Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can You Offer Comfort To A Soul In Need?

The series of photos I am sharing in the blog post have really touched my heart!

With the new year fast approaching(one more full day before 2010!), I just want to encourage everyone to open your hearts, and be willing to reach out to help someone!

There are times when we are all afraid, or feel lonely or alone, or just need someone to comfort us when we are hurting.

The poor little puppy is so afraid-you can see his tail completely tucked-and the cat is perfectly relaxed. This seems like it is possibly from a shelter. The cat makes moves a little closer to the pup, and it appears the pup moves closer to him/her. And when they meet, this poor little fellow hides his face, and the cat allows him to, and just stays there for him.

Lord, help us to be more compassionate this coming year, as we've all probably heard the saying, for each person is fighting a battle.

I've been completely touched by these photos, and I hope you are too. And let us be reminded that everyone can use a friend in 2010!
(Click on picture to get a larger image.)


Having Fun!

I promise you that my blog is not going to turn into a promotion for my website, although I may invite you all over to visit the website every now and then!

But this was too fun, and I wanted to share it with you all!

The below short video is a few bloopers from our first video that we will be uploading to my site in a week or so. We're going to be doing how-to videos for hairstyles, and also how-to videos for bouquets. Can't wait to add them!

But anyway! I hope you enjoy the video, my wheezing, Amber's blabbering at the end, and the interesting "motorized" noise that my NEW camera makes while filming! :(

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

To my wonderful readers~ On behalf of my family, I would like to wish everyone a very, Merry Christmas, and a very blessed new year! I hope you enjoy this family slideshow I put together for my blog. :) Love, Josanne
video

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This Is Too Cute!

Be sure to watch his expressions too-so cute!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

O Holy Night

It's almost Christmas!

In step with one of my only yearly traditions, I have a song to share with you all....just in case you haven't heard it yet!

Get some tissue--this song is a real tear jerker! And be sure to listen to it to the very end.

And my disclaimer: I am a full time Christian, and I do believe God has a sense of humor. When Jesus walked on earth, there is a story in the Bible that tells of how He sat and ate dinner with the sinners, and those who were thought of as "low-life" folks. Althought the Lord is serious in most stories we read in the Bible, I personally don't believe that Jesus was completely serious when He was enjoying their company over a meal. People were drawn to Him--if He had acted high and pious, I don't believe the needy would have been drawn to Him. This story compares sinners to the sick who need a doctor, and God's word also states in Proverbs that laughter does good like a medicine. How fitting it would be for Jesus to provide moments of laughter, since He believes it is good. So! Here you have one of my favorite songs of all time:


Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh, Curses!

I enjoy a good story and love to laugh just as much as the next person. And I have come across a story or two that has made me laugh so hard that I've cried--such as "Toe" by Pat McManus.

Building my website has me searching across the world wide web looking for other great reads by authors that are hoping to get their work noticed, and I have found a few so far!

But nothing turns me away and disappoints me quite as fast as crude humor, and the topic at hand--cussing.

Since what I put on the web myself is meant to be family friendly, I do pass by articles that throw in the occasional swear word. I want to offer something that I would be comfortable with my own children seeing, along with other mothers and concerned adults across the world.

But this is not a sale ad!

No, not at all! I just got to thinking about it last night.....

Our world has tried to limit what young adults see and do with a minimum age limit on different things-rated R movies, or PG-13. Smokers have to show their ID until they are 27(the age minimum is 18, I think), and I think you have to be 21 to drink alcohol. These restrictions are meant to discourage the younger age group, even tho they show the smiling faces of a group full of young, smoking friends having a great time across the large billboards by the highways, or the football party with chips, pretzels and beer all over the coffee table, and guys and gals rooting for their favorite team.

But anyway, what if.....what if we tried to discourage cussing? Is it possible? Sure it is!

What if they took all of the cuss words, and made them at least 5 syllables long? My suggestions are:

Hooty-patooty

Hocker-doodle-maimy

Nose-pickin-cracker-cruncher-head

Sweatin-orangutan-face

Muffle-strigger-riggin

Uses for these words would be:

The car won't start AGAIN?? That thing is just a hooty-patooty piece of JUNK!

Who came up with THAT hocker-doodle-maimy idea, anyway?

The nose-pickin-cracker-cruncher-head washer overflowed this morning.

How DARE you call me names, you sweatin-orangutan-face PUNK!

I can't get the muffle-strigger-riggin door open-it's stuck!

Now, I think words like these would be great deterrents for two reasons:
  1. These words would be much harder to say, so there would be fewer of them on the big screen, and also much harder to spell. Authors would not want to stop while feeling inspired, because they had to look up how to spell hocker-doodle-maimy.
  2. The glamorous Hollywood star in all her painted perfection, and the big screen "hunk" in all of his masculinity would not say these words because it would make them sound very, very.......stupid. "I don't care if you pay me TWO million dollars for this movie-I'm not saying hooty-patooty!!!"
And the author of the romance novel would not write, "Beau Remington looked at Dynasty Dalton's velvety red dress, up-swept 'do, and dangling diamond earrings. He slipped her hand into his as he said, "You're looking muffle-strigger-riggin fine this evening, Dynasty." Kind of spoils the moment, don't you think? Good thing he didn't decide to use a different cuss word for that compliment, such as, "You're looking sweatin-orangutan-face fine this evening, Dynasty." THAT romance novel would stir some confusion for sure! Uh...was that a compliment, or is he trying to LOSE her because he's really in love with Chloe Wynchester? We'll never know.....unless there is a sequel. And then what if he uses the same line on Chloe Wynchester? Is he now trying to lose her because he realized what a good woman Dynasty Dalton is? We'll never know.....unless there is a series.....actually, with lines like that, we may never know.
So anyway! Stories are much better without all of the foul language that they throw in, and this fabulous idea I've come up with could change authors and writers all over the world! Of course, if they ever did implement my idea, all movies and books would probably be categorized as comedy. But I can't imagine the big screen actors and actresses plastered all over highway billboards with big smiles on their faces while saying "hocker-doodle-maimy". Everyone else seems to be smiling, why aren't they? And why are their cheeks all red?

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Almost Here!!!

Am I talking about Christmas? Or 2010? Not really.....

I'm talking about my 40th birthday!!!

Have you already been there? Do you know how it feels to want to grab someone, anyone, by both arms and shout, "I'm turning 40!!! Aggghhhhh!!!!!"???

My birthday is February 3rd, so it's less than two months away. Which brings me to an announcement that I decided to make! I figured that I would share this with my blog readers, so that you all can hold me accountable! Make me feel like a heel if I don't follow thru!

So what is my great announcement, my declaration that is so important???

I am officially on a diet!!! (Excuse me while I wipe my tears and blow my nose.......boy, it seems that is becoming the norm in my blogging these days!)

No more chocolate, no more chocolate cake with chocolate icing, no more half gallons of ice cream, NO MORE!!! (Sniff!)

Let me give you a little hint---house fires cause you to get FAT!!! I've gained 15-20 pounds since our fire! UGH!!!

Anyway, a couple of the reasons I am on a diet:

1.) My poor, poor knees. They feel it, oh, do they feel it!!!

2.) My poor, poor clothes, THEY feel it, OH, DO THEY FEEL IT!!!!!!
Since I had to replace almost all of my dress clothes, you would think they would fit! Not so! They're screaming for mercy!

I love clothes shopping as much as the next woman, but there is a limit! I mean, how many new wardrobes do I actually want? Just one! Not 3 in separate sizes! I have winter jackets and sweaters and skirts that I want to wear! I also want to be able to BREATHE while wearing them!!!

3.) Among the other things that feel it are my wallet, my car, my furniture, and Dan's lap. :D

4.) I ain't no spring chicken no more, and the older I get, the harder it is to lose! I better do something now before I'm another few years older! And how I wish I would have listened to that wise, elderly lady who told me this truth, when I was about 19-back when I was thin!

And then there are two more reasons I will share with you!

1.) Family pictures are coming up!

And the BIGGIE!!! The biggie is......

I have to renew my driver's license in Feb, 2010!!!

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you've ever had an awful driver's license photo that you had to carry for 4 years, you would totally understand! Oh sure, you may drive the speed limit, so you aren't worried about it, but don't forget to figure in that you have to give the nice policeman your license when you are in a fender bender, even if you aren't the guilty party!

I know this first-hand! The time a truck came in my lane and hit me is the same time that I had my license picture taken during the time I was pregnant--I never stayed small when I was expecting, and I looked like someone had punched me right between the eyes! The nice policeman asked for my license, and my face just dropped. He asked if it was bad, meaning, is it expired or something? And I thought, Yeah, it's REALLY bad!!! I started rambling about how I was pregnant at the time, and he told me he thought all pregnant women were beautiful. That was BEFORE he looked at my picture! I'm sure I became the exception! And of all things, this HAD to happen in my small town, so that I would not be able to escape the embarrassment at a distance!

So there you have it! I won't bore you with all the details of my dieting, but might update you on the progress, since I've now admitted it to the world! Everyone except Dan---he's heard this one before, but this time I'm serious! :D

So feel free to send me your best and easiest low carb recipes and desserts! And think of me when you eat your desserts! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Things I Forgot About Kitties

Well, we've had our new babies for about a month, and there are many things that are coming back to my remembrance about kittens. So if you get a kitten or two, keep these things in mind:
  1. Kittens like small round things, like hair bands(ponytail holders) and milk rings. Thus, you will find them laying all over the house, and it isn't because your kids were just being sloppy. (My baby Jazz liked to drop milk rings in our shoes. When she was a kitten, she would drop them in the shoe and swat at them. I would think she couldn't get the ring back out, so I would help her. She would then pick up the milk ring and drop it back in the shoe!)
  2. Kitties like anything that dangles. Pullies for your ceiling fans(we hold our babies up in the kitchen and let them bat them around for a little bit), strings from your ironing board cover, fringe from your scarves, hair when you bend down, and snowflakes you hang on your banister for your Christmas and winter decor. Take a tip from me--forget the snowflakes on the banister! I had 8-10 or so hanging on mine, looking so pretty. There are none left on the banister--the kitties re-decorated for me, leaving flakes, glitter, and the little metal wires you use to hang them, all over the house, and on two seperate levels of the house.
  3. Kitties have sharp claws that snag furniture and sheers. (Okay, I'm crying now!) When you have more than one kitty, the game of "chase" is a favorite across the backs of your couches. When you have tall dining room chairs, small kittens can't always aim perfectly for jumping up on them, thus allowing you to hear their sharp little kitty claws digging in while they get a grip.

A couple tips from me:

  • You can buy cardboard scratch posts for your babies-this gives them the pleasure of scratching like they desire(our kitties don't scratch the furniture on purpose, thankfully, but they obviously don't realize what running across the back of the couch does to it, and me(SSSNNNnnnniiifffffff!!!!---excuse me while I wipe my eyes and blow my nose....).
  • Instead of declawing your wonderful felines, there is a wonderful product on the market that I discovered, and they definately help! With kittens, they can be a little work, but it definately will ease your nerves when they jump on the furniture. The product is called Soft Claws. They come in different sizes and colors! They are little rubber caps that you glue to your kitten's claws. They do not hurt the kitten, and they turn their sharp little nails into soft, rubber ones. Sometimes kittens will try to get them off, until they get used to them. They should stay on for 8 weeks or so. We team up when we put them on our kitties--one holds the kitten and feeds her treats, while the other extends her claw and puts the cap on. You can find them on ebay, and I'm sure other places on the web. I'll put them in my sidebar on this page for now...you can also trim their nails, but be ever so careful not to trim them too short! Check on the web how to do it!

So there you have it! A few things to remember when getting a kitty. You will also need to have many, many treats on hand, lots of toys, and you will need to remember how to talk baby talk, and call yourself Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, Grandma or Grandpa. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our New Babies







These are our new kitties, Diamond and Chloe. Technically, these are Elissa's kitties. Jazz is still my baby--I guess I'm just Grandma to the new kitties. They can be our little princesses, but Jazz is still the QUEEN!



Thursday, December 3, 2009

High Winds

Before Dan and I went to bed last night, he had checked the weather report online. There were warnings of high winds, and the suggestion of securing light objects. All of those blown up yard ornaments could be in danger!!! I could even hear the wind whipping while sitting in my bed!
So anyway, I wondered......
While I slept, I wonder if Santa rolled thru my yard like a tumbleweed last night? Did Frosty, or several Frosty's do somersaults down the hill out back? Hmm.....maybe even the big guy in the red suit drove across the front yard in his Nascar car!
All of this could have been quite a site!

Speaking of quite a site, here you go.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

As Always, Check With Your Doctor First

I was working on my website tonight, and just put an article up for healthy, low-carb snacks.

Although I am not trying to persuade anyone into low-carb dieting, I personally have had good success with it, at one point having lost 20 pounds, and seeing my normally very low energy level raise to a point of not feeling the need for a nap every day.

But anyway!

I got to thinking.....

How often have any of us come across a crash diet that promised to help you lose 10 pounds in a week? Or 5 pounds in two days?

Chances are you've seen them in all the ladies' magazines, and friends have passed them around, plus the many websites that are eager to share the info with you as well.

What struck me as funny is.....

Most diets you see tell you to be sure to check with your doctor before beginning the diet.

So I am wondering.....

How many of us have checked with our doctor before going on one of these crazy, WAY out of balance diets?

I can see myself talking to my doctor, and saying, "If it's ok with you, I'm going to only drink 3 orange juice/honey/banana concoctions for the next two days, so that I can lose 5 pounds."

Or...

"Doc, I found this great diet, and I just needed to check with you....I'm going to lose 10 pounds in 3 days, and I get to eat ice cream and hot dogs to do it!"

I can sort of see my doctor staring at me as if I just grew a third eyeball. And like he's really going to say, "Great! That will help lower your cholesterol level too-I noticed it was a bit high from your last blood work!"

More likely, he is trying to come up with a polite response, instead of taking a deep sigh and rolling his eyes far enough back to see if he has a rooster tail in his hair, and exclaiming, "Who in the world comes up with these CRAZY IDEAS???"

I, for one, will continue to do what I've always done. I will buy all the new women's magazines that have large, bold print across the front, telling me about the latest breakthrough in lab research that has discovered how to lose 18 pounds in just 7 days!

And then, when I get enough will power, and only 3 of my skirts still fit around the waist, I will go back to eating salads, veggies, and other low-carb foods, since that is what has worked for me. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sometimes Life Hands You.....

Sometimes life is so sweet, as if to hand you a delightful bar of richest milk chocolate on Earth.

Such as my new next door neighbor, Hope, seeing me many times at my house before we actually met, and thinking I had to be a sister, instead of the mother, since she thought I looked so young! Bless your heart, Hope!

And then......

Sometimes life squirts a lemon right in your eye!!!

Like today......

A friend of ours used to work at our local Walmart, and she married and moved away. She waited so long to find Mr. Right, and she really did marry a very good man at the age of 28. She just had a precious baby girl, and we're so happy for her!

When Amber and I were in Walmart today, our friend's former manager said hi to us, and we let him know that our friend had a baby. He was SO happy for her, and he told Amber and I he was very happy for us.

That seemed just slightly different, but that was fine. She was a very close friend to Amber before she moved.

We chatted another minute or so, and again, he told us that he was happy for us. And then...THEN.....THEN...........

He said, "Congratulations, Grandma!"

UHhh.......what was that???

It finally donned on us. The manager thought I was our friend's MOTHER!!!

Okay, I'm doing okay with nearing 40, sort of.....but our friend is nearly 30 years old, and he thought I was her mother!!!!! So of course I had to burst out into tears and hide my face while my shoulders shuddered....

Okay, the crying and shuddering shoulders were and act.... :D

Anyway, we figured it out....

Amber was with our friend so often, and both have very dark, curly hair---many people thought they were sisters!

He must not have looked at my youthful skin, gorgeous thick mane and trendy clothing-relaxed fit pullover and jean skirt-and just thought of my daughter being this girl's sister.

I forgive him....

So the next time someone hands you a rich, melt in your mouth, silky smooth chocolate bar, beware---someone is probably waiting around the corner with a lemon for ya! Ha!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Clutter

I woke up this morning, and a great revelation HIT me!!!

If you don't have time for the things in your home, get rid of them! Clutter demands so much time-a real robber in our lives!

So.........

I decided to throw out Dan and the kids, the dishes, the ironing, the bills and the laundry!

....

....

....

....and I'm keeping the kitties!!!

....

....

....

....(wink, wink!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The New Girls In Town

I'm thankful for my faithful readers, and bearing with me during my slow times....I haven't posted much lately. I hope to get back in the swing of things soon!

I do have some news to share with you all, tho!

We are now the proud owners of two beautiful grey striped baby girl kitties-Diamond and Chloe. Oh, what sweeties!!!

My girls and I went to the mall Tuesday, and we decided to eat in the mall. Well, we had to walk by the pet store to get there, and we stopped to look at the kittens.

I'm sure you all know how it went from there...we've been wanting a cat, but I've been holding out hope to find my own princess, Jazz. The girls "talked" me into the grey sisters, and we brought them home.

We didn't tell Dan that we got them, and it is VERY unlike me to just bring a pet home without talking to Dan first. The thing is, we have talked about getting another cat, so I knew Dan wouldn't object. NOT to mention the times he's brought home puppies, a rabbit, and a black rat without consulting me first! lol After 16 years of marriage, I guess it's my turn! :) (Nah, I wouldn't really do such a thing if I didn't already know he'd be ok with it!)

Anyway, Dan was sitting in the livingroom when we got home, and Elissa was hiding behind Amber with the cat cage, when we came in the house. She opened the cage door and just let the kitties come out on their own, and then Dan saw them. I can't remember if Chloe climbed up on Dan, or if one of us set her in his lap, but his heart was stolen by this sweet little girl instantly! She loved all over Dan, and then curled up on him and stayed there for probably 20 minutes. It was love at first sight! Or lick!

A day and a half later, the little girls are making themselves at home-they are very happy here! They purr and play quite a bit, when they are not sleeping. They are about 9-11 weeks old, and we're glad we got both kitties, because they are quite attached to each other. They cry for each other, if they are apart for very long.

We're very happy in our new home, and now with our furry friends, our home feels more complete. :)

Have I given up on my baby Jazz? Noo....I still hope to find her, and I still cry over her.

The good news is....a friend is moving to our land where our house burned-putting a trailer on the land for a while. I've felt that if we had ever built on our land again, that it wouldn't surprise me if Jazz would show up someday. This is still my hope, but with our friend living there, someone will be out there much more than I am able to be out there, and with the colder months coming, my hope is that Jazz will show up on the doorstep and want in.

Then she would be the Queen of our home, and Diamond and Chloe will be the little princesses. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Babies---SOOOooooooo Precious!!!

Laughing babies--one of the most precious things in the world!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm Dangerous To Myself!

Am I sure I have a brain??? Well, regardless, I do entertain myself! I just have to make sure I don't HARM myself!

I did two stupid things in two days last week.....

I went out to my burnt house, still looking for my baby Jazz(my cat), and I set food inside the doorway where the kitchen was, on a towel. I then check for animal hair to see if her colors show up. So far, I think I am just feeding a raccoon and an oppossum. But anyway! I also look inside the garage. Hopefully she'll try to take shelter here shortly, since the cold weather is coming, and the garage is still standing.

I pulled into the driveway, and thought, "I'll just leave the car running, since I'm just going to check real quick, and get back in." So, I got out of the car, and.....

the car started moving! I forgot to put it in park!!!

And the next day....

I took my recyclables down to the big blue bins, being a responsible earthling and all. The bins had just recently been emptied, so there was plenty of room for my stuff.

As I threw in my last batch of plastic recyclables, I threw my keys in with them!!!

Oh great! The bin was possibly 1/3 full, and my keys landed on a bag. Well, fortunately for me, I was on my way to a cleaning job, and had my Swiffer extended handled wand with me. I bent it so that the prongs could slip thru my keyring. WHEW!

I got back in my car, and laughed myself half of the way to my cleaning job.

They say you're finally mature when you are able to laugh at yourself! I must be VERY mature! And I give myself plenty of opportunity to laugh!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's a Jungle Out There!!!

Dan and I have one topic that comes up every so often that gets me shouting out my defense statements to friends-my history with wildlife.



Maybe Dan just likes to impress our friends! Maybe he thinks we'll have more friends if he tells them how his wife has survived multiple attacks by the most viscious beasts known to mankind. Whatever the case, I am here to tell you the REAL stories!


As Dan likes to tell it, I was attacked by a lion, bitten by a boa constricter, and mauled by a monkey.


But what REALLY happened are these events:


1. The lion...

When I was little, I lived in Akron, Ohio, and there was a pet store called Tanks a Lot. Anybody else remember it? They had a cub in their store named Peaches. Since I was only about 6 or so, she was about as big as me when she was on her hind legs.

One day, they had let Peaches out of the cage, and she came over and jumped on me! No, I wasn't hurt, she was just being a playful cat who happened to be my size!

2. The boa constrictor...

When I was in fourth grade, we had a man visit our class with a huge snake. I was a bit squeamish with that HUGE thing in the room, so even tho I was sitting at the time, I was able to quickly jump to my feet.

When the man and his slithering friend came to my group of desks, that MONSTER of a worm swung his head right in my direction! I saw it coming, so I jumped out of my seat and moved just in time--the snake's head swung right to where I was sitting! I was nearly kissed by a snake!

3. The monkey...

Again in grade school, I do believe it was 5th grade, I had my encounter with a monkey.

Our school had a carnival, and we had a man visit with his pet monkey. It was so cute--with his little outfit and all.

This little furry thing was permitted to climb on us students, and he climbed about shoulders. I wanted him to climb on me too, so I stuck out my hand for him to climb up my arm....

Instead, the monkey BIT my hand! It really did!

Well, it's probably good that I didn't decide to become a vet in my adult life! With my history, I'd probably get the wrong kind of reputation!

"Yeah, that Dr. Anthony-would you believe she claims that she was attacked by a lion, bitten by a boa, and mauled by a monkey? Next, she'll be claiming a bear swiped her side, a coyote bit her toe off, and she had 17 porcupine quills stabbed thru her heart!"

I guess it's a good thing that being bitten by a mouse once is such a small thing-Dan doesn't bring that story up too often. Maybe he forgot....

Funny tho, I don't tell everyone that Dan has rabies after he got bit by a RAT!!! I'll have to tell you about that story another time.....

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little of This And That, And a Quote to Keep You Pondering

Hi Everyone! I hope you all are well! It's beautiful in PA, and fall has arrived! I cannot tell you all how THRILLED I am to have a REAL source of heat this year! WE used to heat with wood at our old house, but now we have forced air heat, and I couldn't be more delighted! And it still amazes me how God has everything in control...with Dan falling out of a tree and having major back and neck surgery, he would not be able to cut wood this year anyway! We could buy it, but it would get costly.

Speaking of Dan, I think we can say that we are thru the worst of pain-he came to church today without his neck brace on, and is working on exercising his neck. Unfortunately, he has developed something called Swan Neck, where his neck goes forward, almost as if he is slouching. But it is very hopeful that it was noticed in time, and physical therapy will start this week. So we're looking forward to the complete recovery!

I'm still calling for my cat--I tell you, if she doesn't become more affectionate when I find her, I will definately have to remind her of the HOURS I've searched for her, and tell her she better start being lovable! Just kidding. :) Actually, my family talks about getting another kitty, but I don't just want a cat, I want MY cat. She has such a sassy personality, and I miss it! She's my little girl, and I just love her to pieces. I've called and called for her--I actually think a cow answered me once! lol Hopefully when the leaves all fall, I will be able to see much better into all of the woods near our house, and hopefully I'll spot her! I just can't bring myself to give up hope. I'm still praying to find her!

Well just a little of this and that to share with you all! And one last thing.....

A great quote to start your week!.....
(The rightful owner of this quote is T. Dowd):


"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Louie, Part 2

At my last home, we lived in the country. You couldn't see your neighbors' houses from your own, but they were close enough if you needed anything. That's why I never met Louie before.

On a Sunday afternoon, I went to my kitchen door, and saw a chocolate lab out there. I'm not sure WHY I did this, but I opened the door, and in he came! I've let stray kitties come in, but not usually dogs, especially big ones!

Well, he sure was a friendly one, and he made himself right at home! I actually thought he was lost! He had on a dog tag, so I was going to call on Monday to the animal place, to find out who he belonged to. We'd then return him.

Within a short time, he was on my couch, chewing on my son's rope, and accidentally giving my couch a "worn in, aged" look(I forgive you for the tear your claw poked thru the leather, Louie!).

Since I didn't own a dog, I had no dog food, and since this pup was lost, feeding him was the only right thing to do! So I gave him Hot Pockets. :) That night, I went and bought dog food.

I found out Monday that he lived at the farm down the road, so we called his owners and Louie went home.

Louie decided he liked my house very well, and I think it was because of the kids being there. I didn't let him in the house anymore, or feed him, after I found out he wasn't lost, but he continued to show up regularly anyway.

You should have seen the times his owners had to chase him down and "convince" him to head home! I saw his "daddy" stop when he was in my yard, and Louie laid down so they almost couldn't get him in the truck to take home. LOL!!! I mean!.....bad dog!!!!

Well, one day, I heard a very high pitched noise while I was home by myself, and it puzzled me. What in the world??? I went back to what I was doing, and a little while later I decided to start the laundry.

When I opened my laundry room door, I was startled to see a large chocolate lab looking up at me with his sad puppy eyes! Louie had found his way into my laundry room by crawling all the way under my house!!! Unbelievable!

I tried to coax him outside, but noooooo........he didn't want to leave! He was big, so I couldn't exactly toss him out the door! So I tricked him! I think I threw a toy or pretended to(I don't remember), and he ran outside. I quickly shut the door, and Louie was sad.

But Louie was also determined! He did the same thing again-came thru my crawl space into my house! I wanted Dan's help to cover the opening outside to the crawl space, but he wasn't home. So what was I to do? I left Louie in the house. I didn't know how long he had been in my laundry room, so thought he might be hungry, and put some dog food on the floor for him.

A little while later, I had glanced out the kitchen windows, and noticed Louie's "mommy" driving down the road looking for him. I quickly ran outside to get her attention and let her know that he was at my house again. She saw me and made her way to my driveway with her SUV.

You won't believe what happened next!

I left the door open as Doneva pulled into the drive, and Louie came out behind me. He saw his mommy, and immediately backtracked, back into my kitchen!

Can you imagine how I must have sounded, saying these next words? As I went out to greet her, Doneva passed me by and marched right into my kitchen to teach Louie the way home "more perfectly". All the while I'm trying to tell her, "Once I found out who Louie belonged to, I stopped letting him in the house, and I don't feed him anymore either."

Oh yeah, I'm sure she REALLY believed me! I mean, she had to go IN my kitchen to get her dog, and there was dog food scattered all over the floor!

Needless to say, Louie's wandering days were over for a while. He had to be put on his chain for a few weeks or so, to help him remember where he lived.

Thankfully, my good neighbors didn't hold it against me, and didn't think I was trying to steal their pup! They even hired my son to come down and feed and water Louie when they were working at the country fair.

But Louie is a fond memory! He's still a happy neighborhood dog, but he stays home much better these days. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Louie, Part 1

Well, Monday is the first day of school....

Hot diggity d...!!!!!

I mean, I'm looking forward to a good year for my kiddos! :)

Stay tuned next week, for I have a wonderful story to tell you about Louie!

A few facts about Louie and our house....

1. Louie is a chocolate lab that lives down the road from my burned house, on a farm

2. Louie loves kids, and his owners' children are all grown

3. I have a big heart for animals

4. My old house had a crawl space that had an opening in the back of the house, and also had an opening in my laundry room(my laundry room was 2 steps down, making it slightly lower than the main floor in my ranch home)

5. Louie's owners don't let him roam the neighborhood, and search for him when he wanders off.

Check back next week for all the details! And have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sweet, Innocent Mistakes

Did you all know that once upon a time, I was a waitress? Actually, waitressing has been one of my main types of employment during my adult years.

Locally, we have a nice family restaurant, Sam's, owned by Tom. Tom was a great boss, and it's always nice to see him when he visits us at church, or I run into him in town, or see him at his restaurant.

I'm reminded of a time when I worked at Sam's, and I made a very sweet, innocent, INNOCENT, I'm telling you, mistake!!!

During the time I worked at Sam's, Tom was engaged to my husband's cousin. Tom is one of the best bosses I have ever had, always so pleasant, and just a good man all around.

BUT!!!

No matter how BLONd you are, or how good of a boss you have, there are just certain things that should NEVER be said to your employer!!!

One day while I was working, Tom had eaten a meal while he was there. Every good waitress does her best to keep a table clear of dirty dishes, and other things that just clutter up the booth that her customers are sitting in.

I was walking around the restaurant, doing little things that needed done, and I stopped by Tom's booth to clear the condiments he was finished with.

As he was looking down at his paperwork, what I said was, "Are you finished with this honey?"

What it sounded like was, "Are you finished with this, Honey?"

Tom's utterly surprised look turned up toward me as I realized what it had sounded like I said! I quickly tried to re-word my sentence, as I turned 14 shades of red!!!

Thankfully Daniel realizes my Blon roots will always be there, and Jean still married Tom, and didn't worry that I was trying to come between them! I just hope Tom doesn't think of me every time he puts honey on his food....

"Hey, this reminds me of the time when Josanne asked me....."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sophistication At It's Finest

Ahh....raising daughters to be lady-like is such a rewarding experience. Once they reach their full sophistication potential, you are in for a treat! I found this out yesterday!

Dan is recovering from surgery, so it was the just kiddos and me coming home from church.

We stopped by Country Fair gas station/mini store to buy a newspaper, and I parked at the end of the parking lot, near the road. When I opened my car door, the $10 bill I had in my lap fell out of the car. I looked for it, but couldn't see it, so Dakota got out to help me look. Down on his knees, and me bending over, both of us looking under the car, we spotted it.

My lovely daughter Amber, with her ruffly top, black skirt and high heels, gets out of the car to help as well.

Since, I can't reach the money, I am planning to back the car up, so the one of the kids can grab it. Before I could move the car, Dakota says that he'll get it. And Amber, in her heels, ruffly blouse and dressy black skirt(yes, I know I already mentioned this--trying to give you a mental picture of her being very dressed up!), says, "I'll get it."

In the blink of an eye, on the concrete in the Country Fair parking lot, Amber was down on her knees, the upper half of her body slinked down under the car, reaching for the money. Since it wasn't quite close enough, this beautiful girl with her fancy hair and lovely outfit had to lay completely flat, on the concrete parking lot, halfway under my car, reaching for money.

She did get it. I was laughing so hard at this "what's wrong with this picture?" sight! Of course, this is the time I would park at the end of the parking lot, near the road! And I am sure that many passerby's were looking, while they sat at the red light.

So what was a mother to do? When she was back on her feet and handed me the money, I hugged her! It was such a joyous, fun moment.

During the night last night, I woke up. I didn't fall right back to sleep and started thinking about Amber's money rescue.

Can you get a mental picture of my parked car, and legs in a black skirt sticking out under the back end? I got to thinking.....

Minus an ambulance, Dakota and I were both looking under the car....with people all around, and a pair of legs sticking out, laying flat....it probably looked like I ran her over!!!

I'm sure we gave Titusville a good laugh! I know it gave me a good laugh! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Extra Broccoli For Two, Please :)

A nice little treat we enjoy here in our small town is having a meal at the Chinese restaurant.

Many moons ago, my brother-in-law had eaten with us at the restaurant, and then we were stopping by his house for him to change clothes and come to our house to help Dan split wood for our woodstove.

You know, I'm not one to make fun of someone having food on their face or anything, and I'm not into picking on people.

That being said, Dan and I were sitting in the car waiting for Tim to get changed, and we were having a happy time. I don't remember what we were talking about, but we were both smiling and laughing, like all married folk should!

I turned and looked my beloved in the eyes, while he flashed his pearly whites at me, and something caught my eye! Between both front and second top teeth, Daniel had broccoli pieces, nice and green, for all the world to see.

I, his loving wife, sweetly smiled and said, "I don't mean to embarass you, but you have broccoli stuck between your teeth." As I mentioned before, we were already merry and laughing, so of course I wasn't laughing at the broccoli between his teeth-both front sets! I was pointing to my teeth to show him where his greens were sprouting, so that he could pick the pieces out.

Do you want to know what he said to me? As he sweetly smiled back at me, he sarcastically laughed back at me and said, "Heh heh heh--look in the mirror!"

Here, as I was pointing to my own teeth to show him his leftover broccoli, I was actually pointing to broccoli that was stuck between my own teeth-both front sets!

Doesn't the Bible say something about this? Like, get the broccoli out of your own teeth before trying to get it out of your brothers? Or was it something about beams and wood? ;)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Impressing My Church Friends

Years ago, I received a little red car from someone, a Ford Fiesta! It was about as big as a carboard box, but that was fine because it was my very own car! There was one thing about the car that I did find a challenge-it was a stick shift, a standard.

I didn't know how to drive a standard, but with the help and instruction from friends, I did learn.

I can't say that I had it down pat, but I could drive it! And one morning, my parents' vehicles were not available, so I had to drive my own cute little red, stick shift car to church. :)

How did it go-the drive to church? Well, I made it! A friend at church figured I probably became a more spiritual person on the way there...."Oh Jesus, help me!" "Lord, don't let me hit that curb!", and so on!

Well, my arrival at church was no great deal, but my departure was incredibly embarrassing! You would think that I chose this moment to impress all of my church friends.

My church sat close to the corner at an intersection, so cars are near the church doors when they are at the stop sign.

I had pulled up to the stop sign, bracing myself for the ride home, and a car pulled up behind me. You know what I did? I panicked! I was afraid I would accidentally drift into the car behind me when starting to drive. So in my panic, I didn't balance the gas and clutch quite right, and I SQUEALED tires the entire way across the intersection! I wish I could do sound effects for you!

Ladies and gentlemen, I couldn't do that again if I TRIED!!! I must admit that most of the church family was already gone, but of ALL PLACES to squeal tires! And I must admit, I did laugh and laugh after I made it across the street! It's nearly 20 years later, and I'm still laughing.

Ahh...a blast from the past-shared with you. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Trashy Romance Story

Harlequins, move aside!

Most of the trashy romance stories you read are SOOO unreal, so fake, so unbelievable!

I don't need those kinds of books because I have my own trashy romance story, and my story is true! I'll just think of my own memories, and save myself $10, instead of buying some inferior piece of fiction at the bookstore.

This is my story...

First of all, you need to know that I had put our trash out by the curb for pick up. You also need to know that at the time, I was doing a 4:30 a.m. paper route each morning, which usually brought me back home around 7-8 a.m.

My adorable hubby Dan and I were both leaving in our seperate vehicles one afternoon, and I pulled out of our long driveway first. Unfortunately, I never have mastered driving a car backwards....

I was putting the car in drive once I hit the road, and Dan was flagging me down for some unknown reason. He must have had something important to say, the way he was waving his arms....

He says, "You just ran over the trash!"

I say, "I did?!?!?!?"

He says, "Didn't you feel the back end of the car go up in the air???"

So! The prince of a man that he is, he cleaned up the trash that I had scattered so innocently.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a true trashy romance story--you can feel the love from my man, not even making me clean up my own mess!

And guess what??? This story has a sequel!!! Read on!

The next morning, I was out very bright and early doing my paper route. Dan would get up a few hours later for work.

Driving right along, the cell phone rings, and it is my knight in shining armor.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason he sounded a little worn out and slightly depressed. I still can't figure it out! Maybe you can help me....

He says...

"You need to buy more trash bags. You ran over the trash again."

Does anybody have a clue?

p.s. My prayer for the day: Lord, can I please have blond hair in heaven???

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why Is She Laughing?

Several years back, life could be hectic, and it was a time when Dakota was still in diapers.

On one rainy day, I had to hurry home after washing my white clothes in town because one of my Home Interior customers was stopping by. I threw my basket of whites in the trunk of the car, loaded up my children and headed home.

I drove from the far end of town, got to the last red light before leaving town, and remembered...I need diapers!!! I turned around, drove all the way back thru town, bought my diapers, and headed home for real this time.

I hadn't taken my laundry in the house yet, just the children, and my customer arrived.

So we took care of business, and she left.

When I was going out to unload the car, Elissa headed out just ahead of me. She started laughing uncontrollably, and was pointing to the trunk of the car, where I had stuck my whites. As I looked closer, I saw what she was laughing at....

I had just driven thru town 3 times, and had a customer pull into my driveway behind my car with an item that got loose from my basket, and was stuck between the hood and the body of the trunk of the car.

It was a pair of white underwear.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The City Girl, The Country Mouse, And a Few Others

Can you believe that there was a time when I was very afraid of bees and mice??? I'm still not crazy about finding either in my home, but I can tolerate them a little better. I was thinking back to a time when I was afraid of mice, and thought, I need to put this story on my blog!!!


So! Once upon a time....


It was probably about 8 years ago, I was home in the evening, and Dan, Elissa and Amber were at music practice. Kota must have been in bed.

I was sitting in the office, and thought I saw something run across the livingroom floor. I cautiously walked into the livingroom, and yes! Sure enough, there was a mouse staring back at me!

I hurried to the kitchen, and grabbed some cheese and a mousetrap-needless to say, I was SHAKING!!! Not to mention, I didn't know how to set a mousetrap, but I was trying! Oh yeah-like I'm going to set the trap down, and the mouse is going to come running to it anyway! (Yes, those pesky Blon roots of mine!)

Just then, Dan returned home, and I told him there was a mouse in the livingroom.

Dan and Elissa, armed with my mop and broom, headed for the livingroom! And I did what Aunt Jemima would do...I got up on the stool in the kitchen to protect myself!!!

The chase began, and the little mouse dodged and darted all thru the livingroom, under furniture, along the walls, over here, over there.....

Mop and broom were swinging! Dan was breaking out in a sweat, and turning over all of my furniture! He and Elissa both swung their weapons at the same time at the little critter, and instead, hit each other's mop and broom, breaking BOTH!

We had a bay window, and I'm sure if anyone drove by, they would have been POSITIVE that we had gone MAD!!!

Yes, once again, my brilliance shined thru my air-headed-ness, and a lightbulb appeared over my head!

I noticed the mouse was mostly running along the walls, so I took the trash bag out of our trash can, and laid the can against the wall. Sure enough the mouse ran in within minutes. I set the can up, and we took the critter into the kitchen. Those little fellas can jump! Fortunately, he couldn't jump high enough to get out tho.

By now, my livingroom looked as if we had been ransacked, with couches overturned and everything out of place! That little mouse caused quite an uproar! So guess what we did?

When he looked up at me from the trash can, with those big, baby brown eyes, I just couldn't resist! We gave him some cheese and then Dan took him across the street to the woods and let him go.

The end. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guess What We Saw!

My Saturday morning started out with two messages on my answering machine, telling me that there was a BEAR up a tree three houses up the road from mine!

I've lived in PA for 16 years, and even tho bears are here, you don't see them very often, so it is a sight most people consider special. I'm terrified of bears, and have never gotten used to the idea that they are near, but I woke Elissa and Dakota, and the three of us went to see.

The baby was up the tree-a year old baby-probably 2-3 feet tall, and mama bear was at the top of the hill above, at the edge of the woods. She wanted the baby, but didn't want to come near us. It was also thought that she stayed up at the edge of the woods because she probably had another cub in the woods that she was also trying to protect.

The neighbor showed me his back porch where his trash can had been, and then showed me where a bear had taken the trash can just a few days earlier, and completely mangled it, leaving it in the yard. It ate all of his bird seed, and rolled around in his flowers! lol

We watched from our car for several minutes, and then Pete(the neighbor) brought out a jar of peanut butter and a long stick, and told us he was going to go rub the peanut butter on the tree since bears love peanut butter. I, of course, asked him if he was suicidal, but he said no. Elissa had her cell phone and HAD to get this on video! And my son told her to make sure she got pictures when the bear ate Pete! lol

The bear was up the tree ALL DAY! Finally around 8 or so at night, they disappeared.

I'm afraid of them, but they are quite a sight! The babies are so cute, and the black fur is gorgeous! Black bears are not aggressive, and everyone in PA will tell you that they won't bother you if you don't bother them. But it is also common knowledge that you should never get between a mother and her cubs. The mama we saw did stand on her back legs a couple of times at the top of the hill, and she also cried a message to her baby or to us--I don't know if they call bear calls barking, crying or what. But I'd never heard it before, and it was neat to hear.

I didn't want to see her distressed, but seeing this mama and her baby was a cool site! And I just wanted to share!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cats, adorable cats!

Still missing my baby Jazz, but neighbors at our old burned house think they saw her last week! Trying to get my fill of furry friends elsewhere for now-some of my customer's cats, and then I saw this adorable slideshow! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Almost a Compliment

I mentioned in an earlier post that I joined the YMCA. I've been rather busy this week, so I've only worked out once so far. But wow! With one friend of mine, she nearly made it seem that the results were already showing!

We often pass around clothes at our church, if something doesn't fit quite right, or our kiddos outgrow and outfit. Another family in the church can often use the "new" items.

So, we were at the water fountain at church, and my friend asked me, "Do you wear a size 8?". Instantly after her question, my head tilted up and a small, involuntary "HA!HA!" type of sound came from my lips.

Now, this is what gets me~why didn't my friend think I was laughing at a silly joke I had heard earlier? Why didn't she think I was remembering something cute one of my kids did?

After the sound came from my mouth, my friend immediately said, "I mean, in shoes!"

Unbelievable! Here, I felt very complimented, and then she just had to bring me back to reality! Thanks a lot, Sis!

So what is someone going to say to me next? "You look like you are 20!" And when I am so elated that I feel the urge to hug them, will they say something like, "Oh, I meant in DOG YEARS!"??? Or, "Have you been dieting? I mean, on brownie sundaes or something?"

Well, I guess I'll just have to keep going to the gym. Sigh.

Maybe the next time if someone asks me if I'm a size 8, I'll be able to smile and say, "Why, yes I am-in dress size or shoes?".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Man Can Dance!



When I met Dan, it didn't take long for me to see how good looking, funny, and happy-go-lucky he was. He was also a hard worker, responsible and sincere. But Dan kept one secret concealed from me for several years-the man can DANCE!!! And this is how I found out...

Since we heated our home with wood, there were a few times a bee or other stinging bug would end up in the house. Amber got stung 2 or 3 times-fortunately this was not usually the case. Along with the occasional bee, we also had the common problem of ladybugs once a year, when they would hatch, I guess.

I used to wear my shoes in the house quite a bit. Static electricity came about once in a while, and everything I touched left a shock.

These are very important points to my story! Keep reading for the actual story now....

Dan came in the kitchen one afternoon, and told me he thought he had a bee in his shirt. He had a couple of layers on, and was trying to be careful to get them off without getting stung. I, the loving and caring wife that I am, walked across to him with my shoes on, and reached out to help.

When I touched his shirt while wearing my shoes, I shocked him by accident.

And this is when I learned he could dance!

Upon the accidental shock, Dan's back arched, and he proclaimed, "It's a bee!". I then watched him dance around the kitchen-it's AMAZING what one will do to avoid pain! He thought he'd already been stung once, and by golly, he wasn't going to get stung again!

He knows more moves than Pee Wee Herman! John Travolta, move over!!! Fred Astaire, you've got nothing on my man!

I, the loving and caring wife that I am, felt terrible for shocking him! I kept saying, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!", but it was betwixt my uncontrollable laughter, so was barely audible. I was trying to let him know that I shocked him, and that it was not a bee stinging him.

Well, there was no bee after all, and that moment in time is gone. But it is was too good to leave in the past-I can still reminisce!

So! Any of you ever wonder if your spouse can dance? Here is a sure way to find out! Just put your smooth soled shoes on while you walk around looking for a ladybug, and you may want to grab some popcorn and a chair too! And then let the entertainment begin!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Image--RUINED!!!

Well, guess what I did?


I got a family membership at the YMCA. Dan can't do much at this time since he is in a back brace and needs to heal from surgery, but my three kiddos and I headed to the Y last night for our first visit.


I took a book with me, since a lot of the exercise equipment has a place to hold the book open so you can read while you work out. I knew it wouldn't be a long workout, since I need to get into practice and all, but took a book anyway.


Kota went and played in the gym, and us 3 girls headed for the workout room. Amber got on the exercise bike, and Elissa and I got on the elliptical equipment.


All went well, and we all had a fun time!


Amber, Dan and I ended up sitting around the table together, and I watched as Amber's brains fell right out of her head!!! I know this happened because of what she did while we were sitting there together....


The child told her daddy how I never got to my book because I was slumped over the machine, trying to last a whole 5 minutes, and she imitated me!!!


Now, it's one thing to be surrounded with everyone else who is wearing agony all over their faces, while they walk, run, and step their way into shape. But to go home and tell my man how out of shap....I mean, practice, I am was uncalled for!


Now he'll probably notice that I've packed on...I mean, added a pound here and there over the years since we first married. I'm sure that he just figured that all the new clothes over the years was just a girl thing-oh how I love a cute new outfit(especially in a larger, more comfortable size!)!


Well, she blew it for me! Guess I'll have to keep practicing so that when Dan is well enough to join us, he'll never believe Amber was telling the truth! :)


Friday, May 29, 2009

Singing Butler
















Since we will be moving in a few short weeks, I've enjoyed finding pictures that I'd like in my new home.

This picture caught my eye, and I loved it! I feel that it is very marriage appropriate, and decided to buy it for my bedroom.

This picture is SOOOO me!!! Look at her outfit! And it's as if no one else in the world exists!
I am going to hang this picture across the room from my bed so that I can see it every morning when I sit up in bed.

And it will remind me that there is cooking, cleaning, laundry and errands to do. And it will probably rain on my hopeful parade, as I walk thru my new home picking up dirty laundry and dishes, while I say something like, "You know, I'm NOT the MAID around here!!!" And then I'll go on to make sure everyone has everything they need for the day, and I'll then mutter something like, "Yeah, I guess I AM the maid."

WHAT??? You thought I was talking about the woman in the red dress???

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Roots Are Showing

Oh brother....

Like I've mentioned before, my maiden name is Blon. This has greatly affected my ability to always think rationally, add simple numbers(like the time I figured 10 tickets at the go carts, at $3 each, cost over $100), and catch jokes when they are told. Yes, I probably have experienced one or two of the blonde jokes in real life, which brings me to a conversation I had last night.....but the funny thing was, maybe I thought it was my mother-in-law with Blon roots! Let me explain...

Mom came to visit last night, and she was showing me pictures on her digital camera, of her trip down south. They just returned Thursday night, and they had a wonderful time.

She started telling me about the rice paddies in Arkansas, and how they were flooded. She was showing me pictures, but you could only see the small pictures so well on such a small camera screen. I saw a lot of water, and a little bit of green. She was just talking about all the water, and how people are afraid of their cars going off the sides of the roads, lest they drown in all the water!

She mentioned the paddies a few times, and I was trying to get a mental picture. She was telling me how they grow, etc. As I'm trying to get a visual, all I can see in my mind are Quaker rice cake circles, and I'm thinking, "You cannot convince me that rice cake circles grow in fields!" I'm envisioning puffy rice in clumps, and I just knew this couldn't be possible. I mean, I might be a Blon, but I'm no blonde, whether I've experienced a few of the blonde jokes in real life or not!

Fortunately for me, my hubby was sitting in the next room, and could hear our conversation. He finally chimed in because he could tell that what Mom was telling me was not connecting.

When she was telling me about the paddies, I thought she was talking about PATTIES!!! You know, like chicken patties, beef patties, that sort of thing. And that explains why I was seeing Quaker rice cakes in my mind!

Now in my defense, I have never been down south. I have never heard of a paddy before! So of course I thought she was saying patty! And you can see why I was thinking it may be her with the Blon roots!

It's a good thing I've been in the family for so many years, and they already love me! If I were just Dan's girlfriend, his parents may try to warn him before we got married....."Now Dan, do you realize there are going to be many times when those "Blon" roots pop up, and you are just going to have to pat Josanne on the shoulder, and say, "It's okay dear, we understand"???"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Having a Most Unforgettable Wedding

Ahh.....love is in the air, and we'll all be seeing weddings in churches across the land throughout the beautiful spring and summer months, with beautiful colors and handsome groomsmen-the occasional chance when glancing at church steps as you go about your activities each weekend.

A country wedding I attended last summer comes to mind, and I thought that the plaid cowboy shirts with cowboy hats on the groomsmen was a nice personal touch to the wedding, since the groom was a bullrider. It was actually a welcoming sight when we exited our car into the parking lot of the small country church, and the beautiful weather seemed to make the promise of a lovely, unforgettable wedding day.

Well, let me tell you!!! It indeed was unforgettable! In fact, I've been wanting to share with you all how to have your own redn...., I mean.....unforgettable wedding, or please share these tips with a bride-or-groom-to be!

These tips are in order as best as I can remember.
  • Planning ahead is not necessary. Just decide you want to get married, and find a preacher! Oh....you may want to order invitations, but be sure to send them out less than a week from the wedding date.
  • Rehearsal and decorating the hall the night before? Nah!!! Go CAMPING instead!!! I'm sure you have an aunt out there somewhere who would be happy to hang streamers all by herself-no biggie!
  • Actually, that same aunt would probably be good for a few other tasks as well, such as doing her best to round up a recording of the bridal march around the same time all of the guests are arriving. She is also great at orchestrating the order of the wedding proceedings, since, you know, you didn't have rehearsal.
  • Be sure the bride is not seen before the wedding. If you are the bride, make sure your mom has salads to make just before the wedding(for the reception), so that she is 45 minutes late. Your guests probably won't mind.
  • Tell your usher to wear bling, ultra baggy pants and a long T-shirt. Have your wonderful aunt teach him how to seat people...as he's seating people.
  • OH!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!! Don't have any music picked out for the ceremony. And pick a MAN to run the tape player--preferably one who doesn't know when the bridal march ends, and the processional begins. That is the only music you will need, but the preacher may ask someone in the audience if they'd like to sing something.
  • Another VERY IMORTANT tip! Make it required that all bridesmaids have at least one tatoo, preferably on her back. If one of the bridesmaids doesn't have her own tatoo(check her calf too), they do sell fake ones that will wash off.
  • After the bride walks down the aisle, since you have preferably picked a man who does not know when the bridal march ends, appoint one of the bridesmaids to stand on her tiptoes and give him the "slit throat" signal after the processional has begun playing.
  • After the preacher reads his scripture, and speaks to the soon-to-be married couple during the ceremony, about love and commitment, and you exchange vows, and are now as one, have him announce the reception before he tells the groom that he may kiss the bride. This is a better time for the announcement, since everyone will be attentive and waiting for the new couple to kiss.

So there you have it! My tips for an unforgettable wedding. I've even shared them early enough so you can begin to plan your beautiful day!

Oh wait! I forgot!!! That's the EASY part--no planning required!

Oh, and there is one more tip that I got from this wedding:

  • The bride MUST look beautiful(and she did!)! You want everyone to remember the bride, and hopefully forget the rest!

Did I mention the reception ettiquette? There isn't much, but just be sure that you shove the cake so hard in each other's faces, that you leave the guests wondering if divorce proceedings will begin on Monday. ;)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hoses, Hospitals and a Helicopter

Finally!


I'm about to tell you about my life over the past 2 months, beginning with March 4th.

If you've read my Delightful Domestications blog, then you already have a clue what is going on! But if not, let the title of my post be some hints for you! You might need a lunch for this one! And you may wonder, "WHY in the world would she put this on her Chocolate Bouquet blog??? I thought this was her LIGHTHEARTED blog???"

Well, when you get to the end of this story, you will see that everything is under control, and God has brought a lot of good our way from these things. :)



PART 1

March 4th, 2009 started like most other days, nothing out of the norm. Dan was studying to preach that night, and he usually likes some quiet time to pray and focus, so I try to find things to do. I needed to go in town and do laundry, so I gathered it up, and headed for the laundromat.
While folding my clothes, I had set my cell phone on the folding table, and it buzzed. Buzzing lets me know someone called. I saw the number was Dan's cell phone, and figured that he just wanted me to pick up milk on my way home or something. For some reason, my phone didn't ring when he called, so he left a message-it was probably because their isn't signal inside the laundromat.

I went outside to listen to his message, and what I heard was not "Hi Hon, can you pick up milk on the way home?". What I did hear was, "JOSANNE, THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!!"

Now, I'm not very "cell phone literate", so I didn't know how to re-listen to my messages. In my panic, instead of listening to Dan's whole message, I closed my phone!!! I didn't know how to listen to the rest of the message!

I ran back into the laundromat and asked the attendant to watch my clothes and that I had to go because my house was on fire.

I got in the car and called Dan. He was terribly shook up and was sobbing. Since I was talking to him, and no one else was home, I knew everyone was safe. And so I asked about the next most important thing. "How's my cat?" And he let me know that he has just let her out before the fire happened. And then, I was ok, and I reminded him that we were all safe, and everything was going to be ok. I tried to calm him down before we hung up. He let me know that the house was basically gone. It wasn't just smoke damage, or a fire at one end that could be fixed-the whole house went up in flames, except for the garage, which they were able to save.

Since my daughter was working down the road from the laundromat, I decided to go get her before I went home, and to finish my laundry. I thought I could ask her manager to let her off work early because we had an emergency. When I walked thru the doors at McDonald's, she came out from behind the counter and had her visor pulled down covering her face, and she was bawling.

Remember my "Blon roots"? Well, let me defend myself before I go on! I didn't know that she had just gotten a phone call from our friend who was going to take my other children to her house so that they didn't have to go home to the devestation. So when I saw my beautiful daughter crying, I did what ANY mother would do!!! I hurried over to her and said the brightest thing in the world! I said, "Are you OK? What's wrong???"

And then my quick thinking made me realize that she already knew.

(Sometimes I'm such an airhead! lol)

We finished the laundry, I called my family members, My friend Angela, and other daughter came down and helped with the rest of the folding(along with the laundromat attendant-thank you Jackie!), and then my girls went with Angela. I stopped by to cancel one of my cleaning jobs, since my customer was in town, and then I headed home.

Neighbors were standing outside their homes, and you could see that some had been crying. Cars lined the road in front of our house.

When I got home, Dan's family was there-his poor mother had came straight from the hospital to our burning-down house. She had been sick-and I confess, she is the dear person in my life who passed out while visiting Glorious Gal, if you read my other posts. She had two hospital stays, but is doing quite a bit better.

The whole house was in flames in about 10 minutes, and it burned up in about an hour. We lost everything very quickly.

Almost all of our church family came out to offer their support, and as the days went on, we were so humbled to see how much our friends care. I mean, we all know our true friends care for us, as we do them, but when they show you their care and support thru a tragedy, it still makes you stand in awe.

I'd like to give a special thank you to Lori, my children's bus driver. Amber didn't ride the bus, and Dan thought she and Elissa were both old enough to come to the house. Dakota, on the other hand, is 10, and he is terrified of fire as it is. Lori LOVES children, and our children love her! Since Dakota was going home with friends that also ride the same bus, Lori took them home a totally different route so that Dakota did not have to see the smoke, the volunteer fire department directing traffic at the end of our road, all the neighbors out watching, etc. She saved my son a whole new level of trauma, and it is VERY appreciated!

The fire department fed us, the Red Cross came out and helped us with some necesseties, and friends and family continued to stop by, until we left for the evening and headed to church.

Since Dan was going to preach that night, and since he was sort of "pre-occupied" with other things that day, we had a worship service and prayer, but no preaching. But you know, the Lord gave us so much to worship Him for---His everyday mercies, His love to us, and on March 4th, 2009, He kept my whole family safe.


PART 2

April 5th, one month and one day after our house burned down, something was wrong with the furnace in the home we are renting. So guess what? Dan and Dakota both had to go to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. THANK GOD they made it out of the house--they were the only two home, and . The problem was fixed the next day, and our rental home is back to the cozy feeling place we call home for right now.

Amber and I had been shopping that afternoon, and Elissa was in Indiana. When we learned Dan and Kota were going to the hospital(Dan's parents came over-he called them and told them he needed help-they were much closer to the house than Amber and I were), we met them there. Amber had been complaining of a sore throat, so I registered her in the emergency room too, and she tested positive for strep throat AGAIN.

Fortunately within a few days, everyone was feeling better. Kota still had chest pains for a few days, but I took him for a follow up visit with his doctor, and it was just how his body reacted to the poison. Dan, on the other hand, actually felt quite a bit better within 2 days. And that was a very good thing because.....


PART 3

Dan was working on April 9th, and was climbing a tree. He would tie in once he got up there, but was only about 12 feet up the tree so far. As he was climbing, one of his spikes kicked out of the tree, and he fell about 2 feet, into the nook in the tree. The jolt caused his arms to go numb, so he couldn't grab the tree, and he fell out of the tree the rest of the way-another 8-10 feet. He landed on his feet, and then fell back on his elbows. His arms and legs were numb, and the feeling in his hands came back rather quickly. As the feeling in his legs came back, the numbness was replaced with terrible pain. So his brother Tim took him to the hospital emergency room.

We spent several hours in the ER, and around 11:30, they sent him by helicopter to Erie Hamot Hospital. Morphine was not touching his pain, and they were sending him to Hamot for him to be seen by a neurologist. It was hard to see him strapped to the gurney, but we went to the airport and watched them take off. My poor baby Dakota asked me if his daddy was going to die. Thankfully I could be totally honest and tell him NO!!! They just took him by helicopter because the bumps in the road would be too painful for the hour drive. Even his skin in his stomach area being touched by a sheet made him feel like electric volts were shooting thru his body.

So what did we find out?

Dan apparently broke his back in the past, which we didn't know. He thinks it may have been last year-he does remember being hurt.

He had to have a fusion in his back, and has to have a second surgery in his neck in a few months. He'll wear a back brace during the day for 3 months, and total recovery should be 6 months for the back surgery he just had.

Dan spent 10 days in the hospital. He is doing rather well, even tho he cannot do too much, or he ends up very sore. But he is walking and going places, and has a regular appetite, and can attend church with us!

SO!!!

All that being said, please don't feel too sorry for us! Why? Because I can see how God has kept everything perfectly under control.

We knew Dan had a problem in his neck, but we did not know that it is basically a miracle that he isn't already paralyzed. We also found out that without having his neck fixed, in time, he will not be able to button his own shirt, and will stagger when he walks, as if he's been drinking.

Our fire and the carbon monoxide poisoning both happened during the day. Had either of these happened at night, we could have lost our lives! Amber's friend had spent the night for two nights just before the poisoning. It could have been TWO families that lost loved ones. But thankfully, it was none.

Even with losing our home and everything we own, we do have a place to live thru our insurance policy. I could not have made ends meet with my income.

But you see, whether you believe in the Hand of God or not, I absolutely do, and know that He has had it all in control. Knowing this and remembering that God has kept us all safe and taken care of, is a much better way to look at everything, than to get bitter and mad because it looks like so many tragic things have taken place. It isn't that I'm just an optimist by nature, because really, I'm not. But I've felt the prayers of friends and family, and when you nearly become a widow THREE TIMES IN TWO MONTHS, it helps you to also keep things in perspective. I can replace a house, my clothes, my knick-knacks, and I can work thru sicknesses. I cannot replace my family.

We're making it, and we're doing well. So please don't look on in pity-just stand in awe with me at the amazing ways of God. He knew all along what was going to happen, and what our needs would be.

I hope in your own situations in life, you can find something positive to dwell on. Seriously, if I can, I think you probably can too!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Have You Ever Noticed....

Have you ever noticed that you don't need something until you can't have it?

You are driving down the highway on a 10 hour trip. You're doing great! No need to stop for any reason.

Then you pass a sign just before the next exit that says, "Next exit 117 miles".

After you pass the exit, you SUDDENLY realize that you have to go to the bathroom REALLY BAD!!!

BUMMER!!!



You forget to eat during the day because you are so busy. You don't even notice a single hunger pang before you sat down for dinner! And as for a drink, you only needed one earlier when you needed to wash down your daily vitamin.

BUT!

Tomorrow you have to have blood taken for your yearly check-up, and you can't eat or drink after midnight, so you eat a late night snack at 11:00 p.m..

At 12:03, you are RAVENOUS!!! And you haven't been THIS thirsty since you ate cornbread a month ago!

BUMMER!!!



Your pantry is filled to the max, and you won't need groceries for a few more weeks. Your shampoo, toothpaste, and paper towel supply is fine. You're sitting good, and can relax!

BUT!

Christmas day, all the stores are closed.

And on Christmas day, you discover you are out of LIMA BEANS!!! You haven't had lima beans since you were 5, but NOW you are CRAVING them in a BIG way! It's all you can think about!!!

But you have to wait until the store re-open....tomorrow.

BUMMER!!!



Isn't it comical how our brains work? I'm certain I'm not the only one who goes thru this!

STAY TUNED!!! I have a thriller of a story to share with you-packed with action and suspense! I'll let you know what's happened in my life the last 7 weeks. You won't want to miss it! I PROMISE you won't be bored--not your average story of how I bought groceries, fixed my hair a new way, and went on vacation with my family!

Thank you for visiting my blog, and being patient over my absense. I think you'll understand why once I post my story!

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dear Dad

If you read my other blogs, you're already aware that we lost our home and nearly everything we own in a house fire a week ago. This is my lighthearted blog that is meant to make you laugh, smile, or leave with a warm feeling. :)

I want to share a letter our 10 year old son wrote to my husband. Hope you enjoy! And remember to hug your kiddos and tell them how much they mean to you!

Dear Dad
I love you! I am sad we lost the house, but I am happy we didn't lose you. I thank God for you, and you'r the best father in the world. You saved our cat. and I thank God you'r alive today. I am happy with what I have now, I love you and mom. You and mom have helped me for ten years and I love you both.
You'r
son
Dakota

Children definitely know how to warm our hearts!

Still trying to find my baby Jazz! If you've read this blog's older posts, you know I love my cat! We keep going to the house, calling for her, but so far we haven't seen her. Dakota thinks he heard her meowing the other day, and there has been evidence that she has been there, but so far, we haven't caught her. I can't wait to hold her, pet her, and have her sleep at my feet again. I'll even welcome her 5 a.m. wake up call for me(where she stands next to me and meows until I pet her!)! I can't wait to let you all know we found her!

I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Will I Need A New Career?



Well, the last 3 weeks have been something else, let me tell ya!  I won't bore you with all the details, just the highlights!
  • Dakota got sick in a hurry, so fortunately it was Sunday night when it really hit him, and we were able to get him to the doctor and on antibiotics by Monday, so we got him fixed up quickly!
  • Glorious Gal had pneumonia, so we took her in while our little guy was recovering from strep throat.
  • A dear family member and very important person in my life landed herself in the hospital while visiting Glorious Gal in the hospital-not sure if she wants me to say much, so I haven't mentioned her name :) 
  • After everyone around me fell apart, it was my turn to get sick!  A week later, I'm still murmuring and complaining, carrying on and whining, in hopes of getting better!  It's a real good thing I'm hardly ever sick---women always say men are babies!  Well, I must admit that when Dan is sick, he's usually really sick, and in bed most of the time.  As for me, I need the sympathy of the world!!!   My whole demeaner says, "Pity me!  Pity me!!!"  Even tho my own strep test was negative(getting my culture results Monday), I still need lots of sympathy!!! 
So here you have it!  My life in a nutshell!

I've cancelled all of my jobs except one for the last 3 weeks, and my customers are just wonderful!  They've been patient with me while we've been dealing with all of this stuff!  But you know, if they get fed up, or I stay sick another 6 months and they can't wait on me any longer and find a new cleaning girl, I've realized I have other skills that could land me another job or two!

I could:
  • become a wildlife officer!!!  Yes, believe me or not, I am 99.9% sure I saw a MINK  run thru my yard this past week!  I'm a city girl and will always be, even tho I live in the country, but I'm getting pretty good at figuring out what creatures are in my yard!  I was very proud of myself when I saw a huge bird in the side yard, and researched online pics of hawks until I figured out what it was--a red shoulder hawk.  My hubby is a falconer, so our family has become more familiar with birds.  He's had 2 red tail hawks in the past----wanna see?  
 


A few years ago when Amber did a double take out the bay window, we determined the huge black figure in the tree across the street and in the woods a little ways was a bear.  It entertained us for about 45 minutes while it stayed up there eating apples.  I've also identified other creatures in the yard-turkey, deer, mice, salamanders, snakes, woodchucks, and the occasional rare chocolate lab(more on him in a later post), so I'm a pretty good guesser!  So maybe I'll call my local game commission's office to see if they might need help, if I'm out of a job!

I could also:
  • Be the next great American chef!  Just give me a $2 million dollar book contract, and I'll be on my way!  Just call me the Leftover Queen!  I has steak and a green pepper that needed cooked up, so I made spaghetti, poured Zesty Italian salad dressing over it, and added cooked steak and cooked peppers to the top of it.  Restaurant quality, let me tell you!  Thank you, thank you!  It's just a gift!  :)
  • Be the newest and greatest weed-killer on the planet!!!  I know this to be true because I am the MASTER at killing every plant that ever comes in my house!  Which means, so sorry, Glorious Gal--the beautiful tulip plant you gave me is almost completely dead.  :(  Another gift of some sort(see how multi-talented I am?  Why am I not in higher demand?  It must be because I'm so modest and humble!)  "Need something to take care of that pesky weed that's popping up all over your yard?  No problem!!!  Just dig them up and send them to Josanne--soon the little ghosts of crabgrass will be visiting your yard saying, "Lift your roots and RUN!!!  RUN for your lives!!!"
And last but not least, I could be:
  • A doctor!  As amazing as this may sound, I actually determined all on my own that I am SICK!  Yes, I just looked at all the symptoms, put two and two together(when I wasn't busy whimpering and whining), and came up with the diagnosis.  And just as amazing as that, I also determined that Dakota was sick.  I know--I amaze myself too!  And see, I already have a great bedside manner-lots of hugs and love to my patients, and pity too!  I'm already cut out for the job if there is ever a shortage!
But really, I just want to stay with the customers I have.  I've grown to love them, and they are special to me.

It's a good thing there doesn't appear to be a shortage in the above mentioned fields--I wouldn't trade my customers!  And I'm not cut out for any of those jobs anyway, no matter HOW bad they WANT me!!!  I'm terrified of bears, I'm so allergic to pollen that I can't stand in the driveway for an hour without being a stuffed up mess unless I'm well medicated, and I'm also terrified of needles!!!!

So send me sympathy, and pray for my recovery so I can get back to work!  And please visit my blogs again.  They'll be more active when the creativity juices overpower the "I'm sick(cough, cough, cough)!!!  Achoo, SNIFFFFFFF......" stuff going on in my head!