A Love Story

This story about true love is better than any story I could write. What a great read first thing in the morning. This is the kind of love/relationship I wish we all had in our lives. 

I can’t even imagine the kind of love that looks for the other person for 10 years, and then takes a picture to a restaurant after one is gone. 

One of the folks who talked to the old guy quoted him as saying:   “I was a very rich man. Not with money, but with love”.  What a world this would be if we were all so rich! 

Life Lessons

The other day I was visiting with a friend and we went to get something out of our cars. Of course, my car was full of “stuff”. I had to laugh  . . there was a new chicken watering can in the back seat. There was a case of empty Mason jars in the back  . . jars that Chad had sent home with me. There was a roll of toilet paper in the front floor – when I leave MO, a box of Kleenex just isn’t big enough for those tears! In the front passenger seat were about 10 seed packets. The other day I was sorting through seeds to plant in the garden, and Vince called me to come help him with something so the extra seed packets got tossed in the car so they wouldn’t blow away.

I said to my friend  . . . my car is a reflection of my life . . chickens, Mason Jars, seeds and tears!  :)

She said “You have the BEST life! Who wouldn’t want your life?” Well, a whole lot of people wouldn’t want my life – especially the bugs and snakes and drought of central Texas, and being so far from my family but I know, and I hope I never forget, that I have a wonderful life.

Often friends will tell me . . you get so much done in a day! My response is always the same:  You’re reading what I’m writing. If you write down everything you do each day, you will find that you’re probably doing more than I do! Likewise, I share the good things and some bad but not all the bad. We have our share of conflict and disagreement but it’s never something worth sharing on the blog. If it’s something funny, I’ll share it but otherwise, I figure everyone has problems in their life and no one wants to hear about my problems.

For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about how many people tell me that Vince and I have such a good life and I thought I would share some thoughts. Please don’t think I’m trying to tell you how to live your life, or impose my views/convictions on your life. I’m only sharing my thoughts and how we live, or wish we lived our lives. I also know that for every person who wants to live out in the country, there are probably a dozen that don’t want any part of the country or our lifestyle. We all have choices and so long as we, as individuals or couples or families, know what it takes to put a smile on our face, and that’s what we’re doing/how we’re living our life, then we’re living a good life.

I also know that not everyone has the option of leaving an unhappy, unfulfilled lifestyle and trying something different. If you’re in the city and want to move to the country but it just isn’t feasible or cost-effective, I probably wouldn’t do it either. Everything we do, everything we spend . . it’s all pretty calculated and we don’t make rash decisions. We have been so blessed that Vince has had good job transfers, we’ve never gone to a place that we didn’t want to go or that we felt wasn’t going to make our life better.

Here’s a story that many of you long time readers already know but some may not. Back in 2006 when it was time for us to move, we had a choice of going to Louisiana or Missouri. For 10 years, I was consumed with how we could get back to Louisiana. That was so important to me and Vince knew it was important to me. So, given the option of Louisiana or Missouri, we chose Louisiana. Within hours of making the decision, I began to have second thoughts. Vince really didn’t care where we went. I was miserable! How could I have wanted for so long to move back to Louisiana and now that we were, I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted. I remember one day when my friend from Louisiana called. She said “What are you doing?” and I said “What I do best these days . . crying!” I told her that I just couldn’t stop crying and I was so torn about that move back to Louisiana. That night, Vince and I talked and decided that in my heart, I wanted to go back to Louisiana. I wanted things to be like they were 10 years ago when I left but a lot had changed and in my head, I knew that Louisiana was not the best place for Chad, Vince or myself. That night we decided to go to Missouri and immediately, I felt content with the decision.

So much good happened in Missouri. It’s where Chad met new friends – the boys that helped renew his love of fishing, hunting, camping in a tent and being a back to nature kind of young man. It’s where Vince was able to teach night classes at community college so Chad’s first two years of college were tuition free. It’s Chad graduated from college. It’s where Chad went to work part-time for Walmart and that job led to a management job with Walmart. It’s where Chad met Nicole! It’s where Vince and I got our first chickens. It’s where we first decided that we would never live in city limits or a subdivision with lots of HOA rules.

I’ve relayed that story because I want to share that we always need to be open and listen to that little voice inside. Who knew that moving back to Louisiana was not the best decision for us? I’m thankful that I sat down that night with Vince and said “Even though for the past 10 years, I’ve bugged you to death about moving back to Louisiana, I think that may not be what we should do!”

Over the next week or so, I’m going to share a few “Life Lessons From Judy”. Please accept them for what they are — my thoughts only; not telling  you how to live  your life; not telling you that my life is better than your life . . simply relaying some of the lessons I’ve learned and lessons that have made us what we are today, and allowed us to live the life that we live today. It isn’t a debate about whether life in the city is better than life in the country, or whether the wife staying home is better than the wife working . . it’s purely and simply about how we live our life!

Thank you! :)

Rita and the Dishwasher

Speck’s nickname has been “The Dishwasher Dog”. He loves the dishwasher and I know . . it’s probably horrible to admit this but he loves to check out any remaining bits of food/gravy/pie left on the dishes going into the dishwasher. No! I don’t rinse my dishes before they go into the dishwasher.

He was just a little guy when he stuck he head through the wires on the dishwasher tray and then turned his head and got stuck. Always being the wimp, he was squealing and flipping around . . it was about like trying to catch a greased pig. Vince had to come help me get him loose so that’s how he got his nickname.

I think Rita’s nickname can be “The Anti-Dishwasher Dog”.

She makes her little nest on the sofa each night.



A couple of nights ago, she woke up barking and she was obviously startled or scared. I got her all tucked back in on the sofa, convinced her she was safe and I went back to bed. About 10 minutes later, the same thing happened. I doubted she heard a burglar but thought maybe she knew some kind of critter was outside.

Last night . . same thing. She was barking and making lots of noise right before 1 a.m. That’s when I realized . . I set the dishwasher to come on 3 hours after we go to bed and the dishwasher noise was scaring her. It’s so quiet . . I didn’t even notice it the first night but last night, I could hear it. I took Rita into the kitchen and she was afraid of the dishwasher. 

Isn’t it funny the sounds that some dogs notice? When we first got Speck, his crate was in the laundry room right next to the kitchen. He slept in his crate and I guess he just got used to the dishwasher but maybe Rita has never heard before coming here. My guess is that up until now, she’s been outside when it was running or we had enough other noise in the house that she didn’t notice it.

I guess we won’t be setting it to come on during the night any more . . not if we want to sleep through the night.