Thoughts on my walk: Confirmation

 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3

My dog Mickey and I have walked the same route most weekday mornings — barring snow, sickness, and super cold days — for the past nine-point-something years. First my collie-black lab Moses accompanied us, then my shepherd-black lab Lyla came along. Since early 2016, though, it's been just Mickey and me trekking along streets and turns and corners we've traversed countless times before.

Last week as Mickey and I walked, I was deep in thought and prayer regarding a situation one of my daughters faces. A tough spot for her and her heart as well as the hearts of her parents who simply want the best for their girl.

Mid-walk and mid-prayer I was astounded to see the following shadow on a corner. A corner I'd turned hundreds (thousands?) of times before without ever seeing the comforting image.

shadow cross 

Confirmation my...

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On waterfalls and wildlife

backyard waterfall

One of my favorite features of my backyard is broken. Our waterfall, which Jim — primary caretaker of the falls — likes to keep running through each and every season (despite it freezing for the most part during winter seasons), hasn't been running for several seasons now.

Because it's broken. Has a leak. Somewhere. Somehow.

Jim and I plan to spend much of Saturday figuring out the where and the how — and the what we need to do to fix it.

Taking apart the waterfall and putting it all back together again will surely be a pain in the butt. We don't look forward to it.

We do, though, look forward to once again having water streaming and splashing. We miss the sound, the peace, the tranquility of the special spot just off our patio.

Despite our reluctance to remove and replace liners and rocks and such, the special spot needs to be fixed. Not only to fulfill our...

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Twitter titters

Twitter has been shrouded by a black cloud of sorts the past couple years thanks to it being the primary place our president spreads his hate policies and ponderings. And a top spot for reactions to Trump in general and his terrifying tweets in particular. As well as plenty of news — fake or factual — related to that never-ending nastiness bouncing about hither and yon.

Despite political pap dominating Twitter of late and me being the very least publicly political person I know, I still peruse and post on that particular social network nearly every day. Because there's other stuff there. Inspirational, informational, educational stuff I might miss if I didn't stop by.

And stuff like the following. Which started my yesterday with a smile because it's just so darn cleverly adorable. So much so that I was compelled to share there by retweeting and here by capturing screen shots of the sweet silliness. (Okay, and I shared on my personal Facebook page yesterday, too.)

The tweet* that made me titter:

tweet from People's Daily, China

Accompanied by these...

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Monday (beagle) blues! Plus, GRAND Social No. 244 link party for grandparents

Monday (beagle) blues!

I've had an off-and-on relationship with my piano for several years now. Mostly off, due to time constraints — as well as budgetary issues that prevent me from continuing the weekly piano lessons I began way back in the day when I worked a regular job with regular paychecks.

For several months now, though, I've been quite diligent in practicing pretty much every weekday, ever since I came across a decent online video tutorial series just before Christmas. I'm proud to say I'm progressing quite nicely — in playing. Singing and playing at the same time is another story.

Over the weekend I found inspiration in that regard. I'm now determined to one day sing and play the blues as well as this talented fella:

Look at that tail wagging! Such joy at his...

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The very worst enemy

My husband and I have faced many a foe in the past few months. Hospitalization. Natural disaster. Unemployment.

None, though, have been as frustrating for my husband as the following, the enemy who most regularly gets my hubby's briefs, er, boxers in a bunch.

See for yourself:

squirrel on bird feeder
You thought you could stop me?
...

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Farewell from the ranch

Jim's oldest sister lives on a ranch outside of Hot Springs, South Dakota. My sister-in-law's property has been the scene of many a family celebration over the past 20-plus years.

Last Saturday it was the spot as many extended family members as could make it gathered to celebrate the life of Granny, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to all who were there.

In between taking hundreds of photos of the family, I wandered here and there to shoot a few shots of the spot that holds so many cherished memories.

ranch life 

The expansive, history laden...

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Grandma takes on Tarzan

When a mother becomes a grandmother, she welcomes into her brood not only the human children of her children but the four-legged lovies of those kids and grandkids, too.

I'm talking grandpets.

I've taken care of grandpets galore throughout the eight-plus years I've been a grandma. Mostly canine critters such as Andrea's Luke and Brianna's Hunter and Max.

Over Labor Day Weekend, Brianna, Patrick, and Bud travelled to the desert to play in the pool and hike through hot, dry hills with Bubby, Mac, Jak, and their parents. I was charged with watching granddogs Hunter and Max plus their feline family members, my grandcats Alice and Mackenzie.

Plus another grandpet, one that belongs to Bud.

Meet Tarzan, Bud's "crested eyelash gecko":

crested eyelash gecko 

When I became grandma to kids and critters, I never...

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They're back! Plus, GRAND Social No. 220 link party for grandparents

They're back!

For many years and through most seasons, we could count on seeing a small herd of seven or so deer in our neighborhood at various times throughout the day. Mostly in the evenings or when I walked the dogs (now just dog) in the mornings. Up until about three months ago.

We started noticing the absence of the neighborhood deer the beginning of summer and throughout, except for a lone female we'd spot now and then seemingly in search of the family that had left town without her. (Not that I anthropomorphize or anything.)

Last week as Jim and I headed home from my picking him up after work, we noticed neighbors gawking at something or another as we turned onto our street. Turned out it was deer! I hurried into the house, grabbed my camera and documented the return of the deer to our 'hood. Several of them. From two big guys on down to to two wee ones with a couple does in between.

neighborhood deer

Hooray! They're back!

I don't know...

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Seeking practical, finding poignant

The latch on the door to the cabinet where I keep my kitchen garbage needs repair. It won't stay closed. And though I know it won't stay closed without me fiddling and finagling the broken latch to keep it shut, I open the darn thing each time I need to throw something away.

With Jim still as broken as the door — hobbling about on crutches and currently unable to help with even the smallest home repair — I'm determined to fix the thing myself.

"Why don't you just switch the garbage to the other side?" one of my daughters asked... after she'd opened it when I warned her not to as I had just finagled the thing shut... again.

It doesn't work that way, I told her. I've opened that door a billion times to throw something away. Moving the garbage can to the other side won't change my habit of opening the current side. I have no doubt I would still open the darn broken door out of habit, still have to fiddle and finagle the door to stay shut.

The other night I told Jim I was going to run to Lowe's to get a new latch. "Don't!" he said. "I'm pretty sure I have another in the garage, in one of those drawers."

Unable to go through any of "those drawers" himself, I headed out to the garage yesterday morning to look for the spare cabinet latch.

After an hour or so, I came back with this...

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Hot dogs! Plus GRAND Social No. 212 link party for grandparents

Hot dogs!

Summer arrived to Colorado Springs packing heat this past weekend. In a house with no air conditioning, we all suffered. Jim and I — and Andrea when she visited for Father's Day — were pretty good about keeping our distress under wraps... for the most part.

The dogs, though? Mickey was determined to soak up a little sunshine Sunday morning out on the deck, despite the sweltering heat.

pit pointer mix 

His suffering was unmistakeable. And assuaged moments after that photo when...

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CA Highway 1 Discovery Route destination: Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

As grandmother to three rambunctious grandsons and another equally active stepgrandson, I've seen my share of children engaging in play battles with one another. From wrestling on the trampoline to Wii wars to Nerf gun wars, I'm no stranger to the competitive, creative capers of kids.

Which is why I never imagined one of the highlights of the mother/daughter trip my oldest and I were treated to along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route (compliments Highway 1 Discovery Route) would be watching little ones battle it out with one another. Yet when the little ones were not so little at all — hundreds and hundreds of pounds, in fact — and elephant seal babes instead of human babes, my daughter and I were enchanted by the action (and inaction) taking place at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery just north of San Simeon along California's Central Coast.

elephant seal rookery 

My daughter and I were instantly intrigued the moment we got out of our car and leaned over the railing separating the massive marine animals from the curious animal lovers enjoying...

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Here and now: April 14, 2016

What's happening in my world, here and now:

clock and book 

On my mind...

My taxes. Not because I need to do them, but because I just finished them. Filed them yesterday morning. My brain is still mulling over numbers, deductions, credits, and crap I really don't like to think about. Jim is the numbers person in our relationship; I'm more the words person. But because...

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