My life

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Yes, this is another dog-related post, because as I wrote about last time, I happened to acquire a dog that has become a respected member of the family.  He wags his tail when he sees me.  The boys play with him outside and have a ball.  I’ve started to learn his little quirks and have become aware of just how “interesting” owning a Jack Russell can be. Read the rest of this entry »


Although I’ve always been an animal lover, I have never really wanted to have a dog, mainly because I saw some of the dog hassles that friends and family had to deal with: house training, poop scooping, bad habit obliteration, kenneling, yard fencing, etc.

About three weeks ago, I suddenly began to have an urge for a dog.  I have no idea where this desire came from, but I think it stemmed from a desire for my boys to have a “best friend” to grow up with.  My youngest is very much an animal lover, and I enjoyed watching him interact with other people’s dogs.  I wanted my sons to have a dog to call their own, and that’s where the wishing began, I believe. Read the rest of this entry »


As I described in my last post, I recently purchased a 1941 (or thereabouts) radio and phonograph.  The cord’s been cut off (probably from safety concerns) but it is in terrific shape overall.  I know boo about radios or their repair, but I am hoping that once the cord is replaced, the radio will work.  Think it’ll be that easy?  Stay tuned.

There’s something about the old wooden radios that gives me a nostalgic rush of emotion, which is interesting considering that when I was growing up, wooden radios had long been replaced by plastic and my teen years in the 80’s gave us radios that were lovely pastel colors.  My father did, however, own some of those old wooden radios, and I used to get a thrill out of hearing the decisive click of the knob as the radio glowed and hummed to life. Even the static was endearing, and I used to marvel at the fact of how many years of history had been narrated through those speakers. Read the rest of this entry »


One year and two months (to the day!).  That is how long of a break I have taken from blogging, and now I’m ready to get back in the game.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the hiatus was needed.  My life kind of fell apart.  I got divorced.  Life took a sudden, rather violent turn and I’ve been hanging onto the steering wheel with white knuckles ever since, trying desperately to stay on all four wheels. Read the rest of this entry »


I have to admit — I have been rather detached to the plight of the Chilean miners.  True, I followed the story, albeit rather loosely.  The updates I’d get every few weeks would elicit the appropriate responses from me.  The miners have been found alive . . . that’s miraculous!  They are surviving . . . wonderful.  A rescue is planned . . . feeling hopeful.  The rescues begin . . . relief.  I did not initially tune into the rescues because they mostly occurred during hours I was working or sleeping.  Tonight, after I returned home from school,  I tuned in and was instantly sucked in.

By that time, they were on the 25th rescue.  I had missed the majority of the rescues, obviously, but the 25th struck me as strongly as if I had seen the very first.  It was my first, yes, but not the nation’s first. I had been getting updates throughout the day, so I knew the rescues were progressing well.  But seeing it live on the TV . . . well, I felt instant gratitude for modern technology.

I have never been to Chile.  I don’t know squat about the mining industry.  I don’t know anything about any of the rescued miners, aside from the tidbits the news would share.  In short, these were strangers in a strange land, and I was a disinterested viewer.  It only took a few seconds for me to realize that I was watching the best reality TV available — TRUE reality.

I cried when the 25th miner was rescued . . . then the 26th, the 27th, etc., and I saved the most for the final miner.  Normally, I’m not a crier.  I used to pride myself in being able to control my emotions when others crumbled.  However, tonight I realized a simple truth: the range of human emotions is universal.

I didn’t know anyone I was viewing on TV, but I read the joy on their faces.  I felt the relief.  And as the news droned on with the details about how all these different countries came together in order to orchestrate this rescue, I felt a moment of clarity that only comes about every now and again.  I’m not one to foolishly believe that if we just all try to get along that we can and we will, for human nature seems to demand a trip to the dark side every now and then, but the sheer beauty in what happens when the forces all point the same positive way is breathtaking in itself.

For a few hours tonight, I felt the joy of people I’ve never met from a country I’ve never visited.

Joy is universal.


I usually write posts for Cracked Ice & Chrome during the weekend, when I don’t have “school stuff” on the brain and I can actually sit down and think for extended periods of time.  Well, the powers that be in the internet world decided that I didn’t deserve internet this weekend, so I had go without during Saturday and Sunday.  After a call to customer service of our local ISP, however, I not only received a new modem, but also realized that my router might need new firmware.  After a quick update, all was right in the world.

I had a feeling that “all y’all” wanted to desperately view some really wacked-out internet ads, so I clipped one for your viewing enjoyment.  I don’t even remember where I saw this ad, but it still astounds me, for several reasons.  For one thing, don’t ever make a picture of a baby blue.  EVER.  It’s not normal, it’s not right, and it makes mothers everywhere cringe.

I’m sure the developers of this “tool” meant well . . . or maybe their site was designed to deliver fifteen bajillion spam messages from your email account — who knows.  Whatever the case, they should never, ever have created this image:

All I can tell from the above picture is that this baby is the product of an asphyxiated clown.

Do me a favor and don’t give these dorks any hits on their site, k?

Sorry to leave you with this image, but it’s midterms and I have roughly 150 things to grade.  Where’s that teaching assistant of mine?  Oh, yeah.  There I go dreaming again.

Until next time . . . (when I have more pleasant things to write about, I hope.)


Good dog

I try to go for a walk at night whenever the weather allows it. There’s a blacktop that runs out of town and is infrequently traveled, thus making for the best walking spot around. About 1/2 mile into my walking pattern, I pass a ranch house set back a ways from the road. Most nights there’s a dog lying down beside the house, and that’s where this love story begins.

I don’t know what kind of sense this dog has, but she’s eerily smart. She knows that when I’m walking one direction, my walk is just beginning, and she’ll just lie there and calmly watch me go by, but the minute she sees me coming the other way, she leaps up from her position and gives a little yelp as she lumbers up to the highway to see me.

She’s an old dog, and it’s hard for her to run, but I always patiently wait as she initiates our reunion.

Although she always starts out running, by the end it’s evident that her old legs are making the best effort ever to get to me, and she lapses into a slow walk.

At last she reaches me, and I take the time to pet the mangy mutt (I say that with the utmost love).  She’s a farm dog, so her hair is always caked with dirt and she usually appears as if she’s been swimming in the creek.  But she’s always loving, and always quiet, and she always stands there ever-so-still while I give her attention.

She’s been around us humans long enough to know some little tricks as well, for after I get done petting her and start to move away, she dashes ahead of me (as fast an an old dog can dash) and stands sideways in front of me like a doggie roadblock, forcing me to pet her a little more.  She knows when enough is enough, though, and after pulling this trick a few times, she lets me go on my merry way.

I always wonder how she knows to only run to me when I’m coming back from my walk.

I wonder how she learned the roadblock trick.

I wonder how old she really is.

And as I’m wondering all of this, I have a sneaking suspicion that all that’s on her mind is where the nearest dead animal is located so she can go roll around in it ASAP.  I mean, c’mon, she’s a dog.  That’s akin to eating better than sex cake for us humans.

Ain’t she cute?


Today I completed my second day of school, and I left the school building feeling rejuvenated and full of excitement.

Oh, I can hear it now — you former or current teachers are screaming, “LIE!”

And you’d be right.
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It is frustrating to let so many days go by in between posts, only to write and be totally repetitive.  “Hey, I’m traveling!”  “Oh, I went on this trip too.”  “Yep — going places — again!”

Shaddup, already, girl!

Well, I went on another little trip — a mini one this time in order to visit my sister at her lake cabin.  I don’t know if visiting relatives can necessarily constitute a trip, especially when those relatives are a handful of hours away, but hey, I left home (again) and returned a few days later, hence a trip . . . no?
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As if my last vacation didn’t make me road-weary enough, my hubby and I decided to hit to road again for our own vacation.  The kids were shipped off to Grandma’s, and we headed east.  Beyond that, we didn’t have much of an idea of where we were going, but we certainly knew why: to get the heck out of Dodge for a few days.
Read the rest of this entry »


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