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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

A Thousand Pictures Are Worth a Word: "Maisy"

Good morning!  Errr, afternoon!  I slept over twelve hours last night and still had to drag myself up outta bed an hour ago.  But, I also want to get stuff done today, so it was necessary.  Still, I've been SO tired lately, so it felt SO good to sleep well and long for a change!  

It's been SO miserably hot and close at work for this stretch of heat (that it seems we've been in for a couple of weeks now).  99% of the time, when it's hot over the hill, it's cool down by the lake, but - very unusually - the winds have NOT been coming off the big lake, and so it's been just as hot down there.  And, even with all the doors open at work, there's NO air-flow.  We have ceiling-mounted fans, but no AC system, and it's just so CLOSE in there.  We just sweat all day (literally!) and feel yucky.  It wears a person down.  Yesterday, I found myself wondering WHY the owners haven't put in an AC system since the building was built in 1954!  Maybe because it's rare that the summers so close to the lake ARE like this?  It's just oppressive, though, and really exhausting.  And, here at home, with no shades for the south-facing windows nor AC system, trying to sleep nights has been close to impossible.  In short, I am ready for this stretch of heat to BREAK!

What else is news?  (I didn't come here just to complain!)  I had dinner with old family friends last night who I haven't sat down to really talk to in about, let me figure it out, more than 20 years!  Probably closer to 25!  When I was growing up, Mama & Papa Pea and I did lots with them, but then the busyness of the restaurant took us away from that.  Now, they're grandparents, and their daughter and granddaughter and grandson are visiting from their home in Mississippi, so it was great to play with the 3-year old and cuddle the 9-week old and catch up a bit!  It was 11:59 PM when I pulled into the yard here at Swamp River Ridge - after a nice, long visit that will, hopefully, renew the friendship!

The house with 10 acres that would be the best rental situation for me shares a property line with these folks - they'd be great neighbors!  And, I'm still waiting to hear about that.  The owner is here for several weeks starting this week, and her ex-husband (who still has most of his stuff there) and she are going to discuss the possibility of renting to me.  At this point, this is my Number 1 Living Option.  If it doesn't work out, I'll be scrambling again.  I'm trying not to think about how quickly the summer is going and how imminent the necessity of the move will be.

I still don't know the outcome of last Thursday's Sheriff's Sale . . . if anyone else was present and bid on Swamp River Ridge other than the credit union's required presence and bid.  (I just, this second, sent an e-mail to the credit union, inquiring about same.)

Anyway, nothing much has been going on lately other than the usual exhaustion and heat.  Blech.

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I uploaded all these pictures last Sunday but never got around to writing the post.  So, here ya go!  There's no sadness here in remembering Maisy now.  And, Tucker's feeling much better, much happier at Mama & Papa Pea's by himself.  He did, however, have an accident in the house last night / this morning.  I'd left the front door cracked last night so he could let himself out as I was prepared to sleep in as late as possible . . . but now I wonder if it was just Maisy, rather than both of them, who was always able to nose the door open enough for them to scoot out and go potty! 

Maisy's first night at home, crashed out in front of the stove.

The ex was out of town on one of his usual business trips when I picked Maisy up in the big town three hours south of home.  Mama Pea went with me.  I remember it being a yucky, sleeting wintery day.  The breeder was meeting us there in a Perkins parking lot.  She was going to bring two of the pups from the litter for me to choose between.  I know now that it was a bit of a shady deal, though:  she only brought one (Maisy).  But, of course, I fell instantly in love with the little lump and, despite what I thought was a thorough puppy test, didn't discover the 1" x 2" patch of dry, unhealthy skin on her hind end until we were halfway home with her.  (She had skin problems her entire life.)  Too, when I look at this picture of her, I see a less-than-perfectly-healthy, scrawny little puppy.  But, in the end, I suppose it was good that I wasn't given a choice in puppies - she might not have had such a good life had she stayed where she'd been whelped.

Another memory of that day:  she immediately raced off on puppy legs to explore the big piles of snow in the back of the parking lot and REFUSED the demands and pleas to "Come!" from both the breeder and me.  And, grrrr, 8 1/2 years later, she'd STILL been that stubborn and refusing when exploring off on her own!  I know now that that was a sign of both a bad breeder/trainer AND my ignorance of good puppy behavior . . . that should probably have been reason enough for me to NOT choose her from the litter!

Day Two and looking better already, no?  LL Bean ad, anyone?  

April 2004:  sixteen weeks old and noshing on a white pine branch at the new, cleared property (Swamp River Ridge).

May 2004:  five months old, "helping" me paint the new chicken house.  I'd just headed out with a full gallon of red paint when she came racing up to me and BANGED the can of paint . . . which spilled directly over her head!

February 2005:  one-year-old Maisy and yours truly on a beautiful hike down a frozen river in our large county.

First trip to the groomer's in Canada.

June 2005:  Master of her domain.  I think I was standing in the pond what would forever be a big, water-leaching hole in the ground after it was freshly dug.

August 2005 in the river that is the international border between Swamp River Ridge and Canada.  Cousin Lulu (referred to in the comments section of the previous post) seems to say, "Uhhhh, Dude!  Come up for air, will you?  The rock's not THAT important!"

March of 2006:  playing tug-of-war with her dad / the ex.  Easy to tell who's winning, eh?!

May 2006:  a beautiful spring day on the porch with her cousin Lulu.  Lulu's mom was getting married this weekend, and all the festivities were orchestrated from the first little house, Hastings-on-the-Lake.

May 26, 2006:  A new family member to share Dad's attention - 8 week old Tucker!

 "This new one's kinda cute."

"Okay, he's won me over."  That didn't take long!

 May 28, 2006:  "We did it!  We killed the big, bad stuffed snake!  It was a joint effort."

 May 31, 2006:  "When we drive up to work on the new house, they just plop him on top of me 'cause he's so small and cute.  What do they think I am, a puppy cushion?"

June 2006.  "Okay, I guess I'll let him chew on my ears.  But only for the next 6 years."

 "And let him think he's pinning me to the ground."

 "I'll teach him how to carry sticks around in the sawdust of the new house."

June 30, 2006:  "Dang puppy needs to be supervised all the time.  What, he's the only one who gets a pan of water to play in?  You think I'M not hot, too?!"

July 2006:  if you bigify this image (to quote Susan), you'll see a hump mid-river.  That's Maisy!  She was part moose . . . being able to hold her breath underwater for SUCH a long time in order to find and grab that PERFECT rock!

September 2006, the day the chicken house was moved up to the new place, Tucker 5 1/2 months old.  "Stick with me, kid."

October 2006:  just NOTICE the size of this rock, will you?!!!  This was taken at the river again between Swamp River Ridge and Canada.  She was SUCH a rock-hound, and must have had INCREDIBLY strong jaws and neck to carry these things around!  The Peanut's mama wrote the sweetest, most-memorable thing in their sympathy card, "Whenever I see a rock the size of a man's fist outside my front door, I'll think of Maisy."  That's where she always left them when I was nannying there, hoping someone would come out and throw it for her.  :)

January 1st, 2007:  Maisy says, "It's MY 3rd birthday today, you little attention-stealer!"

 Tucker screams, "Aaaahhhh!  She's disemboweling me!!!!"

 "Hiiii-YAH!"  Bam!  Kick to the head!  "Take THAT, Birthday Girl!"

February 2007:  Still - and always - friends, tho.

  April 2007:  the river below the house is still solidly frozen.  Let's go for a walk run!

June 2007:  Bat Girl.

 July 2007:  Cool floor + hot dogs = awesome imprints on the floor as well as in our hearts!

May 2008.  I love this picture.  We were sitting on a huge pile of logged trees just down the road from Swamp River Ridge the spring after this area had been logged.

January 2009:  "helping" pluck chickens.  I.e., sitting herself down in the direct spray of feathers from the plucker.

August 2009:  Friends forever.  Picking blueberries with mom and Grandma & Grandpa Pea.  (HOT day!)

So glad you're at peace now, Maisy Grace.  I sure did love you!  Tucker and I are fine now.

xoxo  Mom


  1. Fine tribute in pictures. What a wonderful life Maisy had!

  2. Wonderful photos!! I especially love that last one with the snowy face :) I hope the rental situation goes well and you have some cooler weather for the move (not too cool of course)!

  3. What a lovely tribute. And I'm glad that you and tucker are doing better.

  4. Wonderful tribute to sweet Maisy - and, if it makes you feel any better, not one Golden that I know - however sweet and lovely - listens well. They are so stubborn! How can they NOT rent to you, CM? Send them our way if you need references....

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  6. Wow fantastic tribute. Love to you and Tucker . I know she will always be in your heart. I hope you get the house on the 10 acres

  7. not really related, but have you seen that the market/deli that you'd looked at buying is back up for sale?

  8. Your memories of tucker will live on ,one of my favs you caught on photo was Maisy tickling Tucker,looks like he's saying"uncle ,uncle"


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