Saturday, February 26, 2011


A Father, Daughter & a Dog - story by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad . Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.."

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic
administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone..

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.."

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face
and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror.. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch... "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad !" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad . He's staying!"

Dad ignored me.. "Did you hear me, Dad ?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.. Dad 's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.. Dad 's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night.. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad 's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad 's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad 's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live while You Are Alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

God answers our prayers in His time........not ours.

Blessings to all who visit here,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Most of you who visit here
"know" me and my philosophies.
If life gives me lemons,
I add tequila and salt,
and get on with it.

This past week,
I was not pleased
at the "lemon" I got
and even though
today is
"National Margarita Day",
I don't think I'll be adding
any libations to my "lemon".

I'm not even sure
where I'm going with this,
but remember the title of this blog -
"Rocky Creek Ramblings".

I guess I should look at this stroke of fate
as a gift -
and let me ask this,
"how many of you got a new washing machine
for President's Day?"

I thought that my washer,
which was only 7 1/2 years old
still had a lot of life in it,
but when the repair man visited it,
he gave me the dire news -
"Ma'am, I don't know how to tell you this,
but that machine is plumb wore out".

Not what I wanted to hear -
but getting a new machine
wasn't the worse part of the problem.

The worse part was dealing
with an addiction -
and no, it's not tequila.

Check out this mess -
good news is that I can't get to my stove
and hubby brought home dinner,
but before I could
move in a new washer

I had to empty a bank of
four cabinets
so the delivery many could
get to the old washer to get it out
bring the new one in -

and they were all stuffed full
(I didn't get a picture before I started packing).

But I did find these sweet little salt cellars -
just the right size to hold a piece of sushi.

But until I get this mess straightened out,
I won't be making any sushi.

by the way,
don't bother to call me to RSVP -
my stinkin' phone is on the blink too!!

I hope my computer doesn't go next -
where would I be without you?

Blessings to all who visit here,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This morning before I did my
workout on the treadmill,
I decided that I needed
a definite playlist -
The Beach Boys,
Jan and Dean
and Bob Seger -
all classic rock.

But as I walked
and belted out the songs,
I got to
ooo, I wanna take you -

and it gave me a goal
yes, I'd love
to take my sweet hubby to Kokomo,
but since he has an aversion
to beaches,
it would have to be on a cruise ship.

Have any of you
ever gone on a cruise before -
what would you recommend?

I definitely know that I
have to keep
"walking to Kokomo"
so that I could feel confident enough
to wear shorts in public.

Blessings to all who visit here,

Friday, February 11, 2011


2011 -
the year of change -
is flying by at
an alarming rate.

I can't believe that I'm
at my second 21st day -
that means we are 42 days
into this year -
1/9 of it is gone!!

So it's time
for a few new changes
to my lifestyle,
but I figured you'd
want to know
how I was doing with
some of the changes
I have made so far.

Making the bed -
first I have to tell you
that this is not my bed,
but my dream bed.
I think if I can force myself
to make my bed every day
for a year,
I might treat myself to this
Paris Sleigh Bed -
and if it ever goes
into deep discount -
it is mine!!

But my bed technically
gets made or straightened every day -
the only problem is that it happens
at about 8:00pm -
when I go in to turn on my electric blanket
to get it warmed up for the night.
So I'm not doing really great
at getting my bed made every morning -
but I'm going to try.

Drink more water and less soda.
I'm doing great with this one -
I've even cut back on the diet sodas
and only had two full sugar Coca-Cola's
since I decided I would cut back.

My daughter has reminded me
that I'm doing well
as Coca-Cola is the favorite soda
of the women in my family -
at least 4 generations of them!
And my mother and I had one together
just this week -
she's 86
and weighs 122 pounds -
maybe there is hope for me yet!

Now this is where I'm the "star" pupil -
brushing and flossing.
Being an old dental assistant and office manager,
I have seen what happens to people
when they neglect this habit.
I have always been a stellar brusher,
but I had a hard time with the flossing -
but for 42 days,
I have not missed one day of flossing -
it is a habit now
and a good one.

For the rest of the changes -
I have gone to bed one night
without doing the dishes
and my check book is balanced to the dollar -
which is good for me as I used to have to keep
a running total in my head.
Even though I am not walking with
a book on my head,
I am very mindful of my posture
and it is improving.

Today is the day
to "kick it up a notch"
so what will I change -
I have given this much thought.

*I will record my food each day,
regardless of what I eat so that I can
see where I am doing well
and where I need some help.

* I will walk on my treadmill
at least 3 times a week.

*I will take a few minutes
out of each day
to work on something fun -
a craft I ejoy.

Blessings to all who visit here,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


One year ago today,
Carrleigh delivered 7
happy, healthy puppies -
went out,
had dinner
counted her puppies
over and over.

About 3 hours
after the last puppy
was born,
I heard
what sounded
like a delivery
of a new puppy-
puppy number 8

about an hour later,
here can puppy number 9!!

It was a heart-warming experience
for me to be able to assist her in this
see all of those beautiful, healthy puppies.

I got to watch them grow
and teach them how to love
and then they all went
to wonderful, loving homes.
They introduced us to
the nicest people!!

Please join me
as I wish all of these cuties
Happy Birthday.

And if you go by
Becky Bluebonnet's blog,
you will see that a
pawty is in progress.
Make a comment
and you might win
a wonderful prize -
there are 9 of them!!

Blessings to all who visit here,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Review of Moving Comfort Helena Bra - High Impact (For Women)

Originally submitted at Sierra Trading Post

Closeouts . The first thing you’ll notice about Moving Comfort’s Helena bra is that it has a less flexible feel than most; that’s thanks to the super-supportive M-frame construction and bonded cups. Touch-fasten adjustable straps Back hook-and-eye closure Impact rating: High (C, D, DD cup...

Wonderful Bra!! Highly Recommend!

By Scottie Mom from Hillsville, Va on 2/7/2011

4out of 5

Pros: Good Support, Comfortable, Straps That Do Not Slide, Durable, Breathable

Cons: Runs smaller than normal

Best Uses: Low Impact Exercise, Gym, High Impact Exercise, Jogging, Everyday Wear

Describe Yourself: Comfort-oriented, Practical, High-end shopper, Conservative

This is a fantastic bra - I knew before I bought it that it might run small so I adjusted my order size to the size that I thought would fit me - and it does run small when compared to other bras. I hope Moving Comfort never stops making this style.


Monday, February 7, 2011


My children always said
that when they were growing up
that I could never drive home
and sneak up on them.

The sound of
The Beach Boys
always gave me away.

I so enjoyed
driving my sexy Miata
with the top down,
blasting beach music.

And today,
I'm listening to it again -
with the voice of Jillian Michaels
interrupting occasionally -
"you're getting stronger'

Somehow it all seems to go together -
Del Mar, Ventura County Line,
Down Doheny Way -
well, at least that was where
I was driving my
cute little Miata.

These days
find me driving a farm truck
and walking on a tread mill
to my beloved Beach Boys -
and I wouldn't trade my farm
for all of the beaches in California.

You can say that
I'm happy here
with my life
that's the best place to be.

Now I just want to have
a bit less
of my happy, healthy self.

Blessings to all who visit here,

Friday, February 4, 2011


I am trying to develop
a new habit
that in my mind
I call
"take five".

And no,
I'm not taking five minutes
to rest when I do it.

I have a bad habit
of not putting things
back where they belong.
Then before I know it,
my kitchen table is a mess
or the counters are so full
that I can't put my grocery bags down.

So while I'm waiting for something,
like the water to boil for my tea
for my dogs to finish eating,
I'm "taking five" -
I pick up five items that need to be put
back in their home
and put them where they belong.

And sometimes,
I "take ten".

This is working for me now,
but I hope it encourages me
to develop the habit
of putting things back
where they belong
so that in the future when I
"take five"
it means I can go sit on the swing and knit.

Blessings to all who visit here,

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This morning I had my check-up
for my cholesterol and triglyceride count.

When my doctor came into the room,
he said,
"your cholesterol is perfect".

I thought he was kidding me
until I saw the numbers.

The last time I had it checked,
it was 238.
Today it is 143.
The last time my triglyceride count
was 381.
Today it is 140.

I must say
we are both really pleased
with this report.

Blessings to all who visit here,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


is not only the month for love,
it is the month to love your heart.

But loving your heart
is an activity that needs
to take place everyday.

The Mayo Clinic
offers a concise set of strategies
for implementing a heart-healthy lifestyle.
There is a plethora
of health information
on their website.

But the short and sweet version
of how to help your heart -

When you give up smoking,
your risk of heart disease drops dramatically
within just one year.
No matter how much or how long you've smoked,
you'll start to see benefits immediately.
I want to congratulate my son, Mitch -
as of yesterday, February 1st-
he has been smoke free
for one year!!
My husband and I
are celebrated our
25th Anniversary
of quitting on December 19, 2010.

Guidelines recommend that you get
at least 30 to 60 minutes
of moderately intense activity a day.
Remember that it doesn't
have to be planned exercise.
It can be
walking the dog,
Ironing is a great physical exercise -
believe it or not!

Heart-healthy eating
isn't all about cutting back,
it's about watching what you eat.
Most people need to add more
fruits and vegetables
to their diet.
It also means drinking
alcohol in moderation -
no more than two drinks per day for men
and one a day for women.

Reducing your weight
by just 10 percent
can decrease your blood pressure,
lower your cholesterol levels
reduce your risk of diabetes.

High blood pressure and
high cholesterol
can damage your heart
and blood vessels.
Screening can tell you
what your numbers are
and whether you need to take action.

We can all reap the benefits
from a healthy lifestyle -
today and everyday,
please love yourself.

Friday, February 4, 2011
National Wear Red Day.
Show your support for
your heart
by following this tradition.

Blessings to all who visit here,

**information gleaned from Costco Connection Magazine.
For the full article go to
"5 medication-free strategies to
help prevent heart disease."