Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Blue, Jimmy and Ralphie
In my last post, I mentioned that something had happened that made me think again about finding the old lost dog.
This is the incident that brought that feeling back to me.
The feeling of possibly losing what matters most to me.

I take my boys, Blue, Jimmy Chew and Ralphie with me to work everyday at the vet clinic.
They stay in big nice roomy runs in the boarding area and when it's nice outside they can have their turn running around the big enclosed grassy play area. The clinic is a large building with a spacious waiting room in the front and a large grooming room off of the waiting area. Up front is the reception desk and then there is the other side of the reception area where we check out clients. Then it's the exam rooms and the lab area and then surgery and finally boarding. So, it's a long building.
Lately I have been working upfront in the reception area and my boys are in the back in boarding, under the care of two of my part-time people.
The other morning the propane truck pulled up and the gate to the enclosed play area had to be unlocked. I had my morning person go back and unlock it and then I told him to make sure there were no dogs out and not to let any dogs out. So the man filled the propane tank and left.
So I am sitting at the front desk facing the big double doors when all of a sudden I hear the groomer scream.
"I thought she screamed "Dog loose". I stood up and looked outside to see if the dog was loose out there or in the building and that's when I saw my Ralphie in the parking lot. I yelled and I ran out the front door with one of my co-workers as Ralphie and Jimmy turned and raced back around the building towards the back but there in the gravel in front of the windows stood Blue.
Blue looked panicky and frantic. Of course he couldn't hear us but when he turned and saw us he raced towards the doors. We got him inside but he was totally freaked out. He didn't have his collar on and as I reached for him to lead him away from the front doors he seemed to be frightened and confused. He kept backing away acting like he thought he was in trouble. Finally we got him to go into one of the exam rooms and my co-worker told me she had him now and to go on and try to catch my terriers. I ran out the door and around the front towards the back of the building. At the end of the parking lot I saw my 2 part-timers and one of the other receptionists trying to corral Ralphie. Apparently they had been able to call Jimmy inside the back boarding door but Ralphie was having none of it! As I called to him and hurried towards them, one of the girls came up behind him and grabbed him.
When we got inside, I asked what had happened. Apparently my morning person hadn't locked the gate yet and my other person who comes in at noon had just arrived and let my dogs out into the play area to "PLAY"....not realizing that the gate was open. I started to "talk" to them about it but I had to stop. I couldn't go on because I couldn't hold back the tears and I had to leave the room.
Lately I have been talking so bad about my little "terrors" that I felt like I was being "smite-d" in punishment. The clinic is less than a half block from one of the busiest intersections in the Quad Cities. And my Blue?
He wouldn't have heard anyone calling to him.
I can see his frightened face in my mind again and tears are blurring my eyes and choking my throat.
It could have been my worst nightmare.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I thought about writing this post right after this incident happened but then it kinda fell to the wayside until something happened to me that reminded me of it again. (I will post about that hopefully tomorrow.)

I came home one evening tired and worn out. The sun was gone but it wasn't completely dark out yet. I walked into the house and let my dogs out into the backyard. I headed back out the front door to get my garbage bin from the sidewalk and wheel it back up the driveway as it had been garbage day that day.
As I walked down my porch steps I saw a dog slowly walking down the sidewalk.
She was alone. I could see that she was a Pitbull so I decided to be a little cautious, just in case.
I stopped and sat down on my steps and softly said "Where are you going?'
She turned and looked at me. She was tired, so I said "Come here honey".
She walked up my front walk and I approached her and rubbed her on the top of her head and her tail started to wag. She had a harness on, so I lead here up and inside my porch and took a leash off of the peg and walked her back down to the sidewalk. We stood there and looked both ways. I was hoping someone was out looking for her and would see us... but no luck.
Finally I walked over to the neighbors. I don't really know why I bothered but I know that they know people around the neighborhood and hoped they would recognize her....Nope!
So I took her back and put her inside my enclosed front porch while I went to get my phone. She wanted to come inside the house but I wouldn't let her. I called Animal Control but of course it was just an answering machine. So I went out and joined her in the porch while I called the non-emergency police number. I told the dispatcher that I wasn't sure who I should be calling but I had found a dog. The woman asked me what breed it was and I told her that is was a Pit. A friendly little Pitbull.
Her response was "Oh MY GOODNESS! Does it have a black harness on!?" I kinda laughed and said "Why YES it does!
Apparently her owner had been looking for her and was very distraught. The dispatcher asked for my name and address and was VERY surprised. She said "Boy! Has SHE travelled!" She had gotten away from the opposite side of town. She lived below the hill, down in the Broadway District where the historical homes are. She had walked at least 2 or more miles. And she was 10 years old. The dispatcher said that I had 2 options. She could send a patrol car for the dog but they were out on calls and it could be a while or she could give the owner my address. She said that the owner was a female, in case I was worried about my safety. I told her it was fine to give her my name and address. So, me and "Mimosa" sat in the porch and waited.
Eventually I saw a van come slowly down the block. I could see her looking at the addresses so we walked down the steps. And young woman, probably in her late twenties got out of the drivers seat and hurried up to us. She had a broken leash in her hand and what looked like an envelope in the other. She tried to tell me how she had been walking her dogs when the leash had broke and Mimosa had ran off. She said she and her other dog and searched everywhere and finally she had returned home to call the police. I could barely make out what she was saying because she was crying and trembling so bad. She told me how her dogs were rescues and that her other one was a Australian Shepherd mix and how she had rescued her little Pitbull a long time ago and how she was elderly and....she was just sobbing. She told me how her Aussie had kept looking at her as if to say "WHERE is she?!"
I told her to STOP or I would start to cry too.
Then she opened her envelope and with trembling hands pulled out a 20 dollar bill. She apologized that she didn't have more and was saying how this dog meant the world to her and for me to please take the money.
I said no. She tried again and I said NO! I didn't need to be paid. I said that my only hope was that if any of my dogs ever got lost, that someone would stop them and call me. She asked me again to take it and I told her that I wanted her to take the money and buy something for her dog.
I'm not a hugging kind of person but she threw her arms around me and I had to give her a hug. She reminded me of one of my nieces and I told her everything was OK, that her dog was fine, that she was fine.
And I tried not to cry because I knew how she felt. How important that her dogs were to her.
I watched her load her old girl up into the  van and I went inside. I thought about that old dog travelling so far across town. She had to have crossed at LEAST 2 very busy streets even if she crossed through neighborhoods, there was no way for her to make it to the opposite side of town without crossing traffic.
I felt sad because no one probably stopped her because she was a Pitbull.
But I was happy that she crossed my path at just the right moment. a couple of minutes either way and I would have never seen her.
But then again, I do believe things happen for a reason.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Have you read the book "Water for Elephants"?
I loved that book.
Now the movie is coming out on Friday and I hope that they follow the book. I'm so afraid that they will cut out important parts. I don't usually go to the theatre to see movies. I usually wait for the DVD. But maybe this time I will go. I like Reese Witherspoon but she really wasn't the person that I envisioned as I read the book, but who knows?! I'm hoping that she pulls it off. I am also a bit afraid to see it in public because I am sure that I will cry in certain parts. I hate to cry in a dark room full of strangers.....

And that brings me to the other movie that I want to see:
 Born To Be Wild IMAX 3D
another movie with elephants and sure to make me cry.....

One of the reasons that I brought up these movies is because I was thinking about my upcoming vacation.
I REALLY need a vacation. I'm frazzled. The clinic I work at had 2 women on maternity leave and at the same time they added 2 new doctors. Because of this, I have been working up front in the reception area instead of being with my boarding "clients". I REALLY miss the dogs but I do have 4 excellent workers covering the shifts. One of the new moms returned a couple of weeks ago and the other one returns next week. Maybe then the overtime will stop. I don't mind having a little bit extra in my paycheck but I hate being so tired that I never get anything done. So in a couple of weeks I am going to take a WHOLE week off. I usually just break my vacation time up into days but this time I NEED a week. I plan to finish sorting through my "junk" (the whole basement is already done and organized! Waahoo!) but I want to get rid of EVERYTHING that I don't have a plan for. In my town we are allowed ONE big trash pick-up a year for free. So during my vacation I will be dragging a bunch of junk to the curb. Last time I did this I actually ended up helping people load up their cars with my stuff.
I mean BIZARRE stuff. I had a 3 foot tall picket fence that I just cut up randomly and pulled out of the ground and a woman took it all. It even had the cement still attached to the bottom of the posts. I had rusted, broken things that people dragged off. So who knows how this year will be but I'm getting rid of stuff and taking what I can to the recycling center.
I also plan on building a new enclosed area for my dogs and taking down some of the older fencing and then cutting down several wild trees and start working on terracing the backyard area that drops off. I'm investigating about getting fill dirt to try to level the yard some more.
And if it rains, I will be painting. Painting the kitchen, laundry room and my bedroom. I also want to "create" some paintings. I've got a huge list of things to get done! I haven't decided yet if I will take the week off from blogging or not. I might need to, so that I don't get distracted and spend valuable work time visiting my blogger buddies. I might do that and then come back with "after" photos!
Now for the reason that these movies made me think of my vacation. OK, yes the book was a bit of a romance but it was much more. And then of course there was the elephant, Rosie. I won't say anything more, I don't want to SPOIL anything. But I highly recommend the book. The other movie has footage from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a haven for elephants and rhinos.
The reason this all made me think of my vacation is because my DREAM vacation, a vacation I HOPE to one day take is to someplace like: the baby elephant orphanage.
I need to do some research, I'm not sure if they have volunteer programs but I do know there are other places that do. Most of these babies are orphaned because their mothers have been killed by poachers.
They have handlers that spend 24 hours a day with them, nurturing and caring for them. I originally saw it on 60 minutes... I think, or maybe it was CBS Sunday Morning. Then I saw it again on Oprah when Kristin Davis visited there. It just really touched my heart.
So, you can see my train of thought. Water for Elephants movie coming out, the new Born To Be Wild IMAX 3D film that's out and me thinking of my upcoming vacation and someday having a dream vacation.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I love a good bargain. I find little tables for $5.00. A chair for $2.00. A painting at an estate sale, a cabinet on clearance at Target. I haunt the paint aisle at Lowes where they mark down "mis-tint" gallons of paint for $5.00....and what do I end up with? Several different options on how to decorate a room.
and then...I just can't decide what to do!
Sometimes I think it would just be better to pick a color, a scheme and pay full price and GO with it.
It doesn't help that every other day I change my mind about what I like!
So, here's the problem.
My bedroom. 2 years ago I bought several discounted gallons of green paint that were all the same finish and very good quality and very close in color and I mixed them all together and come up with a citrus, lime green. Then I hung some paintings and stood back and looked at my room. I was NOT happy. I felt it looked juvenile. So, I've been searching for inspiration. I found THESE and I like them ALL!
See how I am all over the place!
#1 - This is pretty close to the color of my room. I could go for this kinda artsy look.
My sister did something similar to this in one of her daughters room. She hung vine woven with twinkle lights from the ceiling. Her room was actually was a purple/lavender shade and at night it looked magical!
#2 - Or maybe I could tone down the green and go for a more Arts & Crafts? contemporary look.
I like the use of VINTAGE and INDUSTRIAL...but maybe too masculine?
#3 -  Or maybe just wallpaper over it.
#4 - Or paint it white and just paint one wall for a POP of color.
#5 - or blue? I looovvvveeee BLUE.
#6 - OR  WHITE and BLACK, my favorite colors!? Hmmmm
#7 - Or go really vintage...except for all that stuff over the bed. I don't like THAT. Too fussy.
#8 -or this! I ADORE this! and I have a couple of gallons of brown mis-tinted paint!
(this is from ) My bedding is all white and I could paint my furniture white! Sigh...I wish I had these windows!
I do think this is my favorite!
(though I really love that brown!...if only I had the windows!)
I have a couple of gallons of PINK!
I could swap out my French Provincial for my Modern Retro furniture.
And maybe hang just a single small painting above my bed.
OR maybe the photo at the TOP of this post is my favorite...Hmmmm
So what's YOUR favorite?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

OK, well no...this isn't MY herb garden. But it's my inspiration.
Maybe on a smaller scale would be nice... with a little stone bench.
But I probably need something raised up, away from bunnies and little male dogs who lift their legs.
But if you know me, you know that I always have HUGE plans.
Maybe I could move my fence and enclose an area just for the dogs and then clear the side yard and terrace the hill and put a little shed at the bottom!?
Or maybe not.
maybe something more...SIMPLE.
Which brings me to.....I'M SO LUCKY!
I won the drawing over at Suzie's!
Please take a moment and stop over to her blog! She's just a wonderful person and she LOVES Halloween!
She has another blog called devoted to Halloween.
So look what I won!
Everything I need for planting and recording
and Drying
and making my herb "concoctions"!
 Thanks again Suzie!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Sometimes I just don't know what I want. Oh sure, I THINK I know but I don't. Take the fact that I've had 8 cars in 13 years...yeah, I didn't know. But the last one had the transmission going out so I emailed the dealership and told them what my needs and wants were and when they called me and I went in and then they told me that they had the PERFECT vehicle for me....I stood there waiting for a Honda Element and they pulled up in a Minivan. I kinda screamed." A Van?!" and you know what, now I love it.
It's perfect. Who knew! Certainly not me.
So I've been lusting and dreaming of a white slipcover sofa. I have had so many sofa's and loveseats that I have lost count. I always find something CLOSE to what I want but just not quite right. I always have to make some major repair or I was going to have to make some slipcovers for it. Not really a simple feat since I don't really sew. But I've had some nice ones that got damaged by my dogs. My dream was always to get the white washable slipcover one that Ikea has. Actually I wanted 2.  I thought they would look nice across from other. And of course I knew that Blue would take one of them over and I need a place to sit too!
I planned on saving up some cash and going for it . Any one that knows me and the fact that my home is full of furry kids, thinks I'm crazy. Because I want white. I've been really into the Vintage and French Provincial style of decorating but lately I'm really pulled towards the Modern, Industrial,Vintage look. I look around my home and see that most things are either white or black.....and then the other day I saw an ad for an estate sale. It had a Naugahyde sofa grouping. Hmmmm, well I HAD been thinking of brown leather but...I do have a problem with the leather part (OK, I won't even go THERE on THAT, but my mind keeps thinking of someones SKIN).
So I sent my sister out on a scouting mission and she text photos back to me while I was at work. She snagged up the tags before anyone else could get them (she can be ruthless) and called me with measurements. I thought that the sofa would be too long for my little house and I told her to just get the loveseat and chair.The loveseat was only $75. and the chair $30! Then the next morning (Saturday) I drove over to get them. It was the second day of the sale so everything was now 20% off. My sister and her husband were there getting this awesome Dining Room table with several leaves to it and these big sturdy beautiful chairs. So we loaded up my stuff and I milled around as they took the table apart to get it into their van. I kept looking at the sofa. I took the tag off so no one could buy it out from under me and I found a yardstick and I measured it. Then I measured it again. I stood back and looked at it and measured it a final time. Someone there asked me how many times I was going to measure it? And I said that I was hoping it would get smaller. It measured 7 feet, not the 8 ft that my sister had paced off. Hmmmm......

The tag was for $125. and with the 20% off it would be $100. It had 2 buttons off but they were in a baggie, taped to the side. It was just the front of them and I could glue those back into their settings. I'm not really a barterer but...I went inside. The ladies that run the sale know me by name and they adore my sister and her husband  (probably  because they are always spending money at their sales) so I walked in and they asked if I wanted the sofa too? I hemmed and hawed and I mumbled something about the buttons and then asked if MAYBE they would go down on the price a little? So she ran her adding machine for a moment and then said "How about $75?" I laughed and told her that she was evil and had read my mind! and then I wrote her a check. I got it home
and moved my other furniture around (one upstairs and the other to the curb).
I've taken some quick photos. Please don't squint at the background, I think I spy my sandal in one and white BLUE hair in another! Hey, I've been working overtime and NOT cleaning! So....please pardon the mess. But I gotta say, as I stand back and look at it. It's kinda like my van. Who knew! My sofa soulmate!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Last year, July 4th to be exact. I did a post about my dream of a little shop. I had picked out the location.
It was currently a hair salon. 
Well, as I often do, I've changed my mind. After my "antique/collectibles mall booth" experience I have decided that I just do not have the time and energy for a shop. At least not a physical, brick and mortar one. I will instead work on setting up shop online. SO... if I can't have the little shop, then the only person that I could envision having it is Karolyn. I meet her when she had her store "More than Memories". It was located in the same neighborhood as this place and she always had WONDERFUL window displays. When I drove home at night I always hoped for a red light so that I could sit in my car and just stare. Inside she had the most gorgeous "rooms" all in a big open area. You would find vintage and antique finds set in a "room" setting. Here's the kitchen area, the bedroom area, the garden wasn't a hodge-podge of things, it was a visual treat that helped you realize how beautifully the items could be displayed in your home. And then she closed up shop and moved.
The shop became "Cool Beans", a coffee shop. Cool enough,
but we all missed "More than Memories".
and now she's back! And in my dream location!
30th St and 13th Ave in Rock Island, IL.
Isn't that the most original name!? I love it.

So without further ado.
Meet Grace, Karolyn's dog.
She is so sweet! I get to see her sometimes at my "day" job. Grace comes in for Chiropractic care at the clinic. Both she and Karolyn were hit by a car as they walked across a crosswalk. The car was quickly turning the corner and did not see them crossing.
Thank goodness they both survived but sadly they both still feel the pain of that accident.
So if you are in the area, please stop into her MAGICAL shop and meet these 2 amazing females!
I stopped in with my sister and 2 of my nieces. We were all in awe.
The girls were immediately entranced.
In the front part of the shop are beautiful displays and towards the back is her "work" area. I love how she has it all open and you can see her at work in the process of creating!
She might be at her sewing machine or working on her jewelry. I tell you, this woman is so multi-talented. She has made fabulous necklaces in various themes, one of a kind creations. She has also taken faces of watches and turned them into beautiful elegant necklaces.
I saw some many items that I adored that I needed to go home and think about them all. I want this:
I 'm still thinking about it. I've been trying to be frugal but it's just screaming out my name.
My niece wants one of the necklaces (Hmmm, might be a great birthday idea!)
My sister bought a little antique stand for one of her plants
and has still been talking about a pedestal that she saw....
Sigh. I'm so happy that Karolyn and Grace have brought some style and beauty to the neighborhood!