Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Licky Lou

Hello, friends! I hope you are having a fabulous summer so far.

Our summer has been flying by, and things are slowly but surely getting done. In fact, Will and I just returned home yesterday from the eastern part of the state where I had a workshop for my new job.

I also found out this morning that my application was accepted for the one beautiful pet-friendly complex in that college town. Let me tell you, that was such a relief...housing has been tough to find there.

Our joy was short-lived, however.

It became apparent at lunchtime that our sweet little ball of sass wasn't doing well...
Will first noticed that Licky was trying to "piddle" everywhere but her litter box, and that just wasn't like her. 

She also wasn't getting any piddle out. L

Things rapidly went downhill from there. She kept trying to hide from us under the furniture which was completely bizarre because that cat always craved nonstop attention.

She became lethargic and began vomiting...and we knew.
I made a call to Maggie, and she called me back during her break. (Licky Lou is Maggie's cat...she got that cute little ball of fur when she was in third grade.)

She spoke softly to Licky and told me it was okay to do whatever needed to be done.

Will and I each took turns holding her and bawling our eyes out. How do you adequately say goodbye to someone you love so much and who has brought you so much joy?
We took her to our veterinarian friend who confirmed our fears: Licky's kidneys were shutting down.

Dr. Marcy looked at me and said, "You know I'm going to tell it to you straight like I would want to be told." She then whispered, "It's time."

I nodded my head and let the tears roll.
As the vet went to get the injection ready, I held that precious baby doll against me and looked out the window. 

Licky Lou put her head against my shoulder and began to purr. I told her I loved her and that I was so thankful to have her in my life.  I told her that I would have never survived this year of empty-nesting without her and how grateful I was for her help.

The veterinarian and the vet tech came in, and I gave Licky one last kiss as I placed her on the table. The fact that Licky Lou continued to purr kind of unnerved the kind-hearted doctor. Tears sprang to Marcy's eyes, and she said, "She is definitely at peace because she has always fought me every single time I've ever tried to examine her."

(You can read about Licky Lou's numerous vet appointments here.)

We chuckled and wiped away the tears as she gave Licky the injection.

I knew that sweet soul was gone when the purring stopped.

We brought her home and buried her next to her sister and the little Yorkie doggies she used to love to torment back in the day.

And while I wasn't planning on blogging this summer, I felt the need to document this sad event...this moment of our journey. We all commented that the blog was so important to us when Pookie Bear passed on because we could have pictures of her within minutes. We could read about her silliness and her crazy antics with just a few clicks of the mouse...and just remember.

It was also therapeutic for me to write about the last precious moments with that beloved sweetheart, and I felt that Licky Lou deserved the same. 

All of you are an important part of our journey, too, and I wanted to share the sad news with all of her blog fans. She sat beside me as I wrote nearly every single post. Thank you all for the times you have asked about her and cared how she was doing.

There are also so many little things I don't want to ever forget. 


--The fact that she demanded to talk on the phone every time one of the kids called. Seriously, she would sit on my lap and meow until I held the phone to her ear. She would then intently listen for a little bit and begin "talking" to the kids. 

She would try it with other callers, but most people didn't find it nearly so charming. J

--The time the 7th graders wrote stories for me to read to her at night...yes, they worried that I was becoming the crazy cat lady. They had me take a selfie to prove that I really did read them to her. This was her reaction...
Seriously, kid?!?

We all howled about that for days!

--After Will moved out and Pookie Bear was gone, Licky began sleeping with me. Every night she would climb in bed with me and put her head on my pillow facing me. If I rolled over, she would simply get up, climb over me, and hunker down on the pillow facing me. I learned not to fight it eventually.

She slept with me like that every night until Will came home. Then, she began dividing her time between our two rooms, and eventually, she camped out in the hallway because she couldn't quite make up her mind who needed her most.

Trust me when I say the pillow will feel quite empty tonight.

However, it does bring me some comfort to think of these two pumpkins together again...
....purring happily ever after.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard."
--Winnie the Pooh


--Where the Red Fern Grows

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Confessions of a Waffle Thinker

How's that for a title?

Have you ever read the fantastic book Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill and Pam Farrel?

Let me tell you, it's a hoot...and rather informative. It's all about embracing the differences between men and women, and the waffle and spaghetti references refer to the thinking processes of each.

Men tend to be compartmentalized thinkers, meaning they usually think only about the waffle square they are currently in.

Turns out my brain did not get the memo that I am a woman, and my thinking ability should be more spaghetti-like which would connect all the areas of my life together.

Wait a minute! Maybe that's why my attempts at multi-tasking have always been so disastrous...

Anyhoo, I have decided to not fight my waffleness any longer and just admit to myself, and all of you, that I am going to spend my summer in the waffle square of moving.

And then on to the square of getting settled and starting anew.

So as much as I will miss all of you, I'm going to hang up my blogging shoes for the summer...or perhaps longer, who knows.

Until then, we'll just say... 

Thank you so much for reading my lil' ole blog. 
I have so enjoyed your visits and your friendship. J

Monday, May 23, 2016

Patriotic Bargain

Merry Monday, beautiful people!

I thought I'd quickly pop in to share a wonderful bargain I stumbled upon at Walmart this week.

As I was headed from the cosmetic section to the cat food section, (yes, I am always shopping for Licky Lou's food, it seems) I spied with my little eye a versatile patriotic bargain...
For $1.97, this baby was coming home with me!

Normally, when I'm not packing up my life's belongings and moving, I decorate in red, white, and blue the week of Memorial Day and keep it the entire summer until Labor Day.

I'm patriotic like that.

And somewhat a thrifty, lazy decorator, but we shan't discuss that right now.

Anyhoo, I began thinking of all the marvelous possibilities!

First, I envisioned using these as placemats for a Memorial Day or Fourth of July picnic...
I also thought of how wonderful they would be as lap napkins at that same picnic.

I don't know about you, but I love a large, thick, absorbent napkin when I'm enjoying some delectable barbecue something-or-other!

Next, it could serve as a sort of table scarf in lieu of a tray when creating a vignette...
The texture gives it a rustic, woven look, and I love how it anchors my colonial inspired vignette. I thought I might go a little "Johnny Tremain" with the pewter before I packed it away...

If I had my sewing machine handy, had the inclination, and didn't have 1,046 other things to do, I might think about creating some cute little pillows...
Yeah, that's about as ambitious as I'm going to be with the pillow making this summer...draping a kitchen towel over one of the couch pillows. Ha!

Finally, I guess they could also serve their original purpose... a kitchen towel.

It certainly lends a patriotic touch to the kitchen for a sweet little price.

If you are at all inspired to do a little kitchen-towel decorating of your own, Walmart has these cute little towels in an array of colors and designs...

Aren't they just so colorful and festive?!?  Holy guacamole, some of these absolutely scream Fiesta! to me. 

BTW, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions and the $1.97 per towel were strictly my own.  I just thought I'd pass on the happy news to my fellow thrifty shoppers. J

Also, I am finally getting things somewhat in order after the hectic last days of school. I hope to get caught up with all of you dear friends this week. Thanks so much for your friendship and your patience.

Have a most marvelous Monday!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

For the Graduate

Happy Sunday, friends!

One of the many joys of being a teacher is when former students remember you at graduation time. It's nice to know they appreciate the small part you played in their education...or that they'd still like to share cake with you--in public!--after all of these years.

I received many graduation announcements over the past few weeks, and I was so pleased to see that some of the kids included a meaningful Bible verse on their cards.

In honor of these sweet people in my life, I thought I'd share some of my favorite verses for this special life event.

I have been quoting these scriptures to myself throughout the week as I graduate from one journey and prepare for the next. J

When you stop to think about it, we're all graduates of some stage of life...

High school.


Trade school.

The school of hard knocks.






Menopause...or as I like to call it--Mental Pause. J

Some degrees come to us easily, and others we have to really, really work at...and may never fully attain. 

And some degrees are meant to be accomplished by working little by little in... well, small degrees.

That's where faith comes in.

Knowing that God has a plan for our lives...even if it is difficult.

Even though it may not be the one we have in mind for ourselves. 

Even if it's not the timing or the pace we would choose.

So today, whether you are an academic graduate or a graduate of life, I challenge you to never stop learning and to keep aiming for that next degree.

You never know...

Have a most blessed day!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Friendly Little Reminder

Good Sunday morning, sweet friends!

It has been a WILD time this past week!

In the past five days I have:

Pretty much packed up my entire classroom and unloaded it all at my house.
Helped set up a school-wide book fair in my classroom.

Held 7th and 8th grade classes in any open space available...the cafeteria, the library, the auditorium, etc.

Prepared for two different substitutes for two days. At the end of the school year, it's tough to find any subs at all, so I was very fortunate and thankful to get whomever, whenever!

Driven 278 miles to move Will out of his apartment (his SECOND floor apartment, mind you), so he could spend the summer helping me get ready to move back there.  If that makes any sense at all...

Driven those same 278 miles back home with a carload of Will's stuff and helped him unload it into the living room.

Where it still sits.


I must have looked especially frazzled this week because I found this tucked into my desk drawer...
I also found one in my file cabinet.

And another one in my teacher bag.

This student wanted to make sure I got the message!

I got the message loud and clear, Lord, via a sweet little guy named Conway.

Thank you, Conway!

And thank you, Lord, for getting me through this hectic week and for Your steadfast love.
Only three days of school left....

And then the real adventure begins!

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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