Posted in Holiday

A Special Story for all ages

If you haven’t read the story of Guy the Beagle you are missing out on a sweet story of how a rescue dog went from shelter, to Hollywood to Buckingham Palace.

Guy the Beagle was lost in the woods of Kentucky until he was found and placed in a local shelter which was a kill shelter. The shelter was in Montgomery County in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. The shelter reached out to another shelter A Dog’s Dream Rescue in the hopes Guy could be adopted out to a forever home.

Lucky for Guy his picture was found on Petfinder by Meghan Markle who contacted the rescue to inquire about the sweet beagle she had found online. A Dog’s Dream Rescue emailed Meghan an adoption application and returned to the rescue within 10 minutes. The rescue had never had such a quick response before. Meghan knew this was the dog for her and that he would fit in with her lifestyle perfectly. Once Meghan and Guy met each other there was no doubt the two were meant to be together.

It wasn’t until a bit later that things really started to turn around for Guy. Meghan started dating someone called Harry who happened to live in London. As things turned out this someone was no other than Prince Harry of England and he had proposed to Meghan and now they would be moving to England and going to live a whole new lifestyle.

Meghan has come together with authors Camille March, Michael Brummell and illustrator EG Keller and put together a wonderful story of His Royal Dogness, Guy The Beagle . The story takes the reader on a ride of Guy being rescued from Kentucky to living with Meghan in Hollywood and then moving to London and learning to be Royal. This cute story is one we all can relate to as a fish out of water story and understanding not fitting in. But it just takes one person to make us feel like we belong. For Guy who wasn’t sure if he would fit in with The Queen’s corgi’s was made to feel right at home by Queen Elizabeth herself. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to share it with my niece. This is a story that will never get old.

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Posted in Holiday, San Antonio

San Antonio here we come..

Day 4 of our trip has us leaving Padre Island and heading to visit my relatives in San Antonio. The last stop before leaving was at Sea Turtle Inc.. We were all quite excited to learn more about one of our favorite animals, sea turtles.

We arrived in time to make the first talk on sea turtles this is called “Turtle Talks” and what we has humans can do to keep them safe in the ocean. It is truly amazing to learn that a simple thing as a straw can do so much damage to turtles and other sea animals. One of the things we quickly learned being on the island was that straws close to the ocean were paper straws and other restaurants didn’t even give straws as they are not friendly to the ocean. During “Turtle Talks” it was explained how the turtles in care at Sea Turtle Inc had come into their care, why they had to be cared for and if they were able to be released back into the ocean. The goal is to rescue the turtle and return them back to the ocean sadly that is not always possible. There are several big tanks that house those turtles that are not able to return to the ocean due to injuries that will not allow them to survive on their own

After the presentation we headed over to where the sea rescued sea turtles are housed. Many of these turtles are happy to be at Sea Turtle Inc they get wonderful care from the care takers at Sea Turtle Inc.

Weights have to put on this turtle to keep him submerged due to shell damage

There is more to see inside the facility on how to care for turtles and other sea life. In a separate out building there were more turtles ; some local turtles, loggerhead turtles and many others all that have been rescued and in rehab to hopefully get better and be returned to the ocean. It is a very educational place to stop and learn for both kids and adults.

After leaving Sea Turtle Inc. we were ready to say good-bye to the island we had quickly fallen in love with and travel onto San Antonio. The drive to San Antonio seemed much faster than the drive to South Padre and thankfully Laura slept from the time we passed a little town called Peggy into San Antonio. I love San Antonio not just because my Aunt and Uncle live there I have come to love all the city has to offer. We didn’t have a lot of plans while in San Antonio but as this was Laura’s first time there I wanted to show her some of the highlights of the city. Once we made it to my Aunt and Uncle’s we were happy to be out of the car and ready to just sit and do nothing, which is not easy to do when you have a 9 year old who has been sleeping for the past 4 hours. Thankfully there are pugs at my aunt and uncle’s to keep her busy. We were all ready to see our beds that night and sleep.

Over the next few days we visited downtown San Antonio, we took a tour through The Alamo and a ride down The Riverwalk. San Antonio is full of so much history it always gives me chills when I visit to think of all the brave men that fought in this city so many years ago. The Riverwalk is equally amazing as many of the apartments on The Riverwalk were once large homes, churches even banks that over time have been converted into living quarters. San Antonio takes great pride in preserving what they have around them.

We didn’t get to make all the stops we had on our list mostly due to time and being a bit worn out and ready to take things easy. I managed to get in a local theater show with my aunt. One of her neighbor’s has a daughter that is in the local theater company and was in the production of Mamma Mia. My aunt bought me a ticket for my birthday to go with her and her friends. We went to dinner before the show at Down On Grayson located in The Pearl District. The food was wonderful and enjoyed by our entire group. After dinner we made our way to the play and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

She was amazed by this waterfall, she was ready to jump in clothes and all

The rest of our weekend was spent primarily around the house baking cookies, my aunt made Laura a dress for her to wear for the upcoming school year and she helped Josh make a warm and cozy flannel blanket, he can’t wait for the weather to get colder so he can use it. My dad and a friend of his joined us over the weekend. My uncle was giving Dad discarded wood from a deck he had just replaced. I get part of the wood to make a screen porch at my house..Yay! The end of our visit came much too quickly, good-byes were said and we were back on the road again with wonderful memories of South Padre Island and San Antonio. We are already thinking of when we can go back again and explore more places in both places.

Posted in Holiday

South Padre Island, TX Day 2

Monday-The road to the beach continues..

We left Austin around 9 Monday morning, stopped and ate at the Cracker Barrel then headed back down the highway to South Padre. We watched Austin turn into San Marcos then New Braunfels. We had to stop for gas in New Braunfels and it wouldn’t be a trip if we didn’t stop at Buc-ee’s convenience store. This was Laura’s first trip to Texas so we made sure she saw all the right spots. Buc-ee’s is the place to stop and get gas, any Texas souvenir you can ever want and plenty of food and drink to last you a long trip. Once we got what we wanted from Buc-ee’s we were on the road again and finally we were going through San Antonio. It felt odd to drive through and not stop to see my family but I sent my uncle a wave by text, he was happy with that. 🙂

The traffic lightened a bit past San Antonio and we started seeing large cactus along the side of the road. My niece Laura was just amazed by the size of them. We eventually started seeing enormous oil wells working to pull oil from the earth. We have oil wells all over Oklahoma, but none to the size that we saw in South Texas. We eventually started seeing more and more palm trees, they have them in Austin and San Antonio but further South you start seeing more and more and there is something about seeing palm trees along the side of the road. It’s as if they are saying “follow me to the ocean”. We grabbed lunch along the way at Whataburger, the only place to get fast food and a drink that will keep you fueled on a trip. Before long we were seeing signs for Mexico and passed a Border Patrol truck driving up the sand by railroad tracks.

We started getting so excited we could see the wind turbines out in the fields, hundreds of them. Then we started seeing fields and fields of cotton. I wanted to pull over and pick me a piece of cotton! I was getting as excited as a 9 yr old girl :). I pulled up the map to see how far away we were from water and near jumped out of my seat when the map showed we had driven along the water for quite some time. We started keeping a lookout to the left of the car for any signs of water. It wasn’t until we drove through Port Isabel that we knew we were close. Before we knew it there was the monstrous bridge before us. Josh asked if I was ready to cross the bridge, he knows how terrified I am of bridges. I told him no, yes JUST DRIVE FAST! I didn’t have a total meltdown on the bridge I was able to shoot a small video which turned out terrible but I didn’t let the fear overtake me and before we knew it we were in South Padre.

I fell in love at once. It was almost as if crossing that bridge you leave your daily life behind and you accept the beach life for however long you are visiting. My eyes couldn’t take in everything I was seeing. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times we should have camera eyes so we can take pics of what we see. You can’t always get your camera, phone or video camera out quick enough. Our first goal was to find our Airbnb. Josh was the one to find this gem when we decided to make this trip. He searched and found Niki’s Place. I can’t say enough about Niki’s Place, we were about a block from the beach, the neighborhood was quiet and relaxing. We were only there for two nights and didn’t get to take advantage of all the truly wonderful things Niki’s had to offer. I know I will be back and Niki’s will be the first place I want to stay at.

After unloading our luggage and taking a small rest we knew two things 1)We were hungry and 2)we wanted to see the beach. We did the last first. We walked to the beach from our condo and spent about 30-45 mins there. After we had said a proper hello got out feet wet and sandy we decided to go and look for food, knowing we would be back the next day.

I should note that Laura had this idea she was going to swim in the ocean like she swims in a pool. We tried to explain to her about the currents and riptides that can happen when in the ocean. I’m almost sure she thought we were making this up. So when you hear me call her in the video it’s me reminding her to pay attention and stay close to Josh. There was a lot of worry about bringing her to the beach. I wasn’t going to let anything happen to her on my watch. Super Babysitter on Guard! LOL!

We discovered we had passed a seaside restaurant and went in to enjoy local seafood. We sat outside so we could watch the sun go down and take it the fact we were here at last. The restaurant was a lovely seaside restaurant Palm’s Resort Cafe which was across the street from our condo but was close enough to the beach that you felt you were there. We were seated at a patio table. The three of us decided to sit on the same side of the picnic table so we could watch the ocean as the sun went down. It was so calming just sitting and watching the ocean while the world passed by.

We all had fresh seafood that was wonderful there was not an empty plate. After we had dinner we went back to our condo, washed the dirt of the day off and got ready for bed. As Laura and I were settling in our comfy bed Josh brings the question to me about getting up early Tuesday to see the sunrise. I love my sleep but I also wasn’t going to miss an ocean sunrise. I told him I was in and to wake me when he woke up. Bring me that horizon!


Posted in Holiday

South Padre Island, TX Day 1

Sunday-The Journey begins..

I wanted my first blog trip to be a place to remember. I thought of several places locally and some quite far away. I came up with one of my favorite places to visit-San Antonio. The plan was to go with my nephew, sister-in-law, and niece. What ended up happening we sister-in-law had to have an immediate knee replacement and couldn’t make the trip. I started thinking of just scraping the entire trip and began thinking of other places I could go. What I came up with was South Padre Island, TX I could still stop in San Antonio on the way back and visit my family.

We brought my 9 yr old niece with us on the trip so my sister-in-law could recover after surgery. I felt it was the right thing to do for my sister-in-law and for my niece who had never seen the ocean before was really excited to go. There should be a manual for riding in a car with a 9 yr old girl. Whatever you bring on the trip to keep them occupied, triple it. Whatever you do DO NOT I repeat DO NOT feed them sugar! Josh and I learned that the hard way. When asked when will we get there every 20 minutes I sent a prayer of thanksgiving to my mother for putting up with me when I was 9. There was not enough to keep that child busy the entire 8 hr drive to Austin. Because we knew the trip was going to be a long drive we decided to go as far as Austin, get a room and visit with my cousin who lives there and recharge for the next part of our trip.

My cousin lives in North Austin so I wanted to find a hotel close to her apartment. She graciously offered to let us stay there but her apartment is small and this was a Sunday night so work was on the agenda for her the next day. I knew having a 9 yr old that doesn’t like to sleep would not be a pleasant night for her. I found a great room at DoubleTree by Hilton Austin Northwest Arboretum, the location was just where I wanted and the price was right for one night. We were greeted at the front desk with a warm smile and yummy cookies for each of us. The beds were unbelievably comfortable, after the long drive I hated that we had to get out again. LOL

We enjoyed a nice dinner with my cousin at an Italian restaurant at Mandela’s. The restaurant was located in a shopping center but when you walked inside it was like walking into an Italian market. There were meats, cheeses, loaves of bread, gelato and wines for purchase. There were outdoor tables where you could sit and enjoy a gelato if you did not want to have dinner. We enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner then went back to the hotel and visited a bit longer and watched my niece enjoy the hotel pool. We got up the next morning, stopped at Cracker Barrel for a great breakfast and headed south to Padre Island. Sand and ocean here we come!

Posted in Holiday

Memorial Day, Unemployment

Image result for memorial day 2018

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of the month of May for our country to remember those who have given their lives for our country. In some areas of the country, this day is known as Decoration Day, using the old term for the day you as a family went to the cemetery where your loved one was buried and decorate their grave. In cemeteries all over American flags can be seen flying proudly beside the fallen soldier that served their country. Not everyone died in service many lived until an old age but gave their lives to the military service with pride. We as a family celebrate Memorial Day by having family gatherings or reunions. Some celebrate by visiting the gravesite where their loved one was laid to rest and doing something on that day to honor that person. Memorial Day for me reminds me of my relatives that served in World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East Conflicts. I think of those I have in the service now and know one day I will be doing the same for them and how proud I will be of them. I am reminded of as a child the care my grandmothers and mother went to for Memorial Day and how those of us today see decorating graves as a bother. To honor all of their memories I will continue to hold up the traditions they have set before me. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Image result for unemployment

So I have been unemployed for 4 months now. Since I started working in my 20’s I have never been without a job. This is a completely new path for me. I have been looking at so many telecommute jobs and hope there is one out there with my name on it. Until then I have made a plan to focus everything I have on my blogging. I am even taking a bit of my retirement money out so I can invest money into a few trips and courses over the next year. This is a huge step for me and I am really excited to be on the journey. I am beyond scared but have to believe this is the right path for me to take.

Being unemployed is way different than being on vacation for a long time. When you have time off from work you know you are going back. Being unemployed you have no idea when/if you will be working again. I have tried to set myself a routine each day and have honestly failed terribly. I think it will get better now that the weather has thankfully gotten warmer. The heat wakes me up and I’m ready to get moving. I actually like having a full day to myself. I can go run errands any time of the day I want to. I need to learn the senior schedule so I’m not running into them in the grocery. I have more time to devote to my favorite past time..lounging in my pool. I am really excited about this. I am hoping to figure out how to blog from the pool without dropping my phone in the water. 🙂

Regardless of weather, I return back to the office scene, find a job working from home or just blog full time. I have never felt better since leaving in January. I will say that work stress is the worst stress to have. It’s no wonder the majority of the working class are run down. Stress can kill.

 

 

Posted in Christmas

Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

 

 

Christmas used to be one of my favorite times of years. I was the girl that could have Christmas all year around. I love everything about it. I couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving to be over so we could drag out all the decorations and reminisce about the ornaments my sister and I made at school. When I was a small child, my dad’s parents owned a nursery and their gift to our family was giving us a tree. What I loved about the trees as they were big and flocked. If you haven’t had a flocked, live tree in your house, you must have one. It was like having a snowed tree from outside in your house. We lived about two hours from where my grandparents lived.  So, when it was time to bring the tree home, we would drive to their house, load the tree in the truck, and come back home.  I would watch the tree the entire time. I was so afraid the coverings would come loose and we would lose the tree. If that happened, I wanted to make sure I could yell at my dad to pull over so we could save the tree. Thankfully, nothing ever happened and we had our tree ready to put up when we got home. The flocked trees stopped when I was 10, my grandmother died and my grandfather just didn’t want to carry on with her business.

As this was the first year without my grandparent my parents had the idea to get a tree still with the roots on it so we could plant the tree in our yard after Christmas.  We brought the tree inside once we had everything set up. We had to keep the tree in a large pot of dirt so the roots could be kept watered and not dry out. My mom wanted to do an old-fashioned Christmas with strings of popcorn and paper chain link garland. We worked for hours making those decorations. What we didn’t count on was the dog. We went out one night to visit relatives and left our dog alone in the house. When we returned from visiting, what we found was a tree on the ground with all the dirt dug out of the bucket. Apparently, if you put a bucket of dirt close to a dog, she will dig and knock over your Christmas tree. We were able to salvage the tree, but we decided from that Christmas on we would have to settle for a fake tree. Lesson learned.

Maybe I love Christmas so much. because it seems to be the holiday I spent the most time visiting family and family that lived far off would fly in or drive in to visit for the holidays. It was exciting that people from far away as Texas and even California were coming to visit. We didn’t have family that lived in the East or overseas. Now it’s nothing to have people from these places visit. It’s easier to hop on a plane and be here in a few hours or even hop on your computer and visit online, but in the 1970’s, long distance phone calls were expensive and chat, text and video phone calls were not discovered yet.  My dad’s grandparents always had a Christmas Eve dinner at their house. I loved it. All of the family that could make it would come to dinner.  The house would be bursting with bodies. Between the food cooking and the heat from the number of bodies in the house, the windows would fog up.  In the middle of winter, doors would be thrown open because the house would get so warm. I loved walking through the house and eavesdropping on the various conversations. Sometimes I would just sit in front of the tree and stare at the lights and all the presents piled in front of the tree. My great grandmother’s tree was one of a kind. It was an artificial tree bought sometime in the 1950’s or 60’s. We were never sure, but I loved that tree.  It was of a type of plastic, no needles fell off and you just put the branches in the color-coded slots on the tree trunk (over time those colors wore off so it was a guessing game). I think my grandmother would appreciate the fold out trees of today; she and that tree went a few rounds several times. 🙂

Now, I find myself a bit lost at Christmas because most of my family traditions are long gone. It’s not that I don’t care for the holiday; I just don’t find it as magical and wondrous as I once did. Will that wonder ever return? I’d to think so and have to believe that it will and new traditions will be made.

Posted in Thanksgiving

A time to give Thanks

This year our family Thanksgiving was a bit bigger than usual. In addition to the regular 10 that we usually have for Thanksgiving dinner, we grew in size with new members of the family that have just moved to the states from Germany. This would include an uncle who was stationed in the Army in Germany met his wife and raised a family there.  He has decided to retire here in his hometown as his sons have moved out of Germany and it’s just the two of them now. With his coming home this Thanksgiving made for a holiday to be even more thankful.

The food was plentiful along with the company, memories were shared and new ones made. Relatives who had sent gifts across seas were know sitting with the family they had sent those gifts to. As someone who had heard of these family members, it was nice to finally meet them. It was a pleasant day had by all.