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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How I met your Father

     My husband and I are celebrating our 48th anniversary today. So it seems appropriate to write about how we came to be married. How did a girl from congested sunny Southern California end up in the chilly wilds of Wyoming? Well it starts with me deciding to go to nursing school in San Diego, CA (I'm from the LA area). Then you add a boy from Wyoming who decides to join the Navy. Throw in a dance at the San Diego YMCA and you have the perfect storm, sort of.
     San Diego has always been known as a navy town, although not as much now as it was in the early 60's. Because there were always many sailors in town the Y would throw dances on a regular basis. As a student at an all girls nursing school run by the Sisters of Mercy, a dance seemed like a good way to meet boys.

The student nurse

     Ok, so you met your husband at a dance, end of story. Not quite, you see Al never even asked me to dance. He was interested in my friend Betty. He dated her for awhile, then dated friend Peggy, then friend Mary(by the way we all remained friends). I also was dating other people, nothing serious. Then one evening Al called our dorm, he asked for Mary, no she's out, Peggy, out, Betty, out. Well how about Jackie something, can't remember her last name. I happened to be there so he asked if I'd like to go have a coke with him and his friend and friend's girl. Sure why not, I had nothing better to do.

The sailor

     We started dating casually, but gradually it became more exclusive. After about seven months we were getting pretty serious. Then one day out of the wild blue, Al calls me to say he doesn't think we should see each other any more, but we could still be friends. WHAT! Now you might think I would be heart broken and reduced to tears. But he didn't know who he was dealing with, yet. Oh I was upset all right but I didn't cry, I got angry. Hadn't we talked about marriage and now he wanted to break up.
     About this time one of my dorm mates was looking for a blind date for her boy friend's buddy. I said, "I'll go" and thought, "I'll show him, breakup my aunt fanny".  So I went out on a date that same night. A week later Al gave me an engagement ring. Now if you ask him about this story he will point out that I wasn't very upset about the break up because I went out on a date the same day. I will counter with the fact that he went out with three of my friends before getting to me. He says he saved the best for last (he's always been a silver tongued devil). No matter how you want to look at it here we are celebrating 48 years of marriage.

The school prom. Do you like my hair? That's when
you could drive safely to Tijuana, Mexico and get
your hair done for $2 

      Like any other couple who's been together for any length of time we've had our ups and downs. One thing Al said during our short lived break up is still true, we can still be friends. I say that's what has helped us through those up & downs. Al says it's because he learned early on to say, "Yes dear". I did ask him why he broke up with me that day. He said, "I was afraid, I knew this was the real deal".

A thought to ponder: Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what's even scarier? Regret.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Garden Therapy

     Coming soon to this blog near you, Garden Therapy Thursday. On random Thursdays I will wax poetic about our garden. Well probably not poetic, I'm really not much of a poet. But I'll defiantly tell you lots of cool stuff and share lots of neat pictures. I will be sharing the rags to riches story of our garden. It's evolution from nothing but dirt, rocks and weeds to a certified backyard habitat.

Morning glories on our herb garden fence (2005)

      It would be groovy if you'd stop by to read about the growing of our gloriously gratifying garden. It is genuinely gorgeous, never garish. It's been a gargantuan task, but we are always gleeful at the arrival of spring and the chance to see our graceful and genial flowers, plants and trees. Lucky for you I'm about out of "g's".

     The next thought is germane to this post. Ok, I'm done.

A thought to ponder: Gardening is cheaper then therapy, and you get tomatoes.

Participating in Garden Party Tuesday.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Monsters, OH MY!

     In my last post I discussed fear and I'm going to continue with that subject. To a child the world is a new and wondrous place, but also it can be scary. One day when our grandson Rex was three, he was at our house and it was starting to get dark. My husband and Rex were looking out the front window when Al said, "I'm going to go out and get the newspaper." Rex looked up at him and said, "Ok Poppy, but be careful, and be brave." 

Rex 3 years

     Part of growing up is learning to be brave. Whatever life throws at us, we hopefully develop the courage to deal with difficulties and come out a better person. All children have fears and anxieties, this is normal. These fears will change as the child grows and develops. Usually between the ages 4 to 6 children's fears are not based on reality i.e. monster, ghosts, etc. It is the job of parents and grandparents to help their child feel safe no matter the fear.

Rex and Poppy

     Our son Vince, Rex's father, made a good attempt at helping with the fear of monsters. The following is Vince's version of what happened as posted on his Facebook page:
     Welcome back to #daddyfail blog. In tonight's post I fail at warding off           monsters and aliens.
     Background: Rex reports this fear and I had the genius idea of using my        special mixture of "monster repellent". I make an elaborate display of            spraying the "repellent" around his room.
   Rex: "Daddy that's just Febreeze"
   Me: (nervous) "No, no, this is my best mixture of monster repellent ever."
   Rex: "Daddy it even smells like Febreeze. It's Febreeze, I can read it."
   Me: (crushed & defeated) "I had to use the Febreeze bottle to mix it in                         because it's so powerful."
   Rex: "Well at least it smells nice."
   Me: "Ok.....well I guess we are done here."
   Rex: "It's ok Daddy, you tried."

Daddy & Rex

     This isn't really a fail because Vince took his son's fears seriously. Rex can feel secure in knowing his father cares enough to try and make him feel safe. But, just in case those monsters come back, the grandparents come to the rescue with their patented formula.

A thought to ponder: Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the will to face                                            it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Hair of the Dog

     The above phrase is traditionally used in reference to alcohol.  I hope you will use your imagination as I use it in a little different context, in relation to fear. I believe most people are afraid of something. It could be spiders, the dark, heights, flying, any number of things.  One person's fear is another person's "what's the big deal". We shouldn't make light of anyone's fears because to each their fear is real.
    Being afraid isn't necessarily a bad thing. A good healthy bit of fear under certain circumstances can keep a person from becoming a statistic. It's only when our fear becomes so extreme and we are unable to function, it is then time to take action and try to over come that fear. 
    For those who know me, you might be surprised to learn that when I was little I was very afraid of dogs.  My mother told me I would start crying even if I heard a dog bark somewhere. My parents decided I needed a little "hair of the dog". So when I was around two years old they got a dog.  A female boxer puppy, they named her Fromme (a family surname). They placed me in one corner of the kitchen and the puppy in the opposite corner. I screamed and the dog shook.  Poor Fromme didn't know what to make of the wailing banshee opposite her.
     It was probably more cruel to put the dog in that situation then it was for me. But in time I did over come my fear and Fromme forgave me my unwelcoming behavior. We became fast friends as you can see from the following photo. I have a death grip on her, so she can protect me from the scary photographer.

Jackie & Fromme  1950

     Fromme had a couple litters of puppies, which added more dogs to the household.  As the picture below shows I was now very comfortable with dogs.


     My parents kept a male puppy from Fromme's last litter. They named him Flubadub. Now if you're old enough to remember the Howdy Doody show you'll know the origin of the name. If not this will help: Howdy Doody Club. Flubadub defiantly lived up to his namesake, he was a crazy dog, but handsome.  My father showed both dogs in local dog shows and they both won several ribbons and trophies. But as far as my brother, sister and I were concerned they were just our beloved four legged friends.
     Both dogs died when I was in high school, a very sad time for all of us. But they gave much love and enjoyment to the whole family. Over the years I've been a dog Mom to 5, mostly rescues. Fromme will always have a special place in my heart, because of her I overcame one of my fears.

Jackie & Flubadub  1953

     As a side note, the AVMA in 2008 denounced the practice of ear cropping and tail docking as painful and unnecessary. 

A thought to ponder: Always strive to be the person your dog thinks                                                        you are.