27 January 2010

Dead Grass Blues

Oh my. The winter here has really been funky for Houston. Snow back in November, lot's of rain, 79 degrees on the 23rd of December (I remember because we flew into Pittsburgh- 11 degrees there), freezing temps. for almost a week in January here. I'm sure there is more but the point is- The grass is dead. Brown, crunchy, straw-like and a real pain in my fanny. Whenever the four-legged's go outside, which they do quite often, it attaches to them and falls off of them all over the house. Everywhere. They have become walking Velcro pads. Dead grass on the floor, the bed, the couch, in the bathroom and even in the tub. That is one of Roux's favorite places to hang out. She sits in there waiting thinking she's gonna get a bath everyday like the humans do. Back to the subject I started with- dead grass! Hence the need to vacuum everyday- Ha, not gonna happen! Every two or three days is the usual but not every day. Not enough time in a day. Oh, and the dirt is showing itself and growing in a big circular spot in the backyard. Does dirt grow? Only in West Texas! No, SOMEBODY is digging. Well, all of them are digging. I've been watching them out the kitchen window trying to catch the culprit. It is not singular. It is plural. They are all guilty. Apparently, there is something in the ground under the dead grass that smells and tastes good. Don't know what, not gonna go stick my nose down there to and find out. The taste of dirt is not my thing. Anyway, just needed to write about something other than government essays for school. Maybe vent a bit about the dead grass. How is your little piece of the world? Bring on the Spring- I am needing some green.


17 January 2010

A little bit of Corn...

I know that I usually just write a few lines about my 4-legged family but today I need to write a few words about my Uncle Henry. There are so many stories but I will keep it short and simple because there are just not enough words to express it all right now. For the last year and 1/2, I have spent a lot of time with my Uncle while my Aunt would go run errands or just go spend time at the library or whatever she needed to do that day. You see, my Uncle had Alzheimer's. He was diagnosed with it in 2004 after their daughter died from complications from a hysterectomy. There were signs that something was going on before then but they just attributed it to forgetfulness and life. It is possible that my cousin's death was a catalyst that tipped him over but who knows. It was all tragic. Well, not all. I had moved back to the Houston area in 2008 to heal mentally and spiritually after a bitter breakup and it just happened that I was in the right place at the right time to help. As it turned out, the love and family closeness that I had been missing for a long time found me. Through the last year, as the disease progressed, my Uncle became more housebound and we were unable to take him many places easily. But I did get to take him to eat chocolate ice cream cones occasionally. And steak. He liked steak and potatoes, especially sirloin though he ate it so well done you wouldn't recognize it for what it was. Looked like shoe leather. Personally, medium rare is how I prefer mine. My Uncle was a funny man, silly and sweet. He had a funny Donald Duck noise that he would make at you up until close to the very end even when you couldn't hear him so well because his voice was so weak. I remember him doing this as a young girl as do all my family. I discovered last year that he loved candy corn and my Aunt would tell me he didn't need all that sugar. It wasn't good for him- blah, blah, blah! I would still bring it to him though. His eyes would twinkle like a little boy's when he saw what I had brought him. He would pretend that he was sneaking it as he ate it one piece at a time. The other day I told my Aunt a story about something I remembered from when I was a little girl. My Mom (my Aunt's sister)used to put me in these silly pageants when I was about nine. I never won the big title, usually just talent (ballet/ acrobats) but the prizes were great for a lower middle class family like us. Gift certificates for clothes from really good stores. Anyway, in one of these silly contests I was being interviewed by the M.C.- I remember a rather tall and kinda scary man. The question was what I found funny and made me laugh. As I looked out into the audience, I could see my Mom cringing as I was not one of those kids that had been coached in the proper answers for pageant etiquette. Looking back on it, I probably wouldn't have answered how they wanted me to anyway. So, after thinking real hard about the question, I answered with "My Uncle Henry gives me corn. It makes me laugh." I could see my Mom rolling her eyes and laughing out there in the audience. The M.C. asked me to explain and I told him I would have to show him. I promptly grabbed his knee with my small hand and squeezed him right above the knee in the tickle spot. He started laughing and said, "I see." That was my first time out and I won the talent spot. I don't think it was because I was that great in my dance routine. I think it was because I made them laugh with the rendition of my Uncle's silly tickle game. He always made us laugh even as adults. My Uncle's health went down quickly this last two months. We didn't expect it to happen so soon. All of us, my Aunt, her son and me, thought we'd have him here for at least another year. Some days it was really hard. Others not so much. The best was the love that showed on his face towards his wife and she towards him. It was the best thing I've ever seen. True love. Till the very end. I'm going to really miss seeing that. I can only hope everyone gets to experience love like that in their lifetime. It is truly a beautiful thing to behold. I will miss you my dear and sweet Uncle Henry. You helped bring me back to life with your funny and silly self that somehow found a way to get out of that fog of Alzheimer's. Thanks for the memories and give my Mom some corn up there in Heaven!

Your loving niece,

P.S.: My Aunt and Uncle's 50th Anniversary Picture - February 14, 2009.

14 January 2010

The Bentman's Birthday!

Happy 7th Birthday to my funny and sweet puppy-boy Bentley! You are my special and favorite Airedale in the whole world!

13 January 2010

Lessons We Can Learn From Dogs

I started classes yesterday at the local Community College I have been attending since the Fall of 2008. When I finish with my studies, I will become a Middle School teacher. I am leaning towards teaching History and Geography.
Since my mindset is on school, studying, and my newest Professors/ Teachers right now, this article caught my eye early this AM while I was perusing one of the many dog-related e-mail groups I lurk upon. It is true; our dogs do teach us wonderful things. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could enjoy life the way that our 4-legged friends do?

Bob Schieffer Says Humans Would Be Better Off If We Let Dogs Be Our Teachers
(CBS) I have no idea where this came from or who wrote it - if I did I'd give them credit - but a friend who knows I love dogs e-mailed the following, which I pass along today only because it seems a nice thing to share at the beginning of a new year.

It's a list of what we would learn if dogs were our teachers. Such as:

Always run to greet loved ones when they come home.

Never pass the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

Recognize the ecstasy of fresh air and wind in your face.

Take naps. (I do that!)

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily.

Thrive on attention (I do that) and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, lie on your back in the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and find the shade.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Enjoy long walks.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want is buried, dig deep until you find it.

And, when someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

We'd be better off, better people . . . if we acted more like dogs.

So have a great day. Don't forget to be filled with joy. You just might create a chain reaction of joyful body wags. Wouldn't that be something to smile about?

Karen and the Bentman

08 January 2010

Update from the Bentman

The Momma has been real busy lately. Her Uncle Henry, the one she's been taking care of for the last year, lost his long battle with Alzheimer's and failing health. The Momma said he went to heaven yesterday where he can fish all he wants and see all his loved ones already there. I have been hanging around to give her lot's of kisses when she comes home every night. Last night she called me a butt-stuck baby boy but she finally smiled. These pics show me on my couch and on my bed waiting around for her to come home. I'll catch you up more another day. Love the ones you're with.
Lots of Aire-hugs for everybody,
Bentley Beargrass