Monday, July 21, 2014

every year 'bout this time...

Every year for the past, I dunno, five years, I've done this week long Christmas in July sale.  I don't even remember how the thing started but its kinda grown a life of its own.  I thought briefly about skipping it this year just 'cause things are so hectic around the homestead, but Tom and I managed to pull ourselves together and get it done!

So today it begins!  We've got a few new sales this year, instead of the same ole same ole.  We were brainstorming ideas a couple weeks ago and the teenager had some great contributions!  So two of this years sale days were all her idea!  So proud of her little marketing mind!!!

So here's a few photos of some new work that I'm particularly proud of as well as the deets on today's sale!  See ya!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Oh happy day

I rarely get mail.  I mean good mail, not junk mail or bills.  And then all in one day I get TWO letters!  Good, really good mail.  With goodies to boot!  A letter from my poppa with some beautiful bird feathers enclosed and a card from my sister in law with cicada wings enclosed.  How'd I manage that?  Just lucky I guess.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

a short history of Berkatu

We said goodbye to Berklie at 2:15 am on Thursday.
We reached the end of the line after three and half days in the hospital on IV fluids and meds to jump start those tired kidneys.  Tom picked our fur ball up and brought him home.  I cozied up the bedroom and we all piled on the bed, me, Tom, most of the dogs, and Berk.  
We spent nine hours together before he decided he was ready to go.  Tom and I kissed his ears and head, we told him we loved him, we told him it was ok to leave, we told him how lucky he was - he was about to get to see Preacher and Daisy and Clarence and Clishy.  I envied him that.
And quietly he took his last breaths.  It was just how Preacher left us.  It was excruciating and peaceful all at the same time.

I found Berklie 16 years ago under a car in a Schlotzkys parking lot.  He was covered in oil, he was the size of a minute, his ear hair was longer than his tail...seriously, look, the longest hairs nearly run out of this photo!!!
I knew he was ours.  Tom took some convincing.  But I remember us sitting on the bed, me, Tom, Seven, and Berk (that was our whole family back then...well, plus Daisy but she wouldn't imagine gracing us with her presence!)... Seven did something, she licked Berk or maybe she just gave her nod of approval and Tom said ok.  Even way back then Seven called the shots.
I think Berk must've known he owed his home and his new oil-free coat to Seven.  We often found him sitting on the table or counter scooping his food (or any food he could find) out of his bowl with his paw and then pushing it onto the floor for Seven.  He would then gargoyle over the edge and watch her eat it before scooping more food onto the floor.
Less than two weeks ago I found him pushing freshly cut chicken off the cutting board down to Monkey.  I can't count how many nights we were awakened by clanging in the kitchen, a slew of dogs licking the floor, and Berklie sitting innocently on the counter licking his paw with a "What?" look on his face.
When I found Berklie I was working at an outpatient therapy clinic in Georgetown.  I was a physical therapy tech and my job was basically to run through exercises with patients.  My favorite patient at the time, well, of all time, was Roger Smith.  He had had a hip or knee replacement, can't remember...he had been in WWII and each day when he would come into the clinic I would put him on the bike and say "okay Mr. Smith, where are we riding to today?" And he would name some place he had been during the war.  He would tell me all about the culture, the landscape, the food, and his experience there.  He was never negative about his time in the war...I looked forward to him every day.  I learned so much from him about places i'd never even heard of...i cherished my time with him.  In fact I got myself into a bit of trouble by moving him off of other techs schedules and onto mine!  
On his last day of therapy he came in, got on the bike, and handed me an envelope.  He said "we're having a test!"  Inside the envelope were pictures from his time in the war.  Some of him, some of his plane, some of his friends...each photo had little notes on the back, hints for me...the test was that I had to tell him, based on the photo and the hints he'd written on the back (just for me!) where each picture was taken.  I was floored.  I had this tumble of emotion from joy that he cared enough to do this to pride that I felt I'd actually maybe made his time in therapy fun for him.  I was crushed that he was "graduating".

I found Berklie that day.

When Tom and I agreed to keep him (although we thought HE was a SHE for the first three months!) I demanded that we name him after Mr. Smith in some way.  I wanted a way to remember this man who had touched my life in such a profound way.  Now that all of this time has passed I realize that I didn't really need a way to remember him...I couldn't forget him.  But I'm glad we gave Berklie a name with such a heavy meaning.  So since we thought Berk was a girl the name Roger was kind of out.  Smith wasn't doing it for either of us so I started going through all of the places Mr. Smith had shared with me...we got down to two: Mauritius (an island in the Indian Ocean) and Berkatu (some place in Libya). We landed on Berkatu.  aka Berklie, Berk, Bug, LeeLeeBug, Bug-a-boo, Buggie.  

I miss you Bug.  I went to let the dogs out last night and I was wedging myself into the crack in the door so that you couldn't sneak out.  It reminded me of the two times you did get out.  Once when we lived in Hyde Park.  You were gone for almost a day and in the middle of the night your dad sat bolt upright in bed and said "he's back!", ran to the front door and there you were.  The second time was almost the exact same thing - but we were leaving for London the next day and I was scared we were gonna have to cancel our trip..same thing tho, your dad knew the moment you were home and opened the front window and in you came.  You guys had some kind of crazy connection.
I never told you this, but I've decided it's time - you were a cat Berk.  I know you always believed you were a dog, but you were in fact, a cat.  I wish I had gotten a video of you last week, standing in the middle of all the dogs when I was trying to feed Seven, reaching with your paw trying to get the food before it landed in her mouth, oblivious to the pit bull, chow, plethora of snarky chihuahuas trying to swipe the food too!
I will never ever eat another Dorrito without thinking of you.  
I will never be able to watch Iron Chef and hear the chairman say "allez cuisine!" without thinking of you.
You were quite possibly the easiest animal on the face of the earth.  You were self sufficient to a fault.  You spoiled us.
I can't believe I am saying this but I miss your drool.  I miss your rubbing your fangs along my hand or arm or cheek and leaving a puddle of drool in its wake.
I miss knowing that the armoire door will never again swing open seemingly all on its own.

I don't know how you ended up at a sandwich shop in Georgetown, Texas but I will forever be grateful that you did.  Strange as it sounds I owe a debt to whoever was dumb enough to abandon you.  My life was better because you were in it.
I love you LeeLeeBug.  
Give Preacher a big 'ol head butt for me.
See you in awhile...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

these days...

I miss this little blog of mine.
I'm quite attached to it I realize and I miss it when dumb ole life gets in the way of my visits here.
I write here to share my work.  i write here to share the antics and adorableness of my animals.  I write here for the same reason I take a hot bath or eat a whole bar of chocolate - it just makes me feel better.

I keep telling myself to take the time, to give myself the time to come here and write, but often it is first on the chopping block when the list of to do's is getting whittled down from everything i want to do to everything that is mildly necessary to everything that is absolutely necessary to someone will die if I don't do this.  Most days the accomplishments are in the latter two categories.

This summer has been a blur.  I can barely believe its summer already and it's in fact, half way over.  School wrapped up for the teenage but before it was even done she had started summer school.  Two different classes at two different campuses.  Seven started physical therapy (twice a week) and got herself a set of wheels.  So far the the therapy has been a Godsend.  The wheels however, she just not that into them.  Tom is convinced that she is truly stubborn enough to make herself walk better just to avoid the wheels.  Could be.  I always say "she is the most stubborn person I know".

Sadly our sweet grey boy went into kidney failure this week.  He is 16years old and I know that this is what happens with older kitties, we went through this very thing with our 19year old girl's just that it is never easy, in fact it's downright miserable...we've lost five of our babies in the last couple of years. I just don't feel prepared to lose Berklie.  Hoping that he can talk those old kidneys into giving him some more juice for a bit... prayers, big loads of prayers please...
 Otherwise it's work work work.  Work is what keeps me sane, it is what keeps my mind from skittering off down some worrisome path.  Work let's me pour my thoughts and hopes and dreams and fears and loves and anxieties out onto the table so that I can hammer them and saw them and file them and turn them into something give me a place to put my inner tickings.

Here's a little peek...
So that's what's up with me.  What have you been up to?!?