The Birthday that Just Keeps on Giving

A few days after my “big” birthday, I received a card from my local councilman. Since this had never happened before, I wondered why the recognition. Was it my blog? Was it the Doods? Was it because I’m a model citizen?

20160209_171423-1_resizedTHE DOODS We hate to burst her bubble but it was probably because she’s old or because he’s running for reelection.

Then a day later, I received another birthday surprise. The youngest daughter and the husband sent a gift box.

THE DOODS We all thought the gifts were hysterical. We hate to say it but sometimes we seem to have a more finely tuned sense of humor than Pack Leader.

First, following my up close and personal encounter feeding a squirrel out of my hand (for which you know I got a ton of static) was this t-shirt. Since the squirrel didn’t bite me and give me rabies, I think I may have earned the title.

Squirrel Whisperer








ELBEE OMG I feel like one of those magazine comparisons of “who wore it best.” Is there any question with my fabulous hair and toned back?

The next gift was a water bottle that says, “KEEP CALM. HIKE ON.” Despite the fact that the daughters aren’t thrilled with some of my hiking adventures, I think this was a vote of confidence.


ELBEE Again with the sunglasses? PL needs to get some professional help for her obsession with putting these on us all of the time, although I do like the bottle. 

After the bottle, I unwrapped a blogging organizer. They were referring to me as a real blogger. Awhile back, Nicole, the middle daughter, gave me a t-shirt that said, “World’s Greatest Blogger.” Hey that’s two out of three. The oldest still refuses to read my posts, but shares the photos so her friends can crack up at how much the Doods and I look alike.

Charley and pushy Gus

THE DOODS Coincidentally, the almost 12 year old son of the blog non-reader said something amusing to PL recently. He told her that blogging was so last season (our words, not his) and that she should be vloging, like she knows what that is.




THE DOODS The last present is brilliant. Kudos to the youngest daughter. This is so awesome we forgive her for accusing us of peeing in the living room. As if!




Bubbie, the Butt Burner and the Birthday

THE DOODS Pack Leader got up early today and went hiking alone…again. We knew it was her birthday and heard it was a big one but were afraid to ask a number, although we could make an educated guess. It was the only reason we let her dress us up. 


CHARLEY I really don’t like to brag, but wearing this get up to make her happy proves I’m not just a therapy dog. I’m a saint.


ANONYMOUS I was trying to be a good sport but will you take a look at this photo. I really hope that my friends don’t recognize me. It’s embarrassing. And If this keeps happening, I’m going to have an identity crisis.

Oh and she said something about needing to prove that she could still make it up the “butt burner.” Give me a break. Some of you know that I was coerced into hiking it with her about a week ago. Oops I may have given myself away. Did she really get out of shape that fast?

CHARLEY Look what she did to little Gus. He thinks he looks cute. It’s just sad. 


Yes, this was a big birthday. Big enough that my first senior discount is a distant memory. Big enough that when I was discussing gray hair and wrinkles with the daughters, it was about theirs, not mine. Big enough that when someone asked if I was 55, I shed a few tears of joy.

And yes, I got up early to hike. I knew I could do it but it was symbolic and life affirming. Wait, I don’t talk like that. What I meant to say is that it made me feel like the strongest bubbie on the block. I almost did a little victory dance at the top. Note to the daughters, I said “almost.”

I did ask a stranger to take a photo. And I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I shared that it was my birthday and even gave a number.



Elbee: I Am Never Hiking with that Lunatic Again

After getting so much static about hiking alone, I decided to quiet the naysayers by taking a Dood with me. Elbee seemed like the logical choice. Apparently not so much according to him. He has a few issues.

ELBEE  The next time Pack Leader decides to go hiking alone, I’m just going to let her go. Charley’s too old and Gus is too little, plus he’s afraid of everything, so I get stuck.

To be honest, I enjoy hiking when it’s not hot out so at first it was fine.  We were  walking in a picturesque canyon. (My vocabulary is getting so much better thanks to Charley). Then it all fell apart. We started up this ridiculously steep trail called the “butt burner” which, by the way, was totally unnecessary because my butt is perfect and I have no body issues.

20160630_195746_1467483521682_resized-1Oh and before I forget, do you see this hat? PL thought it would keep the sun off of my face. Seriously? I look like the Queen of England. I refused to wear it.

I don’t mind a little exercise but if I wanted a personal trainer, I’d hire one. It was one steep hill after another. Each time I thought we were done, there was another one. Then I heard coyotes doing that fake dog barking in the distance to try and trick me. The foxtails were impossible. Plus I practically had to drag PL up behind me.20160702_090028_1467483378647_resized

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, we had to stop and take a selfie.  I only gave profile so hopefully no one will recognize me. I hate taking close up photos when I’m a hot mess.20160702_092740_1467483377736_resized

Even though I was still pulling foxtails out of my paws, I will admit that I felt pretty good when we finally made it to the top. But as I was catching my breath and enjoying the views, PL asked a complete stranger to take our picture. Still not my  best, but at least it wasn’t a close up!





I’m a Yankee Goldendoodle Dandy


THE DOODS Let us make it clear that we are in no way responsible for the title of this post.

When the daughters were little we used to have big fancy gourmet picnics for the fourth of July. Just kidding! We’d actually grab some Colonel Sanders and an old blanket and go watch fireworks at a local college. They had sky divers, games, and a petting zoo so it was a pretty good celebration.

One year we decided to buck tradition and  go to a stadium where Pat “April Love” Boone was singing. Unfortunately it was during his heavy metal phase! It was painful.

The only thing I really miss are the patriotic sing-a-longs with my dear friend Lillian. Neither of us can carry a tune but we’ll belt out “America the Beautiful” with the best of them as long as no one can hear us.

Lillian and I have five daughters between us. They should be relieved that neither of us can sing or we would have taken our act on the road years ago.

These days we’re happy to stay home with the Doods on the fourth. They’re afraid of all the noise and chaos so we keep them in the house and watch fireworks on tv.

20160702_170811_1467584338477_resizedELBEE Excuse me, who says we’re afraid? Speaking for myself, I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie. I’m more afraid of her singing!



GUS Okay, I’ll admit it. All that noise makes me a little nervous. I’ve heard they have special calming vests but I don’t want to seem like a wimp. 




20160703_195938_resizedCHARLEY What Pack Leader neglected to mention is that she jumped all over this holiday as an excuse to dress us up…again. As you may know, I’ve been in a few parades on the fourth and the costume was appropriate. But wearing it around the house is a little over the top for my taste.







The Squirrel Debate Rages On

After putting up my last post, I was amazed to find out how many people have such strong opinions about squirrels. By the way, I am not the only one who feeds them from her hands. I’m not naming names.

IMG950987-1-1THE DOODS AND OUR BUDDY RILEYAs you know we all have very strong opinions about those little pests. They’re like Jeckyl and Hyde. As soon as they see us, the evil side comes out and they harass us to within an inch of our lives. We don’t need Pack Leader encouraging them.

I  have a couple of squirrel confessions that have been keeping me up at night. Not really but it sounded more dramatic. When I was a kid, I rescued a baby squirrel that fell out of a tree. As I recall, my mother wasn’t that thrilled when I brought it home and wanted to give it a bottle. She was even less thrilled when I brought home an injured woodchuck. I didn’t even know what it was. To be honest, I was such a nerdy kid they were like my friends. It was around the same time that I wanted a deodorized skunk as a pet.

THE DOODS OMG that is pathetic!

Here’s the really bad confession. When the daughters were little I would take them with me to a local park where I played tennis with a few friends. We were definitely not Wimbleton material. I’d put the daughters in a playpen right next to the court. Problem was they were under an oak tree so squirrels would run down the tree, jump into the playpen, grab food and run away.

In the spirit of confession, I have one more thing to get off my chest. The oldest daughter feels the same way about large birds that the Doods feel about squirrels. One time when she was a teenager, the two of us were at the beach. She dozed off and I was bored so I threw some breadcrumbs around her towel. Within minutes she woke up surrounded by squawking seagulls. I tried to pretend I was sleeping but I was laughing too hard.

ELBEE This is the same woman who thought she should be in the running for mother of the year? I wonder if it’s too late to call child protective services.