Friday, November 27, 2009

Love at First Site

I fell in love with Frank the first time I saw him. I went to the shelter hoping to find a Border Collie. The dog that had been advertised was gone but there was this beautiful dog standing with his paws up on the pen. He looked so happy and so soft.

When I asked about him the shelter staff said Body had just been brought in by the children of his elderly owner. His owner had been walking Body and had a heart attack. He had not been cleared for adoption but would probably be available the next day. He was a one year old pure bred golder retriever.

The next morning I drug my husband, three year old and infant back to the shelter,and Body, or Frank as we renamed him, came home with us and became part of our family.

Since he was still a puppy, Frank was very rambunctious. He got into everything, stole whatever he could and fell in love with the farm cats. It was amazing to see how rough and how gentle he was with the cats. One minute he would be carrying the cats around by the head and the next licking and cleaning them as if they were his puppies. It always warmed my heart to walk into the garage and see him cuddling with one or more cats.

Goldens are known for their gentle nature with kids and Frank certainly carried this trait. We were his people as much as he was our dog. My daughter grew up tackling, hugging and trying to ride him. He was my son's escort to the road every morning to wait for the bus.

About eight months after Frank came to live with us he got sick. We went to a few different vets and not one could tell us what was wrong. Overnight, his joints quit working and he could hardly move. After multiple vet visits and many prescriptions, we put him on a high dose of prednisone. It seemed to work and he got about 50% of his spunk back.

Over the past three years he has had short relapses lasting a couple days but nothing serious. In fact, the last year he has been in such great spirits and very active. He and his cat, Steve seemed to be getting along great and he even was stealing anything and everything left around.

Until the last couple weeks. Steve ran away and Frank started going down hill. He relapsed this week and within days his systems started to shut down.

Frank died this morning and I am so sad. He was such a good dog and we were so lucky and so blessed that he was part of our family.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wasn't it just Halloween?

Is it really the middle of November? It feels like Halloween was just last weekend. I am so not ready to embrace the fact that Christmas is only SIX WEEKS AWAY.

Maybe its because we are no where close to being done with harvest. We're usually just about done picking corn and well into tillage. Most years I have my husband back by now. Or, he's at least home before 2 a.m. with a more positive outlook on life.

Maybe its because the weather FINALLY straightened out and we've had some really nice fall days. The past week has felt like Indian Summer. Later today I get to clean flower beds at my GMIL's house. I am actually looking forward to being outside.

Maybe its because I have no idea what we are doing for Thanksgiving. I'm in a bit of denial about how close we are to this holiday. I'm not worried about Thanksgiving day. That day will work itself out. I'm worried about the day after. We usually get our Christmas tree that Friday. Its a tradition I want my kids to grow up with, remember and one day cherish. This year we will most likely not be able to do this because my husband will be in the field and it has been a heavy weight on my heart. I need to remember that it is not about the DATE, its about the experience of the DAY: going as a family, picking the perfect (or not so perfect tree), bringing it home, decorating it and watching Christmas movies together that night. Easier said then done.

Maybe its time for a new tradition to take my mind off of it. When dad's still on the field on that Friday, maybe we can have a cookie bake fest with grandmas and aunts to kick off the Christmas season. Or, maybe we can make homemade ornaments. Or, maybe we can just have a jammie day, watch Christmas movies all day and eat popcorn.

What do you do to create holiday memories with your family?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Random Thoughts

This entire week I feel as though I've just been spinning my wheels. I have started a few big projects at work. I've even made pretty significant progress on them but there is so much left to do. I am so overwhelmed.

Football has been over for two weeks and I've gained ten hours each week at home. It's been nice not having to rush around but there is so much to do around here, too.

The next three days are packed full of fun, yet busy things. Tomorrow I have my last advisory board meeting for my old job. I need to organize the lunch before hand, get all the printed materials and the room ready, attend, present, get a networking reception ready for our students after the meeting, and clean up. Then, I volunteered to help set up for my son's school's vendor fair. Then, I need to come home and pack for a night away. Saturday I am going to help set up for our college's annual gala. Saturday night I get to attend the gala and dance. Then Sunday morning I will get to briefly sleep in before driving an hour home to return my son's football pads and attend his end of the season football party. Whew! I like being busy but this weekend is a bit too busy.

I have a very smart mouse living in my house. We have about 12 traps set.

Just writing this has decreased my stress. Now, off to get something accomplished...