Belated Happy Birthday to my boy

On May 5, 2019 our beloved boy Virgil turned 17. Virgil is Mitzi’s younger half brother.

On May 5 we were in Philadelphia visiting family and three dear blogger friends (who I still haven’t posted about, but will). We returned home and life happened. Before we knew it almost a month had passed and poor Virgil hadn’t yet had a party.

Yesterday I baked a cake and last night it was official.

Happy belated birthday my dear Virgil.

Virgil 17 years

Notre Dame

It was late December as my birthday was approaching number of years ago in the late 1990s, I was starting to pack for a weekend away to Palm Springs to celebrate the passing of another year. While I was packing my Better Half walked into the room with an envelope. He handed it to me and said “I think you had better open this as it may help you pack.”

I opened the envelope to find a round trip ticket to my favorite city on earth, Paris. We would be leaving in 48 hours. Wow, what a surprise! A week in Paris, a week in Paris the first week of January. Yeah, I guess the bathing suits I was packing weren’t going to be useful for this trip.

I had only been to Paris once before but it had already secured that special place in my heart that it still holds today. My first trip there had only been probably some 18 months before. On that trip it was high tourist season. Getting even close to Notre Dame was almost impossible on that first trip. However I remember my first glimpse of that imposing structure that was also one of the most beautiful works of art I had even seen. Still to this day I can feel my breath leave my body as I turned the corner to look up and see it’s magnificence.

I was transported to another time. I knew this beauty. I knew this cathedral like I knew the back of my hand. I knew deep inside of me, having never even paid attention to photos much less studying anything about it, that I had been there before. Whether it was some dream or maybe a past life experience I’ll never know, but I had been here. I knew her grandiosity to the point of intimate comfort. I could not wait to get inside to re-visit the interior that I knew so well. However this story isn’t about that trip. That was the first trip there. The trip where I actually laid eyes on a familiar place for the first time. The first time at least in this lifetime.

This trip, this special trip that the man who would one day be my legal husband gave me as a birthday present, was in the dead of winter. Turns out tourists don’t go to Paris in the dead of winter, or at least not the first week of January. It was cold but it was magnificent. It was the two of us freezing Southern Californians and a city with its doors wide open and no one in our way.

We walked right up to the ticket counter at the Eiffel Tower, with not a soul in line to buy a ticket, and walked right up to step onto an elevator. An elevator all the way to the top with only two others aboard. We walked into The Louvre only to walk right up to the Mona Lisa, when before we couldn’t even get into the room where the Mona Lisa was. We walked right into the magnificent work of art that is Notre Dame and spent hours enveloped in the beauty, history and majesty that I adored. I adored not only from my previous trip but knew from some other time, some other experience that was still a mystery to me. We walked right over to the corner, where we previously may have had to wait outside in line all day to even hopefully possibly access,  only to take our first step into her infamous towers and walk right up to the top.

Seeing Paris from The Eiffel Tower is incredible. Seeing Paris from the towers of Notre Dame is life changing.

A young Fearsome Beard sets eyes on the most beautiful city in the world from the top of the world’s most magnificent work of art, Notre Dame. 

The Better Half with Fearsome, Thank you Better Half.

Two of the famous friends we made that day in Paris.

Someone is 16!

Over the weekend, May 5th, our beloved Virgil celebrated turning 16. Due to my busy schedule he had to wait until last night for his fresh baked cake.

Happy Birthday Virgil!

It was worth the wait.

Happy Birthday to my boy!


Virgil is 15 years old today. Today will be a special day around the house complete with cake. He is our Cinco De Mayo kid.

I learn from my dogs. Since Virgil’s arrival at our home, when he was about 5 months of age, he has taught me patience. He is good at it. He is a laid back kid who is patient and serene. He goes with the flow and therefore he finds very little trouble in his life.

Happy Birthday Virgil!  Thank you for the lessons you share with me and may we have many more years of sharing ahead.

Happy Birthday Mitzi!

Mitzi is 15 today!

Mitzi is 15 today!

Blowing out her candle...

Blowing out her candle…

Everyone wants in on her gift...more Itty Bitty Tennis Balls!

Everyone wants in on her gift…more Itty Bitty Tennis Balls! (And some stuffed pumpkin toys are hiding up on the counter for everyone, Yeah!)

15 years …Mitzi we love you, we wish you a very happy birthday and wish for many healthy loving years ahead!

Patsy’s turn

Today is Patsy’s day to have a birthday!

Our undocumented immigrant. We couldn't love her more.

Our undocumented immigrant. We couldn’t love her more.

More of her story is HERE.

We had a celebration for her last evening and by bedtime she was content and happy.

Warm and content.

Warm and content.

We find that our dogs have much to teach us about the true happiness of contentment, peace, companionship and unconditional love.

We love you Patsy and wish you a very happy 7th birthday!

Someone is 12 today

Gilda is the one who picked me. I’ve written about her before. She simply stepped into the street one day 10 years ago …right in front of my car. She proceeded to sit down right there in the street and look at me. I instantly knew I had a new dog. I got out and didn’t walk toward her but simply opened the rear door to the car. She looked at me and walked to the open door and climbed into the rear seat. She’s lived with us ever since.

We attempted to get her back to her owner. Thank god they didn’t want her. It’s a more complicated story than just that, but she is and was worth the drama. We found out that she was two years old and her birthday was in June. We don’t know the actual date but since she found us about June 1, we celebrated that day as her birthday.

Happy Biryhday Gilda! You are the most wonderful Belgian Sheepdog in the world!

Happy Biryhday Gilda!
You are the most wonderful Belgian Sheepdog in the world!

View from my dinner table

Full moon over Ft Lauderdale Beach

Full moon over Ft Lauderdale Beach

Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale earlier this evening. After a long day of travel, checking into hotel, unpacking and a few work calls…Fearsome was a mighty hungry Beard so I took him to an oceanfront dinner at Casablanca Cafe. (Don’t tell him but it was actually a birthday dinner for the better half. Happy Birthday better half!)

My girl’s Birthday

Patsy, the youngest girl in the pack, is six today!

Patsy was born in Tijuana in the dirt under an abandoned car across from my housekeeper’s home. When Celia saw that a mother dog had dug out a hole in the dirt and was giving birth she took the mother and her seven puppies in. Six girls and one boy were born that day six years ago. Only Patsy and her brother were adopted so Celia kept the rest including mom.

Celia still has all five of Patsy’s sisters and her mother passed away about a year ago. Celia still comes to work here once a week so Patsy gets to see grandma and smell all of her sisters weekly.

Patsy moved into our home at eight weeks of age, just six weeks before our fifteen year old chocolate lab, Diva, passed. Patsy would lay with Diva to stay warm and it looked as if Diva had a puppy of her own. With her coloring, Patsy keeps the chocolate in the family. We are blessed to have her.

Happy Birthday to You Happy Birthday dear Patsy Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday dear Patsy
Happy Birthday to you!

Now make a wish and blow out your candle so you can have your butter cake!

Now make a wish and blow out your candle so you can have your butter cake!

(I think she may have wished for the whole piece, but she had to share.)

Happy Birthday Nina!

Nina turns 12 years old today.

Fearsome Beard gives Nina a Birthday kiss.

Fearsome Beard gives Nina a Birthday kiss.

Nina’s rescue story started HERE

Her story continued HERE and HERE

She then got her permanent home HERE

Nina is a wonderful addition to our family. She is just one of the pack theses days. She’s still a very quiet girl and rarely if ever barks. Rescue dogs seem to be filled with gratitude. She is beautiful as her coat has filled in from the malnourished, flea bitten 11 year old dog that arrived here with breast cancer. She’s healthy, cancer free, happy and a very loving girl. We are blessed she found us.

Happy Birthday Nina, may you have many more happy and healthy ones!

My boy’s birthday

It’s Virgil’s Birthday. He is 13 years old today. Hard to believe that my 12 pound Poodle/Chihuahua is thirteen already. He is Mitzi’s half brother, born 8 months after her by the same mother. He came to live with us when he was about 6 months old. He was an ugly duckling  and no one had adopted him. He was about to go to the pound.

It just so happened Mitzi needed a first birthday present. She got a funny looking little brother who grew into a sweet handsome little man. She loves him and he her. I’m glad he needed a home, so is Mitzi.

Happy Birthday Virgil, we love you!

Happy Birthday Virgil, we love you!