Posts Tagged With: animals

Sunshine, questions and a big juicy life

A while back, a blogging friend Dor, awarded me the “Sunshine Blogger Award” – this award is as special as sunshine on my shoulders, sunshine on my toes… Or saying my future’s so bright I just gotta wear shades!

taken yesterday

Thank you Dor for your kindness & for including me. The rules are to do the following –

  1. Give a Big Hearty Thanks to the blogger who nominated you & link back to them (Check!)
  2. Answer the questions the other blogger asked you (See below)
  3. Nominate a host of others (rules suggest 8-11) but I’m just gonna leave this open whomever wants to play along and 😀
  4. List the rules/display the Sunshine Blogger Award on your site. (done)

Here are the questions Dor posed for me:

  1. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  Do you wish you were the other and why?
    • Gemini ~ both, depends on the day and situation.  I can work the room at a conference or cocoon myself away with my books ~ it all depends.
  2. Are you an animal lover?  What pets do you have and love?
    • Yes, no pets right now but our Grand-Dogs and a Stray Cat warm my ❤ regularly
  3. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
    • Mr. Corbett; he was smart, strict and fun
  4. Have you ever had a bad habit you  broke?  What was it and how did you change it?
    • I’ve stopped asking for permission to enjoy myself!
  5. What is your favorite place to relax?  Explain where it is and why it helps.
    • Home or outside / outside at home / the beach!  I’m cozy at home and comfy outside, provided it’s not 95F+
  6. What is your favorite movie of all time?
    • One I watch every time it’s on is “Something’s Gotta Give.”  ~sigh
  7. Do you love to travel or do you hate it?  Why?
    • Love to travel for vacation and I tolerate business travel.
    • I love the coming & going, but I don’t love impatient flyers trying to fit a couch into the overhead compartment. Remember when flying used to be fun?
  8. Are you an organized or a disorganized person?
    • Organized. My grocery list is typed in the order of the store.  I admit it 😉
  9. Are you always late, early, or right on time?  Are there any advantages or disadvantages to your timing?
    • Always early. A disadvantage is that not everyone riding with me is ready on time!
  10. Do you create lots of blog posts in advance of publishing or do you do one at a time?
    • As they come to me
  11. What inspires you to create a blog post?
    • see answer to #1  😉

And here are your questions, friends:

  1. What’s a scent or fragrance that takes you back to summers as a child?
  2. What dessert item do you remember savoring at family reunions, parties or weddings?
  3. Name a song that makes you want to get up & dance.
  4. What ability do you wish you had and why?
  5. Who do you wish you could have a conversation with?
  6. And lastly, what are you looking forward to?




Categories: Animals, Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Thoughts, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Doggie dreams

I’m pretty sure Frankie never aspired for us to have another pet.

No, while he was around he was very content to be “top dog.” Or the only dog, for that matter.


“I’ll share your supper but not my toys, bed, or people.”

But this pooch seems intent on adding to the family. Watch on, it will make you smile.

I guaran-dog-tee it!

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Share, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Optimism in the face of adversity

It’s been 7 days.

7 days.

6 nights without a welcome home and 6 mornings without a scrunchy-faced hello.

No drive by “so what are you cookin’ today” moments.

No yard tours. No dinner aides. No coffee partners.

7 days.

7 days without my buddy.

And there’s just so much I have to tell him, so much.

So if I could, I’d tell him about a new project we’re working on and how much fun we’re having and he’d nod his head in agreement because he always knew that’s what I needed.  And then I’d tell him about working to find just the right person to fill a job that’s come open, and he’d nudge me and tell me, in his own way, to trust my instincts and how they’ve always served me well — after all, they were right on spot with him.  And then I’d share  the news that Mom’s looking at maybe  – just maybe – moving after 61 years on the farm.  And he’d stay silent and close because he’d know .. he’d know that a decision likes that deserves nothing less than respect and reverence.

And after we’d checked on all things outside and had supper and taken a walk that was just long enough but not too much for him, I’d hug him close and whisper the words I said to him every night of his life, “You’re the best dog anyone could ever wish for. The very best. And there’s just no one better.”

And with it, he’d close his eyes and sigh and smile, guard our secrets and he’d know, know deep in his soul, that he had the kind of life other dogs can only dream of.

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. 

And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” ― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

Frankie-bear aka Captain Cuddles

Sure miss Frankie-bear aka Captain Cuddles; an Emjayandthem(c) photo

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Friendship, Grief, Growth, Life, Personal, Relationships, Share, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Shorty-pants the Co-op Cat

Oodles of kittens. That's me, lower left and my best cousin and friend, Deb next to me. Behind us is my sister and in ther ver

Oodles of kittens. That’s me, lower left, & my best friend and cousin, Deb, sitting next to me. (Behind us are our sisters).  This picture was taken in 1966 and we were 3, the same age as my grand-daughter MJ is today!

So … growing up on the family farm in rural Saskatchewan, I can tell you now that I lost track of how many kitty-cats we had.

We had Tigger, the orange Tom the size of a bobcat, Alley, the Alley-Cat,  and Minnie Mouse, so named because she was an expert mouser.  There was Flora, Fauna and Merriweather, named after the faeries in a Disney movie, Alice, who we named after Great Aunt Alice and her love of ruby-red lipstick and shoe-polish black hair dye.  And I can’t forget William McDolphus, my cousins’ tomcat or Tia the baby Siamese who showed up just weeks before Christmas.  As we grew up, our cats took on more sophisticated names like Black Magic, Rod the bod (as in Rod Stewart) and Meatloaf, the world’s fattest cat.

But the one who lives in infamy is Shorty-pants the Co-op cat.

Let me tell you the story.

You see, in my neck of the woods, farm families belong to a “Co-Op” association; it’s where they shop for gas and groceries, Christmas presents, farm tools, lipstick and romance novels, and everything else in-between.

Legend has it that Dad drove to town on a cold winter’s day, parked his car and left it running.  You can do that in a small town.  While his car was idling, out fell a cat.

You read that right.

Out fell a cat.

Now it was not uncommon in winters where the average temperature is -40F to have cats, ours or otherwise, climb up on a tire and warm themselves next to the engine. However, it was uncommon for a cat to survive a 9 mile ride to town and several thousand turns around the engine.

Dad came out of the Co-op with licorice and groceries and the mail and heard the most terrible sound coming from under his car. Peering through the snow and the muck and the ice there he saw it — a most pitiful sight: a bloodied kitty shivering in the cold with the back end of his fur .. scorched off.

Now Dad was the softest of the softies and he wasn’t about to let this cat freeze to death.  However, this was not our cat.  Not one he’d ever before seen. He somehow managed to catch the poor thing and get it into the car and, let’s just say, his ride home was …. interesting.

Next we come to my Mother’s reaction, which consisted of, “How did you make out at the store, dear?” “Did you remember to get Canada Dry?” “Did you pickup the paper, too?” And then came “What in the hell is that?”  Picture this before her:  a bitterly cold January day and here’s Dad hauling groceries and a half naked cat. And behind her were five – count ’em – five terrorists kids.

Downstairs went the cat and back up to the kitchen went my Mom.

It wasn’t long before all of us discovered Dad’s little secret: the secret living in the basement! You see Mom is highly allergic to cats. As in can’t breathe allergic. As in probably not a good idea to have a cat – even a half-naked one – living in the house with the rest of us.


We kids didn’t care; one by one we made excuses to sneak away and play with Shorty Pants, and, day by day, he found his way into our hearts.  We rubbed salve onto his exposed skin and found ways to play with him that didn’t make him hurt.  It wasn’t uncommon to find one of us – at any hour day or night – shivering in that cold basement with a warm and smiling cat cuddled in our laps.

The thing is, that cat’s hair never fully grew back and his name never changed.  He lived to the ripe old age of 17, siring dozens of litters and I’m sure there are still descendents of his tucked  up into wheel wells on cold winter days.

Forever and a day, he was known as Shorty-Pants the Co-Op cat and, to this day, he remains, my very favorite.

“Animals are such agreeable friends–they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Eliot

Did a pet of yours come to you in a most unusual way?

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Frankie’s Fall Tour


Approaching my 2-year-blogoversary next week (click here for my very first post!), I decided to, once again, feature our faithful furry friend, Frankie.  Frankie’s been featured here more than once and come to have his very own group of admirers.

Tuesday evening was windy and cool  – a typical fall mix of sun and shadows, gusts and more … and really, the perfect evening for a stroll with old dog.

I swear that dog has a clock: he stamps his paw and moans at lunchtime, he sits at the front door just before that big yellow thing drives by (school bus),  and he always, always waits in the same spot until I walk in .. half on the carpet, half on the kitchen floor.  And when I set my things down and reach to pet his fuzzy face, he wraps his paws around my wrists and loves me like no other.

He waited patiently as I laced up my runners and he twirled a few times when I put on my wind breaker.   Leaning down, I softly said the words he longed to hear: “Would you like to go for a walk?”    His happy smile and wagging tale told me the answer wasn’t just yes but I-can’t-believe-you-asked-me-and-of course-I’ll-accept-this-rose!

Come along with us, will ya?

1st stop, sniff at the neighbor’s house

Bum snags happen when you’re walkin’ like you mean it!

Almost home but these old hips need to rest a spell …

Squirrels schmirrels!

Total distance traveled: <1 mile.

Total # potty breaks: 18

Total # sniffs: 47

Total # tail wags: 354

Time with my aging pooch? Priceless


“I like dogs
Big dogs
Little dogs
Fat dogs
Doggy dogs
Old dogs
Puppy dogs
I like dogs
A dog that is barking over the hill
A dog that is dreaming very still
A dog that is running wherever he will
I like dogs.”
—Margaret Wise Brown (The Friendly Book {Big Little Golden Book}) 

Categories: Animals, Family, Home, Joy, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Shine on

Now isn’t that a handsome pooch tucked into the new shiny award below? Yep, it’s about time that a canine connection was recognized here in the blogosphere!   You read that correctly: Frankie the dog has taken over the controls here at Emjayandthem.

Rom’s buddy Dianna at These Days of Mine shared this award via her kitty cat, Sundae.  Despite what you might think, I’m not anti-kitty.   I’m cat-neutral. Not that I know any cats personally. Unless you count that fat cat across the street who lies in the yard and stares at me; it’s not like we’ve been introduced though because Rom doesn’t let me cross the road. I think he laughs at me for that. Whatever.

Anyways, so on to the award.  Apparently the rules have been edited over time but here’s what I understand we’re to do:

  • Answer some questions  
  • Nominate other dogs blogs
  • Include the award here
  • Pay the love forward by telling others they’ve been nominated
  • Pay the love back by linking back to the one who nominated you (dance with the one who brought you, so to speak)

What is My Favorite Color?   It’s a tie between black & white.

What is My Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink?  plain ole H2O works just fine for me.  I’m partial to tap, shaken not stirred.

Yes I really am that subtle!

What is My Favorite Animal?    Duh! Dogs.

when I was just a pup

when I was just a pup

Do I Prefer Facebook or Twitter?   I prefer Myface.

What is My Favorite Number?   5:15.  That’s when Rom gets home and all is right with the world!

I’ve been part of every important milestone in this family. This pic was taken on my brother’s wedding day; I had a purple bow on!!

What is My Favorite Flower?  I really dig Rom’s peonies ’cause I can operate in super stealth mode in there.

can you find me?

What is My Passion?   Sleeping, eating, greeting, napping, stretching, sniffing, eating, dozing and grilling!

trying to be mannerly and not stare at the food directly

Many of Rom’s readers have award-free blogs, so we decided only to name those bloggers that we know have furry friends to share this with.  BUT we invite all of you who wish to accept this award to please do so.

please visit

Otis the Texas dog at When I Ride

Shelby the farm pooch at The View out Here

Minnie Mouse, a very feisty cat at Hot Rod Cow Girl

Lucy, a hat wearing, passport toting dog at Reinventing the Event Horizon

Loca the frisbee flipping poodle at Hunting for Bliss

The old cat over at Rich Ripley’s house

My Florida dog-friend Chewie at My Fascinating Life

Siblings Wilbur and Cherokee & any extra pooches being “dog-sat” over at Lenore Diane’s

and Lucy-pie, the dog who favors crazy poses, at Into the Mystic

And special thanks to Sundae-girl for the shout out.  Have a great day, friends!

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” ~ Immanuel Kant

peace out

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Life, Quotes, Share, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments


We have an owl living in the woods behind our house; sometimes, he hangs out on our rooftop, as it provides an excellent lookout point to what scurries beneath the street light.  Not only are they beautiful animals, but I find their “whoo whoo” sounds to be very comforting.

Some time ago, I had a session with a local reader who is Native American. Much of her wisdom comes to her in the form of “totems” or symbols of character traits.

She told me my Totem was the Owl.  I found this summary particularly interesting:

Totem of the Owl: messenger, deception, clairvoyance, insight (the night eagle)  Owls come in all sizes, from a tiny miniature that actually lives inside the cactus in the desert, to the great horned owl, which is the only bird that can out fly the golden eagle. A fully grown great horned is an awe-inspiring creature. Its talons are furry, and closely resemble the paws of a baby mountain lion with claws extended. It is meat eater, which means it can be a fierce warrior if challenged, or if something dear to it is threatened. It is often referred to as the Night Eagle. The owl is at home in the night. It has great awareness of all that is around it at all times. It has predator vision, which means it sees clearly what it looks at. It has great intuition: it is the totem of psychics and clairvoyants. It has the courage to follow its instincts. Owl’s ability includes seeing behind masks, silent and swift movement, keen sight, messenger of secrets and omens, shape-shifting, link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light, comfort with shadow self, moon power, freedom.

Owl people can see into the darkness of others souls. Most owl people are clairvoyant because of this. This can be scary at times. Learn to trust your instincts about people as an owl totem gives you the power to extract secrets. Listen to its voice inside of you. You will hear not what is being said by others, but what is hidden.   You can detect subtleties of voice that others cannot. People cannot deceive a person who has an owl totem.

Funny, one of the things I’ve preached to our boys over the years is to “Listen to your instincts; go with your gut. If something rubs you the wrong way, run. Pay attention and never ignore it.” I’ve told this because the only times I’ve gotten in trouble was when I ignored that voice.

Categories: Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Relationships, Seasons, Traditions, Useful Information, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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