Lillmi's Blog

Shabby Chic Dog

We saved her.

She arrived on the first day of school… and was still in the driveway when I came home from work.

A day or two later, she’s still in the car port. We realized she couldn’t walk very far because her pads had slipped. Someone told me that their pads slip when they are chasing a vehicle down the black top road (probably trying to keep up with her owner).

How rude! 

Someone brought this lovely creature and left her in the Texas August heat, without water or food… to fend for herself.

Now, let me tell you that I am/was not a “dog” person per se. I’ve had cats for over twenty years and only twice in my life did I own a dog… jointly, with siblings.  So, keeping a dog- especially, a HUGE dog was not in the plan. 

We advertised, posted her on Facebook, told everyone we knew that we had a beautiful, white, house trained dog living with us that needed a home. We had her spayed,  groomed,  everything we could to make her appealing to a new  home.

She’s still here.

And her name is Trixie Honeysuckle. She has three pillows and rotates between them throughout the day. Did I mention she is Large?  She weighs 72 pounds and the vet mentioned that her ideal weight is 80. She walks on a leash, sits for treats, LOVES to ride in the truck… and she’s ours.  She knows where her home is and can make her way back without us. 

So, a large white dog in a 2100 sq. ft. home, with no fenced yard, means we sweep, dust and vacuum daily. We bought a Ferminator… God’s gift to dog owners… and we brush, bathe, pet, cuddle and walk our baby on schedule. It’s a good thing the hubs is retired!  We’ve made friends with the vet, vet-tech and the spa keeper.  

We’ve met neighbors we hadn’t become acquainted with previously, because they have dogs! We buy silly toys we haven’t had in the house since the grandchildren were babies. We always have cheese cubes available, now. They are the “gold” treat.

Today, exactly 7 months since she came to us… I redecorated the living room.  No longer will you see olive sofa’s with long white dog hair clinging to the sides… or her long white offerings laying on the dark coffee table.  I found the perfect decor to match the perfect dog — shabby chic. 

So, don’t come looking for her now, she belongs in this home… our shabby chic dog, in our shabby chic home! 

Perfect.  

Daughters

I have been blessed by daughters.

Daughters are special people. They bring out the best in me and make me want to be better. I love being girlfriends with them  and at times, I’m just thankful to be their mom.

The eldest daughter is actually a step daughter – a gift from my new husband. She was already grown, working and planning a wedding. Our relationship is very polite and a holiday-ish kind of friendship.  She has a wonderful husband and son who dote on her. She’s smart and loving and enjoys life in the southern most part of our state.

Stephanie is married to Freddy. Today, after 20+ years of marriage they are like newly weds, but a lot more comfortable. I admire Stephanie for sticking to her guns, staying with one employer all these years and having the grace to raise a beautiful son who is fearless, smart and talented.

Next there is Jenn, my first born.  She’s mom to four daughters. Her level of energy astonishes me.  After scouts, church, work and a woman’s group, she still cooks, cleans and even has time to visit the hospitalized friend from time to time.

A tragic accident took 18 year old Alyssa from all of us. During that time, Jennifer managed to walk gently down the imaginary line between Alyssa’s biological mother and Kevin, her husband of ten years. It was a role no woman wants to fill. She and Alyssa were more peers than parent-child because of their ages – and the fact that Alyssa’s mom was very present in her life made their relationship difficult.  It’s always hard to be the step mom.

Jennifer cooked and cleaned, ran errands, comforted children, greeted guests, thanked the neighbors, made phone calls and kept right on moving until, at last… when everyone was ok, she slept – a long time.  She’s like that. She cares for those around her and puts herself last. She’s a lot like my mom and I am honored by that.

The baby daughter (again, a step-daughter) is affectionately known as our perfect child. Her willingness to explore and try new things  is exciting to us. She’s traveled everywhere, is not easily ruffled, committed to college and the Air Force and loves her husband ever-so- completely!

Sarah and Terrence are goal oriented. They have careers in the Air Force and a new home that keeps them creative and busy. She can laugh out loud, find humor in almost anything and is strong and smart. I love to hear her sing, but she’s put that on the back burner for now. Sarah spent way too much time of her childhood chasing someone else’s dream and missing out on some plain old fashioned play time.  She didn’t live with us full-time, so when I realized what was going on, I jumped into mommy mode and insisted on making things more consistent for her. It took a little while, but it was well–worth the effort- I hope she agrees.  Now, I love seeing the woman she’s grown to be and we have lots of fun when we’re together.

The newest addition is the daughter-in-law.  Tara is like a little Skipper doll. Petite, fun to be around, fashion wise and way smart.  She’s still studying for the future, so I ‘m excited to see what life affords her. Best of all, she loves my son – and she does it well. She can fly from an airplane and enjoy the trip down… she can remove an appendix, loves traveling to exotic locations  and wore purple stilettos when she married my son.

She and Jeff are headed for the moon! I know they have lofty goals, but they  love to have their heads in the clouds… and it’s very becoming.  I’m glad she’s there to walk with Jeff and he’s better for having her in his life.

My daughters are great humans.  Not wasteful of time, money or talents, they are willing to help those that need it.  They are resourceful and daring. They are faithful and dedicated to their families and loving every minute of it.

These are women of the future and I’m grateful for every minute of their past.

We have a wonderful family of women, with just enough men thrown in there for love, comfort, safety,  and interest.

I thank God everyday that He allowed me the privilege of being called “mom” by these women.  I did nothing to deserve the honor… they are a blessing for which I am truly grateful.

Baby Sister

OMG! My baby sister is turning 50 tomorrow. What IS this world coming to? I guess I’ll have to take her seriously now. I wonder if she’ll ever take herself seriously? Hmmm,  that’s a thought. 

Should I be concerned that she’s 50 now? Or happy she made it up here at last?  Naw… she’s too busy having a good time with her children.  She has two who are grown men (sorta) and a beautifully talented daughter that keeps her very busy.

Someone once told me that all adults over 50 are the same age. It took me a while to understand, but I agree.

Sometimes I forget she’s grown. Seems like she should still be riding the purple bike and playing with dolls.  Seems like she should be sitting under the dining table … hiding from the green peas on her plate, or trying out my makeup in the bathroom before school.  I should be tying her shoe or buttoning her plaid dress.

Other times… she’s the middle child. The loving, sweet, peaceful one in the bunch. She can make everyone quiet down and pay attention… and no one talks back, cause she’s the “nice” one. 

Today, she’s 49. She works with small children and I am sure they help keep her younger than her years.  But, you just wait until tomorrow.

She will finally become as old as me! Happy Birthday, little sister!

Young Smart Women

I am always amazed at how smart young women can be. They are full of life, traveling the world, absorbing energy and information from every corner.

Todays young woman has so much to offer and so much available to them.  Their unabashed and unashamed love of living is attractive to those of us who didn’t take advantage of that time of life.  The time when you are grown, free to love and learn more and more. 

Todays young woman is smart… she knows how to make money, how to save and invest, how to spend wisely and how to demand the best. My favorite young women are confident in their own lives, with their own abilities, and with learning new things from new people.

I write this because I have some new friends that I’ve known for several years. They are graduating this month and will venture out to the world in different directions… excited to see what awaits them.  They laugh a lot, cry some (they are teen girls, you know), and they love to be comfortable in their workout clothes and no make up.   They are all about being women… productive women.  And they are smart!

Congratulations to my Smart Female friends.  Life has much in store for you.  And I can’t wait to see how you handle it with grace, love and LOTS of laughs.

I love you, girls. Have a great life!

Blessings

Today I asked my friend how she was doing.  She said, “I’m Blessed”.  I’m accustomed to hearing the usual… “fine, thanks”… “great, how are you”, and plain ‘ole “ok”. I can almost tell you who will respond in which manner because they are my friends and co-workers and we begin everyday in this manner.  With coffee in hand, we make our way to our offices and chit chat about the evening before or share the latest gossip… always beginning with “morning… how are you”.  And, responding… “great, how are you”.  The sentences never just end with talk about oneself, but express genuine  interest in the other person.  

Lately, more and more people have decided they need to tell me that they are “blessed”.   And not “I’m blessed, how are you?”… or “blessed… are you ok today”?   Just “blessed”.  Rather self centered, don’t you think? 

Do they do that to make me know that they have more money, a bigger house, or fancier car than me? Or do they say that to demonstrate that  they are closer to God than me… or, maybe, it’s  to make me feel like I’m behind in the newest lingo?

I always thought being blessed was when God looked down with favor. I guess I didn’t learn to tell everyone about it.  I was taught that it was rude to brag about our possessions or good fortune.  Maybe, if they answered that they were Blessed, but then expressed a little bit of interest in me…  I’d be blessed by their attention!