Throwback Thursday: Me at Doug’s house about this time of year

dougshouseIt’s Throwback Thursday and I’m in an impossibly good mood.  Things are going well in my life and that’s such a change from recent years.  I’ve mentioned before that the Raising Sand album my Alison Krauss and Robert Plant has been one of my mourning staples.  I’m far enough in the grief process that I no longer cry when I hear these songs — they just provoke wonderful memories of Doug.

I’m in my office at work — lunch at my desk — and rocking out to the album.  I’m happy, but I do miss him.

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Filed under November 2014

I’m a dish-aholic

I’ve touched on the fact that I’m inordinately fond of dishes and glassware, but I’ve never actually admitted to this addiction on the blog.

I Love Cobalt BlueI love dishes. It’s almost a sickness.  My kitchen cupboards are jam packed and the china cabinet doesn’t have room for much else – though I’m holding out for more moriage dragonware plates.  Besides dishes, I have a fair amount of tea pots and tea cups – one set a gift from a friend who died a few years back.

I have multiple sets of dishes and pretty much use them all as circumstances dictate. A good many of them are cobalt blue and I’m completely in love with my blue and white “everyday” dishes.  While dishes, in general, please me, cobalt blue ANYTHING makes my heart sing.

Doug Birthday DishesBut I’m not exclusive to blue. There’s the delicately colored bird set with square plates I bought to celebrate Mother’s Day as my mother is as fond of birds as I am of dishes. [Square plates just rock my world.] And we can’t forget the brightly colored Mexican style dishes I bought to celebrate HMO’Keefe’s 60th birthday – bright red, orange, yellow and green.

With Doug’s death, I inherited some stunning Mexican talavera. Included are two lobster plates that I gave him one year for his birthday.  Doug was as fond of talavera and lobster as I am of shoes.

Of course, there’s the “good china” and matching stemware that was a gift from my father. I’ve told that story already.

I have a 4-piece place setting of some beautiful Lennox Christmas china that I use for Chef Boy ‘R Mine’s private Christmas dinner. For years, I wanted enough Christmas dishes to feed a large horde should one ever show up for the holidays.

The Ruby Red Christmas DishesA few years ago, I found some beautiful antique ruby red, cut glass dishes at Target. They were stunning and stunningly affordable.  Over three years, I bought 24 plates, 24 bowls and 4 goblets.  The goblets always sold out before I could get in to buy them.  It’s nagged at me for eons that I can’t provide beverages in matching glasses for the 24-person-horde that has yet to show up.

Yesterday, I went on an online shopping binge. In addition to buying more Christmas village pieces (that I certainly don’t need – but what’s need got to do with it), I found 20 goblets from various sellers to complete the Christmas dishes.  I am STOKED.  I am so excited about it that I’m resolved to invite 24 people over to the house this holiday season!

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Filed under November 2014

Happy Day of the Dead

The Beautiful Babette and Doug

The Beautiful Babette and Doug

Today I’ve been reflective about all the changes that have occurred in the past few years – chief of these the loss of Doug, my partner, and The Beautiful Babette, the sweetest Shih Tzu of all time.

5834854826_53e1ba9362_z (2)The Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations are joyous affairs. While reflective, I was also happy in my memories of Doug and Babette today. It’s been long enough that it doesn’t hurt to think about them. I like the idea that they might be walking among us today and tomorrow. I hope they’re together and I hope they think of me as fondly as I think of them.

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Filed under November 2014

Throwback Thursday: My Little Ninja Turtle


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October 30, 2014 6:45 pm · 6:45 pm


EmnyLou 012I am just as pleased as I can be. I have a Dachshund puppy.  Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wanted to wait until spring, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I searched Craigslist, the entire eastern seaboard and much of the Midwest , for a puppy to no avail. It wasn’t until my early morning, not enough coffee, attempt in which I misspelled Dachshund and found a female puppy about 40 miles down the road in Kentucky at a price I was willing to pay.

She’s a beauty. I had thought I wanted a red, smooth hair Dachshund.  What I have is a coal black, smooth hair Dachshund.  She’s black velvet and midnight giggles.  She’s just perfect.

I am so happy.

EmnyLou 040And so is Phoebe. So far Emmylou (she’s a blue, Kentucky girl) has played with Phoebe’s toys, eaten Phoebe’s food, monopolized Phoebe’s mom and pretty much made herself at home.  Phoebe is all smiles.  I suspected she needed a playmate and I was right.

Dachshunds are special creatures. Nothing snuggles like a Dachshund.  And they make these cute little sounds and they’re just so damn cute.  I very much have a case of puppy love.

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Filed under October 2014

The Conundrum

Off and on, like many things in my life, I journal. I got started in earnest when the book The Artist’s Way was popular.  For a while, I was pretty good about my morning pages – 3 notebook pages of morning brain dump.

I’ll journal somewhat regularly for a bit and then abandon it for even longer, mostly because I find myself journaling over and over the same things – the things I need to do that I continue not to do and the self-improvement activities I should do, but don’t.

The blog is like this too, to some extent. I love blogging, but as my life becomes more and more mundane with more and more left undone, I find myself with nothing to write about.  This becomes a problem, like the journaling, in that I need to write.

The act of writing clears my mind and focuses my thoughts. I often say I don’t know what I think about something until I write about it.  So here I am writing about why I’m not writing.  And I’m stumped.

If anyone has an ideas to help me through this impasse, I would like to hear them.


Filed under October 2014

A New Puppy?

Trudy and Me

Trudy and Me

I’m thinking of getting a dachshund puppy. I’m awfully glad there are none for sale in the area right now, because my puppy fever is alarmingly high.  I need to think this through and I need to wait until spring because training will then be easier.

I spent the weekend dog-sitting, Dolleigh, for my parents. Phoebe had such a good time even though Dolleigh just tolerated her.  Having Dolleigh love on me as only a dachshund can was a delight.

When I was making the decision to get Phoebe, I vacillated between a dachshund and a Shih Tzu, finally deciding on Shih Tzu because they’re lower maintenance dogs and I felt I needed that for my life at the time.

Willy and Me

Willy and Me

As it turns out, I’m not sure Phoebe is as advertised. She was supposed to be a half Shih-Tzu, half Maltese mix which means she should be much smaller than she is.  She only vaguely resembles a Shih-Tzu.  She exhibits herding behaviors, runs in circles, and is not the couch potato her supposed breed should indicate.  As a point of fact, she’s pretty high maintenance.  I believe her mama had a dalliance with an Australian Shepherd.

I wouldn’t trade her for the world, but after dog sitting and seeing how much she enjoyed having a companion, I’m wondering if a second dog wouldn’t be good for her, too. Lord knows, there is nothing more fun than a dachshund puppy.  I would be in a constant state of delight.

I’ve had two dachshunds in my life. The most recent, Trudy, now lives with my son who is ridiculously in love with her.  I didn’t feel like I could stand between a boy and his dog once Chef Boy ‘R Mine had the ability to have a dog in his life.  So off Trudy and Willy, the Italian greyhound, went to live with him.  The two of them are unable to be separated.  They’re a bonded pair.

The other dachshund, Stevie, was the best dog who ever lived. She died in a tragic accident that was my fault and I still mourn her.



I’ve always said two dogs are easier than one. I do adore Phoebe, but she is usually much too busy to spend much time giving me lovings whereas dachshunds live to bestow affection upon their humans.  I crave a little furbody next to me.

There are downsides, of course, the expense and the irritations of puppyhood – chewing, house training, socializing. However, I think the decision is made to get a dachshund puppy.  Let’s hope I can wait until the timing is optimal.

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Filed under October 2014