Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Happy Birthday to my Sparky Dog

Every fall, when I was little, we would go to Gatlinburg for vacation as a family.

It's some of the best memories I have, going through the mountains, me & my mom getting car sick the entire time... miniature golf where we had to convince my mom every time the highest score does NOT win in this game... & just shopping & walking & shopping ... & oh, let's not forget the fudge.. & caramel apples.  Love me some Gatlinburg.

One year, when I was little, probably around first grade, 6 or 7, (hello 1970's) we were down there & my parents always let me pick one special thing to buy to bring home.  We walked into a kids store & there, sitting in the middle of a thousand black bear stuffed animals, was this dog stuffed animal. Have no idea how it was there, but I wanted it. Dont tell me I'm not a dog person - I was attached from the moment I saw it.

& I saw it on day 1 of our trip.  Like any smart parent, my mom was like, "Just wait... you may find something else while we're down here"...I was heart broken. I wanted that dog. I NEEDED that dog. More so, he NEEDED me, I was sure of it.

I was scared to death it wouldnt be there when we went back a few days later.  
My trip was basically ruined.
Nah, not really. I'm sure I totally forgot about it for a minute with the caramel apples... but as soon as that last bite, I was worried about that dog again.

& nothing else grabbed my attention.  So on the last day of our trip, we went back in the store & again, the dog was still there in all the bears.

I honestly can remember everything about getting that stuffed animal that day... even now.

On his butt was a tag that said, "Hello, my name is Sparky"... & Sparky became my best friend.

I slept with him every night... carried him with me on sleep overs... this was my security blanket.

Sparky was on the top of my bed every night waiting for me to drift off to sleep with him in my arms.  When he was fresh & new, he was made to set like his front paws were down & his butt was in the air, like a 'playing' position for dogs....

through the years, I slept with him against me so hard, it loosened up his legs & he couldnt stand up after a few years... so he had a place leaning against my pillow.

Much like this...

Sparky knew all my childhood fears, my teenage secrets & holds my grown up heart of remembering all those precious days....

Fast forward many many years.... years after I've been married for awhile, & we've moved... & have had some dogs in our life... & Ricky asks me if we want to take in another dog. A friend of his at work had a friend that had to give up her dog to move & they didnt want to give the dog to a shelter.

All we knew was it was a Cairne Terrier.... a dog like Toto from Wizard of Oz was what we were told.

I waited at home for Ricky to come up the drive with our new baby. It was honestly like an adoption story. I felt so anxious on the porch. I even took Buffy & Sydney (the two we had then.... ahh, miss my girls)... & had them sitting with me to welcome their new brother.

Ricky walked around the corner with this little guy.  He wasnt at all what I expected, I guess because he didnt look a think like Toto to me, but I instantly loved him.

He was overwhelmed & snapped at Buffy & Sydney, which made Ricky go in protection mode for our girls... I was more worried for this little guy & how nervous he was that his world had changed & turned upside down.

Bruno in that moment became my buddy....

& it wasn't long that when he settled in, he was always anxious to play with me... not the dogs... those girls never forgot that first reaction & didnt care to give him any mind... so I was Bruno's play buddy ....& the first time we played, guess what position he'd get into...

that same position of Sparky dog... butt up in the air, pays down on the floor to pounce.

I knew even more how & why this dog stole a piece of my heart... he was destined for me...I was destined for him.

Yesterday was his birthday.

I know we've had him 12 years now... & Ricky is pretty sure he was 4 when we got him.  So he's either 16 or turned 17.  I'm choosing to go with he's just turning 16 because I want to give him all the time in the world he can with us...

He doesnt get in that "Sparky" pose any more... he cant even see you to know you're there to play... but he still likes the snuggles & the hugs & the attention.

& I'm happy to do it for him.  Every day.

Happy Birthday Bruno Dean, my Grumpy Old man... my little blind boy... my Sparky Boy!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Did you feel small during the Eclipse?... DONT

Eclipse 2017: Hopkinsville Kentucky solar eclipse

Eclipse 2017... we made it. We survived!

No alien plants that eat humans were left behind - right? #littleshopofhorrorreference

Image result for little shop of horrors eclipse

Did you enjoy it wherever you were at?

I never did find me those super hard to find eclipse glasses.
Let me rephrase... I never really looked until like hours before the actual eclipse.  #slacker

I dont know why I didnt put some effort in it....

Let me tell you, I'm already putting an order in for my glasses on Amazon for 2024.... especially because its coming right through Indiana!! YAHOO!!!! Ricky & I already said we were going to go to that.

After talking with Julie, who lives in Nashville & experienced the full totality of it, & what she experienced, I want to see the same thing.

Image may contain: night and sky
What it looked like in Nashville

& seeing all the live feeds online & when it actually went completely dark? I want to witness all that firsthand.

By the way, how awesome is it we can watch live feeds of the whole thing on a computer, a tablet, the palm of your hand with your phone.  Times, they have changed. & while sometimes it seems like its not for the good,  technology is pretty awesome.  Gotta give that one to passage of time.

Anyways, I ran out to lunch & came back & the eclipse was starting... it was getting that strange color in the sky... that "sun setting" feel but with a gray touch. Like all the color has been stripped but the sun is still shining. It's just so strange. It's almost what I imagine color blind people see.  One of the news guys on the online feeds called it a "Funky Sunset" & said to get that trending.  #funkysunsetforthewin

& no one in our office had a pair of the eclipse glasses.  DANG IT.

I saw pictures of people with their whole office sporting a pair.  Our office just must be full of slackers.  I dont feel so alone. I guess I'm with my people.

Luckily, one of my buddies had send me an email that she was doing the pin-hole trick in paper. I asked her how to do it - especially since I looked online & the only thing you can find are those box projectors .... & side note, they ALL recommended cereal boxes..... I literally just gagged typing that word.  They need to come up with some other options for boxes next time.

So Elizabeth gave me my instructions & I grabbed some big envelopes & punched a hole in it ... & it actually worked.  I kept the sun to my back & got to watch a itty bitty, teeny weeny eclipse happening on the paper.

the tiniest eclipse ever

A totally difference picture from the one above, huh?

& we didnt get as much darkness as I expected - & we were at 96% coverage so I think I may have expected a little more - but it was still cool to be a part of.

You could FEEL a difference in the air - stillness.... you could feel the temperature change.  As soon as it was over, you could feel the heat come back in like a furnace blowing on you. It was just crazy....

After it passed through our area, I finished up work with the live feeds on my computer & watched the final one go through South Carolina before the moons shadow "drops off the edge of the earth" as they said it....

& it went out so beautifully...

They asked a lady what she thought of it & she said, "I just never expected it to feel so emotional over it".... & I could totally understand that.

It really is overwhelming to think of the mightiness that we all got to witness for just a passing few minutes.

While it looks so small on my piece of paper, & may not seem real by looking at live feeds on a screen, it really made me stop & think....

Because you see, just the day before, I was doing my Bible Study & in it, was referenced the "Creation Story"... the beginning of the world.... when God created everything, including the Sun & the Moon.

& you think how long ago God spoke into being these things.... & how they all still turn & rotate... & bring such mystery & beauty & amazement to us in moments like this.

Things we take for granted on most days.

I mean, we dont have parties every day for the sun... & we love good moonlight evenings, but we dont drive for miles or make reservations years ahead to go see it.

But when we see God's amazing works come together... we stop.
We watch.
We are in complete awe.

Reminding us how powerful God is to create these things...

& while we feel so small in all of this, compared to the massive creations of the sun & moon, we too are God's creation

.... & I thought of how nice it was to just see good news for a day.

No news of politics, no news of war, no news of terrorism, no news of hatred....if for a few hours...

& seeing stadiums of people of all kinds together just sitting & watching this event.... people camping out together to have fun & celebrate.... kindness.... friendship... civility... a brotherly love.  All to watch this amazing thing of these mighty creations coming together in a moment.

Reminds me that when ALL of God's creation comes together, big things can happen.

& if God's people continue to get together & share brotherly love, can you imagine all the awe that can hold?

Can it make people stop & stare in wonder?... actually, I think it can.

... & we dont have to wait till 2024 either to see it ;)

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth
Colossians 1:16

Monday, August 21, 2017

The weekend I had a fever....

Man oh man... if I ever needed a weekend, it was this one.

I got kicked in the face, literally, with a sinus infection last week & it was only getting worse.
It actually started when I was in the hospital with dad. The air up there was just so different. I'd leave there every day feeling like I was so dry & needed to drink 20 gallons of water.  I'm sure that air did something to really stoke up my sinuses.

Fun stuff.

Friday, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it, but I fought through to make it to a photo session for one beautiful momma.

She actually was one of my past brides & I dont ever like to reschedule maternity sessions if I can help it because you never know when things can go early. I did a maternity session one time & had the momma deliver just a few days after her pictures ... super early.... that has me scared now that I'll have a momma delivering while I edit pictures of the bump.

I weathered through.

I must have looked pretty rough because at one point, here's this pregnant lady with a bump on her asking me if I needed help carrying the cart up a hill.... ahhh, how cute is she?

Cameras & kleenex... 2 musts on this session

This sinus infection had me so out of breath & I thought I was going to pass out... but I would NEVER ask a client, especially a pregnant one, to pull this cart.  Bless her heart....

I got home & just crawled in bed... I wasnt going to do anything else.

I actually woke up in the middle of the night with a fever... UGH... the worst.

When I woke up on Saturday, I knew my day was going to be so low key... the lowest its been in awhile.

We turned on the AC in our enclosed room, & Bruno came out with me & I spent most of the morning right there ....

I had knitting, coffee, my Kindle, my dogs... Lord, heal me right here in this spot.

Ricky came in from working outside for a little bit so we could watch a movie...

Have you seen The Case For Christ trailer at the movies? Now, the poster is headed there too. Let us know what you think! #CaseForChrist

Wow... so good!!! I knew the story of Lee Strobel & have read his book before but loved how well this movie was done.

After it was over, Ricky went back outside to do some work & I went right back to my happy place...

I finally made my way to the computer to edit my session & was so glad that I had nothing else to do because I ended up finishing the edit marathon in just a few hours.

Watched another movie too...

The Nanny Diaries - Rotten Tomatoes
Read the book years ago ... was anxious to see it come to the screen

After sweating out my fever, it was time for a good shower ... & then giving Bruno a bath too

& then it was bed time.

Sunday, I wasnt even sure I was going to make it to church, but I got a message that the girl that helps me was going to be gone so I didnt want to put anyone out... & my fever seemed to be staying away so I was good.

Glad to make it to see my girls.  The best medicine.

Ricky met me at church after I was out & we got to hang out. We hardly ever get to spend Sunday together anymore so it was nice to go get some things done at Sam's Club & at Target... & then grabbed some lunch.

I was so excited to see they had a new salad that sounded amazing... a Black Cherry Spinach Salad. The picture had chicken on it so I asked for no chicken & I like to always add "I dont eat meat" just to let them know that because so many foods have meat snuck in them without even being on the menu.

... & low & behold it comes -& look amazing... & I cut it up

Those are red onions & black cherrries & candied almonds

& see freaking bacon on it .



Needless to say, Ricky got a salad with his lunch.

We headed home - & just wanted to stay indoors.  It was so miserable with the heat & humidity.  It was the kind of heat that you sweat just stepping outside.

I spent some time working on my women's Bible Study stuff.... & ordered my teen girls Bible Study group book to get prepped for that.  #allthebiblestudies

I wanted to head back to church since they were having a Night of Worship with the group Awaken Worship ... its a hodgepodge of the worship leaders from difference campuses that have made this AMAZING group. They are SO GOOD. They were recording their new album out at the main campus & I SOOOO BADLLLY wanted to go - but didnt want to push it.

First, I had no energy from feeling bad & 2nd, I need to get better to face the week ahead... sigh...

I'll be first in line to buy the CD.

One of my all time favorite songs!!!!!!

So here we go into a new week.

Praying it's a better one... no sickness... no fevers... no dad's getting sick...

& praying no one burns their eyes out today on the solar eclipse.

Anyone excited about it? I'm actually pretty stoked about it... going to be surfing Google for all the ways to look at it since I dont have any glasses.

Image result for eclipse glasses meme


Image result for eclipse glasses meme

How was your weekend?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites 08/18/17

Image result for knit by god's hand friday favorites

Favorite Clutch

This wallet fits everything! Henri Bendel


Favorite Dress

 Feminine Funk

This is a long dress... & for $35!!!
So awesome!!!

Favorite Beauty & the Beast

A highly unusual Beauty and the Beast gift idea would be one of these upcycled vinyl records.

One of each please....

Favorite Book List

18 of the Best Coming-of-Age Books to Read at Any Point in Your Life

Click the pic to find the list of books for
The Best Coming of Age stories for Any Age
I have read a few of them but would love to tackle all 18 of these

Favorite Mug

...Always be chasing your own light!  Photo by @amandahedgepethobx at IG #photographermom #mompreneur #photoglife

Perfect for a photographer!!!

Favorite Deep Thought

You Daily Health and Fitness Motivation provided by @fitpossiblecoach . Make sure you REPIN if you like seeing these quick quotes. This will help spread inspiration and motivation to more people searching!

BAM! That's a new look at things, isn't it?

Favorite Peencha

Then and now. She destroys every stuffed animal except this one. Click here to check out our $1.99 sale for cute animal merch!

They said that dog destroyed every stuffed animal it ever had except that one...
... & here he is years later with the same one.

Favorite Funnies

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 32 Pics

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 36 Pics

Morning Funny Picture Dump 37 Pics
This really aint that funny #truth
Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 35 Pics

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 35 Pics

Morning Funny Picture Dump 35 Pics

... my brain when I think I need to clean my house on the weekends

GIPHY! ( July 3, 2015 at 01:48AM

.... when I'm told I can "leave early" at work & its just 10 minutes till I leave anyways

GIPHY! ( July 13, 2017 at 11:08AM

... when I go to any social gathering

... me at 4:00pm

Happy Weekend Y'all!!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dollar store saves my dad, another Bible Study to lead & family always for the win!!!! {Thankful Thursday #138}

Image result for knit by god's hand thankful thursday

This week I am Thankful For:
{The numbers go with my One Thousand Gifts Journal / just ignore}

542/ Family
When the going gets tough, family comes through, dont they? It was great having family come up & sit with dad & check in on him while he was in the hospital. Such a relief at times to know someone was up there when me or my brother couldnt get there.

543 / Surprise from my love.
I got home from the hospital last Thursday & had this sitting there waiting on me from my hubby.  I've already found one picture in it that is my fav (involves books) & I so want to color it up really nice & frame it for my room.

544 / New bag.
Up at the hospital, my aunt came in carrying the cutest little bag that had dogs all over it.  One of them even looked just like Bruno.  When I commented on that, she ended up taking everything out of her bag, shoved the things in her purse & handed the bag over to me. How sweet was that?!?!?... I carried that bag with my knitting every day since.

See little Bruno on there? :) 

547 / Nursing Assistant
So when dad got out of ICU & headed down to a regular floor, we are taking the turn at the new nurses station & I looked up & see a familiar face.  One of dad's nursing assistants was one of my old youth kiddos!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe that?  Such a small world. It was so great seeing her again. It's been quite a few years since I've seen her in person & not on social media.  So nice to check in with her about her family too. Just love her & her family!

548 / Vet had meds ready
We are nearing the end of the shampoo for Bruno's skin & needed some more... & we actually were re-thinking a prescription for itching that they offered if Benadryl didnt work for him - which it didn't. I called the vet & they said they'd have everything at the counter for us to pick up with no need for another vet visit. WHEW. I have been to plenty of vets that are just about getting every dollar they can & would make you come in for another office visit.

550 / Support Pancreatic Cancer Awareness.
Always will be Waging Hope for a cure!!!!
Always there to support this cause that can help my uncle kick cancer in the face!!!!

551 / Time with my cousin.
I just love any chance I get to spend time with my baby cousin ... & got to meet her new man in her life - whom I TOTALLY give a thumbs up in approval.  Such a nice guy.

I also just love seeing her little girl, who is growing up so fast... such a little baby doll with those eyes & that smile!!

552 / Starbucks after a 5k
... I gotta get my energy from somewhere...

553 / Gift Card
I had a gift card that let me get my new fitness tracker for free. BAM!  BOOM!  CHA-CHING!

554 / Dad HOME!!!

Image result for hallelujah gif

555 / NEW Bible Study starting up
OK... how can I refuse this? My MSM girls got in touch with me this weekend & asked if we can do a bible study together? WHAT?... how do I tell these girls no?  I had just saw a bible study for teens when I stopped in the Christian bookstore over the weekend & now I see why God put that one right in my path. I suggested that one - their mom's approved of it... & it looks like I've now got ANOTHER Bible study to lead.  Excited to see these young girls get closer to each other & to God.

556 / Dollar Store
Let me tell you - when you live out where nothing is close to you & they build a Dollar store - its like an oasis in a dessert when you when have an emergency. When my dad's fever got up to 104.7 Sunday night, it would have taken 30 minutes to get Tylenol & get it back to him.  The Dollar Store now gets credit for saving my daddy's life.

558 / Fresh Eggs & Fresh Pears.
Our neighbors are just keeping us stocked on all things natural & fresh & yummy!  Look at how pretty these eggs are - such a beautiful light blue color.  & then I got an arm full of pears off their tree they gave me.  DELICIOUS!!!!

(PS - Lift a prayer for my neighbors.... I just found out my neighbor lost his father yesterday)

What are some good things that happened in your life this week?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Amazoning.... it's gonna take awhile to catch up!

Image result for amazoning knit by gods hand

I havent done one of these in awhile... 
& if I caught up, this thing would be like a year long...
so I'm just going to do it in slow doses.  Just wanted to give a heads up if you see a lot of Amazoning posts in the next few weeks.  

Click any pic to go to Amazon... & its not affiliated in any way
Just want to help a friend out if you're interested

No Excuses Detox
100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day

Image result for no excuse detox

OK - so confession, I have't used this as much as I want to.
Seeing this in my account, I'm going home & pulling it out & making putting it to use. 
Maybe a September goal to cook at least 2 recipes a week out of it?
My buddy Nathalie swears by this cookbook... & I am addicted to Megan's blog anyways

Organic Golden Milk Turmeric Elixir
Organic Golden Milk Turmeric Elixir - The Easy Way To Get Natural Joint Support. Delicious Curcumin Supplement Drink Mix For A Smoothie, Shake, Juice, Tea, Or Food - Non GMO, Vegan, & Gluten Free

GEEEZZZZ... Another thing I forgot I ordered.
I have this in my cabinet & never opened it...but I need me some Turmeric.
Turmeric always helps me with my joints & I want to see how this tastes.
That's where I didnt try it.... because the only milk I like is the new Protein Cashew Vanilla milk... & its a ton of calories for 1 cup (not really a ton, but like 160) & this stuff is 50 calories - so I just never had room in a day for an extra 210 calorie treat.
But I've got to give it a try. I bought it, right?
I'll do an update how I like it in another post

e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip
e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip, Lilac Petal, 0.34 Ounce

Finally something I tried.
This is actually one of my favorite highlighters that I have used.
Every time I use it, I have someone mention how pretty it is on my face.
I have a hard time finding it in stores & its super cheap so I go to Amazon when I cant find it anywhere else.

Sharpie Accent Retractable Highlighters
Who doesnt love Sharpie products?
I got these to use for my 21 Day Fix journal to mark off the colored containers for the day.  
This has all of the colors you need if you do that program.
Even a hard color to find - purple... & red...
I use these for all sorts of things now.

DEARCASE Short Sleeve T-shirt Tunic Dress

Image result for DEARCASE loose short sleeve

I actually bought this in red & black too 
... you'll see me wearing these with my LulaRoe leggings.
They are too short for me to wear alone (I'm 5'8) so they work perfectly for leggings
long enough to cover the bum & not short enough that looks 'iffy' if you lean over.
I'm going to eventually buy every color in these, I'm sure.

Fudenosuke Hard Brush Pen / Hard Tip
These are an "Add On" Item & I'm always adding them...
They are the PERFECT PEN for hand lettering.
Seriously - if you are interested in hand lettering - you NEED these pens.

Neewer 43-Inch Light Reflector

I LOVE this thing.
I had one & used it for years on sessions... but I lost mine some time last year.
Hope someone found it because it makes photos look great.
I love the silver to reflect the sun up on someone & its like a spotlight right in your face (my clients know that blinding light)... & I love the plain white because it can cast a soft glow to a close up on a face. & the white is always great to hold over top for shade but lets some glowy light come through.
If you are dabbling in taking portraits of people outdoors, you'll love this.

Divertigo Liquid Drops

Divertigo Liquid Drops 5 ml

This is a Re-purchase.
My stupid vertigo... UGHHHH....
But I love using this, rubbing behind my ears- natural oils.
I dont know if its all in my mind that it works, but I do think it makes a difference.
Doesnt really 'take it away' - but it does make it more tolerable.

OK... so y'all... I'm still in April's purchases... haha

So lots more to come...

Have you tried any of these?
Which one would you want to check out?