Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Aliens Are Back

Thanks to Tiffany, the aliens are back. My sweet little puppies have turned in to mini-coneheads. Apparently, to get a Yorkie's ears to stand up, one has to tape them together in a unique way. When Tiffany first told me about it, I imagined some masking tape that would attach in one piece to hold both ears together. I wondered how the tape would stay on, and that should have been my first clue.

To prepare for their ears being taped, Mindy and I had to shave them as short as possible. Tiff said that it will make it easier on the puppies when we pull the tape off, which only stays on for two days. (But it sure seems like a LONG two days.) The puppies fought me and Mindy with all their strength when we put the little nose trimmer to their ears. I finally had to wrap them in a flannel blanket to hold their legs tight, and then hold their heads as steady as possible while Mindy did the shaving. After a few minutes they all settled down and accepted their fate. Except one. Which puppy is the most spoiled and naughty? That would be the one that I am keeping. Chloe. She has a LOT of strength for such a teeny little thing.

So. I went on a horseback ride, and when I came home, my puppies were gone (except for Linus, who was spared the taped ears), and out came happy little aliens jumping around my feet. It really is quite a sight to see, and I must admit that I am so happy that I didn't have to help Tiffany to put the duct tape on their ears. She is a brave soul, and she did a great job. Tomorrow the tape comes off, and the puppies ears should be sticking up instead of flopping down.

Tiffany is going to remove the tape for me. I think I might have to run out on an errand for a few minutes while she does the unveiling. I know, it is so mean of me to leave her alone to do the dirty work. But I am going to tell her that there is something I just HAVE to do (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). I'll have to give Tiffany one of my lungs to pay her back for all of the help she has given me through this whole puppy process. It has been truly wonderful, and I love my little aliens so much. Still, I'll be glad when the tape comes off ...
On the left, tape! On the right, just shaved.

Side view

Front view - my Chloe

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sierra Picks A Puppy

Sierra is my sister's daughter. When Sierra was born, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. If I put my finger just underneath her toes, she would curl her toes around my finger. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven every time I got to see her. Naturally, I would have to wait another four or five years before Rick and I adopted Kelly, so Sierra was like a child for both me and Rick.

As Sierra grew, I fell even more in love with her. I felt like I was Sierra's other mother. I even told her that, just so she'd know! And the funny thing was, Sierra liked all of the things I liked. She was so much like me it was eerie. Her birthday is one day after mine. So I was wondered why CHRISTY got Sierra, and not ME.

Sierra has all of my good qualities and none of the bad ones. Sierra made me a cd of her favorite songs, and now they are my favorite songs. We love all of the same things. We are so much alike, sometimes Christy will call me up to tell me something Sierra has said or done "that is SO like you, Nancy!" It tickles me to hear it. Needless to say, Sierra is my soul-mate.

One of the things that Sierra and I loved together was my dog Annie. Sierra called her Annie Puppy. Annie Puppy loved Sierra as much as Sierra loved Annie Puppy. It made sense that if Gracie had puppies, I should give one to Sierra. When I told Sierra that she could have one of Gracie's puppies, Sierra decided to surprise her husband, Daren, and give him a puppy for his birthday. It just about killed me keeping that secret. I wanted to email Sierra and Daren every adorable picture I took of each puppy. I wanted to call them when I heard the puppies bark for the first time.

Finally, FINALLY, Sierra and Daren came on Friday night to pick out a puppy. They were so cute, they brought us yummy dinner. Sierra had a little blue collar with the name Linus engraved on a metal tag. We had such a wonderful time that night. However, Sierra and Daren had a very big decision. Which puppy would they pick?

It was so much fun watching them play with the puppies. Daren was like a little kid in a candy shop. I was just so happy that they were keeping one of the puppies, which meant that I would not have to say goodbye to the puppy they chose. It didn't matter which one they picked ... but once they decided on Linus, we could tell it was a perfect fit. Linus is very playful, but also very mellow. When he sleeps, he sleeps through being moved around and lots of noise. Daren has that same quality (Once I painted a bright pink heart around each of Daren's eyes while he was sleeping.) so I think they picked the right puppy. Honestly, I don't know who was more excited to get Linus, both Sierra and Daren were so adorable. Sierra would hand Linus to Daren and say, "Go to daddy." They now have a new baby. And me? I get to see Linus any time I want, and share another wonderful miracle with my sweet soul-mate, Sierra.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Paula

Dear Paula,

It was ten years ago today that you left this world. I didn't find out until Sunday, when your obituary was in the paper. Thank goodness Mom called me to tell me. I went straight over to visit your mother. I sat there in your home, stunned that you were gone. I sat in the room where we sang so many songs together and you played the piano. I've never met anyone who was as talented at playing the piano as you were, Paula. I still sing some of the songs we used to harmonize together. My girls sing them with me now. You always took the high part because I didn't have your fantastic voice range.

Remember the song you wrote? I still remember every single word you sang, and every single note you played. In fact, when I mentioned it to your mother, she'd never heard you sing it before. She asked ME to sing it for her. ME! Only you would know how mortified I was ... for so many reasons (Your mom and I have quite a history. One that entertained you immensely.) But you also know that I could not disappoint your mother when she had just lost her daughter, so I sang it to her in a shaky voice.

Maybe I will run away

face it all another day

Maybe when I'm gone I'll find

someone else will be on my mind

I can

I can

I can

I can

I can

I'm sorry I didn't come and see you before you passed away. You were so accomplished and had done so many things, and I was a mother of three girls, struggling to make ends meet. If I'd known how depressed you were, or that you had even undergone shock treatments, I would have been there right beside you. My own mother had shock treatments. I would have known how to comfort you. Your mother told me you were so depressed, you took medicine on a shedule even throughout the night. She said you accidentally overdosed. But in my heart, and in my mind, I remember everything you went through when we were best friends. I have wondered so many times, over the last ten years, if you took your own life. Why does it matter? Because I'd know that you were defeated in every way, at rock bottom, and completely hopeless. I know that feeling, Paula. I know it well. Some say it is a selfish act, but then sometimes we feel like we might be ruining the lives of our loved ones. Or maybe, just maybe, we have no strength left to breathe.

It haunts me still, Paula. I want to know because I would feel better knowing that it was an accident. And yet everything inside me tells me you were ready to go to sleep. I wish I'd known how bad things had gotten for you. You were always the funny one. You had Barbra Streisand down better than she did herself. You even sang "Memories" at our graduation (that was so cool, by the way.). You had an IQ off the charts, a sense of humor that everyone loved. You were amazing. You also saved me.
I can honestly say that my life would be much different if you had not asked me to be your locker parnter that late summer night. It was the last MIA party of the summer at Murray Park. It was almost time to go home. We were sitting on the door of the station wagon, soaked to the skin, swinging our feet in the cool breeze. Debbie and Jeanie said they were going to be locker partners, and I froze, because in 7th grade I got stuck with a party girl who stole all of my stuff and put the fear of death in me every time I saw her. Then you smiled and asked me if I had a locker partner. In that moment my life changed. I belonged, Paula, and you were the one who let me in.
Ten years later I still grieve terribly for you. I miss you so much. Sometimes I pray, and ask Heavenly Father to send you a message. There are so many times that I think of you during the day. The girls and I will be dancing together to a song that I know you would love. I wish you could come and ride horses with me. Remember how we used to pretend we were horses, and we would jump fences and bushes? Paula, I've got my own horse now! She is wonderful. I hope you get a chance to see her, and to see us together, because when I am riding Scamper, that is the one time I do not feel afraid.

You left us ten years ago today. How I wish you were here. We used to hang out in your room and listen to music day and night. You had excellent taste in music, of course. One song that we enjoyed very much together was "The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles. I'm playing it here in honor of your memory. No, I won't be singing your song to anyone publicly, but I did sing it a lot today, in the privacy of my own room.

I know that your friendship was a gift to me from my Father in Heaven. I have so much to tell you since I last saw you, Paula. There is so much that has happened. But I'm surviving, and my life is filled with love and happiness. I just wanted to let you know that I believe I'm here today because you were there for me way back when I was lost and alone. I will always love you, Paula Jeanne Hawker. Always.

I miss you,

P.S. I don't even have a picture of you ... will you visit me in my dreams?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008