Feeding your spirit, soul, and body!

A Sweet Gracie Story…:)

gracie after election day

                                 Gracie in her spot while I blog…she sleeps on an Aggie blanket because we are an Aggie family!   WHOOP!!  JOHNNY FOOTBALL!!


Gracie is my chihuahua.  She has a very, very sweet heart!  I had been away for a meeting one night this past week and while I was gone, Sunshine’s chihuahua had made a crying noise she nor my husband had ever heard.  She said it was just so sad!  I asked her what it sounded like and she was able to imitate it. 

If you don’t know about Chihuahuas, they are the quintessential lap-dog!  They are a baby  in a dog’s body.   They cry and sound just like a human child!  They want attention, love, and to be in your lap just like a human child!  They get the bad rap of being “ankle biters” or “the world evolves around me and me alone!” personas, etc..  I suppose some Chihuahuas in history have been like that, but ours are cuddlebugs, lovebugs, and angels!

As Sunshine made the crying noise, I decided to see if I could make it, too.  Obviously, I can imitate a chihuahua  very well.  Gracie, who was beside me, looked at me.  I continued to make the noise because her face began to take on expressions I had not seen her have.  First, she turned her head quizzically to stare at me.  Then, she began to get a sad look in her eyes.  Suddenly, as though she could not take my so-called distress any longer, she jumped on my arm and began to kiss me profusely on my cheek.  Of course, when she did everyone in the room emitted awwwws!

I have never seen such intense love and affection from any animal as what she has for me!  I am amazed by her sensitivity and her literal kindness and compassion!  I know she is just a dog, but animals have such a capacity to love, I truly cannot imagine anyone not wanting one!  They are loyal, protective, affectionate, loving,  and can truly sense what you need.  They know when you are in emotional distress and/or physical distress, and if you are fortunate enough to find that  special one you truly bond with, they will not leave you until the crisis is over;  Even then, it is reluctantly!

I will never make that sound again.  Her reaction was endearing, but at the same time heart wrenching!  We all felt so sorry for her!!  She is my special angel.   It is as though she was made just for me!  As I blog, she has her place by my side where she sleeps until I am finished.  She knows when the last letter is typed and all is in place, she will be cradled in my arms and her face will be showered with kisses!

I almost didn’t get Gracie, because of the reputation of Chihuahuas.  Would I have lost out had I not listened to my heart!  I thank God for her!  He truly made Gracie just for me, and yes, I believe that with all of my heart!

Good night, dear reader!  It is “Gracie time”. 

My First Portrait!

my portrait

My husband tells me I could get in trouble in an empty room!  I will let you in on a little secret though…the older you get, the more people become more “understanding” of you!

Yesterday, Sunshine was off and we had to take the puppies in for their heartworm shots.  When the kids were little and had to have their immunizations, it hurt me more than it hurt them!  I would always take them to the toy store of their choice and let them choose a toy for having to go through their “trauma”.  I would then let them pick any place they wanted to eat lunch and they could have any thing they chose!   Well, this seems to have rubbed off on my daughter with her chihuahua, Daisy.  After the shot and vet visit, she announced it would be time for toys and doggie cookies!  Where does she get these things??

Before the cheery part, this is what I heard all the way there…

“Oh, sweet baby…Mommy loves  you…I am soooooo sorry…Oh, Momma she cried last time so I know it is going to hurt!” This is the one who is going to be a nurse! Finally I said, “If you will be calm, she will be calm.  Act like there is nothing to it and she will be fine!”  I was upset on the inside, too because I knew she was right and Gracie (mine) had to get the shot, too!

I decided to maximize the idea of a treat afterwards!  It seemed to take SUNSHINE’S edge off!  After it was all said and done, they didn’t even whimper, but off we went to the pet store anyway for cookies and anything else “soothing” we could find.   Here are some pictures of the “trouble” we got into!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

daisy and sunshine

                                                                                              Great!  She found the “Easter” stuff!


                                                                                      gracie where is the nearest exit

                                                                                                  Gracie wants to know, “Where is the nearest exit?”

                                                                                                gracie can i take this off now                                                                                                   Can I take this off now?

                                                                                              daisy i can't believe my life has come to this                                                                                                  I can’t believe my life has come to this!

                                                                                                     when they finally open the door run for all you are worth                                                                                                   When they finally open the door, run for all you are worth!  If that doesn’t work, we can tell the world Mommy wears a MOOMOO!!!  BAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

 Hubby was right!  :)  See you next time, precious reader!!

Well, I Did It Again!

lucy and dog

Yes, I have had another “Lucy” episode.  Tonight, hubby and I went out to dinner and back to GNC for me to start the shakes over!  Yes, precious reader, I fell off the diet band wagon, actually I jumped off and planted myself at the first dinner table I could find and haven’t quite left it since!  But, I am back to my “goals’ full force!!  I mean it, reallllyyyy mean it this time!!

This has not produced what I would call exactly a sense of happiness in me so I decided while I was in the city I would do something that would produce great joy!  I decided to go to Petco and buy sweet Gracie some toys and “desserts”.  If I can’t have them, she may as well!  While I am standing at the cookies shoving them by the handfuls into my sack a gentleman passed by me.  He turned back and watched me as I shoved them into the sack momentarily daydreaming of all the sweetness of those cookies, even if they were for Gracie, Daisy, and yes even hubby loves them!  They are people food without as much sugar!  I looked up at this gentleman and saw a puppy in his arms.  Now, you all know I cannot resist any puppy except for pit bulls (sorry if you love them they just aren’t for me!).  “Awwwww…what is your puppy??”  Automatically he hands the puppy to me.  As soon as I take it to love it, he replies, “Pit Bull“.  Grrreaaatttt!!!  I feel a chill seize me.  I imagine strong jaws, even stronger than mine, opening and teeth sinking into my hand and then those jaws locking in place!  Then my writer’s imagination is halted instantly by something!  Oh, no!  It couldn’t be!!  My fear turned to total nausea when I realize I smelled the odor of a SKUNK all over this poor puppy!  Only in Texas!!!

 Nothing in life is stronger and more debilitating to me than nausea and I could feel it worsening!  I take another veryyyy small whiff.  I close my eyes and will myself to keep the fake “Oh, how precious!” smile on my face!!  It was the odor of a skunk without a doubt!!   Somehow this puppy had beeen sprayed by a skunk!  “I don’t think he wants a cookie and I have to find my husband!!  Thank you for letting me hold him!  Here, and goodbye!” I say as I RUN for the back of the store!  I find hubby. 

“Baby!”  As usual he is in his own little world, totally oblivious to me.  “BABYYYY!!!!!!”  I say MUCH more insistently and pretty loud!  “Huh??” comes his usual reply!  “Smell me!!”  A look of total confusion and “why after 30 years of this should I be surprised”  comes across his face!  I raise my hands to his nose.  “Take HUGE whiffs, now!!” I instruct.  This is becoming another one of my “emergencies”.  “What do you smell???”  “Nothing!”  I roll my eyes!  I mean my word!!  This man needs a doctor!!!  He needs a specialist!!  “Are you really smelling??”  “YES!”  “Well, smell up my arm!  What do you smell??”  “Isn’t that the perfume your mother gave you for Christmas?” he asks.  “SMELL ME GOOD!!  AND, ALL OVER!!  MY ARMS, MY CHEST!  EVERYWHERE A PUPPY  COULD LIE!!”  I am pleading at this point!  Two workers discussing the birds ask me if I am okay.  “Do you have any hand sanitizer?” I ask, almost in tears.  They take me to the nearest hand sanitizer.  “Do I smell like a skunk to you??”  They look at me and each other with the same confused look hubby was having on his face.  I told them about the puppy and the skunk odor.  They know immediately the puppy and the “gentleman” who had him.  “Oh, no!!!!”, they both exclaim at the same time.

Now, hubby had snapped back to reality.  He begins to turn me every which way and inhales deeply.  While he does I proceed to take a literal bath in hand sanitizer!  He smelled a faint smell!  “Oh, dear Lord” is all I could think.  Suddenly, I began to think more clearly!!!  What if that skunk had been a RABID skunk???  Was I exposed??  Would I have to do the unthinkable and get a series of three painful $1600.00 a piece shots??  I call Sunshine!  Naturally, she was at work and wasn’t on break!  I call Daddy!  I tell him every detail fighting back tears!!  “Daddy, do I need a rabies shot???”  “NO!”  “Why not?  Because he didn’t bite me or scratch me or draw blood?”  “That is right”, my brilliant, knows all the answers to medicine father tells me.  I begin to feel somewhat better.  Then I feel the need to ask hubby did he think Daddy was really right?  He did…I think he just wanted to shut me up!

I get home and Sunshine calls.  I tell her the whole sordid story as I spray all of Gracie’s toys with Lysol before letting her have them.  She gives me the same answer Daddy did!  Yes, I am feeling better as I walk into the washroom and put in the washing machine everything the dog touched and set it on the HOTTEST setting without burning it (which actually occurred to me, but they were my favorite jeans and shirt!). 

At this point, precious reader, all I can think is, why do I feel the need to take everything that is literally handed to me!  I mean when am I going to stop that reflex??  I am also questioning should I take my fourth bath of the night???  I believe I will!  Oh, and let us keep this one just between us, too!  Until next time, please pray I stay out of trouble!  It really does take the whole world praying sometimes for that to happen!

Prayers for Gracie and Me…Especially Me!

sweet gracie

This is my baby!  Gracie is one of the best dogs I have EVER had!  She gives such unconditional love!  She taught herself to sit and will sit quietly and not jump on me while I get the treats out after play time.  She will not jump on the couch unless I tell her she can and she will not jump off unless I give permission.  I have never seen a puppy like this, but then I have only gotten to know two dogs really well.

When I was a little girl I was savagely attacked by a dog in a friend’s yard.  I was outside by myself and didn’t see the dog at all.  Suddenly, it was just there.  My mother had told me if I ever encountered a dog I didn’t know or one that had aggressive behavior to stand perfectly still.  That is what I did and I still have the scars on the back of my legs for listening to that bit of advice!  The dog knocked me down and began to viciously sink his teeth into both of my legs!  Blood was everywhere!  I don’t know if I lost so much blood I went into shock, or if I just went into shock from the trauma of it.  It kept me out of school for two weeks.  I don’t remember much after the attack, not even the tetanus shot I got after I was bitten and I was scared of those, too!

I say all of this to say dogs were the last things I wanted to see for the rest of my life.  I carried a literal phobia of them until about three years ago.  I was not afraid of puppies, but grown dogs petrified me.  When my children were around ten years old they began to want a puppy.  I knew it would be good for them and would teach them to be responsible.  I held myself emotionally away from that dog.  I wanted the kids to have full responsibility, and I did not fully trust her.

One night I received a call from my mother telling me she had seen the cutest puppy in the world and it was being sold.  It was a Pomeranian.  Before I knew it the words flew out of my mouth, “Call them and tell them I will buy her tomorrow!  It is Sunshine’s birthday and that is what I will get her!”  I picked “Prissy” up the next day.  She was adorable! She was a beautiful brown and never got to be over three pounds.  She was beautiful in every way.  She was meant for my daughter, but somehow she attached to me.  At first, I was not interested.  I held off emotionally again, yet I knew she wouldn’t hurt me.

Time went by and my children grew up.  My son left home in March and my daughter left for college the following August.  Three days before we were to move her I broke my foot.  It was one of the worst times of my life!  I lived to serve my children.  Suddenly, my little eaglets were gone.  I was devastated!  The first night we stayed in College Station, TX we were in our travel trailer.  Prissy slept  in her bed.  Whenever we would camp, the first thing she always did would be to get out of her bed in the morning,  go to Sunshine’s bed, raise up on her back feet look at Sunshine and wait patiently to be loved and cuddled by her.  The day hubby was to move Sunshine in (thank God my parents and my sister-in-law was there to help) Prissy went to Sunshine as always.  I knew it would be the last time I would see what I had seen over the last 3 years.  Tears sprang to my eyes.  They left to move her into the dorm and hubby put Prissy in the bed with me before they left.  She kept watching for the door for Sunshine to return.

The first night Sunshine was so excited to be in the dorm she stayed there to get to know her roomie.  Prissy got in her bed and hubby and I just laid there in silence.  Suddenly, I could no longer hold back my tears. It was as if a dam had been released!   I cried for hours as though someone had died instead of just moving out.  My husband put his hand on my arm and I could hear a few sniffles coming from him.  It was torment!

The next morning Prissy got out of her bed and headed for Sunshine’s bed.  As always, she raised up on her back legs to look in her bed, only Sunshine wasn’t there.  Then she turned and looked at me as if to say, “Where is she?  When is she coming back?”  At that moment I realized animals have real feelings.  They have great depths of love, loyalty, and great joy in being with you.  The least amount of attention means the world to them, their love for you is so strong!

We left Sunshine at college.  Suddenly I attached to Prissy.  She was now my baby!  She loved it!!   She attached to me in a greater measure as well!  It was as if she felt my hurt and poured her love out on me to heal it.

One day, about 2 years later as Prissy played suddenly she fell.  She never got up again.  She was dead within three minutes.  We rushed her to the emergency room but nothing could be done.  She had been dead too long.  I could not come home.  Hubby had to take me to Momma‘s.  I couldn’t walk in the door of the house because she always greeted me.  She would never greet me again!

Three months before she died, I had, had her baby teeth pulled while she was under sedation.  Afterwards, she developed a funny cough.  I took her to the vet.  He said nothing was wrong.  I knew there was!  I did what he prescribed for “allergies” and to no avail.  I took her in a second time for him to look at me and say, “I don’t know.”  At that point I was escorted to the front desk and was charged for an office visit.  Over that weekend, I noticed the funny breathing became worse.  I told hubby if she was still breathing like that  on Monday I was going to a new vet.  Prissy didn’t live long enough to make that visit.  I often wondered if it was the sedation that somehow may have weakened her heart.  Now, tomorrow I send my Gracie for the same thing.

Oh how the enemy wants to torment my mind with the memories of Prissy and worry about Gracie.  I am fighting it, but I would appreciate your prayers, dear reader!  Please, pray for Gracie to come through with no complications and for me to be at peace.  It is a different vet!  I really like him and trust him.  Bad memories can linger far too long, but God always takes the broken pieces and makes something beautiful out of them.  Gracie is my beauty…my joy in exchange for my mourning.  I will be glad when tomorrow is all said and done.

Thank you for the prayers, precious reader!! I know I will feel them!  See you next time.

What a Wonderful Day With Auntie Em!!

melinda and me

This is Auntie Em and me.  I am in the black shirt and, of course, she is in the red jacket.  Auntie Em is one of my favorite people in the whole world!  We have been friends since the eighth grade.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding 29 years ago.  We are both teachers (I am retired now), we are both authors, we are both wives and moms!  We get together every time she gets an extended break to have a blog party!  She is a very Godly woman!  We both blog about “God” things!

I am so very blessed with angels in the form of friends and she is one of them.  Today, my dear friend and pastor’s wife, Kathy, brought over lunch.  We had homemade potato soup, homemade croutons, Italian crackers and blackberry tea, and chocolate chip cookies with pecans.  Everything southern for these Texas gals!!

We decided to take pictures and that is when all joy broke out.  I don’t know what happened!  Auntie Em just looked at me and said, “Laugh” and I got so tickled I thought I would fall over!!  Then when it happened to me, she caught it!  Let me show you!

melinda and me 2     She has me so tickled here!               melinda and me 3   Now she has the giggles!

She reminds me of her daughter, Sunshine in that second picture!  We laughed and laughed some more.  I told her to let us take some silly face pictures and she replied to me, “I thought that is what these were!”  I didn’t tell her I look like this all the time!

Auntie Em and I love to talk about blogging, God, God, God, and God!  We think alike, believe the Word, and love Jesus!  How could you not feel joy over that??

I love Auntie Em!  Always have and I always will!  She is one of the dearest people I have ever known!  She taught me so much today.  She even helped me set up my giveaway on my ‘simplyjuliana’ Facebook page!  Hey, y’all ought to swing by there and put your name in for the prize!  Two $25.oo gift certificates to Barnes and Noble!

Auntie Em is a true genius!  I am not!  God sent Auntie Em to me to make up the difference and she is fun, too!  You know you really ought to go check her blog out!  She is full of good advice on marriage, recipes, budgeting, raising Godly children, and many other areas, too!

If you ever need an Auntie Em, hop over to her blog at http://auntieemsguide.wordpress.com/  You will be glad you did!  See you next time, dear reader!!

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