Thursday, December 11, 2008

Michigan City Santa Parade 2008



Baby it was cold outside. But the brave of heart and spirit would not give in. Maybe we should try having Christmas in July...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Traditions and Memories


Most, if not all of our fondest memories relate in someway to food.Food, that is essential to life, is what life is built on and around.
As many prepare for the Annual Thanksgiving Day food orgy we remember not only family and friends from past feasts but the dishes set before us.Aunt Bea's braised beans, Dad's Deviled Eggs, or even Busha's Lime Jell-O molded salad...

Recently my cousin Patty, reminded my of this holiday tradition and wondered if I had the recipe. Not wanting to seem ungrateful to our Grandmother and our shared memories I assured her I did... Well, I didn't but I hoped I could find one close to Busha's that it would pass.
A search for Lime Jell-O recipes led me to a very unlikely source and to the exact recipe...

Google led me to www.ashtry.com I know the name almost turned me off as well and I am a smoker.
To my surprise I found the exact recipe I was looking for and more. The site supposedly belongs to a Léon Brocard, aka Acme. But all of these links just seem to deepen the mystery of this site and the person or persons responsible for all the wonderful and delightful food and memories to be found here.How Léon managed not find and collect the links to all this wonderful food and then give us a way to search for our memories not only by name but by ingredient is amazing and awesome. Like me, so often we only know what was in a dish and then more often then not, just one or two items. You can not even do that at the Food Network. So if you are searching for that one dish that mean the entire holiday to you or your family but can not recall how to make it... check out the recipes at Léon's, who knows you may just find Aunt Bea's Braised Beans there as well.From where I sit, Just Off Senter, it is true what old Will Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name will smell as sweet." Remember not to judge a site by it's first page.

Oh and while you at it.... ImageChef.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Autumn in Indiana and New Adventures

There are songs about Autumn in New England, but from where I sit, this Mid-western scene is none too shabby.

The golds and reds are as vibrent in the Hoosier Sunshine as they could be anywhere.


As awesome the view may be it is sadly a reminder that all too soon we will have vistas of white to stare at for what will seem an eternity.


Take care not to go snow blind... it can and has happened.

As from where I sit... new adventures are on the horizion... I have retired from the hectic world of punching a clock and now am reconnecting with home and years of "I'm too tired this weekend" housework.

This should all prove very interesting as we, husband, pug and I adjust to this new or shall I say returning role as Domestic Goddess... Rosanne was not the first you know....

See you all soon, now that I will have more time to spend exploring and expressing my just off Senter views.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One = YOU!

Vote!

Be Heard!


Be Counted!



From the coal miner in West Virgina to the CEO of a Fortune 500 on Wall Street, male or female there is one moment in a true Democracy that all the members of that society are equal and worth more than any monetary amount.

It is in the seclusion and solitude of a voting booth, where all differences of real or imagined social status disappears and the real importance of One is revealed.

That ONE is YOU!

There will be no one here asking YOU to reveal if you are Blue or Red. We will not pry into you heart and minds to ascertain how you feel at this "historic" point in the life of our country. We just ask that you take the time to VOTE on November 4th, 2008!

Then on November 5th, 2008, whether Blue or Red, that we all join together to work on the healing and renewal of our American Dreams.


By Wednesday, November 5th, 2008, you will realize how important One can truly be. You will know how important YOU have always been!

That is how we see it from here, just off Senter




Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Ends Insigth ... Hold On Just A Bit Longer....


Hold on just a bit longer (for 8 days from now, to be exact)!!!

What seems to me to have been several lifetimes ago this political nonsense started and for all this time we (the people of this dear land) have been bombarded with, "Pick me!" "No, pick me!"

Both, Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin claim they know what is ailing the country and they have the cure!!!

Know what it is????

CHANGE! CHANGE NOW!

All four of the aboved named are college grads, or they have attended institutes of higher learning. Well ,I am here to tell you and them, a high school drop out knows that much (and in many cases, more).

Blue State or Red State, America is a land of hurt.

The "band-aids" that have been tossed out across the land have not even begun to dress the gapping wounds of two wars, an economy that is non-existent, and families feeling near hopelessness.

Look around you. Just down your street, how many have or are about to lose jobs because the company has, or is "downsizing". Which is PC for, "Hey Buddy, your fired!"

How many are standing to lose their homes? Their cars? Their families?

Whom ever does "win" on Nov. 4, 2008, will not have an easy road to travel.

We American's have grown accustomed to quick fixes. Just pop a pill and all will be better in a hour or two. Or at least the pain will be dulled.

Sadly there will not be easy fixes for the ills we have all contributed to. Many caused because of our addiction to quick fixes.

Do get up and vote. It is the single most important thing you can do in you life. Don't just think your voting by wearing an American Flag Pin. Be brave and show what your heart is wearing. Get into the Polling Booth on Nov. 4, 2008 and VOTE!

Then, even if your not so incline to pray, this may be a good time to grasp this habit and begin to pray.

Pray for and with whom ever the mantel of leadership falls on. Their desire to stand at the helm of this great and mighty ship will be answered. As I see it, there will be no quick fixes or easy answers. We will all need to roll up our sleeves, and prepare to work together as never before to put this country back on course.

Hold on tight America, this could be a very bumpy ride.

Anyway, that is how I see it from here, just a bit off Senter.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tough Love for Another Fine Mess....

Parents have been told by many "experts" that when a child proves to be headstrong, will-full and hell bent for self destruction to use tough love.

Perhaps that is what we need to do with our "children" in DC and those spoiled rotten kids on Wall Street. Take a stance and just say NO!

Hold your breath, stomp your feet, and make your threats... NO MORE FROM US.

Sometimes one has to fall, and fall hard before they can get back up and act right.

Well, any way that is how I see this here fine mess we are in, from here... just off senter....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde - A Tribute To LOVE!







It is a given that to love means having heart aches and pain.



Does this fact mean it is wrong to love or that we should never love? It is only by allowing love, with all its pain, in to our lives and hearts that we can grow to understand what a great gift life is.

Love and loving is never wrong… never! Neither is the pain we feel when suddenly the ones we love are taken from us.

Clyde and Bonnie, siblings that could only meet as they did at The Rainbows Bridge, were taken all too soon from their family, who loved them both and struggle to understand how and why in less than two months, two very young and loving pups where called from this earthly realm to one where we pray someday to reunite.

FLOP had chosen “Little” Bonnie as their September FLOPStar and her Mommy, Angie, was so happy and proud. Which made it all the more painful that she had to inform us of how sweet Bonnie had gotten ill on Wednesday, Sept. 3, and quickly what seemed to have been a reaction to some puppy shots or that she had been exposed to something at the veterinarian’s office had made her very ill. By early Friday morning, Sept. 5, Bonnie could fight no more and went to meet her brother Clyde at The Bridge.

Clyde fought very bravely the effects of diabetes during his short life but the battle proved too much for his fragile body and he journeyed to The Bridge just weeks before Bonnie arrived with her forever family.

It is with a very heavy heart but with the knowledge that for all who love and have loved, we do so not in vain but because that is what life is about… LOVE. Without Love we have no life and nothing to live for. We choose to love even when it hurts.

Clyde and Bonnie’s mother even felt that it was Clyde who led her to Bonnie. Knowing that they are together now may or may not always be of comfort, but we hope they now await the arrival of those they love.

It is because of this love that FLOP has chosen to honor both Clyde and Bonnie as our special September FLOPStar Angels.

We hope you will join us as we celebrate these two young pups and the Love they have given and taught us to have for all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm Almost PO'd


This really isn't like "almost being pregnant," and you can get your dirty minds out of all the gutters.... this is not the PO'd your thinking. We have finally ended 18 days of Olympic portions of the Beijing Olympics and 18 days of China Propaganda and politics.

Nothing was seen of real life in the worlds most populated country where one third of all humanity is subjugated to military rule in the guise of a liberated free-trade based economy.

How many billions to put on a show for 18 days? No matter what the number it was too much and showed where we humans have put our priorities. This is almost enough to make me PO'd!


The smoke from the Beijing fireworks has barely cleared when we Citizens of the "leader of the free world" have turned our attention to the Big Show in Denver. The DNC Convention.

One after another stands before the cameras and speaks of CHANGE! Not do not misunderstand me here. I am all for change and not at all for what we have had, thanks to the Supreme Courts appointment of George W. Bush nearly 8 years ago. My problem with this uproar for change is were was the uproar 8 years ago? We coward and crawled into our turtle shells and did not want to hear about chads, dangling or not. We allowed this to happen. We may have even allowed the devastating tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 by not crying out at the
injustice that had occurred just months before. This is almost enough to make me PO'd

Denver seems to have chosen to be the overture for the debacle in Minneapolis the following week,
when the Republican National Convention with continue with their version of the Good News Express. They too will stand before us ensconced with red, white and blue, bands and balloons, lulling us into a state that they know better they the other side what is best of each of us.

I will admit that right now I do not even know what would be best for me to wear to work in the morning but I do know I want to be the one picking out what is best for me to wear and best for how to live my life. This is almost enough to make me PO'd

Warning: A politician is a politician. It does not matter what banner they march under or what platform the profess, they are a politician. Like you and me, they come in the male and female variety, they can be big or small from the North, South, East or West. They all will have more money they us and each have a way of wanting us to believe they really do understand what we are going through. Remember they are first and foremost, POLITICIANS! This is almost enough to make me PO'd

My grandmother had a saying for almost every situation in life. Two that come to mind today are:

  • "Be careful of what you ask for, you just may get it."

  • "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Now I will tell you what is meant by being almost enough to make me PO'd...

I am propagandized and policticalzied out and off! That does not mean I do not care, for I truly do. I love my country and my rights, our rights. And I ask now that you join me in November by registering to vote if you have never voted and get yourself to the Voting Place by any means possible. Then, and only then, will we have the change we long for, if you and I care enough to get involved and raise our voices by voting. If not, that will almost be enough to get me PO'd one more time!

Friday, August 15, 2008

August in Indiana

August in Indiana somehow signals the ending of our Summer! The sun sadly is just a bit lower on the horizon and perhaps not as warm as some of us would like.

County Fairs are winding down and State Champions are being chosen. Armies of Yellow School Buses can been seen winding around country roads as drivers relearn routes. Since July 5th stores have been stocked with School boxes, backpacks, reams of paper and Number 2 yellow pencils.


You can see despairing moms trying to convince a head-strong child that they will not need a wool sweater for the first day of school. For as sure a there are green apples the week school begins the heat of summer will return, full force.

August in Indiana has hit local beaches as well. Beginning the week of August 18th, the Life-guards will only be on duty on weekends through Labor Day... The time of the long shadows has even reached the shoreline... Signaling the all too soon returning time of Winter......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pause and Refresh



Tequila Mojitos

What you will need: A tall glass, sugar, mint leaves, limes, a lemon/lime soda and TEQUILA......

2 teaspoons sugar
juice of one small lime
several mint leaves
Muddle in glass until sugar is dissolved. . Add tons of ice
Shot or two of Tequila... your favorite
Add lemon/lime soda to fill glass...

Pause & Refresh.....


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Job Reviews Part 2

Since we agree that job reviews can be a bit demeaning I was thinking that perhaps it is time we united and gave meaningful and real reviews of our jobs!

Questions that should (must) be addressed are as follows:
  1. General work conditions.
  2. Break times and Break room conditions. (This question could be broken in to two separate and equal components if so desired.)
  3. Bathroom facilities (Are they cleaned daily, weekly, monthly or never? Is bath tissue provided ? Is there soap for washing of hands? Is there a means to dry wet hands? Does the bathrooms smell? Good/Bad)
  4. Is there ample parking for employees and is it in close proximity to employee entrance.
  5. How soon does the insurance kick in?
  6. Paid holidays.
  7. Paid Sick Days.
  8. Paid Personal Days.
  9. Wellness/Wholeness Days.
  10. Short and Long term leave.
  11. If doing computer work, are you given a break from gazing at the screen and typing every hour as suggested by OSHA. As a working in a desk job you are also more likely to have the possibility to form blood clots. Does your employer provide ample leg room and time for you to move way from your desk and walk around to keep the blood flowing.)
  12. Are you allowed to have fun during the work day?
  13. Is there a possibility of "out sourcing" the position you are now employed to do or to be "down sized" in the very near future?
Now these may not seem all that important to someone who needs a job, but when given some thought these are very pertinent questions to one's working conditions and peace of mind. Personally I believe it is the workers right to know the answers to these and what ever other questions you may have before accepting a position or agreeing to sign you latest job review.


Disclaimer: It is not suggested that you implement this review without much thought and perhaps know before hand this is just for your personal files. In no way should you ever send a Job Review of your company to any member of the company's board or executive officers. The order of the above questions are not necessarily the order of importance. They are just the random musings of a nearly senile old woman.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Job Reviews

Job reviews are unlike any reviews known to human kind, as all workers will attest to... fess up, you know what I am saying is the truth.

Movie Reviews are rated on the star system. Four Stars = hit. One Star = 'da bomb. Restaurant Reviews are rated on the knife, spoon, fork system. Four of any one knife, spoon or fork = lines around the block and reservations well into the next millennium. One knife, spoon or fork = site of new parking lot....


The worse type of job review is the "Self-Appraisal". It is a lot like Russian Roulette... wonder if this dish will run away with a knife, spoon or fork????

As I prepare to fill in the blanks I am trying to find just the right words to convey that I am very much a team player without seeming to be the whole team. Hopefully if done correctly I could be awarded anywhere from 1% to 3% more money or as much as 6 cents an hour more.... Oh be still my heart... at this rate I will make the "high rollers" league in another 100 years!

You are handed these pages and asked to evaluate yourself. Too glowing and you chance being looked at as braggart with a bag of hot air going for you. Too modest and you chance being looked at as filled with false modesty and fishing for complements. It is a total No Win situation!

Wish me luck... if you don't see or hear from me you'll know one of two things... I didn't get any % and could no longer afford the luxury of Internet access, or, I got the 3% and am out celebrating... Anyone know where you can get a 6 cent beer?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Life of a Pug's Social Secretary

This just may be a statement of the times, but one of the most important jobs I have is to keep AJ HoosierHugPug's Social Calender in pristine order and see that he is not late nor forgets an appointment or commitment to his many social events. It is also part of my responsibilities to see that he is properly attired for the events which he attends.

AJ, who is a Pugminstrator at FLOP, on Dogster, tries to daily connect with the many active members of FLOP's Grilla Guys Club, where they are known for their good deeds to the community and a place where the guys can just chill, have a few Pugwisers or "Ice Teas", enjoy a card game or two, talk about the latest sport standings, smoke their prized cigars, the Grills have an endless supply of their favorite food and well in general just be boys. From time to time they will tolerate invasions from their FLOP sisters, The Monkey Girls, only to have to chase them from their piece of the Pugdom "jungle" when the girls start wanting to "frill up" the club room.

AJ also finds that he is called to join in the active adventures of his furiends at Spoiled Pugs (SP), where he is a member of the House of the Blue Swift Warriors and The United Pug Foundation (UPF), as he is a skilled swords man and has a keen aim with a water gun.

As you can see by AJ HHP's latest picture he is dressed in full battle armor as he prepares to join in UPF's dragon hunt. It seems this tiny pugdom has been plagued of late with fire breathing dragons and all able bodied pugs and pups have been called upon to fight off these hordes and restore peace to all the realm. Oh, and if by chance the warrior's capture the dragon's golden eggs, that would be a bonus for the pugdom.

Since the battle will rage this very evening, I do believe it is time for a short but powerful Pug-nap so AJ and his wearied social secretary will be able to fight the good fight...

Oddly, I find his calendar is far more full then mine. Wonder if he would give me tips on my Social Skills?

Friday, July 11, 2008

FLOP


When AJ and I first stumbled on to Dogster, similar to My Space, but for dogs (there is also Catster, and your right it is for cats), little did we know what a life changing and enhancing day that would be.


At Dogster you have every bred of dog God has created and some extras, but unlike most humans, the furkids there just seem to get along so well.


Being a pug, we went looking for pug people and found some really great new friends. The first group that I wandered into was For The Love Of Pugs. FLOP!!!!


Everyone there made us feel so welcome and at home! It wasn't long before AJ was wanting to play with his new friends everyday. He soon discovered he was making friends around the world and they all had one thing in common... how to get more treats from their humans! They, the pugs and pups, would share their secret plots and coy maneuvers of twisting we humans to do their bidding.


Mean while the humans share, through their furkids, tips on how not to be maneuvered by the coy brown eyed "child" begging at your feet. If we are honest, the begging works 99% of the time.


We share the good times, when house-training works and the sad times when one of ours has made their final journey to Rainbow Bridge.


We bow heads and fold paws if one of our loved furkids is ill, we also share our experiences with illnesses, special diets and rescuing pups who have extreme needs.


AJ & I just want to salute the founders of Dogster and acknowledge the vision they brought to us and so many others. We also want to thank our FLOP family, for that is what we are, a family... for all the love and care and FUN we have every day.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

God's Sanctuary

I love Summer Sundays! Well, early mornings of Summer Sundays.

That time just after sunrise and before the city awakes. When there is still the quiet, broken only by birds in praise of the day. No car horns, cell phones or human voices to distract from the cathedral like grandeur of my surroundings.

I love sharing this time with my pug, AJ, on the first walk of the day. As he stops to inspect his territory for assurance no breach had been made, I can converse with my Creator as I thank Him and His angels for safely bringing me and all those that I love safe through the night, only to present me with this gift of creation, a new day.

As AJ wanders from patch to patch, I can see the bees collecting their early morning pollen and a caterpillar softly nibble at a succulent leave, storing up energy for the soon transforming process to butterfly.

Here there is only my thoughts melding with my Creator's as I affirm that this is all good. I can take time to enjoy the hosts of choirs singing praises to the Lord.

Yes, there is something so special about Summer Sunday mornings when you can feel the true greatness of God, in the sanctuary He has made.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 5th, 2008

From the Front:

As this is being written, it is just about 12:30 a.m. on July 5th. While there could have been a Peace accord signed in some warring part of our world, one would not know it from the sounds of rockets and exploding missiles streaking for the nearest tree line.... When will this insanity stop?

Taking cover in bed, perhaps by dawn the crazies will have run out of fire power and also retreated to recoup supplies and replenish their armaments for tonight's attack upon the city.

Happy 5th of July.... the day on which our Forefathers should have made firework illegal!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sounding a Wake Up Call!


Refusing to listen, does not make it not so!


Once again we gather and drape ourselves in Red,White and Blue, as if this is the true sign of Patriotic Pride.

We question our newly selected presidential candidates about their Patriotism and judge by what they wear in their lapels.

Unless the meaning of those colors and the fibers of the material is woven into our hearts, it is all in vain. For a man is judge not by what he wraps himself in but by what he embraces and holds dear.

As we gather to celebrate the 232nd anniversary of the day we declared our Independence from Great Britain,and reflect on what so many have given that we may be here at this time, we need to ask, what are we willing to give to insure that 232 years from today, the torch of liberty, freedom and justice still burns strong. Beckoning to all who refuse to follow blindly into the abyss of fear.

One can only wonder when will we regain the spirit and courage of our forefathers? When will we stand up and say," No More."? It is prayed that today be that day. Together, united, we can defend our Independence.



"And you shall know the truth and the truth will make you FREE." John 8:32
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Meltdown: The Economy & Oil

In a special program looking at issues surrounding oil & the economy, trends analyst Gerald Celente appeared for the full show. He was joined by investment adviser Catherine Austin Fitts & Matt Savinar in the last hour.

  • The dollar has lost 41% of its value during the Bush administration, and we're going to see company failures so big they won't be able to be bailed out, like Bear Stearns, said Celente. He cited the Federal Reserve, which functions as a private company with no congressional oversight, as one of the major problems. Predicting food & gas riots, as well as tax revolts, Celente suggested diversifying your savings among a number of banks, if you have more than $100,000.

  • Catherine Austin Fitts commented that the demise of Bear Stearns may have been a hit job, "cannibalized" for the good of other finance companies. There is an effort underway to centralize the economy and shift assets away from local communities, she warned. Fitts described these efforts as "economic warfare" being conducted on a global scale, that is fostered by technology and "invisible weaponry," such as satellites. The US economy is being purposely "pumped and dumped," she noted.

  • Matt Savinar said global oil supplies have plateaued, and with lessening oil reserves it becomes increasingly expensive to bring up the remaining oil. Prices will continue to skyrocket upwards, he suggested, as we enter the down side of "peak oil." Tapping unused reserves in the United States and Canada will only postpone the problem for a short time, and the theory of abiotic oil is a kind of misinformation, Savinar argued. The oil crisis is an "economic 9-11," and we're going to see a crash worse than the Great Depression, Celente added. in the third hour, and oil expert

From July 3, 2008, Radio Show Coast to Coast AM . If you have never listen before, now is the time.

Independence Day!

This image of the Declaration is taken from the engraving made by printer William J. Stone in 1823.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

Do Dummies Blogg

Go on say it. You know you want to. It is nothing I haven't already said a thousand times.

There is a book, website, and a know-it-all for every situation and condition known to mankind. After a few weeks of "blogging", which by the way is not a word accepted by a computer's dictionary, (ummm, wonder what that's about?), reading different blogs and those of my friends, I began to think, "Why am I doing this?"

I never wrote a diary when I was young. I took some "journaling" seminars a few years ago, which when I look back or re-read seem really dumb. So why would I even try to put my thoughts, my opinions, my words out for the entire world to see and read.

In an effort to show support, my husband bought me my on copy of
Blogging for Dummies 2nd Edition. Now I am not too sure he meant that I was being dumb or that this entire Blogging is dumb, but the authors of the book seem to be the really smart folks, as they are making dollars trying to tell us how not to be dumb about blogging.

In just 384 pages you too can learn that possibly only Dummies Blog and Smarties write books about Blogging for Dummies that the Dummies pay to read.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fireworks and Holidays


I love to celebrate! Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, all kinds of special times. What I do not understand is those who think we need to "practice" our celebrations!

We all know what I mean. Where I live certain elements have been "practicing" celebrating the up-coming 4th of July since January. You heard me, JANUARY!

Bang, pow, rip-pity rip... over and over. I keep hoping against hope with the next round set to explode at any time of the day and/or night, they will have found the magical combinations of booms and bangs for the great day and give it a rest.

Please, give us some rest!

I love the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, D-Day, V-J Day, Election Day, well actually I love all 365 days (plus one every four years). I just do not feel that the boom-bang-boom needs to be rehearsed for months in advance of the actual celebration.... and I do not think I am being a Grinch.

So, on Friday, July 4th, I will be safe inside my home, remote in hand, watching the Boston Pops shot from cannons, and New York Harbor aglow with pride... maybe a cool glass of bubbly, my husband and my pug... now this is Celebrating BIG CITY Style...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Canada



HAPPY CANADA DAY!

To all our family , Debbie, and friends who live to the North... May you know how much we here in the Middle love and appreciate all of you.

Pleas visit Debbie's tribute to her adoptive country, Canada!

We love and celebrate with all of our Canadian brothers and sisters!

Canada
The True North Strong And Free

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Counting Days To Give Us Patience

As children we learn, or attempt to learn the lessons of patience very early as we count the days to Christmas, Hanukkah, Birthdays and once in school the time of Summer Vacation.

As we seem to mature we continue the lessons of learning patience, counting the months until we can get our drivers license, legally drink something stronger then Coke-Cola or Pepsi, the days until graduation and Summer Vacation.

We enter the work world, thinking we have arrived at adulthood, what we have been so patiently waiting to achieve, so we can continue the lesson of counting the days until the weekends, holidays falling for a long weekend, and the time left until Summer Vacation.

While being schooled in the lessons of patience, we manage to accumulate stacks of calendar pages littering the roads we have chosen to travel as we learn the most important lessons of patience. Living for tomorrow on some happy and not so happy memories of yesterday.

Oblivious to today, except to be eager to have it gone, for we will be just that much closer to our objective day and perhaps even our Summer Vacations.

While still Christmas we can catch ourselves even speaking out loud,"Next Christmas (insert holiday or event) I am going to ask for, plan for, or have..." Seeming not to notice that what we had aimed for was now here. We even have been known to spend our Summer Vacations planning for our next extended period away from work, school, our so call routine life.

Somehow I have formed the image of humans, seeking patience while planning to learn, never learning a thing as we count the days until we can count the days.

Is that way the more things change, the more they stay the same? Could the lessons of patience really be about learning to be in the now... to see the world, enjoy the world, embrace the world given us today?

Learning to live Today as our Christmas, our Hanukkah, our extended holiday weekend. Taking time to live our Summer Vacation! How else will we know that, that time, day, place we long to be, has come unless we do?

As long as we are so busy counting, everything will stay the same, just beyond our reach, as we continue to count the days.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee

Being greeted by the soft aroma of a fresh brewed pot of coffee, while still feeling the tender embrace of Downy scented sheets can only mean it is going to be a great day!

Here's to Morning Coffee....

What Time Is It? Check the Pug Clock!

My husband and I have been toying with the idea of tossing out all our clocks. Not such a big thing to some people, but Tom seems to have collected a stash of time pieces over the nearly 4 decades we have been together.

There is at least one clock in every room of our home and possibly as many as three or four. Twice a year I have to hear his litany of the "Changing of Time," Spring Forward, Fall Back, but that is not a reason to rid ourselves of a mean of measuring the passage of the day.

For the past 20 months our lives have been blessed by AJ our Pug. He is the Pug Extraordinair, who has tried to teach his humans some form of table etiquette with a certain amount of success. He has also been laboring to teach us how to properly tell time.

In case you did not realize, as we had not, there is our time (human time) and there is Pug Time... and Pug Time is always the right time. Somewhere inside his trim, muscular physic, perhaps stuck tightly within the curls of his tail beats his "puggy clock."

With just seconds to spare, each morning he is ready to announce that our alarms will soon begin to spill early morning news and traffic reports into our sleep filled ears. With the patience of Buddha, he allows a time for us to do our personal morning things, before his puggy clock sounds the alarm that it is now his turn to greet and do his morning rounds of the neighborhood.

He also gives us the, "Do Not Disturb the Pug"look when it is puggy nap time. Allowing the proper amount of rest between activities such as dining, walking neighborhood patrol, and naps, he does manage to squeeze in "play ball time", along with "Hey, it's treat time!"

Precisely at 9 p.m. Central Time, (Daylight Saving Time as well) he begins to announce it is time to prepare to retire for the day. His Pug Clock has never been off or wrong. He knows that we will scowl and beg that "it is too early yet," but he continues his prodding none the less.

On evenings when he is somewhat more tolerant of our behavior, or sensing the baseball game has not yet ended, he has allowed us another ninety minutes of "play/snack time."

We have come to accept that without fail, this Pug Clock is far more accurate and attuned to not only his needs but ours.

Pugs seem to need a great amount of restorative time. I was even told that Pugs sleep nearly 18 hours a day. I can not prove that true, but I know if I were to follow closely my personal Pug Clock I would more likely feel far more rested and ready to meet life's challenges.

We can tell you this, we would save a ton of cash on batteries along with the frustration twice a year of setting or resetting each timepiece we have if we just would learn to rely on the self winding Pug Clock, who keeps waggin', lickin' & waggin'.

Which by the way the perfect way to begin and end each day is with ... Pug Hugs and Kisses ....



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's You Day --- Celebrate


Surprise!

Happy Birthday!



Today is our "baby's" birthday.

Happy Birthday dear Daughter. May this year bring you the contentment you deserve, the security you need, and more love, love, love!

We love you and are ever proud of you! (Yes, Christmas is just 6 months from today!)


Mom, Dad & AJ.... & ( your baby) Zero




Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Sounds Remembered

I love the sounds of summer. From the quite pre-dawn calls of the woodland birds to the mid-day clamor of youngsters at play. There is just something different about Summer Sounds.

Weekends that begin with the swoosh and swash of a push lawn mower, or the zroooming of a power mower that continue with the spit -spat of the sprinkler set to encourage the next weeks growth, lend to the ear a different meaning of life.

Time seems to hang, almost suspended and surreal, as you hear the clink and clank of swings and the giggles of youngsters as they spray themselves and each other with the cold relief of a garden hose.

As evening approaches there come the tingling sound of bells, mixed with calliope music that grows ever louder and then the gleeful shrill, "The Ice Cream Man," resounding a call of attack from every yard for blocks.

There is that quite time just as the stars of Summer begin to dot a darkening sky, then the soft coo of a dove calling to her mate to return home for the night. Silence that is broken by the distant song of a far off train carrying people and produce to far away dreamed of destinations.

These are the Summer Sounds memory has held for dreams.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

Etiquette 101: Fine Dinning (It Pays To Have Manners)

Hi, this is AJ HoosierHugPug ;o]


A
s the Pug of the Realm, I know how to present myself in public. It is always best to have impeccable table
manners. A lot can be learned about your character by how you conduct yourself in public and around food. And with more restaurants adding Out-Door Dinning, the chance of being invited to one of these finer establishments have increased greatly. It is our hope that all Pugs and pups can learn a valued lesson and be included in the family's night out.



"Thank you, this table is perfect."


When taking you seat at table try to make eye contact with the person
who is responsible for seating you.
It is also wise to look around so you will know exactly where your table is located in case you have need to leave and then return. You do not want to seat yourself at the wrong table. After placing your order, you may continue to examine you surroundings and your table.


When being served, thank the person who brought the food you ordered and remember


Give Thanks for you Blessings!



Choose a portion of food, trying not to look as if you are playing at the table, enjoy you meal.This means no scarfing of your food. Remember you're not at home, no food fights.



It is proper to end you meal with a relaxing tummy rub and even to catch a few "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ".


Now we hope you will not only be invited to enjoy an
evening of fine food and company, but that you will be known as a Pug Extrodinaire!




***Disclaimer for ASPCA:
No Pug was harmed in the process of making this instructional and informational seminar.
No food or treats were wasted in the making of this instructional and informational seminar.
See Slide Show at right for full detail pictures of a AJ's dinning tips.
Thank you and we hope you will watch for future instruction and information on Pug & Pup manners!

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Summer


Summer Dunes


At last the time most of us dream of nearly nine months of the year!!!

It's Summer!!!!


The Big Surprise! Thank You Tom!

It has been several days since I found time to make an entry... I attempted to write some yesterday but as I logged in there was a knock on our front door.
There greeted me a young man wanting to know if we would be interested in getting our parking area black topped...
Okay... where is the hidden camera... what's the joke...
Would we be interested...
  1. How much?
  2. When?
  3. How much?
  4. Are you joking?
He was not joking... and the "How much" was something we could afford. Maybe not such a big thing, but it was to us as we have wanted to do this for a very long time...


Before


After



No more weeds, mud and rocks... and it only took two hours and no hidden cameras...
Sometimes it pays to answer the knock at the door....


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Did Do It! & Tom Owes Me BIG TIME!!!!

Dear Mr. Jarvis,

Thank you for saving a 38-year marriage.... We had not because we asked not... You are the GREATEST.... Your fan forever, Gee


John Barlow Jarvis' latest release

View from a Southern Porch




Monday, June 16, 2008

Enlighten Truth

Oh seekers of truth, let my introduce you to the Enlighten Ayatollah Mugsy.

If you have not heard his teachings or read them you are in for the most enlightening time on the Internet.

Mugsy has a point of view and a understanding of the world far beyond the normal intelligence of any living soul on this or any other planet.

Please do not just take my word, or anyone's word for this as fact until you have visited with this Holy and Devote Teacher of the Truth.


You can also visit Ayatollah Mugsy at his home on Dogster at http://www.dogster.com/dogs/409463
On My Space at
http://www.myspace.com/ayatollahmugsy
And purchase Ayatollah Mugsy items at
Pug Life Ministries
The Supreme Leader of the Nation of Pugistan, Ayatollah Mugsy does enjoy a humble abode in the large state of Texas, near the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and works closely with many Pug Rescue Groups around the State.




Sunday, June 15, 2008

Great Dad's Day

Hail to the Chief and Reigning King!


King Tom & Princess Lynn

As Dad's Day's go this was a very good one.

A quite morning and then out to dine with daughter at Bridges... Tom's new favorite place to relax and have good food and maybe a cold one. It was fun watching the boats and then taking a drive to the lake front. You could see the storm clouds starting to form so it was home for us. Just in time to see the Cubs beat the Toronto Blue Jays... this made Tom's day complete.

You can see a slide show of the days pictures to the right of this posting.

We hope all Dad's had a great day and spent good time with all their loved ones!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buddy Day aka Father's Day

It's Buddy Day


Right from the first I knew Daddy was a push over. I didn't even have to use my puggy look, he just grabbed me from Mommy's arms and began to fuss... I had him forever in my grip.

Now I was meant to be Moms pup, but even on the very first day, it was Dad who insisted that he would take me out in the mornings. He would come home for lunch, so we could eat together and make sure I got sometime in the grass. Dinner time was the same... soon my Buddy and I were inseparable...

I learned how to hook up DVD players and install all kinds of electrical gadgets. My Buddy aka Dad, loves gadgets. Even though Moms will cook my food, I will not eat unless my Buddy is here to eat with me... this kind of upsets the Moms... but hey... we Buds stick together...

I just want to tell my Big Daddy that I loves him and am so glad we are buddies. I love having him chase me as I run with his sock or try to fit into his shoes. He know what treats I like the best and makes sure every day they are all laid out so Moms won't get confused and give me something I won't like... like dog food....blah...uckkkk...

So Dad, I hope you enjoy this Father's day... and know that I will be eager to do all the
Buddy things we do... like long early morning walks, sharing your lunch, and grabbing your socks... And I will even see that you get to rest and protect you while you nap...

Thanks Dad... I think you know... I love you... I am so thankful Moms brought me home to YOU!

As told by AJ HoosierHugPug to his Moms



The Wonders of Nature and New Discoveries

Life is one of those things that just seem to happen best when we are not really looking.


Nature always amazes me! With all the chaos in the world, nature manages to retain it's order and continue the ebb and flow of what is at the core of being.

I had seen the mother and father of this family for several mornings on my way to work. Finally I just has to try to capture how well they had managed to keep their young one in tow while leading them into their new world.

From the safety of a hidden nest, each morning the parents led their brood across a well traveled road to reach the banks of Trail Creek. There I am sure the young received lessons in how to manage the water way filled with pleasure seeking boaters and thrill seeking fishermen.

After a full day of lessons, well taught and dutifully learned, the parents would gather the young once again on the banks of the creek and begin to retrace the morning journey to the safety of their hidden home across the busy road.

I am so thankful they allowed me a few glimpses of this remarkable journey into their new world.

Oddly they even seemed to enjoy the radio program I had been listening to while filming this remarkable family unit.

If only we humans would take as much time and care to prepare our young for their world discoveries.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

Knock Wood, I am not a total superstition freak. In less then two hours I will be able to say I survived the one and only Friday the 13th of 2008.

No black cats or need to walk under ladders. It has been a very decent and somewhat uneventful 24 hours. The rain held off so we did not have to open an umbrella in the house nor did we have hats on the bed.... see I said I wasn't a total superstition freak...

Now if only we can all survive until January 21, 2009... That is the challenge now set before all of us... Crossing fingers, toes and eyes... hanging strings of garlic and gathering bottles of Holy Water in attempt to stave off the Conservative blood suckers... GWB aka John McCain the count is on.....

Random Thoughts of an Aging Sort



Watercolor pencil drawing of a Sunset on the Southern Shores of Lake Michigan
Lighthouse at Washington Park, Michigan City, IN.



Fine aged French wine. Aged sharp blue cheese. Aged Japanese Kobe Beef.

Just three items that makes one salivate with delight over the aging process.

Now add to this mix our own aging and quickly faces grimace, bodies shake and voices rise in denial.

How well we accept the age of what goes into us but find unacceptable the age we have achieved.

While it is popular to say 50 is the new 40 and 60 the new 50, in actuality for the majority of mankind (and this includes womankind as well) that is just not the case. We seem to adopt this way of counting as yet another mode of denial of the reality of life. (If your allowed to survive this long, this will happen to you... face it.)

Now at 65 years of life, I personally have no desire to say, "I am at the new 55." No I am 65. Glad and somewhat relieved and proud to have reached this mile marker of life. Still putting in 40 hours a week, enjoying life with my husband of 38 years, still worrying over a mature 30 something daughter, and learning to look at life through the mystical eyes of our Pug, AJ.

I have no desire to turn back time to a long gone decade. I am thankful to have survived to tell about it not relive it.

There are days I may wish I had a lighter spring in my steps or less character lines greeting me each morning, but as my body, who speaks to me in the most intimate fashion says, "Been there, done that, I don't think so!"

Age and maturity has nothing to do with growing old or growing up. I will never be old as long as I remain in the NOW. Growing up is for those who choose not to dream. I will never give up dreaming.

From where I was to where I am, I may have come a long way. But I still have far too many things I want to try, places to explore and friends yet to meet. This journey has just managed to shift into second gear and I am ready to roll.

I'll be looking for you just around the bend in the road... I will greet you with a smile and a big Hoosier Hug!