Tag: pets

Mar 13

The Bubble Life

Sure, I live in a bubble. Why? Don’t you?

Think about the inner world you’ve created inside the world at large. What fills your home, your bedroom, your office? Not the paperwork and laundry that haunt us all. I’m talking about the things you’ve deliberately chosen to surround you. What do they say about who you are?

Image via Unsplash/kazuend

I was thinking this morning, I have a lot. Just the other day, I wrote a post about minimalism (and I intend to keep that as my goal), yet I look around my home and see how much I have.

I’m okay with this, to some extent. The clutter can go, but I can’t imagine living in austere surroundings. I need soft, comfortable seating. I need pillows for sofas and warm blankets for huddling down inside all winter long. It turns out I have a couple of collections, too, even though I claim not to like collecting. More accurately, I don’t like collecting things just for the sake of collecting them. For me, collections have to fulfill another purpose.

These are the things I collect: books, milk glass.

The books because …they’re books. They’re beautiful, though, aren’t they? With their different colored spines? The old books–which are generally my favorites–sometimes have raised designs on their covers, plus they have that old book scent. The pages have that certain feel under your fingertips. Books, they all stand there so quietly on your shelves, like these silent friends who are always ready to open up their arms, to welcome you in with a good story just when you need it most. So, yes, I collect books.

Milk glass is a newer thing for me to collect. I think I like it because my grandmom always had some (and I now have some of her pieces). I especially like the white on white patterns–the ones with the raised hobnails or grape vines. I enjoy milk glass for its simplicity and functionality. I love pottery for the same reasons–the beauty and function tied together. I guess you could say I have a pottery collection, too, but I don’t have many pieces. One bowl came from a local crafter (I requested it as my birthday present one year), and the rest are priceless, made by my children’s hands.

So, books and milk glass and pottery. Photographs, too, because I treasure my photos. Oh, and also the handmade pieces–the crocheted blankets I’ve made for each of us, the plates my grandmother painted. Those things are all part of my bubble world.

Along with the creativity inherent in these things–the books and pottery and plates–there are also paintings and music. Some of the paintings we have created; others have been made by professional artists. I love the thought of gathering local art, especially, though I only have a few such prints. What a wonderful thing, to have the story and the beautiful painting. We have music, too–lots of different kinds of music–for listening, for singing, for dancing. Art of all kinds fills my bubble.

Yet, the best parts of my bubble world are the living things. The people go without saying, because I don’t think my husband or I could imagine a world without our children–they’re the center. I’m talking about the non-necessities, which still feel very necessary to me: the animals, the plants. You might say I collect them as well, because we have so many, but I wouldn’t use the word collect. I’d use the word welcome.

Not my houseplant, not my cat, but I already love them both

(mine wouldn’t pose)

Image via Unsplash/Linnea Sandbakk

I welcome these living beings and these little treasures into my home because they are the kinds of things I want to have surrounding me and my family.

I want, for us, the living energy of plants, the love and companionship of animals. I want the stories of other worlds, other times, other lives. I want poetry to show us meaning where we might have missed it. I want photographs to bring memories back to life–memories of times past and, sometimes, people past. I want pottery and plates that still carry the energy of the hands that made them. I want music to open up our spirits, and artwork to remind us of the beauty all around us.

These are the things I choose to welcome into our bubble world. What about you? What fills your bubble? Have you consciously sought those things or, like me, have many of them simply arrived?

Aug 30

My Favorite Coffee Substitutes

I’d so like to be a “real” grownup and have a love affair with my daily cuppa: Joe, Mud, Brew, Java, Daily Grind, Bean Juice, Brain Juice, Go Juice, Jitter Juice, Battery Acid, Cup of Jolt, Liquid Lightning, Mojo, Tar, and my current favorite, Brewtus. But alas, no. Coffee is just not that into me (see: Jitter Juice), so we’ve agreed to keep it platonic.

Sylwia Bartyzel

Image via Unsplash/Sylwia Bartyzel

*sigh* unrequited love

So, how have I been filling my coffee-deprived mornings? Well, I drink tea sometimes, but … besides that? Pets. You heard me right. Pets.

Unless it’s raining buckets or bum-freezing cold, I plunk myself down on my front step first thing in the AM, sporting whatever mismatched concoction served as last night’s pajamas, topped off with my crazy morning hair. Then, I hang for a while with my four-leggeds.

Sure, it takes some finesse to pet four furry beings at once (side note: I’ve been brainstorming ways to add extra hands to busy-mom torsos, but still have only two as of yet. I’ll update you if there are any changes on that front). A cup of Brewtus  might give me the energy boost all that petting requires, but since coffee and I are still only friends, I rely on the sparkle of sunlight, the freshness of morning breezes, and the faces of these four lovelies to start my day off right:

Copy of Spring 2011 and Sean's First Communion 012 (2)

Beloved Queen Molly, ruler of all. She mainly divides her time between permitting well-deserved head pets or perfectly-placed chin scratches, and surveying her royal subjects from the elevation of a nearby table top. She also occasionally likes to swat at lowly canines, but only as a hobby. She is a Master Purrer and goes by the nickname World’s Bravest Cat, for consistently tolerating the obsessive stares and stalkings of a certain infatuated Golden Retriever.


Nellie Bean, aka Sweetest Beagle Ever. She tap dances when she gets really excited, but usually starts her morning with a short explore, before returning with a crooked smile and a distinctive waddle on her four-inch legs. She’s so thoughtful, she’ll even lift her front paw to make tummy rubbing an easier task. She can’t get enough of kisses or cuddles and does a spot-on impression of a stuffed animal (only her snoring gives her away). This senior-aged pup honestly couldn’t be more wonderful if she tried.


Miss Tess or Tessa Monster, depending on how high she’s set her sass meter at any given moment. She goes from attaining a state of perfect zen inside the house (have you ever seen a dog meditate? because I have), to becoming head-spinning incensed that a bee has dared to look at her family the wrong way. She’s also the universe’s fastest runner and a world-renowned escape artist (the two titles go hand-in-hand from what I understand). She has appointed herself guard duty over our morning porch sessions, but every so often she stops by for some ear rubs and a kiss–or two or five–on the head.


Last, but never least (especially if he has anything to say about it), is our Bodhi Bear. No, he should definitely NOT be sitting on that seat in the photo above, but what can I say? The dog sees a chair and believes he belongs in it (just ask our vet) and, besides, he has a pretty fantastic smile. (We made him get down immediately after the photo-op, by the way!) Mr. Bodhi Licious is certain he’s still a very tiny puppy, so he spends our mornings on the front step squeezing himself between “Mom” and any furry family member who is vying for attention. All too often that ends with him plopping his 70+ pound self onto my lap.

So there you have it, a glimpse of the magic that gets my mornings going. It’s no Cup of Sludge, but it’ll do. Besides, two of our furry loves were recently diagnosed with illnesses (thyroid and heart conditions) 🙁 and are also into their double-digits, so we’re treasuring every moment we’re given.

Our motto: seize the morning and the day will follow!


*One more aside: three of these four were official rescues and the last was “rescued” from a less-than ideal situation, so as you can see, we are all for adopting! Including these guys and former pets (whom we’ve loved into old age and beyond), we’ve adopted from small, local animal rescues, as well as larger shelters.

Please spay and neuter and remember to support your local rescues and shelters! 🙂

Mar 18

Fun Friday!

Since it’s another Fun Friday, thought I’d share a photo of one of my writing buddies….  We thought he was a Golden Retriever, but it turns out he’s an elusive, rarely-photographed Pillow Retriever.

Honestly. He’s waiting to go outside and he’s hoping I won’t notice he’s trying to take something with him.


Hope you all have a Fun Friday and an even better weekend!  Take care!