Happy Birthday, Candy

Today would have been my dearest friend, Candy’s birthday. Two years ago I sent her a 3 lb wheel of Vermont Cheddar Cheese and New Hampshire Maple Syrup. The year before I sent her a Red Velvet Cake, her favorite.

I sang her happy birthday and all was well. Neither one of us knew that birthday would be her very last birthday on this earth.

Just over a month later, Candy was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I will never forget the night she called me. She had just gone to a walk-in clinic for her cough. They x-rayed her lungs and found the masses.

She called me sitting in her car in the parking lot. She knew. I kept trying to explain away what the doctors had found, but Candy being a nurse knew.

July 15 13 005How lucky I was to have been her friend all of these years. We could go for a while not talking on the phone and then one of us would call the other and it was like we just talked yesterday. It was always easy to talk to Candy. She understood me in so many ways, that no one else did.

1471833_10152064816746499_671583404_nWhen Candy and her husband visited us back in 2013, they both fell in love with our Greta. So much so that a few months later they got their very own wire-haired dachshund. Aurora went everywhere with Candy and she was the real joy in her life.

FB_IMG_1548898268358Candy was an identical twin. I wrote to her sister Mary and spoke to her last week. Needless to say, she is feeling an unimaginable loss. I knew this would be very hard for her. It never gets easier.

I was not only blessed to have been Candy’s friend all these years but during her last days on this earth, I was able to give back to my friend all that she had given me, by caring for her.

Oh, how I miss this wonderful woman. But as I told her the last time I saw her, “Love never dies, Candy. I will see you next in God’s Garden”.

Happy Heavenly Birthday!

Anneliese & The Wild Boar

Back in February of 2009, I took Anneliese to Berlin, Germany for her first breeding, with a handsome German dackel, named Isagrim. In Boston, the airport workers thought Anneliese was very cute, in her little panties as I carried her through Logan Airport Security. (For those that do not know, when a dog is in heat they wear little panties, so they don’t get messy or make your home messy.) I spent a little over a week with my friend Uschi and her husband, and I was able to breed Anneliese twice before it was time to go home.

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Now Anneliese is a very good little traveler. She remained very calm in the airports during transport, and on the aircraft, she was amazing, as she settled herself inside her little bag and fell asleep. She had no accidents in her bag, and when we reached Berlin and cleared customs, We went right outside and she did her business right where she should.

It amazed me how she knew just what to do with Isagrim, in fact, I admonished her to play a little hard to get with him, lest he thinks she was a loose woman! But the breeding went well, and then she had a few days to rest before we made our trip back to the states.

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We left Berlin and headed back home on a direct flight from Berlin to JFK in New York. As we descended into New York, I was filling out the Customs Declaration Form for the USA.

The form asks: Are you are traveling with any animal?

Yes.

What color is the animal?

On all of Anneliese’s papers, it states quite clearly…”Wild Boar“. So, I wrote that down.

We landed and I walked through to the Customs Area where I was stopped and directed over to the Animal Import area. The Agent took my card and read it.

“Madam, I will need you to open this bag and show me the animal you are bringing in!” he commanded

And as I reached to unzip the bag, the Agent took three giant steps back! I wish you could have seen his face! He was terrified! Anneliese’s little head popped out and I could actually see the man start to breathe again.

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You see the agent thought that “Wild Boar” was what was in the bag, not the actual color of the dog!

This is probably my favorite story about Anneliese, and possibly my best traveling dog story.

Maribeth Dackel

Me & Tea

Growing up in my family, a cup of tea was probably the most important thing we shared. For me, our afternoon teas started almost before any of my actual memories do.

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When I was not quite four years old, my appendix ruptured and after the surgery, my mother got a call from the nurses in the Pediatric Ward. Oh goodness, Maribeth is not drinking. They’d tried to offer me everything, and I refused.

“Offer her a cup of tea with two sugars and a little milk,” my mother told them. So the nurse did and apparently I perked right up. Yes, I and my tea go back a long way.

All through my youth, we drank tea in the afternoons. When I got home from school, while watching “Dark Shadows”, I would have a cup of tea and a few cookies. I sort of thought everyone did, right?

When I was in 6th grade I moved in with my grandparents, and that’s when the real ritual began. I would go to school each day, and when I came home after grandma’s soap opera was over, we would have our tea, some cookies, and talk. I would tell them all about my day, school, what was happening, and what I thought. And Grandma, Papa, and my Mom, always listened. When my sister was there, she joined us too.

When my grandmother got too old to leave her bed, and we knew her time was drawing near, we gathered our children together and had a tea party. Right there in her bedroom. It was the last time I saw her before she passed.

I continued the tradition of tea, with my Mom, my sister, my cousin, Janet, and my own children. And when my Mom died, my sister had a tea party after her Memorial Service. Complete with beautiful teacups and cookies. Mom would have loved it!

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The other day I was watching Pioneer Woman on the Food Channel. Ree and her daughter, Paige were having tea during the show. They had so much fun making up the treats to serve with it too. Eventually, Ree asks her daughter how often she thinks they should do this? And her daughter smiles and says “Every day!”.

And that was when I started to cry. I suddenly missed all those afternoon teas we shared. I missed my Grandma, my Mom, Papa. Those moments, those sweet days have gone by. Aside from my sister, daughter, Mandy, and cousin Janet, the people I shared those days with have gone too.

My love of tea goes on. It’s my link to my past. I’m so very grateful to have it.

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The Beginnings

Looking back, May 2005 was when I started writing Dackel Princess. Sometimes I like to go back and read my thoughts. It’s been a lot of fun. We all have my cousin, Janet to blame, as she got me into writing, 15 years ago! And even though I have not been as diligent in the last year, I am going to try to be better about keeping my blog up and running. So, here is what I wrote that first day.

As this is the opening day of The Dackel Princess, I would like to welcome everyone to my site! As I write, spring is upon us here in the mountains of New Hampshire. With temperatures in the high 70’s, my apple trees are starting to blossom and the trees on the hill are starting to leaf out. It is so beautiful!

All three dogs have been running around in the yard this morning. Currently, the two dachsies are taking their second nap of the day, (more like one long, long nap) and Fritz is outside asleep on the patio. His favorite spot to be. Me? I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out a new bit of software. So here’s to the first entry! With many more to come!!!

This is Shubi!

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Baby Greta!

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Fritz

Oct 14 004Shubi was my very first wire-haired dachshund. She was the love of my life, and I was so grateful for each day we shared. She was with me for ten years before going to Rainbow Bridge. Far too short a time here on earth.

Yes, that is Greta as a baby. Greta grew to “marry” her “husband” Bernie and give us 10 beautiful pups. Two of which are my Arnie and Anneliese. But there she is, just two months old. I still miss that girl.

And Fritz. The most wonderful white shepherd that we have ever had. Gentle, kind, and fiercely loyal, who was with us twelve years and left so very quickly to go to Rainbow Bridge. Our Lili is his niece. She looks a lot like her uncle, but there is a somewhat wild side to Lili that Fritz did not have. Both were/are as gentle as you could hope to find in a German Shepherd.

Anyway, the part in Blue was the original entry. This is the rest of the story. Imagine, 15 years writing their stories and my own? It’s been fun!

TBT: As The Years Go By

I went out today and walked around the cement pad we had poured for the camper. We’d done it the first year we were here.

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We put our handprints in the wet cement and our initials.

We had two dogs then. Our old White German Shepherd, Max.

Max at sunset

These are his prints.

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And the love of our lives, and many others, Shubi.

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These are Shubi’s little paw prints.

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We loved having their footprints in the cement. It somehow blessed this land that we had decided to call home.

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Shubi and Max.

Today, for the first time in many years, I saw their prints, and our hands and remembered all those years ago. I smiled, I cried a little and then was thankful for all that Hubby and I have now, and the three dogs we are blessed to share our life with, but also thankful for the dogs we have known in the past.

Me with my Shubi in the camper.

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“And oh how the years go by
And oh how the love brings tears to my eyes
All through the changes the soul never dies
We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by”

Lyrics by: JENNINGS/CLIMIE

Memories Growing Up

I was thinking about my family recently. Growing up, I recall that my mother’s family got together a lot. When I was very young, we all met up at my Grandmother’s House in Brighton, Massachusetts. She had a three-story home, that at one time or another had housed Grandma and Papa Fred; her parents; her sister, Tilly, and Tilly’s son, George; Papa Fred’s sister, Hedwig and her husband Abert; my Mom and Dad; and my Uncle Bob and his wife Cynthia and their two children Carl and Erica.

Now, these people all passed through the house at one time or another, never all at once, but somehow, Murdock Street was the home base for many years.

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Family always gathered at Grandma’s house to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. It was always so much fun. Good food, a lot of laughs, and a lot of hugs. My memories of those long-ago days are still very strong. I recall each family member, be they my Mom’s brother and his family, or all of Papa Fred’s family, as he had many brothers and sisters.

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Papa had a heart attack when I was about 10 years old and Grandma and Papa moved closer to us in Falmouth, on Cape Cod. They moved three streets away from us, and I remember running through the woods to their house. The door was always open and they were always happy to see me.

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Grandma Honey & Papa Fred

The family parties continued, although I admit, they’d gotten smaller because slowly, the family was dying off. Papa was the youngest in his family and I recall his brothers and sisters passing early on. All except the eldest in the family, Hedwig, and she lived to be very, very, old.

In any case, after a few years, Grandma and Papa needed more help and so they bought a house with my Mom and Dad. It was a beautiful big home. Which meant, the family parties continued.

It was great because All the cousins were getting married and having children, and suddenly the parties were filled with babies, toddlers, and children! There was a small lake down the road and in the summer, during the cookouts, this meant swimming times too!

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When parties were planned, everyone came. They came to see Grandma. She really loved family and would plan everything and call everyone. Mom would do most of the cooking, with Uncle Betty by her side, and Uncle George and my Dad were great at flipping burgers and hotdogs.

I can still taste my Mom’s potato salad! And why is it that the watermelon tasted so much better when we were all sitting on the fence spitting seeds?

I miss those days. I miss all those people. I miss the family gatherings when we all were together. They do not happen anymore. My sister Melodie and one cousin, Janet, and I get together twice a year. But gone are the days of those big family gatherings.

MB Surf DriveMe at my Beach. Surf Drive Beach.

Right now I am trying to establish a time each summer when I share beach time with my grandchildren. I want them to have the Cape Cod experience. I want them to know salty air, sunsets into the ocean, and cookouts that last forever. I want them to spit watermelon seeds while they’re sitting on a fence and Dairy Queen runs on a hot summer night!

So many wonderful memories of my own childhood.

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Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. A special day for all the Mothers out there, myself included.

Here I am with my sister, Melodie and our mother Rosamond. I’ve always loved her name. So beautiful.

2436793586_43be7f53e5_hThis was taken in the Spring of 2008. The Cherry Blossoms were blooming in New Haven, Connecticut. What a beautiful day that was.

1Then I became a Mum on December 20th. A much wanted and extremely loved and adored daughter, Mandy entered my life. I remember that day, feeling like no one had ever had a baby as I did. She was (and still is) so beautiful and wonderful!

It’s funny how one loves their baby before they see their face, and when they do, it’s like they have always known those eyes, that smile, and those expressions.

25Me and Mandy. This is one of my favorite pictures. Oddly enough, it was taken in a ladies’ room because it had great lighting and a wonderful background.

img053aAmanda, Me, and Katie. Me and my girls. I have always loved being a Mum. These two just filled my heart.

49081853731_5546d5b2c3Now I am an Oma! Savannah Rose came into my world almost eight years ago. I didn’t know it could be like this!  The very first time I held her in my arms was magic! She is amazing and my heart grew and continues to grow as this young lady continues to steal my heart!

Savannah is sweet and kind, she is loving and gentle. She loves to dress up and pretend, and swim and dance. She loves Fairy Princesses. She is my little Princess.

49645785926_cd466b2ae9_bThen one day Mandy came running down the stairs waving a home pregnancy test! And we learned this little one was on the way. I was so excited, and it’s strange because a palm reader said I would have another grandchild and it would be a boy! She sure was right!

Quinn is also amazing. He is so different from his sister and I just love it! We play Spiderman, build Legos, and play planes. We color and he is poetry in motion. He likes guy stuff and roughhousing. Yet at the same time, he can become sweet and caring.

Let’s face it, I have been blessed all the way around. I had two beautiful daughters of my own, And two fabulous grandchildren too!

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Old & Wise

Yesterday was one of those weird days. The dogs were restless, Jack was restless and so was I. So, what does this make our house? Yeah, rather unsettled.

I tried to get preoccupied with a project. I’ll plan a great meal. And when I went to the fridge I realized I needed to use up a few things, so last night’s dinner was all leftovers.

Okay, I’ll listen to some music. So I put some on, and then I wondered about the actual band behind the music.

We’re going back to 1995 and the band was “The Alan Parson’s Project”. Now back then I wasn’t such a big fan, but my former husband was. So I knew a lot of their songs, but absolutely nothing about the people involved.

Well, via Wikki I learned a lot and one thing I learned was that a Bass player I have enjoyed for years, David Paton, was one of the founding members of this group.

Now I started following David when he was again, the founding member and lead singer of the group “Pilot”. For us here in the USA their biggest hit was “Magic”. And although I love that song, my favorite, jump out of my seat and dance song is “You’re My Number 1”.

I digress.

There was a lot to learn about “The Alan Parson’s Project” and I went back and was able to get the MP3 versions of some older albums, with great songs.

Sadly the man who wrote most of the music and lyrics, Eric Woolfson, died in 2009. But these beautiful pieces linger on.

Here is my favorite. Sung in a live performance by David Paton.

Enjoy!

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Memories of my Youth

I was thinking back to the days of my youth. I grew up in Falmouth, Massachusetts, before the rapid growth and over-building. Back when it was a small town and a great place to live and grow up.
The first house I lived in was on Clipper Lane. It was a nice house and I had my own room.

August 2 006What my childhood home looks like today.

But more often than not I would find myself sleeping in my sister’s bed in the morning. Nightmares and sleepwalking.
I had a brother and a sister. My brother and I weren’t very close. My sister and I were and still are.

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My brother was much older then I and I think he just sort of resented this cute little kid running around the house trying to be a part of everything.
My room was over the kitchen and the back door. I could see everyone come in or go out and I could also listen to the voices of my parents talking at the table there. Sometimes good talk, sometimes bad. But I could always know what was happening.
The great thing about my room was the storm windows. They were the old fashioned kind that was fit on for the winter and then taken off and a screen would be put on for the summer.

In the winter I could put up the window and sit with my feet on the radiator and keep them warm while I played with my Barbie dolls. The window sill area was their “loft apartment” with tissue boxes for beds or sofas and thimbles for stools or lamps.

Dec 22 008Janet and me!

My cousin Janet and my sister played with me too. We would play for hours and hours. Back in the ’60s when Janet and I played, my dolls would be Paul and Linda McCartney and hers would be Mick and Bianca Jagger. For hours and hours, we escaped into this wonderful world.
We made clothes for the dolls too. Out of scrap material from my mother’s sewing supplies. I remember seeing my Barbie’s looking like a real glamour Queen, even though I am sure the outfits were terribly designed and badly sewn.

But to Janet and me it didn’t matter.

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Happy or Sad

Mostly I don’t write about things that make me sad. I try really hard to think positive. It’s a challenge because I tend to be a half-empty glass kind of girl, But I strive to be a half-full kind of girl.

This all was something I struggled with recently, as an acquaintance of mine had seen an article in a newspaper about a horrific traffic accident that made her think of me.  So, she wrote to me to remind me about it. Sending me the graphic article.

I’m sure it wasn’t her intention to hurt me like this. I’m sure that many people think that after 35 years you should be “over” the loss of your child?

But it did hit me very hard. You know, most days I get through and I do alright. Then I think of my little girl and the loss washes over me.

kate1aKatie

I really don’t need people reminding me of the horror I went through. It is never far from my mind.

I was also thinking of my Mom today. She has been gone quite a while now. Her passing was much easier for me because she was ready, we had wonderful loving words between us and although losing a parent is hard, it is more in the normal scheme of things.

img500Mom and I watching Siamese kittens being born.

Anyway, Mom was on my mind in a happy way, so I took out a bottle of her favorite perfume “Oleander” by Lily of Bermuda, and I put some on. All-day I have smelled Mom and it has made me smile.

Not all memories of our loved ones make us sad. They can be happy and full of love. Those are the ones I like to concentrate on.