Rescue Pets Fill Your Heart



We adopted Ginger Mae on April 26th through a Golden Retriever rescue group near us. Her limited back story is just heartbreaking.

On April 2nd, Ginger (her given name that day) was found as a stray in a city near us. She was turned right over to our rescue group GRIN (Golden Retrievers In Need). From there she was vetted. After a thorough check-up the vet determined her age around 8-9 years old. She was 20 pounds underweight, severely arthritic (especially her hips and hind legs) had a gash on her upper-right chest, had tapeworm, a UTI and was so matted her whole chest/underside had to be shaved off. The poor girl was so stinky and dirty, she was bathed for three days in a row. She was also a shaking, nervous wreck and couldn’t walk on the non-carpeted floor without her limbs splaying out like little Bambi on an icy pond.

After staying with the vet for ten days, she moved to her foster family’s home. She was fostered in a home with two other dogs who welcomed her, but she still remained nervous.

We applied to rescue a senior age golden online with GRIN. The approval process included a phone interview, a vet interview (they interviewed our vet), then a GRIN representative visited our home and met our pet Golden, Sophie. Lastly, our whole family of humans plus Sophie piled into the car and drove 1 1/2 hours to meet Ginger. The organization matches the human families to their available dogs. I have to say, they were spot on with our match. We fell instantly in love with her! We hung out in her foster home, then took both Goldens for a walk. Ginger was even better on the leash than Sophie! We scheduled her permanent transfer for the next weekend. At home, we doubled all the necessary gear and prepared for our new family member.

On the day of pick-up, A(10) rode with me in the mini-van to bring her home. We helped Ginger up into the van and showed her the comfy bed on the floor. A. rode in the back with her to keep her company for the 90 minute ride home. This is when we learned that Ginger HATES car rides. She didn’t get motion sickness, thankfully. However, she whined, paced, and shook with anxiety for more than 2/3 of the way home. Poor baby!

Ginger the rescue Golden Retriever pet dog.
Bringing Ginger home.

Now, she’s been with us for 12 weeks. It’s like she’s been with us her entire life. She and Sophie are quite a pair of sweet personalities. Sophie notices when we pay attention to her new sister, gets jelly on her face, then butts in for some love from us, too! They are perfectly compatible. Ginger was somebody’s house-trained and beloved pet, that we are sure of. She’s not had any potty accidents. We’ve not had to crate her inside. She doesn’t run off when pottying outside. She likes cheese (but learned that peanut butter is quite yummy, too!).

golden retriever pet dog rescue
Sophie teaching Ginger to pester for a crust of pizza.

Her nerves have settled down for the most part. She is terrified of thunder storms and loud surprising noises. She startles at fast, unexpected movements around her (kids). So, we’re careful to turn down the activity in the area directly around her.

rescue pet dog golden retriever
Ginger enjoying her orthopedic bed that makes laying down comfortable in spite of her painful arthritis.

We provide her with a home, love, joint supplements, and arthritis medicine. But what Ginger brought to our family is a dimension of unconditional love that one can only receive from a rescued pet.

If you are considering adding a pet to your human family, please look into adopting a rescued/shelter animal before purchasing one from a breeder. You won’t be sorry.

If you live in the Cleveland, OH, area and you are interested in supporting GRIN, here is a link to their website.

Take care of yourself, your pet and each other!

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Pink and Gold Graduation Party Ideas

YOU ARE SIMPLY THEWe thought it would be more difficult to use the colors pink and metallic gold for our daughter’s graduation party in 2013. It wasn’t challenging. It was actually quite fun! Here’s our many graduation party ideas!

First, we decided to host the party in our garage. We cleaned and hung dollar store plastic table cloths to spruce up the interior. Everybody helped!

A(9) helping to hang the plastic tablecloths in our two stall garage.
A(9) helping to hang the plastic tablecloths in our two stall garage.

I rented several tables and chairs to seat the 100+ guests we expected to stop by. On the right, we set up the inflatable ice table to keep the food cold and also the drinks. In addition to the paper decorations, we hung string lights in the rafters of the garage and they looked beautiful after dark.

The view into our garage grad party.
The view into our garage grad party.
One of the guest tables that was in the garage.
One of the guest tables that was in the garage.

In the back, we placed the spectacular dessert buffet. We only ordered (two of) the square ombre-iced cake on the white stand. The rest of the goodies were homemade and hand-dipped.

Frosted animal cookie truffle balls dipped in chocolate.
Frosted animal cookie truffle balls dipped in chocolate.
Pink Lemonade Pound Cake with Edible Metallic Gold and Various Pink Sprinkles
Pink Lemonade Pound Cake with Edible Metallic Gold Sprinkles and Various Pink Sprinkles

I used a recipe that enhanced the cake mix with instant pudding mix and included real lemon zest and juice.

Our awesome pink and gold dessert buffet.
Our awesome pink and gold dessert buffet.

We hand-dipped the pretzels, marshmallows, pringles, animal cookie truffles, and rice krispie treats. I baked the pink lemonade cupcakes, and added a variety of pink candies.

The pink and gold dessert buffet from the other end.
The pink and gold dessert buffet from the other end.

We spray painted oodles of vases and ball canning jars metallic gold and used pink silk flowers we found on clearance to fill them. We picked up the pink and gold table covers and hanging decorations a little at a time starting in February.

Memory/Photo Table
Memory/Photo Table

Her Aunt Jenn and Uncle Scott made the arrangements for her t-shirt quilt. The grad actually chose the shirts that were included.

Uncle Scott (wearing the suggested pink) giving the Grad her t-shirt quilt.
Uncle Scott (wearing the suggested pink) giving the Grad her t-shirt quilt.
One of her favorite gifts: A t-shirt quilt from her Aunt Jenn.
One of her favorite gifts: A t-shirt quilt from her Aunt Jenn.

Our party lasted from 3:00-9:30. The glow stick glasses were a huge hit. Not pictured: A firepit and s’mores and some sparklers.

An early evening shot of friends in the glow-stick glasses.
An early evening shot of friends in the glow-stick glasses.

The teens and guests did enjoy the photo booth accessories and backdrop. They were encouraged to use their own cell phone cameras and text the pictures to me.

Photobooth Fun
Photobooth Fun
Photobooth Fun
Photobooth Fun
Photobooth Fun
Photobooth Fun

This year, our second daughter graduates from high school. She’s chosen royal blue and silver as her party colors. I’ve started a Pinterest board here, if you’d like to see some ideas I’ve gathered. We think that it’s too funny that neither chose their high school colors! If you’re on Pinterest, I’d love to have you follow me!

If you have more ideas that you’d like to share, please add them in the comments. What was your favorite from our party pictures? Do you have grad parties like this in your part of the world?

Take care of yourself and each other,


No Housework For Me Today

tuesday10 4-7
My mid-century modern home. We use a long-handled squeegee to tackle those front windows.

There’s no way to avoid doing some kind of housework each day. We all eat and leave some kind of dirty something. We wear clothes that get smelly. Even my friends with no messy kids around are victim to housework practically every day. This week, though, on April 7th, is National No Housework Day. It is America’s national day of sitting on your couch watching TV and eating some kind of a salty or sweet snack. How is this different from the rest of the year? Well, we are all doing nothing together on the same day. So join me on Tuesday, while we binge watch Netflix and nap the afternoon away.

In honor of this very special holiday here are 10 chores I wish I never, ever had to do again.

1. Scrubbing bathrooms- Teen girls with long hair plus a 10-year-old boy equals ICK.

2. Cleaning windows- I can NEVER get it streak free. Plus, my house’s entire front wall is a giant window (pictured above). Thank you mid-century modern design (which I love with all my heart!).

3. Taking out the garbage- I like to set it by the door for the next person to take on their way out. It’s a much better use of time.

4. Cleaning out the mini-van- The floor of my van reminds me of the giant trash-compactor in Star Wars.

5. Washing the dirty laundry- It’s the carrying of the dirty laundry down to the washer and carrying the clean laundry back up that kills me.

6. Changing the sheets- I just find the whole stooping over, tucking, lifting, hospital-corner folding hard on my back.

7. Grocery shopping- I like the hunt and gather part, but really hate the putting away of items at home.

8. Unloading the dishwasher- A chore that can be done less skilled than I, such as an offspring

9. Dusting- I swish the imposters away, and hours later, it seems, they’re all back.

10. Scooping dog poop- It smells. Bad.

What housework would you wish away? Would you like to do any from my list?

I’m joining Lisa from The Golden Spoons and Rabia from The Liebers for their #TuesdayTen link-up. You should join us! It’s a hoot!tuesdayten

Take care of yourselves and each other,

April is Autism Acceptance Month


April is Autism Awareness Month, but I won’t wear blue. Instead, I’ll walk in red.

Autism Awareness is only the beginning. I believe that most of society is aware that autism exists and what it may entail for a person. If you don’t, please continue to educate yourself. I suggest you visit Thoughts of an Introverted Matriarch. She blogs about living life as an adult with autism and raising her three children who are also on the spectrum.

It’s time to move on. Move on to acceptance. Accept that not all autism looks or sounds the same. Accept that individuals on the spectrum are not valued less than others.

Humans with autism = humans not with autism. Society needs to accept it.

I follow online and converse with adult bloggers who are on the spectrum. I have learned that the organization Autism Speaks is not all it’s cracked up to be. In a nutshell: It has no adults with autism on its board of directors. It promotes “curing” individuals of their autism instead of accepting and providing the supports they need to live in our society as children and adults. They continue to convey that vaccines cause autism.

Autism Speaks basically took over Autism Awareness Day/Month with their Light It Up Blue campaign. It’s not their month. It’s our children’s month. It’s our friends’ month. Let us walk in red in acceptance of those on the spectrum; supporting them while they navigate our non-accepting world.

In our home we accept our kid with autism by:

Listening to his extremely, over-the-top-loud vocalizations that he uses to cope with anxiety: Sentences, lyrics, noises, usually while he’s watching TV or playing.

Making a different meal because he has a limited diet due to sensory issues of texture and taste.

Preparing him ahead of time due to his inability to cope with a change in the routine or plans.

Hosting his neighborhood friends for after school and summer play.

Maintaining his morning school routine year-round for back-to-school success.

Providing resources to meet his obsessions with “Wimpy Kid” books, Lego’s, Minecraft, and telling corny jokes.

Waiting patiently for cheek-smooches and side hugs, that I relish when they come.

Allowing him to sleep on our floor for the last year; afraid that we would vanish overnight.

Seeking the professional supports we need to improve his behavior, decrease his anxieties and increase his communication skills.

To learn more about #WalkInRed please visit: #WalkInRed2015 Facebook Event

Take care of yourself and each other,


10 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas


I’ve seen the Elf do amazing work. Does an Elf visit your house? What magic or trouble has he stirred up for your child?

Take care of yourself and each other!