Remember Stewart’s Dog Named Beau?

The night he read his tribute about his dog named Beau, Jimmy Stewart’s poem was rare…it was uncommon at the time (1980s) to see someone show publicly that much love and emotion about a pet.

Today, bloggers and social media sites deliver to us a ton of wisdom and many sweet personal memories about dogs and cats. We’ve had opportunities to learn so much more about the unconditional love and lives of dedicated dogs. We didn’t always have that.

I remember watching Stewart turn into teary poet on live television (back when television meant something) when he spoke of his golden retriever who’d passed away.

It was a summer night when Rob was a baby and we were spending the night with my friend Debbie. Johnny Carson was on and his guest was, of course, Jimmy Stewart. Debbie and I both cried; for days, I teared up when I thought of Jimmy’s poem. At some point, I bought his book of poetry just so I could have that one poem.

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A book of so-so poetry, except for one…Stewart’s “A Dog Named Beau.”

No matter how many dogs I have had to tell good-bye, I still think of this night…and, when I hear Jimmy read it, it still gets to me.

If you have a curiosity about Jimmy and his dog Beau, there’s a great article on Psychology Today.  Below is an excerpt:

“The truth is that it’s just really hard for me to get to sleep without a dog in my bedroom….After he died there were a lot of nights when I was certain that I could feel him get into bed beside me and I would reach out and pat his head. The feeling was so real that I wrote a poem about it and about how much it hurt to realize that he wasn’t going to there anymore.”

Click here to watch Stewart’s appearance on Johnny Carson on July 28, 1981.

Well, Aunt Janet, if you’d just pay attention…

Mother told me that she needed to go to the insurance company TODAY (12/31/15–New Year’s Eve) and talk to them about her slightly higher premium. I offered to call them for her and found it odd that she didn’t want me to do it.

As we drilled down into the REAL problem, the truth is that she lost her payment envelope and she wants to get out of the house today, but she’s been listening to all her elder friends talk about their premiums. So, while she’s over there in Lake Jackson paying her bill, she’s going to talk it over with them so they know she’s paying attention.

Paying attention? I reminded her of a holiday season of the past and she laughed…she always does.

Over 40 years ago (when Mother was in her early 40s) my cousin Larry was a little fellow. We were sitting around my Aunt Jo Ann’s table for a holiday dinner. Mother (whose name is actually pronounced “Jeanette” because my grandfather said so) kept interrupting everyone and making them repeat what they’d just said.

Little Larry, still small enough to sit on a catalog to reach the table, said quietly in his precious East Texas twang, “Way-elllll, Aint Ja-nay-ett, if you’d just pay attention and listen the FIRST time, you’d know what everybody was saying.”

We all sucked in our breath not knowing how Mother was going to take it (because she had been known to throw a high fit at a holiday dinner when she perceived an insult) but she loved Larry and broke up in laughter. The rest of us breathed, the holiday was saved…and to this day, Mother laughs when I say “Well, Aint Ja-nay-ett…” because LARRY said it.

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If you grew up in Texas, you can’t help but love this book.

My brother-in-law has bedeviled my sister repeatedly reading excerpts to her and she finds herself laughing until she cries.

My full review is at the link.

The Ole Man – Episodes of the Heart by James Killingsworth

Amazing Foxy: My Hero!

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Amazing Foxy

Foxy Stone remains high on my list of good dogs and I just have to brag on him. I spent a night during the holidays at Rob & Kelly’s by myself the other night.  

Before bedtime, I crept out with Foxy into the big dark backyard full of trees and unseen boogeymen and barely let him have time to get his business done because I saw something white running around the yard in the distance…Rob said it was probably a possum.  I am pretty sure what I saw was the Bigfoot seen in the Pacific Northwest and it had migrated to the seemingly safe for children woodsy suburb located just north of Houston where my son lives.

bigfoot
Bigfoot from the Pacific Northwest seen in Harris County, or was it a possum as my son said? ( I KNOW it had to be this guy!)

We made it back into the house and I bolted the door. I worried about him getting up in the night needing to attend to more business, so I put a puppy pad by the back door.

Once in bed, I thought how clever I was to do that…then, I remembered that he is well up in years and wouldn’t relish the idea of having to go all the way downstairs to use the pads.  Drat!  But, just then I heard a loud noise. I texted Rob. He said it was probably the ice maker, but I think it was six men who had broken into the house wearing scary rubber masks.

MASK
Scary old men in masks or icemaker dumping ice?

I was really tired and had left my weaponry back home by my bed. So, I reasoned that if those mask-wearing-maniacs wanted this tired old woman that bad, they were probably a heck of a lot older than I am, and I could beat them off with my brand new amazing Chi Flat Iron with Ionic Tourmaline Hair Straightener even if it wasn’t hot  (because it gets REALLY hot and makes my hair spikey like I like it). With that sure plan of action in mind and my flat iron within reach, I fell asleep.

FLAT IRON
Flat Iron or a weapon to beat up six old men up to no good?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the night, I half awoke to Foxy jumping up in bed. Uh-oh! I hoped he was just up to get a drink of water…I should go check! But, remembering the ancient masked men bumping around downstairs, I declined to get up and investigate and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I eased quietly around the second floor so as not to attract the attention of the would-be assailants (who were obviously too old to climb the stairs) while looking carefully for a Foxy puddle to sanitize. Finding none there, I, emboldened by morning light, ventured down the stairs to investigate with old man Foxy at my heels.

puppy pads
The best XL puppy training pads I’ve ever used.

We made it to the back door without attack and I was pleased and amazed with my old boy. He had indeed gotten up in the night and made his way down a lengthy set of stairs to find the extra large wonderful puppy pads that I use exclusively and he had used them before climbing back up the stairs and returning to the bedroom! In addition, while he was down there, he ran those bad men out of the house because there was not a one of them in sight.

Thank you, Foxy. You are just an awesome traveling buddy.

Tools to Make my Life & Work Easier

As a writer, a shopper, a person, an independent contractor, etc., I use a variety of online tools to make my life easier.  Here is a list of the tools I used throughout my day.

I start my Toggl timer first thing in the morning when I start working.  I pulled up MindManager to look at an outline of an online course that I’m editing.

When I got a call from the office, I whipped out my LiveBinders to look at an itinerary for international travelers leaving at 9 o’clock tonight.  When my client wanted to collaborate on an article, Join.me was the ticket.

You get the picture.  Seriously, I used ALL of these today.  I am a terrible housekeeper, but I am productive writer and work-from-home kind of gal.

Internet tools make me be able to spread myself thinner than ever before!  (That’s sarcasm…not going to put in an “LOL.”)

Adult Books (Coloring Books, that is.)

Remember coloring books?  

Well, now we can have our own!  We don’t have to share with the children or grandchildren anymore!  They’re supposed to be stress-relief tools.  My judgment says they will stress me to the wall because I can color worth a flip. And, I will be stressed because I don’t have time. None the less, I am about to order the Creative Cat Coloring Book!  Of course, that will require art supplies to go with it.  (Good thing I have a lot of points saved upon on my Amazon Rewards Card for such frivolities.  It is guilt free spending.)

My good friend DB bought a coloring book last week.  She started coloring last night.  I asked her this afternoon (her morning) how the coloring was going.  DB said her hand was tired and she’d be ordering gel pens to go along with her other art supplies.

I’m tagging this post as Stocking Stuffers!  This will be a fun gift for our 50 plus girlfriends.

The Warren & Janet Show

Being 50 plus means you have a parent or two (if you’re fortunate) that’s about 80 years old.  My mother is 82.  She has a boyfriend named Warren.  They are a hoot!

Below is a little YouTube video from my mother’s 80th birthday.  Conversations with Mother and her boyfriend Warren are hilarious (as long as you don’t have to really deal with an actual problem!)

My mother has become a little bit famous on Facebook because I post our conversations.  Here are a few of the favorites.

Brenda & Janet in July, 2014.

Brenda & Janet in July, 2014.

Review – Striking Allegra K Tops (Colorful, Easy Care) – $10 and up

These are four of my favorite tops for perking me up on a day I’d rather stay under the covers with my pups.  They are so pretty and flowy that it’s almost like wearing a fun costume.  (I have at least six more Allegra K tops like these that I’ll review later.)

I took a chance when I ordered my first Allegra K topI mean, how good can a top be that costs only $8 – $10?  Since my first order, these tops have become a passion of mine.  I look at least once a week to see if there are new prints available.  I have received so many compliments on my Allegra K tops that I’ve decided to become a network publisher to promote them. I own every one of the tops in this review and can say that my experience ordering, wearing, and laundering them has been top notch.

 The directions say to “hand wash.”  I do NOT hand wash mine.  I wash them in Woolite and throw them into the dryer on low heat with other similar types of clothes.

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In my 20s, I didn’t have style, I had a helluva bosom.

In my 20s, I didn’t have style, I had a helluva bosom.

In my 30s, I made adorable two-piece suits with short skirts and tailored jackets to make the best of that bosom.  I wore them with classic pumps.

In my 40s, I grieved the passing of my husband and mourned not being in my 20s or 30s, so I schlepped around a lot without a bit of style. When I got dressed, it was usually a subtle navy or black pantsuits and pearls.

After I turned 50, I realized that all this that’s ME wasn’t going to get any better and I’d better make peace with that and rock it.

When I’m this lady’s age, I hope I’m rocking it even harder!  Read about her on the Advanced Style blog.

From Advanced Style

Review – Longer, Thicker Lashes (with Younique 3D Fiber Mascara)

Younique 3D Fiber Mascara is one of my very, very favorite things.  It’s the real deal.  Don’t order this on Amazon or eBay because you’re probably getting a knock off of China.  Take a look at my pictures below.  If you like what you see, visit my Younique website to order.

I try to keep lots of these in stock (12 on hand today) and can ship within 48 hours or faster via Priority Mail with tracking if you want to order it direct from me.  I take PayPal and credit cards.  Here are my direct prices:

The price for one is $29 plus $2.40 tax.  If I ship it to you via Priority Mail, add $5.95 to that.  I can ship two for one shipping price of $5.95.  If you buy three, I will pay for the shipping, shipping is free.  If you buy four, I’ll pay the shipping and you will get a $5 discount.

TO ORDER:

For now, I’m not automated.  You’ll either need to send me a payment via PayPal (to brendasstone at gmail) for the amount specified for one, two, three, or four 3D Mascara set, or send an email to the same address to tell me when I can call you to get your credit card number.

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