Friday, December 27, 2013


Throughout my entire life we have had dogs.  As a kid at home, we had Boston Terriers.  Cute, well behaved, and minded relatively well.  When my wife and I got married, the first dog we had was a miniature Poodle.  My wife bought it from some people who had to give it up, according to them.  Well, I can see why.  This dog might have been small in size, but had an ego the size of France.  And it hated me with a passion.  It slept on the very foot of our bed, and my wife could push, move or whatever and the dog would do nothing.  If I moved a foot into her space, she would growl and snap at me.  Outside, we had a border collie, who loved me and my wife both equally.  While we had her, she could sense both times that my wife was "with child" and would be very careful around her, not jump or bump, yet she was her usual playful self with me.  Weird!
When we moved to town, some people we knew who had fallen in love with the border collie wanted her.  They lived way out in the country and had a large fenced yard.  So, Brandy went to live there.  I maintained visiting rights, though.  The poodle went with us to town.  We discovered that she wasn't very nice around the baby, so she found a nice home somewhere else.
I said "no more dogs!"  Well, down through the years we have had others.  We had a Keeshond who was the best dog I had ever owned.  But, the hair!  And allergies!  Alas, she, Miss Teddie, when to live with some other friends.  As far as I know, she is still there.
The last dog my wife had was a Pug.  She was cute.  That's about all.  I thought she was so dumb.  She would go out, do her business, and come right back in and do it again.  We worked and worked with her, and finally she accomplished house breaking.  She was a good friend to my wife.  As my wife became more disabled with heart and diabetic problems, the Pug would be her constant companion.  About 6 weeks before my wife passed away, I came home from work and she said that she was finding a new home for the Pug.  I asked why and she said she just thought it was time.  I was gone a lot working two jobs and she sometimes couldn't get around well enough to make sure the dog got out when she needed to.  Now, I know that she was preparing for what was to come.  Our minister told me later that Tilly confided in him that she knew she was going to die.  Again...weird!
I said "no more dogs."  That lasted for 5 years.  Last December, my daughter,Prof, who lives in my "attic" adopted a retired racing Greyhound.  Giles was 5 years old, had raced in 47 races, won several and either placed or showed in several more.  In his last race, he ran so hard that he broke both of his back feet at the first joint.  His owner wanted to have him put down, but his caretaker or handler talked him into giving him to rescue where he received  medical treatment and healed..  He was adopted from there.
Giles is the best of pets.  Of course he doesn't belong to me, but he lives in my house, so I can claim him, too.  He sleeps a lot.  I say he has earned it.  He doesn't jump on people, he doesn't growl, and I heard him bark once while I had him out in the back yard, because the children in the next yard startled him.  One bark!  That's all.  He's loveable, and kind. He is neat and tidy,  And his is housebroken.  One accident in the house and that was our fault for being gone longer that he could hold it.
Prof is talking about moving.  If she goes, Giles will go with her.  After all, he is her dog.  I have already told her that I do reserve visitation rights.
Basically, I am really a dog person, though I profess not to be.  I just don't want one of my own to tie me down.  Not at my age.  But, having Giles here is a real treat and a lot of company while Prof is at work and out doing her things with friends.  If they move, I will miss having Giles the Wonder Dog, cause as Prof says all the time, "we got the best one."


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Annual Christmas Movie

It has been a Christmas Day tradition for the last several years for Prof, Kiddo, and I to go to a matinee in the afternoon after the chaos of morning gifting and eating is through.  This year was no exception.  We just arrived back home from seeing, "Saving Mr. Banks."  It is a Disney production about the making of the 1964 movie, "Mary Poppins."  It was delightful.  Tom Hanks as Walt Disney is sure to get a nod from the Academy and so should Emma Thompson for her superb portrayal of P L Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books.  While this movie is rated "G" it is not a movie for children.  Not because there is anything untoward in it, but small children wouldn't "get" it, and would be bored.
But as adults, we were both captivated and entertained.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.


Merry Christmas!

To all my blogger friends out there:  Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

How's Your Music?

I love music!  Almost all kinds.  Now by "almost" I mean that I don't care for the "new age" and "rap" stuff.  I mean real music.  You know, something with a tune. It doesn't necessarily have to have words.  As a matter of fact, if I am just sitting reading or crocheting or crafting, I prefer background music without words to concentrate on. I especially like piano background music like Danny Wright, Lori Line, John Tesh.  When I am just listening, then words are okay.
I love country.  Just give me some Reba, Martina, Brad Paisley, etc. and I am in 'hog heaven.'  I like Norah Jones and her sultry voice.  Her "Turn Me On" turns me on. (No minds in the gutter, please.)  I like to listen to Tony Bennett, and Bing, and Perry.  Sinatra not so much.  His high notes just send that "fingernails on the chalkboard" feeling down my spine.  I like Celine, too.  Last night she was on TV and I was on the computer.  I stopped what I was doing and turned to watch her.  My daughter, who has very good taste in music, though diverse, said that Celine was so passe now.  I don't care.  I still have her on my ipod and listen to her while I walk.  I miss Whitney, too.  Her soaring voice was sensational!
I was "into" Michael Bolton's music for a long time.  His younger voice sounded so cool but now that he's doing car commercials, I can say that maybe he could tone it down a little.  I still think he has a great stage presence, though, and would go see him in concert if he every got close by.
Ann Murray is another favorite from years gone by.  My late wife and I trekked to the state capitol to see her in concert once upon a time.  Man, that gal could sing.  And I saw her recently on PBS and she still can sing! I have lots of her stuff on CD and iPod. 
Of course, I cannot go without saying that I love, love, love gospel music.  Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, the Gaither Vocal Band, (would be better if Bill would retire), Guy Penrod, Dave Phelps, Ray Boltz.  They all just speak to me.  These are just a few of the great ones.  And have you ever heard the Oakridge Boys sing gospel?  They're made for it!
So you see, there are all kinds of music that reaches me.  Maybe it depends on what I am doing, or my state of mind, but needless to say, I love music!


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree!

In my scaling down phase, I have decided that the great big tree takes up too much room in my living room, it is cumbersome to handle getting it in and out of storage, and it is heavy, besides.  I have offered to give the great big tree away for free to some needy family, but as yet I have no takers.

But, I still want a tree, so I have a "pencil" tree.  It is not a prelit one, but I have plenty of lights and decorations for it.  I have two sets of decorations, as a matter of fact.  This year I went "Victorian Era Chic."
The whole tree is decorated in crystal and silver ornaments, and white lights.  Then it is draped with various silver and crystal garlands.  I have a string of lights that are white lacy birds.  They show up rather creamy instead of white, but are still fitting and a family favorite.

I have several boxes of the traditional ornaments, lights and stuff the kids made growing up stored away in my storage area.  Next year I will use them, but for this year, it is what it is.

A big thank you goes out to my daughter for saving me the hassle of rearranging the furniture and putting up the tree.  When I came home from trekking to southern Indiana for Thanksgiving dinner, that unsavory task was already done.  Thanks, Sweety!

All that is left to do is put up the Nativity.  That is my project for today.