.  To enjoy every moment with my husband, children, and his (now MY) family.  And, I found my groove…  I did my thang!  I am living my life!  And it is flippin’ WONDERFUL.  Seriously!  I think another reason I stopped blogging is because, honestly, how many posts could I write about how amazing life is being married to Mister before I drove you all nuts?!  I think we all know there would be A LOT of posts.  Because it really, really is amazing.

I remember a friend of mine asking me how another person (that we both know) could keep writing about her absolutely adoring and incredible  husband, and her super-fantastic life, incredible kids, and blah, blah, blah…  That made me hesitate about writing more things like that here. While I don’t want to sicken anyone with constant sugary tales of Mister mushiness, I realized that it doesn’t matter what other people think.  I don’t write about the salty-teared tales of the “discussions” between Mister and I, but they have happened.  Not every relationship is a rose-garden of beauty, and of course ours is no exception.  It takes hard work, and communication (reluctant tho I may be to “communicate”), and it’s not always clear or easy to make that happen.

I suppose I said all that to say that despite the “discussions” Mister and I have (or maybe because of them!), he and are are living a beautiful life together.  I am spoiled rotten, and I hope he feels the same.  We spend a lot of time in The Love Shack, mainly because now I’m learning to quilt.  Remember the jumping from learning one thing to the next I talked about up there ^? Yeah, basically it went from Crochet to Blogging to passing my Amateur Radio Operator test to Quilting.  I love sewing and spend a lot of time at my sewing machine.  I’ve made tons of crafty things lately, you can see them here if you would like.  My daughter even compleminsulted (yeah, that’s new word  I just made up) me by telling me they look like things I bought at the store.

Speaking of jumping from one hobby to the next, I’m taking a Motorcycle course the weekend of February 1st.  Hopefully I will be riding Mister’s Honda 750 Magna not long afterwards! Also just as hopefully there will be a fun blog post about it rather than a “you are NOT gonna believe what I did…” type of post.

Well, that’s the catch-up.  Not too much funny, not too much snark, and not too much mushy.  Just Christine living her life, and being ever so grateful for it!

So, tell me… How have YOU been? I’ve missed you! 

A Past Due Thanksgiving post…

Thanksgiving with two of my favorite people!

I didn’t have too much time to write about the holidays this year.  I’m a little behind, but I plan to catch up now!

 

Jill and I in downtown Vegas

This past Thanksgiving was my best one, ever.  Brian and Jill, Mister’s son and his wife, came to visit for the week.  We were SO thrilled to have them here!!  We picked them up from the Vegas airport, and stayed the night there.  Brian and Jill took us to a wonderful dinner at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and we spent the rest of the evening at the penny slots in our hotel.  Way too much fun was had by all!

The next few days were spent where we live, in Havasu.  We drove them around the area one day, and took them to the infamous Sno-2-Go.  Jill LOVED their unique ice/cream treats.  We already knew Brian loved the place, and we all promptly promised the owner we would be back the next day for more.  And…. we were!

Jill and Brian on the way to Havasu Landing

We visited our little casino across the lake too.  There’s a great little ferry that will take you across to Havasu Landing.  It’s free if you get the little tickets from the paper.  So, we went to the store and I bought several papers.  And then looked inside to find NO coupons.  Of course.  Turns out the paper doesn’t print the coupons during holiday weeks.  Whoda thunk it?!  We all “splurged” on our $2 tickets and spent a very enjoyable couple of hours over there at the penny slots.  We’re cheap like that.  We also like to leave with our money, which we did.  Bonus!

Everyone ready to eat, but I made them take just one more picture

Thanksgiving dinner went along without a hitch!  Everyone got to sleep in, take our time getting ready, and dinner seemed to cook itself.  Okay, not really, but I had a schedule (with instructions!) written down to the minute!  I did note on this handy-dandy little schedule that someone needed to carve the turkey, and it wasn’t going to be me!  I told Brian that neither his Dad nor I were going to carve the turkey, and he graciously offered to do it for us.  No *hint-hint* or anything like that there for him.  I think he just wanted to eat the turkey, and he knew someone had better take a carving knife to it before we all ended up like little Randy on a A Christmas Story when his mom asked, “How does Mommy’s little piggy eat?!”

We spent a lot of time out on the back porch, relaxing and chatting.  And isn’t that the best part of any holiday?  Getting to spend time with family you love and respect.  Completely relaxed, comfortable, and enjoying each others company.  Not to mention chatting up a storm, and laughing until your sides hurt!

Thank you, Brian and Jill, for sharing your holiday with us.  When I think of my many blessings, and things I am most thankful for, your friendship and love is at the top of my list.  We love you both so much, and appreciate you!

 

I am Thankful

Several of us who have pages on Facebook have decided to post something everyday in the month of November that we are thankful for.  Diary of a Not So Wimpy Mom started this, and so many of us loved the idea we decided to join her and do it as well.

For November 1st, I posted that I was thankful for Mister, and November 2nd I posted how thankful I was for the people who have joined my  Facebook page.  However, today’s post was going to be a bit long for a Facebook status, and it is something that I really felt the need to blog.

For November 3rd, I am thankful for the fact that my kids love their Step-Dad, and that he loves them in return.  Anyone out there who has a blended family knows how amazing this is.  Introducing a new person into the kids’ lives, and making sure they understood that person was NOT a replacement for one of their other parents was quite a feat.  We worked very hard to make sure they knew that no one was going to require that they have any kind of affection for Mister, as well as letting them know that it was ok to have more than two parent-type adults in their lives.

Now, they all don’t outright say “I love you” to each other very often, but you can tell they feel that way.  Every night the kids give us both Goodnight hugs, and sometimes the younger two will give him a little kiss on the cheek too.  As they skip off to their rooms sometimes they’ll holler back, “Love ya!”  to both of us.  And the other day when I was introducing Mister as the kids’ step-dad to someone, Josh threw his arms around him and said, “And I love him SO much!”  That just melted my heart.

Mister & the kids at the Grand Canyon

I know how much Mister loves them, simply by how he treats them and helps to parent them.  They know it too.  Megan, the teenager, considers him her ally when she feels I am being unreasonable.  They all go to him with any serious questions or concerns.  There was even an incident about 6 months ago when Megan had finished a conversation with her Dad and immediately asked if she could speak with Mister and I afterwards.  When we asked her what was going on, she turned to MISTER, told him her issue and what her Dad had advised her, and then asked him what HE thought of it.  The kids all know that he is reasonable, fair, and they all know that he will give them an explanation if they ask for it (and many times even when they don’t!).  We never say to them, “Because I said so” although sometimes I am sorely tempted to!

I could not have asked for a better relationship between the kids and Mister.  I am so glad that they all do care for each other so much, and that they all respect each other.  I know all of that has come from no one feeling pressured or forced to “like” the other person.  It also comes from the kids having the knowledge that they have the freedom to say what they think and feel, and that they may respectfully question us, and our rules, and we will respond to them and their concerns just as respectfully.

I am thankful for this family!!

Our Family

500 gets Mister a Starbucks!

Yumminess!

When I created a Facebook page, I never imagined that more than a few people would be interested in reading it.  Needless to say, I am surprised and thrilled to have had so many people like the FB page.  I mainly created it to have a place to put my blog posts, other than my personal profile.  As more people joined, I felt a responsibility to have more content by adding pictures and quotes.  I’m trying to find a balance that doesn’t annoy people. I just want to make sure I share positivity, encouragement and inspiration with others.  And an occasional rant or bawdy joke.

Last week I ended up being at 400 “likes” and was  shocked by it.  Honestly, I never thought I’d get more than 25. Gayle, the blogger of A Beautiful Mess Inside, made a comment that I would soon be getting to 500.  I fairly well scoffed at that.  However, she was right and I actually did make it to 500 likes by yesterday morning!  According to Gayle, I was actually at 500 when she checked at 2:50am. Now that is quite some dedication to being able to utter the ever-so-humble words “I TOLD YOU SO.”  I should note, that I’m certain this is the only time in my life that I didn’t want to punch the person saying those words.

*burp*

I had told Mister that if I ever got to the “Five-Oh-Oh” number I would buy him Starbucks with his own gift card.  Isn’t that so generous of me?!  I even made him drive us there… and buy me one too! Gayle humbly asked for pictures, so this particular blog is my (far too boastful) fulfillment of her request.

I’m getting this out a day late (and about $9.12 short on Mister’s gift card), and I am already stunned at having another 50 “likes”.  I could pull a Sally Fields on you, however, from the bottom of my heart I just want to say: “Thank you.”  Thank you for reading the blog and “liking” the Facebook page.  As I tend to repeat constantly over on the page,

“I hope you find something that encourages you, inspires you, or at the very least, makes you smile.”

Christine

Mister and I

Happy Birthday, Mister!!

Happy Birthday Shaftora

Image via Wikipedia

Another birthday rolls on by for my Mister.  While he is chronologically 63, he often tells me he feels SO much younger.  So, I go all transposal on those numbers and now he’s 36!  Not too cool when you think that next year he’ll have aged a decade, but it works for this year!

We’re off to celebrate his day, and while it may be his birthday… HE is like a daily birthday gift to me.  I could not have a greater, kinder, wiser, more loving man in my life.  I love you, Mister…

Happy Birthday, and I wish you many, many, many, many more!!

Living our dash!

Christine

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