Winter’s Journey

When my grand daughter gave Winter her new home, she was not expecting this.
winter ad
Fortunately with Grandma’s help, we were able to get Winter back.  Apparently the people who took her had their script well rehearsed and Becca thought they would be good for her.

I had worried about this, but years and experience have taught me that people do not value what they’ve not worked for.  That’s why I’m not a big welfare advocate (with some exceptions) and that’s a whole ‘nother blog.  I know there are people who may disagree with me, but somehow those feelings do tend to change when it comes to animals.

In Winter’s situation, I (we) were sick about it. Becca called me crying. I made an appointment with them to come see the puppy, which allowed my kids to go over there and pick her up.  Becca did give them an earful but they didn’t fight her when she took her back.  These folks turned around and changed the phone number on the ad so that I would get the calls. So I did have to suffer through that for a short time.  People who called were apologetic and kind.

It has taken awhile but someone did come along to give Winter a new home.  She’s been renamed Winnie.  What made this new home a blessing is that they did take another puppy, Winnie’s little brother to keep each other company.


DANGERS OF FREE TO GOOD HOME ADS!  This is just one of many horrific examples of what can happen. Google Puppy Doe Kiya.

Winter is happy and two hours away from her family. They shared information and her new family are looking to get her the help she needs.  It appears that “Winnie” does have some sight, which is good news.  If she hears, it’s limited.  It seems as she gets older, she is showing improvement in both those areas.
Here are some more recent pictures.
If you must re-home your pet, please charge a re-homing fee, spay/neuter prior to adoption, call vet references and do two home checks…one before adoption and a second one a few months after adoption. Download an adoption contact online for both parties to sign.
The above information came to us after the fact off my neighborhood website, but I thought I’d share this with you and I hope you will pass it on as well.
Becca knew there was the possibility of future expenses with Winter and thought to be considerate of a future owner, but as you can see not everyone is as they claim to be.  For the safety of your pet, take that extra step.
Winter’s sister, Kahlua is the last one available at $700.
Kahlua Isn’t she a dolly?

Winter – A Special Puppy’s Tale

Hello,  I’m Winter.winter

My great grandma is writing this on my behalf, so I hope you can help us.

You see, I need to find a home that will give me lots of TLC .  My current owner is a sweet, caring single mom, but whose budget and time constraints may not allow her to care for me and my special needs as she would like to. She is already caring for her sister’s child along with her own, plus three other dogs, so her plate is pretty full. I know she’s worried about me, because she wants to be sure I get just the right home with special people who will love me.  I know that finding homes for my siblings will not be so difficult, but me…?

Well, it’s like this… Here is my story and my dilemma.  You see, my mommy was not supposed to get pregnant, so despite my owners efforts, she did and I’m part of an unplanned litter.  The problem is there were so many of us, six of us to start but one of my younger brother’s didn’t make it. I was the oldest.  Unfortunately, I have special needs. I need a home that will not only take good care of me for however long I may live. I feel fine but the vet said it was possible I would have a short life, and also know that there may be some expense in the future. The thing is, we don’t know.

Litter #2
My brothers and sisters with me in the middle.

You see, I was born with some unexpected birth defects. I may be partially blind as my eyes did not fully develop and we still don’t know how much sight I have.  There’s a chance I could be deaf. Until I’m old enough to be tested, we don’t know if I can hear.  Because of these issues training me will take a very special person since my disabilities will make this difficult.  I do, however have an acute sense of smell and touch.

winter puppy
Me at two weeks.

How big will I get?  Weeell, My breeding is: My daddy is a long hair Chihuahua and my mother is a PomChi (half Chihuahua and half Pomeranian), so I won’t get big and right now I’m a cuddly ball of fur.

My grandma’s great aunt, said she’d heard of people who would train and use dogs like me to take to hospitals and places to encourage and teach special needs kids to see that they are not alone and that there are animals with special needs too. It takes their minds off their own problems and brings them much joy.  I’m hoping that I can have a fulfilling life like that.

Kash and Winter
My owners son is rambunctious until it comes to me. He seems to know I need special handling, as you can see.

P.S.  To all Jolie’s Attic followers, if you know anyone who can help us find that special home for Winter, it would be awesome.  She is in Salt Lake City, so I’m really hoping that whoever is interested is close enough to make transporting her easier. She is a sweet, cuddly, puppy.

Whoever gets her will have to know her total needs are unknown and disabilities yet undetermined.

Thank you Jolie

PS  Winter’s story almost ended badly. Check followup story. “Winter’s Journey”

UPDATE:  Winter has found her home with a loving family who knows how to care for a deaf and blind puppy.  They promised to send periodic updates.  So happy for her!!

Graduation Trip (part 2)

Weeeell, After what felt like a near death experience with the flu which I thought I’d never get over, I did and none too soon because my oldest “child” was graduating college at 51 years of age!!

Tina got married at 17,

and traveled with her hubby some. Knowing he would one day inherit the bicycle business started by his father, he learned German and Italian, since those were the primary manufacturing locations of their products. So, of course they got to go to Europe several times. Not having children yet, she was able to accompany him on these trips.  For some time, we never thought she’d ever start her family.

When she was in her late 20’s, the business was sold and they did begin their family. At age 29 her firstborn child was born, on the same date my eldest boy was  born. After that came son number two…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and sometime after that came son number three.  It appeared that once the ball started to roll, they couldn’t get it stopped.  Suddenly, she found herself pregnant once again.  I asked her if she wished for a girl, but she said, No! “B—‘s only make boys,  (her brother in law has four boys) besides if I had a girl, I don’t know what I’d do with her,  I know what to do with boys.”  Guess what? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She had a girl.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for her.  Postpartum depression set in and sadly ruined the momentous occasion.  When she confided in me how she believed she should be happy, but wasn’t, I suggested she see her doctor.  Fortunately, I wasn’t the first person to tell her that.  Her mid-wife gave her a referral and in time, she improved.

By now she was 38.

Five years ago, she decided to finish school and go to college.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that she chose nursing  given  her own previous experience, but I was.  Her whole life, she had been more into holistic healing and the organic approach to health. Yet nursing it was.

Little by little other pieces as to why have fallen into place, giving me clues as to how she came to her decision.

You see her goal is to eventually become a travel nurse.  Her kids are all but gone and she’s seen the need in her travels. She’d been to Nepal for a mission trip some years back, so yes, there is definitely a need. She just returned from Tahiti with her father (a graduation gift) and she was told there was a need there.  There’s always a need, regardless of her age anywhere in the world.


First came the pinning and everyone was there.  Little Ally was in a wheelchair and on pain meds still since her trampoline accident had just occurred a few days earlier.

With her family’s support she completed her schooling, so of course her family was thereto support and cheer her on, with the exception of one brother.  He came out earlier for his grandfather’s funeral, which took place during Spring break while his wife was on hers from teaching.  As foster parents, getting away doesn’t come easy, so it was the best they could do. He did bring his oldest son with him, so it was a good visit.

We get to meet her classmates and some “bestie’s” she made while there.  She made a point of not giving away her age at first, not that it ended up mattering. They loved her.

And finally graduation day:


And more family –

And then it finished off with a party at her house, which for some reason was just us… at first.  It seems the graduates make a circuit run of all their friends and stopped in later.  For some reason, probably because it was way past my bedtime, I didn’t get pictures. Oooops!   Yea!!! She graduated with honors and much thanks to the whole family for their support.

A Scenic Route On to Grand Junction, Colorado – Grad trip. part 1

When I drive alone, I seldom stop to smell the roses, mostly because I am alone.  Alone, I drive with purpose.  Unless I’m with Ferguson, I stop little.  Hotels and restaurants that take pets are rare, add to that the heat or how hot a car can get, it is difficult to leave him behind.

I do take a playpen with me and on a previous occasion I had to avail myself of complete strangers to dog sit. I was desperate, so I sized up the vendors of this produce place in Green River and asked if I could leave him in the shade beside them so I could run in and do my business. (Once you’ve worked at a health department, you become a fair judge of character.)  Besides he’s so dang cute, they of course had no problem saying yes. How could you say ‘No’ to this face?

I knew too,Ferg they weren’t likely to pick up the produce and produce stand before I was done to make off with him if they even wanted to, so we were both safe.  I think.

This trip however, we did get my brother in law to sit for us.  He loves Ferguson and Ferguson likes him well enough… or did.  Oh dear, I just thought of something.  I made the mistake of telling him the neighbor said, that our yard was so private you could sun bathe in the nude if you wanted to and I believe he might have. No wonder Ferguson was so happy to see us.  Poor Ferguson. Well, as my husband always says, I am his deity, and that’s true enough.  I found him all those years ago and he has not forgotten.

So, off we go unencumbered.  I missed the pets, true, but it was a nice change.

Unlike me, my hubby does not drive through to anywhere, he’s an explorer by heart, so first stop to Vegas was down route 66. We stop at some antique stores and a bottle park.Rt 66

We get a hotel and walk around.  Russ has not been in some time and got us a room at Circus Circus, thinking that was still cool. It was only okay.  However, we had lots of time and did a great deal of walking.  Saw some incredible sights.  You do know, you go to Vegas to people watch right?

Girl in black

The best picture was one I couldn’t get because I’d totally lost my cool and I was too close to the desired victim, um uh subject to do so gracefully.  I’m sorry, it’s not funny to laugh at other people but…  Okay here’s what happened…

I got into the elevator at Circus Circus and I should have waited for the next one, but I didn’t.  There was a woman already in it with a younger man, only I think they were lovers, but she looked like his grandmother.  She was dressed almost exactly like the young girl above with probably a tad more tattoos all over, less clothes and gaunt, like someone on meth, which could account for how she old looked.

Sad to say, it suddenly hit me as comical and if you’ve ever had to laugh with a mouthful of coke, you know how I was feeling.  It was sad, yet ridiculous.  I wondered what she may have thought she looked like?  Anyway, I was NOT cool at all!  When I finally couldn’t hold it in any longer, I turned to face Russ and burst out with, ” What do you think Becca will do?”   Then I buried my face in his chest…  Suddenly the elevator opened and they went out.  The door closed and he says, “What do you think Becca will do?”

I asked a co-worker once, when a woman came to our counter and leaned over with boobs that just about landed in our laps, if people ever look in the mirror before they go out?  Her reply was, “Of course they do.  They look in the mirror and say, ‘Yup, that’s the look I was going for’, and off they go.”

Not one of my finer moments, I will say.  Perhaps people were people watching me as well. I will say, the trip back was equally colorful.

Utah was having a gloomy day, but even so it was still beautiful as you can see.

70H70red rock

Red rock and A steep grade.hwy70 steeppottery

At one of the rest stops the Native Americans, sell their wares.  Beautiful pottery and jewelry.

Almost there and more to come.

hwy 70-2

The Grands, the Great Grands and a Son

Time to finish my belated trip account to Salt Lake in February, my daughters graduation in May and other summer travel and travails.  LOL


I’m spending time with the grand and great grands and a son right now and what a ride it’s been. I visit them from time to time but not for as long as this trip has been.  In part it is (was) because my son who lives with my grand daughter Becca (his niece), had an unusual seizure and was ill for awhile. With all that she does, he was in no position to help her with their usual routine.  Caring for him and everything else she does was really more than the poor girl could take on alone as you will see as this story progresses.

Normally, I wouldn’t have been there at all as I was scheduled to see them in a May for my other daughter, her aunt’s graduation.  More on that in the sequel.

While I’m there I see that he is on the mend.  Still weak but better.  Apparently his new medication compounded with two jobs triggered something.

After a few days, he and my granddaughter are dancing to some MTV video.

Ian an Becca

It may seem odd, but these two are like brother and sister as their ages are fairly close.  This was their form of exercise and they had a hard time keeping up with the dancers in the video.

Each morning begins with feeding 5 dogs (the three puppies are fed by mommy) followed by putting them out to do their business, yes there’s a grand total of eight!

three labsThree labs, one long hair Chihuahua and  a Pom-chi with three puppies.  The sweet dog with the grey muzzle has since passed away.


My hubby and I still have a dog and cat. Like us they are getting old but we hope they go before either of us does. For two reasons:  One: the thought of them having to be traumatized by new owners at their old age would be devastating to them. As it is we left them with a relative for a week and although they did well, they were clingy when we returned.  It would be akin to abandoning a child or putting them up for adoption. Two:  We want to travel and do other things once my hubby retires and you just can’t take them everywhere, period. At 16, Chloe doesn’t travel well anymore anyway.


Besides the dogs, we had the kids, well there are only two,  who have to be fed and dressed or made sure they are appropriately attired for school. Ally kept donning on her princess or ballerina clothes and combing her hair amid loud protestations was a fete in itself,  not to mention a significant amount of cajoling to even get them to leave the house. Most of that was my fault, as staying at home to be with “Grandma Jo” was their preferred choice. So, we compromised and Grandma Jo went to school for Grandparents day!


(BIG MISTAKE!!!  You do know that small children are petri dishes of bacteria, right? It hit me when I got home and lasted a TWO months!!)

I silently praise God that those days of hustling kids off to school are done, while at the same time, periodic moments of nostalgia with my kids would swoosh over me, remembering those days.  I am sure many a mom reminisces the good times, the hugs and story time.


Then there are Thursdays, Becca calls it the trifecta schedule.

Off to ballet for Ally while Kash takes guitar lessons across the street. While they are in their classes, mommy runs to McDonald’s to grab “dinner” before H.O.C.K.E.Y!!!

A week into my visit, it snowed.  I leave the following Friday, so I was a bit anxious. Is it going to do it again?  I’m not used to driving in that white stuff anymore and visions of me sliding all over the highway haunt my sleep.

snow covered car



My grand daughter lost some days of work when Ian was ill but tonight she had a late shift, so before she leaves I want to clear the driveway for her. Kash helped for all of a minute pushing snow around before he finally sat on a drift and watched grandma do the work.  In all fairness, a shovel full of snow is quite heavy for a seven year old.

In the meantime, Becca wasn’t looking forward to work that day.  She works at a high end hotel Spa as a massage therapist.  Flights had been cancelled the previous day due to the “storm”, which meant they would be busy.  She didn’t mind busy, but she noticed her two last appointments were male and she groaned.  I immediately got the picture. She’s a beautiful girl so I wondered and asked if it happened often that she was propositioned and she said “it happens”. She is a lovely girl, so I wasn’t surprised.Becca

Unfortunately, there is still the stigma that goes with her job.  Massages at this hotel are pricey and she has served many luminaries during their stay. However, these guests on her schedule were not stars or anyone whose names she recognized. As it turns out, it generally went fine.  One gentleman asked her if she dated and she said, “No”, which may have been a veiled invite, but it was not obviously so. Thanks to all the “Me Too” media coverage of sexual harassment, it has been much better, she says.  The second client did not ask her anything so personal but was by nature just plain “obnoxious”. My granddaughter is her own person and quite forthright, only once has she had to turn a client in for misbehaving.  Apparently, he had overstepped his bounds with one of the other girls before and she was afraid to say anything.  Not Becca. Fortunately the hotel backs their staff  to the point of even banning some  very wealthy repeat customers that are discourteous to their staff.  Her co-workers are both male and female and all are treated with equal consideration.

Shortly after I left, besides me getting deathly ill, the kids too got sick.

Before graduation, Ally fell off the trampoline and broke her leg. The trampoline does have a surround netting, so it was unclear what happened.

For a child, whose bones are referred to as “green”, hers was a clean break (?) and such that it required surgery and pins placed.  It was, as you can well imagine, quite traumatic.

I asked her if she’d be getting on the trampoline again.  She said, ” next time, (I guessed that was a yes) I will remember to zip it up better”.  Apparently, she hadn’t zipped it all the way up and fell out the only spot open. She just turned 5.

To be continued…



The Why of Makeup

I know a while back when I had intruders, I’d gotten a bit flustered and overly rattled. In an earlier blog I mentioned all that transpired and not wanting to leave the house without makeup despite how frightened I was.  Let me elaborate.  (For you guys that follow my blog, bear with me – Intruder update at the end.)

Despite my fear, it disturbed me more that in a time sensitive situation, I actually debated whether or not to go to my husbands place of work without makeup. You laugh, but I did spend a few seconds pacing while pondering if I should dab a little something on or by golly, just go.  I’d just gotten out of the shower and was fortunately dressed, though my hair was still damp.  So I did look a bit frayed. I had to laugh about it later of course at how ridiculous that line of thought was in the first place.  For Pete’s sake, what if they’d been at the door or in the house, would I have held my finger up, begging a moment to put my face on before they kill me?  Self: “Come on now” and yes, that was my momentary line of thought.

Yes,  I admit leaving the house without makeup may not be a big deal for most but it’s a big no-no for me. I do make exceptions however because I don’t wear makeup when I go to the gym and work out.  No, No, No. I can’t risk having makeup seep into my now open pores from a lengthy workout.

Years ago, I remember one of my friends stating and she had a way of stating things as fact,  that when you leave your home, you are a reflection of your relationship with your spouse. It didn’t necessarily have to include make up but it was an integral part.  My best friend at the time was very looks conscious, so we were always dressed well and in those days I was married to someone with money, which made it easy to do. So, I got into the habit.

It wasn’t always like that and I don’t think I ever wore much in school either. I know I didn’t wear lipstick. I think my senior picture was touched up by the photographer, even adding a mole I don’t have. JO 033

But after that, keep in mind, all my jobs required that I wear makeup all the time.  This was the late 60’s and image was everything. In those days, I even wore hairpieces despite the fact that I had a ton of hair and I often wore fake eyelashes. Granted, I was a flight attendant and hairpieces were crucial to throwing yourself together on a quick turnaround, fog in or any major event when you didn’t even have time to get to a hotel to freshen up, yet still had to look amazing.

My husband? He could care less. When we first started dating, he said I was the foo-fooiest “girl” he’d ever dated.  He thinks I’m gorgeous no matter what I do and says so all the time, so he’s never been a part of my decision.

I tell you why I do it now.  It makes me feel good and it protects my skin which is even more important now that I’m older.

I wear makeup regardless of what I do. Even when I went rock climbing or skiing and yeah, I’m posed but not intentionally, it just came out that way, I wore makeup.

Years ago, when I started climbing with my hubby, I’d take my little kit with me and slather on sunscreen and foundation and some lip stuff. Well, all of Russ’ lady friends (I came later), all part of our mountain group, would go without. They were barefaced ladies.  It was some time, before Russ said something to me about it. It was never because I held up the show putting the stuff on and I didn’t, but only because I had makeup on and no one else did. I told him it protected my skin, but if he’d like I’d just do the bare thing. I gave it a try and went out with only sunscreen protection. The weather and sun intensity on a 14,000 foot mountain can be quite harsh.

Well, it only took a few trips before I started splotching, which is an olive skin thing anyway.  Brown patches comes with age, but the more sun exposure you get then the worse it gets. After awhile you can also get white splotches, I get both.  Add to that wrinkles.  Let’s face it, sun is good for you but bad for your skin. After awhile, I was getting as wrinkled as the rest of the “girls” in the group.  Nope!  Back it came on.  As it was I was at least ten years younger than them but some looked as old if not older than me because they were so neglectful. My husband couldn’t deny that.

I tell you, I know what I’m doing and I’ve been doing it for years.  I have a skin program for night and day.  My sweet grand daughter put me on a strict face regimen and surprisingly enough it works. I’ve been on it for about four months now and I see a difference.  It’s more than I care to do, but it’s now becoming a habit and I feel naked without it.

So here goes.

First of all.  NEVER GO TO SLEEP WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON, no matter how drunk or tired you may be.  ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE.

This is me with a clean, washed face and the second photo after my nightly regimen.

Becca has me doing a wash-three-times routine. Once with a cleansing oil (to break up the makeup), the second a foaming wash (rinse after both and pat dry) and the third a dry scrub (to exfoliate dead skin), which doesn’t have to be done each time, then rinse. Then I apply at night Retin-A for the brown spots and a Vitamin C oil followed by a moisturizer. (I’m currently using a toner because I still had some left, but it’s not required) I use a combination of olive oil, coconut and argan.  I generally make my own using a store bought generic (organic) base and just add those aforementioned ingredients.  I play around with all kinds of stuff and I change things out. I mix product all the time, so it keeps my face guessing.

Well, I didn’t intend to do a beauty spot, but as you can see me already made up, I don’t really look that different, but I know I’m protected and if you notice, for my age (72) I don’t have a lot of chicken skin.

In the morning, I just freshen with toner and Vitamin C oil, a small dot of eye creme, moisturizer and a light coat of foundation and a dot of blush.  I may add eyeliner on special occasions, but I don’t usually have to because I had my eyeliner/brows tattooed years ago even though it has faded some. I don’t wear mascara or eyelashes. Too much trouble. So really all the make up does is just even out the skin tone some.

Both photos are un-retouched and the one on the right is before I started her prescribed workout. As you can see my skin appears brighter.  My hair was darker on the right as well but I started highlighting to camouflage the grey.  I know I should embrace it but when you’re married to a much younger guy, it’s hard to give way to that yet.

FYI, The reason I chose highlights over dark color is because there are carcinogenic ingredients in dark color and none in the lighteners.  After my lumpectomy and the high incidences of cancer in our family, I opted for the light.  I noticed recently that my grey is taking over and in a few years I’ll let it. I’m not ashamed of being old.  Heck!  I wouldn’t have given away my age if it was a big deal.


Update on the “homeless” intruders.  We had another a week later.  My husband was home and yelled at him to not trespass. The young man said there were others after him. If these are outlaws as the police surmised then who knows what is transpiring there. We got a better look at them through binoculars and they are not your typical “homeless”.  These guys are not only wanted by the law but the police say their camps are booby trapped and it is common knowledge that it could be a drug outlet.  Because these guys are well groomed, I’m inclined to believe that they may actually live elsewhere but do their “business” down there. Purely speculation though. The police do nothing but roust them from time to time and have been ordered not to go there at night.

The police told us that we have the second highest number of homeless in the county because of the many hand outs and outreach programs available to them here.  He also stated that many are coming in from other states because of that.  Again, those at the bottom of my hill, in the canyon are different, so I’m not talking about what you imagine homeless are.

I have no problem helping those who have hit on hard times.  In the old days that’s what close knit churches and communities did.  Today, it’s rare that people even know one another that well. Sad but true.

In any case, this blog was a departure of my norm, so I hope you enjoyed it.