Hoots and Squawk!

Last week was noisy around here, at 3:30 am! Not really a time I enjoy being up, but I was! Hoots the owl was back and making so much noise. I would hear, “Hoot, Hoot” and then a “Squawk!” This was the second night in a row I heard the squawking, so I was afraid something was getting hurt.
The squawking continued, so I decided I needed to investigate, not even thinking that it could have been a skunk, a raccoon or heaven knows what else, I grabbed my flashlight, put on my shoes and went outside. The Hoot/Squawk continued and I found the tree it was coming from. I took my flashlight and started shining it up in the tree. What a shock it is to see an owl’s eyes in the light of a flashlight! And they are really big at 3:30 am! But sitting next to the big owl was a little fluffy thing. I had found my squawker….a baby owl! They are like fluffy balls. It was a great horned owl and her baby.

The hoot, hoot, squawking continued as I stood under the tree. They weren’t even afraid of me shining my flashlight at them. By this time, Emmet was sitting in the window meowing quite loudly. I was afraid he would wake the neighbors and if anyone saw me in my p.j’s shining a light into a tree, they might think I was nuts! I turned off my flashlight and went back into the house. It was time to go back to bed and try and sleep! Now that I knew I didn’t have to save anything, I would be able to relax and get another hour of sleep, hopefully! Enough investigating for one night!


Grammy and Auggie’s Day!

Today was the day a grandma dreams about; from the very first time they find out they are going to be a grandma! At least this one did!! Today my grandson said “Gramma!” Oh what a day we were going to have!!
He smiled at me when he said it and made my heart swell. Auggie knows who I am! It is a simple thing, I know, but this little person looked at me and said “Gramma!” Then he took off running! I was so excited, can you tell?
After we gathered up all the “Auggie equipment,” off we went to the Farmer’s Market. There is always so much to see there and the cheese tasties are so yummy! We found what we needed and got ready to go. While we were walking to the car, Auggie grabbed my hand and away we walked. There was something so wonderful when those little fingers grabbed my hand and took me for a walk. He was jabbering while we were walking. He looked up at me and I said, “Yes, of course!” That was all he needed to hear and away we went! It was heaven! I can say I went walking with my grandson, what a amazing feeling.
When we got home, he wanted to play with my cane. He can say “cane” quite well! I learned that when I am not around, he uses his mom’s umbrella for his cane! We went out to lunch and while sitting outside at the restaurant, we colored. He gave me the crayon he wanted me to use. It was blue! What fun we had! I forgot how much I love to color!
It was a wonderful day with my little Auggie. An August day for sure!

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Grandma; My Nature Mentor

I would like to acquaint you with the amazing lady, my Grandmother, who shared her love of nature with me. Gram taught me to appreciate all the creatures; great and small! She also instilled in me a gratitude for the environment around me. I loved spending time with her. I have always believed we were soul mates.
When I was younger, we would take long walks in the fields behind her home and enjoy the sun, clouds, rain, whatever weather came our way! She taught me about the many plants that grew out in the fields, we especially loved finding wildflowers and my personal favorite; Japanese Lanterns. We also found some pretty interesting bugs and lots of grasshoppers! We would see mice and moles and she was never afraid of them. There were lots of bunnies and squirrels and we would sometimes take corn along for them, I was sure they knew her! The bird book and her gloves were always in her pocket on our walks, with a variety of birds to discover. There was a wood thrush that built a nest on our way up to the field and we would check on that family every time we walked. We never got too close because she didn’t want to scare them away. If a baby bird fell out of a nest, out came the gloves and she put the bird back. That was my Gram, she taught me to save the animals!
Gram and I had a special park we would visit to catch frogs and look for crayfish. Springs Park was full of them and we had so much fun looking. I often wonder how many pairs of tennis shoes I ruined at that park sloshing around in the springs.
Every summer, my sister and I would go on vacation with my grandparents up north to Lac Du Flambeau. We had a special hotel we stayed at and there were always dogs who visited the guests! This picture is one of the many dogs that my grandma made friends with on our trips!


One of the places we would visit was Jim Peck’s Wildwood. It was a wildlife utopia for a young girl like me. We fed baby raccoons, mink, opossums and even skunks. My favorites were the raccoons. They were so soft and loved to cuddle.


Yes, my Grandmother was a very unique lady and I learned to love every creature no matter big or small, even green lizards. My parents weren’t sure what to do with me when I brought home white rats, but that is a story for another day. I hope that I can help my grandchildren learn to love and appreciate nature the way my Gram did for me. I always thank the Lord for giving me my Grandmother, she was a true gift! I loved her with all my heart!
I am grateful for the mentorship and encouragement to blog by Artist/Photographer Karen Hanrahan.


I’m a Grammy!

My grandson arrived the other day after putting my daughter and son in law through 27 hours of labor. He was a bit stubborn! His name is August Matthew, a strong manly name. I love his nickname…Auggie! He was 9 lbs. 5 oz.

I went to meet him on Wednesday at the hospital and also to check on my daughter and son in law. It was an amazing adventure. I met my grandson. I love saying that….my grandson!!

The feelings that I felt are a little hard to explain, but I will try. When I saw him I fell in love in an instant, but when I held him, the rush of emotions that washed over me were amazing, incredible and just plain WOW! This dear little being was my grandson. As I looked at him, with tears in my eyes, all I could think of was the moment the nurse put his mommy in my arms. There was an overpowering amount of love then, but this was different. I felt like my heart swelled up as large as it could. I looked up at my daughter and saw the love in her eyes and my love grew even more. My precious gift, (my daughter), has given me the privilege of being a grandmother. That feeling just overtook me and I was completely overwhelmed. Tears just kept coming. My heart was so full of love at that moment, I thought I would burst!

Watching my daughter and son in law with him was so beautiful to see. I knew when I saw the way they held him and looked at him that they, too, were so drawn in to this tiny being. He was theirs. He was their son. It was such a miracle to witness my child adoring her child at the same time I was doing the exact same thing! This was truly one of the most beautiful moments in my life.

I now know what my grandma meant when she used to tell me she loved me more than anything! And I know what she was thinking when she would see me and her face would light up, her smile so wide. It is an amazing thing….being a grandma!

I look forward to this new journey and all the adventures we will enjoy.
I will be sharing more stories; I am sure, about my little Auggie!

But, may I say; Welcome to the world little one! Your Ghandsrammy is totally over the moon whenever I think of you, look at your picture or hold your tiny hand in mine!

Life is good!

I’m Back!!

flying-hearts-on-valentines-dayI have been gone a while, that is true. I had a few setbacks and lost my beautiful Max, so my desire to write sort of got tucked away, but lately I am starting to notice that I miss my writing and have decided to get back into my blog, first with a dedication and then with this posting!!
I had planned on getting this done by Valentine’s Day with the LOVE theme, but it didn’t quite happen. I had this cupcake project that took a little more time than I thought.
So, here it goes…..

The Top Ten Heartfelt Reasons I LOVE to Blog!
1. I love to share my stories with other animal lovers and friends.
2. I will be able to share my new “grandma” stories….yes folks, that’s right!!!
3. Writing make my soul feel whole.
4. I love to write.
5. Perhaps my stories will touch someone and make them smile.
6. I connect with others who love to write.
7. Writing keeps me grounded.
8. I love to create!
9. My blog may help someone.
10. The word “blog” is a cool word!!
So, sit back, relax and stay tuned. My heart is healing and Tea and Milkbones has awakened!! Continue reading

Saturday Spring Story

Spring is coming! (I hope!) This spring will be a bit different in my world. No more searching for my shoes and hat when it is time to go for a walk. They will be right where I put them last. That will be strange.
Max and I used to have a little ritual we would follow before every walk! I would look at him and say, “Well, I think we should go for one.” That is all I had to say and he was gone! I would go put on my walking clothes and go to get my shoes and hat. They would be gone! I would pretend to look for them by walking room to room and saying, “Hmm, I thought I put them here!” Or, “Didn’t I leave them here?” Then I would hear a sweet little growl/moan coming from the direction of the couch. When I walked over there, this is what I found!
Okay, I took the hat out of his mouth and put it on his head for the picture! But the shoe never left his mouth! Always many smiles and laughs! I always felt like he was saying to me, “Sue, you are so predictable!”
Once I convinced him that the shoe would have to come out and go on my foot, I got my thank you kiss and we were set to go!
Those first few spring walks were always fun. He would get so full of mud and always pick up a rock to carry along. We always tried to hook up with Debbie and Gunny and off we went!
I miss my Max kisses, but am so grateful for the memories I have of our spring walks. We always searched for signs of spring and inevitably would find one or two. A crocus here and there, a red winged blackbird, a robin or sometimes a tree full of robins! The sounds of spring were around us. Such a glorious time of year, new awakenings, a time for hope! Snow melting and lots of mud is a dog’s dream!

After these wonderful walks, we came home and washed off in the tub of water I had waiting in the garage.  We always ended up playing tug of war with the towel and Max would always win!  He grabbed it and ran all over the house with it!

This spring I will be taking those walks by myself, but my Max memories will be in my heart as I search for those signs of spring!

Maybe I will even pick up a rock or two!

The Escape Artist

I opened the door and he zoomed right past me.  Emmet, my cat, is an escape artist.  He was always escaping outside in the back yard.  Usually I could catch him as he approached the door, but not this time!  Whenever Max, my golden retriever went outside, Emmet felt it was his right, as well.  I decided to let him stay out this time and explore.  Maybe he would get bored and come to the back door when Max did!  It was worth a shot.  I stood in the window and watched as Max wandered in the back yard and Emmet followed him.  Max did what he needed to do and then came back and lay down on the patio.  Emmet stayed in the grass, rolling around, jumping at bugs in the air, searching for that elusive treasure.

As Max and I watched, Emmet sat up very slowly, focused on something in the grass.  He crawled along the ground, at a snail’s pace, on alert watching something.  And then BOOM……he pounced.  He batted at whatever it was, he hissed and then he went in for the kill. He looked like he was dancing! When he finished this dance, he had a mole in his mouth.  Suddenly, he saw something else, so with this mole in his mouth he pounced on something else.  He had caught something under his paw, when out of the blue; Max took off like a streak into the backyard.  My head was spinning back and forth, trying to watch them both at the same time!  Max ran into the bushes, I could only see his tail.  I figured they were both having fun, so I decided to let them play and hunt. I sat down to read for awhile.  They would get bored soon enough!

About a half hour later I heard scratching at the back door.  I went to the door, but stopped short and stood there shaking my head in disbelief.  Emmet had two moles in his mouth, while Max, not to be outdone by a cat, had a chipmunk in his.  They were so proud and I was afraid to open the door!!  Max wagged his tail and dropped the chipmunk on the stoop.  Emmet followed suit and dropped his treasures. Thank goodness none of these “treasures” were moving! I wasn’t quite sure if I should let them in or scream!!  My friends had told me similar stories about their pets bringing them such gifts; supposedly this is how they show you they love you!  This was my first experience.  I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, but I had to dispose of these “gifts” before they decided to bring them in the house!  I found my garden gloves and a bag in the garage and went out to collect my “gifts.”

Max decided to go in the house, Emmet decided to go back out in the yard.  I heard him hiss and meow quite loud and the next thing I knew he was behind me with another “gift!”  I couldn’t believe it.  He dropped it on the stoop, looking for the other treasures I had just picked up.  He weaved in and out of my legs, purring very loud!  He was a very proud kitty.  I was in shock!  He scratched on the door to go in, so I opened the door, he trotted right past me and jumped up on the window sill to look out at the back yard.  I stood on the patio with my bag of offerings thankful that my pets loved me so much, I think!

Emmet has escaped many times since then; usually returns with a gift, but has never had the great success he had that day! IMG_1242

A Real Gift

I walk in the door after work, still expecting that Max will be there to greet me; but it is not to be anymore.  This day, however, there is a little black and white cat waiting for me; he is meowing and weaving in and out of my legs.  I guess he is happy to see me!  I walk into my bedroom to change my clothes and he keeps meowing very loud and following me, trying so hard to get in and out of my legs.  I stop and reach down to pick him up and he starts jumping around.  He jumps on the bed, grabs my sock and flies off the bed.

At this point, he is yowling and keeps running toward the hallway and then back to the bedroom.  After watching him do this several times, I believe he is saying, “Follow Me!” in kitty language!  So, I follow this little black fur ball down the hall.  He turns into my office, still yowling and looking back to make sure I am following him.  His tail is all fluffed out and his fur is standing on end.

I walk in the room and stop short…..there waiting for me on the floor of my office is a mouse. At first I think it is Emmet’s toy mouse, but no, this is a real mouse, a real dead mouse, lying upside down.  Emmet walks around it with his tail high in the air.  He is so very proud of this dead creature.  He is purring now, weaving in and out of my legs and then walking around the mouse.  The dead mouse.

I had to get rid of this gift, but didn’t want Emmet to feel bad, so I told him what a great hunter he was, got the pliers, picked up the mouse, put him in a box.  Emmet was still purring and weaving in and out of my legs.  Such a proud hunter!  I took the box and put it outside in the garbage can, all the while hoping there were no more of these little fellows hiding in my house!  I felt confident that if there were, Emmet would hunt them down and take care of them.

When I come back inside, he is waiting for me on the couch.  I sit down and he climbs in my lap.  I congratulate him on his catch and tell him that if there are any more of these real mice in the house, he is welcome to take care of them for me!  He looks at me, lies down and falls asleep in my lap.  Hunting is exhausting!!

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The Paw Print

Had to make my first visit to the Danada Veterinary Hospital since losing Max; Emmet needed his claws trimmed on Saturday morning.  While there, they gave me Max’s clay paw print mold.  It came in a nice little box with the baking instructions on it.  As I sat and waited for Emmet to be done, I thought about that paw print and all the places I will miss seeing it.  I especially missed it that morning in the snow on the deck.  It used to be all Max prints in the snow.  He loved snow and running all over in it!  After playing in the snow, he would come in and get wet paw prints all over the kitchen until I could get him toweled off.  He always ended up stealing the towel I used and ran with it all over the house!  Many winters of stealing towels!

Then of course after winter, came spring…..mud prints!   I used to know wherever he went in the house after he came in and dodged the towel that was waiting to wipe him off!  One particular spring, he decided that rolling in the mud was really fun.  He was covered in it.  I took him in the garage, filled a tub with warm water and before I could get him washed down, he shook and I was covered in mud, too!!  I laughed so hard between the curse words I was muttering under my breath!  I got him cleaned off the best that I could, took him in and gave him shower.  We had a removable shower head, so it worked real fine!!

I came home and took the paw print out of the box; they had also included a lock of Max’s hair in a little plastic bag.  What a thoughtful touch.  I looked at the paw print and thought about how many times I had held that paw and how many times that paw was on my leg comforting me.  I never would have made it through my divorce without Max.  He was there for me every second.  He offered me many comforting paws.  Believe me, I accepted those paws and was so thankful for them.  Those paws got me out of the house walking and getting back into life again.  Max truly was my best friend.

When Max would come in from outside, he would offer me his paw in exchange for a treat.  He was really good at that!  I wonder how many times we shook hands.  I thought back to when I taught him to shake.  He was a puppy and would watch Hobbes when he came in from outside.  Hobbes knew the drill; come in, shake hands, get treat!  Simple!  Max watched Hobbes many times.  I tried for quite a while to get him to shake. I would take his paw and tell him “this is shaking hands, this is what I mean!”  Finally one day he sat there and shook my hand. I probably gave him 3 treats!!  He got it!!  He really got me….he would offer his paw at any time and expect a treat.  He knew I carried them in my pockets!

After baking his paw print and letting it cool, I put it in a special basket on my dresser, right next to Hobbes’ paw print.  Every time I look at it, I will smile; thinking of all the happy times and how lucky I was to have had the dog that belonged to that paw in my life.  Max’s paw print will forever be in my heart.photo(5)paw