Sunday, May 10, 2009


David, Becka and Murphy

Murphy/Beagle-Basset Mix

Their Home in Royal Oak, MI

Table Set For Mother's Day Dinner

Homemade Potato Salad

I had a Mother's Day dinner at David and Becka's. Becka is quite the Betty Crocker. Their new home is so inviting and her culinary skills are great. She cooks with health in mind. "Preservative free, lower fat, cut that sugar" her motto. She does it all with seemingly little effort and tasty results!

She whipped up a batch of homemade Potato Salad. New potatoes, fresh dill, eggs from her brother Mick's chickens. Oh, did I mention Murphy??? Well, of course his picture is above.

Now Murphy is a sweet, lovable beagle/basset mix. Becka & David found him wandering on Mack Ave. the day Ann graduated from Nursing School. We were going to dinner, and there was Murphy wandering the busy street. Oh, did I mention Becka is an animal lover...a stray magnet, a dog rescuer? Well, she is. I don't think there is an animal she's met that she doesn't like. Well, Murphy found a home. He joined the Clifton household and immediately got on with Cooper the big yellow lab(the other dog in the family household). Murphy is solid, low to the ground and long bodied, but he is very, very agile. He can walk across the back of the couch(on the frame, mind you) without a stumble. He's like the Flying Walenda's when it comes to balance and agility. So, yesterday, while we sat in the Living Room, visiting, watching the hockey game, Murphy quietly, gracefully managed to get onto the table and eat most of the potato salad. There was not a glass, a plate, a piece of silverware out of place....just an almost empty bowl and a dog, sitting quietly licking his chops! I think he was surprised that anyone noticed. Without hesitation he walked down the basement stairs and readily entered his crate. Now, that is unusual, he generally won't go in without being accompanied by Cooper. After dinner, he was allowed to come back into the loving fold of family. By then he had long forgotten why he was asked to leave the party; and so without reservation we all decided to just drop the topic of Potato Salad. We never figured out how he got up there. The chairs were all in place under the table top. The only possibility was my Mom's Cedar Chest that sat under the window. Just the height an agile Beagle/Basset could use to "leap" onto a table with such precision that only a ripple was noted on the cloth sitting under the vase of flowers. I mean the boy has TALENT!

There seems to be a history in our family of our dogs eating our food, especially on special occasions. Mandy our little stray ate part of my brother Leo's and Linda's wedding cake while we were out taking pictures. My cousin Barb's dog, Duke ate an entire Honey Baked Ham which was to be the main course at a farewell dinner for Lara and Brian. Tom's dog Penny ate a bowl of my Mom's great homemade Pirogi. For some reason I think these events say more about us as a people than the dogs as animals. We may need a Dog Whisperer in the family!

So, we have been promised Potato Salad on another visit. We are waiting and hope it won't be too long. Family gatherings are the glue that holds us. It is interesting to watch the "passing of the place". First my Grandmother's, my Aunt's, my Mom's, then my house and now on to my children's. Traditions that change a little with each generation, but that hold on to that spirit that makes us Family. I'm so glad my clan is mine....including the dogs!

Until next time....Always, Kathleen

Friday, May 8, 2009


Lara and Evelyn

My Flowers For You This Mother's Day

The Outdoor Side of Lara

Mutual Admiration Society

Happy Mother's Day Lara! You're one terrific Mom. You are selfless, tender, gentle, affectionate, single minded, giving, tolerant, concerned, generous, creative, nurturing...when it comes to Evelyn. What a lucky little girl she is. She came into this world so perfect and you are doing all you can to make sure she stays that way. I admire you so. I believe that with every generation of women, mothering becomes better...more perfected. We learn how to be and how not to be from our Mothers. I hope I taught you more about how "to be" rather than how "not to be". But whatever, take the lessons and use them wisely and then pass them on to Evelyn. Make sure she has them tucked inside of her for when it's her turn. And believe me when I say, it will be her turn sooner than you realize.

You are an incredible daughter. You have become such a wonderful woman. If we were in each other's lives in a different way, I'd pick you as a friend. But, we are in that tangled relationship of Mother/Daughter, and frankly, I think our's is pretty healthy and pretty terrific. And I do consider you my I come out doubly blessed! If reincarnation exists, I'd want to come back as your child or your cat! Nothing against how you treat your dog, but I'd rather have a cat's life if it came to a choice. I think a cat would fit my personality better.

I think I forgot to mention your excellent judgement. And that you have shown by choosing Brian as your mate. Excellent job!

Happy Mother's Day to my born to be a Mother, Daughter! I love you.

Until next time....Always, Mom/Kathleen
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Give Up On This Format

I just don't get this site's format. I, check it on the edit page and the typing never turns out the way I layed it out.

Read my blog on Ann, below as best you can. The words are a challenge at times.



Once again she surprises me. She's been doing that since 1975. It's Ann, with yet another "adventure".

It started at age 4 when she kept calling Public Radio so she could "please get that Big Bird, you keep showing."

It happened again when she broke her ankle and didn't slow down, even though it wasn't yet a walking cast.

It came in the form of volunteering at
Beechwood Manor when she was nine.
Calling me at work to say she needed a TB test so she could help out there once a week.

Then it was becoming a terrific swimmer and a member of the swim team. Devoting hours of disciplined practice, often at 6 a.m. before school started.

Then it was becoming a "teenager" and challenging me in every way she could. Testing my limits and sometimes her own.

Then it was college and entering nursing school.

Then it was failing school and finding another field to get a degree in.

Then it was graduating and becoming a Vista on a stipend of just $300 a month.

Then it was working as a Health Educator and working with women on parole in an in house rehab facility. Watching her grow in compassion and understanding of people who had "come up"the hard way.

Then it seeing a light go on in her mind and her spirit, realizing that yes, Nursing was her calling after all. Back to school to finish an Associates, go on to finish a Bachelors and a Masters and to now work as an Advance Practice Nurse/Primary Care.

But tonight, I turned from the stove to look out my kitchen window to see such a surprising sight....A figure in black....helmet and all! It was that woman again, surprising me still.

Ann, the Motorcycle Mama...on her way home from work no less. Another adventure....from that child who keeps on surprising me!

Be safe Ann!
Until next time....Always, Kathleen