It's MARCH!!!! And it looks like January here in the village of Union, Ky! I like the word 'village'. It sounds quaint and European. Speaking of European, I'm hoping all my pen pals have shoveled their way out of the Beast from the East! I was blown away by the videos and pictures you all put on Facebook! It actually looked like the US! For my american friends and followers who are unaware, towards the end of February, Britain and Ireland got hammered with a BEAST of a snow storm setting record accumulation. I mean, when a country is shut down, you KNOW it has to be pretty intense! I was looking at some snowfall amounts and Edinburgh (pronounced ed-in-buh-ruh for my friends who believe it rhymes with Pittsburgh or think it has a long O sound at the end) Scotland got punched with 20 inches, Ireland was all but shut down, and England (and most of the UK) saw snow drifts 15+ feet high! Oh and the temps!!! A friend (Hi Lesley!) posted a video and the howling wind was unreal! Now keep in mind, this is an extremely rare occurrence for these countries to feel and see this type of storm. Of course, for us here in the Village of Union, Ky. we have seen some hefty snowfall and felt some ungodly frigid temps so a better picture for us would be to imagine Tampa, Florida getting hit with Cleveland, Ohio snow! God love my Florida friends, but we all know you freeze at 60 degree weather! 😉
Here in our little cottage in the village, March has been exciting and chaotic. On March 1st, the love of my life turned the big 5-0. He is not one to get into big parties and I'm not one to let something so monumental go by without some type of celebration. So this meant that most of February I had to lie and keep quiet of all my mental plans. That itself is MONUMENTAL! And like anything else you try to plan, of course there were going to be hiccups.
My first plan was to call his boss and make sure to secretly get him off work the day after his birthday. His birthday fell on a Thursday, and I knew he planned to work that day, but I wanted him to have a birthday WEEKEND CELEBRATION so I made sure he was off Friday, the day after his birthday. So I called his boss, asked him to mark him off and keep it a secret and Boom, first idea done. I, too, made sure my weekend schedule was free and didn't have to work (I'm liking this weekend birthday thing!) Second, I asked him where he would like to eat for his birthday, giving the illusion I was making no plans 😉, he told me a specific restaurant and I being the ever obedient wife, made reservations elsewhere ☺️. This man was getting treated to an EXCEPTIONAL steak dinner. I also wanted to have us all picked up by a stretch limo, but since it was going to cost me TWO new car payments (hiccup number 1), I altered my plans and drove the new car and paid the $7 valet 😂. Next, I had to work with our daughter who is in the Navy. Sadly her car was totaled last month and we had to start the process of getting her a new car. The car she was buying was here in Kentucky, but she is stationed in Virginia. So, we either would have to drive the car to her and fly home or she would fly home and drive it back. Being that she wanted to come home and celebrate her dad, we got all the paper work for the car taken care of, but we just had to wait for her to get permission to leave. That was hiccup number 2. I also had to keep hush hush about the paper work and all because I didn't want him to ask me questions about her coming in or us driving out there...(lie number seventy something) And finally there was the "birthday gift"...
In the back of my head I knew what I wanted to get him, but didn't know if it would work out, for many reasons. This man has been wanting a dog/puppy for a while now and I wasn't sure if I would be able to find one I knew we both wanted, the gender we wanted, the price we could afford (me and the kids were all splitting the cost of this gift), the right color (has to be white because of my allergies...don't ask!), the right age, and the location (I refuse to be like some and drive 6 hours or so to buy a dog)...
Then, was I really ready to take on a dog/puppy? That was probably the biggest and hardest question. But in the end it was really the easiest answer... I mean, in our life, there has seriously never been any preparing for any life changing moments-except our wedding and the fact that we had 9 months to prepare our living arrangements for a baby or three. But we never "planned" to get pregnant at a certain time, we never "planned" to buy any of our houses or cars. I mean, life just happens and we do what we have to do and in some cases 'want' to do so the word READY is basically shot out the window. And, like most of my thought processes, I always think, 'if it's meant to happen, it will'. And so the searching began.
I got online, checked out a few sites, googled a few things and for whatever dumb reason, I decided to look on FACEBOOK. Yea, of all places. I know Facebook offers a marketplace where you can buy/sell items (of course I'd know this lol), but I went to the main pages of Facebook where you go to see all your friends' postings. I typed what I was looking for in the search bar and sure enough an advertisement popped up that a breeder had posted. Now before anyone jumps the ALL DOG LIVES MATTER bandwagon, please know that we have continuously looked at the pound as well as stray dog sites, etc. but sadly we couldn't find anything that fit any of the above mentioned prerequisites. So here's this ad and I immediately messaged the lady. She responded promptly and very nicely/professionally. And she answered all the questions I had...Do you want to know how fate works? Here's this breeder who had a litter of 10 pups. She had one female left. ONE. We only wanted a female. She was a white german shepherd, both parents white and on the premise for me to see. She was 11 weeks old (not too young-I hate that puppies are sold so young), she was affordable-had dropped the price since the litter was all but sold, and she was in Kentucky (about 2 hours away)...So I asked her when the puppy was born and the answer...on my birthday last November. (If it is meant to be it will happen...)
So, I sent her a deposit and made arrangements to pick up the pup on Bill's birthday. Which brings me to hiccup number 3 when she messaged about 4 days before the pick up date and said she had to work and wasn't available for delivery at the time and day arranged. I was crushed and only replied to her message with an "oh no...". A few hours later she messaged me back and said that we will just keep it as arranged and her husband will do the delivery process...(shoo)
The big day arrived and to be honest, everything was going smooth. I had already secretly bought an enormous cage and 2 gates for the house. My Navy daughter STILL hadn't gotten her leave approved so we were on standby hoping that as soon as it was approved she would buy her plane ticket and fly home and be home before 5:30pm. I went to the doctor bright and early for a check up, headed to the grocery store to buy dog food, carrots (which we use for dog treats), balloons and 4 boxes of donuts to treat ourselves for the next few mornings 😉. I dropped it all off at home, picked up my other daughter and we headed out to the boondocks of Kentucky somewhere. When we finally made it I had to pee so bad! I couldn't ask this man to use his restroom, I felt it was so inappropriate lol. Plus, when I saw her I couldn't wait to get her home! But...she was afraid of us. Totally afraid! And the little older man that was the lady's husband just kept doting on her and I felt bad taking her from him! Anyway, money was exchanged and papers were signed and pictures were taken.
We finally picked her up to put her in the car and to the nearest restroom we drove...if only it was that easy..(Hiccup number I don't know what) we are driving 20 minutes now on remote roads no where near an interstate and I have to really really pee, and the puppy decides to throw up...
I pulled off the road so we can swipe out the towels I was smart enough to bring for her to lie on and we grabbed a blanket in hopes that she will sleep, and it worked. She loved the blanket.
And I still had to pee, BUT I refused to pull off now that I got her calm and comfortable. So for the next two hours I drove like a complete and utter lunatic going 85mph on the highway we finally found and wouldn't you know it, it began to rain...like a monsoon (hiccup 359) and the windshield wipers are crap (you get the picture with the hiccups, right?). But I kept my pace and basically scooted over to the middle of the car while driving because that was the only part of the windshield that seemed to be clear of water! (Whatever it takes!) We called my son to put together the cage and gates and to be dressed and ready because he won't have time to shower-the dog was getting her first bath when we got home and my daughter and I still had to get ready before birthday boy got home. And guess what! We made it! We introduced the puppy to running water, I got to pee and we both got ourselves ready and landed at the kitchen table in time for him to pull up in his "red wagon" as his truck is referred to as. We tied a balloon to her collar and when he came in the house, he met his little fur baby birthday present....and I breathed a big sigh of relief.
She was so incredibly scared and lost and cute. He was so incredibly shocked and excited and sweet. To say he was happy was just the beginning. She looks so much like our Ray Ray that we had to say goodbye to 16 months prior and there were so many emotions. But he was in love.
Oh, but the night was young! We had reservations for 7pm and needed to go. He jumped in the shower, still not knowing about his steak dinner. At this time we realized that our Navy daughter wasn't going to make it in for the surprise or for the steak dinner and my heart hurt for her. Through all the excitement of trying to come up with a name for the dog, I forgot to tell him to wear "nice" clothes. So when he came downstairs to tell us he decided on a name, I didn't pay any attention to his attire. It was only when we were getting ready to walk out and were talking about something that my son and I realized he was wearing jeans! So I made him go back upstairs where he soon made a point to speak VERY LOUDLY of his hate for getting dressed up.😂 But that all ended when we showed up for the restaurant. It was amazing! And look what they did for him at the top of the menu! I thought that was wonderful!
We also got to have this beautiful view of Fountain Square in the heart of the city of Cincinnati with the lights changing colors...
His birthday was a success! That evening I told him we would go shopping first thing the following day, but he argued with me saying he couldn't because it was Friday and he had to work....SURPRISE! So after shopping, we came home and he took a nap only to be awakened by our Navy daughter who finally got her leave approved and was able to fly out that morning. Being that she got in around dinner time, she literally had no time to ready her poor self, but that didn't matter! It was party time! The next two evenings were spent celebrating at a couple of fun restaurants, one of which he THOUGHT he was going to for his original birthday dinner. Our family was together and we ALL enjoyed celebrating the man we love so much!
Happy 50th Sweet Man!
And everyone, meet his fur baby...Kimber Reign