Posted by: bree1972 | December 29, 2012

Here Comes 2013! 12/29/2012

Growing up, the day after Christmas was reserved for UN-decorating.  The tree came down, and all the tinsel, ornaments and special holiday trinkets were carried in boxes up the attic stairs by my Dad.  At the end of the day my Mom would look around the now uncluttered den and declare, “Back to normal!”

On Thursday, our two little “Scrooge” trees (as I dubbed them when they went up during my “poor me” pre-Christmas sadness) settled once again into the attic space provided by Ted’s organizational skills.  The Christmas villages (only a few came out this year) were packed into their original boxes.  The little knick-knacks placed in every room of the house – to at least give the appearance we were decorating – were picked up and packed into labeled boxes (so next year I remember what went where).  The wreaths were hung outside in our storage shed, where door decorations are swapped out with each turn of the season.  The furniture we moved into our bedroom to accommodate Christmas trees and gifts was returned to the den.  And on Thursday evening, I walked through the rooms and said, “Back to normal!”  Just like Mama.

Making Joyce’s Day

A couple of weeks ago, Bear and I and several other Pet Partner teams worked at both Morningside and Evergreen Assisted Living facilities.  At Evergreen, we are usually met in the day room by several residents who love animals, and we spend about an hour chatting and letting our four-legged partners work their magic.  On that particular day, there was a lady I hadn’t met before who had the most charming personality and happiest spirit.  She spoke English, but with a strong French accent I sometimes had trouble following.  It was crystal clear though that she loved our fur babies!  We asked for and received permission to photograph her and post the pics here.

Meet Ms. Joyce Perron, the livliest senior citizen I've met in a long time.  Here she holds Buddy.

Meet Ms. Joyce Perron, the liveliest senior citizen I’ve met in a long time. Here she holds Buddy.  Talk about a sparkling smile!

Meeting Bear for the first time, she talked to him as if she'd known him for years . . .

Meeting Bear for the first time, she talked to him as if he’d been away for a while and had just returned.

. . . and so was I!

Joyce was so animated that Bear was totally fascinated with her . . . and so was I!  Bear and I LOVE our work with Pet Partners!

After visiting that afternoon, we all met at Austin’s Steak House for a “Flash Mob”.  No, we didn’t jump up and sing to everyone – it’s just the name we’ve given to our at-least-once-a-month-get-togethers.  Austin’s allows us to bring our dogs (as long as we sit outside :))!

We had a good attendance that afternoon - some who worked that day and some who showed up just because they knew we'd be there!

We had a good crowd that afternoon – some who worked with their partners that day and some who showed up just because they knew we’d be there!

truman

Truman, the Goldendoodle who’s tall enough to put his head on the table, checked out all the appetizers.  Truman’s mom is Amy.

Sweet little Dewar couldn't put his head on the table, but once the food arrived . . .

Virginia’s sweet little Dewar couldn’t put his head on the table, but once the food arrived . . .

. . . it was pretty clear he thought he should have had a bite of those crab claws.

. . . it was pretty clear he thought he should have had a bite of those crab claws.

Our fearless leader, Marty Harris, on the right - with her mom (bet you'd never had guessed they were related!)

Our fearless leader, Marty Harris, on the right – with her mom Liz (bet you never would have guessed they were related!).

Marty is holding Sandra's little Jazzy, who is "in training" as a therapy dog.  She's still too young to be certified, but it's important that she learn to be calm around crowds of people.

Marty is holding Sandra’s little Jazzy, who is “in training” as a therapy dog. She’s still too young to be certified, but it’s important she learn to be calm around crowds of noisy people.

That's Buster, the giant Airedale.  He belongs to Cheryl.

That’s Buster, a giant Airedale. Cheryl is his mom.

Bear - getting cuddles from

Bear – getting cuddles from Judy.

Seriously, my dear readers, if you have a pet who you know could do this, and you have the time, you should really try to get hooked up with a Pet Partners group near you.  It is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, and you get to make friends with wonderful people who are true animal lovers.  You won’t be sorry!

What I Missed

Staying home sick while Ted went to Florida meant I missed seeing our beautiful granddaughter Jordan in her dance recital

Staying home sick while Ted went to Florida meant I missed seeing our beautiful granddaughter Jordan in her dance recital.  Sure wish I’d been there, but thankful for photos!

Home for Christmas

Having Jason and Blake home over the holidays certainly cheered me up.  We opened gifts, ate lots of good food, and enjoyed just hanging out together.

Bear was almost as happy as we were!  He loves having Blake . .

Bear was almost as happy as Ted and I were! He loved having Blake . .

. . . and Jason around to roughhouse

. . . and Jason home and made sure they gave him lots of attention.

Maddie had a little trouble getting to her gift . . .

Maddie had a little trouble getting to her gift . . .

. . . but once she got it out of the bag, she destroyed it in less than 10 minutes.

. . . but once she got it out of the bag, she destroyed it in less than 10 minutes.

Bear blissfully and softly mouthed his new stuffed toy . . . until Maddie snatched it away.  We rescued it though and put it away for him to play with when Maddie is outside.  Poor Bear.

Bear blissfully and softly mouthed his new stuffed toy . . . until Maddie snatched it away. We rescued it and put it away for him to play with when Maddie is outside. Poor Bear.

Well, Open/Shut My Mouth!

You know that little device I was complaining about . . .  the one that cost $1575 and was supposed to allow me to once more open my mouth open wide enough to eat a hamburger with no pain?

Ugly little sucker, isn't it?  Ugly - but worth every cent.  After only three nights of wearing it, I awoke to a mouth that once again worked like it is supposed to.  I shall gladly wear it from now on without one whisper of a complaint.  Wish I could say the same about Dudley, the apnea mask.

Ugly little sucker, isn’t it? Ugly – but worth every cent. After only three nights of wearing it, I awoke to a mouth that once again worked like God intended it to. I shall gladly wear it from now on without one whisper of a complaint. Wish I could say the same about Dudley, the apnea mask.

New Camera!

My sweet hubbie, the kids and the grandkids all pooled their Christmas money and gave me the coolest camera!  I now am the proud owner of a Canon Rebel T3, with an extra zoom lens.  Can’t tell you how excited I am!  Here are a few of my first shots . . .

Well, of course, my first pics will be of that fierce, toy-chewing Maddie . . .

Well, of course, my first pics would be of fierce, toy-chewing Maddie . . .

. . . and sweet, never-does-anything-wrong Bear.

. . . and sweet, never-does-anything-wrong Bear.

Once I attached the zoom lens, I really went nuts!  I stood on the deck, aimed into the yard, and came up with this squirrel under the birdfeeder . . .

Once I attached the zoom lens, I really went nuts! I stood on the deck, aimed into the yard, and came up with this squirrel and bird under the bird feeder.

One of our numerous cardinals.

One of our numerous cardinals.

Next, I aimed AT the birdfeeder and caught a Cardinal reaching for some seed . . .

Next, I aimed AT the bird feeder and caught a Cardinal reaching for some seed . . .

. . . and a second later, alerted by the camera click.

. . . and a second later, alerted by the camera click.

Later that evening, I tried my hand at shooting the full moon through the tree . . .

Later that evening I tried my hand at shooting the full moon through the trees . . .

. . . and the flag at the end of our dock.

. . . and the flag at the end of our dock.

I’m sure all of you know how happy I am to have the new camera.  Thanks to my wonderful family for making it happen!

Chris Ann Update

I’ve talked with Chris Ann a couple of times in the last week, and we’ve also chatted online.  She’s had family in and out all through the holidays.  On Sunday, Dec. 30, one of her best friends, Mary, is going up to stay with Chris Ann and Burton until Friday when two of her daughters arrive.  I’m flying up on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and will visit with Chris Ann, Burton and Mary on Thursday and Friday.  My plan right now is to also try to get over to the Island on Saturday.  I’ve been trying to make the decision to do this for nearly three weeks now, but what it comes down to is I need to see my friend again.  So I’m going.

Sue and Terry Conlon, Patrick’s parents, have graciously invited me to stay with them at Black Lake near Cheboygan, and they are coming to pick me up Wednesday at the  Flint, MI airport and will take me back to Flint on Sunday.   Sue met Chris Ann for the first time on the night the Shepler folks went to sing carols (Patrick is Shepler’s dock master and the young man I’ve tried to adopt away from Sue and Terry – for some reason they won’t let me).  Sue immediately saw the spirit and unquenchable love Chris Ann has for everyone she meets – something I’ve written about for some time now.  Without Sue and Terry, it would have been much harder for me to make the trip.  Thanking them in advance!

From this morning . . . Chris Ann and Burton's daughter and bonus son walking Lilly out on the ice that has formed into the Straits.

From this morning . . . Chris Ann and Burton’s daughter and bonus son walking Lilly out on the ice that has formed into the Straits.

Because of this trip, I won’t post again to this blog until the first of next week (the week of Jan. 7).  I’ll try to get one post in to share with you about the trip, before leaving again on Jan. 10 to fly to Colorado to see Blake.  It’s going to be a busy, busy beginning to 2013!

Ted and I will be ringing in the New Year at a party here on the ri’vah.  Let me go ahead now and wish all of you the most wonderful of years in 2013.  I pray that we all spend the next 365 days giving to others unselfishly, loving each other unconditionally, and praising God unceasingly.  Love and hugs from the Hortons!  God bless.

P.S.  Thanks to Ted for his beautiful sunrise shot, from a few mornings ago, in the header tonight.  We are almost back to full pool on the ri’vah!

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Responses

  1. Happy New Year! Just happy for you to get to see Chris Ann again.
    Love the new zoom lens.
    My resolution is that I love to read blogs so I want to start leaving comments so the authors know that I appreciate their effort.

    • Lauri! That is an excellent resolution. All the bloggers, including me, will LOVE that!

  2. Brenda, your new camera is awesome!! Fantastic pictures and like Lauri said, I too love the zoom lens. I can only imagine the pictures from the island next summer.
    I so wish I could go with you to see Chris Ann and Burton. Please give her a BIG hug for me and tell her that I am thinking of her and sending my love.

    P.S. Not sure if I mentioned it, but come next June we will be grandparents again to another baby boy and next October we will have another “bonus” (thanks Chris Ann) daughter to add to the family. 🙂

    • Awesome news, Hilde! Your family is GROWING! You can count on me to deliver a BIG hug to Chris Ann for you – probably more than one!

  3. Happy New Year Brenda! Have fun on your travels!

  4. Wishing you a very safe trip here to Michigan. We have all fallen in love with Chris Ann through your beautiful words. I am so happy for you, that you get to see her. I hope your time with her passes sweetly and slowly. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

  5. Bring lots of layers of clothing. It’s much colder here than you will be prepared for. I’m glad you’re coming to see Chris Ann.

    • You got that right Mary Lou. Brenda’s last trip to Michigan, 3 yrs ago in March, I told Her the same thing (she went out an bought a whole northern WINTER wardrobe) & it was 40-50 degrees & SUNSHINE!!!!!

      SAFE TRAVELS Brenda…

  6. Love Love Love your pictures….wish you safe traveling on all your trips…I know you are going to enjoy each and every one of them…when I read about how nice it was for Sue and Terry to open up their home for you…God is Great….

  7. Enjoy your time with Chris Ann and thanks to Sue and Terry helping you make it possible for you to visit. Many Happy New Year wishes to you and Ted.

  8. Wishing the entire Horton, a healthy and happy New Year! May safe travels be yours and remember …….” It’s not the journey or the destination, It’s the Seatmate”. We’ll look forward to all your new friend stories ….so many people ,oh the fun!

    Your new camera is a joy (I have a T3i). What you share on your blog…..Brenda, in your photos are a beautiful reflection of who you are and why the world and her people are so special to you. In his coming New Year, we should All take notice of and move more slowly to enjoy.

    Brenda, our thoughts, and hugs travel with you to keep you safe. May gentle prayers carry you safely to Chris Ann in this New Year. Please, share our well wishes to her with ever so gentle hugs…..for her and Burton.

    Thank you Terry and Sue for helping to make this for these two great ladies! Take care Ted….bless you!

    Finally, whew…Happy New Year one and all!
    Reading with you all is a wonderful place to be with you….

    Live ~ Laugh ~ Love

    • Thank you, Theresa, for the sweet words and the lifting prayers.

  9. Brenda I’m back,! I have a new iPad so now I can read your blog every thanks for the cardinal pics, my fav.I miss you and I wish I was going to the COLD island with you, have a great tiime. You and Ted have a wonderful 2013. See you in april💗

    • Bonnie! Loving that you got an iPad for Christmas! April??? Are ya’ll going to the Island in April? We won’t be there until the middle of May. OR, are you coming to GEORGIA in April???!!!

  10. Lovely photos, lovely Christmas you had with your sons…and am glad you are getting to see your friend again. We live very close to the Flint airport…if you ever need a ride anywhere again you can let me know and we’ll get you there. Husband is retired…I have vacation days…count on it. dawnkinster@gmail.com.

    • Awww, Dawn. What a kind offer – thank you!

  11. Very glad you’re going to see Chris Ann again. Love the photos with the new camera-you’ve become good friends with it very quickly!


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