Thursday, December 31, 2020

15 GOOD Things That Came Out of the Stinky Year 2020


Can't begin to tell you how HAPPY I am to say goodbye to probably the WORST year of my life and the lives of MANY others.

If I had to name 2020 it would be "The Year of Loss"

It began with the loss of activities and items that we all took for granted. Parties, going out to restaurants with friends/family, getting together with friends and family for various holidays/celebrations, hugging, taking part in group events such as football games and concerts, grocery shopping (in person for the early part of the year), not being able to find toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant, wipes, other misc. cleaning products,  did I say hugging? 

Then, there were the personal losses. Both of my boys, my stepdaughter......these losses nearly did us in...but we made it, scarred for life, but we made it.

I remember having so much excitement and great anticipation when 2020 first began, I was CERTAIN it was going to be a great year. (Don't call me if you want any psychic predictions!)

But, as is always the case when there is bad, there is good that goes along with it:

15 GOOD Things That Came Out of the Stinky Year 2020

(In NO Particular Order!!) 

1) New found appreciation for waiting possibly one day too long to take a shower.

2) Not having to be at group events/parties,   that deep down you REALLY didn't want to attend anyway

3) Appreciation of the LITTLE things, enjoying nature, QUIET, a slowed-down pace. Binge-watching your favorite garbage TV shows (in my case that would be MUCH of the programming on TLC)

4) Fun get-togethers on ZOOM (am I the only one who prior to COVID never even knew that ZOOM existed?)

5) Being able to embrace the introvert part of me (yep, while I appear to be out-going and am great at acting the part), a HUGE part of me is a MAJOR introvert! I have always enjoyed my own company, (probably from having lived MUCH of my adult life on my own), and have never been one to partake in many group events both online and in person.

6) My new relationship with DoorDash...oh DoorDash how I love you! (Wooo hooo I can order food from MILES away that arrives in LESS THAN AN HOUR!!! )

7) The amazing job that Whole Foods does on home delivery

8) Never wearing a bra!!! (wait, was that TMI?) too bad!

9) QVC.......the hosts at QVC, and their banter got me through many a blue day during the pandemic

10) A new granddaughter who was born in June. Sadly, due to COVID we barely know her and she doesn't know us, but we are hoping that will change in 2021.

11)Seeing our other granddaughter on Facetime and lighting up when she says "Nana!" and "Grandpa"

12) Our amazing Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who in spite of incredible opposition, put "PEOPLE ahead of POLITICS" no matter what some may think of her!!! Love you "Big Gretch!!"

13) Friends from near and far who reached out to me personally via phone calls, snail mail cards, email, private messages on Facebook and texts with messages of caring, quotes, graphics, and some special incredibly touching gifts sent to bring comfort after the loss of Cody and Dakota. Those kind gestures/special gifts, live in my heart and home, and helped more than any of you know, and will never, ever be forgotten!!! 

(Look closely and you will see Levi next to Lenny)

14) My husband, who through the beginning stages of the pandemic did MOST of the runs to the store/drug store and now, with two toddlers in our midst spends MUCH of his day taking Levi on countless potty runs and breaking up toddler fights!!! He is the primary potty trainer for Levi, and referee for Levi and Roary (I am the "bad cop", disciplinarian, I am working on teaching Levi commands, and trying to keep Roary entertained in another room to give him some one-on-one attention). 

15) Last but not least, my boys!!!! Roary and Levi! Out of the worst possible year came two ENORMOUS BLESSINGS!!

This was by no means my entire list of GOOD things that came out of the worst year of my life, but they sure are a good start right?

****On a completely other note....I want to thank EVERYONE who sent  the wonderful holiday snail mail cards and email cards that I received. I was saving each and every ecard to feature on the blog.......then........I bought a new notebook......and...the ecards are all on the OLD laptop. (I didn't buy the cord to transfer items over) please accept my deepest apologies!! I had every intention of posting much for intentions, right? My intentions were good for 2020 as I mentioned above.........well, I'm shutting up now.....thanks for thinking of us! Thanks for being there for us during the past are all like extended family!! Whatever you do to ring in the New Year be safe and smart!!!!

I am grateful to each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog, even when I barely blogged through much of 2020, thanks for sticking with me! Much love and gratitude is being sent to all of you!

Bye 2020!!!! Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

All "Boxed" and Ready for Prime Delivery!!

 Today is Boxing Day !! Cody was never a fan of boxes, but Roary sure is! He has this holiday DOWN!!

About Boxing Day "You may have been celebrating Boxing Day for decades without actually knowing what it stands for. Observed annually on December 26 in Canada, the U.K. and Commonwealth countries around the world, Boxing Day was traditionally the day employers would give their staff Christmas presents, called "boxes," to celebrate the season."

Friday, December 25, 2020

Wishing All of our Friends a Merry Christmas!!!!

 Hi and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate dear friends!!! 

We were wondering what we were going to post this year and then, while checking email, we noticed we received a BEAUTIFUL graphic from our dear furiends Dad Pete and kitties over at the Timmy Tomcat Blog

Isn't that just too cute!!!??? Thank you Dad Pete and family!!!!!!!

It made us think of one of Mom's favorite Christmas songs that is from the Charlie Brown Christmas special: "Christmas Time Is Here"

Here are the lyrics:

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year
Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share
Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Lee Mendelson / Vince Guaraldi
Christmas Time Is Here lyrics © Lee Mendelson Film Prod., Inc

Web results

Wishing all of you who celebrate, a happy, safe and blessed Christmas! We can all use some Christmas spirit and cheer this year for sure!

Much love from,
Caren, Roary, Levi and Angels Cody and Dakota

Monday, December 21, 2020

Did you know that today is Humbug Day?

 Well, I didn't either!

Never heard of it until I received my email from Days of the Year

There IS a Humbug Day and it is today!! When I learned that today is Humbug Day I thought of a former photo I have of Cody and his "grumpy" face, I just had to use it again:

Cody had a "Grumpy" face before there ever was a Grumpy Cat! I miss my precious boy and his gorgeous green eyes and adorable face sooooooooo much!

But on to Humbug Day:

From Days of the Year:

"For many people, Christmas can be an incredibly stressful time of year. Coping with the pressures of shopping for gifts and planning events and parties whilst embracing the holiday spirit can be a lot to ask! 

Humbug Day encourages a controlled venting of all that stress before Christmas so that you can enjoy the festive season to the fullest."

I am thinking that this year it will be a tad different because major events and parties will be nonexistent, but regardless, there is always stress this time of year to get everything done!

I am doubting people will be in Humbug mode though because we all sure can use a little Christmas spirit right now, am I right or what?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

National Cat Herder's Day? ( Not in OUR House!)

 Today is National Cat Herders Day:

"December 15 is National Cat Herder’s Day! Although the only job remotely close to cat herding is working at your local animal shelter, this holiday is not dedicated to cats. This celebration is meant for those who can manage others and themselves no matter what chaos is thrown their way. The idiom, “like herding cats,” was popularized during a Super Bowl commercial in 2000 by “Hewlett Packard.” They compared their ability to serve others like cowboys herding cats – with ease. Since then, the phrase is mostly used to describe those who can lead and handle life even when it is uncontrollable. The term is also considered a skill workers use when leading a group towards one goal."

Well, in our house since Levi is a Shetland Sheepdog which is a member of the Herding Group in the AKC, we decided to take artistic license and use the LITERAL meaning and pretend that it is Levi who wants to herd Roary (which he often tries to do)...well, in this instance he does NOT succeed!

(Yes, I was holding the phone vertically instead of horizontally, hence the wrong size for the blog, but you get the idea!)

This round goes to ROARY!!! (Which is also quite common in our home!)

Better luck next time Levi!!!

***No Shelties were harmed in the filming of this video!!!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Humorous and Cute Cat Book:"Get Your Butt Off My Face" by Rosa Silva

 Looking for a stocking stuffer for the holidays or a cute book for the cat lover in your life for a "just because" gift? Look no further:

Whether you have been the proud cat parent of one cat or ten, you will be able to relate to being woken by or greeted by a cat butt in your face! Sometimes it's hilarious, sometimes just plain gross.


"Have you ever woken up and suddenly realized your cat's butt is right in your face? I know I have. In fact, my cat seems to make an effort to show me his butthole every chance he gets. Instead of getting upset, I decided to laugh it off, and write this hilarious book."

Not only does Author Rosa Silva have a funny take on cat butts in our faces but she also addresses how cats will quite often do the exact opposite of what we want them to do. From treating toys we think they will love with disdain, to biting us when we think they want to be petted. Cat lovers everywhere will be able to relate to the examples of cat quirkiness in this clever book that will put a smile on your face!!

"You are indeed a curious cat,

if I feed you kibble, you want a rat,

If I buy you a brand-new bed,

you sleep on the couch instead."

The illustrations by Diana Necsulescu are just purrfect! Vibrant and funny!

"Get Your Butt Off Of My Face" is a funny bedtime (or anytime) book for all the desperate cat owners ou there. This laugh-out-loud book reveals cats at their wackiest and performing their most exasperating behavior. "

Get your paws on a copy today! Find it on Amazon

Be sure to visit Rosa's blog, Cat Lady Confidential as well!

I was sent a complimentary copy of this book by the author MANY months ago! I was not compensated for featuring this book.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Our Holiday Card for 2020 and Happy Chanukah to all who Celebrate!

 Chanukah began tonight at sundown, (which in Michigan was 5pm EST). We wish all who celebrate, a Happy Chanukah!!! (To learn more about Chanukah click here)

We also thought it would be a good time to share our  holiday card! We have been out of the loop for so long that this was REALLY a rush job!

While the holidays will be completely different for pretty much all of us, it enables us to think about more than just gifts. It allows us to pause and think about what is truly important. Our health and our family (both human and furry!!), Sending much love from our home to yours, enjoy whichever holiday you celebrate, be safe, be smart, stay healthy!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Meet Levi!

 Hi everyone!! Last week we did a formal introduction of our crazy Roary and today we are pleased to introduce you to the woofie in our family, Levi!!!

Levi joined our family on November 21st, 2020, this week he will be 12 weeks old!!! 

The decision to bring both Roary and Levi into our family wasn't an easy one. After Cody passed in June and Dakota passed in July our hearts were broken. Receiving a double blow like that was something that very few are prepared for. The pain was immeasurable. 

Lenny and I found ourselves missing the clicking of nails on the floor, the daily routine of caring for a pet, we missed LOVING pets, we missed it all. We knew our home wouldn't be without pets for too long, but we also didn't want to rush into bringing just any pets into our home.  Adopting Roary, was far harder for me than when Levi joined our family, because while you are NEVER prepared for the passing of a pet, we knew when Dakota was diagnosed with cancer in June, that he wouldn't be with us long. When Cody passed there was no warning. I seriously doubted I would ever have a cat again. That's a post for another day, back to sweet Levi.

Lenny and I knew we wanted another Shetland Sheepdog. They are known to be great with cats, and while I always loved the breed, after having shared my life with Dakota for 13 years, I knew I wanted another Sheltie. We also decided, as we did with Dakota to go through a breeder. 

We had found a couple of breeders in Michigan that for one reason or another were not good fits, then we found a wonderful woman in Ohio who when I contacted her was waiting for a litter to be born in just a matter of days. When it's meant to be it just works!

Levi was born on September 17th, 2020. When Dakota joined our family he was 8 months old and I always felt I missed out on the early puppy days. This time around I knew I wanted the puppy experience, (crazy lady that I am), and when Levi was born we enjoyed updates on the breeder's website as well as via text.

When we went to pick up Levi we had the honor of meeting his Mom (Myka) and his Dad, (Rambo). Myka was an extremely devoted Mama and Rambo took a particular liking to me when he met me.

Levi was a champ on the ride home. He slept in a basket (wonderful advice from the breeder) and never made a peep. He was kissing us and loving on us from the moment we all met!

Even Roary! When Roary first met Levi he hissed once, (Cody did the same thing when Dakota arrived). After that first hiss where it was established just WHO the boss really is around here, it took less than a couple of hours for them to be doing this.

Levi is a wonderful puppy. He has an incredible disposition, he isn't fearful, he is loaded with personality and chutzpah and boy oh boy he is a big boy!!! He was 9 and a half weeks old when he went to the Vet for the first time and he was already 10 lbs!! "Dr.Smiley" had said he expected a puppy the size of a guinea pig to come came Levi! Ready to take on the world!!!!

Levi met Sylvia
at Bloomfield Pet Grooming
(which is part of DePorre Veterinary Hospital)
when he gets bigger he will be a frequent customer!
Photo Courtesy of DePorre Veterinary Hospital

He met "Dr.Smiley" himself!
Shhh, don't tell him he's getting
a shot there soon!!!!
(Maybe that is why Levi has a rather "concerned" expression on his face?)

Of course he had to flirt with
Jessica, who is "Dr.Smiley's" assistant

Levi was excellent at the Vet and we hope that he continues to be that way!

We are proud with the progress that Levi is making with housetraining. It isn't as easy for him as it might be for some other dogs because we live on second floor. That means MANY trips up and down the stairs (Levi isn't able to do the stairs yet so Lenny, who is the primary person taking him on his multitude of trips outside, carries him). As is to be expected there have been TONS of accidents, but yesterday he pooped outside for the first time and has pretty consistently been peeing outside for a few days now.

Levi, is super fun and playful. With a puppy there is NEVER a dull moment!

Levi channeling his inner cat
in the Neko Napper
that used to be one of Cody's favorites

He knows the word "dinner" and waits at the gate

He has a special love affair with Lenny

Levi has already developed a close relationship with Roary. For Roary, Levi is just what the doctor ordered! Roary has an extremely strong play drive and is super trainable and intelligent. Levi's arrival has given him a new playmate partner in crime, and they are already causing quite a bit of mischief for Mom and Dad together!

I am excited because while Cody and Dakota had an extremely close relationship, they never ever slept near each other. Yesterday, Lenny took this darling photo of Levi and Roary that leads me to think they are going to have one extremely bonded relationship as well, and just might sleep together often!

While we still have the loss of Cody and Dakota weighing heavily on our hearts and minds, Roary and Levi have helped our healing more than we could ever have imagined. Our Cody and Dakota will never, ever be replaced, nor are we trying to. But as "Dr.Smiley" told me 13 years ago when we added Cody to our family after Bobo passed, "you aren't replacing one pet with another, you are making NEW memories with a NEW pet".   While Lenny and I will ALWAYS have Cody and Dakota in our thoughts and our hearts, we look hopefully and happily to the future anticipating what we hope are many, many happy memories yet to come!!!!!