Monday, December 24, 2012

My Christmas Village this year!

You know I love my Christmas Village!  I've added pieces this year and have big plans for next year!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dog shaming!

My new favorite fun site!  You'll find it in the links section.

If you've never seen this, it's a place to post pictures of when our furry friends do wrong:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No place like home for the holidays!

I first thought this was T-mobile doing a Meet-up kind of thing, but obviously this was filmed over the course of the day.  It is a wonderfully fun and uplifting video: Home for the Holidays!

Enjoy!!  I'm going to watch it again!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fostering Lady

We have a new foster dog at home. I wonder if I can do right by this dog.

She was a breeding dog at a Lancaster puppy mill.  A man from NJ somehow found out and told the guy to give up Lady (then named Sadie) and some other dogs or he'd report the puppy mill.  Unfortunately, he turned around and made his own puppy mill.  Between his poor care of the dogs and other animals on his farm, authorities shut him down.  Shelters took care of the other animals plus her breeding father (Picaso -- good name, isn't it?) and her puppy.  (She had a litter of 6, but she was malnourished etc. so only 1 pup survived).  One of our volunteer found out about her and Oasis picked up her.

The volunteer lives in an apartment and is already fostering a few animals with no more room.  She boards a horse and got them to foster, but they kept her in a large hutch (3 people could fit in it), plus walks, but it was outside.  That's when we came in.

She's a bit bowlegged in the back; they say that's normal for a puppy mill breeder.  Their cages are so small, they can't full stand up and kind of squat.  the legs get bowlegged from it. (She just stole my sock too, but I digress.)  She's not housebroken because she's never been in a house before, never been up and down steps (so I have to take her up and down our deck steps), and she's never known a human being to touch her until Oasis.

So we have to get her housebroken, which is tough because you tell her no and she gets terrified that we'll turn on her.  She won't come to us when we call to let us pick her up; we have to corral her.  And teach her how to use steps.

And yet:

She's got the sweetest personality.  Even with her trust issues, she's good to us: doesn't bite, snap, or growl.  Even with the vet, she took every shot, the needle for the blood and everything else like a sweetheart.

She's not 10; the original puppy mill got her age mixed up with a different dog.  She has no gray fur on her muzzle, moves like a younger dog, and her teeth are in good shape except some tartar for ill care.  We're guessing 4 - 5.  The vet said if you went by teeth alone, she could be older, but that's from poor food and conditions more likely.

She plays tug of war with Daytona which is amazing since she's never had a chance to play at all.  She's great with other animals, not just mine.  She distrusts men more than women (because men owned her), so John is giving her ultimate patience, always talking gently, and petting her.  She does come up to us to touch our hands, and she's started sleeping closer to us instead of across the room.

She's gorgeous.  The last volunteer got her weight up.  And she thinks the yard is heaven on earth!  She's even okay with a crate after the first day, seeing Elphie and Daytona okay with theirs.

I worry I won't get through her trust issues to get her to come up and be picked up, and to get her housebroken.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I've become a dog bed

We got an early start, very early. John deliberately didn't set the room clock so I didn't know it was 5!

We wanted an earlier start so we get home earlier. Now we will be home in the afternoon.

Got breakfast at a NJ, too big a breakfast. And we saw someone towing a generator behold a Uhaul. We're guessing they are headed for NJ or NY with supplies for someone hit by Hurricane Sandy. We saw a convoy of electric trucks going north on our to Disney.

I wish we were still headed to Disney.

Location : Dortches, NC,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Phineas and Feb, baby!

This was a fun thing for any fan with a wide variety of scenes to interact with. And it is free!

Nice touch, Disney! Adding something to West Side to have fun and something for the Phineas and Fern fans

Location : West Side, Orlando, FL 32836,

Just got off of Soaring

I nearly forgot I had the Fast Pass.

It is really hitting me that this is the last day of the trip. I hate this feeling.

Location : 1300 Avenue of the Stars, Bay Lake, FL 32830,

Bon Jour, Monsieur Waffle!

Still enjoying Food and Wine Festival!

Location : 1830 Ave of the Stars, Orlando, FL 32830,

Epcot on a beautiful day!

We got a late start and slept in. We visited the dogs and now came to Epcot. Stopped in the Land because I hoped they still had breakfast and I was in the mood for a waffle. Still, I got the Roasted Beets and Cheese Salad that is really good.

John's back is a bit better and he is walking instead of using a scooter. On the other hand, I can't believe how swollen my ankle is after usinig the scooter yesterday.

I think I will grab a Fast Pass for Soaring and then head into World Showcase.

Location : 1300 Avenue of the Stars, Bay Lake, FL 32830,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Christmas tree!

Sweet baby Jesus, a CHRISTMAS TREE already!!!!!

Location : Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32821,

World of Disney ceiling mural

I never noticed this before!

Btw, the Christmas music is already playing. ;)

Location : Lake Buena Vista, FL,

One Man's Dream

Oh Walt....

If he had 20 more years, TEN more years!  What could he have dine? Would we have seen his Epcot? It needed him and Roy if it was ever a reality... People needed them as the spearhead before they would back the city.

Walt Disney had talent, imagination, and courage. All 3 with Roy's talents and faith in "the kid" changed the world. A few more years, and what would the world be?

Location : Pixar Pl, Kissimmee, FL 34747,

Great Movie Ride!

You know some are calling for this to be removed, but I would like to see it updated instead.

And I always thought for the people who want a really scary attraction, they should make Alien into a full blown fright ride!

Location : Pixar Pl, Kissimmee, FL 34747,

Third time on Star Tours!

I'm so glad John likes it too!

Except he's not letting me shop! I am in a manual wheelchair for the line and he's in control!  Ugh! I see a shirt and a print I want!

Location : Address not available

Pal Mickey and I with our Walt shirts!

I have gotten so many compliments on this shirt and I'm glad. Walt deserves it, and it led to me meeting a man who met Walt at Disneyland!!!!

The only time I have gotten as many compliments as I have with this one and my Doctor and River one us when I wore Wicked in the Studios where they have the Oz sections!

Location : Address not available

Front row seats for Beauty and the Beast!

Literally right in front of the stage!  I enjoyed seeing the show agai, especially with such a great view of it. I also got gorgeous shots of it like this of the Prince changing back. (His chest was YUMMY!)

Location : Address not available

Just rode Tower and Rock & Roller Coaster

So much fun!

A guy was checking his phone during the Tower spiel. The cast member said, "Sir, it's pointless to check the wait time now, you're here!"

Location : Perimeter Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34747,

Pal Mickey has a new pin!

His brother Oswald. Goes with the Walt shirt.

Notice Pal Mickey has a Pal Mickey, and that Pal Mickey... Has a Pal Mickey!

Location : Address not available

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It was 20 years ago today....

I woke up early after only a couple hours sleep. I was so excited and so full of emotion, I wanted to talk to someone, but who else was up so early? Silly to say, but I didn't want to call my groom, like it was part of that "can't see you before the wedding". I was even letting my maid of honor sleep in a bit more. Then I knew who was awake: my Mom. I called her and yes, she was awake, she was just as full of emotion.

I had just heard my groom sing "Freebird" to me only hours before after the rehearsal dinner. My maid of honor woke up and we started getting me ready. She did my hair herself! Then Mom was there and helped with gown, my brother (who was giving me away) arrived and Mom said, "Come see your baby sister." He was so choked up, he just hugged me.

We had some problems after that -- bridesmaid running late, in-laws getting lost -- but all I think about right now is when I finally got to see John waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I reached up to kiss him as I did for nearly three years to that day, and he smiled and pushed me gently away. The kiss had to wait.

I did roll my eyes a bit -- like we never kissed before -- but it was quickly gone as I got so starry eyed that this day was finally here.

The next thing I think of is that moment when we were finally alone, even for a moment. And later when my Mom told me that John said to her, "I can't believe my Erin married me today. I can't believe she chose me."

It's a cliche, but the years go by quicker than you can imagine and I can't believe it's been 20 years since that day. It doesn't feel like it and I only really felt it when I saw our honeymoon hotel and pictured that newlywed couple. I'm happy to be both of them -- that bride and groom who didn't know what was ahead and the people who have that experience and have grown because of it. John was right when he said before our wedding, I don't want to love you forever the way I do now. I would miss so much. I would miss building the life and everything that's going to bring, and then when we're older & we look back over the years and said We did this. We built this life.

My poor groom is in bed with an upset stomach. I got him medicine and he's asleep. Hopefully, he'll be well in a couple hours and can make our celebration tonight. Meanwhile, I'll take care of him, go take care of the dogs, and hope for the best. That's marriage. :)

Happy Anniversary, hon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fort Wilderness: We are home.

The regulars like Sharon can't believe we're not here.

John didn't think he would miss it, but as we rode on Gary and Carol's golf cart with the dogs, he admitted he did.

Going to see the Halloween Pet Costume Parade!

Location : 2510 Bonnet Creek Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32836,

Everest, baby!

I used the single rider line and went on 3 times in a row before even the FastPass people got on once!

Rode the first time with a Spanish woman who spoke just enough English. We understood  each other fine and had so much fun riding and screaming with each other!

Location : 660 W Savannah Cir, Kissimmee, FL 34747,

Welcome to Disney's Animal Kingdom!

We saw the new Zebra area on the safari  that replaced the poachers. Unfortunatly, the webcam didnt save the video.

A man said to a cast member that he thought the animals would be fake.  He was stunned when they were real. "This isn't the Jungle Cruise!"

A girl saw a statue of Rafiki and shouted, "Look' Graffiti! It's Graffiti!"

Location : Conservation Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Beautiful moonlit night at Epcot

Just saw British Revolution at UK pavilion  and headed to Mexico. Later, Illuminations at reserved seating for Disney Visa people in center across from America pavilion.

Nice night...

Location : International Gateway, Orlando, FL 32836,

My Doctor "Peanuts" Who

T-shirt was a huge hit in the Epcot UK pavilion!

Location : 1830 Ave of the Stars, Orlando, FL 32830,

The mini-Food and Wine Festival

Inside the Germany train display!

Location : Germany Service Rd, Bay Lake, FL 32821,

Fork of flavor!

My first stop at Food and Wine: Terra!

Location : International Gateway, Orlando, FL 32836,

The start of our Epcot day!

I met a group of people in this spot, had to be 20, all family. I offered to take their pictures so they could all be in it. Five cameras later... Just kidding, I was happy to do it.

I just walked into the men's room by mistake. You  must be proud to know me. ;)

The day started with John's impersonation of Walt yelling, "This isn't my EPCOT!" That's always good.

Food and Wine is about to open. Can't wait for my fork of flavor!

Location : International Gateway, Orlando, FL 32836,

The start of our Epcot day!

I met a group of people in this spot, had to be 20, all family. I offered to take their pictures so they could all be in it. Five cameras later... Just kidding, I was happy to do it.

I just walked into the men's room by mistake. You  must be proud to know me. ;)

The day started with John's impersonation of Walt yelling, "This isn't my EPCOT!" That's always good.

Food and Wine is about to open. Can't wait for my fork of flavor!

Location : International Gateway, Orlando, FL 32836,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting ready to watch Halloween Wishes

I hope to broadcast it on the webcam. 9:30!

Location : Fantasyland, Orlando, FL 32836,

Soft opening of new Fantasyland

We are thrilled! This is Lumiere in Belle"s tales. You can't believe this!

When Belle came in, she looked at John and said, "I see the baker there!"

Location : Fantasyland, Orlando, FL 32836,

The Castle!

Look how beautiful it is! But it always is.

Excluding the big pink cake castle.

Location : Adventureland, Orlando, FL 32836,


This is for Carol Jayne, Dumbo fan!

The new dual Dumbo rides are nice, but I thought it was supposed to be covered. I also miss the laughing little rabbit critters that used to be on Dumbo. We are going back later to play with new queue.

Omg, people behind us have triplets!!

Time for Laugh Floor!

Location : Tommorrowland, Orlando, FL 32836,

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

It's a gorgeous day! Sun is out after some clouds and a breeze to keep things from bring hot. We have the Halloween party tonight and well do the big rides then.

We tried the new Sorcerer game which was fun, but we got thrown off early and needed lunch.

We got an eggroll and tried to see the new Fantasyland, but no soft opening yet. Did see Dumbo and Barnstormer which are nice. Still think they should have done a full Toon Town with new rides line Assn Epic MIckey adventure.We are going to try to see Fantast Land new area later.

Location : Tommorrowland, Orlando, FL 32836,

All Ears fan says hi!

Beatrice not only recognized me, she loves Where in the World and said her favorite All Ears tour is still my Fort Wilderness Christmas Decorations!

I am so thrilled!

Beatrice has started blog: I will have to check it out.

Location : Address not available

All Ears fan remembers my Fort Wilderness tour!

I can't believe she even recognized me, but she said not only how much she lives All, but my tour of Fort Wilderness Christmas decorations is sill her favorite!

She is staying a blog: Check it out!

Location : Century Dr, Kissimmee, FL 34747,

Look! At Pop Century!

A statue of our dog, Daytona!

Location : Marketplace Boat Dock, Orlando, FL 32836,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

What a way to start the trip!

I lost my phone and didn't know until we went to leave this morning.  Of course I handled it with all maturity and absolutely didn't get all snarky with John or freak out at all.

Smiley from
But my good friends Mirko, Jo, and Katie have bailed me out, getting my phone and sending it out to me.

Give them a thanks from me: go enjoy a fantastic meal at Mirko's Taste of Europe and ask for Katie as your server.  I am doing you a favor by recommending it to you!  And you'll agree when you have the food and Katie's great service!

Knock wood, trip on the road has been fine.  Drizzling rain in Viriginia, but stopped back there.  South Carolina has sun with some clouds and warmer.  I hope we're headed into even better weather.  We're not supposed to get the storm at all that is headed for the NorthEast.

Everyone be safe!

We're stopping for lunch soon and I'll drive some more.

Everyone cross their fingers that everything else goes great!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Walt Disney World Pop Century Webcam

From the October 2012 trip:

Live stream by Ustream

Thank you to Eyes on Ears, the website for Live Disney Webcams, for letting broadcast on one of the channels.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Talkin' RiffTrax: BIRDEMIC with Mike, Kevin and Bill

"What goes great with coffee and talking? Why, RiffTrax, of course! In our new video series, Talkin' RiffTrax, the writers sit down to dissect their favorite riffs, both old and recent alike!

In this week's edition, the guys discuss the target of our upcoming RiffTrax Live event, the Hitchcock-inspired modern cult classic BIRDEMIC!

RiffTrax Live: BIRDEMIC is happening October 25th. Join the guys for this hilarious special one night event, a live riff on a new cult classic, in theaters nationwide!"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Celebrating our wedding anniversary!

We're taking this vacation to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  It's such a cliche, but I can't believe 20 years has gone by.  Seriously, where did it go?

We have special plans for that day.  It's also wonderful to see Disney celebrating with us by installing this 20th anniversary carpet in our hotel.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Upcoming Disney trip!

So I'm playing with the blog design for the one I'll use during the trip.  If you've ever seen my blog during vacations, I post pictures, videos, and texts during the whole trip.  Plus I always have at least one webcam.

It's only 2 weeks and a half!  Can't believe how quickly it snuck up on me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


A friend that I met through ST writing went to a big Trek convention in Las Vegas where Robin Curtis (Saavik) appeared with a lot of other Trek stars.  Martha took a copy of the Race of Cain book and showed it to Robin.


Martha sent me this email:
 She was so interested in you. I spent 15 minutes trying to explain our relationship, how the book is fan fiction not professionally published, she wanted to know where you live, where I live, why we hadn't met, why you were not there, how long you had writing, why I hadn't "dragged" you to Vegas to meet her? Why don't we go to an East Coast Con and see her?  Sheesh her handler was pissed by the time we left.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rifftrax LIVE tonight!

Can't wait to go to Rifftrax Live tonight. It's always such a great time, but added to it is this:

 MANOS!!!! Tied with Birdemic and Red Zone Cuba for worst movie EVER!  That is so AWESOME!  I've been waiting for this since they announced it.

It's actually the first MST3K episode I ever saw.  We'd just moved to Williamstown which meant switching cable companies.  Now we had Comedy Central and could watch this show that people had told us about.

Hooked immediately.

 Now my favorite cast members are doing this classic! LIVE!  Smiley from

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Yard Goes Disney: Someone gets what I'd ask for

A Fort Wilderness yard.  Sigh...  John wouldn't want this anymore, but for me?  And I'd ask for something for the dogs too.  Maybe a little Meadows building... who knows.  But it would have been cool to be these winners.

They don't tell you this in the Nook and Kindle commercials.

It's bad enough when an e-book costs me, at most, $1 less than the paperback. But!

I just went to buy The Time Traveler's Wife, and the paperback is less than the e-book by A LOT! Um, e-book reader companies?  If you want me to buy your products, you can't charge me MORE money.  I just saved 50% by buying the book instead of the digital file.  Now, you might like to spend more money than you have to; perhaps you go into a restaurant and say, "Let me give you double what you are charging, because I like doing it."  But I don't.

Also on the plus side: new book!  Wheee!!  Smiley from

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rest in Peace, Mary Tamm

She was my first Companion, the reason I started watching the show, and always one of  reasons why I stayed watching.  I've seen her episodes so many times, I can probably go word for word even today.  And I saw her in person: charming and wonderful to the fans. (Oh those days when we geeks took pride in being able to pronounce Romanadvoratrelundar.)

Thank you, Mary Tamm, for all those wonderful moments. Smiley from
(image created by w-ibblywobbly on tumblr)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Shooting at Batman midnight show

My heart goes out to the loved ones of the victims of the shooting. I'm so, so sorry.  I can't imagine what you're going through.  I hope the ones that are still listed as critical make a full recovery.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Goodbye, George

What we've dreaded for so long and had to face this week finally happened: our friend George Stott died yesterday from cancer. So many people said so many beautiful things and I'm sitting here struggling with what I'm feeling and thinking. From it feeling unreal to hitting me so hard that I wonder why I ever wished I could cry over it instead of being bottled up.  In the end, I decided to say one thing:

Love you, George.

And to quote the words we sang to you on Monday:

I've been living to see you.
Dying to see you, but it shouldn't be like this.
This was unexpected,
What do I do now?
Could we start again please?
I've been very hopeful, so far.
Now for the first time, I think we're going wrong.
Hurry up and tell me,
This is just a dream.
Oh could we start again please?

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Real Housewives of Disney!

You haven't seen this SNL skit, you need to!  Two words: Hill Larious!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yes! We made a little difference in the world!

We've been fostering a dachshund for 8 days after finding him walking down the middle of the main road near our home.  Poor little guy was thin, dehydrated, and terrified.

I called Oasis Animal Shelter who named him Benny for the sake of his record.  We took him to the vet, got him some medicine, and then we took care of him.  He would be going to his first adoption event next week and one person was already interested.

But last night I got a call that the local pound had his family frantically looking for him.  We just weren't sure if he was actually their dog.

He was.

He leapt into their arms, getting and giving kisses.  Everyone had nothing but smiles, hugs, and love for Andy who was at last coming home after looking for him every night for hours upon hours.

Last night was the first good night sleep they had since he was lost.

Just a little brightness in the world.  It feels good.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We need more laws based on the Christian Bible.

The punishment for violating them will be stripping away people's rights as American citizens.

1) “A new command I give you: Love one another".  We are no longer allowed to show anything but love for every single person, no matter what. 

2) "I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them".  No more fighting with anyone who thinks poorly or does something to you.  You must love them, not fight with them, not say anything wrong, not feel any negative emotions.  This means Hitler, Bin Laden, Hussein... all of them.  No more wars.  Turn the other cheek.

3) “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.”  God demands no sex except with your spouse.  No sex before marriage.  No sex outside of marriage. 

4) No birth control because it is wicked, even abstinence with your spouse is forbidden as we see in Genesis 38:10:  “What he did was wicked in the LORD's sight; so He put him [Onan] to death also.”

5) No lying. Ever. Leviticus 19:11, "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." 

 These are just 5, but it's enough for now because it will mean major changes in our society which is claiming loudly they are based on Christian teachings.  While that is not historically accurate, if that is what people say they want, then these are major teachings that we need to stop denying in our society.  The first 2 are especially major cornerstones of Jesus' commands.

Friday, May 4, 2012

What is my husband really doing when he tells me he's working?

Because I just stumbled upon this on tumblr:
John Blackwell teen-mommed everyone in the circle.
 Please tell me he was not confirmed to have actually had sex or a “romantic” relationship with Sophie Ann and Sara too. I know what he told Melissa, but since she’s not the other Blackwell, I’d like to think that at least Sophie Ann and Sara had the good sense to not get involved with him in that way. Or if they were friends with him and he tried to have sex with them that they said no.
Hon, we have to talk.   Smiley from

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sometimes, horoscopes get it absolutely right!

You realize that you must narrow your focus if you want to get anything accomplished at work today, but you're still eager to check out every new distraction that comes your way. You cannot help yourself because you are curious about other people and would choose an interesting conversation over a boring task any day. Unfortunately, you might have to bite the bullet and postpone expanding your mind for a little while. Don't complain; just do your job and return to your explorations tomorrow.
SOOOOO true. Point of fact: I'm blogging this. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Here's how to make your wedding special!

Congratulations to the happy couple and all the outstanding dancers showing us what Puttin' on the Ritz means!  Way to go, Russia!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dreaming of a Little Dog.

When I was a kid, I had a few dreams where my dad would show up alive and tell us how he had to pretend to die, but he was back now.  When I lost my mom, I had weeks of dreams where she would come into a family party; we would know she was gone and also know this spirit of her didn't know that, and tell each other/threaten each other not to do anything that would tell her that because she'd have go away.

Now, I've had two dreams where Casey comes back to me and it really surprises me.  I've never gone through this with one of the pets.  But there I am, in the first one, out on the deck on a beautiful day and I hear her bark. I look frantically around until I figure out where the sound is coming from and I rush to the edge to look down.  Out she prances with that spectacular step she always had, like a little Lipizzan stallion, I used to say, from underneath the deck. She immediately knows where I am and looks up, little stub of a tail wagging furiously and another happy bark.  I can't get down the steps fast enough to go scoop her up.  Casey, somehow well and alive.

I just had the second one recently.  I'm playing tug with the dogs and hear her, turning around to see her happily shaking a toy into submission.  Playing with all the energy and drive she had until last year, and I'm so thrilled to see her that way again.  I don't even know that we've lost her, I only think about how I can't wait to tell John how she's back to being the young, vibrant Little Dog we adore.

I figure it's either my subconscious just dealing with the loss I can still feel keenly, especially in moments that were special for us.  When I let the dogs out in the yard for the last time each night, what I started jokingly calling "One Last Pee" at some point, I don't remember why. But I would call her and joke around, even making up a little song to the tune of "One Last Kiss" from Bye, Bye Birdie.  Last summer, on a gorgeous evening with fireflies and Casey enjoying walking around with the other dogs, I sang the song like always and danced around in the grass, just enjoying the mood.  When I turned around at one point, she eyed me with an expression of "You have severely lost it."  I laughed and told her I had, picked her up with her immediately settling into her regular spot in my arms where I carried her each time in and out of the house after she hurt her neck.

I know Casey was special.  She was our little 2 pounder.  The puppy we weighed in the bird feed scale at Petco because she didn't register on the dog scale.  Our cat herder. Star of children's shows.  More bravery, confidence, and courage than so many people, maybe anyone I know.  She went to sales shows with John, traveling the Cape May ferry, and miles of ground at his side.... eating Crustable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as her road treat.  She always rode shotgun.  She had the most unique relationship with John, utterly trusting him including playing a game called "Bounce" where he'd bounce her like a ball on the bed, and yet when he told her to do something, she'd consider it and then lick his nose in amusement, like "You're so cute.  You thought I'd do that, didn't you?"  She faced Great Danes and any other challenge, knowing she was smaller, but never letting it stop her because if the fight is worth it, then you take the battle on, even if you could lose.  Casey never gave up, never backed down to anything, not even old age. Her bark was deeper than Elphie's who has a broader chest, deeper than Daytona's who is bigger and male.  She loved a good Kahlua and cream, drinking them when Gerry and I had one when we lost Mom, and once got into some Baileys Irish Cream with Morgan and Elphie, who immediately fell asleep after 2 drops, while she looked from them to me with an expression that said, "Lightweights".  (I should say here that we didn't give her liquor.  These couple times she got into it, we snatched it from her when she got a couple licks and prevented it happening again. Although my sister Gerry would joke, sending emails when things were going rough saying, "Tell Casey I'm coming down with a bottle of Kahlua" for a relaxing weekend.) She was so independent, she'd head to bed or back to the car or wherever else when she had enough, figuring you'd catch up sooner or later and knowing you understood that it didn't mean she didn't love you.  She'd blend in with the black & white throws on the couch, watching calmly as we looked around for her, including outside, calling her name.  And as one dog expert said the perfect toy dog should have, she owned whatever ground she walked on and you knew it when you saw her.  It was her world, and we were all lucky to share it.

Last year, the vets said they could see her going to 20 and no one ever believed she was as old as she was.  I really thought she would be here longer....

I miss her so much...

My aunt found the perfect card to send us: Goodbye to your friend and shotgun rider... In heaven, the car windows are always down.  And a friend of John's had a card made up with the Rainbow Bridge poem, filled with pictures of John and Casey sharing the road and the journey together. She always was Daddy's girl and lived for the moments he spent giving his time and focus to her.

I was the one to take care of her when she was sick and, in the last couple years, to help with the older age. I got up in the night when she needed to go out and placed the water bowl where it was easy for her.  When we got afraid of her going up and down the deck steps because her neck injury made it tough for her sometimes, I was her legs.  When she got tired on walks but still wanted to see her world, I picked her up as I walked the other dogs.  People laughed at the site (Who's walking who?!) and I'd say she was retired now and I was her ECV scooter.  When John suggested having her sleep in her crate at night instead of next to me where I could feel when she wanted out, I veteod it.  However many days, months, years she had left, she'd live them the right way, even if it meant getting up at night because some day, I would beg heaven to give her back, even if it meant getting up every hour.  And I always made sure she kept her spot sleeping next to John or laying on his side, for both their sakes: for her, to have those moments with her favorite person in the world even with younger Rico now pushing his way into that spot.  And for John, to have the memories to hold close when she could never be there again.

That last day...  John had gotten her this fake lamb wool blanket when she was a little puppy.  I wrapped her in it, took her out and let her sniff all the autumn smells, saying "Look at your yard.  You kept it safe for 17 years..." and I just held her.  I took her to the camper to her spot in the window where she always sat to watch out over her world, where we have a Disney dog sticker to mark it as hers. Where I made a bed of pillows so she could lay there again last July on what ended up being her last trip. I promised the sticker would stay there. She barked at something she heard, but I could feel her body failing.  When it was time, I stood with her one last time on the steps, letting her sniff around, then got in the car, letting her watch the house and neighborhood she protected and lived with us one last time.

I know she was special.  But I'm still surprised by the dreams.  I never had them for Morgan, who I loved and who adored me.  Not for Saavah or Rufus...  why now? As I said, I figure it's my subconscious dealing with the loss.  People who very spiritual say it's her coming back to let me know she's okay.  It's true that I regretted having her put to sleep and cried to John that we made a mistake.  Maybe that's it.  Maybe it's that Casey signifies the end of a special era in our lives.  I don't know.

But it's good to see her.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Today is the Twelfth of Christmas!  The day you get your true love 12 Drummers Drumming!  So, this is for my honey:

Smiley from Smiley from (This one needs to work on his attitude)  (Wow, this one loves drumming!) (ending on a big note!)

Of course, the big significance of today is the wise men meet Jesus and give him gifts. I remember as a kid how much fun these 12 days were; people visiting, calling, my mom and dad sharing the Christmas season with so many friends.  It was special and fun, and it led up to today; they told me it was Little Christmas (I guess I had trouble saying Epiphany).  In many cultures, it's the day people have their big Christmas celebration, having held festivities since December 24th.

My family follows the tradition of not putting Jesus in the nativity until Christmas.  A friend of mine has a tradition of not putting the Wise Men in the nativity until today.  Wish I had thought of that! He'll even hide the wise men in a friend's nativity if they put them out before the Epiphany, and calls them today to say where they're hidden. LOL!

I once found a drawing that I love showing a more accurate version of that moment, with little Jesus hanging on to Mary's skirts as the magi approached the door. The charm and feeling to it.... it still stays with me, and I enjoy thinking about it.  I know that they weren't kings, they didn't arrive when he was a baby, and we don't know how many really came that day. This is all Matthew wrote:

Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

No mention of how many, just more than 1, that's all we know.  Doesn't say they came riding on camels either.

Matthew 2:11 states:

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him . . .

Not the stable, their house.  And young child, not newborn, not baby.

That's the first that grabbed my attention: how different the truth was and then the sweet, beautiful appeal to it. I'm not surprised our customs are so different than what was described.  I know Jesus wasn't born on December 25th either (we stole that from Horace and Mithras) and Herod probably never had a Massacre of the Innocents.  I like the image of a toddler Jesus, home with his mother, when these men (2? 5? 20?) come to him.

Here's another little odd tidbit. When I hear the word for wise men is magi, I start picturing these magi:

The way they were depicted in the Mummy.  Can you imagine these guys showing up at Mary and Joseph's house?  :)

In the end, here's what it's important: Merry Christmas to my friend Maria and everyone else celebrating today, the day chosen for little Jesus receiving his gifts from the wise men.