Puppy Sitting

We learned a lesson last weekend. Poppy Cotton doesn’t like puppies.  In her house. At least not big, smooshy, playful ones.

We have been on the Puppy Sitting list for Susquehanna Service Dogs for a while. Sometimes the regular Puppy Raiser needs to send the puppy somewhere else while they go away on vacation or just take a break for the weekend.  On those occasions, Puppy Sitters fill in.  A last minute opportunity for sitting one of three 14-week old puppies came up for this weekend.  I decided it was time to take the plunge and responded that we were available.

We picked up the sweetest, most mellow and laid back 14-month old black lab puppy named Keating. He was huge (almost 30 lbs!) and clumsy and snuggly and playful.  The girls loved playing with him; he was enamoured with Molly,  and he started following her around everywhere she went. And when I sat down on the couch, he wanted to be right up here with me.

We expected a little adjustment time for Poppy to get used to having the puppy around. She’s usually excited to meet new dogs, and while she might be a little grumpy at first, she warms up and wants to play. But with him, here in our house, she just got more grumpy and growly and stressed.

I think Keating just wanted to play with Poppy. He would follow her around – the faster she went to get away, the faster he would go.  He would romp and meander around all at the same time, with his big floppy ears and huge paws.  After a difficult evening of trying introduce them and then a whole night of keeping them seperated, neither one happy, we decided it just wasn’t going to work for us to have him at our house for the entire weekend.  It was just too stressful for everyone.  We had to call and ask them to find somewhere else for him to go.  I was sad, the girls were sad, I think even Uncle Grouchy was sad.

We definitely learned some lessons to consider before we get another puppy (which we’ve been talking about).  We need to get Poppy more used to meeting new dogs, especially puppies.  Or we need to consider getting a more mature dog.  Either way, I think we need to get her used to having other dogs visit the house before bringing one here permanently.

This is the closest Poppy would let him get. And she would not relax if he was nearby.

Our Family’s Happy Place

Over the years, our family has visited Pine Creek almost every summer for the past 10 years (along with my parents and my brother’s family). Even before that, the place was always a retreat for me, where I reconnected with my roots and with nature. Our family has been holding family reunions at Little Pine State Park since before I was even born.

Last summer, we didn’t make it there, for the first time in several years, and my kiddos still haven’t let me hear the end of it.  This year, however, we were able to visit twice, and we did our best to make the most of it!

Panorama of the creek from the bank of our rental house.

First, we went up for a long weekend Wednesday-Sunday in late June.  Megan was lucky enough to be able to stay for a few extra days, but I had to drop Molly off at Girl Scout Camp that Sunday, so our stay was cut a little shorter. Our time there is always made most special by being surrounded by family. The kids play hang out with their cousins and the grownups have extra time to sit and visit. We go hiking or biking on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, and of course spend lots of time in the creek. Kayaking and fishing seem to be the favorite activities for the kiddos…I just love paddling up the creek, then floating back down, enjoying the peaceful scenery.

Lots of cousin togetherness!

The kids have an opportunity to reconnect with their grandparents, great grandmother and lots of extended family too.

And I try to fit in a little quiet time as well.

Enjoying the fire before everyone else came down.

Our second visit was just for the weekend so we could attend the family reunion at Little Pine State Park at the end of July.  We stayed in a house in English Center that used to be a restuarant and ice cream shop.  Nana shared fond memories of visiting the ice cream shop with Grandpa, which I thought made it even more special.  The weather was rainy, so we didn’t spend much time in the creek, but we enjoyed visiting everyone at the reunion and just hanging out together as a family.

We got to play in the creek a little bit in the morning, before it started to rain, but it was cold so we didn’t stay in for long!
Family fun and games – darts and checkers. Poppy Cotton wasn’t sure what to think.

I hope that as the kiddos grow up, they will continue to cherish these times at Pine Creek and keep wanting to visit there. I know these times and this place will always hold a special place in my heart.

It’s the little things.

Since last Tuesday, I’ve been working extra long hours to help solve a problem with a system I work on (along with several co-workers).  We had to turn off part of the system as a result of the problem, so we’re working extra hard to get everything back up and running.  I’ve missed my time at home with my kiddos, with the puppy dog and with Uncle Grouchy.

Last week on Tuesday when we discovered the problem, I was at work till after 11 pm.  I missed kissing my kiddos goodnight, and it was even too busy to call.  The next night, we didn’t work quite so late, so I got home early enough to see them before bedtime.  I was exhausted, just happy to be home, and looking forward to some dinner.  The girls and Poppy Cotton all met me at the door.  Poppy was bouncing around like Tigger and the girls enveloped me in a big hug. After such a long day, it felt great to be welcomed home like that.

They had spent part of that evening before I got home making me a bracelet, which they gave me after the group hug. They used beads and charms from our shared stash of beading supplies.  They had braided together three strands of embroidery floss in my favorite colors and attached the beads and charms they thought I’d like as they braided. They told me it would help me think about them while I was working.

I wore it for the rest of the week…and they were right.  I was missing them while I was at work, putting in long hours, but it made me think of them whenever I noticed it on my wrist. Somehow, they knew exactly what I needed to help me through the week.  I’m still wearing it this week, as we continue working longer-than-usual hours to solve the problem. Hopefully we’ll be able to implement the solution soon and I’ll be able to go back to my regular schedule. Till then, I’ll be wearing my fancy new bracelet, and thinking of how lucky I am to have the two of them at home waiting for me.

80’s Movie Night

The younger kiddo was at a sleepover last night so the older one and I decided to watch some movies.  I have a mental list of 80s movies I want to watch with her so I suggested a few titles. Eventually, we decided on a “double feature” of Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for last night. Uncle Grouchy even joined us – and he doesn’t usually join in our TV-watching  – so that was extra fun!

We picked up dinner at Neato Buritto (for us) and China Wok (for Uncle Grouchy) and settled in on the couch (note: Poppy Cotton in her favorite spot).  She didn’t have much to say about Pretty in Pink although we were highly entertained by the clothes and the hairstyles.  She was sad that Andie didn’t end up with Duckie in the end.  She thought Ferris Bueller was pretty funny.  She kept saying “He’s never going to get away with that” and “Why would he do that if he doesn’t want to get caught?”  In my opinion, the best part is that now she’ll get our “Bueller??? Bueller??” references when we’re trying to get someone’s attention.

So here’s our complete 80’s movie list – we have quite a few more to watch!

80’s Movie List

  • √ Pretty in Pink
  • √ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • √ Say Anything
  • √ The Goonies
  • √ ET
  • √ Gremlins
  • √ Back to the Future (all 3!)
  • √ The Princess Bride
  • Sixteen Candles
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Footloose
  • Stand By Me
  • Dirty Dancing
  • The NeverEnding Story
  • Karate Kid
  • Top Gun

I’m sure there are lots more good 80’s movies we should add to our list…So what are we missing?  Add to our list in the comments!

Saturday around the house

All week long, I’ve been anticipating this weekend. Two blessed days with nothing on the calendar, no where to take anyone and no errands to be done.  My Girl Scout troop sold all our remaining cookies with our cookie caravan on Thursday after school, so no need for a last minute booth sale.  We did our weekend Target run last night after my oldest daughter’s field hockey game. So two whole days of uninterrupted relaxation, right?

While I did lounge in my PJs till almost noon with coffee and the internet, the rest of the day has been full.  Not busy, just full.  And it was a great day.

Before lounge time began, we slept in.  I made cinnamon rolls and bacon and eggs for breakfast while Uncle Grouchy got ready for work. The working on Saturdays is one of the drawbacks of working at a bike shop…spring time means longer hours and more Saturdays in the shop. Makes for a lot of girls day Saturdays!

Bye bye Brownie and Junior stuff!

I spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning out my Girl Scout supplies. As we near the end of another year, I pretty much know what we’re going to use between now and then and what we can pass on. My troop will be bridging from Juniors to Cadettes soon, so I have lots of Junior supplies to pass on – as well as a bunch of Brownie stuff I never gave away!  I have 2 cookie boxes full of supplies, badges, pins and patches to take to our Community meeting next week.

While I was busy with my cleaning project, both girls invited friends over.  The older two baked a double batch of my banana bread recipe and made it into muffins. They gave some to the neighbors and snacked on some.  Then they went outside to make a fort in the backyard, complete with a handsewn flag. I love that at 14, they will still go play outside for the afternoon. The younger two also went outside and adventured around the yard – destroying a rotten stump and discovering all kids of creepy crawlers.

Then all 6 of us (can’t forget Poppy Cotton!) walked over to the school playground to hang out for a bit. Poppy had several long runs around the playground and is now napping contentedly on the ottoman.

After sending all the friends home, I made dinner for the family.  Since Uncle Grouchy worked all day it was the least I could do 🙂

I love that we got to enjoy some downtime today.  And that we spent some time outside in the fresh air.  And that I got some stuff done that’s been on my to-do list since last summer!  Here’s to another productive and full day tomorrow – it’s supposed to be rainy and cooler so maybe I can knock out a few more sorting projects!


Hello world!

Poppy Cotton (my dog) with snow on her nose.

Here goes.  I did this blogging thing several years ago.  I wrote about my daughters.  And posted pictures of them.  And wrote stories about the stuff they were doing.  My mom read it.  And maybe my mother-in-law.

That was fun, but now I use Facebook to share with them (and 382 of my closest friends).  Plus, now that they’re older (11 and 14), they don’t really want the play-by-play of their first day of school chronicled for all of the internet to read.  But I did enjoy the writing, the sharing of ideas and interests.

The title – just christie – that’s been rolling around in my head for a few years.  So much that I do is for other people. I work all day. I’m a wife.  I’m a mom. I’m a Girl Scout Leader.  I love those roles and they make me who I am.  I also know I need to focus on things that make me happy sometimes. That’s what this is all about – sharing topics that interest me.

With that said, here’s a rundown of some topics you might find here (in no particular order):

  • Product reviews
  • Girl Scout “stuff”
  • Photos of our beloved pet dog, Poppy Cotton
Poppy Cotton (my dog) with snow on her nose.
Oops, I couldn’t resist.  That was a few weeks ago during the big PA Blizzard of 2017.  She loves playing in the snow!

OK…back to my list.

  • Good books I’ve read
  • Craft projects
  • Favorite Recipes
  • Stories about my family
  • Lists of my favorite things – from books to wine and everything in between!

So thank you for stopping in. I hope you come back to visit often.

♥ just christie ♥

Scroll To Top