Easter Blessings

Birds sing this morning, and the pink blossoms still fill the view out my bedroom window. When I let the dogs out–and yelled at the herd of deer all but standing on my back patio–I stepped out into cool air. But spring cool, not that bitter bite of winter.
 
I think we made it!
 
April snows happen, and I wouldn’t bet against another frost or two, but on this Easter Sunday, spring rules.
 
On Friday after work, post work-out, I poured myself a well-deserved glass of wine and took a walkabout with the dogs. That’s a definite sign of spring as I do not do walkabouts in winter. The dogs were ecstatic, and so was I when I found some candytuft blooming, then a lovely clump of lungwort in bud. Peonies sprouting up, forsythia a cheery yellow sweep on a hillside. A Bradford pear I planted from essentially a twig years ago blooming out.
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To celebrate these little treasures, I spent a good half an hour throwing sticks for deliriously happy dogs. Parker is about two and a half, all muscle, long-legged and fast as lightning. Pancho is about nine, tubbier than he was, and hampered by the doughnut around his neck.
 
Backstory. Years ago, Pancho had a little scrape on his hind leg, around the ankle area. Not a big deal, and we treated it. But he gnawed at it, made it worse. We took him to the vet–and he wore The Cone of Shame. Which he escaped with distressing regularity. BW designed The Super Cone of Shame–this involved extending it with a round from another CofS, duct tape, staples. It failed. We tried wraps, boots, none of which defeated him. Sprays, meds, lotions, vet visits. Nothing. In fact, he only made it worse.
 
Every time we managed to get it healed–which was no mean feat–BW would insist now, obviously, the dog would leave it be. I would object, but be overruled by BW’s pity for the dog. And the dog would quickly prove BW’s pity misplaced. And the whole process would start again.
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Now the doughnut–this has been successful, and is more comfortable for him, and prevents him from bruising the back of my legs with the sharp edges of the CofS. He looks ridiculous, but it works. He has an impressive scar, but the wound’s healed. My edict was–over soft-hearted BW–the doughnut stayed on for the rest of Pancho’s life. If BW took it off for a short period, fine, as long as he was right there to catch it if Pancho started licking and gnawing.
 
A few weeks ago, I walked out to the living room to see the doughnut-less Pancho enthusiastically gnawing, the wound opened again, and blood on my rug. Where was BW? Down in his office. Just for a minute!
 
Well, they both learned their lesson.
 
In any case, Pancho is older, fatter and wearing a stupid tire around his neck. But his fierce love of fetching trumps all. Not once did the younger, faster, unhampered Parker get to the stick first. Doughnut Dog is canny, so I had to start throwing two at once, in opposite directions.
 
I could probably have done that for hours if my arm held up as they never tire of running after a stick or a ball. ButFriday was egg dying and hunting evening.
 
With my kitchen counter covered by an old plastic cloth, eggs already hard boiled, dye kits ready–pizza delivered and wine for the grownups, the kids dived in.FullSizeRender (1) - Copy FullSizeRender (2) - Copy FullSizeRender (3) - Copy FullSizeRender (4) - Copy FullSizeRender (5) - Copy
 
It’s sweet to watch a girl quickly approaching fourteen, a boy on the edge of twelve decorate eggs as enthusiastically as their five-year-old brother. All those cups of color to play with, and glitter and gloss to add. I had plenty of dippers, but they all preferred their fingers. So we had colorful digits by the end as well. And really pretty Easter eggs.
 
I have plastic eggs as well–I think I’ve had this bag of plastic eggs since Kayla was a toddler. I used to fill them with a little candy, a little change. But the older kids (and the younger who takes his cues from his sibs) like the folding stuff. I had to hunt the house for dollar bills earlier in the day before I stashed eggs around the living room. Dogs and cooler weather keep the hunt indoors.
 
And there are Easter bags–or in Kayla’s case a box. The box we dub Kayla’s Kitchen as she asked for kitchen tools. Logan gets his Under Armour (really all he wears) and the Nike basketball shoes he designed. I swore they’d be too big when I opened the box, but no. The boy has big feet. Colt’s got his Under Armour, too, and Wii games his sibs selected for him.
 
The pizza may be cold by this time, but it’s delicious.
 
We box and bag up the haul, we hug and end what’s been a pretty perfect day for me. Good work, awakening gardens, happy dogs, and kids who really are the brightest blossoms in my life.FullSizeRender (6)
 
And today the birds sing, and the deer are–for the moment–dispatched. After my workout, I’m going to settle down in the quiet with a book, enjoy the quiet and the blissful lack of chores.
 
When I count my blessings on this day of hope and color and rebirth, they are legion. So I wish the same for all of you.
Nora

33 thoughts on “Easter Blessings”

  1. What a wonderful account. Thank you. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have a grandmother like you. Such lucky children.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful day with your grandchildren. Cherish this time with then. It goes by in a flash. ( says the grandmother with a twenty four year grandson and a granddaughter who will be twenty-two in August.)

  3. Love the visual of Pancho and his tire! May you all have a wonderful day..
    No kids home for us.. youngest in college too far away.. middle with friends away and oldest and only boy is on the USS Dwight D Eisenhower out to sea

  4. What a blessing family is, especially grandkids. We’ll be having dinner with our son, daughter-in-law and our 4 grandkids in a few hours. Can’t wait. Wishing you & yours a joyous Happy Easter❣❣

  5. What a treat to see your pics of the forsythia (?) blooming already…that’s the thing I wait for every year. I was just wondering if you’ve ever heard of a dog toy called “Chuck-It”? If you’ve ever had to throw something for dogs you know your arm could fall off before they’ll stop. This is the coolest thing I have ever seen, you put the ball (I think you have to use special ones from them, not sure) in the end and just whip it, it can go 10 ft or a mile depending on how you do it but it truly is the coolest thing ever if you have dogs and they even have glow in the dark balls in case you need to do this at night for whatever reason. No more damage to the arms and shoulders. And I know you have tried everything under the sun but I had the same issue with a golden retriever and coconut oil solved the problem. Not only is it super good for them if they do happen to eat it but it healed her sore that nothing else under the sun could do. Organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil that you can get anywhere. Unwanted advice maybe but I know what it was like going through that and I found something that worked and I tell everyone. Happy Easter to all and Happy SPRING !!!!

    1. Actually, the sore heals completely given enough doughnut time. Then, take the doughnut off, and he goes at it again. Like a nervous tic.

      Crazy!

    2. Beautiful post, Nora!

      Sue V mentioned the ball-throwing gadget — I have one for when I’m babysitting my sister’s border collie, and it just uses a standard tennis ball (I’m in Australia, so US ones may be different)

  6. That was lovely. Thank you for sharing. Now I need to tell my friend about the dog donut. Her dog has the CoS to stop it from licking its paws. This sound better. Happy Spring.

    1. It’s called a Zen Collar. It has an inner, inflatable lining. That hasn’t worked so well, so my cleaver husband filled it with styrofoam peanuts. Works great, and it’s soft, a little cushy, plus doesn’t block his range of vision.

  7. Happy Easter, Nora and family. It sounds as if you had a good start. I love your relationship with your grandchildren. They will have such good memories to last their whole lives

  8. It’s always interesting reading your blog from the other side of the world. We are heading into autumn and a day ahead as well. The days are getting shorter and the end of daylight saving is just around the corner. We don’t often get snow but the thought of curling up by the fire with a good book seems lovely now. I’m sure it won’t take long for me to be looking forward to spring again though ?.

  9. What wonderful memories you’re making! Thanks for the pictures – we had snow yesterday, so we’re a little behind. My lilac is just starting to bud and I haven’t looked to see what the crocus thought of yesterday’s weather. Pancho needs boots, though he’d likely chew them off, too.

    1. Has had, and does. Even a boot that was billed as absolutely gnaw proof. LOL. He gnawed it off inside of two days.

  10. Happy Easter Nora and what a great fun days you have had. I did a scrap page last night of my newest photo of my granddaughter. She is 7 but I swear in the photo she looks so much older! In the photo I put “You Are The Flower In My Garden” and all of my grandchildren are. 3 boys and 2 girls now. It seems time just flies by! You have beautiful grandchildren and I love your photos.
    My oldest daughter is here and will not allow me in the kitchen. Today’s menu is totally not good for any of us but we rarely have a family feast. Roast and all trimmings, Mac and Cheese, English Pea Salad, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Pinto beans and Cornbread and Deviled eggs with jalapeños. I know that she made some healthy foods for me so that she can try and monitor my intake of carbs and will probably request that I check my sugar again, but I don’t mind as she and the boys are here. No grandbabies for me today. We will have our Easter later this week when I go for a visit.

    Gosh I am sorry that I got totally long winded here…. Once again Happy Easter! Hugs, Beth

  11. Happy Resurrection Sunday, everyone.

    I think it was very ingenious of you to use a doughnut for the dog. If (when) I ever need a cone again, I will try that instead.

  12. Happy Easter! love the blog. it’s. raining here and washing some of the yellow fog away (pollen) thank goodness. Have a great day.

  13. Happy Resurrection Sunday! I hope your optimistic belief that we’ve beat the snow for the Winter of 2015 is true, but I remember April 5, 1985, Easter Sunday. My daughter surprised us and came in for Easter her senior year of college and here we were at her grandparents home at 6:00am on Easter morning, chopping ice, shoveling snow and ice, so people on their way to/from work or to the Sunrise Service wouldn’t fall and hurt themselves and/or sue my mother and stepfather! NYC is full of lawyers and all ready to take a case, despite my parents were too old to shovel themselves and their regular guy hadn’t shown up yet! The snow was not expected, had started falling after we were home from Saturday night services and since he had no children or grandchildren to wake him up early, he slept through it. My only consolation was, he was cheated out of the $50 I paid him each time he shoveled (corner house, 2-car driveway, a lot of shoveling). After about 30 minutes, my daughter’s then boyfriend showed up and relieved me of my part if the task. When they came in, there waa a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, waffles, bacon, sausages, homemade buttermilk biscuits. They both ate like they hadn’t eaten in a month! I looked at my mother and laughed, she thought we were preparing too much food. I’m an only child, my daughter’s an only child, but my mother had never seen my grocery bills from her and her friends when she was home and how they had decreased by 3/4 when she was away at school. Since she participated in gymnastics, kung fu, basketball, the fact she was petite, had no bearing on her appetite. Some of her sorority sisters participated in the same sports, so when they came home with her for a visit, it was like cooking for a houseful of boys. Since they practiced while home, they were always hungry!
    I appreciate BW being caring, but if your dog had got a blood infection and died, how would he have felt? My cat Misha, got out of the collar and pulled out all the stitches after he was fixed. We found him almost dead from the lack if blood. After emergency surgery I fashioned him a collar from a stuffed pantyhose leg, it wrapped 2x around his neck, I showed him into it & he was unable to reach the site. My daughter begged me to take it off. She said he was embarrassed. Since he was our only pet, I asked who was he embarrassed of? After the doctor assured me the site was 100% healed, I cut him out of it. For some reason I came home early from work the next day and one again he was bleeding from the surgical site. I put ice compress against it, took a cab down Prospect Park West and burst into the vet’s office with my brand new London Fog raincoat ruined with blood stains and a half dead cat in my arms. After another operation, 5 days in ICU, Misha came out and I had another pantyhose collar ready. This this I had bought a bunch of bandanas to cover it. Ever month or so, when he was bathed(loved vanilla bubble bath and blow dryer) I sewed him in a new collar and put a bandana on appropriate to the holiday. I continued for the next 18 years until he expired from cancer. Those that did not know the story behind the bandana and penthouse collar thought he was just a stylish tabby cat. He never tried ti take it off and though some friends thought it looked silly, I felt it save his life, it didn’t stop him from eating (food and water dishes were on feet). He always stopped and looked in hall mirror at himself, was her vain, very boisterous, and loved my daughter. I’m sorrhe he didn’t live to see her daughter Raven Savannah. By the way, his real name was Fred Mikhail Taylor, after Fred Astair and Mikhail Baryshnikov, my 2 favorite dancers. Marsha is Russian nickname for Mikhail. My cat also didn’t think he was fixed. He flirted with my neighbor’s female cat, always, but they were never left alone ?!

    1. Laura, way back in 1970, my mother went into the hospital, on April 4th or 5th in labor with her oldest son (not sure of the date she went in because I don’t know how long she labored at home). Lovely temperature outside. After three DAYS of labor, she brought my brother in law into the world on April 7th, during a blizzard where we got something like 10 INCHES OF SNOW, in April! And this is in Illinois, right near St. Louis, so it’s not like we can blame it on the lake effects or anything.

      1. Tina, I’m in St. Louis. We’ve had a fairly mild winter. I hope we aren’t in for a surprise like that! I still remember the winter of 1982. My old, shabby VW made it through all the snow, though. I forget how many inches we had, but we set records upon records. I got engaged during that mess. This was in January, though. I couldn’t make it back here to St. Louis where I was working because the Interstate was closed.

  14. Happy Easter Nora. It sounds like you had a blast with the kids. Hope your Easter day was filled with love and happiness. Blessings always. Sharon

  15. How wonderful for you and your family and what a blessing that you shared with all of us. Thank you an d Happy Easter to you and yours.

  16. Love the photos of you and your grands, Nora- so cute! Glad you all enjoyed the holiday! We certainly enjoyed our Ostara!

  17. I hope everyone had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday. Poor BW & Pancho. However, you have given me some suggestions to keep my 11 yr. old from continually licking her front paw. She has almost licked one of the pads off from continuously bothering it. As for Nora’s garden and the deer mentioned in the email-try putting out some plastic bags tied to sticks placed upright. Any breeze will cause the bags to make noise and frighten the deer away from the area the bags are placed.

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