Posts Tagged With: dogs

Random 5 December ~ Traditions, time off and dogs

Hello again, friends.  It’s time for another Random 5  from my part of the blog-osphere. Ready? Here we go:

1)  Thursday morning, I woke with a start …. it was 4:04 a.m. and there I was, wide awake thinking about Christmas cards!  Ack, rolling over, I tried to resume my slumber.  No-can-do.  Muttering to myself that Hubbs never experiences such thoughts, I found my way to the kitchen and pressed the “brew” button on the coffee machine.

I used to enjoy writing Christmas cards, especially when the boys were little and I could include a picture or funny story about them. I don’t enjoy it anymore.

I can remember my parents’ delight when a Christmas card came in the mail. They were such a lovely alternative to newspapers, bills and other correspondence.  I recall the sparkles on my hands after reading updates from people I didn’t recall: Aunt so and so.  Cousin somebody.   Mom carefully taped the cards and put them up all around the kitchen window.  Red and green, silver and gold, shimmered in the light and brought festive to the room.  That she took the time to do so for each card suggested reverence to me.

There’s only a few family members left that I would normally mail a card to – this year, I’m calling instead.  And I think they’ll be just fine with a laugh and a chat and a “I miss you, too.”

2 )   Balance. As an adult I’ve struggled to balance between what I want (to do) for Christmas vs. what (I think) is expected of me.    Shopping is done, wrapping is not.  Some baking was accomplished …but also eaten (Hubbs!).

So what I’m working towards is making room for MY Christmas —  I relax and smile when the tree lights are on; reading or cooking near them makes me happy. There’s a peace I feel being able to pay the bills, have $ for gifts and a bit to put away, too.  There was a time I couldn’t do that, and I appreciate now that we can.  I look forward to time with the boys – card games, good foods, “knock knock” jokes with the grands, and days off with Hubbs.  No particular place to be.  No schedule. Reading more than a page or two at a time.  Knowing I can sleep in even though I won’t.  I’ll be up early, watching the snow fall, sipping coffee and reading your blogs.

My stack of reading is close to this size


3 ) 9 and 119 days left of work for THIS YEAR then 11 – count ’em – 11 glorious days off!  Time for a reset button.  I’m fortunate that I enjoy the work I do, but this year the challenge has been in being able to do it.  This has been a year of organizational change, steady movements, restructuring, people coming, people going, and that constant shift of the horizon has left me dizzy and needing a break.  And I plan to take it, no exceptions!

4 ) Shades of Frankie. Youngest boy got a dog, and memories of our beloved Frankie definitely influenced his choice.   Our Frankie as a Pup:

Frankie as a wee one

Ladies and gents, meet Sullivan, or “Sully” for short:

Sullivan (an Emjayandthem (C) Photo)

I haven’t met this furry little friend yet but I’m sure I’ll cry when I do.

5 ) We’re heading into the new year soon.  Can you believe it?   I haven’t thought about my goals and dreams for next year, but I’ll work on them over my time off.    A good friend is leaving our company next week; she hasn’t had time to think about what her “next” looks like.  I encouraged her to create a Vision Board.   I know she won’t, but it reminded me that I’m ready to.  


What traditions are worth continuing and which ones have you stopped? 

What gift are you giving yourself this Holiday Season? 

Wishing you peace at Christmas and always

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Kisses, smiles and summertime

Summer just started and * gasp * it’s already scheduled  … I have too many vacation hours and must use “it or lose it” (not happening).  Not a terrible problem to have I know so, for that reason, I’m booking off soon to enjoy a summer  that looks like this:

“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!”  ― Kenny Chesney


 What’s your summer looking like? 



Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random 5 for Labor Day – Ice Cream, escape artists, Apple Season and days off

Random 5 for Labor day ~ here we go!

1 ) Years ago my cousin had a summer job at an ice-cream parlor. I spent the night with her to help eat at the shoppe.  We made up every concoction possible, ate gobs of ice cream, butterscotch, hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream.  I recently realized that I don’t crave ice cream ~ pretty sure that gluttonous memory is why.

hard decisions of our childhood


2 )  Labor Day.  The end of summer as we know it ~ and leaves here are already turning.   But wait – here’s the BEST news – Honey-Crisp apples are nearly ready!!  Oh the joy cannot be contained!  You can still buy some of last year’s apples for $5.00/lb — but soon the orchards near me will sell FRESH apples (bumper Michigan crop this year!) -I can get a dozen for ~$7.00 and youngest boy and I will gobble them down like iced cream!


3 ) Speaking of youngest boy, he has a  girlfriend and the girlfriend has a dog named Morty.  I like her already. And isn’t that the greatest name?  Apparently Morty likes busting free from the confines of the kennel; the kid has since nicknamed him “The great Mordini.”  Ha ha ha.


who can resist? Not I.

4 )  I love Fall.  Apples. Leaves. Bright sunny days. Cool, crisp nights.   I. Love. Fall! ❤



5) Hubbs and I both took tomorrow off !  I’m planning on sleeping in followed by coffee & a lazy brunch then a massage and whatever else I feel like doing – or not !!  Whoo Hoo!

otter day off

No stress, no dress code!


What’s your Random 5 looking like today? Ever over-do it on a food you love?  What happened?  Are you seeing signs of Fall where you are?  What’s the last kind thing you did for yourself?   Happy Labor Day everyone!



Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Joy, Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random Five Friday ~ September’s end, just like that

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Let’s go.

1. Got a flu shot yesterday. It hurt. It still does.  The end.

2. A co-worker recently moved back from a stint out East. Great guy, experienced, kind, and funny as what.  He’s a big guy, about 6’4″ with an equally big voice. His office is next to mine and he has a tendency to land in my doorway, all Kramer-like, and startle me .. at least once a day. But I love it.  We laugh, we talk and we share stories about our lives, our families and our frustrations.  It goes kinda like this:

3. Remember last week when I bought the Honey crisp apples?  Well .. sorry to say but these were picked on the green side.  Now this is a deliciously sweet and crispy apple.  But these … weren’t sweet at all.  So I had no choice, really. It was destiny that they find their way into an Apple crisp.  My office-mates sure were happy yesterday :).

You know I brought Iced Cream, too :)

You know I brought Iced Cream, too 🙂

4. I took today off.   It’s going to be 76F and sunny, and we all know what’s coming.  Sometimes, in the face of deadlines, conference calls and project updates, you just have to go for it.

5.  Arriving home last night, I heard a dog barking. Not a bark I know.  You see, when you live in a place for a while you get to know the barks of the neighborhood There’s the yippity-yappity dog 2 doors down who we’ve have come to ignore because she’s the kind of dog who barks …to bark. Then there’s the big hearty husky with a mournful howl who always makes me a bit sad when I hear him.

But this was different.

I looked outside and saw him…. right across the street. The neighbor’s dog .. the one who is never out on his own. Never. Not in the 10 years they’ve had him. And there he was .. pacing, barking, kind-of wagging and then – wait – and there he was out in the road looking hopefully to each passing car …

“Oh no,” I thought, grabbing Frankie’s leash.

We don’t know these people well .. he’s a bit .. off.   The kids go from this house to their Mom’s house and back again. But I remembered the last name from mailbox mix ups and Googled a phone number for the grandparents who live nearby.

He barked hard at me … and when I set some water down, he promptly followed me back to my doorstep where he sat as I dialed.

“It’s o.k.” I said.  “You’ll be all right,” I said.

Thankfully the Grandma answered. (That’s the thing about older people, they still have land lines and they still answer the phone!) Quickly the daughters were dispatched from where-ever they’d been back to the old guy leaning against me. His tail wagged and tears fell,  including my own.

And once again I found myself thinking that life has a way of putting us right where we were meant to be.

The poor old boy gave me a full-body lean while we waited.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

He trembled as he waited.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

And how was your week?  Any “Kramers” in your world?  Do you get a flu shot? Have you made any furry friends lately?


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Gratitude, Life, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

R5F ~ September

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Here we go 🙂

1. Buttons.  What is it with buttons now-a-days?  Between Hubbs and youngest kid they break/pop/lose more buttons than anyone I’ve ever known.  Between you and me? It’s the buttons.  They’re cheaply made.  They splinter and crack on a regular basis.  Neither one has a big belly or wears their clothes tight … I blame it on the modern-day button.   Mom kept a button jar – chock full of industrial strength buttons. Some looked like jewelry, others like they were from a uniform, but all were sturdy and long-lasting.  I need a button jar like that!

Yes some of hers were this ornate!

Yes some of hers were this ornate!

2.   Our office has become pet-friendly.  A few employees have stopped by with their puppy or dog on a day off and before/after a vet visit.  Dogs are good buffers ~ they can transform the quietest employee into the most popular one, just like that!   I will be working in my office when the tone of the office changes and voices go from professional-normal to squeaky high pet lover.  The same thing happened when an itsy-bitsy kitten visited.  Grown men in suits were reduced to mere puddles.  Pets are a great common denominator.



3.  Morning announcers say there’s only 111 days till Christmas.  I know, I thought the same thing.  Why rush my Fall?  It’s my favorite!

It won't be long before my back yard looks like this! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

It won’t be long before my back yard looks like this! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

4. Road Trips ~ I’m traveling next week so I won’t be blogging.  I’m sure I’ll have stories to share .. there’s no end to observations  and “ahas” when traveling.  But in the meantime I’m thinking ahead ~~ what comfy shoes can I build an outfit around?  All that airport walking means shoes first, cute & stylish second.  Plus I always wear shoes that require socks .. no barefoot security jaunts for me – gross!

March on!

March on!

5.  And I can’t think of September without Earth, Wind and Fire!  Groove on, peeps. 🙂

Was there a button box in your home?  If pets visited your office what would happen?  Do you wear socks for airport travel?


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, music, News, Personal, Random, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Frankie’s friends

As many of you know, we had to say good-bye to our fur-ever friend, Frankie, this summer.

13 years & 22 days with the world’s greatest dog.

So lucky, yes we were.

Smart and hilarious, I found him at the Humane Society. (More about his adoption here.) In his honor, we decided to pay it forward and sponsor the adoption of another lucky mutt.  He was all about sharing (especially food!) and I think he would have appreciated that.

Last week, still feeling the pinch of his absence, I received an email that made my heart smile.  Read on:

Dear Marilyn:

I wanted to let you know that Frankie’s memorial gift was used on a terrific family today 🙂  They adopted Penny – a 1.5 year old Pointer/Hound mix who has been with us since October 8.  The cool thing is that Penny joins their Golden Retriever, Sam, who was adopted from us in 2010.   The photo of the adopter, her son and the 2 dogs together is below.

Penny (L), her new brother, Sam and their family

Penny (L), her new brother, Sam (L) and their family

The adopter was so overwhelmed by your generous gift that she started to cry.  She couldn’t believe the kindness of you and your family and was even more touched because she just had to put her cat down last month.  She wanted to keep the generosity going so she made a donation to help more animals!

Thank you again to you and your amazing family!  It is truly an honor to be a part of your fantastic story!

On behalf of all of our animals,  we thank you!!!

Nicole C.,  Humane Society of West Michigan.

* * *

We like to think of Penny and her brother, Sam, as “Frankie’s friends” and we’re happy to be part of their success story.

Ever had a “pay-it-forward” moment?  Please share!

 Well done, Mom!

Frankie would have approved 🙂

Categories: Animals, Charity, Faith, Family, Friendship, Joy, Life, Love, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Farewell to a fur-ever friend

We had to say good-bye to our fur-ever friend, Frankie, earlier this week.

13 years & 22 days with the world’s greatest dog.

So lucky, yes we were.

Smart and hilarious, I found him at the Humane Society of West Michigan.   More about his adoption story here. In his honor, we are going to pay it forward and sponsor the adoption of another mutt for a another lucky family.  He was all about sharing and I think he would have appreciated that.

Frankie as a wee one

Frankie as a wee boy

Frankie arrived when our boys were 6 & 14; He was a first class salesman (he always got the order), champion bed warmer, professional greeter and happiest .. near us.

We enjoyed a great weekend with the kids & grands by the grill (his favorite), not knowing it would be his last.

Frankie's last grill night with us .. just last Saturday.

Frankie’s last grill night with us .. just last Saturday.

He developed a vestibular disorder suddenly,  which as traumatic as it was to witness, had to have been terrifying for him.  But I know in my heart that our presence, our touch, our kisses, tears, sorrow and hugs .. served to comfort him in his hour of need.

Frankie finds contentment easily

He enjoyed cuddles like this one the last night of his life

Thankfully, the situation was short-lived.

I’m grateful for that.

Thankfully, we were home.

I’m grateful for that, too.

It was obvious we had a decision to make that, as sad as it was for us, was absolutely right … for him.

He deserved no less.

And so we stayed with him as he passed on, petting him, kissing him, whispering words of endearment that will never be enough to say all that we really felt.

We bucked up, carried on and, with tears streaming down, did our best to convey our gratitude to the kind of friend you wish could stay in your life .. fur-ever.

Rest in peace, sweet boy.

Frankie’s farewell … an emjayandthem (C) photo

 “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers


Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Grief, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Time passages

Looking through some older photos the other day, I came across some older snaps of Frankie the dog:

baby Frankie

baby Frankie

With oldest boy:

Baby Frankie with big brother Boo

Baby Frankie with big brother Boo

and with youngest:

can't. breathe.

can’t. breathe.

Supervising leaf raking as a young gentle-dog:

in younger days, before the grey

in younger days, before the grey

And later, modeling a shrunken woolen sweater in a move known as the Marino-a-No-No.

you guys are ridiots

you guys are ridiots

He’s been a source of hilarity and a source of comfort, too.

See the smile on Frank's face?

See the smile on Frank’s face?

And always, he continues to do what he does best … stay close.

Grill consultant

Grill consultant waiting quietly nearby.

Time passages.

13 years since he came home with us from the pound.

And always, ever faithful.

There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.  ~Konrad Lorenz

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Home, Joy, Life, Quotes, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 33 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

The look

“You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, “My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” – Dave Barry

I had just that kind of conversation with Frankie last night; his support never wavers!

:: Good Gravy - You're Brilliant!! ::

Do you converse with your pets?

For more about how Frankie came to be our fuzzy kid, click here.

Categories: Animals, Friendship, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , | 41 Comments

Blog at

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Waiting for the Karma Truck

thoughts on the spaces in between

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.


Nancy Roman

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!


just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another weblog

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...