Thursday, March 25, 2010

One of Those Days

I've long since given up on my 365 Project idea....
It's just not who I am...
I really don't know how to explain it...
Photography is simply something I enjoy.
If a picture means something to me, that's all I really care about.
Forcing myself to upload something every single day was a good idea...but in the long run may have added to my stress.
Another assignment with a due date.
I became one of my students.
I have enough stress, thank you.
Photography takes my mind off all the other things in life that are not so great.
Like work.
Why the heck would I want to make photography seem more like work?

I don't really want to talk about work.
Just suffice to say that today wasn't the best day ever.
And, it started before I got there this morning.

On days like today, I leave as soon as it's permissible.
I join my children at home and enjoy the extended daylight hours.
Today, my youngest and I went outside and simply enjoyed the beauty around us.
The wind was blowing adamantly...
The air was warm with just a hint of coolness...
The Pines swayed dramatically as if they were demanding my attention.

I know that's kinda corny.
But, they really did DEMAND my attention.

I remember a scene from "The Color Purple."
Where Miss Celie expresses her belief that God wants us to notice the simple beauty around us.
If we look right past the beauty in our backyards, then God gets upset...
That's not exactly what Miss Celie said, but you get my gist.
God wants us to see the beauty in the simplicity of life.
Our lives are beautiful.
All the facade of the outside world means nothing when compared to the natural, simple beauty God has created for us to behold.

I am soooooo thankful for my faith and my belief that God is in everything around me.

Here is what I saw today when looking for God's simple beauty:

My buddies...sticking together...
Not sure what they were doing since I was using my zoom lens this afternoon.
But, they were intent with whatever it was.

The Magnolias in the sunshine.
Thank you, God for sunshine.
And Magnolias...
I am a Mississippi girl, after all...
What do you expect?

A spooky sort of picture...
But just some leftover "stuff"
What will we use this for?
I bet we find something.

My youngest "pretending."
Do you remember as a young child when you would just create a whole new world?

Mr. or Mrs. Bird...
Happy that Spring is here!
Me too, Mr. Bird...
Me too!

My best buddy...Uh-Oh
He loves his mommy!

An abandoned dog house and a pile of sticks...
So Southern and so cliche...

The woods...
Not really,
My friend Missie's yard is what you see in the background.
But, still, I can dream.
God wants me to revel in the simple beauty of his creation, remember??

Thank you, God, for the simplicity of life around me and the simplicity of your neverending love.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


As I mentioned in yesterday's post, BeyBey is the newest addition to our household.

You may be wondering, as my new blogging friend Paula did, how in the world we acquired a 5 year old "retired" Bulldog.
There is actually no process to follow.
As with most things in my life so far, I just fall into them, whether willingly or not.
This time I was lucky.

A few weeks ago when Beneigt had his Wolf problem, I took him to our vet.
After his Wolf removal procedure, I was standing in the waiting room with a yowling Beneigt waiting to pay for the vet's services.
A man I'd never seen before was standing behind me also waiting his turn.
He was waiting to purchase medicine so he did not have an animal with him.

Now, I don't know if you've noticed or not...but I am a talker and I like to tell stories.
Have you noticed?
My friend Missie even says there's no need for her to read my blog because the first thing I do every morning is tell her all my stories.
I have no secrets.

As we waited in the vet's office, what do you think I, the talker and story teller, did?

I started Stranger Man...about Beneigt, about his "Wolf," about the procedure he had just undergone, about how bad he felt, about my other cat, my children, our other dog, the Head of My Household, etc.

You name it; I talked about it.
To Stranger Man.

Have you noticed how people do this in the vet's office?
There must be something about animal lovers that draws us all to each other.
Another universal mystery.

Somehow in the conversation the word "Bulldog" came up.
I said, "Awww, my husband has always wanted a Bulldog!"

At this point the man mentioned he was a breeder and shower
(I'm sure shower is not the word he used but I can't think of the correct term right now)
I said something to the effect of "Oh wow, how cool is that...we both went to many do you have...etc. etc. etc."
Talking again...

Stranger Man says, "Have you ever thought of getting an adult Bulldog rather than a puppy?"

He then explained to me that when one of his adult females is "finished," which means she is not going to be bred anymore and she is done showing, they always try to find her a family home where she can live out the rest of her days in comfort.
He told me his wife was adamant that the dogs be placed in family homes where there were lots of opportunities for petting, loving etc.

At this point in the conversation, I'm thinking, "Holy Smokes, this guy is serious!"
Stranger Man gave me his card and told me to have the Head of My Household give him a call after we perused his website.

Now, I wasn't sure how the Head of My Household would feel about an adult dog.
He was so ambivalent that he waited all of 2 seconds after me telling him this story to run to the computer.

The Head of My Household called Stranger Man and they talked for a while.
When the Head of My Household hung up the phone, he seemed a little disappointed.
Stranger Man told the Head of My Household everything a person could possibly want to know about a potential pet.
Then Stranger Man told the Head of My Household that he wanted to talk it over more with his wife and make sure she was ready for BeyBey to be "finished."
Stranger Man would keep our number and give us a call if he and his wife did indeed decide that BeyBey was ready to be placed.

We didn't hear from Stranger Man again until this past Saturday night.
Stranger Man wanted to bring BeyBey for a visit on Sunday afternoon.
Just a visit.

What we didn't know then was that Stranger Man had done a doggy version of an FBI check on the Head of My Household and me.
What kind of pet owners we were.
What other pets we owned, etc.

We also didn't realize that the Sunday afternoon visit was the last step of the test.
How would we respond to BeyBey?
How would our children respond to BeyBey?
Was our house an appropriate and safe house for BeyBey?
most importantly
How would BeyBey like cats?

Before visiting us on Sunday, BeyBey had never before seen a CAT!!!

Guess what??

The Head of My Household and I passed!!
With flying colors I might add...because BeyBey has been with us ever since.
Beneigt and Uh-Oh passed too.
Although I wouldn't actually call it flying colors.
Not that it concerns them in the least.

The picture below will give you some idea of how this 5 year old "retired" show dog, is adjusting to our home.
Please notice that BeyBey is on my couch.
Please notice the beautiful pastel colored collar that adorns her neck.
Please notice my firstborn who is rubbing her neck.
Please notice how BeyBey has politely raised her head as much as a Bulldog possibly can to make sure my firstborn doesn't have to strain herself as she continues (hopefully forever) to rub BeyBey's neck.

Please notice how Soccer Boy is lovingly cradling BeyBey in his lap.

Please notice BeyBey preparing to give my adoring firstborn some kisses.

In-between kisses.

BeyBey loves kisses!!!
My firstborn LOVES BeyBey.

BeyBey showing off some of her model poses standing outside on my little brick patio the Head of My Household built for me (another one of those quiet little projects I love).

BeyBey wasn't sure about the youngest's Dora the Explorer Big Wheel.

She made up her mind to dislike the Dora the Explorer Big Wheel when my youngest proceded to ride it across the concrete.

Big Wheels should be annihilated.

Down with Big Wheels!

BeyBey is distracted at times by the cats...more on this later :)

One of BeyBey's cutie patootie poses when she gets really tired and decides to rest a spell.

The Head of My Household and BeyBey...he just loves her to pieces.

Bulldogs are not known for their energy...BeyBey's funniest trick so far is falling asleep while sitting up :):)

She snores too!

I heart BeyBey!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Auld Lang Syne and The Newest Addition

If you were to visit the Head of My Household and me, you would be able to tell a lot about us by the items (better known as "stuff") that we choose to surround ourselves with.

Take a look at a few of the things I spotted as I took a quick walk around this afternoon....see if you notice a theme.

The Head of My Household's truck.

My car.
(Yes, I know; it needs a wash)

My built in china nook.

Kitchen knick knacks.

The bookshelves in my den.

My youngest's bedroom.

My youngest's bedroom again.

My middle child's bedroom.

The Head of My Household and my bedroom.

The Head of My Household's "man cave."
(I don't go in here much...hence the dust :)

Man Cave.

Man Cave.

Man Cave.

The Head of My Household's closet.

Did you figure out the theme?????


If you didn't, do you need glasses?? ;)

The Head of My Household and I both grew up in Mississippi and both graduated from Mississippi State University.  
MSU is, in fact, the place we met.
We both come from a long line of "State" fans.
When we yell, "Go Dawgs!" and ring our cowbells obnoxiously, we are in heaven :):)
Is it surprising, then, that we choose to remind ourselves constantly of a place that means so much to us?

This past Sunday we welcomed another reminder of our alma mater into our home.
Her name is BeyBey.
She is 5 years old and is a "retired" show dog.
How can you not love this face???

BeyBey has aleady made herself at home with us, and we are all already in love with her.

More about BeyBey tomorrow!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Raised Garden Beds Part 3

When we left off yesterday, the two raised garden beds my dad, the retired horticulturist, had built were ready for planting.
However, the bed the Head of My Household had built needed a little something.

My dad said I really had two choices.
I could leave the bed as it was and plant something that didn't need soil quite as deep.
Or, I could build the bed up so it would actually be a "raised" bed and fill it with dirt like the other two beds.
I decided to build it up.
I could just imagine me trying to figure out which veggies needed which depth of soil.
We didn't cover that in American Literature!

Turns out the bed the Head of My Household had built was almost exactly TWICE the size of the beds my dad had built.
Guess what that meant?
More dirt.
A bunch more dirt.
In fact, the same amount of dirt we had already purchased the day before.
For $165.00.

Soccer Boy and I found a piece of lumber in our yard leftover from some other building project long forgotten. 
This board was long enough to cut into two pieces and raise two sides of the bed.
That just left one problem.
A square bed has 4 sides.
We searched and searched but couldn't find another board the same width, length etc.
Soccer Boy measured the board and headed off to the warehouse home and garden store since our local farm and garden doesn't carry lumber.
I gave Soccer Boy and my firstborn my debit card (dangerous, I know) and sent them to get the lumber and 16 more 50lb. bags of dirt.

Just when I was about to decide they had taken off to Mexico with my debit card, Soccer Boy backed into the driveway, and the youngest and I came out to help unload.
Please notice my youngest's satin is at least 3 or 4 in the afternoon :)
She's just that kind of gal :):)

My firstborn (who Soccer Boy sometimes calls "Princess,") shows she can pull her own weight and a 50lb. bag of dirt.
Please notice how impressed the youngest is with her big sister.
"One day I'll be big and strong like my sister!"

The youngest had the camera again as I tried to help with the bags of dirt.


Soccer Boy brought the lumber off the truck.


Oh brother!
America's Next Top Model!
She'd beat all the other contestants up!
Ya gotta be tough to live in our house of estrogen!
The Head of My Household says living in our house is like living in a women's dorm.
All I want to know is how the heck he knows so much about living in a women's dorm!!!

Uh-Oh showed up to help.
But, he's not a fan of power tools, and Soccer Boy was about to break out the skil saw.

I was proud of Soccer Boy.
He really seemed to know what he was doing.

I worried a little about this part.
I could just see me calling Soccer Boy's mom.
Um, yeah, well...listen...we are at the ER with Soccer Boy and he's cut off his arm...


Soccer Boy and I decided together that we...heh, heh...HE would just add height to the sides instead of taking the entire bed apart and starting again.
We decided this for two reasons.
One, I didn't want to take apart what the Head of My Household had built for me.
I'm kinda funny like that.
Two, raising the sides was a LOT less time consuming than starting all over.
The Head of My Household and I had a date! And, I'll be dang if I was going to miss it!

My dad recommended a particular procedure for leveling out the bed even though the foundation wasn't level; I'm not sure we accomplished that part but it's ok.
It's pretty typical of the Head of My Household to quietly do something he knows I want.
He's a pretty good guy.
Most of the time ;)

My firstborn held the boards in place while Soccer Boy hammered the nails.


Houston, we have a problem.

The Head of My Household and my middle child returned from playing golf just in time.
To smirk.

Notice the little scrap piece of wood on the right.
Can't you just hear the little wood?
"Pick me!" "Pick me!"
"I can fit right in those spots where there are gaps."

And, here comes my firstborn to the rescue with another piece of scrap wood.
When life gives you lemons...


Soccer Boy loves the saw.
You should have seen him last summer when there was a backhoe parked in my yard for weeks!
I started having those same hallucinations of calling Soccer Boy's mom again but tried to calm myself.
Soccer Boy's pride was at stake.

Soccer Boy was determined to fill in the gaps...
And he did.
He's really a good boy.
Especially when he's making sure that the sides in my raised garden bed are not gapped!

With a little more hammering to secure the "raised" sides, we were back on track again.

Time for dirt!!
Um, haven't we been here before?
De ja vu!

We interrupt this blog post with a little dirt trivia:
16 - 50 lb. bags of dirt was $30 more expensive at the big "supposed" home and garden warehouse than at the local farm and garden.

Another reason to shop local!


Guess who's got the camera again??
Please notice my middle child in the bottom right corner...
She's really enjoying our hard work.

Aren't they beautiful!!!

Now if the sun will just come back...