You Capture My Year In Review

I’ve been trying to participate in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way)  It’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week’s was “My Year in Review.”

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then do your best to visit the other participants’ sites – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is Your Winter. Everyone will post pictures of what winter is like where they live. That should be interesting, don’t y’all think?

And yes, I realize that today is Friday. I wanted to have this ready yesterday, but I’ve been working 12 hour shifts all week. The last few weeks have been brutal, y’all. I feel like it’s been all I could do to just keep my head above water. Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve were spent working. The whole month of December was pretty much a blur.

Today is the first day of a seven day break for us. (We work really odd hours in case you didn’t know.) I’m hoping to get back on track in the next seven days with a lot of things; eating healthier, cleaning my pig pen house, trying on clothes I got for Christmas, putting away Christmas stuff (ugh!) managing piles of laundry, catching up with friends and family, getting reacquainted with my hubby and last but not least, blogging.

But today, I’m dedicating to doing as little as possible. If that means lying around in my bathrobe drinking Bloody Marys all day, so be it. Reminiscing about last year is a good way to start off the week.

In January, we had a rare sprinkling of snow. It hardly ever snows on the coast of North Carolina, and when it does, we all lose our minds, y’all. Everybody except the damn Yankees, like my husband, who have moved down here to make fun of all of us silly southerners enjoy our balmy weather.

February was spent worrying about our love tree. We call it our “love tree” because when we first met, it was just a little stick in the ground, basically. There was some discussion about whether or not to just pull it up. But when I revealed to Jeff that a former boyfriend of mine had said that this tree “would never amount to anything”, Jeff decided to dedicate his life to making this tree grow.

After much fertilizing, it is now taller than our house. But we may have fertilized it a bit too much last year. As you can see in the photo, it developed a nasty split right down the middle of it’s trunk last winter.

March brought a chance to enjoy a golf getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jeff and I got a terrific deal on Ebay. We stayed two nights at a resort, played three different golf courses and took in a show at The Palace.

April was spent getting ready for my first grandchild! I gave my son and his girlfriend an Eco Baby Shower and almost went crazy in the process. You can read all about my ordeal  here. Amazingly, I found enough time to blog about it.

In May, my darling little grand daughter, Freya, was born.

Also in May, my oldest son, Kyle, not only graduated from college, but he and his wife, Erika, found out that they were finally going to have a baby! What perfect timing!

In June, we made the painful decision  to take the chain saw to the “love tree.” Jeff loped off half of it, hoping it would continue to survive –  as strong as our love for each other has. Six months later, it appears to be doing fine, just a little on the crooked side.

July was spent going on vacation to Busch Gardens and hanging out at Wrightsville Beach. This is one of my favorite photos we took this year. This is Jeff’s daughter and her friend, fighting the surf. These two fourteen year olds from Upstate New York were more than happy to spend the summer down here,working on their tans…

…and their texting skills.

In August we hosted our annual chicken spiedie dinner. It was my mother’s birthday, and she enjoyed playing patty cake with her great grand daughter, Freya, who was getting so big!

In September, we took the girls back to New York and spent some time outdoors with our rottweiler, Hannah, enjoying the last bits of summer.

October was a hard month. My son and his girlfriend moved to another state 800 miles away, taking my precious little grand daughter with them. They brought her over so we could say good bye.

The cooler fall weather in November inspired us to try out our golfing skills at a beautiful golf course, Lockwood Folly Country Club in Shallote, NC.

And the end of the month, on Thanksgiving Day, my grandson, Kole, was born! Another baby, another blessing!

December was spent getting to know this little guy! I took a week of vacation after he came home from the hospital to stay with Kyle and Erika and help out with Kole. And, of course, I have spent countless hours trying to capture this adorable face with my camera.

You Capture Fall

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One of the best things about fall in Wrightsville Beach, NC, is that the dogs are allowed to be on the beach again. We look forward to being able to take our rottweiler, Hannah, for walks on the beach and the weather is still warm enough to make it enjoyable. You can tell from the expression on Hannah’s face that she loves it, too.

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The leaves in the mountains of North Carolina are spectacular this time of year. We try to find the time to get there during the fall to enjoy the crisp fall air and the fall colors. The above photo was taken at Chimney Rock, near Lake Lure.

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Wilmington, NC, is a perfect location for a fall wedding. The weather is perfect and you can have your wedding photographs taken with the beautiful ocean or river as a backdrop. This is my oldest son and daughter in law at their perfect October wedding in 2005. I love the colors of pumpkin and gold she chose and the happy smiles on everyone’s faces.

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Aren’t they just stunning in their wedding finery? I love them both so much. Happy Anniversary, Kyle and Erika. Now the two of them, along with us, are eagerly awaiting a son and our our first grandson in late December or early January. Life could just not get any better at our house, y’all. Really.

I found a new photo blog to participate in on Thursdays! It’s called You Capture. Every week there is new theme. This week’s was “Fall.” I immediately thought of these pictures – how they illustrate the beauty of fall in my little corner of the world.

How about y’all? What photos do you have that give you the feeling of fall?

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then, do your best to visit the other participants’ site – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is the color red. I really have some great red shots that I can’t wait to share!

Dog Owners Have Feelings Too

spincyclesmallI’ve told y’all this story before. But it seemed perfect for this week’s Spin Cycle topic, “Pets.”  So, I’m telling it again doing a re-run because I’m southern and we love to repeat ourselves it’s a subject that I’m passionate about.


IMG_0049I love my dog, Hannah. She is like my own child. She is the “baby” that my husband and I could not have. We really feel that way about her. If, God Forbid, we were to ever get divorced, I’m sure we would fight over custody of her.

Now I realize there are folks who are not dog lovers. I don’t understand it, but I know they are out there. What I don’t understand is how someone can dislike an innocent creature, who has done them no harm, to such an extent that they don’t care if they insult the owners. Because, let’s face it, y’all, owners are people. Usually people that these dog haters profess to care about.

So here’s my spin on this. And listen, if you love a person, try not to shudder when their furry child walks into the room. Really, y’all. It’s rude.

How Could You Not Just Love Her?

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This is my Rottweiler, Hannah, and me. We are lying on our tummies at the top of our stairs, waiting for “Dad” to come back.  Hannah has  hip dysplasia, an affliction that is,  unfortunately, common to a lot of rotts.  It makes it difficult for her to go up and down stairs and she requires alot of assistance. But she will endure all kinds of pain, if it means she gets to spend a little quality time being petted by mom and dad, while they watch TV in their Man Room. And getting a few bites of “people food” sweetens the pot a little, too, of course.

To get her up the stairs, one of us has to go ahead of her and call her. One of us has to get behind her and push her bottom as she painfully pulls herself up. Getting her back down is even more of an ordeal. I walk down backwards,  taking each step slowly and stopping on each one, to pat the previous step and call her. Hannah will come down one step at a time, with careful little hops, pausing to look at me plaintively between each step. When she finally reaches the bottom, she jumps onto the waiting area rug with a little triumphant flourish and a wag of her nub, as if to say, “I made it one more time, Mom!”

So going up to the Man Room, to spend the evening watching a movie, is quite a production at our house. Once up there, Hannah has to stay until we come down for bed. If we make a quick  trip down for a potty break, she lies at the top of the stairs in utter despair (we call it the “Great and Powerful Sadness”) until we return. I love the expressions on her regal face, and this one always gets to me. Who couldn’t love her right to death, y’all?

My stepmother, that’s who.

Twice a year, my daddy, “Pa Bill”,  and his lovely wife, Shelba, travel six hours from their mountain home… to visit us, ya’ll. They know we have a dog. They know her name is Hannah. They know we love her just like one of our own children. But, when they show up for their Royal Visit, my stepmother, who acts like every dog in the world  is a  snarling hound from hell, ready to tear her limb from limb, will call Hannah “it” or “he”.

As in, “Ah’m asceered to go in the house, ’cause Ah’m asceered It will bite me!” This, as she stands firmly rooted to the spot, outside the front door, refusing to come inside, until we assure her, multiple times, that the dog is not even HERE! It is at grandma’s house for the evening. Then she’ll ask, “Are you sure he’s not here?  Ah’m afeared of Rock-wilders and Ah’m allergic to dawgs.”

We’ve gone down this road before, y’all.  Back in the beginning of our dog ownership, we tried, during the Royal Visit, introducing our sweet, adorable Hannah to her “step-grandmother.” To describe it as a “disaster” doesn’t even come close, y’all. After watching Shelba shudder and convulse every time Hannah even looked at her, we decided to put her in the bedroom and shut the door. Well, you just don’t do that to a dog who goes into mourning every time you go downstairs to take a pee break for a few minutes. Naturally, she tried scratching on the door.

SCRATCH on the bedroom door.

Shelba almost faints. “OH MY GOD, BEE-ILL!” She clutches my dad’s arm, in terror. “What was that?”

“It’s just Hannah, scratching at the door,” I explain, trying to stay calm.

Hannah hears her name. SCRATCH.

Shelba practically jumps straight off the couch, clutching madly at my father. “AH’M AFRAID HE’S GOIN’ TO GET ME!”  she wails.

Hannah, hearing all the excitement, decides to bark. A very polite bark, but still.

By now Shelba is all but having a nervous breakdown. She’s shuddering, she’s trembling, she’s probably wet her “bloomers”. My dad is staring at me accusingly, as if I am the perpetrator of a diabolical plot to drive his poor bride mad.

“She can’t get out! She’s not going to bite you! She just wants to come in and say hello!” I try to explain.

“Ah just don’t know why you’s cain’t put him in the yah’rd,” Shelba says, tearfully.

“Well,” I say. “We don’t have a fenced in yard and our homeowners association won’t let us put a dog outside unless there’s a fence or she’s on a leash.”

“Well you could tie hit to a tree, couldn’t you?”

“No Shelba. It’s December. It’s 30 degrees out there. I’m not putting Hannah outside in this weather and TIE HER TO A TREE!”

Hannah hears her name. SCRATCH.

At this point, I made an executive decision, y’all. I decided that I would never, ever, as long as I live, put myself through this scenario again. So now, when Pa Bill and Shelba come for their annual Christmas visit, Hannah gets to go and spend the night at Grandma’s house. Hannah has been going to Grandma’s house for at least three years now, and Shelba still stands in the front yard, afraid to come in, until we assure her, repeatedly, that the vicious “Rock-wilder” is not here.

img_0150Funny thing is, Shelba, bless her heart, doesn’t mind our cat. And to tell you the truth, the cat would probably bite her quicker than Hannah ever would. Shoot. To tell you the truth, I’d probably bite her quicker than Hannah would. Not that I ever would, or anything, y’all. I’m just sayin’.

A Thousand Words Thursday

So, I found another photography meme called A Thousand Words Thursday. It is hosted by Jen, at Cheaper that Therapy. I think she’s on to something, myself. The idea behind this one is to post a picture that is worth a thousand words. On Thursday. If it’s that easy, I’m all for it, y’all.

Here’s my picture for the day. Her name is Hannah, and she’s my baby. And yes, she’s one of those mean old Rottweilers. Can’t you just tell she’s viscous, from the look in her eyes? Y’all can fill in all the thousands of words that go with it by yourselves.

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Y’all can see lots of other folks photos, that are worth thousands of  words by visiting here. Be sure to leave lots of bloggy love!

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What is this dog thinking?

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This here’s Hannah, my rottweiler. The crazy man in this picture…. is our dear friend, Kirk. We love him, but….I think you can actually figure out quite alot about Kirk, just from the expression on Hannie’s face.

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And this here’s what happens to ya, when you try to get all kissy facey with a 105 pound Rottweiler’s big cement block of a head. Especailly one that has that “look” on her face!