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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Dog With No Name

At this end of this summer our Border Collie, Savannah, passed away.  She was born the day after Brian and I got married and we drove 4 hours to pick her up from a breeder (an 11 year old girl -quite cute) who lived out in the boonies.  Actually, that was a neat story -but I digress.

Having a 5 year old and a nearly 3 year old, we told ourselves we would wait to get another dog after the kids were old enough to be of assistance (though my main concern was the kids letting the dog out the front door every day.)  Well, so much for resolve.

Yeah, I'll admit it.  I have been trolling craigslist and our local animal shelter's website looking for a dog.  Brian would roll his eyes, shake his head and guffaw a bit.  But, hey.  This girl likes having a pet around, even if I am holed up in my office most of the day.  Dogs are fun.  Dogs are nice.  They're snuggly and I wanted a snuggle buggle running buddy with four legs.

Last Friday during an afternoon run alone I started getting an ache in my heart.  No -phew- it wasn't a heart attack; I felt a hole and a role that only a dog could fill.  Galloping home (so maybe I was scuffling...) I resolved to hop in the car and take a peek at the local animal shelter.  It is only 3 minutes away, so really I had no excuse NOT to go.  Except for Brian.  Brian tag teamed and left the house for his run as soon as I arrived.  Phooey.  I'd taken the kids to the pound once before (they don't accept kids, just to let you know.  I tried.) and it wasn't a terrific experience.  I was determined though because, gosh darnit, I wanted a furry friend.

Kids loaded, 3 minute drive accomplished the little people and I walked around the first wing of the dog kennels.  I recognized a few faces from the website, actually keeping me eye out for one or two in particular.  We rounded a bend and a shelter volunteer asked if he could help us.

"Anything you're looking for?" 
I wasn't REALLY serious about getting a dog that day, but I did want to look and dream a little.
"Well.  A medium sized dog?"
"Huh!  A medium sized dog?!"  (What, was this an odd request?  Certainly came across that way.)
"Yeah, we had a border collie who passed away a few months ago and--"
"Border Collie, huh?!  Well, hang on.  We've got a Border Collie that just 'came available.  Let me get her."  The volunteer went into the small dog area and returned with the daintiest Border Collie I'd ever seen.  So tiny and a busy ball of energy.  But she was cuuuuuuute.
"You can take her around the building to the play areas if you want."

I could bore you with the details (well, MORE details, that is) but the fact is this: I fell in love.  Coming thiiiis close to signing the papers without asking Brian and the shelter closing in just a few minutes, I left the shelter to go home and make the wise decision of consulting with the Dude.  I didn't last long.  

"Honey, I found a dog, she's perfect, she's a Border Collie and she's SOOO cute, she's super sweet and great with the kids -oh, the kids LOVE her and they wanted to take her home, the shelter's closing in a few minutes, so whaddya think?  I know we said we'd wait, but she's just so perfect and so sweet and I really, really like her--"
"I knew when I saw the missed call while I was running that you found a dog you wanted and I made up my mind to say yes."
Now that's a good man.

I whisked back to the animal shelter, plonked down the chunk of change and was told, "We're actually running a special.  Dogs are just $12 for adoption fees."  The regular price is $75.  Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but -believe me- it was to me.  We had to leave her there with a Tuesday pick up date after she was fixed.  Spayed, I guess.  I always thought spaying referred to cats only.  A hole in my education.

She still doesn't have a name, this precious little Border Collie, a country stray brought in on Dec. 11th. I can't seem to find a name that fits not only her personality but what she means to me.  It's not normal, it's not rational, but when I look at this dog and she snuggles up so sweetly, my heart is overwhelmed with love and thankfulness.  I tear up, becoming a soggy, wet noodle of emotion.  I'm a freakin' Hallmark commercial around this dog.

There's room for error, I'll say it.  We've had her at the house for 5 hours, and I'm not saying it's definitely, positively a perfect match.  Yet from what I've seen, it's an awesome fit and I have the greatest hope that she will be just what we all needed.

She's curled up at my feet as I type.  She waits for me at the foot of the stairs when I up with the kids and she weaves between my legs as I walk, plopping down on my toes when I pause or stop.  I've found a buddy and it's filled a spot in my heart to overflowing.

Here's the animal shelter's website: http://pets.wilco.org/
Williamson County Animal Shelter (Texas)

Monday, August 20, 2012

They Flew Through The Air With The Greatest of Ease

Let me explain.  For my birthday I wanted to do something different.  Not the traditional dinner and a movie -I wanted to push my comfort zone.  A friend of mine had told me how she had done a trapeze class and THAT was what I wanted to do.  So, I went online and bought both Brian and I a session together.  At Trapeze Austin we did far more than we ever expected to do -ending with being caught in mid air as we swung from our knees.
I mean, WOOOOW.
Definitely worth a try, folks.  You're safely harnessed, but it feels like a daring do.
Simply exhilarating!
(Brian will probably make me sleep outside for posting his video.  His excuse is he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do, expecting to end in a flip.  Oh, it made us laugh quite a bit...

Oh, The People You'll See: The Coolest Family in the U.S.

Most of you who read this are probably already familiar with the coolest family in this great United States of America, but for those few of you who aren't acquainted with the Kings, allow me to introduce you.  George is a pastor, Crystal his amazing ministry side-kick. Speaking of side-kicks, George is also a black belt in judo and in a matter of days a black belt in jiu jitsu.  Talk about a kick-butt pastor.  Crystal not only is his right hand (wo)man, she is also the mother of 6 -all of which she home schools, and the queen of friendliness and hospitality.  This family exudes grace and love -and life.  I mean, in a household that firmly believes that everyday is a party, how can you not have life spilling out?

For our first family vacation in 2 years, we drove from Georgetown, Texas to Escondido, CA for a California visit.  Splitting our time between visiting these beautiful folks (pst, she's my sister -may have already seen the resemblance) and adventuring up the CA coast ending in San Francisco.  I have more photos of their growing family farm to share with you (ooooh, I can't wait!) but for now, here are some quick shots we took on our last full day together.  I am so in awe of my sissy and her fam -so proud of what they continue to build and the lives they touch -so blessed to be included in that innumerable bunch. 

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Outtakes Are the Only Takes | Family Photos

We're an out-take kind of family.  We set up the tripod, take turns pressing the remote clicker (we've got very technical names for my gear, as you can tell) and hope that at least one picture turns out where everyone is looking (somewhat happy) towards the camera.  Didn't quite manage to nail it this time, but it was an attempt to wish Grandmama a happy birthday with all of our heads together :)

Now, we're packed up and head on our first road trip in nearly 2 years, spending some quality time together and with my sister's hilarious family in Escondido.  I will definitely have pictures (and video) of that visit.  The Kings have been building a small family farm at their new house -goats, chickens, rabbits and more.  I'm hoping to get dirty and help Crystal with some new gardening projects.  Whatever we get up to, I know it will be good for the soul.  We are ready to finally have another family adventure.

She's got a PBJ sandwich.  On my white couch.
It was the only way to get her to stay there...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Feeling Rather Tex-ish: The Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games 2012

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In 2008, Wilder and I went to the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games.  Ever since I've been wanting to go back and finally -finally- this year we went.  The TSFHG (to shorten it) is the state festival that unites Scotsmen and enthusiasts for a weekend of merriment, competition, community, music, bad food and great beer.  Let's face it, the Scots (and the English, for that matter) aren't known for their cooking.  But their beer -now, that's another story.  Still, I'm a sucker for Scottish cuisine and had bangers & mash and fish & chips just to cover my bases.  I would have gone for the haggis, but I only trust that to be done right in Scotland.

Above, we have a portion of the Clan Tents.  The sense of community is so strong here at TSFHG.  Everyone is ready to strike up a friendly conversation and the atmosphere is very festive indeed.  Below, the tiny video I made.  My apologies for the shakiness.

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The tartans on display.  Beautiful!

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Brian, Wilder and Savannah.  Savannah was the toast of the festival -so much attention and praise from so many people.  She was in Border Collie paradise and I'm so glad we brought her to join the family fun.   And...I spy my clan tent!  

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Yep, that's my plaid.  Here we have the Red River Branch of the Cameron Clan, which encompasses (I believe) Texas and Oklahoma.  I joined the mailing list, so hopefully I'll get connected with some fun events in the future.

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I was quite impressed with the elaborate tent the Macleods had.

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The Highland Games are intense -physically- but have such a fun spirit around them.  These burly men lift, heave and throw all manner of heavy objects and it's a wonder they don't throw their backs out with every attempt.  Here's more info on what the Highland Games consist of.

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Wilder and Savannah spectating.

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Miss Waverley carried around my purse the majority of the festival and, thankfully, she gave Brian and I beer allowance.  What a sweet kid.

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Some of the giants competing the games.  These. Men. Are. MASSIVE.

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My beauties.

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Oh, the people you'll meet.

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One of the girls during the Scottish Country Dance competitions.  Very flight of foot.

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My kids' favorite part of the festival: the sand pits.  Many o' sand fight with other children ensued, but we're Scottish and naturally ornery so we all dealt with it. 

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Practicing his long jump.

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Waverley applauding a performance in one of the many music tents.

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I felt like I was in a Seattle coffee shop circa 1996. 

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The kids enjoying a treat during a musical interlude.

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One of the giants competing in the Highland Games took a break to help kids train for the caber toss.  I think these are cardboard inner tubes from carpet rolls.

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In the Children's Tent, my wee bairns  color Scottish-related pictures and threaded beads.  Their fine motor skills were surprising -both made full strands.  Yes, mommy was impressed.

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As the kids were entertained, we experienced performers "Willow & Her Giant" who told stories, sang and played the harp.

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The Calling of the Clans.  One the football field, the Clans parade out and gather.

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The caber toss practice turned into a mix of jousting and sword fighting.

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One of the vendors displaying their wares at the festival.  A mix of Steampunk, Renaissance and Scottish garb.   

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An attendee brought a bubble sword and entertained the kids throughout the evening at various locations with HUGE bubbles.  Besides the sand pits, the bubble sword guy was the highlight for them :)


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