Monday, October 31, 2011


I waited until the last minute to take Lily's Halloween costume pictures... We were so tired neither one of us were really into it. This shot is SOOC - I didn't feel like editing it - hence the strap of her wig and tag on her plate and wrinkles in the (blanket) backdrop I found at HomeGoods. I would normally obsess about things like that... didn't this time. ;-) Still cute I think. She is a very good model.
Lily is loving her new sushi toys.
I sent a picture to the company and they added her to their blog of other photos of pets enjoying their toys. They thought Lily was a California girl because we bought the toys from Muttropolis... after talking to them it turns out one of the girls from Sushi Pups (and her boyfriend) went to school at CMU! If you are looking for some sushi for your pup - check them out here. Tell them Lily (the Pug from Pittsburgh) sent you.

Here's the little pug-kin handing out treats in 2009...

And here is 2010's photo of Little Miss Lily as The Witch.
Lily found it tough to be a witch - luckily she had a spider friend to rest her cute little head on. ;-)


Sunday, October 30, 2011



This woman was in line at Marshall's today... she got up to the register and plopped the little dog down on the counter - the sales girls just looked at each other like should we say something? (they didn't) - she bought a pink and purple dog sweater, scooped up the dog and left.

Just wanted to point out that there are crazier (dog) people than me in this world. ;-)

It's time to carry my dog into bed now. Goodnight.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Lily was back at the vets today to see Dr. Kelly - 4 days after her last visit. She had some sort of episode at 5 am this morning... I heard her crying - almost screaming and I woke up in a panic... I thought she was just dreaming but when I tried to wake her up she was pretty much unresponsive. She was laying on her side on the bed and her legs were straight out and flying all around. It was definitely different than her "running" dreams I've seen a couple times before. I don't think it lasted more than 30 seconds. She finally got up and I carried her in to get a drink but she was kind of out of it and was looking at me like what the heck just happened? Dr. Kelly said it sounds like a seizure by the way she acted though there's no reason to really explain it. It could be just deep REM sleep.

She seemed to be a little tired when we got home... seems to be ok, though. We'll find out more when her blood work comes back next week. Like mama, like puppy dog. That's my girl. ;-)
Love the Bud.

Friday, October 28, 2011



"Well I said, Mama, Mama, Mama - why am I so alone?
I can't go outside - I'm scared I might not make it home.
Well, I'm alive - I'm alive... but I'm sinking in...
If there's anyone at home at your place, darling - why don't you invite me in..."

My due date for the last pregnancy was my (40th) birthday last year. I don't know when my mother was due with me. I'm wondering if it was around her birthday too???
It's questions like that that I wish I could ask her.
I know she was trying to induce labor by going up and down the steps - giving out Halloween candy. I guess it worked! I'll have to look into that. Anyway, she would have been 67 years old today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

I'll remember this day for many reasons - this date has followed me around all through my life and was a special day in the world of David and Jeannine - 22 years ago when it all began.

I had an assignment from an online art class I was taking over a year ago to interpret a song - any song - using any mixed media. I never did it because I got sidetracked when I moved from Dixon House... A few months ago I started some paintings inspired by a Counting Crows album. I took it a step further and went from a simple sketch for one song to a bunch of different sketches. You know - because one isn't enough! Anyway, it's August and Everything After - because the album title was just as significant in my life as the original song I chose. I was hoping to have them finished by now but I don't.

More to come on this.

Rain King - 2003 performance

Thursday, October 27, 2011



If this isn't my (imaginary) baby's first picture - I don't know what is!!!

If you know me well - you know I love old trucks and tonkas... This, to me, is the Cutest. Picture. Ever. ;-)

Anyway, this whole baby thing... I go between giving up and thinking I'm only 41 - I have another year... (I've probably been saying that since I was 35!) I've been back and forth to my doctor the last couple weeks... we're not entirely sure what is going on yet - have some appointments and meeting with a specialist in the next few weeks - but it seems like, after all this time, we may have figured out what was causing the miscarriages - at least the last one. I'm a little sick over the fact that it might have been an easy fix.

My doctor said I "wasted a year" - she's a little blunt. She's right, though... with all that has been going on I kind of put this all aside... she said I may have lost my window of opportunity. Story of my life. I'm very good at waiting and procrastinating - until tomorrow, then the next day, then the next... She said I have to check all this out so I have no choice but to get moving and then something struck me... non baby related. I have to say the words that haunt me the most are these. Close second are the words - I can't take care of you anymore - which hits me hard on all fronts. Maybe since I'm the one taking care of everyone else and the one that many (including myself) feel like I have it all together. I am truly more independent and self sufficient than a lot of people I know... yet I'm being made out as something else. That hurts me. Then, on top of that, I thought what if after all of this... there's no one to take care of ME - when I actually need it. It's kind of crazy what life throws at you when you least expect it. No choice, I guess, but to keep on truckin...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



Celebrated Natalie's 22nd Birthday tonight at the Cheesecake Factory. A million thoughts went through my head as I entered that place... I was thinking about being 22 again too... It would have been my senior year at PSU I guess... the year before my mother died. We were talking a couple weeks ago at my cousin's house about going back and reliving your past - which would you choose... high school days or college days? My choice was college - definitely. My days at Penn State were happy I would like to go back and get chinese food at that place near McClanahan's - what did I used to get there and why can't I remember?! I can't believe these last 22 years when my college days started have flown by. I'm glad I got to relive them a little through Lizzie in a way. I like to think of her as the daughter I could have had from my time there. ;-) I couldn't help thinking about Cedarbrook when we dropped Natalie and Joe off at her apartment. What crazy, weird, fun, happy times they were. There's too much to talk about and I'm awfully tired tonight after not having much sleep - it's been a whirlwind couple of days with appointments for everyone including the puppy dog and I ate way too much. Too much. ;-) I'm just going to bed - please let me sleep.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


TOT - TEN ON TUESDAY (really - it's Tuesday again already?)

1. Today would have been my parent's 42nd anniversary.

2. Ain't that the truth?

3. Sophia Grace was on Ellen... watch the video here. And here's the clip when they meet Nicki. Too, too cute!

4. Do you know anyone that goes around and kisses the walls of the rooms in their house and thanks them one by one? No? Now you do.

5. Nice costume for little guidettes. SMH.

6. Poor Lily looks like she is in doggy fight club...She had to go to see the Dr today. Here she is doing one of a hundred nervous spins...
She has been scratching her face up from her allergies and peeing a lot. $234.94 later I was informed she has a hooded vulva. Hence the UTI's. So now we are on Antibiotics, Steroids, Eye drops, Ear drops, Ear Cleaner, and a $39.00 bag of food. This poor little pupperoni! And poor me! I had to make a med chart for her so I know what to do.

7. I almost got a tattoo when we were in Vegas last year for my birthday... I knew what I wanted - just couldn't figure out where I wanted it. I've been thinking about it since then and still can't figure out where! Not sure if I should go for it this year... This is both fascinating and disturbing... and NOT what I was planning on getting BTW. ;-)

8. The nice thing about people that walk their dogs around the neighborhood is that they are out all times of the day - morning, noon and night... every day of the week.

9. This video is another cute one. The end is totally Lily.

10. Goodnight.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I saw this in Marshall's and it made me laugh and get mad at the same time... I could go all over the place with this photo but I'm too tired. I don't even feel like coming up with a post title so I'm not...

I got some bad news from my doctor today that may explain the miscarriages... I'm tired of all of this. Really tired of it. Going to bed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011



Lily and I got new bedding.
It's just the right amount of Boho Chic for both of us. It unexpectedly goes beautifully with Lily's favorite blanket too.

I've been trying to hold off from buying anything until HomeGoods opened here but I caved and found the bedding at Marshall's in Monroeville last week...a few days later I found this bench in the Waterworks.
It actually is a set and there is a little one inside and the big one - holds FILES! I bought it for the Bud to get on the bench - not realizing it was almost the same height. She's doing ok with it so far - still a little hesitant but I think this may work. She's kind of disregarding the wooden bench all together and going from the turquoise bench straight to the bed... we'll see. The best part of the whole thing was the price. I had to get it no matter what.

Then I had to get this rug (actually a bath mat) because it matched the bench...
...and come on - flowers and (what I think are) paw prints!!! My two favorite doodles! Of course, it cost more than the bench but if that doesn't scream ME I don't know what does!

Housewares are like crack to me. I talked about that awhile ago. Seriously, I know it's a bit of an addiction. I (usually!) only buy what I love, love, love. I just love so much. ;-) That's a good enough excuse, right? I had to get this pig sink stopper because it matches all the other pig stuff I have boxed up somewhere.
I did NOT buy the pig microwave bacon cooker because I knew I would never use it - so give me some credit. ;-)

I buy things as I see them for gifts and Christmas. I have a bunch of stuff in a bin somewhere in storage to prove that fact. I already helped Santa with all of my stocking stuffers. I think he appreciates the help... It's never too early for Christmas in my house - especially if snow people are involved. Lily bought me a snowlady as an early Birthday present. It looked like a cupcake to me with the tulle under her skirt... and she has a cute little scarf on and she's holding a STAR. Yes, another totally ME thing! Couldn't pass her up - well Lily couldn't pass her up. ;-) She's coming in a close second to my other favorite snowlady I got several years ago - "cute sweater, leopard skirt and rosebud snowlady" pictured with her here. She is still #1. ;-)

So, anyway... after all that - on to today... HomeGoods opened in Robinson! There was a line to get in!
A big one, actually! It was crazy... they were only letting so many people in at a time. There were no carts left... we had to use baskets until I finally waited at the front for people to leave and I took an old man's cart that just couldn't handle the store - he told me to try to find a horn somewhere and attach it to the cart because it was impossible to get around with it! It was a little tricky! There were people everywhere.
The line to checkout was wrapped to the back of the store but suprisingly moved along pretty well.
I bought some gifts and some stuff for the Lil Bud. These are for me and my faves of the day.
I saw some of them a few weeks ago at Marshall's and TJ Maxx... they are one of the biggest things that remind me of my childhood Christmases. I always remember the little paper houses like that under the tree which were my Grandmother's - probably from the late 1940s early 1950s... I have them somewhere here... these are the current day version. They light up too. Love them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


We went to Nemacolin Castle for a ghost tour...
We were in the parking lot and THRILLER came on so we knew it was going to be a good night. ;-)

There was a large group ahead of us so we had to go back... On our way out Chrissy asked us if we thought a ghost did this...
Unless it was the ghost of the Incredible Hulk I think the answer is NO.

We had a thrilling ride through the mostly boarded up town of Brownsville - think The Hills Have Eyes or House of Wax - We were trying to find the one restaurant near there... we found it and it looked ok but were afraid we were going to get abducted and killed so we moved on. BTW - We think these people come to life and then go back into the walls.

As does this giant book welcoming the town's prey.

We ventured out to Cal U to try to find a restaurant... let's just say - don't go there.

Thanks to Urban Spoon, we finally ended up driving to Belle Vernon to the Speers Street Grill - that's been a good app. lately.

Then we were back to the castle.

The home of the Bowman's

An older woman in full period garb led us in... Katherine, Michael and I got a total "mum" vibe. That was kind of nice. Then we were off on the candlelit tour. I'm thinking this remote isn't original to the house. ;-)

We went upstairs and stopped just outside the first room - we were in a (I think she said) 70 foot long hallway... We were standing beside some dresses and outfits... there was a "do not touch" sign on them which really made me want to touch them. I was freezing. Like seriously freezing. Everyone else was hot. That was the biggest thing I "felt" on the tour. I wondered if someone was mad that I was thinking about touching their clothes. Anyway, we were led into the room we were standing outside of... it was the nursery.

Through that room was a bedroom... Katherine came over to me and said she had a dream about the exact room and whispered to me she felt really cold...
I was really hot but felt cold seconds later... just as that happened the tour guide said people were known to feel cold and it usually traveled around the room. That was a little strange.

Katherine and I both felt uneasy in the room that was used for visiting clergy. It was big and just felt strange. I can't remember if it was someone that worked there or someone on a tour but the tour guide said that this person looked in the mirror and in it - everyone around her - had halos over their head and she didn't. OK - I got chills typing that.

We went into a hall that had two rooms on either side - one was a dining room I think and the other a parlor of some sort where one of the family men was known to be a jokester. We were standing in the hall and katherine started brushing at her leg... people have been known to say that a ghost dog is in there and tugs at pant legs. A housekeeper would come there with her dog and the dog would never enter.

It was a decent tour... even Ted - who said before we left that "the ghosts can kiss his ass" came out wondering about a few things. ;-) At the end there was a paranormal investigator there who showed some photos and played some audio that was recorded there. He asked if anyone saw anything on film... I showed him some orbs on a couple pictures...
and he said that most are dust (as expected) unless other things are felt or heard at the time... then I showed him this.
Which was significant enough for them to want to look into - so I have to send it to one of the guys at the PA Paranormal Research Group... he couldn't come up with any reason to explain it so he wanted to take a better look.

When we left, our friend "the porch dude" asked if we saw anything... he looked through all my pictures and said I missed the most important one... I kind of knew what he was hinting at and he said if I wanted to take a picture I could... no choice but to play along so here it is:
Porch Dude himself.

I was kind of hoping there would be some residual energy behind us - a la Haunted Mansion.
Nothing appeared. Oh - just to be safe... if anyone came home with me - please go back to the castle. See you when we visit for Christmas. ;-)

Besides the cold feelings and pressure in the visiting clergy room I didn't really experience that much... I came home and downloaded the pictures and have to admit I'm a little freaked out over one of the last ones I took. Michael wanted to take a walk around the building before we left and I basically was just holding my camera up and snapping - not really paying attention... I thought I would take some of the windows from outside... I looked at this one and it might be my eyes playing tricks on me because the more I look at it - it seems to be a little cartoonish... Anyway... bottom part of the window in the middle. Keep looking at it - you may have to click to enlarge it - Do you see anything?!?
I swear there is a woman's face there. (majority of the face is in the second row from the bottom - in the middle.)

As my mother would say, I just got a chill.

Friday, October 21, 2011


When you break things down into little pieces it's always easier to get things done or see the whole picture - isn't it?

I'm a little disappointed in myself tonight. I saw a squirrel struggling to cross the street... It seemed like he was recently hit. He was kind of dragging his back legs to make it across... he was just about to the middle when I saw him. I stopped and tried to figure out what I could do... then the road got busy and the guy behind me beeped and I drove past. I don't like that I did that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011



I'll remember you when the pictures were on the wall... the parties we had and the Christmas dinners we hosted... the times we laughed and cried and ate around that table... I'll remember those paint colors and Dave and Matt installing the exhaust fan in the kitchen... the yard work and playing in the leaves with RoseBud.

I'll remember going for walks and coming home with sticks. The sidewalks and cobblestone street I loved so much...

"Stick Man" and "Three Dog" and all the other neighbors.

I'll remember TOM!!!!! The best mail man in the whole wide world who we had a triple hug with at the front door when he found out RoseBud died. "The mail's here!!!"
Thank you, Tom, for all the TREATS that were hand given or put through the mail slot every day!

The times we walked down the steps and said See you House... And The Coffee's on Twin, and Goodnight Bud.

The clouds on the ceilings. I loved those clouds!
...and the white mouldings everywhere and plantation shutters in the living room.

The tree I painted downstairs and the rocket and the Mickey on the shelf going down the steps!

The mantle at Christmas and Halloween and every day.

"When you wish upon a star..."

The TONKAS everywhere! ;-)

Christiana candles! ♥ And the mason jar luminaria we put out for parties and holidays.

My Halloween night birthday dinners and The Dad's crazy hats/wigs.

The many visitors that would come to say hello...


The pitter patter of puppy dog paws!


Our party menus and cooking time charts that were written on all the chalkboards in the kitchen.

The Disney trees...

...and Snowman trees...

...and Pug trees and ALL the others!

Over 2!

Beautiful flowers in the junk that was worth more to me than anything new!

This photo of David's shoes with hens and chicks will always remind me of Dixon House!

It's a good thing I don't have all my photos here or I'd be here well into tomorrow and the next day adding everything I could think of. This was a well documented house and life spent there. Thank you Dixon House for everything... for welcoming those that walked through your round door and, in good times and bad, for being our home.
Out of everything... what I will remember most about our time spent there with you - is us.