glamping holidays Life Pets Travel

I Wish it was Christmas Today

Not really. But that little skit from Saturday Night Live featuring Horatio Saenz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan playing and singing that little Christmas song makes me smile every time. Look it up on YouTube. “I don’t care what your mama says; Christmastime is here.”

It’s been a busy fall and summer. I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting and I promise to do better next year. A new year’s resolution, perhaps? But I get ahead of myself.

With camping (glamping), traveling (I went to Italy!), tutoring, and grandkids I seem to wear myself out every day! Consider these photos my Christmas card to you.

My setup at a Girl Camper event in Glen Rose, Texas.

Stella and me trying to stay warm at the campsite. She has become quite the little traveler!

Me at the Doge’s Palace in Venice. Behind me is the largest canvas in the world, Il Paradiso, by Jacopo Robusti. Amazing.

A gondola on the Grand Canal in Venice. The gondolier is behind me.

A partial view of Assisi.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome.

At the airport in Rome waiting for the long flight back. Do I look like a tourist? ; – )

Of course I have a million more photos from Italy but not many of just me!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May all your wishes and dreams come true!



Time to Wake Up, Boston Style!

I like my naps.  Ask anybody in my family and they will agree.  When I was working and after my children were old enough not to need Mama’s supervision or transportation I would enjoy a nap every afternoon after work.
Afternoon naps refreshed me and let me stay up a little later, sometimes late enough to greet my husband when he arrived home from work after midnight.  That was a good thing since I usually only saw him Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Now that I’m retired and don’t have to get up before dawn, I usually only nap on Sundays.  But I don’t nap alone.  I have furry babies who love to nap with me, as long as I get up in time to feed them.  I don’t have to set my alarm.  They wake me up!
From left:  Fur babies Molly, Whitey, and Maggie
Whitey starts the process by sliding off the bed and then jumping back on and rolling around, which wakes up the others.  Then he starts barking at them, getting them to play.  While I try to stay asleep with the covers over my head they run around all over our king size bed playfully barking and nipping at each other.
Whitey and Molly waiting for dinner
Then Maggie gets tired of the play and begins to stare at me.  I pretend to be asleep as long as I can, until she impatiently punches me with her paw.  With her ears at attention she stares at me until I peek at her and then pull the covers up again.  She punches me harder and then begins to pounce on me with both feet.  
Maggie resting on Mama’s her chair
I throw the covers back and roll her over, tickling her on her belly while she playfully pretends to bite.  Whitey jumps in the middle between us while Molly waits patiently a few inches away.  I continue to roll Maggie around and tickle her until she is panting and then I turn my attention to Molly who bends her head to the bed sideways and nips at me while I poke at her playfully.  Maggie playfully attacks her while Whitey bounces all around the bed.
Message received.  Time for their dinner.  Better than an alarm clock and so much more fun!
Do you have fun habits with your pets?
home decor

Meaningless Drivel Monday: An inspiration house

A couple of weeks ago I found myself house- and dog-sitting for my son Matt and his wife Taylor. They have two adorable dogs–a little black pug named Brodie, and a spunky little black miniature Schnauzer named Bailey.  I love my “granddogs,” as I call them, and they love me!  They were excited when I arrived to stay with them for a few days, but they were ecstatic when I returned a couple of weeks later to stay with them a few more days!

Bailey and Brodie in the backyard on a hot day.  I did water those wilted plants!
“Wake up, Grandma!” says Bailey on a late morning sleep-in.
“Whut?’ says Brodie, just waking up.

I didn’t have a lot to do since they have a yard guy and a housekeeper so I spent my time reading, writing a little, eating, and watching TV on their giant flat screen, when I wasn’t out thrift store shopping!  Their decor is minimal and very Restoration Hardware, which of course made me want to declutter as soon as I got home.  Of course, after I talked to my mom, she said,
“April, you can’t get rid of all your stuff.  It’s you!”
Which, of course, is true.  The longer I am back at home, the more truly I am at home, in my own what-some-would-call-cluttered little nest.  

Matt and Taylor’s home is a sprawling 1960’s ranchstyle home with updated everything, and they are still looking for the perfect home decor items.  I just had to take some photos and share.  Taylor has impeccable taste, in my opinion!  Like I said, staying in their home made me want to declutter, paint, and redecorate my own home, which I plan to start doing very soon, no matter what Mom said.  As soon as I can figure out what to do with all my stuff. . .

The dining area with mason jar chandelier from Etsy.
The Craigslist leather sectional in the front room, or Matt’s man cave, as he calls it!
Don’t you love those shutters?  Every window in the house has those!
Front entry metal art from First Monday Trade Days in Canton.  Custom paint job by Matt.
Elegant master bedroom.
Even the vintage built-in at the end of the hallway looks stylish and serves as a great place for photos.
China cabinet in breakfast nook with French art.  Love the shade of green on the walls!
The bar in the man cave.  Taylor made the chalkboards herself!
New metal and wood console cabinet in man cave hides the electronics under the giant flat screen.
Photo does not do it justice–I must get a good camera!
(Of course, I didn’t notice the Botox ad on the screen until I posted this!)

Are you inspired by someone’s home you visit?Please share!


Wedded Life Wednesday: If Once is Good, Twice Must Be Better?

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you may remember that I did some house and dog sitting for my son and daughter-in-law recently.  Each time they left town, they had evening flights to their destinations on Thursday, which is the day that I work at the flag shop, selling flags and wrapping gifts.  I decided to work all day, come home to grab my stuff and feed the dogs, and then make the 90-minute drive to my son’s house.

I told my husband, “I’m going to work Thursday, come home and feed the dogs, get my bags, and go to Matt’s.”

Tuesday of that week Jimmy said, “So, what are you going to do, take off work?”

“No,” I explained, patiently.  “I’m going to go to work, come home, feed the dogs, get my bags, and then go.”

Wednesday the same conversation:  “So, what’s your plan on Thursday?  Are you going straight to Dallas from work?”

“No, I’m coming home, feeding the dogs, getting my bags, and then going.”

Thursday morning before I left for work, I kissed him goodbye and told him to call me when he got home that night.  He works nights and when he drives his motorcycle I always like to know that he made it home okay.  “Don’t worry about the dogs.  I will feed them before I go,” I told him.

Late Thursday evening I am sitting in my son’s front room, or the “man cave,” watching his expansive TV, and my phone rings.  It’s Jimmy the hubs checking in.

During the course of our conversation he mentions that he is feeding the dogs.
“What?  I already fed them!” I cry.
“Well, they are eating.  They acted like they were hungry!”

Those little posers.  Just put the old sad eyes on Dad and he will feed you again, they conspired.  AND, who didn’t hear me not once but at least THREE times say that I would feed the dogs before driving to Dallas?

But, I’m not complaining.  That’s just how it is here in married land.  I fought it for at least twenty years but hey, who’s counting?  At least it wasn’t medication, and it keeps life entertaining.  And my dogs a little on the plump side.  Like Mommy and Daddy.

Look at those innocent faces!


Life Pets

Saturday Ramblings: House and dog sitter extraordinaire

A couple of weeks ago my son asked me if I would be willing to stay at his house for a few days while he accompanied his wife to New York City on a business trip.  While I would have been a little more delighted to have been invited on the trip, I said, “Absolutely!”  

Even hubby/dad agreed.  I would stay at Matt’s house, care for his yard and his dogs, and do a little shopping and sightseeing in Dallas.  It’s only about an hour and a half from my home, but they have a beautiful new older home which would be almost like staying in a hotel!

It’s just that I haven’t been away from home in awhile.  Since I retired from teaching, I also retired from membership in two different professional teacher associations which sometimes required travel to Austin for conferences and business meetings.  I had even considered getting rid of my attache and travel-size toiletries!  Glad I didn’t.

It turns out I hadn’t forgotten how to make my packing list (yes, I’m one of THOSE) and pack my bags.  I loaded down with several back issues of magazines and newspapers I hadn’t gotten around to reading, as well as my laptop, thinking I would finally really get going on my next novel.  (I’ve been here two days now and haven’t gone there yet!)

Matt and Taylor were already on the way to NYC when I arrived at their home.  Their dogs–Brody the pug and Bailey the miniature schnauzer–were happy to see me and helped me get settled in.  They have been absolutely the best doggies ever (besides my own, of course!)!  

I have been pretty busy so far, but more about my thrifting adventures later. . .

Aren’t they cute?  Bailey on the left with little Brody.
Those coleus in the back look much better now after watering!
 My car’s thermometer read 106 today in Dallas!