Writers Workshop – May 9

Thursday again already… which means it’s time again for Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writers Workshop!

Mama’s Losin’ ItIt’s not too late to join the fun either – come on by!

So this weeks writing prompts are:

1.) Your top 10 favorite YouTube channels.
2.) A long drive…
3.) Describe a talent of flaw that seems to be in your genes.
4.) When you first discovered the internet, what sites did you frequent most?
5.) Tell us what (or who) you’re crushing on.

I’ve chosen prompt number 2… A long drive… Because – I took one the other day, and reinforced the lesson that you absolutely cannot always trust your GPS.

I know that I’ve been away from these mountains for 10 years… I do. I also know that certain things stick in your memory forever; like how to get to a relatives house…

A couple of weekends ago we decided to take the trek up the mountain to my Aunt’s place. It takes about an hour… It is a beautiful trip through very lush forest and some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever see. And, bonus? It’s all paved roads…

Well, when we go, we go big so not only did R & I go… but so did Jon and R’s sister… PLUS R’s daughter K and her boyfriend C.

Two cars… it’s not a bad drive and kind of fun. Usually… fun, that is..  until your GPS decides that paved roads are for the weak and simple… you must take the road less travelled… in this case a partly flooded “camp road” that cuts through a mountain pass instead of going up and over. The reason it’s not paved? Well, in most places its not wide enough for two cars, and there is not really any room to  make it any wider what with the drop offs and such…

While I love a great scenic drive… taking 30 extra minutes to drive the route to see nothing but forest floor and dirt clouds… just not my idea of scenic…

Also – driving a Challenger over this terrain is always an interesting prospect – made even more so by the aforementioned dirt clouds and partial flooding… less than 2 hours after washing said Challenger.

We did however spend the entire trip down this forsaken track laughing and joking and cutting up. It was worth the time spent just enjoying the company of those around me. Anytime I can do that, it’s a good day.

How about you? What’s a great “long drive” story?


Today is the second day of the Norman Rockwell series. The inspiration for this series is courtesy of Bert’s blog, where he tells amazing stories of “men and women doing the right thing”. If you haven’t yet, please head over to his site and give him some bloggy love. All of the art for this series is from Art.com.

Today’s image inspiration:

At the Vets - March 29, 1952

At the Vets – March 29, 1952

I will never forget Misty. She was my first dog, and my very best friend for almost 10 years. We were constant companions until the day she slipped quietly over the Rainbow Bridge. She came into my life via a cruel and heartless owner who threw her away like a bouncing ball. Coincidentally, that’s how the crass bastard threw her from his car – he tossed her little ball out the door and out she went after it. He then slammed his car door and off he went leaving that sweet little baby in his wake.

It just so happened that my neighbor Mark and I went outside not long after and heard her rustling around under the trailer. We looked and there she was, all cute and cuddly and white… and muddy. Cowering in the chill of November and holding her ball in her mouth. I quickly went back inside and slipped back out with a bunch of turkey from our feast that afternoon (something I did in fact in in major trouble for). After what seemed like hours, she finally got close enough for me to grab her. When I did she dropped her ball, and it rolled into the yard – she dashed after it and brought it back to me… dropping it at my feet – and I was hooked y’all.

I named her Misty after the weather outside that day, it was hazy, overcast, and cold with a light rain drizzling down on us. In that single ball dropping moment, she became my best friend forever. We spent hours with that silly ball. She preferred the bright yellow tennis balls that I substituted after a week of not being able to find the little blue racquet ball she came to me with.

She was a Cockapoo or so said the veterinarian we visited with her not long after her arrival – shots and a check up were the order of the day. She became a part of our little family, and my dad’s dog dutch fell in love with her.

The first time she went into heat they bred, and after she miscarried after only two weeks of pregnancy, she was immediately taken to the vet and spayed – she almost died, as did I.

When my dad passed away a few years later she was there to lay on my bed as I cried for hours on end. She was there to play ball for hours and hours when I needed a distraction from all the grief and pain. She was there to watch over me as I slept a fitful and nightmarish sleep for those first few months.

She moved with my mom and I when we went to Florida – the only one of the dogs we had to make the “moving cut”. The others, two German Shepherds and a Great Dane were donated to loving families prior to our departure. She was there as I learned the ropes of a new neighborhood and was the catalyst for me to make new friends.

She had a real passion for my grandmothers chocolate chip cookies – at one point enlisting the cat in her fiendish addiction; coercing him to knock the sealed container from the top of the refrigerator in order to chew a hole through my grandmothers Tupperware pie keeper to get to the rich chocolaty goodness inside.

She had a run in with a bunch of saran wrap at one point, prompting another trip to the vet and an unfortunate surgery to remove three feet of the stuff from her stomach. A surgery I was allowed to “scrub in” for at the ripe old age of 14. The next time she went under the knife was because of a bunch of tinfoil she consumed. And another for a round with our fiberglass garage door as she had inadvertently been left out there instead of in the house.

When I was 16 and she was 9 she was diagnosed with cataracts. The vet said they were not yet bad enough to remove yet so we just kept an eye on them. Six months later she was totally blind. Then she lost her hearing. She got lost not long after the hearing loss and I was devastated! She had somehow gotten out of the back yard and wandered away. For three weeks I put up posters and searched the neighborhood for her. Finally, I found her living with another family who had taken her in when they found her wandering around their back yard with a tennis ball in her mouth. Old habits die hard.

One afternoon I came home and found her cowering in a corner, despondent. She had an accident on the floor and was totally mortified by her actions. It happened again that night. She was unable to find the door to ask to go out. We decided to have the vet take a look and see if she was suffering. That’s when they found the cancer. It was eating its way through her liver. Her internal organs were shutting down… she was dying.

A week before my 18th birthday I took her in my arms for the last time, and carried her into the exam room and lifted her onto the table. I stood quietly by while her lifelong vet inserted the needle into her leg and promised me she would feel no more pain. I held her in my arms as the medicine flowed into her little body and she sighed her last breath, dropping the tennis ball to the floor. She was buried in the pet cemetery at the vet’s office with a tombstone that read “Misty – faithful friend, constant companion, tennis pro”.

I miss her every day of my life.

Thank’s for reading to the end – I know this one was long, but it was a story asking to be told.

Happy Wednesday! Come back tomorrow for the next Norman Rockwell inspired post entitled Dolly.



Yesterday we decided to go on an outing so that I and the kiddos could be introduced to our new home. Now that it’s not freezing outside and we can actually do that sort of thing you know. So we decided to head over to River Bluff Trail and take the dogs on a walk… mind you there are seven of them. Yes I said seven – don’t judge only five of the little buggars are mine. Ok… yes, I have five dogs, but they’re all very small and really only equal one big dog.  Anyway – they needed a good run, and all the humans needed some fresh air and sunshine themselves. So we took a walk. A lovely walk…


A walk that included lots of limestone, and beautiful flowing water….




A walk that also included a dam:











And dogs in the water…

Dogs in my purse…

He was tired... don't judge me!

It also included ducks:

 Ducks who were apparently less  impressed with us than we were with them.

This walk also included trees:

 And more dogs…

Beautiful trees!

I’m not sure what this is – but it was LOVELY!





See how pretty?








And of course the walk included kids… how do you think we handled all those dogs??

Little Man, being goofy!

Our Girl!















Oh yeah – there were flowers too!

And what walk is complete without at least one kid and or dog playing “King/Queen of the mountain”??

King and Queen of the Mountain!

In the end, it was a good day. We all had a great time and the dogs/kids got plenty of exercise… I Loved it!



It’s been a busy week and I thought I’d go ahead and start doing my weekend wrap-up again.

So, the week began uneventfully – we actually had not much going on. Haven’t heard much from Our Guy in a couple of weeks, and Our Girl has been curbing her attitude and working really hard to stay cool regardless of what’s going on in her world. Thankfully… she even handled the disappointment of having to reschedule a doctor’s appointment with a decent amount of “hold it togetherness”.

Now, the hubs oldest on the other hand has been a nightmare in the making all week. Let me just explain that since his grandpa died (whom he’s lived with since he was 1) he’s been in a virtual whirlwind. His grandmother is nuts, well maybe not so much nuts as senile. But her senility is worse because she was a mean one to begin with. So twice this week she’s thrown him, his wife, and the baby out on their butts – only to ‘forget’ and apologize a few hours later. Then of course we were told that she was letting the bank take back the house and she was moving into her old house in North Carolina. Of course this is not something she’s competent to do – someone else, her other son, has power of attorney and makes those decisions. So that proved to be a falsity. Of course the week before she hit both him and his wife, AND decided that the son that was taking care of her POA was screwing her over… it’s just one thing after another, and nothing but drama that I really don’t need.

We were supposed to take a trip to Kokomo on Thursday, but the Lord intervened, and we are truly thankful that he did. Seems that the rain and non working windshield wipers actually served a true purpose because we woke up fully planning on going, but the weather changed our minds. Not 10 minutes after we changed our minds we discovered a major leak in the pluming in the upstairs bathroom when my bestie’s husband commented that he had just been dripped on. We raced upstairs to find this:

100 year old galvanized metal... yay

Leaks everywhere, in 100-year-old galvanized pipes.

So, instead of the trip to Kokomo we’d already cancelled we spent our day plumbing in a space the size of a dog kennel:

So here is the way we take out pipes, take out pipes, take out pipes....

Fighting with the pipes...

More fighting... gosh these suckers are rusty!

But when we were done – we had this:

Finished job - looks like a pro did it, huh?

Yeah… we were both exhausted… and it only took two trips to the plumbing supply to get the job done – who says women can’t do a man’s job? Well, they won’t say it around me, or they might just find a pipe wrench applied to their necks… lol

Friday however dawned bright and clear so our trip to Kokomo was back on and boy were we ready for it! A day of no kids, lunch out at a great place – the Hibachi Grill – if you’re ever in Kokomo, Indiana I definitely recommend it! Not only is it a beautifully decorated place, from the fountain at the entrance:

Fountain at the entrance! Complete with Koi!

To the bathroom doors:

The Sushi bar was gorgeous and kept well stocked:


Even the lighting was fantastic:

Chandelier was beautiful!

There was only one bad thing about the whole place, and I have to tell you guys – I’ve never seen anything like it before…

Is this not the scariest baby you've ever seen???

Yeah, the scary baby on the changing station was the only thing I had to complain about.

So we accomplished not only getting little man’s SSI straightened out, but we at a great lunch AND got to spend a few hours wandering about my favorite place to look at stuff I really want and can’t have the Hobby Lobby!

All in all, it’s been a great week… Let’s hope that after a relaxing weekend, next week goes well too!

Saturday Special

Hi all! It’s Saturday!!! YAY!

So we showed our house yesterday – and no, I don’t know yet how we did or if they’re still interested… I guess we’ll find out Monday… anyway – we had to make ourselves scarce for a couple of hours, because it wouldn’t do to have Grace, Kit, and Footy following people around yapping and nipping at them while they decided whether to buy this place or not.

So we took to the neighboring state of Alabama and headed to the Blue Hole – Little River Canyon…

Guys, this place is phenomenal! Aside from a LONG walk to get there, treacherous rocks to climb down to get there, and having to either A. slide down a waterfall or B. JUMP to get in the water – we really had a great time…

And before you ask – Yes, I did get in the water… I even jumped in! Not from the highest point, or even the mid point – but I did jump in! Much to the amazement of my kids, they didn’t think I would do it – and then suddenly – BAM, mama’s in the water!

Of course there is no photographic proof that I was in the water – because so was everyone else. But I did take a few shots that I thought I would share with you guys:


Meanwhile this was waiting for me:

Yep, I came DOWN that slope, to be faced with this:

If you squint, you can see the water through the trees waaaaaaay down at the bottom of this hill.

Yep… they went too – All three did so well on the trip that we plan to take them again – however, we are going to choose something that takes less rock climbing to get to next time!

The kids jumped…

Heck, even Shawn jumped. One of the dogs TRIED to jump, but we stopped her just in time.

Then… after a while of things like playing in the waterfall:

Or hiding in it:

Playing with the dogs:

Or getting out – to get back in…

Everyone really had a great time:

It was beautiful, and we had the place to ourselves… so it was peaceful as well!

(If you count three loud teenagers, three barking dogs and three adults trying to control it all… peaceful) *sigh*

Although, I wouldn’t try to go without taking the kids, or at least someone younger… and fitter than myself to make sure I made it alright. I was very impressed with A… all the way down he was one step ahead of me picking the best way down and giving me a hand when I needed it for balance. Part of the way I had to carry Footnote because he was a tiny bit afraid of the steep drops going down. On the way up, he just ran like crazy and wanted me to hurry up.

It was fun, but today – I am sore in places I had forgotten. I am sure that I will pay for this dearly later. It was worth it – the photos (and I have not shared them all… I’m saving some for another post) alone made it worth while – but when you add the priceless joy of watching your kids have so much fun… it is the greatest experience. I’m just glad I didn’t drop the camera in the water or on the rocks!

Happy Saturday!