Spring has come to the Dackel Princess homestead. Our fruit trees are budding up and right now our cherry and plum trees are bursting with flowers. It’s just so pretty to go out and walk around the yard, and see the trees filled with life. Flowers, bees and bright green leaves, after a long winter of skeletal shadows and snow drifts that went half way up the tree!

But spring is here!

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The dogs love to be out amongst the trees and running through the grass. Thinking back over the winter, I fretted that I would ever see green grass again, and yet here we are!


Mandy came up on Friday to celebrate both Hubby’s birthday and Mother’s Day with us. It was so great to have her come here and visit with us and the doggies. It never ceases to amazed me that the dogs remember her so well each time she is here. Greta especially just loves her Mandy!

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Naturally we wanted to celebrate with a nice dinner at Canoe. It’s Mandy’s favorite restaurant too, so we went over for a nice leisurely meal.

When we arrived we saw that our favorite waiter, Andy, had returned to the staff and we were lucky enough to be seated in his area. We had the sweet and sour calamari, a bucket of mussels sauteed in garlic and white wine and a dip of artichokes and crab! I should have stopped there, but we all ordered meals, which we ended up bringing home with us! LOL! Once again we were not disappointed in anything that we ordered. Including the one order of molten chocolate cake for dessert. Mandy got that and Andy brought three forks so we all could try it! Wow! it was amazing!

All too quickly the night ended and Mandy had to drive home again. Hubby and I sat up for a while talking about our evening and how much we enjoyed it.

Yes, loved ones and springtime make a perfect package!

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These are thirteen of my favorite pictures. The bottom picture is of Greta with her first litter of pups back in 2006. We will know in two weeks if she is expecting her next litter! I’ve got my fingers crossed!

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Girl’s Day

On Saturday I drove down to the closest “big city” to us. Mandy drove up and we met at a local bookstore well known for their double cappuccino’s! After Mandy arrived, we got our coffees and then got into my car and headed over to the Mall. We stopped first at Applebees and had lunch and then the shopping commenced!

This is actually a pretty good mall, as malls go, and Mandy, who has also been dieting and lost even more weight than me, needed some new office clothes. We started in “Coldwater Creek” where there was a “70% Sale” sign in the window! I have to say that Mandy looks adorable in clothes, and I enjoyed watching her trying on different outfits.

I hadn’t intended to buy anything, but recently I had experienced our anniversary where I literally had NOTHING to wear. I did not want to buy anything that I really liked because I know in another 6 months it won’t fit, but I decided to try on a new pair of coral colored denim jeans, and a flowery top that matched. Both fit nicely, and the jeans were a size 12 and the blouse was a medium!!!

That was all I bought, but Mandy has an office job, so she truly needed a few outfits, and luckily, she found them and at sale prices.

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Dinner was at a local placed called “The Common Man”. We met up with my cousin Janet. The place was mobbed! Talk about a place where you really want to either have a reservation or perhaps eliminate from your weekend dining list. They told us it would be over 1 hour, but we could wait in the bar!!!

We sat in there and decided that we would order dinner sitting at the bar. We ordered salads and lobster corn chowder.

Janet and I talked and talked and it was so nice. I’d brought with me old pictures that I’d gotten when my sister and I were going through things from our parents home. There were great pictures of Janet’s parents, grandmother and yes, even her brother. I was so happy to be able to give them to her. We also exchanged Christmas gifts! Janet gave me


Patty Boyd’s book on her life with George Harrison and Eric Clapton, and I gave her the cutest purse, with a Johnny Depp pirate inside. I hope she liked them!

My cell phone went off twice (I’d set it to vibrate), thus giving me a short thrill and the experience of trying to talk over so many bar patrons! I’ve decided that I like the thrill, but not the talking in a crowded bar.

I got home late. A first for me, the original country mouse who is usually in pajamas by 7:30!!!

Today? Well, I’m tired, but happily so!

In A Flash

It’s entirely possible to view ones life in a day. You can see it flash before your very eyes if….you have a mother like mine, who tossed pictures in boxes and let them sit for 50 years! Today, my sister and I spent the entire day going through these boxes (and we know there are even more!) watching our lives unfold.

I was a cute enough kid growing up. I went from blond curls, to a pixie cut by the time I was 5. After that my hair grew in full and thick, but gone were the baby curls that my mother had so carelessly cut off. (I have never quite forgiver her for that!)

There were the pictures of me with my High School boyfriend, who became my first husband and the father of my two daughters. There were the pictures of me as I carried my two children through pregnancy. (I felt like no one had been as big as I was!) There were the pictures of me holding my babies for the fist time.

And there I was at the baptisms of my children… So small so sweet…that time flew by, too fast.

Then there I was with my current Hubby. The first few time I brought him to meet my parents and then the early years of our married life. Sharing the looks that only newly married couples share. Something so intimate and knowing.

Yes, my sister and I shared today. We watched our lives flash before our eyes. We watched our children grow, the birth of her grandchildren and the constant renewal of life.

In a flash…..

Thursday Thirteen #59

This weeks Thursday Thirteen revolves around my daughter Mandy. She came up today to visit and celebrate both her birthday and Christmas, and it was so good to see her. Here is a little list about my daughter.

1. I think she is one of the nicest people I know.
2. I also think she is very beautiful. But then, I am her Mum so perhaps I am somewhat biased! LOL

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3. Mandy works very hard at her job as a project manager in Oncology research.
4. She drives a cute little convertible sports car. I really love it!
5. She is also a great driver. I never feel uncomfortable driving with her.
6. She loves all animals and is very sweet and gentle with them.
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7. She has a great sense of humor too. She makes me laugh!
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8. All my dogs go crazy when she arrives. They just LOVE her.
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9. She got me the most wonderful Christmas presents. My favorites are two wire-haired dachshund Christmas ornaments! Those I may keep out all year long.
10. Mandy takes really good care of her grandmother, even though it is not an easy job.
11. She lives about an hour and a half from here and I wish she lived closer.
12. She has three big, beautiful, cats! Maestro, Cleo and my favorite, Ortez. He was named for David Ortez of the Red Sox.
13. At the end of the day, I am and will always be, proud to be her Mum!
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Happy Birthday Mandy

The best Christmas present I ever got, was back in 1976. I was 9 1/2 months pregnant and waiting for a long overdue and much wanted baby. The day before they were going to induce my labor, my water broke and 8 hours later, 8 pound, 13 ounce Amanda Mae came into this world! She was my first baby, and I was in heaven. I looked into her face and saw the most beautiful baby ever born. I was a young mother and everyone warned me that a new baby had no neck muscles and that I should be so careful, but what did Amanda do as she lay on my chest? She picked up her head and stared right into my eyes! I guess I knew then that she was going to always be a very special girl.

Mandy has grown into such a special woman. She is a wonderful friend, granddaughter and daughter. I don’t tell her often enough, but I think she is really fabulous, and I am so proud of her and cannot believe that I am lucky enough to be her mother!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!

Lucky Lady

I was up early, made a quick breakfast and then hopped in my car and headed off to spend the day with my daughter. Do you all know how much fun it is to have a grown up daughter? For those of you who do, isn’t it great? For those of you whose kids are still growing, just wait! It gets really good!!!

I arrived at her place about 9:30, patted my grand kitties, and then we dropped her car off for service. Next, we headed to the mall. Neither one of us had been to this particular mall in years, and aside from Macy’s and Starbucks (yes, I was brave enough to go inside and get a cup of coffee!) the mall was a real disappointment.

However, I got a few tops at Macy’s on sale for $9.99 each and a dress, as well as a cute skirt.

Then we were off to the LL Bean Outlet, where I got the cutest blouse, and then decided I should look for some new hiking boots. So, I went back to the shoe section and began hunting for some comfortable boots. The first and second pair felt horrible and quickly went back on the shelf, but the third pair fit perfectly and felt like bedroom slippers! I looked at the price and it read:


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Now that is some hefty price for hiking boots! I Took them up to the check out counter and asked the girl if this was the real price? And if it was, was it perhaps because they were magical boots? LOL!

Yes, it was a tremendous mistake that took several minutes to figure out. In the end they were $81.99, a much more manageable price! They came home with me too.

The best part part of my day though, was sitting at Bugaboo Creek having lunch with my daughter. For that hour it was just us talking, and enjoying each other. I really am a lucky lady.

I dropped her off to get her car and then headed home late in the afternoon. My ride didn’t seem so long because my friend Gail and I got a chance to talk on our cell phones and play catch up on life. Gail and I have been best friends since we were 13 years old! We met at summer camp. This is our 35th year of friendship!

When I arrived home, Hubby and the pups were all so happy to see me. Greta even sang me a sweet doggy song, then Hubby took me out for fish and chips. That was great too.

Now I am ending my day, in my pajamas with Greta by my side, thinking I am one very lucky lady.

When Love Comes To Call

How wonderful the last 24 hours have been! Or as I like to say, how good it is “when love comes to call”!

There are people in our lives that share special places in our hearts and whether we see them every day or every few weeks or even every few years, they are always right there. Special. Loved.

Friday our friends from Hubby’s flying days arrived during their cross country motorcycle trip! They have a beautiful BMW bike and a trailer with a little ventilated compartment for their faithful companion, a Lhasa Apso/poodle mix, Oliver.

They arrived here at 2 PM in their heavy bike clothes. I mention this because we had our first 90 degree day yesterday, and I know they were both cooked through! I brought them inside, gave Oliver a dish of water, and hydrated Tom and Dorene with some flavored water.

We sat in our kitchen with all 5 dogs sniffing each other and getting to know each other (all went well) and talked about life.

Tom and Dorene have known Hubby since 1966 when they were all based in Hong Kong, flying R&R flights for Pan Am. Over the years Tom and Hubby remained friends even sharing apartments near various airports.

When I came onto the scene, many people resented the difference in our ages, but they opened their arms and their hearts to me and a deep friendship was formed. I really adore them.

We have not seen them in a few years now, but it didn’t make a bit of difference. We took right up talking as though we had just seen each other yesterday. Have you ever noticed that it’s like that with some people?

They were so exhausted when they arrived that I told them that they had to stay, so they gladly accepted the invitation and they were our guests last night.

So, where did we go for dinner? Those of you who are regular readers will know that we went to Canoe! It was fabulous, as usual and we talked and ate and talked and ate some more!

When we were done we came home and played with all the dogs until 11 and then we all went to bed.

This morning I got up, made coffee and fresh muffins along with bacon, eggs, fruit and juice for our breakfast, and we helped them to pack up their bike. At 10 we bid them a fond farewell.

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Oliver in his little trailer/crate. Getting ready in the second picture, and lastly, they’re off!


At 12:15 my daughter, Amanda arrived. She brought with her a photo book of pictures she had taken of the puppies when she brought her younger sister up in January. It is the cutest thing.

Then we took off to another local restaurant for lunch. The Common Man restaurant was a delight. Hubby and I had French onion soup, and quiche, and Amanda had a lobster chowder and glazed chicken. Very nice!

We came back home and since there is a neat Craft Fair taking place locally, I thought perhaps this would be a nice opportunity to walk the puppies in a crowd and to spend some alone time with Mandy. I was right on both counts.

Mandy and I wandered around the fair, enjoying the breezy spring day and introducing the puppies to the world. Arnie was fine. He was friendly and warm and happy the entire time. He is such an amazing animal. When I think I might not have kept him….

Anneliese was a little more timid. The noises and the other animals made her just a little nervous at first. I assured her that all was fine and encouraged her to keep exploring. By the end of the walk she was doing much better.

So when my cousin Janet comes up on Monday we will take the pups over to the Craft Fair again for another walk. I just hope that the weather will remain sunny, warm and dry.

I really enjoy spending time with Mandy. I look at her and I see a truly amazing woman. I’m so proud to be her mother.

We came back to the house and sat outside watching the dogs play and Emily came by. She will come over tomorrow and help us plant the garden.

Mandy had to leave then and get back to her home. Maybe next time we get together we can go on a shopping spree! It’s been a while since we’ve done that.

Now I just have to make a little supper for Hubby.

Yes, at the end of a day, “when love has come to call”, you feel happy and warm and well loved!

The Rain Came Tumbling Down And Other Things

Our big snow storm of Sunday night, turned into rain while I slept. 3 or 4 or 5 inches of rain! It has washed away all of the snow and created giant puddles in our yard. Puddles so deep that Anneliese and Arnie hate to go outside as the rain water touches their bellies!

I was listening to the news and heard that a mud slide had happened in the southern part of the state, very near my daughter’s condo. My daughter’s home is on a HILL! I called her to make sure she was fine and also her home. She is, and so is her home, although there will be a detour for her to use to get home for a while.

Meanwhile, it rained here all day. The wind blew, the rains poured down and each time I took Anneliese and Arnie out I got soaked. I actually changed my clothes three times before finally giving up on staying dry.

My flu returned and I started to run a fever just as Hubby’s fever broke. I have warned him to stay away from me so we do not keep passing this thing back and forth. We did have a little appetite tonight and had french toast for dinner. (**A short note here, we never eat breakfast for dinner. It’s against Hubby’s religion or something, so this was a first. Me? I could eat breakfast at every meal. I LOVE breakfast!**)

Our little Anneliese is feeling the pains of being the smallest member of our family. I’m not letting her dwell on it and I am encouraging her to see herself as a big dog!

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Of course she will, always be, my little baby girl!

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Happy Birthday To My Baby, Amanda Mae

December 20, 1976

I was pregnant, for what seemed like forever. In February of 1976 I found out that I was expecting my first child. The truly amazing fact here is, I’d been told when I was a teenager that due to some serious “female” trouble, it was doubtful I would ever carry a child. Guess they were wrong.

My due date was November 29th, but by mid December both my doctor and I thought perhaps I had miscalculated somewhere. I was pretty sure I hadn’t, and eventually an amniocentesis would prove me correct.

Finally on December 20th at 9:15 in the morning, Amanda Mae came into this world! When I saw her little cherubic face, and pouting mouth I was instantly in love and believed that it simply couldn’t get any better than that one moment in time.

But, I was wrong, it kept getting better and better. As a small child she amazed us by advancing so fast that she literally scared us at times. She took her first steps at 7 1/2 months old, and was talking in long sentences by a year. She grew so fast that before I knew it she was ready to go off to school, and she never looked back.

Over the years she was like a sponge soaking up all the knowledge and information that was offered. I could see a frustration at times that the information wasn’t coming fast enough, and with that frustration an anger too, but she kept striving and working, not just academically, but personally.

She was forced to endure something that many young girls at the age 8 should not have to, and yet she did not allow that to taint her outlook on life.

Mandy has grown into a fine, loving, beautiful, and intelligent woman. I look at her, and I listen to her and I am proud of the fabulous person that she is. I don’t just love and admire her because she is my daughter, but because she is also someone that I call friend.

I could never find all of the words to say how special Mandy is or how much she means to me, but today I want to tell her how I feel and to wish her a very happy birthday!!!

I love you, sweetie! You are the best Christmas present that I ever got! Happy Birthday!!!!

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