Tag Archives: family

Cops + Doughnuts = Yumminess

First Note:  This post was scheduled for yesterday, Friday July 20.  When I woke up and saw the news surrounding the tragic events in Colorado, I pulled the piece.  Given the carnage that law enforcement, trauma centers, and families were dealing with, it seemed highly inappropriate.  I’m not sure today is really better, but when I re-read this post, I saw that it celebrated law enforcement, family, and hope  –  so I published it today.  I hope you read it in that spirit.

Second Note:  Please, please, please – if you are a member of the law enforcement community – do not attack me for mentioning your chosen profession and baked goods in the same breath.  I love cops.  I was once madly (and sadly – he was not good for me) in love with a policeman.  He was guilty of felony heartbreak.  I admire and support the brave men and women who serve their communities in that career.   I do love doughnuts (also, sadly – they are not good for me) although our relationship has lasted considerably longer than the one with the cop.  They are always there for me (as in by my side, on my hips, in my arteries).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Michigan, especially in the summer time, is a very lovely place.  While its economy may be struggling, and its population dwindling,  its citizens are resourceful, resilient, and stalwart.  If you need reasons to enjoy a Michigan adventure, check out this post by Pithypants, as well as this post.

On a recent visit to Michigan, I met the lovely Peg-o-Leg.  It was determined during that brief interlude, somehow, that calories consumed in Michigan do not count.  I believe the precise formula is something like this “Expenditures made to support the economy result in the automatic removal of calories and saturated fat”.  Or some such.  I returned from my whirlwind trip over the 4th with a considerably lighter wallet and pants that would barely button.  So perhaps that theory is slightly flawed.  Whatever.

We spent a couple of days with all five grandchildren at our campground.  On the trip to return them (sunburned and bug-bitten) to their parents – we stopped in Clare, Michigan, at the Cops and Doughnuts Bakery.  This magical place is part museum, part bakery, part retail establishment and pure blood-glucose-raising fun.

When the century-old bakery was in within weeks of going under, the Clare police force (all 9 members) pooled their resources and purchased the enterprise.  They opened Cops and Doughnuts Bakery in 2009 and business has been expanding as rapidly as the waistlines of the multitudes of tourists who flock there for the baked goods, but stay for the fun.  Some of their merchandising slogans include”  DWI (Doughnuts Were Involved), Cereal Killer, and Cuffed and Stuffed.

They have their own “Cops Coffee” brand of coffee, merchandise of every kind from coffee mugs to baby clothing, and have even opened the “Traffic Stop Diner” in their third expansion just this year.  Menu items include “Stool Pigeon Sandwich” (chicken salad), “Sticky Situation Sandwich” (peanut butter, shredded carrots, sunflower nuts, raisins and honey), “Misdemeanor Weiner” and “Undercover Misdemeanor Weiner” (coney style), and “Grounds for Investigation Sandwich” (ground bologna) – as well as “Electric Chair Fries” and “Cold Case Slaw”.

The business has been showcased in several national news features.  They were designated one of Michigan’s  “50 Businesses to Watch” in 2011.  They now employ 28 employees (none are family members of the police-owners and in a small town like Clare, that is impressive) and are going to 24/7 operations this year.

The real draw, of the place, though is the bakery.  The aroma hits you from the street – yeasty, cinnamon-y, delightful aroma.  I did not get any good shots of the display rack as there were many, many people lined up its entire length and I was trying to corral 5 grandkids and one testy grandpa with low-blood sugar, but believe me when I say it is a feast for the eyes.  Racks of freshly baked, handmade cinnamon and pecan rolls.  Rows and rows of doughnuts, turnovers, and pastries of every size and shape.  The cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls are roughly the size of a salad plate ($2.79) and are easily the best baked goods I have ever tasted (including my own).

I applaud the Clare Policemen who rescued this gem and their business acumen, as well as their ability to laugh at and with the stereotypes inherent in such a venture.  It is a reminder that law enforcement does much more than lie in wait for me in speed traps serve and protect, they support their communities in a multitude of untold ways.  I wish them continued and rampant success.

As proper grandparents, Sweet-Cheeks and I spoiled them and loaded them up with sugar prior to giving them back to their parents.  I will leave you with these pictures – snapped during the feeding frenzy that punctuated a family adventure that included lots of hugs, a few tears, and sweetly-frosted memories…

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All About Today – July 15

July 15 is an important day.  Very important indeed.  It is St. Swithun Day.  Swithun was Bishop of Windsor from 852 to 862 AD.

The name of Swithun is best-known today for a British weather lore proverb, which says that if it rains on Saint Swithun’s day, 15 July, it will rain for 40 days.

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain nae mare

A Buckinghamshire variation has

If on St Swithun’s day it really pours
You’re better off to stay indoors.

So, yeah, looks like it is going to rain for another 40 days.  We’ve had about 15 inches of rain so far this month, so this isn’t exactly a welcome concept.  But this is Florida and it typically does rain each day in the summer, so I guess this is a non-news story.

In REAL news, however, it is National Ice Cream Day.  Designated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, the 3rd Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day (all of July is National Ice Cream Month!)  This is news worth celebrating.

Sweet Cheeks retirement plan – he found 15 cents, 3 bottle caps, and a Bic lighter that day at the beach.

But the real reason today is important, is that it is my beloved husband’s birthday.  Yes, Sweet Cheeks.  I wanted to just take a few minutes to recognize this fine man for all that he does.  His love and support are never-ending.  He is so even-tempered, logical and steady that he is a steadfast foil for my moodiness, snarkiness and sometimes mercurial emotions.  He is the perfect straight man.  He thinks I am smart, and funny – even when I am not.  He does not complain when I spend hours working on lessons plans or spoiling my grandchildren.  He does not mention my hoarding tendencies for beads or shoes.  He would do anything in the world to make me happy, and when I am sad, or lonely or unhappy – his pain equals (or seemingly exceeds) my own.  He is romantic, thoughtful, honest and kind.

If you look in the dictionary for the expression “salt of the earth”, you will see my husband’s picture.  Sure, he’s not perfect – he is mechanically inept, never met a container or package he couldn’t mangle, and shouldn’t be allowed to dress himself – but he is perfect for me.

So, Happy Birthday Sweet Cheeks.

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Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

What I Learned from Having a Rescued Dog

On December 31, 2010 I met my beloved German Shepherd for the very first time. She was being fostered by the good folks at German Shepherd Rescue of Southwest Florida and needed a home. She had just finished treatment for heartworm and was quite weak. She’d had a litter of pups sometime before she was rescued from the mean streets of Naples, Florida. The veternarian speculated she had been used as a breeder and estimated her age between 3 and 5 years of age. In the 18 months since she joined our home, Shelby has taught me many lessons.

It’s only hair – it will grow back…(Photo credit: k8edid)

1.  It is Only Hair.  Shelby had a patch of hair shaved from her back so that a poisonous concoction could be administered that would kill the heartworms that threatened her life.  She taught me that there are far more important things than having a bad hair day or finding the perfect cut…like living and enjoying second chances.

In my own little bed…(Photo credit: k8edid)

2.  Sometimes you just need  your own space.  This was Shelby on her first day in our home.  She enjoyed the comfort of her crate – she had been crated for 30 days while she underwent treatment, and the world seemed to overwhelm her. We don’t put Shelby in the crate any more, but it is still available to her and she often goes to it for comfort.

Shelby gets PLENTY of beauty sleep (Photo credit: k8edid)

 3.  Naps are wasted on children.  Seriously.  Adults and dogs know that naps are really fun.

Shelby’s been digging…

4.  If you mess up, someone will notice, no matter how small you try to make yourself.  Shelby likes to dig up things her Mama plants in the yard.  Here she is after rescuing me from some evil flowers.

I’m going to rest now.

5.  Know when to rest.  Shelby completed the Lee County Heart Walk 5K last fall. It was hot and she was used to walking early in the morning – not in the middle of the day.  When we were done, she was overheated, cranky, and tired.  She plopped down in a shady spot and would not get up, lying on her side and panting rapidly.  Walk officials were very concerned for her and encouraged me to call for a vet.  She rested for about 15 minutes, drank another of Mama’s bottled waters, then right after I snapped this shot she got up and trotted off toward the car.  I’m learning to rest when I’m tired, drink when I need to, and listen to my body.

Shelby cools off by Charlotte Harbor. (Photo credit: k8edid)

6.  It is always cooler by the water.  At a large party thrown for dogs and their humans, Shelby sought peace and quiet near the water.  Sometimes you just need to walk away from the crowd and find your peace – and a cool breeze.

Play like a kid. (Photo credit: k8edid).

7.  Take time to play.  Even if you can’t push the merry-go-round, you can still enjoy the ride.  Don’t let others define what you can and can’t do for fun.

Waiting for Papa (Photo credit: k8edid)

8.  Waiting can be hard.  Shelby is happiest when both parents are home and she alternates between laying beside one or the other of us, seeking out pats and scratches…and treats.  I have to wait long periods of time between visits with my loved ones – and the waiting is hard.  The joy when we are finally together knows no bounds, though I usually refrain from licking their faces or sniffing their crotches.

Patience is a virtue (Photo credit: k8edid)

9.  Sometimes service is slow.  Be patient.

If you can’t stand the heat – head to the kitchen…(Photo credit: k8edid)

10. If you can’t stand the heat – head to the kitchen.  The coolest spot in our house is the kitchen.  My late father-in-law was a genius when he put in an industrial-strength exhaust fan (it seriously sounds like an airplane and can suck dust off the floor) and a strategically placed air conditioning vent directed at the cooking space.  Not that anyone is going to cook with 90 pounds of canine laying in front of the stove.  On really hot days you can find Shelby stretched out in her second favorite spot…so make reservations or get take-out ’cause she’s not moving.

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My Mothers’ Day Makeover

No, not that kind of makeover – I don’t need one as I have come to accept myself as I am.  My Mothers’ Day had a makeover.

See, my mom died over 30 years ago when I was a newlywed.  What should have been a joyous time in my life was overshadowed by deep depression, overwhelming sadness and feelings of loss.  Each year thereafter, from Mothers’ Day until around the middle of June (Mom died on June 8), I allowed myself to wallow in those deep and dark feelings.  This year promised to be more of the same – I am far from home, alone, and separated from my family.

I talked with two women this week who, without even knowing it, turned my way of thinking around.  One had been given away by her heroin junkie mother as an infant.  Actually, traded for money for a fix.  Fortunately for this young woman, her mother’s sister gave the junkie money in exchange for the baby and all parental rights.   Then proceded to raise the little girl as her own, providing her with a safe home, love and support.

The other woman had lost her only child in a horrific pedestrian – vs- car accident.  Four-year olds rarely win that battle.  This mother had left the youngster in the care of a babysitter who took the child for a walk.  A car ran a red light and plowed into a group of pedestrians crossing an intersection – the child was severely injured and ended up on life support, declared brain dead.  This young mother had to make the decision to discontinue mechanical life support and the little guy passed quickly and quietly in her arms.  As often happens, the parents’ marriage did not survive the loss of their child.  The woman never remarried, and never had another child.

So, THIS grown woman who had her own mother for 25 years and whose children are alive, reasonably happy and healthy, and who has been provided with glorious grandchildren – decided to make over her Mothers’ Day thinking.  Instead of wallowing, this is what I did instead:

I enjoyed coffee made with my Mothers’ Day gift to myself:

My new Keurig

I ate chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast:

Chocolate covered strawberries – A gift from my younger son and his family. Delicious.

I used these things:

Ingredients for liquid fun

To make this:

Sangria!!!

I took this girl to the ice cream shop:

Shelby is known to the ice cream shop staff – she is one of the best customers.

I used the day to do things I truly enjoy – sewing, reading, and talking with my children and grandchilden.  I watched a favorite movie (Legends of the Fall), puttered around, and spent the day reflecting on my many blessings – which include a mother who loved me for her short time on earth, and children and grandchildren who are happy, healthy and very much alive.  So even though my house was empty (except for the 4-legged child), my heart was full, and it was the best Mothers’ Day of all.

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These Things Do Not Actually Constitute Foreplay

Spotted Owlet Athene brama at Keoladeo Nationa...

Since you're going to the kitchen any way can you get me a beer? (Photo credit: Wikipedi

Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University report that men are “always” thinking about sex. By that they meant that 54 percent of men think about sex several times a day, compared with just 19 percent of women, they wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine, author of “The Female Brain,” however, disagrees. She writes in her book that men think about sex every 52 seconds, while women tend to think of it just once a day. If men are thinking about sex more frequently than once a minute, how do they get any work done?  Why, when they aren’t also thinking about food, sports and beer, of course.  And when women do think about sex once a day are they thinking “I hope he’s not thinking about sex, again”?  Or is that just me?

My husband is out of town.  I do miss him.  I mean, there hasn’t been a single sporting event blasting from the television since he left.  There has been no dinner preparation in the evening, unless you count pouring milk over a bowl of Special K.  I have enjoyed unlimited use of the lone bathroom here, and unfettered control of the remote.

No, really I do miss him and his, um, shall we say continous amorous advances.  Even though we have been married for at least 100 years (what?  It’s only been 32 years?  Seems like so much longer…) he still obviously finds me irresistable.  Either that or his vision has deteriorated to the point that he is mistaking me for someone else.

Sex

Sex (Photo credit: danielito311)

Given the potential for miscommunication and misunderstanding, based on the wide variances in male and female thought processes associated with sex, I offer the following guidelines for my husband as to what does not constitute foreplay.

1.  Asking me to get you a beer.

2.  Opening a jar for me.

3.  Sneaking up behind me while I am washing dishes.

4.  Folding my underwear.

5.  Bumping into me in the hallway.

6.  Getting me to scratch your back.

7.  Pretending to hold my hand when you are actually trying to sneak the remote from my grip.

8.  Taking out the trash.

9.  Waking up.

10.  Opening your birthday card.

Except that with #1o, I can’t say “Get off me, this isn’t your birthday”…

DISCLAIMER:  This post is entirely (well, mostly) tongue-in-cheek.  I know a great many men who are capable of deep thoughts and who actually consider topics other than sex, food, sports and beer.  I’m pretty sure I do, anyway.  In any event, I am fortunate to have a husband who not only makes me feel loved and desired, but lets me know everyday that he supports me, appreciates me and cherishes me.

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