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Shopping and Baking

Monday, December 10, 2012

Days off work should be days to rest, but for most of us that's not how it works out. Being off work today I should be rested up, but I'm more tired tonight than I was when I got home last night. It's not really bad though because overall it was a good day.

Tommy and I got up early because he had to go to the cancer center and get his port flushed. Because he's not on chemo right now, he has to have it flushed out about every six weeks. It only takes about five minutes and then he's finished.

After we left the cancer center we headed to Hanes Mall to do a little Christmas shopping. It was wonderful because there were very few people there and we were able to stroll leisurely around and look.


Even Santa Clause was kind of lonely, but I'm sure when school got out that changed.


Of course we always like to look at the decorations in the stores.


You can see how few people there were in the mall!


The food court with all of its tempting aromas! I'm happy to say that we kept walking.

After a few more quick stops and a couple gift purchases we headed home. When we got home Tommy took a nap and my son Cliff was there. He wanted to make gingerbread cookies so we made a quick run to the store for a few ingredients we needed. When we came home we turned on all the decorations inside and started baking.


Our Christmas tree.


Tommy's favorite decoration is the little Christmas village that we set up in our living room each year.


Oh my gosh! Is that leg lamps? I'm afraid so :-) One of my favorite movies is Christmas Story and several years ago my boys bought me the DVD. Unfortunately for them, it came with this string of leg lamps. They couldn't believe it when I put them up. Now it's become a tradition for me to find someplace in the house to string these up each year, mainly as a joke because my sons say this is the tackiest decoration ever. I just remind them that they bought them for me - haha. This year they're in my kitchen.

Finally, we finished baking and decorating our gingerbread men.


A few of our gingerbread men.

Now I think I'm going to go to bed early and get some much needed rest. We're hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow night so we can go to the Festival of Lights.

I hope all my Spark Friends are having a great week!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLFGMA 12/23/2012 4:48PM

    Love, the gingerbread men. Good job! emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 12/11/2012 3:57PM

  Sending you best wishes for a sweet holiday season, along with my prayers for your family. xoxo, Deb

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LIVINGFREE19 12/11/2012 3:35PM

    The pics are awesome!
The mall really did have very few people in it.
I am surprised at how busy our Walmart is on Saturday nights. People don't have money to go out to bars so they spend their money wisely-on groceries.
Have a great evening!
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LIBBYG7 12/11/2012 9:30AM

    What a lovely day.....Glad that Tommy's 'treatment' was so short.
I love to shop early in the morning - when the stores are usually empty.....Your mall looks so festive.

You guys sure know how to take a 'normal' day ---- and make it special. And,,,,,,I love your gingerbread men....Yum!!!

Big hugs..
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CRYSTALLULLABY 12/11/2012 8:25AM

  Wow - I can't believe how quiet the mall looked either! It seems like for a day off you got quite a lot accomplished - isn't that the way though? Hope you are well rested today.

I think you will have great weather for Tanglewood tonight. And hopefully it will not be as crowded as it normally is on the weekends. (The only thing I think of this time of year is "Remember you can't take 158 home from Winston." Yet inevitably I will get off the highway at Harper Road on a Saturday night to stop at HT or the gas station and then mumble at myself for forgetting.)

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GOLFGMA 12/11/2012 7:26AM

    Wow, you are busy. My grandsons and I have had a tradition of baking gingerbread men each Christmas. Most times they did the decorating with M & M's for eyes and buttons. They are 14 and 16 now and this year they decided to skip the cookie making. lol My kitchen is decorated with gingerbread items and I will bake some this week. The GS's still like to eat them! emoticon

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HICKOK-HALEY 12/11/2012 3:45AM

    The mall looks so festive. I love all the colors of Christmas. Our mall is packed. Even driving past the mall is crazy lol. I haven't been inside the mall yet, but you have inspired me. I should go. The cookies are adorable. Yum! emoticon

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_JODI404 12/10/2012 11:37PM

    I totally relate to often being more worn out from my days off!! Especially in the month of December ~ the to-do list just never ends!!

Sounds like you had a nice day, and it's always nice to avoid the hectic shopping crowds like you did today.

Your tree looks beautiful. Gingerbread cookies are definitely a favorite of mine ~ yours look wonderful! LOL at the leg lights!! I love it!

Hope you make it to the Festival of Lights tomorrow!

Have a great week!

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WORLDSERIES11 12/10/2012 11:20PM

    What a festive and fun day!!!
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NELLIEC 12/10/2012 10:26PM

    Since I have dry eye and dry mouth problems, it has pretty much killed my sense of smell, though I can smell very intense odors. Some people would say that is terrible, but since I like to look on the bright side, I can say I am less likely to be tempted by cooking odors! emoticon

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LACIEKAY 12/10/2012 9:46PM

    love the leg lamps emoticon

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JO88BAKO 12/10/2012 9:43PM

    Pretty tree. Cookies are adorable-look to good to eat. Merry Christmas

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My Own Private Summer

Sunday, December 09, 2012

I remember a few years ago when the seasons would change, I would put away my summer clothes and get out the winter ones. Yep, thatís what I used to do. Somewhere tucked away in a few boxes are some nice winter sweaters, shirts and pants (hopefully too big now), but I havenít bothered to get them out the last couple of years. Instead, I am wearing my summer clothes year round.

Why? Because I would have a meltdown during a hot flash if I was wearing heavy winter clothing. Oh my gosh, how long do hot flashes last? Itís going on three years now, so surely this will end soon. Each day I put on my summer clothes and then put on a light sweater. Then all day long itís sweater on, sweater off, sweater on . . . (You get the picture). They even make fun of me at work with my own little personal fan blowing on me. And I wonít even go into the constant cover on, cover off thing all night long while Iím attempting to get some sleep! I also fear a palace revolt at home as I listen to constant complaints about how cold it is in our house. Really? It feels pretty good to me! emoticon

I also have a ChapStick addiction and carry it with me all the time. I used to carry it in my pants pocket, but I canít do that anymore either. Did you know that hot flashes can actually cause it to begin to melt in your pocket? Never had that problem before the hot flashes. Now I have to leave it on my desk at work, and at home I have tubes strategically placed around my house for quick access! LOL. emoticon

Iím even beginning to feel guilty because we hear so much about global warming and Iím thinking I may be personally contributing to it. My apologies to you all.
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Iím really hoping that someday soon I will be able to once again dress like everyone else. For now though, Iíll continue to pull my hair up off my neck, keep my fan handy and wear my summer clothes.

I hope you all have a great week!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLFGMA 12/10/2012 9:27AM

    Cindy, I laughed so hard reading this. Having gone through this I can certainly relate. Mine were not this bad, however. I relied on soy tablets to help and a friend went to a health foods store and had a reccomendation from a sales rep there for help and it was a form of soy that helped her. Hope you can find some relief and I look forward to the next blog. emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 12/10/2012 2:16AM

  Keep your chin up, keep hydrated, and keep your sense of humor! That having been said, it still really stinks, doesn't it!! Lol! Xoxo, Deb

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DOODIE59 12/9/2012 10:47PM

    First off, let me say: You are FUNNY, Cindy! Thanks for the laugh:) You're gonna hate me when I say I flew through menopause, but I have watched two of my friends take the long suffering route. One has a fresh nightie beside her bed each night -- for years now. The other wears four layers to work, and rotates them throughout the day, most times, each hour, so I do know what you're talking about! Menopause ain't for sissies!
Good for you for keeping your sense of humour -- it's the only way:)
Hugs,
Deirdre emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJ7DM33 12/9/2012 9:33PM

  I hope it all goes away really soon!

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LIVINGFREE19 12/9/2012 5:27PM

    Sad to hear about this! I know my time is coming...I am 46 so it is soon on its way!

I have heard that there is something natural that can really help with hot flashes although I don't remember what it is.

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NELLIEC 12/9/2012 5:24PM

    Are you using Hormone Replacement Therapy? That can prolong your menopause.

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WORLDSERIES11 12/9/2012 4:40PM

    Cindy, love your sense of humor!! I've found that if you can find the laughter it makes the situation so much easier to deal with!! Hang in there, this too shall pass, as they say. In the meantime, imagine yourself in a tropical location when things start heating up emoticon emoticon
PS....Thor looks adorable emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/9/2012 4:41:12 PM

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ODAT1117 12/9/2012 4:36PM

    That is hilarious!!! :-)

I'm 48 and I've only had a few REAL hot flashes. I used to have a problem with night sweats but since I've gone gluten free.........no more!!! When I was having trouble with the sweats and some other symptoms, my gynecologist recommended taking an herb called "Holy Basil" - not basil - "holy" basil. OMG does it work!!!!!!! Those crazy mood swings disappeared almost completed and so did the sweats. I don't need to take it anymore since I went gluten free (after I learned I was gluten intolerant) but I know it's there if I need it. I'm glad it was something my doc had recommended and not something I had just heard about or tried on my own. The capsules taste kind of peppery and it tends to try out my mouth but that's okay because it just makes me drink more water. Anyway, that's what worked for me. I really hope you find some relief and that you fly through the rest of this phase of "growing up" very very quickly. :-)

Thanks for sharing and writing this blog! It's great to find tidbits to keep a smile on my face. :-D

Oh, HAPPY DAY!!

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LINDAKAY228 12/9/2012 2:02PM

    Glad you can have a sense of humor about it. I had a hysterectomy about 17 years ago, including ovaries, so I went through an instant change then. But I tend to get too hot easily in the summer and in winter like to be a little cool too. At home I wear shorts and a tank top much of the time inside. And I keep my house cooler too. I hardly ever wear pullover sweaters although I have a few, because I get too hot in them in a room that's at "normal" temperature such as 70 degrees or so. Hope this passes for you soon.

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LIBBYG7 12/9/2012 1:10PM

    Oh Cindy....
It's so great to go through this stage of your life with grace and humor.......gotta' have humor!!
I had years of intense hot flashes.....I mean 3-6 times an hour, day in and day out. Hardly had night sweats, tho' ===mmmmmm, strange.

Then they were over! Joy.....

Now they're back. Not so much joy..... I get these 'flushes' regularly - and at random - due to the Lupus and the steroids. So I hear 'ya! I go out into 20 degree weather without socks!! I keep my windows open - almost all the time.....and I can't wear fleece anymore --- sob, sob.... I sweat so much.

So.....count your blessings, lady!! One day your flashes will be gone ---- emoticon and you'll have your life back.
In the meantime --- hang in there --- as I know you are!

emoticon Libby

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_JODI404 12/9/2012 12:06PM

    I love that you have a wonderful sense of humor about it! I know that must be pretty miserable. I'm not there yet, and I hope I get as many years of reprieve from it as possible!! emoticon (sending cool thoughts your way).

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1TINNYSKINNY 12/9/2012 12:00PM

  I feel ya hunny! Some days/weeks are good. Then BAM! There was a point a couple of months ago that I thought I was gonna DIE! Those pesky hormones have a mind of their own for sure! emoticon

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Another Fun Weekend

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I could complain about having to work all weekend every other week at my job, but I'm actually thankful for it. The great thing is that I also get a long weekend off every other week to make up for it. It's wonderful because it gives us time to plan mini weekend trips when we want to, and that's what we did this past weekend.

I'm so fortunate to have a wonderful aunt and uncle who are very good to us. They live in Florida, but they have a mountain home just north of Jefferson, North Carolina which is less than a two hour drive from our home. When they built it they gave me a key and told me we were welcome to go up and stay anytime we want to get away. So we got up Friday morning and headed for the mountains. Even the drive up there is beautiful.


The drive up takes us along some scenic back roads.


And past many of the Christmas tree farms (always busy this time of year).


Our destination up on top of the mountain!

After we arrived Tommy went to Shatley Springs (a popular country restaurant very close to their house) and picked us up a vegetable plate for dinner. I wish I could say it was a healthy meal, but at least it was vegetables.

Tommy then built a nice fire in the fireplace and his son Derek and wife Sonya joined us later that night.


Tommy in the living room talking to Derek and Sonya.

The next morning we all went to breakfast and then drove up to Damascus, Virginia. We went to Backbone Rock where we hiked up on top of the natural bridge that crosses the road. I was so proud of Tommy because there are a lot of stone steps leading to the top but he handled it like a trooper.


Sonya, Tommy and Derek on top of Backbone Rock.

After our short hike, we drove the five miles back into Damascus and then went for dinner at Quincey's where we had pizza and drinks while we waited for the Christmas parade that was supposed to start at 6:00. We finally headed out and found a spot along the road to watch the parade. I tried to take pictures, but had forgotten my good camera at the house and had to use my phone camera.


One of the floats in the parade.


This was a new twist! Santa showed up on a John Deere.

The next morning Derek and Sonya had to head home, but it was a beautiful day so Tommy and I drove up to Grayson Highlands. Afterward we drove back to West Jefferson for dinner and then back to the house.


Grayson Highlands in Virginia

Later that night we drove around and looked at some of the Christmas lights in the area. Back at the house, I went out on the deck to take some night pictures.


One of the decorated houses we really liked.


Looking down the driveway from the house.


Looking down toward the river at the houses below.

Then we had a surprise visitor show up at the house. A sweet little beagle came up onto the deck and we were playing with him. Tommy noticed he was not wearing a collar and thought he might be a stray. He actually asked me if I thought Thor would get along with him. But it didn't take long to realize this was no stray. When we brought him some treats out, he shook hands (or should I say hand and paw) with us each time for a treat. Nope, this was somebody's pet. We did enjoy his company for a while at least. Then when I told him it was time for him to go home, he promptly turned and headed down the dirt road toward the other houses. He was so sweet.


We don't know what his name is, but we enjoyed his company Sunday night and hope we see him the next time we go back.

What a fun weekend!

I hope everyone is having a great week.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/8/2012 12:12AM

    What a great place to be able to visit! We are lucky to have a couple of family 'places' we can visit, too - saves on the vacation fund but still gives a fantastic break from the rest of life.

As for the Beagle, they are a breed that likes to wander - I've known of some who seem to roam a gigantic territory - literally up to 20 miles with 'home' somewhere in the center! It doesn't surprise me that you had one visit you - looks like a really nice dog, tho ;-)


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GOLFGMA 12/7/2012 8:42AM

    Another wonderful blog with art in pictures. You make me wish that I could go on all the trips again, but at least, we who read your blogs get to go there for a while and I love that. The little beagle was precious. Always look for your blogs and no wonder! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMPTYNESTER60 12/6/2012 9:52PM

    What a great "cabin" to get away to & such gorgeous pictures. I always enjoy your travel blogs so I can enjoy all of the beautiful scenery & your adventures, too. NC & VA sure have some awesome places to go! I love this area of the country emoticon

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LIBBYG7 12/6/2012 2:27PM

    Another adventure to add to the list - another beautiful notch on the old gunbelt!
Love your photos - and love Tommy's energy level.
May you have many more such adventures.....
Luv.
Libby emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 12/6/2012 2:11PM

  I have never been to your part of the country -- gorgeous!

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CRYSTALLULLABY 12/6/2012 9:38AM

  Oh Shatley Springs! We took a drive up there years ago (in the summer on motorcycles) and I remember sitting down and going "My God, I really shouldn't eat any of this" but ate what I could and tried not to think about it.

I'm so glad you had a nice weekend and the weather to enjoy it!

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DOODIE59 12/5/2012 11:56PM

    What a wonderful weekend -- the kind of memories that last a LONG time:)

I belong to the hiking across the States sparks team, and I'm still walking through Virginia -- so it was nice to see the views I'm traveling through in your pictures. Thank you!

May you both have many more such vacations:)
Deirdre

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LUVS2BIKE101 12/5/2012 9:40PM

    What a lovely weekend! I enjoyed reading your blog. And what scenic pictures! Thanks for sharing. Where are we going next?
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_JODI404 12/5/2012 8:08PM

    What a wonderful gift to you from your Aunt & Uncle to have access to that beautiful mountain home! You two have such nice outdoor adventures and travels!!

Glad to hear Tommy is doing well, and able to tackle that Backbone Rock!

Sounds like a decent trade off with the weekends you work / long weekend you get off for getaways!

Take care ~ hope you are having a great week!

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LIVINGFREE19 12/5/2012 7:55PM

    The pics are awesome!
The story you tell makes me feel like I was right there with you!
I'm glad you had such fun!
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WORLDSERIES11 12/5/2012 7:44PM

    Thank you for the pictures!! I love traveling vicariously with you...lol
Sounds like a wonderful time!!

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A Gift To Enjoy For Years

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tommy and I went to the mall Monday to pick up a few Christmas gifts. As we were walking along I saw a pet store that I had never seen before (I rarely go the mall). I walked inside and saw a wall of cages behind glass containing many different breeds of puppies and an equal number of shoppers on our side of the glass looking. Beside each cage was a slip of paper showing what the monthly payment would be for each dog. It didn't say what the actual cost of each dog was and I didn't ask. I knew it was much higher than the small fee charged at the animal shelter to adopt a pet. I watched as a Collie puppy was taken from a cage and brought out to a prospective buyer. As I looked at all these puppies, I wondered where they came from, and I thought about all the dogs in the shelters in need of homes.

With the holiday season upon us, most of us are beginning the traditional task of hitting the stores trying to find the perfect gift for each person on our list. For many, that perfect gift will be a furry one. Many parents, spouses or children will head to the pet stores, or even the internet, in search of that special gift of love. They mean well. The pet they purchase will almost certainly provide years of love and happiness to their new owner. But here is something I ask everyone to consider if they are planning on purchasing a pet for someone for Christmas. Where did that animal come from? Itís sometimes hard to know where that purebred dog was born or under what conditions. Although there are responsible breeders, the truth is that many of the dogs sold in stores and on the internet are the product of puppy mills. I wonít jump on my soapbox here over this as most already know about the horrors of puppy mills. Purchasing animals that are the product of these mills encourages the practice to continue. If you do not know about puppy mills, you can find a lot of information about them on ASPCA.org.

Instead of supporting this cruel treatment, why not consider adoption of an unwanted animal who needs a forever home? Whether you prefer cats or dogs, there are millions of animals in shelters just waiting and hoping for a loving home, for a chance at life, with so much love to share. They are living on borrowed time and most will be euthanized. Wouldnít it be wonderful to give that special gift to a person you love and to an animal in need? If youíre not comfortable picking a pet for someone, you can take them to the animal shelter to choose a pet, or call your local shelter and find out what the fees are and give them the money to adopt a pet.

According to the ASPCA, ďApproximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats).Ē www.aspca.org/ This is a sad fact, but it is also the harsh reality. Unless someone comes along and adopts them, they will eventually be euthanized.

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A Dog's Last Will and Testament
(Author unknown)

Before humans die, they write their last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask....

To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:

My happy home.
My bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
The lap which I loved so much.
The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
I'd will to the sad scared shelter dog the place I had in my human's heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So when I die please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand." Instead go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.

This is the only thing I can give...the love I left behind.

If possible, please help save a life. If you can open your heart and home to one of our furry friends in need, you will be rewarded with the unconditional love of your new family member. And please remember to make sure you new friend is spayed or neutered .

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Now for some fun. With the cold weather comes frosty windows. This creates a problem for Thor since he loves to lay in front of the glass door and look outside (we call him our window monitor). When the glass door frosts over, he can't see out. Being the smart boy he is, he figured out a way to solve this problem. So for future reference, here is how you clean a window so you can see outside.


First, you have to see if the window is in need of cleaning. It is clearly frosted over here making it hard for Thor to see outside.


Next, you have to determine where you want to clean. He started in this area but then determined this wasn't his best choice.


Once you've found the perfect spot, begin licking the frost off of the glass.


When the glass is adequately cleaned, you can resume your neighborhood watch.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

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ILOVEMALI 11/30/2012 12:39AM

  We have two adopted dogs (Bailey and Mali) and a kitty who adopted us; and are grandparents to Moose and Theodore, adopted dog and kitty who live with The Boy and his Sweetheart.

In this very moment, I'm on the bed with my husband, kids, and Moose & Bailey. Bailey and The Girl are using Moose as a pillow.

Life is good.

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NELLIEC 11/28/2012 7:34PM

    I know that a local pet store claimed their pets were not from a puppy mill when my daughter asked. I asked my vet, who rolled his eyes and said where else would they be from? No reputable breeder is going to sell through a pet store!

My vet was responsible enough to provide a vet check and first shots for those dogs sold from the pet store at no cost. He certainly didn't have to, but he figured it would give them a healthier start.

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SHESMITH1 11/28/2012 5:13PM

    Great blog! Thank you for "spilling your soul!"

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CRYSTALLULLABY 11/28/2012 4:45PM

  I've only recently been informed about this issue by my best friend. I never knew much about it until now - thanks for sharing more information.

I have a furry friend though we have her since my father-in-law couldn't keep her in his apartment anymore. I can't imagine and going and buying a pet from a store. (All of my father's dogs have been shelter rescues or landed on/near the doorstep.)

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DOODIE59 11/28/2012 4:32PM

    Oh boy, Cindy, first you had me on the edge of blubbering, and then you had me laughing out loud. Yes, we all need to give our hearts to those shelter dogs (and cats). Thank you for taking the time to write about this.
Deirdre

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_JODI404 11/28/2012 2:02PM

    Great, timely blog! All of my furkids are rescues!

I love Thor's frost clearing technique!! He is so precious!!

Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYG7 11/28/2012 1:35PM

    Dear Cindy....
You and I are in such lockstep on this issue.....If I had my way, I'd close every pet shop in the country!!!
My Lucy was a rescue from a kill shelter in Illinois - and fostered with a loving family. She became an offering of the All American Dachshund Rescue Org. (Great website)....
Long story short - I fell in love with her online - had several lengthy conversations with her foster mom -- and finally adopted her. She was driven to NY by the organization (a car chain) for a nominal fee.....and I never looked back. She is the perfect companion for me!
EVERYONE PLEASE ------- CONSIDER A SHELTER DOG, if you're contemplating getting a pet this year. What a blessing you'll have!!

And as for Thor ----- this is one special hound!! Hope he's feeling as good as he looks!

Hugs to you all --- you, Tommy and Thor.
Love your blogs. (I'm on hiatus.....as i think you know..... Working on stabilizing my health)....

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TXTOAD9970 11/28/2012 12:09PM

    My dog was adopted from the local animal rescue. She's been a faithful companion for five years now and we can't imagine life without her. Why would anyone spend thousands of dollars for a "purebred" dog when there are so many dogs at the animal shelter in need of homes at a reasonable price? I have never understood it.

Thor is very cute! Thanks for your post. emoticon

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SPIRALDOWN 11/28/2012 11:46AM

    Great idea. Love Thor he is gorgeoud

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Vacation in Florida

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wow, itís been a busy two weeks. We were in Florida last week on vacation and had a wonderful time. It was so nice to get away and just relax with family.

We first traveled to Palm Beach where we stayed with my sister Joyce and her husband Kurt for three nights. On Tuesday they took us out on their boat to Peanut Island where we spent several hours grilling out and hiking around the island. On Wednesday, we went to a couple different areas where we hiked. Itís a lot different hiking in Florida then it is here in North Carolina, but it was a lot of fun.


Peanut Island


Tommy walking my sister's dogs, Kirby and Kody, on Peanut Island. I think he was missing Thor.


Me and Tommy while hiking. No, we weren't standing in water, but were actually on a step leading down into it.


My sister, brother-in-law and me on a hiking trail.


Thursday morning we headed back up to New Smyrna Beach to stay with another sister, Suzi, and her husband Stephen. Along the way we stopped to visit my Uncle Bill, Aunt Pat and cousin Kim in Melbourne, Florida. He surprised us with an airboat ride on Lake Washington. It was cloudy and a little misty that day, but it didnít rain and we had a great time. We only saw one gator.


My uncle, our guide, and Tommy on the airboat.


Riding on the airboat.

After leaving their house, we drove to my sisterís house where we had wonderful spaghetti they had fixed for dinner. The next day they drove us up to St. Augustine. We did a lot of walking around the streets checking out the wonderful old architecture and the sights. We later had dinner at a restaurant near the beach and then drove to the St. Augustine Lighthouse where we went on the night ghost tour. After a tour of the light keepers house, they turned us loose to explore on our own. It was a bit challenging climbing the lighthouse steps in the dark with only a small glowstick they provided for us (the light on my phone came in pretty handy a few times). Tommy was feeling so good he was even able to climb to the top of the lighthouse. We didnít see any ghosts, but we had a great time.


Me and Tommy in St. Augustine


Beautiful St. Augustine


The top of St. Augustine Lighthouse in the dark


St. Augustine picture from the top of the lighthouse

On Saturday, Suzi drove us over to the beach at Ponce Inlet. The ocean was incredibly rough for some reason with the waves churning and crashing hard against the rocks along the jetty, but it was beautiful. After walking around there for a while and taking lots of pics of the ocean and birds, we stopped by the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse for a quick look.


Rough ocean along the jetty at Ponce Inlet


I just loved this bird!


There were so many pelicans and they were really active. We had a great time watching them.


I loved this picture of them diving for fish with their butts in the air.


Resting


Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

We hated to leave Sunday to come home, but we did miss Thor and was happy to see him. Weíre already planning our next trip back to St. Augustine, hopefully sometime next spring.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and is able to spend it with family or friends. Now back to my kitchen to get back to cooking. emoticon

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_JODI404 11/24/2012 1:39PM

    Cindy,

So glad that you & Tommy were able to enjoy a fantastic Florida vacation!!!

Peanut Island looks amazing, and my hubby & I also love St. Augustine!

As always, your pictures are just incredible! Thank you for taking the time to share them!

I bet Thor missed you two as well!!!
Hope you had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!

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HICKOK-HALEY 11/22/2012 4:23PM

    Fantastic vacation. Loved all of your pictures, and thanks for sharing them. I have never been there. Pelicans are so much fun to watch, and so much bigger in person. The Egret is adorable. I always laugh at their skinny legs. Lucky you, for getting inside of a light house. I have never been in one, and I love them. I can see why you want to go back. Hugs for Thor!!

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INBRAZILFORNOW 11/22/2012 12:35PM

    Just gorgeous! And I love the name Peanut Island!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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EMPTYNESTER60 11/22/2012 9:09AM

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. So glad that Tommy was feeling good enough to enjoy all of it. Florida is a great place to visit & this is a good time to do it while the heat & humidity aren't too bad. I enjoy visiting my sister who lives in Stuart, but wouldn't want to move back there again. Love the pictures - you really had a chance to experience a lot in a short time. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Tommy, & Thor emoticon

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SHESMITH1 11/22/2012 8:33AM

    Thank you for sharing your vacation with us. It sounds like the elements (family, climate, adventure) were what you and Tommy needed. I'm sure Thor would have been happy to share all that with you, but - alas - he, like us, will have to live vicariously through you!
I love the picture of the white bird - that's how I look when I get up most mornings!
May God richly bless you and Tommy with a wonderful Thanksgiving. You certainly are a blessing to me~

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GOLFGMA 11/22/2012 8:01AM

    What a nice vacation. The photos are beautiful as usual. I remember being in St Augustine and just going gaga over the old buildings . I know you must be thankful that Tommy was able to enjoy all the family with you and how great that your sisters found interesting things for you to see and do while there. Hope you enjoy many more vacations such as this! Have a emoticon wonderful Thanksgiving!

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LIBBYG7 11/21/2012 6:56PM

    Hi Cindy.....
I love the way you and Tommy LIVE life - and find joy in nature!! What a great vacation and I'm so glad you took and shared your photos. I live vicariously through some of your photos.....since I don't travel much anymore. And....you have great relatives!!

You're an inspiration - both of you.

Was Thor overcome with joy to have you home??? I'll bet he was......

Best love and Happy Turkey Day!!!
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DOODIE59 11/21/2012 4:06PM

    Wow! Sounds like you hit all the high points! I'm glad to hear you had a great time. And, as always, thanks for sharing the photos -- they make your story real:)
Deirdre

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ILOVEMALI 11/21/2012 3:08PM

  What a great day!

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WORLDSERIES11 11/21/2012 1:51PM

    Looks like you had a wonderful time!! Love the pictures!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
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