December 26, 2011

Whassup Buttercup?

It's a cookies-for-breakfast-pajamas-'til-noon-silence-is-golden kinda day here.

Are you in a food induced coma while basking in the glow of Christmas Past 
or have you resumed your normal daily activities as if nothing happened kinda Peep?

Do tell.  I'm on a need to know basis here.

Thank you.

However this finds you today I hope you are warm, happy, well fed and loved.

And nothing less.


December 24, 2011

My Christmas wish for you my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year too 


December 9, 2011

You can be happy tomorrow.

You can be happy when you get through your list of things to do.

You can be happy when you meet the one.

You can be happy when you get the right job.

You can be happy when you get the raise.

You can be happy when you stop buying the things you need and start buying the things you want. 

You can be happy when you retire. 

You can be happy when the weather suits you. 

You can be happy on a plane. 

You can be happy in the rain. 

Or you can stop reading this, take a deep breath, and be happy right now.


December 4, 2011

“No Mama”, she said quietly.

I looked at her and asked, “What is it dear?”

“My face.  It’s wrong.”

I responded, “your face is beautiful, if I say so myself.  I stitched you beautiful faded red lips, eyes that speak of kindness and a tiny pinched nose, what could I have done better?”

She sighed deeply and replied, “my face is beautiful but it isn’t fitting for a heart and body such as mine.  Look at me, I am aged, worn and torn.  My fingers have been nibbled my mice and my lovely old dress is tattered and stained.  I thank you for giving me such a lovely face, really I do, but this isn’t how I wish to look.”

She added, “I am humble and I want my face to reflect that.”

I had felt beaten down by the creation of this doll.  It seemed everything I wanted for her was met with apprehension and discontent. 

I wanted Angel’s wings.  “Oh please no!” she responded to that thought.

I then wanted a Halo for her head.  “No, I am not an Angel” she said.

I wished for her to hang, say from an interior door or a cupboard door even.  “I wish to sit thank you”, she said.

I asked, “Would you like to hold a dog or a cat or a wreath of Sweet Annie maybe?”

She shook her head and looked me square in the eyes and said, “No Mama, I just wish to be.  Just be.”

It was then that I understood.

I left her alone for the night upstairs on my work table.  I felt as if I had finally got it and now it was up to me to remedy what was tormenting her so.

The next morning I returned and told her of my plan to give her a new face.  The process would not be simple as she is constructed from an old and very fragile cotton quilt backing, it would all have to be reconstructed but the final outcome would be the faintest, sweetest pencil drawn features that would reflect the simplicity that she longed for.  That is her.  With that I got to work.

When all was said and done, she sighed a deep sigh of relief.  She was pleased.

Now she dreams of a place to belong and someone to love her.

Little does she know that the latter of her dream has already come true.

She is available here.

Blessings, tj

December 1, 2011

December the first.

The menfolk are sleeping in.

Dirty laundry is being executed.

Our hearts and souls are being warmed by the fire.

Fall decor is making way for Winter greenery.

And this is my ear worm today. *smile*

"While snow the window-panes bedim,
The fire curls up a sunny charm,
Where, creaming o'er the pitcher's rim,
The flowering ale is set to warm;
Mirth, full of joy as summer bees,
Sits there, its pleasures to impart,
And children, 'tween their parent's knees,
Sing scraps of carols o'er by heart."  
-John Clare, "December"


"To those of you who commented and emailed your well wishes and prayers regarding my husband's illness and the loss of our sweet Maggy, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Sincerely, I do."

Blessings, tj

November 27, 2011

Their story...

Right around five or six years ago our neighbors at the end of the road foreclosed on their home.

From the outside they appeared to have everything.

A custom built, half million dollar house complete with a black Humvee in the driveway with a black Mercedes Sedan to match.  For appearance's sake, it screamed, "success".  

They were people of money.  Yet, it couldn't buy them common sense.

They left behind everything.  Including, two sweet and loving Labrador Retrievers.  

The first one, a Yellow Lab' named, "Sunny".  Sunny is the alpha.  She dominates.  In her world, she is first.  She's happy-go-lucky yet always on guard.  You will find her laying in our yard, wagging her tail for no apparent reason.  She dances and spins when it's time to eat.  She barks at strangers.  She seemingly chooses men over women but doesn't play favorites.  Sunny is just happy to "be".  She will come up and stick her head between your legs and simply stand there until you stop laughing and pet her.  

The second, a Chocolate Lab' named, "Maggy".  Maggy is the omega.  She is the absolute lover.  Submissive.  Passive.  Playful.  Quiet.  Demure and sweet.  You are everything in her world.  If you raised your arm to quickly she would cower to the ground.  If you're standing she would quietly come up from behind and place the round of her head under your hand.  Of if you are sitting, your lap was her pillow.  Maggy and I took to each other like peanut butter on bread.  


They were left outside in their large dog pen which leaned on a hillside in the woods.

We didn't know of the impending foreclosure so we weren't really aware that the neighbors had vacated.  It wasn't until much later that we heard the dogs incessant barking.

We realized then that we hadn't seen the neighbors drive by in while.

We put two and two together and walked down there one night to check on the dogs.  We could see their water bucket overturned and empty food bowls.  We quickly replenished their water and gave them food.

We could see via flashlight that packages had been left stacked on the home's front porch by mail delivery.

Days later, the Police came.  They were searching for the man of the house for tax fraud.  The Police asked if we wanted to take the two dogs and their outdoor pen or otherwise they would have to take them to the local Animal Shelter.

We said, "yes, we will take them".

It wasn't until we went to bring them to their new home that we realized the extent of the deplorable conditions in which they were living.

We know they were let out of their pen every so often because we would see the dogs running thru our yard late at night.  A few times we seen each dog pregnant and even once saw a litter of puppies at the end of the neighbors driveway.  The puppies quickly disappeared.  Other than that, both dogs were rarely ever let out of their pen.

As mentioned before their pen was tucked onto a wooded hillside to which their two rotting wooden dog houses sat facing upward on the hillside.  As you can imagine whenever it rained the muck, mud, feces ran downhill directly into their dog houses.

We brought Sunny and Maggy to our home and immediately placed their large pen on a concrete foundation and purchased a dog pen shade cover.  

We brought 'em home a fully insulated dog house fit for two so these, what I referred to as, "soul sisters", could sleep side by side.

They had their first ever veterinarian appointments where they confirmed that they were somewhere around five years old.  Both dogs were then spayed and treated for heart worms.

We fitted them both with wireless fence dog collars so they could come and go from their pen as they wished but still be confined to the safety of their yard.

They became a part of our home, lives and family like they were here from the beginning.  The transition was astounding.

Never once.  Never.  Did a day go by that they didn't show their undying love and gratitude towards us.

For just the simple things such as feeding time.  Fresh water.  Play time in the pond.  Pats on the head.  Daily dog cookies.  Their daily affirmations of, "you both are such good girls!" and "we love you!".


Well, last week my husband had to be admitted into the hospital and during this time I had to take our Chocolate Lab', Maggy, to the Vet.  She hadn't been well as of late, she has been having a hard time eating.  The Vet scheduled her for a x-ray.

The Vet and myself both thought is was most likely something as simple as an abscessed tooth.  It wasn't.

The Vet even commended Maggy on the wagging of her tail because from the size and type of the tumor and where it was located between her jaw and left eye that she was in immense pain.

The Vet gave me several options but given Maggy's age, the best for her was the worst for me.

I had to say farewell to our sweet Maggy that very same day.  

I struggled at first with the fact of not bringing her home to her final resting place.  I.  Struggled.  There was no grave ready.  My husband is sick and I've been spending my days at the hospital.  I told myself I'd have to walk away.

Only I couldn't.

I spoke with our Vet the next day and he said her body was still there and that they would hold her while I dug her grave.  I dug her grave like there was no tomorrow.  At one point I rested my chin on my hands over the end of the shovel's handle and I could see Maggy, plain as day, running towards me.

Back by our wood's edge she is in her final resting place.  A place she loved.

God I love her and miss her terribly so.


Sunny, the Yellow Lab', is doing better than expected.  Only time will tell how she will handle this loss of her best friend since they have known each other since they were puppies.  

Sadly, age has not been on Sunny's side lately.

We have tried over the years to introduce the both of them to being in our home but they wouldn't have it.  The didn't mind visiting inside but after a hour or so they were pining to be outside where they would "patrol" their humble lil' homestead.

We do know that we want both of them to be buried side by side.  So at the risk of sounding a bit odd, we are going to prepare her grave as well as soon as my husband is better.

We want to be prepared in the event the good Lord calls her Home in the midst of Winter.

She will have her final resting place next to her lifelong friend. 


Below, I am sharing with you my fav' photo of our sweet Maggy as I will always remember her.

Last Christmas Eve we had a most beautiful snowfall.  It was absolutely...magical.

My husband was on the tractor plowing the road and I was taking photos of this snowy, wondrous beauty that surrounded me.

Sweet Maggy was behind our smallest barn watching my husband on the tractor when suddenly she caught a glimpse of me in our driveway.

She looked at me.

Then looked again.  As if to say, "is that you Mom?"

I lifted the camera towards her and giggled.  And she knew.

She ran towards me like her pants were on fire and her behind was catching.

To see that much joy, and love, running towards you is, well...*speechless*.


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.
 For me they are the role model for being alive."  
-Gilda Radner

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." 
-Will Rogers

I posted about our sweet Maggy the day of her death and a dear friend left a most poignant and sweet comment, thank you Ron. *smile*  
The next morning I deleted that particular post feeling that grief and sadness is not what I wanted my blog to represent.

But then I thought, isn't time of grief and sadness the very reason we are grateful for the joy and happiness?  

If not for the dark would we not know light?


Thank you for being here.


It means more than you'll ever know.

Love, tj

November 24, 2011

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving,

November 11, 2011

"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul 
than their simplicity might suggest."
-Thomas Moore, Irish Poet, 1779-1852

November 7, 2011

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway."
-Mother Theresa

October 30, 2011

I love Sundays.

"Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week"
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Blessings, tj

October 9, 2011

"O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to be beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away."
-Robert Frost, "October"


October 3, 2011

Available here.


September 28, 2011

September morn'.


September 26, 2011

I've been incognito.

Not really.  I've been really, really busy and besides, I just like saying the word, "incognito".



Go ahead, say it, I'll wait...

You did, didn't you?  I knew you would.

Cool word, yes? *smile*giggle*shrug*

Do you have a fav' word that you like the way it sounds, the way it feels when you say it, the way it rolls off your tongue?

Is this getting weird?  I digress.

Moving on...


To this:


I know, crazy right?

Meet, "Salty".  She's our Schnoodle.

Go ahead, say it, I'll wait...  



See?  Fun.  Now, aren't you glad you stopped by? *chuckle*

Well, I'm glad you did.  Seriously.  

And I want to take this moment to say, "thank you", another favorite word of mine, for your kind words regarding my last post when I kinda let my guard down about this flurry of loved ones suddenly taking flight and heading heaven bound.

I'm better now, thanks to you.


I came upon this long ago and saved it because I liked it.

And things I like or love, I share with those I like, or love.

So without further adieu...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

- written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann


September 17, 2011

People I love are dying.

Not all at once mind you but there have been quite a few here as of late.

I am not very fond of death you know.  I don't like it.

To me, that is the hardest part I find about myself growing older is that people I love or have known thruout my life are dying.  The older I get the more prevalent death seems.  That's a given.

Three out of the four so far that have passed away were elderly and for some reason it is easier to accept their passing because they have lived.  Maybe they would've lived a while longer but for the most part they got their fair share of life's pie.

One recently wasn't elderly.  Her calling was too soon and it was unjust.  Her diagnosis came and death closely followed and her death wasn't easy either.  I will never understand when good, loving, kind, giving people get dealt a bad hand, put up a fight to live only to lose and then have to fight to die.

When I finally meet my Maker, I'm gonna inquire about that...

On a much lighter note *smile*...

'Tis a brisk day today here at our humble lil' homestead and I am loving it! 

Don't you just love when Autumn makes her impending presence known?  

I noticed the other evening while sitting on the porch that as the wind was blowing thru the trees it was as if it were announcing,
"Autumn is coming!",
"Autumn is coming!"...'s music to my ears.

Speaking of music to my ears, I am leaving you with a lil' Louis Armstrong.

This is happy music I'm telling ya.

And besides, I wouldn't leave ya with all that meat and no potatoes.  No sir.*wink*


September 15, 2011

Available here.

Thank you for looking and have a fantastic day my friends!


September 6, 2011

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear or further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal 
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me 
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments. 

Untitled by Humble Origins
a photo by Humble Origins on Flickr.

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