Winter Solstice Baby

Today is my birthday. Today is also the winter solstice and is the shortest day of the year. Based on the last three days, I’m grateful that darkness will come early.

On Friday night Stephen and I were supposed to have a rare night out while the girls stayed with my mom. I was looking forward to putting on my pj’s at 6 p.m. and renting a movie. Wild night my friends…. But my mom got sick (most likely because she helped me with school parties on Thursday) so plans changed. It wasn’t a big deal. We took the girls to a basketball game and they only went to the concession stand four times which is definitely progress. I still had those comfy pj’s on my mind and relaxing on the couch after the kids went to bed. And then Riley dropped a paint filled ornament and it shattered…all over our new carpet. The paint is bright blue. My carpet is NOT bright blue. As soon as we made sure she didn’t cut her hand, I started cleaning. Two hours later most of the paint was gone but there’s a noticeable blue spot that will require professional help. The relaxing night had disappeared along with my personality.

On Saturday I went to a yoga class and then braved Walmart. When I got home Bailey wasn’t looking so great. By noon she had a low fever. By 8 p.m. she had a high fever and threw up as Stephen was putting her to bed. So we moved her to the couch, stripped the bed, and prepared for a long night. Stephen sent me to bed (and I went without much protest and while I should be ashamed, I’m not) and he took the night shift.

Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. I got up and Bailey had a temperature of 103.1. She was miserable. Lily came downstairs shortly and said, “Happy birthday mom!!” I managed a polite thank you and started another load of laundry. Stephen made me a lovely breakfast and a mimosa. He cut me off after the first cocktail because I had to teach Sunday School in a few hours. Riley and Lily did a wonderful job in their bell choir performance. When we came home Bailey’s fever was higher. I knew we weren’t going to be celebrating my birthday as planned and while I was disappointed, I hated seeing Bailey so sick.

Instead of eating out we will be grilling some steaks and I might polish off that champagne. I’ve decided to wait until next year to turn 38 but if you already bought me a gift, just drop it off. I can make an exception for presents.

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All Dogs Go To Heaven

I’m not an animal person. I always had pets growing up but only became attached to a few. The first was my cat, Colors and the second and third were dogs. One was an Australian shepherd named Star and the other was a golden retriever named Clarence. *Clarence was born during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill debacle and whenever he did something less than tasteful, my dad would shake his head and blame it on his namesake.

Golden retrievers became a staple of the Mullins homestead seven miles from town. After Clarence lived a nice long life we got Max. Max was also a rascal and liked to disappear for days at a time. One time he was gone so long we had to go look for him. After a few weeks things were looking bleak. It turned out someone decided to keep him and chained him up next to their house. My dad offered a reward and money always talks. He got a tip, rolled up to this houses, and brought home our dog. It’s a thousand wonders he didn’t get a rifle pointed at his nose.

The last golden my dad brought home was Buddy. My mom was very sad after Max disappeared for good and didn’t want anymore dogs. Dad was never good at listening to such declarations and he decided they really needed another retriever. He found out about a puppy in…Cynthiana of all places and the rest was history. Buddy came home to Hindman about 10 years ago and had the luxury of roaming all over the hills behind the house. His pastimes included dragging in elk antlers, barking at all hours of the night, and trying to sit in your lap even though he was huge. I didn’t grow up with Buddy like I did the other dogs but I really loved him and my kids adored him.

When my dad died, Buddy looked for him. It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. He couldn’t understand why dad was gone so suddenly. I knew how he felt. Buddy became extra protective of my mom. In fact, he wanted so much to love her and be next to her that he once flattened her in the driveway and nearly sent mom to the hospital.

My mom moved away from Hindman a little over a year ago and her new home is in town. There is no yard and no place for Buddy to roam safely. She knew he would need a new place to live. My wonderful friend, Sandy, and her family offered to take him in and he would live on their farm. It was a terrible decision for my mom. She wanted desperately to keep him but knew that he would hate being confined. So I took him out to the Vanhook farm last November. I cried all day. I told him I was so sorry that he couldn’t live at my house. I told my dad I was sorry. Stephen had to leave work and help me because I just couldn’t do it. But I knew deep down that Buddy would love his new home and I was right. He got to ride around in the back of a truck. He had other dogs to play with and even got to sleep inside most nights. Buddy was meant to be a farm dog. For 13 months he led a charmed life that while different from what he was used to, was truly wonderful.

Buddy died a few days ago. He did not suffer. He simply left this world quickly and quietly. I’ve heard that all dogs go to Heaven. I think for Buddy, that means an endless supply of dog treats, elk antlers, and long rides in the back of a farm truck. Best of all, it means he finally found my dad.

*A special thank you to Robby, Sandy, Caroline, Ben, and John Embry Vanhook for taking such great care of Buddy for our family.

If I Wrote A Christmas Letter….

Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas!! You won’t hear any of that Happy Holidays crap from the Moses family. Just ask the man of the house, Dr. Moses. He will wish you a Merry Christmas and you will LIKE it. *We had an incident in Lexington recently where he basically forced his religious beliefs on other people.

2014 was another amazing year here on Carl Stevens Road. Stephen and I dedicated ourselves to getting in better shape so we started a high intensity interval training class. Two of our wonderful very muscular friends run these classes and wow, they can bring the pain. Sometimes we chuckle as we are walking gingerly around the house about how much “fun” we are having. Seriously, it’s awesome and I really think these classes will keep me in yoga pants WAY past 40. My apologies in advance. I also love when we go out to eat and my husband orders a bran muffin with yogurt while I’m tossing back a Coke and asking for another basket of bread. I love that he drinks lots of water. It’s adorable.

Stephen works extremely hard at the whole doctoring thing so I can stay home and do nothing all day. Turns out doing nothing is really exhausting because I’m expected to clean, feed, chauffeur, pay bills, and shower EVERY SINGLE day. I’m hoping to hit my stride by spring.

Our baby started school this year. She is super smart like her mommy and may be a pathological liar but that’s okay. (I’ve heard that she’s been kicked in the face, a kid was attacked by a skunk at recess, and her teacher’s aide looks exactly like Miranda Lambert. *That last one is true.) This youngest one still thinks I’m awesome and when she prays each night over dinner I sometimes get a “very, very, very awesome” right before she says amen and tells me how much she hates the food.

The middle child is a million laughs. She wants all sorts of weird stuff for Christmas and we, I mean Santa, will deliver on a couple of these requests. We learned the hard way one year that the Mind Control Game truly was the item her heart desired more than anything in this world. That game has provided lots of fighting material for our three children. I feel truly blessed that her grandparents gave it to her for her birthday.

Our oldest is 10 going on 25. She isn’t on board with 99% of the things I say and I know soon that will number will be 100%. She is also very smart and really good at tricking me into things like getting a kitten. I remind myself daily that someday I will miss this age and stage of her life and then I have a big glass of wine and laugh hysterically.

Last but not least, I’m nearing 38 and I wore a strapless sequin top to a party last weekend. Obviously my sense of humor is still very much intact. Bring it on 2015.

Sincerely,
Stephen, Cassie, Riley, Lily, and Bailey Moses (and Cleopatra the stupid kitten STILL living in my basement)