sleep number and menopause?!

I had the pleasure of spending time with some funny, wonderful ladies last week.  We enjoyed our time by the water as our kiddo’s enjoyed their time in the water or collecting pretty lake rocks.  Our topic; menopause and sleeping.   I can’t help but laugh as I type, so I’ll apologize for type-o’s now!

I’m the senior of this group.  At fifty-five thirty-five, no fifty-five.  Daina is fresh out of the forty bracket and Tanya is permitted to have her forty plus years of life.  Daina and I have more in common when it comes to the circle of life.  No, I mean the cycle of life.         We both know what hot flashes can and will create in the middle of the night.  Hot flashes create monsters.   Pillow becomes a sponge for the base of your neck and hairline.  Where you’re up changing nightshirts and mumbling because the night sweats woke you from a wonderful slumber.   I always feel sorry for bears who hibernate and are dragged out of their cozy dens by researchers trying to poke and probe them for their weight.   I would so become grizzly-like if someone woke me up just for my weight!   Daina not only experiences night sweats, she also gets leg cramps.  So basically….it’s as if Daina is running in her sleep.   Sweating and leg cramps.   Wonderful.   One thing we all agreed on was our ability to fall asleep like clock work.  Lights out.  Sleep.

I rarely get night sweats but apparently I’ve become “child-like” in my sleeping pattern.  Football Superstar has been poking me – like the grizzly bear and the researcher – to move over.  Move over?   I’m on my side of the bed!     This can’t be possible because I sleep like a baby.  I rarely flip over from side to side.  I am the hibernating bear.                   My husband tells me that I have been “flipping” from side to side.  And I’m sleeping on an angle.    I laughed because he must have surveyed my sleep pattern as he was reading at 1pm.     So  now I’m sleeping with one leg hanging out over the bed while the other is fully wrapped in the sheet.   I pull the entire sheet over to my side in such a coordinated way – he can’t figure out how I’m able to get a tightly tucked in flat sheet out from under this once football player who hasn’t lost much of his strength – well maybe a little.               As my adorable husband tells me this – I’m almost spitting my hazelnut coffee out into the morning air.  No way!    I have this Cirque Soleil image in my mind.   Tokyo-Girls-Collection-11AW-15-Cirque-du-Soleil-004

My gal pals begin to laugh to the point of hick-ups.  They’re trying to imagine – yet not imagine this.  There’s nothing but laughter.   I seriously have no idea that I’m sleeping in such a way.  I have no memory of my talent.   I give my friends a follow up on the sleeping conversation with my hubby.    A Sleep Number Bed!   There is no doubt in my mind – my husband did his research.   He consumer reported.  He researched local companies that supply these SNB’s, and he probably already went to the store to check them out just so he could come back to me and “sell” me on the idea.    He’s a professional.    Again, I have this vision.   What if…..what if I’m still Cirque Soleiling while I sleep on the Sleep Number Bed?!     Sleep-Number-Bed

Is it possible for my (one) leg to still have its freedom?

There’s quite a few questions I have for the Sleep Number Bed salesman before I agree to this not-so-new idea of my husbands.    I know he had this planned out for some time now.  Football Superstar is just so sweet and kind hearted he didn’t want to hurt my feelings by pointing out that I’ve become a monster in the middle of the night.  I prefer a Cirque Soleil performer thank you very much.

 

Regardless of what menopause has contributed to my cycle of life…..one thing I can count on and that is my ability to fall asleep.  Stay asleep (unless a monsterous night sweat surfaces) and share some of the funniest stories with my gals who know what it takes to be a great menopausal performer!

 

Until next time….

sleeping

 

 

 

London’s Calling

It’s been almost a year since I’ve met Vonnie.   Vonnie and I met while walking our pups on the connecting trails that intersect the suburban communities in which we live.   If you’ve ever tried to talk while walking two hyper-happy five month old puppies you don’t get much talking done.  More pulling sticks from their mouths or commanding “leave it!”.

Vonnie invited me to have a “proper chat” at one of our local coffee cafes.   The following week we met while sitting outside next to a pretty decorative fire pit.   Four hours later it was time to pick up our kiddo’s from school.

Jumping ahead.    Vonnie and I still enjoy our “proper chats” but we save money by meeting at one of our homes.   This week was at her home.   Vonnie’s urban townhouse is decorated in warm soft colors with a splash of London. If you haven’t figured it out – Vonnie is a Londonite.   That goes for Vonnie’s hospitality as well.   Every visit I’m stuffing my face with “naughty’s”.  Being naughty by eating deliciously fattening non-organic foods.   Bangers&Mash, without the bangers for me.  I take them home in a doggy bag for Football Superstar.   Crusty bread with tangy cheeses, jellies and clotted cream.   Forget the high tea at noon, this is Vonnie’s childhood tea with a backhoe full of sugar and cream.  Put the pinkie down!    My favorite is Vonnie’s homemade pear jelly (a friend who lives in DC makes for her) smeared on water crackers with a slice of Stilton or cave-aged Cheddar cheese.

Vonnie could make me a simple slice of toast and the toppings are always “naughty”.

Our conversations are just as warm and cozy as her hospitality.   With an occasional “rant”.  She’s in the process of putting her Flat on the market back home in England.  Her emotional connection to the 1930’s, 900 square foot home with a flower garden full of herbs (pronounced with the H, like his name Herb) and English lavender made me fall in love with a building I’ve never seen in person.   This tiny Flat was Vonnie’s home all her single life.   After she finished school and entered Travel Academy Flight school, she purchased her very own home and filled it with love, friends, dinners and eventually her future husband and a few years later – their surprise baby boy.    I could smell the fresh scent of her flower beds, the aroma of wine and cheese seeping from her tiny kitchen.  I could hear the laughter from her friends and family as they sat around an antique table.

The photos of this 900 square foot Flat made me fall in love with living in tight quarters.  Could it be possible?    Well, we’re not purchasing Vonnie’s Flat and moving to London tomorrow.  I know this for sure because I called my hubby the realtor right after leaving Vonnie’s home.   He asked me what beverage Vonnie served during my visit.   Haha.

Learning from Vonnie is an experience I appreciate.  We, here in the US, certainly have many avenues with many options.   Health insurance complaints, I’m going to put on the shelf for now.  I shouldn’t be complaining.   Schooling.   We have some of the best private and public schools in the DC Metro area.    One reason she and her husband moved to the states.  Their son needed specialized health services.   After two years in the United Kingdom waiting – they received services within two months here in the US.

Vonnie misses her family.  And of course her friends that filled the tiny Flat she called calls home.     For now, the home is being rented by a wonderful woman from Johannesburg, who just happens to love this cozy, 1930’s living space.

Sometimes when we uproot what we have had for so long – can be a positive change.  No doubt for us, moving our family was a good change.   Vonnie recognizes this too.   We live in an area of new urban development.  Suburban single homes surround man made lakes along high rise apartments and condo’s.  Arlington is busy with new tech companies and now Nestle headquarters  is moving in.     Dog friendly restaurants and connecting trails from Northern Virginia to Washington DC are consistently full of bikers, runners and dog walkers.   Crew teams can be seen practicing over the hill on the Potomac. Museums and history.  There’s so much more for Vonnie and her family to experience.  Before they move to Boston.

Massachusetts.

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I’ll see Vonnie in two weeks.  Boston….Massachusetts.

Accountability now Organized

imagesHappy New Year!      A new year – a new me.   No, no, no…I’m not trying a new diet.  I’m not taking cooking classes.  And I’m not enrolled in a financial class in order to learn how to make Shopping 101 earn the A+ other food shoppers have bragged of so many times.    No, this is about getting organized.   Organized.      This is my resolution.  I don’t make resolutions.  Because I’ve never been able to keep it.  Giving up chocolate lasted a day.    And my new running shoes are still in the box.   Well, not in the box but sitting on top of the Mizuno box.     This resolution is to get so organized it’ll make Football Superstar feel as if he is married to a new woman!    Well, ok..maybe that was exaggerated but as organized as I’ve ever been.

Plan A – have an accountability partner.

This idea came from LeeAnn.  After LeeAnn filtered all the ideas and plans she had flowing through her mind – she then decided to revisit her passion.  Creating.   LeeAnn presented me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

After revisiting my own passion for creating, I thought why not.  Though my plans to resurrect my vintage business was always on my brains “back burner”….I just didn’t want to make such a commitment that I know (especially in the area where I live)  would need to jump kick the competitive  styles and items we are now exposed to on Pinterest, Fixer Upper and Etsy.  I live in such an area where the IN is IN and the IN is what’s wanted.  No matter the price.   So for me to create the IN – I need to be completely organized and focused.   If I’m in to create the IN then I must really be in – it.

Without this taking over my other priorities – organization is the key.   I’m still devoted to my community outreach with the pup.  I’m still that PTO mom.    I’m still assisting my hubby when needed and I haven’t starved my family with the lack of warm meals and they do have clean laundry.     My mother was very organized.   I believe she had organization skills tattooed in her mind.      I need an accountability pal.

So, LeeAnn…are we in for the long haul?!

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This is what my brain has tattooed at the present.  A completely organized work space.

Plan B -To be continued….

a wise young lady once said…

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I have kept silent during the long and brutal campaign.   I didn’t want to speak to anyone about it.    My blog post June 6th -rant touched on Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton.   I am so happy it is finally over.  The election.  Though I voted, my candidate was removed by the American people long ago.

Wednesday morning my husband quietly announced who our American leader will be come January 2017.    Fluttered thoughts were cluttering my brain.   I remember crinkling my nose up in doubt.  Really?   The “you’re fired” dude is now our nations leader?    Will be our nations leader.     Okay now what.     I’m neither party.   It wasn’t my vote.   But sadly it wasn’t my vote that mattered.     Okay now what.

Jump ahead to Wednesday afternoon.

I was walking home with Murphy when my neighbors college daughter was parking her car in their driveway.   She works for a local dog walking company, so of course greeting my Murphy is always a must.    I adore this young lady.   She’s always full of high spirits and positive energy spills from every word – no matter what kind of day she’s having.

She’s wise beyond her years.   Does that make any sense?

I will refer to her as “Starbrite”.    Starbrite is twenty one years old.   Her dark eyes and skin are like a dolls.    And she stands maybe 5’1″.  Starbrite was born too late because she is the smallest and cutest little Hippy I’ve ever seen.   Her wide pants and loose fitting angel shirts make her appear even smaller.   Her voice is pixie like with a touch of California beach girl.   Starbrite and I have had in depth conversations at the pool regarding race and growing up with a single mother in DC.   After her father left them, her mother did everything under the sunny sky to make sure Starbrite would have the best education and life no matter what sacrifices mom would need to make.   (these were her words to me)

Starbrite asked me “how are you feeling on this post election afternoon?”.   I answered “numb”…. “not sure….but good and you?”      She laughed and said these exact words:

“Mr. Trump is not my choice for our leader.   He represented hate, but was he really?  His backers were loud and some obnoxious but who am I to judge them?   Hill, (as she referred to Ms. Clinton) is too bossy for me.   She is a “know it all”….and doesn’t represent women like myself.   I disliked both candidates actually, but hey, they are humans and we can’t control what any of political party does- right?   I wake up in the morning and the sun is out.  And if it’s not out…it will be out the next day!      I wake up and I’m happy to have a job, be in college, have my mom who loves me even though she tells me what to do [insert laughter] and have my adorable Yorkie whom I love with all my heart.   I have my friends and family.   And I have you as a neighbor/mom #2.   [insert my tears]   I feel fortunate.  My friends who have been crying over this election are wasting their precious time trying to “fix” something we have no control over to begin with.   Protesting is ridiculous.   Hate with more hate.”

And then Starbrite smiles.   And says ” I talk too much!”

No sweetie….keep talking.   What a wise young lady.  One who just made my day…week….year.

Is there a seat in congress for Starbrite?

a NEW beginning

Typically I shy away from posting about other peoples relationships.  Mine, yes.  But yours no.  Unless it has to do with finding new love, then yes, I’ll post.    About a month ago I met a woman who lives in my neighborhood.  We’ve met for coffee several times.  She recently opened up to me about her divorce.

Her story is like so many other women who found themselves in a hurtful – painful relationship.   Wondering will life ever be the same?   And if I choose to leave this unhealthy relationship – then what happens to me?   Kids?   Friends?     Long ago I too  was in an unhealthy relationship.  One that I can now say is so far behind me – I forget/forgot it ever happened.   But it took time to heal from abuse and the nasty scars that followed.  Over time we all heal. And everyone has their own path to healing.   My dearest friend LeeAnn experienced not only once but twice in her relationships – cheating and the uncertainty of “will this marriage ever mend?”.     It was a long road to healing for her.  But I’m delighted to say LeeAnn has remarried to a wonderful man, and this new journey will be made with Craig.  Oh, and Crosby their Yorkie!

We can’t help but question…..could and should those unhealthy relationships mend?       In my neighbors situation – no.    Even after counseling and mediation her marriage ended in divorce.   She’s picking up the pieces (as they say) and moving on with her life.  Her new journey has only just started.   I shared with my neighbor LeeAnn’s journey.  My story.    My neighbor is a beautiful woman inside and out.   She knows there is life after divorce – it’s the trust issues that come with a broken relationship.   LeeAnn just shared “the best is yet to come for her!”….”it can and will get better”.

When a relationship goes sour it’s not only the first step to walking away from the relationship – but knowing how to handle family and friends that come/came with that relationship.   Making boundaries and filtering through the painful “who’s side are you on?” kind of mess.    And some broken relationships are a mutual agreement where you keep mutual friends and everyone is just peachy.     But for most unhealthy relationships  it’s very rare there will be just peachy mutual friends.

Life has given me some pretty difficult moments where my journey didn’t seem as if there could be a more scenic route to take.   I wasn’t looking for the Yellow Brick Road route, and I was fortunate enough to have support and love from my family and friends to be there -just in case I took a detour.   Which I didn’t.   My journey picked up with Football Superstar.  He’s been my anchor – my best friend.   LeeAnn has Craig.   We have our friends and family.    As for my sweet neighbor….she too will find life is just beginning again.   Her family and friends are supporting just in case she should find a detour.   Oh, she also has two adorable dogs to snuggle with!

Thank you LeeAnn for giving her  strong advice and encouragement!!  I love you!!

And gals….we are all just peachy!

You’re a good man….Charlie Brown

I’ll admit, my inner child will begin to surface this time of year.   Beginning with Charlie Brown.  His disappointments always make my heart pound with disappointment for him.  And not to mention he gets nothing but rocks as the gang heads out to Trick-or-Treat throughout their monopoly like houses- suburban neighborhood.  I’ve often thought about writing to Mr. Shulz asking for one more ribbon winning moment for young Mr. Brown, sort of like his shinning spotlight in “Merry Christmas…Charlie Brown!” .

A question surfaced during the “moms who blog” mini group about life lessons and which cartoon character gives us those “ah-ha moments”  or “pick yourself up and dust off – move on moments”.       I have bins packed with books from my teaching years.  And from my own children’s collection that I can’t part with – yet.   But the one true character is Arthur who comes to mind.  That adorable aardvark who proved that anyone can get through some of the most difficult situations.  Especially his baby sister Francine.  My kids loved watching Arthur.  As did I.   But I never gave Charlie Brown the credit he deserves.

Charlie Brown is resilient.  Charlie has a flood of struggles… and if you think about it….most of the struggles come from the friendships he keeps.  I certainly find no problem at laughing at my own struggles and failures, but it’s very hard to watch a young bald kid who has a heart the size of Manhattan get knocked down because he’s a “block head”.   Bring in Linus.   The pint size-honor roll – blanket carrying elementary kid has been Charlie’s main life line for years.   I can only imagine these two guys in college.   The dialogue never changes.   But where does Charlie Brown give us the most valuable lesson?    Is it when he’s bullied by others?  He doesn’t bully another kid or make Snoopy go without food and water?    Snoopy has quite a life and yet  he even snubs the hand that feeds him!    Is it that Charlie Brown has a way of allowing others to take out their frustrations on this bald softy because they find their own fears from failures and mistakes cramping their style.     So lets just beat down good ol’ Chuck!    [hug,hug]

Yet, Chuck keeps on going.   His upside down smile goes to a crooked wiggly grin.  Then we finally see that smile we all know and love.

As most of us moms agreed during our own childhood, watching the Peanuts gang was not only exciting – we also shared moments as young girls tearing up over Charlie Brown.   One quote from Charlie comes to mind –  “I think I’m afraid to be happy because whenever I get too happy something bad always happens”.    Break. My. Heart!     But he always ended up having confidence!      Charlie Brown gave us love.  (thanks Mr. Shulz)   Charlie Brown gave us laughter and the desire to belt out “over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go” on those road trips during Thanksgiving week.  He gave us entertainment for many generations and to that I say you’re a good man Charlie Brown!

As we drank our coffee taking in the warm October sun, our topic flowed from bullying in schools, drug addiction in our suburban homes and throughout the DC metro area to teenage sex…..Charlie Brown came directly in my mind.   How did one kid find such strength and determination?    Because today there are those Charlie’s out there who are not able to grab enough determination or find their inner strength to stand up for themselves or to walk away.    Those Charlies struggle to just find the courage to seek out a counselor or adult they  are able to trust for outreach.    Praying those Charlie’s find it to fight their inner fears and anxiety.   And reach out.

If my kids were part of the Peanuts gang, I can honestly say I had no bossy Lucy’s or Peppermint Patty’s.   I may have had a touch of Sally. Possibly Freida.   And if Football Superstar wouldn’t have been the male hygiene enforcer….Pig Pen.

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We moms agreed that the friendship between Charlie Brown and his beloved beagle Snoopy was priceless.  Charlie was so patient with Snoopy.      Snoopy and Woodstock met giving us nothing but teamwork.   Who grabbed the firewood for the campsite?   Woodstock.    Who puffed the sheet for the sail on the sailboat?  Woodstock.   Like I said….teamwork.

The Great Pumpkin will glow once again this season on our televisions.   Apple Cheeks and I will bake pumpkin bread and enjoy slice after slice with hot chocolate.    And I will answer her questions after the show ends.     “Why are Charlie Browns friends so mean to him? ”   “If I were Charlie Brown’s friend….I would talk to the gang and tell them they are not being very nice to him! ”

Good grief, after all these years….you’re still my friend Chuck!

The Company You Keep~ The People You Meet

“A man is known by the company he keeps”    ~Anonymous

 

I feel out of touch with my readers and fellow bloggers.   My plan to post once each month for summertime updates pretty much melted away with this summer heat index.  However, I enjoyed your blog post!

Our summer was filled with road trips, beach outings and a lot of swimming.  Catching up with friends and family was the best.   But I must say the company I have kept these past several months has given me an opportunity to meet some great people.

I had an infection in my leg.  And thanks to [me] not listening to my husband and getting to the good doctor when I should have seen the good doctor – the infection worsened and the not-so-good doctor I visited insisted I don’t emerge my leg in any body of water.    Backing up….we were to head to Kent Island for the week.   Are you kidding me?!    No sun, no swim, no sweet red wine, no running, no beach volleyball [not that I was planning on doing], nothing sweat related.   I rarely [triple that] see a doctor, so these instructions sounded as if I were to be locked in a room and only  be given granola to eat for a year.

Moving ahead.   Football Superstar and I decided it would be a good idea to back up our trip.  No worries.   Apple met with friends at the pool.  I sat in the shade.   But it was my early morning and late evening walks with my company that gave me an opportunity to find some of the nicest people you’ve ever want to meet.

It’s pretty cool how one trail can lead you to many others.   Murphy typically is the topic of interest when we are out and about.   Sure, she’s cute with her adult coat coming in – her Golden smile – and the ability to lure a runner off his/her stride as she rolls over for a belly rub.   Conversations begin.    Though the conversations may begin with a belly rub, a compliment or just a wave and a smile….many of these people we have met are now our friends.    Summer bar-b-ques, road trips, pool gatherings, birthdays and puppy play-dates have become a big part of the season.    I look forward to having authentic Indian tea with Lucky’s human mom, chatting with  Kodi’s human mom and getting not only our human kids together ….. but our families.    Dogs included.

I don’t believe things happen just by coincidence.   The company that I keep – well… you know the rest.

 

Summer isn’t over yet!   Not by my calendar anyway!

 

 

 

 

putting the “itch” under control

Not that kind of itch!

I’ve got the itch to get crankin’ on some projects.  When spring is around the corner, it makes me want to get out my paint brush and white wash something.  Or upcycle a piece of unwanted and misunderstood junk.

And the fact I’m addicted to HGTV Fixer Upper!   And the fact that LeeAnn and her fiancé are planning their countryside golf course dream home!   And the fact that awesome Golden groomer Lisa is almost ready to move in to her modern farmhouse dream home!    Looking at their floor plans, and décor and flooring and kitchen sinks, and windows and…..      I can’t really blame them for my itch – can I?  Oh, yes I can!!

As I sit here typing…I can see faint yellow buds on the Forsythia bushes.  There are birds chirping by our bare Japanese Cherry tree – probably as confused by the weather as I am.

But as our darling Murphy naps…I found myself making a list of new tools I would like for my birthday.  Which isn’t until May…but why not start now?!    I’m sure when I announce this to my husband he will bite his upper lip [he does this when I bring home the unwanted]  and ask me “is it really nessesary?”

And I’ll reassure him that I’ll try not to open a vintage furniture business in the garage….and that I’ll promise to not get paint on his nice shiny black car.

I better be careful….I may end up finding my husband purchasing another farmhouse [fixer upper] and finding myself running another vintage business….where I’ll be spooked by owl hoots and fox cries and bear eating out of the bird feeders.   No, not bears…I’m afraid of birds so I don’t do bird feeders.

Maybe I won’t share with hubby my plans.  Because you just never know with a realtor – what’s itching!

 

 

 

 

 

Food Shopping 101

Oh, you know it.  I’m about to bore the pants off of you once again with my inability to apply my knowledge of using APs and coupons – not being remarkably frugal.

My friend Wendy was insistent I use her Harris Teeter.   She likes their meat department.   Okay I say, okay.  My husband was a little envious that Wendy’s hubby was getting a fabulous homemade meal on Sunday.   After church, Wendy was slathering butter all over a rather large chicken.  I was trying to have a serious conversation with her, but I found myself so distracted at how much butter she was lathering on this bird. That and her adorable vintage apron.  If the butter was sun screen – lets just say no UVA/UVB would get to the delicate skin of this rather gross looking chicken.   But then came the herbs.   My friend just morphed into Martha Stewart!

*****

Football Superstar gently threw out a pass.   I caught his pass.   I purchased a whole chicken and all its accessories.

I also purchased culinary gloves, because I just can’t touch raw naked chicken.  [see disaster post Thanksgiving – 2010]  After I lathered up the bird with sunblock butter, I added Rosemary, Thyme and fresh Parsley.  Dash of Kosher salt and cracked pepper.  Now for the potatoes.  My family loves Uncle Larry’s mashed potatoes, with herbs, cream cheese and sour cream. There were plenty of mashed potatoes.    Brussel sprouts with garlic and olive oil.  And for dessert – Pumpkin cookies!

But as I shopped to prepare this roasted chicken dinner and all it’s fixin’s…..I also needed to get my weekly grocery items too.  I found myself stopping at two different stores.  My typical shopping hangout – Wegmans.  Then to Whole Foods [someone slap me] because it’s the only food store that carries Football Superstar’s granola.  [no shaking your head]   Apple Cheeks likes Wegmans brand individual organic apple sauce packets for lunch and I grabbed vitamins for our College Daughter.

Jake from Wegmans is back in college, new girl Danny is my check-out for today.  Danny is very quiet.  She reminds me of College Daughter, except for the purple stripes that highlight her hair.   Danny never thought to remind me of my coupons or my trendy AP.  Danny has some training to conquer.   Unlike Jake from Wegmans.   At times, I bumped ran over people with my shopping cart to get in his line, I knew my support system was behind his greeting.  Maa’m….AP or coupons?     Danny did ask if I wanted cash back.  After my eyes rolled up in my head when I noticed the total…I said no….oh, my gosh…NO!         I got myself together just in time before I ran over a display of Redskins shirts next to the magazines.   They really need to move that display, because I’m coming back Friday.

I saved $9.81.       So the $9.81 was my partial donation to Whole Foods.    As I checked out at WF‘s Tula greeted me and asked if I found everything that  was on my list.    My list?    Of course I did….your aisle specialist are like security guards at the airport.   Thanks to Tula, I found myself walking jogging to my car singing the sassy French tune that got stuck in my head while running from the security guard aisle specialist because I had chocolate in my hand.   And it wasn’t organic chocolate.  So….I was caught red handed in the junk aisle.   So what- sue me.     But thanks to Tula’s triumphant personality….I managed.

Why do I pick on Whole Foods so much and continue to be one of their consumers?   Why then it wouldn’t  be as exciting would  it?!

* Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies can be found here –  http://www.bhg.com      Better Homes and Gardens  

** For the record:  Wendy does not own nor does she have any stock in “her” Harris Teeter.

*** And that baked chicken dinner with all the fixin’s …..lets just say I’ve got a contract to make it again.  [that’s football lingo for this was delicious, lets have it again]

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!?

If there is one thing I love writing about – it is dogs.  Dogs are simply awesome!   They provide us with companionship, unconditional love and a plenty of humor.   As a little girl I had a dog in my home.   As a young woman on my own, I had a dog [or two] in my tiny city apartment.  And now, as a wife and mother, we have always had a dog [or two] in our home.

My family is patiently waiting for our new puppy to arrive.   I promised Football Superstar that I’ll be patient, and keep my time spent looking at photos on the GG site limited.  Yeah, that’s like telling me to pass by aisle 5 at Wegmans!

Back to the dogs…..   Saturday we had a great time meeting some of Golden Glory’s dogs and their humans.  Thank you Susan and Mark for coordinating this event at Cabin John State Park.   If you can imagine, eight beautiful Golden Retriever dogs running and playing, drooling, digging and retrieving.   Their [dog] personalities were as different as a class of kindergarteners….and yet they were all so well-behaved and balanced.   [can’t say I ever had that in my years of teaching]   I was impressed.   But why would anyone be so impressed?   They’re Golden Retrievers!    America’s sweetheart of the dog world.   Golden Glory’s girls and boys.

Apple had a blast.  She met another girl her age – who just happens to be owned by a GG dog.    I can’t believe both girls are not suffering from pitchers arm – there was endless tennis ball throwing!

While we watched the dogs romp and dig…we had the opportunity to talk with the families and create new friendships.  Exactly what the Quinn family created.   It doesn’t take much when there are dogs in the scene, and humans who love their dogs unconditionally.   This is one journey I look forward to recording.  Any publishers out there?!

And here is how it went…..

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^ photo shoot – I sympathize with group photographers!

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^ Apple meeting the sweet and gorgeous momma Callie  [Callie owns Mark & Susan & is the mother of beautiful Maggie & precious Mabry]

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^ Football Superstar unleashing Max   [Max owns Aprel]

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^ Max [the youngest toddler] trying to dig his way out.

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^ and they all joined in!

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^  “wait….Mauti….what happened to hand shakes?”  says Max!

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^ I am Mighty Mauti!  [Mauti owns Tamara & Marvin]    Look at this face!  Oh, and he’s a Penn State Fan!!

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^ Cooper  [Cooper owns Michael & Abigail & his baby brother Marley]

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^ Marley [the oldest toddler in the group]  and his big brother Cooper  [Marley owns Michael & Abigail & worships his big brother Cooper]

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^ the two youngsters …. Marley & Max       [I see a children’s book featuring these two!]

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^ Sir Cooper taking a break.   This is where I could sneak in some extra kisses on him.  What a handsome boy!

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^ Hudson who loves to crew!   One day we’re going to see this GG dog on the cover of Rowers Digest!  🙂

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^Then this beast invited himself!                   ^ Michael giving the beast some loving.

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^ The beast and Cooper taking a break together…..I seriously think this Bernese Mountain Dog was pretending to be a Golden.   He was a sweetie and very gentle.      but gianormous!!!!

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^ Callie & Maggie guarding the park.  You know you can always rely on a Golden to protect you.  Well, okay…maybe from dangerous squirrels.

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Max ~  Hudson                         Mauti ~

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Marley ~  Cooper               Maggie ~  Callie  ~ Mabry  [Mabry needed a pair of wings…she is an angel!]

I don’t know about anyone else….but I am certainly excited and ready for the next Golden Glory event!   [note to self – you’ll need the Canon XL60]

Thank you to the GG families!   A special thanks to Golden Glory’s  – Arlene & Kevin!

Cabin John State Park     http://www.montgomeryparks.org

**If you have a Golden Retriever and are interested in learning more about the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study~ visit       http://www.CanineLifetimeHealth.org