Poppy and Ginger

Poppy, that tiniest dachshund, loved life in her new home. The sweet girl and kind boys played with her often. And Poppy never got bored.

She would run outside in the grass and sometimes hop on one foot. Poppy even learned to do tricks. She could speak, roll over, and sit.

Such a smart little puppy. Her personality was full of charm. She loved being rewarded with special treats and was always ready to perform.

Even though Poppy was happy, she sometimes got scared at night. She didn’t like being alone and would cry when they turned out the lights.

Well, the mom could not bear Poppy’s crying. The whimpering broke her heart. So instead of her dog bed, Poppy slept right in the crook of mom’s arm.

Almost six years had passed since adoption day. Her family’s love for her grew. But they worried about her being alone while they were at work and at school.

They decided she needed a sibling. And so, the search began. Soon she would have a sister to always keep her company.

The first time they met was quite funny. Poppy’s eyes quickly blinked. Her new sister looked very different and Poppy was not sure what to think.

Poppy was still very tiny, but her new sister was quite large. A chocolate lab, at least four times her size, but oh so gentle at heart.

Ginger moved in a few days later. So sweet and happy to be home. Poppy cautiously welcomed her but made sure Ginger knew who was boss.

That sounds rather silly, a dachshund bossing a lab. Believe me, it was true. Poppy would stare until Ginger moved, then take over Ginger’s big bed.

Sweet Ginger never seemed to mind. She would happily find a new spot. Besides, someone was sure to pet her, she simply had to nudge their hand.

They both loved being outside, especially when it was sunny. Ginger played fetch while Poppy sunbathed under the big oak tree.

There was one thing they did together on those sunny days outside. Chasing squirrels was the name of their game. Thankfully, none were ever caught-only chased away.

Sometimes those squirrels would tease them, inching closer and closer to the door. But as soon as the dogs ran outside, those squirrels scurried back up the oak.

Short trips were also quite fun. They both enjoyed rides in the car. As long as the destination was grandma’s house and not a trip to get shots.

Poppy and Ginger, inseparable sisters, a sweet and funny pair. A miniature dachshund and chocolate lab, always sharing adventures. ❤

Cues

Cue-a signal (such as a word, phrase, or bit of stage business) to a performer to begin a specific speech or action.

When I think of the word cue, it is usually about music. As a pianist, I’m very good at giving and receiving cues. For example, I might follow a singer’s breathing or lead them into an entrance with tempo/musical changes. The cues help us stay together, resulting in beautiful music.

This week, I’ve been forced to listen to a different kind of cue. It actually took several days for me to even recognize that it was a cue. 

If only it had been a musical cue. 

But no, this was an emotional cue manifesting in a physical symptom.

The first time it appeared was around 5:00 p.m. I had planned to cook dinner-homemade meatballs, roasted veggies, and pasta. 

All the ingredients were ready.  

Suddenly, I began to feel a little nauseous. “Hmmm, that’s weird,” I thought. I immediately began to worry about getting sick. But I hadn’t been anywhere, and it was not likely. I almost changed dinner plans to take-out.

But then, I decided to push through. We needed a home-cooked meal. It would surely make us all feel better. So, I cooked. It was yummy. I even baked cookies. When the cookies were done, I realized the nausea was gone.

The same thing happened the next day, at the same time. Curious. 

“I wonder if this is stress?” I asked myself. This time, my daughter and I took a short walk around the neighborhood. Guess what? Nausea once again disappeared.

That night, I told my husband what had happened. I also expressed that I thought it was a reaction to stress over all the changes occurring right now. He agreed. 

Somehow, just sharing how I was feeling helped.

As I thought about this more, it made sense. I may be putting on a good front, staying calm, and saying I’m not worried. But truthfully, these are unsettling times and they are affecting my emotions. This little cue was trying to get my attention. Trying to tell me it’s ok to not be ok.

The time of day also made sense. Each time I noticed this feeling, it was around 5-5:30 p.m. This is the time of day we would normally be getting home from work. Everyone would be sharing about their day, talking about what went well and what didn’t. Talking about students and what we were planning the next days, weeks, etc.  

That has all changed. We are together most of the day at home. Not knowing when we will go back to work. Worrying about our friends and family. Worrying about our students. All things that are out of our control.  

No wonder my physical cue was nausea.

The most important thing about cues? They require a response. How could I respond to this one? Well, I’ve found a few things to be helpful.   

  1. Take a walk
  2. Tell someone how I’m feeling
  3. Cook
  4. Play piano

This experience also made me think of our kiddos. How do they react to stress? What is often their first complaint? “My stomach hurts.” I guess some things never change. 😉   

Take care of yourselves, friends. Listen to your body and pay attention to your emotions. Don’t be afraid to say how you’re feeling.  ❤ 

Faces

Dear Friends,

This past week was our Spring Break from school. One whole week to relax and do whatever I wanted. Except, it really wasn’t. Yes, I was able to relax and spend time with family. But no coffee with friends, spring clothes shopping, last-minute trips out of town, etc.

I tried not to worry about establishing a new routine or what would happen in the weeks to come. But now it’s Saturday, and a new week is almost here. It is time to think ahead just a little.

This morning it hit me what I’m going to miss the most when Monday comes-faces. I see so many faces each day. Faces help us know how a person is feeling. We can see happiness, disappointment, struggle, or excitement with one single glance.

We can also receive what we need from the face of another. If I am the one showing sadness or struggling, a smile from another person is powerful. It shows that someone else sees me and recognizes how I’m feeling.

So, although I won’t see all those faces on Monday, I will be thinking about them. Those colleagues who greet me each day. The students I greet each morning as they enter the building. Those few ornery boys who still call me grandma every time they see me. My friend who sits across the table with a cup of coffee.

As I think of those faces, I will also pray. For that is one thing I can do no matter where I am or what the circumstances. These are unsettling times with many unanswered questions. But I have faith that I will see all those faces again soon-live and in person.

Until then, I remain thankful for technology and social media. And with that thought, I will share a picture of my face from this morning. Hopefully, you will see joy and contentment amid uncertainty. And be reminded that I love you.

Take care of yourselves, sweet friends.

Kelley

“I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.” 3 John 1:14

The Tiniest Dachshund

Preface-This is my attempt at writing a children’s story.  Our current circumstances-illness, quarantines, social distancing-seem like the perfect time to share.  Hope you enjoy and read it to any kiddos in your life. 🙂

There once lived a tiny dachshund. The start of her life was quite rough. The place she was born was quite scary. No one listened as she softly cried ruff.

Thankfully, this sweet puppy was rescued-along with her siblings and mom. They moved in with a nice foster parent, who would help them find a forever home.

Their names were as sweet as their faces-Rosemary, Laurel, and Parson. And that tiniest dachshund? The runt of the litter? What was her name? Perfectly precious, Poppy.

Poppy loved to play with her siblings. Tails wagging, they would hop and run. And although she tried with all her might, her little legs could not keep up.

One day, a nice mom and dad came to visit. They wanted to meet these sweet puppies. When they saw little Poppy, they cried, “We choose her!” With their family, they knew she would be happy.

Poppy was officially adopted! A new home, a new bed, and new toys. Most important of all, she was met by three children- a sweet girl and two kind boys.

These siblings, along with their parents, were glad to call Poppy their own. This tiny sweet dachshund had stolen their hearts, from the moment she entered their home.

Many years have passed since her adoption day. Poppy is older and gray.
But she loves her family, and they love her even more than that very first day.

We love our Poppy girl! ❤

Lifted

Lost track of time
Wandering in the
Shadows between
Dark and light

This will pass
I told myself
A feeble attempt
At reassurance

And then…
Thinking of you
Are you ok?
Praying for you

Glimmers of hope
Breaking through
The haze to
Light my path

Cautiously I
Inched forward
Each step
Growing lighter

My spirit
Began to rise
As the fog
Lifted

Cousins

Simpler days spent
Playing outside
Soaking up the sun
Only after hearing
My most recent
Piano/violin solo
As you
Recently
Reminded me
You were a good
Though reluctant
Audience
Do you remember
Digging in the dirt
Under the big oak tree?
Silly childhood thoughts
Making mud pies
Digging to China
Swings and slides
And downhill
Wagon rides
Playfully pushing each other
Off of Grandma and
Grandpa’s front porch
The winner
To be named
King of the Mountain
The subjects
Now laughing
In the grass below
Hours of kickball
On the gravel road
Many heated arguments
Was the runner safe?
The ball out of bounds?
Problem-solving
A few skinned knees
Fights and tears
Hugs and laughter
We learned to be friends
First friends
Cousins

Cousins sitting on Grandma and Grandpa’s front porch. 🙂

No Pictures

I love pictures. I have loved them since I was a little girl.
My Grandma Mahar had a round metal container with a tight-fitting lid. I believe it was ivory-colored with gold stripes. But more importantly, it was full of photographs.

I would sit at her dining room table with this treasure box, take off the lid, and spread out the pictures. There were old snapshots, mostly black and white. There were also old school photos of my mom and her siblings.

Thumbing through the photos was like taking a trip back in time. Seeing the old cars, the clothes they wore-reading the notes written on the backs. Thinking about it now makes me smile. I can still see the container and some of the photos in my memory.

My love of pictures readily transferred to adult life, particularly when I became a mom. I know there are times my kids have rolled their eyes upon hearing once again, “Hey guys, we need to take a picture!” Of course, my next line made them smile. “Act like you like each other.”

This past weekend was our oldest son’s wedding. They had prepared a couple of decorative signs to greet guests as they entered the venue. One politely announced that the ceremony was to be “unplugged.” The idea was for guests to put away their phones and just be present in the celebration. So that’s what we did-no photos.

I started thinking about that fact this morning. And even though I love looking at and taking photos, I’m so glad I was “unplugged” for their ceremony. What a joy to be in the moment. Listening as they repeated their vows. Watching them smile and giggle, so happy to be starting their life together.

I will be anxiously awaiting the professional photos from the wedding. I’m even thinking about starting my own container of photographs. Who knows, maybe someone else would enjoy spreading pictures all over the dining room table with me. I can always hope. 😉

Imagine this lid on a deeper tin. That’s what held my Grandma’s treasures. ❤