Tag Archive | Life

Happy World Turtle Day!

Two small turtles rest
One snapper and one painted
We shared the same path

While on a walk the other day, I was surprised to see not only one turtle, but two. They were both the same size, about three inches long. They were quite far away from one another. When I saw the snapper, it didn’t move. I found a litttle stick and gently poked his leg. Thankfully, he moved slightly as if I was waking him from a nap. After walking around 20 more minutes, I came upon the painted turtle, which seemed a bit more awake.

How lucky for me to have seen these two turtles right before World Turtle Day! “The day was created as a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.” Click here to learn more.

Happy World Turtle Day! I ❤️ turtles.

Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause. ~Bruce Feiler


“Ah, Interesting”

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

During the cold snap, we didn’t take Lila outside for a walk, except for one day when the temperature got to be ten degrees above zero. A couple of days before, we went shopping for dog booties. Lila’s paws weren’t used to the subzero temperatures. Arctic blasts never used to bother her but now that she’s almost 12-years-old, the cold took its toll on her. After her outdoor potty breaks, she had a hard time walking back to the house. Her rear paw couldn’t bare the bite of the cold any longer. She held her back paw high to keep it off the crunchy snow. We found a small pet store not far from our house, which had a large selection of booties.

”Hello. What’s your return policy?” I asked the man who worked there. “In case these boots don’t fit our dog.”

”Since it’s nearing the end of the season, we’d like to get them back within the week. We’d like them back without any scuff marks.”

”Ok, thanks. These should work,” I said.

”Make sure to wrap them snug, so they don’t slip off. Have your dog walk close to you. It’s best if they don’t run.” I nodded yes while I thought about the times our other dog lost one bootie here and then another bootie there while we were on our walks. “Try to keep your dog out of snow banks too, because they fall off and then there’s no way you can find it.” Been there and done that too, I thought. Where was this guy 20 years ago, when I bought booties for our dog, Music?

We purchased the boots, which practically cost more than what I paid for mine, and went home. The next morning, with the temperature still hovering below zero, I fastened them onto Lila. I wrapped the Velcro as tightly as I could. Lila pranced about trying to get used to the feeling and probably wondered how to get them off. Each step was a quick jaunt of touching the floor then lifting her paw back up again. I sent her outside where she continued her prancing style. At times, she reminded me of a bucking bronco. One of the booties fell off and landed on top of the snow, which sent me out in my parka to retrieve it.

Lila didn’t feel much better about the booties when I put them on her before our walk that afternoon. After we got outside, she ran and hopped in every snow bank on the way. When we got to the trail, Lila excitedly ran up to a chocolate lab and a yellow lab. Lila usually doesn’t get close to other dogs. It was like she wanted one of them to get the strange things off. The other dogs didn’t wear booties and their owner didn’t have them on leashes. The labs were being walked by a young man who asked, “Do you feed your dog that corn?” My husband had a plastic bag of corn from Gag Gift Gone Good. My husband didn’t hear him, with all the commotion of trying to settle Lila down.

”We feed the squirrels,” I said. Since it was quite cold, I didn’t tell him the story of Gag Gift Gone Good.

”It’s really bad for dogs’ digestive systems,” he said. “They’ve been finding it over there by those trees,” he pointed the way.

”Oh, sorry. We won’t put it out there any more,” my husband and I chimed as we continued on our way. I thought how if he had his dogs on leashes, he could prevent them from going over by the corn, but I didn’t say anything. Maybe he didn’t see the sign that says dogs must be leashed. We said we’d dump the corn in the marsh, but we ended up throwing it in the garbage.

”Oops,” I said to my husband. Oh well. At least the booties stayed on. 🙂

Never say, “oops.” Always say, “Ah, interesting.” ~Author unknown

Fire Station Turkey

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The other day, my husband and I were heading home after running errands. We decided to take the side streets. We drove by the fire station, and suddenly, the car in front of us slowed down and veered to the left. It looked like there was a large garbage bag sitting in the road. When we got closer, we noticed that a turkey got hit and killed. I thought there was a vulture circling around it, on the ground, but as we got closer, I recognized it was another turkey. The turkey that survived circled the one that died, while it ruffled its feathers and bobbed its head. It was very sad to see. The turkey lost its friend. ☹️

Later this week, I read through some Nextdoor postings, and there was one about the Fire Station Turkeys. The initial post informed people about the death of one of the Fire Station Turkeys and how sad they were that the turkey got killed. The turkeys have a lot of fans who live over by the fire station. Several comments ensued. The initial comments continued on in the same vein. Some people were quick to judge and assumed the turkey had been run over intentionally. My first thoughts were how lucky these people must be. Have they never gotten into an accident? Sometimes, when you’re driving, you have to make a snap decision and go the route that’s going to cause the least damage. It seemed like a long while of scrolling before I got to the part where someone said they knew the driver. The driver felt bad about running over the turkey. The lady then stated, “It was an accident.”

I’m guaranteed to learn something new, when I read through the Nextdoor posts. Others commented about how a bunch of turkeys live in a nearby yard where someone feeds them. The two turkeys that were on the road were both males. One lady posted that the circling around of the one that’s gone, is how turkeys have their funerals. The comment that made me smile was when a young lady posted how she liked seeing all this concern for the turkeys and that maybe people will think twice before eating one this Thanksgiving. 🙂

It was a sorry sight to see the turkey hovering and dancing around the other one. Hopefully the people who made hasty comments about the incident being intentional, read the rest of the comments to see that they were mistaken.

As long as the world is turning and spinning,
we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes. ~Mel Brooks

Gag Gift Gone Good

Photo by Daniel Absi on Pexels.com

Every Christmas my husband and his cousin exchange gag gifts. The tradition of this exchange began many years ago, when my husband picked up a little plastic snow globe from Walgreens to give to Cousin. Cousin gifted it back the next year, and it got passed back and forth for years. I’m not sure where the snow globe is now. I think it got gifted to someone in the next generation a few years back. The globe is old and tattered and almost dried up. There have been many silly gifts over the years. Once Husband gave Cousin a Justin Bieber Christmas ornament, which was like a boomerang. It came back the next year.

This year, since we weren’t going to celebrate Christmas with Cousin and his family, Husband decided not to get a gag gift. What’s the point of a gag gift, if you’re not going to see each other? I asked our daughter and her husband to drop off our gifts at Cousin’s house. When they did, Cousin had some gifts to give to our family as well.

On Christmas Day, Daughter dropped off one of the gag gifts from Cousin in the garage and gave Husband the other gag gift. The one that made it into the house, was a gallon can of peanuts. We haven’t had to buy peanuts for a while! When all the commotion of Christmas wound down, we took a good look at the gag gift taking residence in our garage. It was a 50-pound bag of Nature’s Own Wild Life Food. It contains whole corn.

What in the world are we going to do with this big bag of food, we thought as we exchanged conversations about it for a few days. I didn’t want to scatter it around our yard, because I didn’t want to attract animals. I had visions of turkeys, deer, squirrels, and rabbits all over the place. Since we have a garden, I have a difficult time keeping our little furry friends from eating any flowers or plants that might grow there. We don’t need more critters in our yard, even if it is winter. They might decide to stay.

We thought about dropping it off at a nature center, because keeping it in the garage also gave me the willies. The garage is a place where mice like to visit. At night, I dreamt of parading lines of mice running to and fro in our garage, each one carrying a kernel and building a nest somewhere.

We eventually decided to bring the corn down to the park where we walk our dog. We brought about a pint and dropped it far away from anyone’s house, close to the marshland. The next day, we checked the pile of corn to see if any creatures noticed it. There was not much activity. The day after, we noticed that the stash was getting smaller. After seeing much of the corn gone, Husband packed up more in a plastic bag, and we dropped it off in the same location. We’ve had this routine for about a month now. Pretty soon the bag will be empty.

We noticed tracks in the snow from squirrels and rabbits. We thought deer would make an appearance, but we have not seen their tracks. No wild turkey prints are on the scene either. During our last walk, we made sure to get a bunch of corn to the spot before the cold snap kicked in. We also try to drop off a bunch when snow is in the forecast. A few times, we’ve seen a squirrel running from the pile up a tree. He doesn’t look overly plump, but he seems happy.

When the bag of corn is gone, will we buy another? Gosh, I feel like that squirrel is counting on us now. 🙂 It’s funny how we fretted over the gag gift and how it’s turned into a fun activity. It was a gag gift gone good!

Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels. ~Lisa Kleypas

Simply Elegant

close up photograph of flowers

Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com

Six days ago, we brought four of the centerpieces home from the wedding reception.  On Sunday, Katie brought over her bridal bouquet, which brings the total to five arrangements.  All of the arrangements are different and include flowers from roses to hydrangeas, baby’s breath, and snap dragons.  Some contain blue, white or pink flowers that poke through.  Each one is complemented with velvety greenery.  Every morning, their fragrance greets me when I walk down the stairs.

It seems so long ago when we met with the flower lady.  It was January, and we had to figure out which flowers would be blooming in August.  I found many beautiful arrangements on Pinterest, and I remember sending those to Katie.  Katie liked the photos and sent them to the flower lady.  The flower lady asked what the theme was.  We showed her a picture of the wedding dress, and we told her how we thought it was simple but elegant, and that was also the theme, which Katie decided at that moment.  🙂  At the end of the reception, we invited guests to take home a centerpiece.  People were thrilled to have an arrangement to keep.  We offered some to the staff too, and I couldn’t help taking some leftovers.

The initial planning started in October last year.  We made our lists of who to invite, which came to be about 325 guests.  When we discovered that the church and a venue could all be reserved on the same date in the summer, we were all so excited, because we didn’t think we could get a summer date so soon.  We shopped for the elegant wedding dress right away.  The bride made sure to have her bridesmaids get together to try on dresses during a sale.  Those dresses got ordered promptly in the color of rosewood.  Even I found a dress.  Anything that could be done in advance, was accomplished.

Just before we met with the flower lady, the news of the coronavirus kept wafting over the news.  I especially followed the news about Italy and how sad it all felt with their loved ones passing away.  Then March came, and we were asked to shelter at home.  In the backs of our minds we wondered what would become of the wedding in August.  So many brides had to cancel their March weddings.  Then a few brides and grooms were able to get married in April, with only 10 people in attendance.  

“We’re still going to get married in August, no matter what happens,” the groom announced in March.  None of us wanted to see the wedding postponed.  The food tasting had been scheduled for the end of March, but since the venue was closed, it kept getting postponed.  Just when we thought we would be able to get together in June, for an outdoor tasting, the weather didn’t cooperate, so it ended up getting postponed too. That amounted to a total of five postponements.  When food tasting finally happened, we were delighted to be able to get together with the groom’s parents, even though we wore masks and stayed far apart from each other.

At the food tasting, we were told we could have 90 guests at the venue, so we got busy calling or emailing our friends to let them know we were only going to be able to invite the wedding party and close family members.  Some family members decided they didn’t want to attend, so we were able to invite some friends and more friends of the bride and groom.  Even though people were uninvited, gifts kept arriving daily.  It was nice to have the support and understanding.

There were other changes at the venue too.  We were not allowed to have a head table or a big dance.  We could only have four people to a table.  The tables had to be six feet apart.  There were stickers on the floor by the bar to remind us to socially distance.  People were required to wear masks when they weren’t seated at their table.

It was hard to limit the guests.  I tried to think of something to say to my daughter to make her feel better when we were going through this process.  She must have read my mind and said, “There’s nothing you can say to make me feel better,” so I just kept my mouth shut.  The quote I wanted to share with Katie is below, and it’s just what Katie and Mike did without me having to say it.

I tried to keep positive thoughts about the big day, and I prayed for a beautiful wedding for Katie & Mike ever since after their engagement.  I tried to chase away the what ifs that popped into my mind as the day got closer.  What if Father gets sick and can’t perform the ceremony?  What if the bride or groom get sick?  What if the catering director or photographers or flower lady get sick?  What if my husband or I get sick?  

Thankfully, when the big day arrived, everyone who was included in on the final plan, was there.  I couldn’t help but think, any couple who survived all this unusual wedding planning has a very strong bond.  ❤️

The day turned out to be simply elegant.

Life is accepting what is and working from that.  ~Gloria Naylor

Elvis’s Mom

adolescent adult black and white casual

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When we first moved into our neighborhood, many years ago, we would often see a lady either walking through our yard or along the street yelling “Elvis.”  Elvis was a black lab retriever mix with spots of gray.  Lila, our dog, is beginning to turn a little gray around her mouth and has longer legs than Elvis, but she is starting to make me feel like our neighbor, Elvis’s mom, who moved away a long time ago.  

The other day, when we brought Lila home from the kennel, and when we were about to grab ahold of her by her collar, she took off running in a southerly direction.  I grabbed her leash, headed in that direction, calling her name every so often, but I didn’t get a response.  I headed home to find that a different neighbor, who recognized Lila, and who lives in a northerly direction, brought her back to our house.

Today, a little storm was brewing, so I delayed our walk.  I brushed Lila before letting her back in the house.  Just as I was going to open the door, she took off running in a southerly direction again.  I yelled to her, as sweetly as I could, in my sudden bad mood, but it didn’t coax her back, as usual.  This time, since I was home by myself, I went on with my chores and hoped someone would come knocking or calling.

About 15 minutes later, our phone rang.

“Are you missing a dog?” the lady asked.

“Yes, she got away from me,” I said. 

“We have her here.  She’s so friendly.  We gave her some water.”

“Thank you.  Where are you?”

The lady gave me her address, which is not very far from the southerly direction Lila headed.

“I’ll be right over.”  I grabbed Lila’s leash and drove to the neighbor’s house, because the raindrops were getting quite large.  I wondered why Lila kept running away lately.  It is a common trend for her, which lessened the last couple of years.  Maybe she misses her three mile walks.  Since it’s been warm with high humidity, we whittled our walks down to a mile.  If only Lila could understand the risks of heat stroke. When it’s cooler out, Lila likes to sit under the ash tree in our front yard and is the neighborhood greeter.  She might be missing the delivery people and mailman who all give her treats.  Maybe she misses our friends who used to come over.  Not many other visitors have been stopping by, because of the pandemic. 

When I got closer to the address, I spotted Lila in the neighbor’s front yard on a leash.  The nice lady was there waiting with Lila.  A little poodle watched from behind the glass storm door, jumping and wagging its tail. Congratulations 2020 High School Graduate signs spotted the yard.

“Thank you.  Thank you,” I said.  Lila jumped up high and acted like she hadn’t seen me in months!  The lady unhooked her from their leash, and I got Lila hooked on mine.  

Lila has been getting us to socialize with our many nice neighbors.  I can’t help but feel like Elvis’s mom whenever I run around the neighborhood in search of our girl. Maybe we were meant to keep up with that silly neighborhood tradition that Elvis created.

No matter what was meant to be, have you ever met a dog named Elvis? 🙂

Dear to Our Hearts

Dad and Me
Dad and Me

“Grandma, why do you have so many black combs?” 

“I just do,” I said in my nicest grandmotherly voice.  I made a snap decision to not explain why I had so many combs, so I changed the subject.  “I keep them in this junk drawer.”

“What’s a junk drawer?”

“It’s a place where we put things that don’t have anywhere else to go,” I said.  That seemed to be a good enough explanation.  The little guy was off to explore something else.

When I combed my grandson’s hair earlier that day, I thought about my dad, because it was Dad’s comb I used.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could be here, and maybe leave us another comb? You would love this little guy, I thought, as I tidied up the little one’s hair.  Several times when my father came over to our house with my mother, when our kids were little, he accidentally left one of his combs.  Dad bought them by the bagful.  Dad liked to build towers and other such things with the kids, and somehow the combs slipped out of his pocket and onto the floor.  I never noticed the combs until after my mom and dad left.  I stored them in the junk drawer.  It looks like I forgot to give them back to Dad the next time they came for a visit.

Sometimes, even to this day, little black combs show up out of nowhere.  The other day, when I was organizing a basket of odds and ends, one appeared.  Another time, I noticed one in the street, which made me think of Dad.  Seeing it felt like a good sign, but I decided to leave it stay where it was.  It looks like I get combs from heaven, instead of pennies.

When the little guy gets bigger, and if he’s still curious about the combs, maybe I can tell him this story.  I’ll also let him know that not everything in a junk drawer is junk.  A junk drawer can hold something dear to our hearts.

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor

How to Almost Make a Buck


Here’s a picture of all the different types of metals that can be recycled.  If you have a bunch of old metal curtain rods, an old sump pump, a rusty pair of scissors, extension cords, an old steel Christmas tree stand, used-up batteries, and about 50 other pounds of metals, you can take it over to the metal recycling place in your neighborhood. I decided to go to such a place with my husband last weekend.  After we got there, we got a big cart, where we placed the items, and got in line.  There were about six people ahead of us, with matching carts.  Some were wearing masks, but it didn’t seem necessary since we were mostly outside and the warehouse was completely open with fresh air flowing through.  Plus, the carts were at least six feet long.

If we had a pound or two of more metal, we might have made an entire dollar!  We ended up with 99 cents. 🙂

Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.  ~Benjamin Franklin