Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthday girl

Ms. Chelsea Kabob Bennett
 When I moved down here in November of '07,  I knew at some point that I wanted to get a dog.  I started doing research.  I wasn't certain what I wanted, but I knew I did not want a big dog.  I am five foot two inches tall and don't care to be jumped on by big dogs.  I did a lot of research on the internet.  I thought that I wanted to get a Corgi.  I thought I wanted to get a tri-color because they are different.  I knew I didn't want to have a dog shipped because I think that is cruel.  Then I started to look for a breeder that might be local and I found one in the next town south of us.  I started emailing with the woman at the farm.  Then we spoke on the phone.  I arranged a time to go "look" at puppies.  Chelsea was born June 30, 2008.
I came home and told Doug I was going out to the farm to "look" at puppies and asked if he wanted to go with me.  The puppies were only three weeks old.  The runt had died and Chelsea was the smallest of the remaining pups.  People ask me how I picked her and I tell them that Chelsea picked me.  I was holding Chelsea and she licked my arm.  I put her down on the ground of the farm lot and she made swimming motions but could barely move.  Before we left I paid my deposit so that the breeder would hold her for me. 
On the way home Doug told me in no uncertain terms that he thought she was mentally deficient.  I asked him why and he said it was because she couldn't even walk.  I told him that she was a baby and asked him if he could walk on gravel when he was three weeks old on his knees and elbows. 
Two weeks later we went back to visit.  I went into a shed to get Chelsea.  She had turned into a ball of fluff.  I walked out of the shed and Doug melted.  That was the day he fell in love with Chelsea.  We visited one more time before we were able to bring her home at eight weeks of age. 
Anyone who has a Corgi knows how wonderful they are.  They also know how much they shed.  The shedding is the only drawback.  I like to say "how long do you brush a Corgi?  Until your arm gets tired!"  I have a furminator and she loves to be brushed.  Corgis are very smart.  We did agility with Chelsea when she was one year old and she loved it.  When you talk a Corgi they always cock their heads when they listen to you.  Chelsea understands certain words.  We have to spell "w-a-l-k and f-r-i-s-b-e-e."  She is a champion frisbee catcher and will play fetch until she (or the person throwing) drops.  She loves to play tug of war and growls like a pit bull.  She is very ferocious.  Chelsea loves to swim and fetch sticks in the water.
She is always gentle with children.  She is polite when I take her out for a walk and never lunges at people or other dogs.  She just walks straight ahead and minds her own business.  Now, if you come to our house for a visit, that is another story.  She says "Mom and Dad who?"  and "Isn't this fun- they came to see me!"  Everyone loves Chelsea.  People who don't care for Chelsea just don't care for dogs. 
She has recently matured enough that we have started to allow her to stay out of her kennel at night and while we are at work.  She does like her kennel though and seems to regard it as a safe spot.  She is a very good girl and I am so glad that she picked me to be her person.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


When I studied French, one of my favorite words was the word for paper- papier. 
When Liz came to visit, this is the gift that she brought to me- a paper wreath.  She did such an amazing neat and tidy.  Just perfect.
I. Love. It!
Doesn't the front door look great with red, white and blue?
When I googled paper wreaths, there are lots of websites with information.
This, in my opinion, is one of the more informative websites.
Thanks, Liz!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another weekend with a special guest

My guest this weekend was a friend I've known for years.  She was a student at Ball State when I met her.  We were hiring a student assistant and she came in to apply.  She was far more capable than any of the other applicants.  At the time, she had a lip ring, which I wasn't crazy about.  But when it came down to hiring, I told the director "I want the girl with the lip-ring."  The lip ring didn't last, so it was all good.   It would have been wonderful even if the lip-ring had lasted. 

Liz was around when I first met Doug.  He and I had been emailing, but I had never heard his voice.  For our first meeting, he came to take me to lunch.  I kind of freaked out.  I said "what if his voice sounds like Mickey Mouse?"  Liz basically said "shut up and go to lunch with him."  So I did.  We had fun this weekend telling Doug about that.  And Doug actually has a very nice voice and doesn't sound like Mickey Mouse at all. 

In the guest room to welcome Liz- 
 I found the sunflowers at Kroger and then traisped all over the yard shortly before she arrived cutting stuff in the yard to fill out the bouquet. 

When she arrived on Friday I had chess squares prepared (chess cake, chess pie- whatever you call it).  I also had some appetizers prepared.  Then we headed downtown and walked about.  We ended up at Nick's- which is a Bloomington institution.  (Made even more famous when Obama visited.)

On Saturday morning Liz and I went to Farmer's Market and then to have brunch at Runcible Spoon.  We visited the Goodwill Vintage Vogue shop which is the best of the best of Goodwill.  Liz scored a vintage lamp with a green glass globe at the bottom and two glass bottles. 

That evening, Doug, Liz and I attended a party.  A professor from the law school had invited me.  There was a live band on the screened porch of the house.  I took a layered bean dip and Doug made his famous rice krispy treats.  Then Liz and I sat at the kitchen table until midnight and talked. 

This morning we paid a visit to the chicken coop.  Liz had never held a chicken, before.  I think this is a beautiful picture of Liz meeting Ella.
 This is me and Marvella.  Does anyone know what kind of chicken she is?  I do not. 
 Today we had lunch at Upland's. 
We had a wonderful, fun, relaxing all too brief weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Leetle Seester

Last summer I invited my Leetle Seester, Jan, to come down for a visit.  It didn't work out. 
Recently, I invited her to come down this past weekend.  This time she showed up. 
 I was ready. 
I had the welcome planter planted.
The welcome to the farm sign was out. 
 The Mary Engelbreit "Let's put the fun back in dysfunctional" flower holder was in the door.  This flower holder was my sister's birthday gift.  This theme has been present in our lives for several years and something that makes us giggle.  I actually allowed her to leave and forgot to give this to her...I called as she drove away and said
come back- you forgot something!
Do you know how you know when you are old?  You know you are old when your "LITTLE SISTER" is turning FIFTY.  Yeah.  That means I am "ahem," almost three years older than she is.  We went to Malibu to have a little birthday lunch for her.  She had the Thai noodle salad and I was able to entice her to join me in having a Long Island iced tea. 
 Then our adorable, adorable waiter brought her a little birthday surprise.  I had commented that he was so cute that I wanted to put him in my purse and take him home with me.  MY SISTER TOLD HIM WHAT I HAD SAID!  I about died of embarrassment.
He was nice enough to take a pic of the two of us.  Jan on the left.  Moi...on the right.
We did the Farmer's Market and the Arts Fair on the Square.  My sister bought a brass dragonfly for me...and a pair of earrings for herself.  They "spoke" to her.  When something speaks to have to buy it!
Then we went home to fetch the duggles and chillax for a bit, then returned to do the Taste of Bloomington.  This is us with our "TASTE" stamps on our wrists. 
And here is my sister, having an amazing time...
Do we even know what this means?  Should you be doing this in public?

I was the tallest student in my school in the sixth grade.  I was five foot, two inches tall.  And then I stopped growing.  There was a point when my sister passed me up and I could wear some of the things she couldn't. (Mostly tops, her legs are twice as long as mine.)  We called these items "hand me ups."  My sister is something like five foot ten or eleven.  My brother is six foot, one inch.  She is almost three years younger, he is two years younger.  So we  have always made a big deal of my calling them my "little" sister and "little" brother and they call me their "big" sister.  We have a lot of Christmas photos with me in the middle and them to either side, hanging on my shoulders.  No matter how old we get, this is how it shall be. 
My sister's birthday is tomorrow.  The big five-oh.
Happy Birthday Leetle Seester!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear Southwest Airlines

Yes, you.  Southwest Airlines.  Do I have your attention, now?  Since you won't allow me to correspond with you via email, you've forced me to take to my microphone to the world. 

Last Thursday I was headed from BWI to IND.  I had a 6:15 p.m. flight out.  I checked in at 5:01 p.m. and had my boarding pass in hand stating that we were on schedule and leaving at 6:15 p.m. 
At 5:02 p.m. I received a text from Southwest saying that we were delayed to 9:15 p.m. 

Then I received a text from Southwest saying that we were delayed to 9:35 p.m.
Then I received a text from Southwest saying that we were delayed to 10:10 p.m.
It was 12:30 a.m. when I took my VERY WET luggage off of the luggage carousel at IND. 
It was 2:00 a.m. when I got home.  Because certain items were red and the red had bled onto other items in my bag I was forced to start a load of laundry.

The next day I was returning this book
to my local library.  As I flipped through the book I noticed that half of the book and the back cover were soaked through.  I took the book to the counter and was told there was a distinct possibility that I might have to pay the replacement value of $27.00 for the book.  At that point the book was turned over for evaluation by the library.
I returned to my office and sent Southwest an email via their website telling them of the possibility of a claim.  I received an automated email saying someone would contact me. 

Here is the email from Claude with Southwest:

Dear Cheryl,

We were sorry to learn that you found your item(s) damaged when you opened your checked bag.

Southwest Airlines requires that Customers report any damage to checked luggage within four hours after arrival of the flight on which the damage is alleged to have occurred. We have this provision to our Contract of Carriage in place to ensure that we accept liability only for loss or damage that occurred while the item was in our care. The more time that lapses between a Customer's flight and the time that loss or damage is reported, the greater the chance that, oftentimes unbeknownst to the Customer, loss or damage occurred while the item was outside of our care or immediate supervision. After reviewing our records, we have no indication that a claim was filed within the required timeframe[sic].

We regret any disappointment that this policy may cause.


Claude, Southwest Airlines
Once again, there was no way to respond to the email.
When I checked my bags, they were not soaking wet.  The temperature was one hundred degrees.  It was not raining.  Not only were my bags not soaking wet- they were not wet at all.  When I took them off of the carousel at IND they were soaked.  Both bags.  Totally soaked.  The library book and another book that belonged to me were in the bottom of my bag.  The very bottom of the bag.  That is how wet the contents of the bag were.  While we were waiting to depart, there was a torrential thunderstorm.  Apparently our bags were loaded on the tram waiting to go onto the plane that wasn't there yet.  WHY would Southwest leave our bags sitting in the rain?  I was headed home after a week with family.  What if I were flying to a business meeting or a wedding? 
And although I loved Steve Martin's Object of Beauty, I wasn't going to buy it.  That is why I borrowed it from the library.  I am buying it now.  I paid $332.00 for my ticket with Southwest.  Despite all that was completely soaked, all I asked them to do was to reimburse the $27.00 that I have to pay to the library for the replacement value of the book. 
If you are reading this now, please learn from what happened to me- you have four hours to make your claim.  IF this ever happens to me again I will dump my bags right then and there on the Southwest counter. 

Here is a message from another disgruntled customer with a different airline:

Previously, I loved Southwest because you could check two bags without additional charges and because it was direct between IND and BWI.  Now I just feel frustrated with them.  I realize that $27.00 is not the end of the world but it is for that reason exactly that I don't understand why they can't reimburse for such a small amount of money.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Decked out

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
and the cotton is high
1935, George Gershwin- Porgy and Bess
lyrics by DuBose Heyward

When I was very young, Mother would play albums on the record player and the soundtrack from Porgy and Bess was always one of my favorites.  If you aren't familiar with it, you might check it out.  I especially love the Summertime song. 
Yesterday when I went to Farmer's Market, I filled my market basket with pots of flowers.  Today we went to one of my favorite places to purchase plants, Bloomington Valley Nursery.  I call it "Happy Valley."   Our good friend Jeanna works there. 
Once again I filled my market basket and then some.  I like my flower pots filled to overflowing.  I came home and planted and planted.  Seems everything I do I do to excess and today was no exception.  I nearly ran out of flower pots.  We have an old deck and we are using my old wicker set which is now 24 years old.  
These photos were taken this afternoon in the late afternoon light.  This is my deck- decked out.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a day for me

my view
I've recently returned from visiting my daughter on the east coast.  I went out to baby-sit for my grand-baby, Natalie.  I was in heaven.  We walked every day.  We  napped every day.  It was an amazing vacation. 
I flew out of Baltimore on Thursday night.  I checked in at 5:01 and had a boarding pass in my hand that said 6:15 p.m.  A minute later, at 5:02 p.m., I received a text saying we were delayed to 9:15 p.m.  I was SO ticked. I called my daughter and she she said "Ma, ma, ma- have a drink." 
I went to a wine bar and had drink(s). 
I was sitting in the bar and told the gal next to me "Now I just need a cute guy to buy drinks for me."  She told me that if that were the case, we would have to fight for him. 
I started to talk to her about where I was heading, about my daughter  and my daughter-in-law dropping me off at the airport and my lay-over and she suddenly asked if I were my daughter's mother.  She knew my daughter!  She worked on Capitol Hill and occasionally runs into my daugther in D.C.  She described D.C. as "a small town."  I can relate just because after living in any town for few years, this is how one feels. 
My fight was finally delayed to 10:10 p.m.  I got back home at 2:00 a.m. and went to work the next day.  I didn't go in until 10:00 a.m.., but I went. I was a zombie. It was a long day. 
Then we went to Doug's bosse's home for dinner at 8:00 p.m.  I just kept saying "we've gotta go." 
Today Doug was otherwise occupied and I was gloriously free.  I went to Farmer's Market and bought flowers to plant.
Then to another art show and many shops.  Then to Malibu to lunch and then to My Sister's Closet.  Then home.  It was a good day. 
I miss my baby and I swear I can conjure up her wonderful baby aroma. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Sand Pail (list)

spend time with:
The Munchkin
(my grand-daughter)
Daughter and daughter in-law
Son and girlfriend
Laura P. and Iz
the duggles
the Jennifer
the Karen (what happens on the porch stays on the porch OR what is said on the porch stays on the porch!)

the Marilyn and Jeanna
hike and/or camp with the Kathy R. and the (partay) Marti.

the Bectoria
the sister for her 50th
Debbie A.
Debbie K.
Cathy M.
and Cathy M.
Dr. Amy
Mary Jo S.
Rene R.
see my parents and brother.

Find time for ART
Watch movies

I've already cleaned out two closets so I am ahead of the game in the cleaning department. 

I want to:  work in the garden and nurture my FLOCK.  CAMP.  HIKE.  CANOE.  CAVE.  Pick and arrange bouquets of flowers.  Go to Farmer's Market.  Sit on the veranda and drink mint juleps.  Polish my toe nails.  Jump into a cool pool and catch my breath.  Watch a sunset and conversely, a sunrise.  Study the embers of a campfire and figure out what it is saying to me.  Go to the fair and eat a pickle, ear of corn, pineapple ice cream and nibble an elephant ear.  Watch the fireworks.  Kiss someone while lightening bugs light up the night.  Lay across a bed and doze while the oscillating fan strokes me with a breeze washing over my body. 
Walk in the sand and wade into the water.  This will most likely involve a LAKE.  Throw a stick into the water and hold my breath as Chelsea retrieves.  Stand by and scrunch my eyes as she shakes.  Breath deep and ignore the rivulets of sweat running down my back. 

Recently I was told that a man I know has cancer with a short time to live.  He went out and bought a convertible and said  to his wife:  "let's go!"  I guess if it came down to it, my sand pail list and my bucket list wouldn't be very different.  I want to spend time with those I love. 
I've also always wanted to take a hot air balloon ride and travel overseas.  Other than that...
What is on your list this summer?

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