So we went for a walk this Sunday - as we normally do.
But there was one minor change to our morning routine.
And… yeahhhh… I’ve officially become - that person. You know, the one who pushes a doggy stroller around town...
Not ashamed. Not embarrassed. Not sad. Not mocking. And not making fun.
Quite the opposite in fact.
I’m soooooo happy. Very happy. Overjoyed.
I actually know quite a few people who have a doggie stroller in their life, and all who do are sincerely happy with their purchase. They are the ones who gave me the idea in the first place, long ago.
This amazing contraption and piece of complete and utter materialism was one of the best purchases I have ever made for the life and health and welfare of my precious little angel pooch...
My dog is - sadly - getting older.
Whether I like to admit it or not.
This purchase has been a long time coming. A very long time.
My little sugar plum fairy has had arthritis for many years. She limps, and tries, to keep going. Continually moving. Little things hurt her and if she jumps up a chair or down the stairs wrong she’s in a lot of pain for days. And then she limps more. Thus, her walks are increasingly shorter and shorter. But she loves her daily adventures and loves being outside. As is the life of a dog.
And really, this whole pandemic “thing” going on in the world is what made me decide to go ahead and just buy the darn thing already.
Cause there’s nothing like a pandemic surrounding a respiratory virus to prove how important fresh air really is.
And our walks must go on. So the first day of this whole crisis that our little creature started limping, once again... was the very day I went ahead and placed the order.
I refuse to have her “stuck” at home just because she couldn’t walk very far. Especially with her humans still out there exercising and walking and getting their fresh air - and the world in crisis… It just didn’t seem right to have to cut the walk short for her, or leave her at home altogether, just so we could go on a very long walk without her.
So I made the executive decision to visit Chewy.com. And I quickly bought what I’m calling her buggy - her new ride.
Now Miss Madeline can ride around town in style. And not miss out. On FRESH AIR. That we all need in this life. Plague - or no plague. Because fresh air can do wonders. For doggies too!
So I purchased the Paws & Pals Deluxe Folding Dog & Cat Stroller, in black. The cost was $129.99, plus $9.10 in tax, for a total of $139.09. And yes, you can zip a cat in the netting, allowing them to sit, safely, so they can’t escape! How cool!
Free shipping goes along with any purchase through Chewy costing $49.00 or more. And I set up a free Chewy account while I was at it - so now we can order dog food and medicine and other supplies if needed as well.
I don’t anticipate needing to buy much from the site, as most all of her purchases are made at Petsmart, in person, and not online. But then again, I’m always happy to try out new or different pet suppliers.
And mostly I’m just happy we finally made this purchase for our little angel.
Then the day came when our stroller “finally” arrived to us - with impressively fast shipping actually. And we went on a lovely Sunday morning stroll. And I’m so happy that Madeline absolutely loved her buggy! She walked shorter than her usual route - and slower - and I could tell she was done, tired, in pain. This was when we normally would have gone immediately home. But noooo - not today! Prepared for everything - we finally were!
We plopped our little ball of fluff into her new and comfy seat. We gave her some ice water. And then we continued onward. We walked for a much longer time period. Like - a lot longer. We walked a length that Madeline never would have been able to do and something I usually do all by myself. But this Sunday we were able to do it as a family of three! For the very first time.
So it was a very good Sunday indeed.
And we even made it to The Delicomb - once again. Enroute home on our walk, we just so happened to walk past the coffee shop, and quickly ordered two large lattes to go. You know I didn’t happen to plan things that way, right?
And then, as our lovely Sunday morning stroll was reaching its conclusion, we were headed toward home and sipping our coffee, I saw something blue on the ground. I can’t see for anything, and from a distance I thought it was a piece of trash. But we got closer and I let out a gasp.
If there is any reason to love Jax Beach that does not include the ocean - it is for all the little things. Yes, these little things. Like rocks! I found another scavenger hunt rock!
People all over town paint rocks in their spare time and hide them - some hidden very, very well - camouflaged and tucked away - and some hidden more so in plain site, sitting out front-and-center - so people like me can actually find them.
And I have never met a painted rock I didn’t like.
And today’s rock was no exception.
On the front is usually the artistic and painted design. And on the back is usually written who made the rock and/or how to tag it online to acknowledge the find. #jaxbeachrocks on Facebook is the usual group that I tend to find from. But I’ve found some from much farther away too. After you tag online you can then rehide it - so someone else who may just need a rock in their life at this very moment - can also get in on the fun.
And some rocks do not come with a tag and you can keep them for your rock collection if you like. I have a small rock collection going right now sitting in my art studio. They bring me joy every time I look at them. And that is exactly the whole gosh darn point.
There is joy in all the little things in life. And whether we like it or not, life is still going on. And we have to keep going. And we have to keep walking too.
I learned a long time ago a very simple equation:
MOVEMENT = LIFE
So even though my little doggie is getting older. I have found a way for her to keep moving. I’ve found a way for her to still get her fresh air. For her to see the world around her. As I breathed in the delicious and heavenly scent of all the flowers blooming around me. I have found a way for Madeline to do the very same. For her to still keep moving and breathing and living. And soaking up all that surrounds her.
And while this societal and economic crisis is affecting the pocketbook to the extreme right now, there isn’t a penny I wouldn’t spend on my little baby to help allow her to have her very best life possible while she is on this Earth. And if buying a doggie stroller allows her to have some more time with us during our day, seeing new things, and going farther on a walk than her four little paws could ever take her, then $139.09 is sincerely worth it to me right now… Plague or no plague.
Since this entire crisis began it has been food and rent. Food and rent. Nothing extra. Nothing extravagant.
But that doesn’t count for Madeline. I would happily even go into deep and severe credit card debt if it meant even the chance of saving her life somehow. So this cost was so worth it to me, and really not even a significant investment in comparison to the absolute joy it brought her - instantly.
If you have a dog. And your dog is older or hurting and in some sort of pain, or injured or disabled. And if you have been on the fence about buying a dog stroller. Or if you have a cat - and always dreamed of bringing them along on a walk. I am here to tell you to go ahead and make that silly and ridiculous and oh-so-funny of a purchase. Yes - it might just be the most comical purchase of your life.
And - It may make a lot of people laugh at you along your walking route while you’re on your Sunday morning stroll.
But guess what - they’re not actually laughing at you - they’re really just laughing with you.
Because it also may just bring your whole family together.
And it may even bring you rocks.
And mostly, it may just bring you some very needed JOY. ~
*Do you have a doggy stroller? Have you ever considered purchasing one but are on the fence? I’d so love to know your thoughts. Drop me a comment down below:
Also, if you’re enjoying my stories - straight and freshly squeezed from The Sunshine State, check out some more of my other adventures right here:
67] Delicious & Delightful Days @ The Delicomb
65] The Sea Life ~ Happy Easter
64] Stay-At-Home Sunday ~ Palm Sunday
63] Mercy & Comfort
62] PERSPECTIVE @ Seaside Sculpture Park
61] Bean’s Idea List ~ 15 Daily Activities For Well Beyond 15 Days
60] Welcome To Muffin Land ~ The Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry
55] The Shamrock
52] Keeping Cool - And Creamy ~ In Key West
51] Life Is Full Of Pasta-Bilities ~ Bean’s Red Sauce Recipe
50] Sundays Are For Diners ~ Super Diners
49] A Picture Worth A Thousand Words ~ Happy Valentine’s Day, World
48] Love & Donuts In The Air @ Beaches For Australia
46] Key Largo, Montego, Baby Why Don’t We Go?
44] Nothing Finer Than Coffee In The Keys ~ The Coffee Plantation Cafe
42] Where Does The Chicken Cross The Road?
41] Minnie The Daschund Mouse & Her Birthday Wish
39] The Very Official & Quite Serious Donut Debate Of 2020
38] The Year Of The Sweater ~ Bean’s Minestrone Soup Recipe
32] Jolly Holiday In Jarboe Park ~ The Beaches Green Market
31] Tuesday’s On First Street ~ The Jax Beach Art Walk ~
22] Saturday On San Pablo Island
3] The Dog Days Of Endless Summer
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Or, maybe, a picture is worth just a few more words than that….
Happy Valentine’s Day y'all.
I want you to think of love.
I post to you each Monday and each Friday.
And today is Friday.
And as I do each and every week, I had been working all week on a post for today.
Sometimes, I write to you immediately after an experience - such as right after the Key West Half Marathon, or after Sea & Sky Jax Weekend, or Beaches for Australia, or my visit to the Southern Living Idea House, or lots of other events I attend and write about immediately thereafter...
And sometimes, what you receive from me is something else entirely. It’s something that I work at for a very long time. And it’s something that builds into what you eventually receive for publication when I deem it complete and ready.
Just like paint brought to a canvas…
I paint two ways. Sometimes, I paint long, and slow, and detailed, in many layers. And the painting builds and builds and builds over time. Over time equals hours, days, weeks, or months. Many, many months. Until I have a complete story displayed on canvas and ready for eyes to view it. To read the story of the painting itself.
But, sometimes, this idea, my story - my painting - comes to me immediately, in the blink of an eye. Literally. And I paint it, immediately. Quickly. Fast. I have to get it onto the canvas or my brain will burst from the passion coming forth.
Today, your post was going to be a completely different post than the one you are receiving and now reading. I had been diligently working and preparing the post as I always do over a matter of time. And then…
THEN, Valentine’s Day EVE came. Valentine's Day very late night EVE actually arrived.
And everything about that EVE - that YESTERDAY, and that TODAY - changed.
And EVERYTHING - means EVERYTHING.
In the blink of an eye. In the click of the camera. In the sight of a photo. Everything changed. And I had a new story to tell. A new story to write. Quick! Need to get the paint onto canvas. Brain is bursting and overflowing! Right. Now.
So today’s post that you are now reading is completely different - world’s away from the one I had planned to publish today for your reading pleasure and enjoyment.
On Valentine’s Eve, after coming home and entering my very cozy, and my very small, and my very basic, and my very, very perfect little apartment, I instantly changed once again. Merely because the LOVE I feel inside me grew bigger in that one second. That one moment in time.
I came home and received love and happiness. Something I am met with every night, the only difference is last night we took a photo of it.
I came home to my own Valentine love nest, and received love in return.
Valentine love nest.
Are you picturing two cute little feathery birdies yet? If you are not imagining birdies. Go ahead right now and queue up bird imagery in your head..
Will now proceed.
Imagine a nest.
A nest with cute little adorable birdies sitting inside it.
Maybe some red birdies? Or brown birdies? Maybe those birdies are sitting in an evergreen tree? They are sitting in their nest on a branch, and they are looking down on the world right now.
Or maybe that soft and cute and cuddly and quite feathery little birdie isn’t even an actual bird by the way.
Maybe the birdie is really a doggie.
Or maybe our little, figurative, and way too cute birdie is your spouse.
Your significant other.
Your furry critter.
Your friend - who lives many states away. Your friend you just had to say goodbye to. Your friend who hopped on a train to ride the rails to a far off land. That friend - who just visited you at work. Your workplace being her final stop. Her final stop on a very important visit to a very important place. And she came to your work to say goodbye to you upon her departure. And as you hugged each other. As you took one last selfie. And as she walked away to go drive to the train station…. you both yelled out “I LOVE YOU!” In front of a million strangers. But neither of you cared. Because your love for each other and the experiences you’ve shared together matter more than what any stranger could ever think of you shouting out your expression of love. Of one another. And of life itself.
Maybe, you came home last night from work, and you were met with love. That love from your turtle. Your guinea pig. That love from your critter. The love from another. The love from yourself. The love from God himself.
Love in all its forms.
Maybe, the love from our dearly departed filled your home. Maybe they were watching you eat dinner. And you felt their presence inside your warm house. Knowing full well they are always with you.
Maybe you came home to your dog who missed you dearly while you were away for nine hours.
Maybe you sat down with your doggie and hubby and you watched Blue Bloods and ate a quick late night dinner from Wendys. A burger with no mayo at 510 calories. Maybe you watched Danny Reagan kick a few butts. And maybe you watched Jamie Reagan change the word in 42 minutes and 30 seconds flat, as he tends to do every episode. Maybe you watched Danny Reagan eat his Sunday dinner while you ate your Thursday night dinner.
Maybe Danny Reagan had to say goodbye to his eldest son, who was leaving to go off to college in Season 9.
Maybe the Reagan family opened their home to the newest member of the family.
Maybe while the Reagan’s had to say goodbye to Jack, they said hello to Eddie. And Eddie now eats dinner with the Reagan’s each Sunday. An empty seat is filled by another. Love all around. Love in the air.
So, getting back to our love nest. And the cute birdies sitting in the tree in their own nest.
Because that’s what happened to me last night. I went home. And I was met by my own birdies in my own nest.
I came home, after a long and wonderful and blessed day, and I was met with the birdies who share that nest with me.
My birdie was brown!
It was a SHE!
Oh wait… and a HE!
My birdies in my very own nest were my very own brown doggie. And my husband.
I came home to them both - and it was Valentine's EVE.
I had a great, and a long, and a fabulous day yesterday. As I do each and every day. I told you each day is the best day of my life, right?
I worked all day. Then. My husband picked me up. He had a load of groceries in the back seat, by the way.
And we went home.
And at this home, it had been a very long day for a little doggie to be parted from her Mama as usual.
Upon walking in the door, my precious little doggie greeted me as she always does.
But one thing was different about that greeting last night. That one thing is the reason you are now reading this story instead of another one.
I sat down on the kitchen floor.
To receive the love from my dog straight on. And at her height level.
And we cuddled as usual.
But it was just so very cute.
And I became so very curious?........
I asked my husband to take a photo of my doggie.
My doggie was giving me a big hug. And I always wonder. How does my little birdie in her nest look out at the world beyond me when she is hugging me? I can’t see behind me, of course. I want to know what all that love she gives me looks like from behind?
And my husband was standing in our kitchen with me and our little birdie angel. He was unloading the groceries he had brought home. Loading them onto the counter top, behind Me…. And I said to my husband… What does our little doggie angel look like when she hugs me? Here - take a photo for me would you please?
I reached into my stuffed pockets. From my heavy and thick and full and very dirty work pants.
I grabbed my iPhone out of the big pocket. And handed my phone to my hubby to take a photo.
And he did just that.
And that photo is why you are receiving this post today instead of something that’s been since erased.
Happy Valentine’s Day WORLD.
Today, I want you to love yourself. I want you to love others. I want you to love your Valentine. Love those who live in your love nest with you. Better yet, love those who live in other love nests that surround yours - all the nests sitting in the very same tree, but just sitting and resting upon different branches. Or merely different twigs.
And, maybe your nest has more than one birdie sitting inside it. Just like mine does.
After I got home. And after I received the unconditional love from a dog hug. After my husband snapped a digital picture. And after a story came to me in a flash. In the blink of an eye. There was one more surprise waiting for me at the end of the night last night.
I was gone from home yesterday all day. I was very messy and I was very dirty. I felt love and life and God himself inside me though.
So as I sat on the kitchen floor.
And as my brown doggie greeted me and hugged me.
And after husband took that photo that I requested… He said...
“Happy Valentine’s Day”
And, all three of us turned to face each other. Me. Husband. Dog.
And Hubby handed me a bouquet of beautiful pink tulips.
Flowers for HIS own Valentine Birdie. I guess I’m a bird too? I instantly grabbed the flowers. And I cried of happiness.
So there we all sat.
On the kitchen floor, of the nest, in our second story tree house villa.
Brown Birdie was hugging Mama Birdie.
Husband Birdie was handing Mama Birdie some flowers.
Mama Birdie was very hot, very messy, and very sweaty. Spills and stains and hours of that sweat all over her dirty clothes. With hugs and flowers. And lots of happiness. And lots of endless love.
And Husband Birdie took the picture.
The picture worth a thousand words… Or, 1661 words to be exact.
Happy Valentine’s Day, from my nest, to your nest. And to all birdies, and all the eggs, in all the nests, resting on all the branches, in all the trees, in all the World.~
What do you love the most about Valentines Day? I’d love to know. Tell me with a comment down below:
And. By the way… Here’s some more STUFF for y’all:
2] 3 Wow’s Plus 1 Piece Of Magic I Experienced At Jacksonville, Florida’s Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens
11] Eleven South Bistro & Bar ~~ Supper Club Of The South
18] Sea & Sky Jax Weekend ~ Fun In The Florida Sun, Sea, Sky & Sand
21] Cinotti’s ~ And Why Life Is Too Short To Not Eat Donuts
23] Faith ~ And Life Lessons Learned Living With Wild & Untamable Hair
24] In Real Life ~ My First Visit To A Southern Living Idea House
26] Deck The Chairs ~ BE THAT CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THIS OUR VERY OWN AND SHAREABLE WORLD
28] The Scent of Christmas in the Air
34] Merry Christmas ~ And How To Buy For That Person On Your List Who Saved Your Life ~
36] The End Of A Decade & My New Year’s Wish To You ~
48] Love & Donuts In The Air @ Beaches For Australia
Well, we’re really in the dog days of summer now, that’s for sure. Known for being the hottest of hot days of the summer during the time period between July and August, the dog days come around this time each year. This season is absolutely screaming for you to have some quality time in the water... in the pool, in the lake, in the springs, or in the ocean. And let’s not forget about popsicles, freezer pops, lawn sprinklers, and kids playing baseball games in their neighborhood street.
When I look straight up toward the sun in the middle of summer and see that bright, hot, and hazy glare staring back at me, I remember being a kid and having so much fun during this time of year. But then the weather always failed me... it got cold out again and summer was over. Along with the hose and the lawn sprinklers and the ice cream melting in my hand as I ate it off a wooden stick. So long until next year. When you grow up in Illinois, summer really is a defined time period each year; and as certain as you are that it will come, you are just as certain that it will end. And out came my puffy winter coat and big, heavy winter boots.
But now that I live in Florida, summer heat and that endless summer feeling never end. Like, for real! Weather was the number one reason I moved here and remains the single best reason I continue to live here a few years later. When it’s January 21st in cold Chicago it’s very hard for any Illinoisan to imagine a place where you can stand outside by the ice cream truck and eat ice cream off a stick, on that very same day, year round? Those places were only in my dreams before Florida.
I remember seeing in the news recently that Universal Orlando Resort opened a new hotel on their property. That’s pretty big news for Universal, as they have far less on-site hotels than their competitor, Walt Disney World, down the street. Well, they named this new hotel the Endless Summer Resort. And almost immediately after the announcement, in some online travel forums there was talk making fun of the name. Tons of folks complained and made fun of the name Endless Summer for a hotel. How can a hotel be named Endless Summer? They said that isn’t a name. It’s more like a state of being. EXACTLY. A state of being. Universal got it and they got it good. I know exactly why they named the hotel Endless Summer. Endless Summer is not just a feeling, it’s a complete way of life down here. What better theme for a resort catering to tourists from out of state, from let’s say places like Illinois, than to evoke and market coming to stay there based on that endless summer childlike feeling we all want to savor and we all want never to end.
I definitely plan on visiting Universal Studios in the near future. And now with the very reasonable room rates, the chic, contemporary and surfer vibe decor, Endless Summer is definitely a place I will consider staying at. But in the mean time, I’ll be soaking up the sun and enjoying doggiest of dog days of my Endless Floridian Summer. So come on down. The water’s warm and the sun never rests. I promise.
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