These Boots Are made For Walking

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The Work Horse and I have pretty much owned a dog all of our married life. They were mostly big outside dogs that the kids would bring in and play with and out they would go again. We started out with Curly, a Heinz 57 that one of the mean stepfathers owned first and I felt sorry for. He lasted about four years and died on the road. We had a beautiful collie named Wesley that we had for 3 years and a tractor got him. He died doing what he loved best- chasing wheels. Then when my son was about 10 for Christmas we got him a little black lab. Ebony lived with us for 14 years. She was the perfect dog and we all loved her. One of the saddest days in the Kovach house was the day Work Horse and Alisha took her to see Dr. Miller to be put to sleep. She had congenital  heart disease and was coughing incessantly. Beth and I cried and cried while they were gone and I still miss that wonderful dog. I never wanted another dog after that because the kids were getting older and didn’t want to take care of an animal and well to be frank they die and why have something in the house that is going to die.

Last year Alisha came back home and brought McKenzie with her. It was an adjustment having a baby in the house but we loved having her here. Then Alisha decided to get a puppy. It would be a companion for the little girl and she would take care of it. I tried digging my feet in but one thing I know for sure is my kids hardly ever listen to me or take the advise I give them so of course as it goes  I became the care taker of  a dog I didn’t want. It wasn’t long and I was spending hundreds of dollars on a dog that wasn’t mine and said dog was a house inside living thing. I have never liked animals in our home.

Alisha and The Peach have their own place now and it is adjustment time again. I am lonely for them both at times but also love having my freedom and toy free home back. The one thing different is it is not dog free. Nope Boots lives here and while I am writing this he is ripping up a paper beside me on the floor. We went from baby messes to cleaning up jealous for my time dog messes. I went from grumbling about another thing to take care of to thinking— When you move Alisha you can take the baby but not the dog. He wormed his way into the Work Horse’s and my heart. He goes everywhere with us. He has play dates with his brother and my grandkids dog. He goes shopping with my sister Linda and me and he freaking sleeps with us. I am now hotter than a Pentecostal mother finding drugs in her kids bedroom after an alter call. The Work Horse on one side of me with his arm wrapped around me like a mink stole and the dog on the other side with his fur gathering my sweat beads.

We are both smitten with this little guy. I knew it was bad when I heard The Work Horse trying to take a nap on the big chair with Boots and saying to him,”Honey, just lay your headie down” as Boots was nipping on his fingers for attention. If that would have been one of the kids they would have gotten a disciplinary action but not Boots.Of course Boots does more work around here than any of the kids did.He mows lawn and he helps take out the trash. He cleans up the floor if food drops and he dusts everything with his little body because no surface is safe around him. He makes me walk everyday something I have always wanted to do and he is the best physiatrist because he listens and I always feel better with his unconditional support and love. That dog loves us more than anything and I have never said this before but I love him too. We now are one of those crazy people that puts coats on their dogs and includes his name when we send a birthday card. I am almost a little ashamed. Don’t ever comment on animal lovers actions because you never know…….

So today I say thank you God for giving us pets. I know they become part of your family and are one of God’s blessings even when you think you don’t want them. Just look at this little guy, could you resist that face? I don’t think so. Blessings every one.

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Fighting Mad

Collin. Little Dude never made it to church last Sunday and I was telling him how I let another little boy sit by me and play with my Kindle. He got mad about it.

“Nana he betta watch out because I might punch him.”

“Honey, that isn’t very nice. Do you think that Jesus would say something like that?”

“Nana, don’t wowwy I wouldn’t punch Jesus.”

What Makes Our Man

IMG_0336This is my Hungarian Work Horse in all of his wonderfulness. Here is a few things you might not know about him.

The dance The Egg Beater originated from his two left feet and lack of rhythm in the seventies but it soon lost it’s popularity when people converted to the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. My sisters try to bring it back when they ask him to dance at weddings.

He drives a red Ford pick up like every person in our area but people know when they pass him on the road because he leans on his door when he drives. I think it comes from all those years I sat so close to him when we were dating.

He had to repeat kindergarten because he could not speak English. He still has trouble with aluminum and linoleum so I try to get those words in our conversations on a weekly basis for our little granddaughter Landyn. I want her to feel good when she is in speech therapy.

He loves fire and is constantly burning something. It is a help to me when I am giving directions to our house. I just tell people to follow the smoke.

  He loves fireworks. Too bad he doesn’t have the patience for the people on the road after we leave. I refuse to go with him after he actually drove through Bay City in the turning lane one Fourth of July evening because the traffic was bad.

He loves to go out to eat but doesn’t like to wait in restaurants. The children probably remember every restaurant we ever went to because of their father. His patience ran thin at Chi Chi’s one time when we watched tables get served before us even though they came in much after us. He had other people in our seating area backing him as he sent us out to the car so he could talk to the manager alone. I guess it was OK because we were full from the complimentary salsa and chips anyway. Another time we were at Ponderosa and the waiter was really cocky. Hungarian Work Horse didn’t like how he was talking to other customers in front of our kids and again remarked to people in our seating area. The kicker for that one was when the guy started to clear off the tables piling food and dirty dishes on his tray and dropped a chicken bone in my purse. It wasn’t pretty.

jami&al 001He thinks pregnant women are the most beautiful things in all the world. Females from all over come to our house when they start feeling ugly in their pregnancy. He will do any thing for a pregnant woman. I had to put my foot down when he was asked if he made house calls.

When he was about eight years old he built a wooden sled and hooked up the neighbors dog to it. Every day an old man would drive by and that dog would chase the car so he thought he could get the dog to pull him while chasing the car. Unfortunately he must has been too light and the sled jerked out from under him when the dog took off running and a nail that he didn’t have pounded down gouged his butt cheek. He had to declare that scar as an identifying mark when he registered for the draft.

He has Ricky Nelson lips and Davy Jones good looks but that is where the comparison ends. He can’t sing a lick. When our Brooke was a baby she didn’t care because she thought he was making character noises and who wouldn’t. Here is a sample-

                                              She kicked out my windshield

                                              She hit me over the head

                                               She cussed and cried

                                               And said I lied

                                               And wished that I was dead.                    

I made him quit that one because I didn’t want her thinking the song was about me.

His eyes are not his greatest asset because no matter what he is looking for he can’t find it. Last night he went to the fridge for the ketchup and he said there wasn’t any. I opened the door and it was right where we always keep it, on the side shelf.

He is legendary in our family for some of his ways but his greatest attributes are this. He loves his family. He makes us laugh and he makes us feel safe. He leads us by example spiritually,emotionally, and physically. He’s not perfect but close to it. His grandkids will read this some day and know that he was something special. They will remember that off key singing guy that hugged them to his chest in church and held them while they mowed the lawn, his kisses and his I love you that was always whispered in their ear in parting and how he held their nana’s hand when ever he could. What makes him so special is something you cannot see but something you feel. We have much to be thankful for in having him even when he melts the siding on the house trying to kill off weeds with a blow torch. We’ll keep him and all of his ways and love every minute of it. Blessings Everyone.

The Sands Of Time

IMG_0874Last night the Little Dude got himself in a wee bit of trouble. Trouble follows him around like grease on a french fry and I am not sure why. Well, OK I guess I do know why but still. He is the only boy in a field of pink and long hair girl loveliness and sometimes it takes a toll on him. His parents are trying to raise a guy that knows how to treat girls with respect. It is an on going project that is a hard lesson to learn. He is bigger and stronger than his twin sister. They are three and she is a whopping twenty four pounds so you can knock her over by breathing to hard or turning the ceiling fan on or blinking. He does all three with his hands tied behind his back. That little twin girl can be like a yapping Chihuahua with the heart of a super hero. She is not afraid of anything and she is so stinkin cute that her cunning ways are hard to see. I love watching both of them and some of the antics are almost more than this old heart can stand.

 IMG_0334They got in an argument the other day and she hit him right where it counts.

“Brodder, you not my best friend any more and you not my brodder.” Talk about confusing to a Little Dude!

He told his mother what she said and got,”Well, Collin you might not be her best friend today , but you will always be her brother.”

He has to learn that when some one is littler than you they really have the power in the eyes of the adult and rightly so because those little ones can get hurt very easily and his sister has. That doesn’t make it any easier when you are in the heat of the moment. I am so thankful that his parents grew those eyes in the back of their head after they had the kids. They really do keep on top of things but once in a while when you are at a ballgame and big sister is up something happens.

IMG_0030Peyton was playing ball and we were all watching because she hit a home run last time and I wasn’t there. The kids are just learning the fundamentals of the game and everybody is having fun. Her dad’s family are really into sports and they take things very seriously. Me not so much. I am just so thankful that my grandkids have so many fans in the stands. Both sets of grandparents are there plus mom and dad. I love my son-in-laws family and we spend a lot of time together because of the grandkids. I am thankful for them because they love the kids as much as I do. I keep thinking how blessed the kids are because when I was growing up we never had that. There was no money for summer sports and there was always work to do. Even at eight years old I was in the field every day in the summer. I thank God that my grandkids have all of us and I hope He keeps us around for them for a long time. It also helps that there are so many of us to keep track of all the kids on the playground while the game is going on. Sometimes the Little Dude and the Chihuahua can be hard to keep track of.

IMG_0428Little Dude had already been in a sit for five minutes in your car seat in the van because of a sand throwing incident before I even got there. I wondered what happened as Brooke was telling me but didn’t think to much of it. He saw me and sat down beside me and said “I smell something.”

I had gum in my mouth and I laughed because of his sneaky way of asking for a piece.

It was then that I started asking why he had to sit in the van already. Sometimes I feel like a private eye with these kids.

“Why did you have to sit in the van?”

“I was throwing sand,Nana.”

“That’s not good Buddy, you should never throw sand because someone could get it in their eyes and that would really hurt.”

“Nana,dat boy put sand down my back and threw some in my hair.”

I look in his shirt and hair and sure enough he had sand everywhere. It is then and only then I am mad thinking he had to sit in the van because of retaliation. Brooke looks at me all reasonable and says “Mom you always take his side.”

Well, somebody has too and I fit the bill. Even though she is right I can’t help myself. It is hard to be objective when it comes to my grandkids. I really have to work on that. So I thought OK I will try.

“Buddy that wasn’t nice of that kid but you still can’t throw stuff back. That is how people get hurt. If someone does something to you walk away so you don’t get in trouble.”

I could have choked on those words but I said them. I really don’t think that it is so bad defending yourself. That’s what we did when we were little. It was called survival. We had to learn that if you played rough you suffered the consequences. You treated people the way you wanted to be treated and by golly if you wanted sand threw at you go ahead and throw sand. I know that is not how it is done today and I understand but really I can’t help myself when it comes to any of my grandkids. Some kids are bullys and I think Collin encountered one. The real thing here was that he learned how to handle it.

The game went on and after a while I told him he could go play back in the sand. I was watching him take his cowboy boot off and fill it to the brim with the stuff knowing he was looking for buried treasure and dog bones. That’s what he does. It runs in the family. Miss P came up to bat and I was watching her my heart pounding and pleading that she would hit the ball when all of a sudden Collin comes running heaven bent as fast as his little legs could carry him with a sand thrower right behind him.  Collin turns on a dime and sits right next to me knowing he is safe. The kid has his hand raised up in the air ready to attack. In my Nana save you voice as mean as I can I look at him and say “ Don’t throw sand.”

The criminal takes off like a scared rabbit and I don’t care. I sneak a look at Brooke and smile. I am wondering if she remembers when her brother threw a corn cob at Darcy Talaski in retaliation.

My reward for heading him off at the pass you ask? It was my Little Dude all snuggled next to me knowing he was vindicated. He knew there was a new sheriff in town and she was nothing to mess with. I know some day when he reads this he will laugh like I am now. My Little Dude and me. It is pure bliss. I love you Collin Michael Merchant even when you have to learn not to throw sand.

 

 

 

 

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Pillow Talk

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Hungarian Work Horse is the love of my life. Plain and simple. The first time I ever saw him he had a broken leg and somebody stole his crutches at the bowling alley. Even though I was only fourteen years old I knew there was something special about him. He was very quiet and his smile was movie star quality.This guy was different from anybody that I had ever met. He never said anything to the person that was goofing around with his crutches and that made an impression on me. I was used to fighting for everything and here was a guy that was sitting there waiting to get his crutches back not saying a word. He was so handsome and I being a care giver to my sisters all my life wanted to beat that guys brains out that was teasing him. We never spoke that night but I remember going home thinking about him long into the night. I thought he looked just like Davy Jones of The Monkees and had the lips of Ricky Nelson,but that is where the comparison ends. When he opens his mouth to sing it is very very scary and that is quite often because he loves to sing. You should hear his rendition of She Kicked Out My Windshield.

It was quite some time before we started dating I remember but when we did it was wonderful. He drove a 1962 green Chevy that he called Lucy and people would tell us that when they passed us on the road it looked like someone with two heads was driving because I sat so close to him. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other and to this day he still wants to hold my hand and have his arm around me where ever we go. I suppose it drives my kids crazy but what can you do? He kisses me everyday and he tells me he loves all the time. He loves to have his arm around me in bed and is always putting his lips to my forehead. I don’t know why after all these years he still feels like that but I now come to expect it. I really don’t think he loves anything on this earth more than me. I am beginning  to wonder though because as we were drifting off to sleep the other night he saddles up beside me his mouth next to my ear and whispers,”That asparagus soup Linda sent over was delicious.”

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I love you too Asparagus Breath!

Peyton And The Bible Story

Peyton kdg 001Today in church we were learning about the miracle at the wedding in Canaan that Jesus attended.You know the one where the wedding ran out of wine and Jesus turned the water into wine and it was even better than the wine the guests first drank.After church the kids went to Sunday School and they had the same story.Mrs.Haag was asking the kids what happened when the wedding ran out of wine.Peyton raised her hand and said,”Well,then Jesus turned the water into whiskey!”

Mrs.Haag then went and got the Sunday School superintendent.Peyton’s mom was there and she told me she was afraid they thought whiskey might be Peyton’s dads choice of drink.You know what I say………Out of the mouths of babes.Blessings everyone.

The Sounds Of Sunday

IMG_0401Sundays are always the best day of the week for me.We get up,have a leisurely breakfast,Hungarian Work Horse and I sit at the kitchen bar and talk and then get ready for church.

My sister Linda and her husband Greg are usually at church before us and now that it is getting colder and they have to start wearing a coat I don’t know if I will recognize them.We have to sit in the back because of the little monkeys that sit with us and they sit more to the front.Greg is colored blind and I think Linda must pick out his clothes.They have on almost matching outfits most of the time.I mean it is really cute and all but one time Greg moved a little to the left and I got scared.I thought he was going to start crooning,”I’m a little bit country” and Linda would jump up behind him and shout,”I’m a little bit rock’n’roll”they looked so much like Donny and Marie!

IMG_0424It isn’t long and usually in comes my daughter Brooke and the grandkids.That is always something of a five minute deal so everybody can get sitting by who they want to sit by and Papa and I usually get the twins.Now that they are three and  getting a little bit bigger they are pretty good.It used to be I always took Collin because the squeaky wheel gets the most grease but he is pretty good now so I try to show all the kids some lap time.Today I had the little girl twin Landyn.She whispered to me,”Nana I got you first”I was thinking you had me the first second I heard about you before you were born.I love this little minute and she is the splitting image of Brooke when Brooke was a baby.

Today our message was on the blessings of children and marriage.Pastor said  it doesn’t matter how much noise kids make in church because they are where they belong.The preacher said he loved the sound of kids in church.I think that is what he said because frankly I had a party going on in my own pew.Brooke is pretty good about keeping the kids quiet but sometimes I wonder what she is thinking when she packs their quiet bag.You know that little bag of books and quiet toys and snacks that every mom has to keep the kids quiet,it is such a necessity in church.

Today we needed that bag.Pastor had the kids come up for the children’s message.He asked a question pertaining to families when a little girl told him she had a secret.She whispered in his ear and told him her mom just got her a unicorn at a garage sale yesterday.It was all down hill after that for me.I kept thinking about the unicorn purchase.

IMG_0426They come back to the pew with us and Brooke settles them down because the little Dude is talking.She gives him his little snack bag and he is eating but making some animal noises.Finally Papa takes him and he lays his head on Papas shoulder and I think he is falling asleep when just then he pulls his head back and ROARS like a lion.That threw papa off his game a little so I sat down and grabbed Collin.He is sitting on my lap and he starts mooing at me.Then he starts trying to lick me like a dog.I don’t get it.That kid is always good for me,what is going on!Brooke is about to grab him with that You Need To Learn From This Look on her face when I notice something very important.I look at her and ask,”What kind of a mother packs animal crackers in the Great Pretender’s snack bag?”

Right then in the midst of my daughters face filled with laughter and love I knew I would never forget the Sunday my little dude was a lion a cow and a dog in church and that my daughter knows what it is to love your kids that much.She is me  twenty years ago and I am proud.I know that some day there will be a little short nana long after I am gone loving a little animal in grandkids clothing and that she will think ,”How did I get so Blessed!”