Life and My Growing Succulent Garden

It’s been way to long. About 7 months to be exact, since I last blogged.  I used to keep up with my  blogging schedule for a time period. I mean I would be on the ball by posting 2-3 times a week, a planned and well thought out post about my bible studies, crafts, plants or favorite book or movie.  I’d come home from work, cook dinner, serve dinner, clean the kitchen, shower, then blog. But sometimes you have to put things on the back burner and focus more on what’s important. Family.

When you have a husband, two kids, four dogs, and a full-time job, Life can get crazy busy.    Sometimes I feel like it’s a rat race of epic proportions. Constant rushing and trying to meet deadlines and coordinating school pick up and drop off schedules between my husband and I. But today I was blessed to have found a small pocket of time where I could share a few of my favorite things.

My succulent garden is growing. I do a lot of container gardening in my backyard and in my front yard I do both container and in ground gardening.  There is just something so peaceful and relaxing about playing with dirt and planting up your favorite succulents and/or creating a beautiful arrangement to adorn your patio or front porch. I’ve found great joy in propagating leaves as well and just love watching how succulent leaves push out a brand new baby succulent. I’ll be sure to share more on that in future posts. For now take a look at these beauties. Don’t you just love the colors and the delicate details of every leaf?

Stay tuned for more on my succulent gardening journey and our new addition to our family of fur babies.

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Twinky

Well hello again! It’s been several months since my last blog post.  What can I say. Life happens. I’ve been blogging off and on for several years and enjoy sharing stories, tips, recipes, etc. and that’s what always brings me back to this little corner of the web.  It’s the freedom to express, share and babble on about about stuff that is near and dear to my heart.

Any animal lovers out there?   Up until 4 months ago I had 4 dogs. Twinky, Toby, Bella and Louie.  The only dogs that we planned for were Twinky and Bella. The other two boys came into our home unexpectedly and we always joke that they hit the jackpot with us because they are so loved and pretty much have a good happy dog life here.  They can’t complain and if they were human they’d tell you so themselves.  To be honest I’d be happy with 2 dogs because I think it’s a more manageable number. But Toby and Louie needed homes and despite my initial protests, I gave in and just fell in love with these furballs.  Louie was dumped on the side of the rode on a rainy day.  A lady found him but couldn’t keep him and offered him to my husband who was working nearby.  Toby was given to us by my husband’s uncle.  He had two dogs and felt he could only handle one so he gave us Toby.  We got Bella from some family friends of ours.  She’s a maltese and their dog had just given birth to three pups and asked us if we wanted one. We of course said yes.  She’s a doll and although my daughter loves all our family pets, she holds a special place in her heart for Bella Boo.

The most special memory I have is of when Twinky joined our family.    It was October of 2005.  We were visiting a friend’s house and a friend of a friend who also happened to be there had two little dogs he was trying to sell. Lindsey fell in love with Twinky right away because she was by far the cutest of the two.  Against my wishes, hubby paid $100 for her and we brought her home that night. I wasn’t quite ready for a pet because I was going through breast cancer treatment at that time and just didn’t have the desire or energy to care for a dog.  But Ernie wanted to make  the girls happy and to bring a little joy into the home during a tough year. I’m glad he did.  Long story short, Twinky graced our lives for almost 11 years. I never thought she’d get sick and I honestly believed she had a good chance of living a very long happy dog life.  Twinky was a fast dog and I would jokingly call her my little bullet because she would take off like one. Many of times we’ve had to chase her down for many blocks.  Even my brother who was dog sitting for us one year while we were away camping, had to chase her for several blocks.  She really made us sweat.  I remember my heart breaking when she got run over by a car once.  Thankfully she quickly recovered and resumed her backyard escape antics.  She was feisty too. Even though she was all of 7 lbs. she’d keep the other dogs in check and preferred them at arm’s length. Her personal space was HER personal space….LOL!  They knew she was a force to be reckoned with and were very careful not to mess with her or even think about sharing her food or bed.  But when it came to showing affection, she ALWAYS was quick to cuddle up next to me and would look at me with her adoring eyes that screamed “I love you my mama”.  She inhaled the affection and attention I would give her too. She craved it and literally cried for it if I came home from work and unintentionally forgot to greet her.  She’d be good with a pat on the head and a little rub on the belly before she’d let me tend to the family first. Then she’d run out into the yard or back to her little corner bed happy and content after we said hello to each other. These things I miss terribly.  I just couldn’t believe it when we felt the lump in her neck area. I knew it was serious. When we took her to the vet they ran tests and confirmed she had lymphoma. Treatment was going to be costly and the vet confirmed this cancer was definitely one that almost always returns. So we opted to make her comfortable. The meds helped for a while and bought her more time.  We even enjoyed a few walks together before she started to slowly decline. It wasn’t until she was blind, weak and unable to stand on her own when we finally decided it was time.

We wanted to ensure she would go in peace and in loving arms rather than home alone in her doggie bed while everyone was at work or at school. The hardest thing yes, but the most humane and loving thing you can do for a family pet.  As my daughter and I held her, there was a moment when Twinky lifted her weak little head and although blind, made eye contact with me and let out a soft, weak, faint bark and then dropped her head down. I think it was her way of saying thank you and I love you.  I know we did the right thing. There is never a good reason to prolong a beloved pet’s pain and suffering.  I miss her terribly and occasionally look at her pictures and just think about how she’d jump into my arms when I’d walk through the door. I love you my sweet girl.  You are missed so very much.

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This last photo was Twinky’s last night with us.  My husband held her and said goodbye before we took her to the vet.

 

Teaching Dad how to Use a Sewing Machine

One weekend a few months back I had to make a quick stop at my parents house to drop off something.  I ended up staying for lunch and started chatting with my dad and somehow we got on the subject of sewing.  My mom still had the Janome sewing machine I got for her birthday (or Mother’s day…can’t remember) years ago.  She barely used it and was more accustomed to her antique singer machine that no longer worked, which was why I bought her a new one.  I guess she was a little intimidated by the machine I got her and when she lost the manual to it, well that was the end of that and it just got tucked away in her closet for years.  During my visit my dad talked about how he wanted to sew curtains for the bedroom. I reminded him about the Janome that mom never uses. He said the manual was lost, I said “no problem, I’ll show you”.  He sounded like a kid…”really?” I said “yeah, I’ll teach you how to thread it and everything”.  His excitement was child-like and I loved it!

So out came the long retired, hardly used, still in mint condition Janome.  I very gently and patiently demonstrated the steps on how to thread. My dad is 86 and gets very impatient and very easily frustrated with anyone and everyone so I had to really take a deep breath…lol…and say a prayer before I started showing him what to do.  My mom, bless her heart was sitting close by and knew the basics of sewing but let me give the lesson instead.  “Okay dad, you place your spool of thread on the spool pin, then pull the thread through the back of the hook then down through the thread guide then back up through the take-up lever then back down behind the hook in front of the needle then through the  needle itself….now you try”. Oh my word…bless his heart, after a few tries he finally got it and I regret that I didn’t catch his child-like gleeful excitement on video.  I did take a video of him repeating the steps again and then one of my mom who knew what she was doing but clearly tuning my dad out as he was trying to tell her how to do it…lol!

Here’s a few pictures and a couple of videos of our afternoon together.  Sorry the videos are mostly in Spanish.
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My dad is watching my mom closely to make sure she doesn’t screw up…lol!

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