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A year ago we were blessed with the arrival of our second granddaughter, Madison Leigh Farthing.  She is so sweet and just a bunch of fun to be around.  Madison can look at you with those big beautiful eyes and all your worries just seem to melt away.  Several kinfolk got together today to help her celebrate her first birthday, and she had a great time – and the kinfolk had a great time just watching her.

Madison isn’t walking yet, possibly because if she looks like she is going to cry someone runs to pick her up and carry her wherever she wants to go.  But at her party she did show that she can stand alone and she enjoyed every second of her party.  She also took the opportunity to throw things after which she yelled “ut oh” and then laughed because she then needed someone to pick up what she had thrown, just to turn around and do it all over again.

The chocolate cake that was just for Madison alone made a mess all over her face as she attempted to feed herself.  But that is the main reason for the cake – to make a mess – and she enjoyed the mess also.  And she has the cutest giggle that spreads a big smile on her face as well as whoever happens to hear it. 

Well, Madison had a great birthday party and we all enjoyed the party also, just watching her have a good time.  Happy First Birthday Madison.  We love you.


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We have had Houdini a little over a year now and during that time he hasn’t had any medical problems, so his visits to the vet’s office have only been for minor things, like the normal shots and to be weighed.  Well, yesterday was just a little bit different.  It was time for his shots, weigh-in and also the doc had to do a bit of minor surgery this time. 

We arrived at the vet’s office and we checked Houdini in at the receptionist desk and since they were doing an update on their records, I had to fill out the usual forms.  Then the nurse came out to take Houdini in for his weigh-in.  You would have thought that she was seeing her very first big dog.  Her eyes got big and she said that was the biggest dog she had ever seen, and he is rather large at 148 pounds.

Being a first time owner of a Great Pryenees we are still learning a lot of things and we had no idea that we were supposed to trim his dewclaws.  For a while now Houdini had been licking the back of one paw and we were concerned, so we asked the doctor to check his paw and of course there was a problem.  Since we had not trimmed the claws, this one had actually grown too long and was embedded in the pad on the back of his leg. 

Houdini is very gentle and about the only thing he would harm is a horsefly, but the vet and his nurse didn’t really know that, even though we told them, so they decided to put a muzzle on him which didn’t make him very happy.  Rick helped the nurse hold him still while the vet pulled out his clippers and trimmed those dewclaws and pulled out the part that had grown into his leg.  You could tell that it was very painful and of course it bled all over the floor.  But the nurse just got towels and cleaned it up and the vet put a bandage on Houdini’s leg and sent him home to heal.

Hopefully we will only have to take Houdini for his yearly checkup and no other medical problems will arise.  However, he is waiting for another new experience soon – a haircut.  I am taking him for a visit to Amy’s and her friend Sharon will be training a new employee in her grooming shop and she is going to learn on Houdini.  By the time she gets all of his hair off she should have no problems with small dogs.  I’ll let you know how that experience goes in a few weeks.


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As anyone who reads my blog already knows, all of my mom’s brothers and sisters were my ‘big brothers and big sisters‘ also.  From the time I came into this world they all spoiled me right along with Granny and Granddaddy Cook and I loved every minute of the spoiling.  There is no one on earth who is as proud to be a Cook as I have always been and will continue to be for as long as I live.  This big loving family is just so very special as a group and also as individuals.

Granddaddy went to sing in the heavenly choir when I was around nine years old, but I remember him very well.   And yes, he spoiled me during those nine years.  I have some very special memories of him singing and carrying me around when I was very small.  I was very blessed to have Granny with me until she was 86 years old and I was grown and had kids of my own.  I have always wanted to be the same kind of grandparent to my granddaughters that she was to me, but I know that I can never ever be able to be that good.  But I’ll keep trying anyway.  So Granny is now up there in that heavenly choir.  I bet they are singing to each other and praising God with their beautiful voices.

Several years ago Uncle Clayton and Uncle Earnest joined Granny and Granddaddy in that heavenly choir and now Uncle Herbert joined them this morning.  Clayton and Herbert along with younger brother Bob have always been the clowns in the family.  Those three could keep you laughing no matter what the situation might be.  Earnest was somewhat quieter, but he still loved life and was right there helping to spoil me.  I sure do miss them, but one of these days we will all be together again and I do believe we will have our own little choir that will just be able to sing for ever and ever.

Herbert was always smiling about something and telling something that had happened and he could make it funny even if it wasn’t so funny.  And I believe when he joined his family in Heaven this morning that there were smiles all over the place.  And one of the last things that he did before getting so weak that he couldn’t do anything else was sing.  I wasn’t there with him while he was singing, but I was told about him singing and I’m so glad that he could do what he loved to do.

Just 85 years ago Herbert came into this world and this morning he not only celebrated his birthday here on earth, but he experienced the greatest birthday gift that anyone could ever receive – that of going Home to spend eternity with his Lord.  Now that is some special birthday gift.  He kept asking us at the hospital if it was Monday yet and I believe that God let him stay here for his earthly birthday and then let him slip peacefully into Heaven so that he could begin his eternal life on this special day.

There are a lot of special things I could say, but the most special thing is that Herbert has always been a special ‘big brother’ and I’ll miss him a lot, but I know that he is enjoying Heaven’s best and I’ll join that Cook choir one of these days and we will all have a wonderful time.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Herbert.  I love you and tell that special Cook gang that I said hello.


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First of all, I just want to say that Houdini is just a big loveable ball of fur that is so gentle he would not hurt a flea –  but when it comes to horseflies, then I’m not so sure.  We adopted Houdini just over a year ago and we have found that in that huge body is a brain the size of an ant, or so it seems at times.  Or maybe it is so large that it is not usable – whichever it is, he doesn’t seem to use it properly.  Most of the time Houdini just likes to lay around and sleep, snore or eat and sometimes he can pass some really stinky gas (I accuse him of eating my Nutrisystem food, because it sometimes causes that awful side effect).

Anyway, a couple of days ago Rick had to make a trip to Bristol, so Houdini and I stayed at home.  But before he left, Rick had taken Mr. Furball out for his morning walk, and there just happened to be a huge horsefly that came inside the same time Rick and Houdini did.  But of course, it stayed hidden until after Rick got gone, then decided to make it’s presence known by coming into the office where I was playing on the computer.  And Houdini found it about the same time I did.  That crazy fly began making circles around my desk and of course Houdini thought that he could catch it.  I had no idea this big 150 pound dog could jump so high – nearly to the ceiling.  But he didn’t catch it, just managed to chase it into the kitchen.  And of course, he had to follow it and continue his pursuit.

Well, things quieted down for just a few minutes, then all of a sudden I heard a commotion coming from the kitchen and by the time I got up from my desk and through the hallway into the living room, which connects to the kitchen, Houdini had made his way into the living room.  I have never seen anything like the sight that greeted me.  There was this monster of a dog (in size anyway) that was all tangled up inside Madison’s high chair.  His big head was through one side and his legs were in some of the strangest positions I have ever seen .  And of course, Houdini was terrified and slinging that chair and his body all around the room, trying to get out of it.

I tried to grab him and hold him still, but the more I tried, the harder he shook and he was hitting me with the chair and his body, and this went on for a good (or bad) five minutes.  I was out of breath and crying because I was just as scared as Houdini was.  I was afraid that he was not only going to hurt me, but with his head caught inside the bottom of the chair, I was afraid that he was going to choke himself.  I finally got him calmed down enough to get one leg untangled and he was quiet for about 30 seconds, when my darling hubby decided to call me.  And that darn phone ringing got Houdini all excited again and of course he started that slinging himself, the chair and me all over the place again.

How it happened, I just don’t know, but somehow all that movement finally helped with Houdini getting himself untangled from the chair.  But not without tables being moved all over the rooms and a very sore leg, arm and back for myself.  And of course, by this time, that crazy horsefly had hid, so I couldn’t find it, but Rick found it hiding in his bathroom after he got home and he gave it a proper burial. 

Oh, by the way, I called Rick back and I was breathing so heavily and still crying so badly that he thought I was having a heart attack.  He was ready to hang up and call 911 for me, but I finally managed to explain what had happened and he rushed on home.  I’m really surprised that nothing got broken, just wounded me.  And you would think that Houdini would not want to get anywhere near that chair again.  WRONG….that crazy dog goes and smells the chair and sticks his head underneath it.  Maybe I’m still wrong about the size of his brain – maybe he doesn’t even have one !

April Fool’s Day

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This is April 1st…better known as April Fool’s Day.  Most people have a great time trying to pull all kinds of stunts on each other all day long.  Well, let me tell you about something that happened to me when I was around  5 1/2 years old.  I had a sister that was about 4 years younger than me and she was mostly quiet and never into much as we were growing up.

Then one day mom and dad let us know that we were going to have a baby brother.  They even had a name all picked out for him and he was going to be named after a very good friend of dad’s.  At that time not a lot of babies were born in a hospital, so mom decided that she had given birth twice already at home, so why change things this time.  So, April 1st arrived and of course my sister Dot and I were taken to Granny Cook’s to spend the day while mom delivered that baby brother that dad was so excited about.

I was just happy to be with Granny and Granddaddy, never mind that I was getting a baby brother.  Well, the doctor had also said it was going to be a boy because of the heartbeat.  Well, never trust a doctor about that because was he ever wrong.  Mom and dad had to change names really fast, because out came a crying baby sister instead of a brother.  Well, they didn’t change the name completely, they just modified it somewhat.

From the time my surprise sister Clarice Pascalene was born, things would never ever be the same.  There was never a quiet day and all mischievousness broke loose (is there such a word?).  Something silly was always happening and bless her heart, she got more spankings than Dot and I ever got.  Clarice was always pulling some kind of prank on someone. 

 I remember one time that Mom was trying to find her.  She had hid behind the couch and when she realized that Mom was looking for her, she actually got behind Mom and was following her around and not answering her, just to see how long it would take her to find her.  Then there was the time when several cousins were visiting us from Maryland and Ohio and we locked Clarice in the outdoor toilet.  She began screaming because she couldn’t get the door open and when Mom let her out, Mom gave Clarice a spanking.  When asked why she got the spanking, Mom said “well, I just thought it would scare the others and they wouldn’t do anything like that again”.  Of course, Clarice has always said that Mom got paid back for that because one day she was carrying the ‘indoor potty” to the “outdoor toilet” and the little bridge that she had to cross had ice on it and Mom slipped and fell and all that  “nasty stuff” landed all over her.  And of course we all got a good laugh out of that.  But no one laughed louder or harder than Clarice.

Down through the years Clarice always has had funny stories to tell at all our gatherings.  The stories usually get told while we are eating and that sister of mine can keep you entertained for hours.  She even has some stories that she always threatens to tell about mine and Dot’s dates…but we always tell  her that if she tells on us that we can tell on her and that hushes her up pretty fast.  Oh, yes, we were not allowed to go on dates alone – little sis Clarice always had to go with us.  If you knew Clarice you would know just how funny that really was, but at the time, Dot and I didn’t think it was so very funny.

Anyway, today is Clarice’s birthday and even though it is known as April Fool’s Day, God sure made a good decision when He decided to let us have a little sister like her.  She has kept us laughing and happy and I just want to say “Happy Birthday Sissy and I thank God for you”.  I’ll be good and not tell any ages….hahahahahahaha

Based on the theme Glossy Blue
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