Our “Little” Bundle of Joy

I have to admit, I really didn’t know the song Eli’s Comin when everyone started quoting it to me so I had to listen. (Click the link if you don’t know it either).

Jim and I welcomed Eli (I’m thinking Alexander would be a good middle name) Cooper – a 73 pound bouncing  baby boy to our family on Sunday.


He has, in 3 days, gone from the wiggle worm shown above to being the love bug calm chill boy with an interesting personality and some seriously beautiful eyes.

As if sent from heaven (hmmm….was he?) it has quickly become evident that Eli loves being a Cooper. He loves when Jim plays the guitar or the bass…Jim is currently playing the bass and Eli is happily snoozing in his bed. He’s beginning to discover the toys I ran through the washing machine last week – whether he’s sharing his dining room bed with them or carrying them around the house. And we’re praying for a repeat of another sleep filled night.

I think he loves us, and I know we love him. Welcome home buddy.

Posted in Animal Rescue, General Dog Stuff, Greyhounds, Journaling, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eli’s Comin

Eli’s Comin

Girl, Eli’s comin’, hide your heart, girl
You better, better hide your heart

In the immortal words of Laura Nyro, Eli’s comin!


I’m a firm believer in “God’s time”. For sure, this didn’t happen at the same pace as all my other greyhounds. I’ve either had a foster dog to tide me over or had a second dog….the silence in the house has been…well…deafening. He’s not replacing Coombsy. He’s new. He’s different.

This silly boy – 2 1/2 year old puppy of a greyhound – he’s ready to get his forever home in Carolina Shores. Yup. Eli’s comin’ and I’ve already given up my heart.

Did I mention he’s coming this weekend?

Posted in Animal Rescue, General Dog Stuff, God, Greyhounds, Journaling, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Short and sweet

Life is changable…constantly. Just a mere two months ago I was stinging from the downhill slide of my sweet sweet Coombsy.

No dog will ever replace her. Please know that. I will love her forever. She owns that little girly part of my heart that no other dog will ever hold. And, I will never forget her silly doggy self.

Today I got an email about a dog we THOUGHT might be good for us…from his foster mom. Explaining that he is (not her words but mine) perfect. We have a couple of work-points but we now are looking forward to our sweet boy…Eli.


Posted in Animal Rescue, General Dog Stuff, God, Greyhounds, Journaling, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tuscan Herb Flatbread

First off, this isn’t my recipe. I can’t claim it for myself. It is, however, adapted by me. And it came out pretty good so…here we go.

3 cups flour (I use organic unbleached AP flour but whatever floats your boat)

2 tsp kosher salt

1 packet active dry yeast (Actually, I use 2 1/4 tsp, which is equivalent)

1 c lukewarm water

5 tbsp olive oil

2-3 tbsp finely chopped tuscan herbs – fresh – basil, thyme, oregano and I added 1 small clove of garlic but I’d do 2 small or 1 large when I do it again.

Mix the water and yeast together – let stand for 15 minutes

I’m not a purist anymore. As much as I love kneading bread by hand, the Kitchen Aid makes it so easy. SOOOO…..

In the bowl of your 5 1/4 c. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, mix the salt and flour. Make a well in the center large enuf to hold the water and yeast mixture PLUS 4 tbsp of olive oil.

Chop the herbs – incorporate with the garlic if you are adding that and set aside.

Pour the water/yeast mixture and 4 tbsp of olive oil into the well made in the flour. With the bread hook attachment, mix the flour into the liquid on low until a nice cohesive dough is formed.

Knead the bread in the bowl on medium speed. At this point I incorporated the herbs and let them knead into the bread. As always, you knead until smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball, place in a clean bowl, and coat with the other tbsp of olive oil Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set to rest in a warm, dry place until doubled in size – about 90 minutes to two hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees once the dough has risen. Punch down and knead in more herbs if desired. I added a few more…not required but I wanted it especially herby.

Shape into about a 12″ round and dimple with the tips of your fingers. Bake 35 minutes.

Might come out looking a bit like the bread pictured here :


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What am I looking forward to?

My “blog buddy” (I’m making up that term…and calling her a buddy cuz i read her blog all the time) Confessions of a Human Vacuum started a good trend with a Five Things Friday. That’s awesome…I know I can’t necessarily come up with Five of anything but I thought I’d do a quasi-regular blog on what I’m looking forward to.

I may just have five things.

1. Holy City Brewing Company Meet & Greet – I planned about three weeks ago to head out to the monthly meet & greet for Greyhound Pets of America Charleston at Holy City. We are blessed to have a group of craft-breweries in the Charleston area and they are very dog-friendly. I’ve only been to Coast, which is a really nice brewery, but I have wanted to visit another on greyhound day. Well, since Coombsy is gone and some day we’ll have to consider another…it seemed like heading to Holy City would be wonderful. And so I’ll be there NEXT week. I *am* looking forward to it!

2. Cooper Annual World Tour 2015 – yeah, it isn’t really a world tour but we are heading to Massachusetts for our annual World Tour. Oh. Wait. National tour. Thingee. I do look forward to having time with MA friends, and believe it or not, I am looking forward to 18 hours in a car with my mom. Just my mom. We will go in a separate car because I have to come back home and work. Jim will be staying for a little while longer.

3. Going to the gym – I REALLY want to go to the gym tomorrow. That is all.

4. The end of Tourist Season – this year, it’s been really bad. Bad drivers, crazy attitudes. WTF? Why be a jerk when you are traveling? I really don’t understand. I try to NEVER be a jerk (I can be a jerk sometimes, I know) but I definitely don’t cop a ‘tude when I’m not in my home state, in my car, or in my house. Really. Aren’t we supposed to be having fun on vacation? Show it, people! Crack a smile, seriously!

So, Lindsay, here’s my reply to your blog. Kinda close to what you asked…kinda.


Posted in Animal Rescue, Crazy Random Thoughts, General Dog Stuff, Greyhounds, Journaling, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two Weeks Later

This is a strange post to write. It’s been two weeks without Coombsy and to be quite honest, I am not 100% sure how I have made it through without falling to pieces every day.

I told you all before about how we (Coombsy & I) had ups and downs…and we went through a lot together. She really did teach me quite a bit…and caused me to dig deep into myself to figure out what kind of weight I put on my dogs as a founding member of Greyhound Pets of America Charleston.

See, I expected Coombs to be Flyer at first. I don’t know why I expected that. I knew she wasn’t. And I knew that each dog would be different..and each would hold a different piece of my heart. I really didn’t EVER expect that her piece would exceed every other animal’s piece. She surprised me.

Stuff still rolls around in my head – times I should have spent more time with her. All the amazing things she put up with. Her tired, scared eyes the day she passed. I can’t get that out of my head.

Here’s the thing. I thought that being in the room when she left us would make me a stronger person…that it would make it easier for me to let her go. It hasn’t. It has been as difficult to get her sweet face out of my head…maybe more…than Free Free and Flyer. I couldn’t be in the room with them…and I thought I owed it to her.

Now that I’m rambling, and crying, I just know that it was the most difficult day of my life so far – even harder than the day Dad died….because I knew I had things to do when Dad died. With Coombsy….I was left alone. Now…please know that my husband and my mom are here with me, they are also important, and I don’t want anyone to think I am saying the dog was more important than they are.

She is in my heart…but my heart is a little empty right now. And I’m sad.

I miss you princess.


Posted in Crazy Random Thoughts, Greyhounds, Journaling, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Coombsy Jean Aquino-Cooper

Cute Puppy Girl SittingCoombsy – racing name


So maybe it’s time to talk a little bit about this silly girl. It’ll be hard…

Lots of you know about Flyer – he “started” the greyhound group with me (and some other of my dear greyhound friends). He died on Feb 6, 2004. A mere 7 days later, this crazy 3 year old white dog landed on my doorstep. Okay, we picked her up at the pickup spot on 95…ultimately she landed on my doorstep. She was pretty. Really pretty.

She was a mess tho. She was barely house trained. Oh wait…she WASN’T house trained. She wasn’t really even crate trained! She’d go in the crate, but then she’d pee and poop in the crate…and then lie down. After a month of going to work and coming home to that…carrying her into the bathroom to give her a bath…I thought I’d go crazy. But, once Free Free (her “brother”) arrived on the scene, she got better and kinda quit doing that.

So, that was the rocky time with her. Honestly, at night we’d sit together on the floor and I’d play “Alien Eyes” with her – where I smooshed my nose against her nose and she looked like the alien from Close Encounters – I have no idea what I looked like to her but she didn’t mind. We’d put lavendar scented moisturizer on my hands and I’d pet her until I thought she was asleep. Of course, she’d wake up the minute I moved but it was nice.

I’ll never forget the night I was lying with her on her bed and I was making silly faces at her. I don’t quite remember WHY but I noticed she was showing me her teeth. I thought at first she was baring her teeth but she was happy, not at all antagonized. She was smiling – I actually thought she might be laughing at me in her own way. She liked to smile. I miss her smile. Sometimes I could get her to smile bigger…and bigger.

Oh, and her talking. Now, she wasn’t much of a barker, although she did have a bark to her – geez, sounded like a rottweiler…very masculine and kinda terrifying. That said, I think she might have barked 10 times in 11 years…and not at all in the past 4. But before we moved in with mom & dad, she started talking. She would try like heck to make word sounds. And she was very intentional. This was after Jim moved down here, so we’d try to make her say something. And she would. We still never understood what she was saying.

Chow hound. Yes, she loved a good cookie – but no human food (except fruits and vegetables) was safe around her. She stole hamburgers from plates, licked peanut butter of toast…if it was something “delectable” and it was within reach…it was hers. She did beg incessantly for cookies.

She had a natural sit. I think shortly after Free Free arrived (6 weeks after I got Coombsy), I noticed her sitting. And, having taken Flyer thru obedience class, I thought quickly to “mark it” with a treat. Well, that became the funniest thing – she’d follow you around thinking you had a cookie and sit for you. Until you had a cookie and you gave it to her. She was a sitting FIEND.

Yes, she had her issues. She never liked little dogs. She also didn’t like BARKING dogs (she wasn’t a dog, was she?). Late in life she didn’t much like car rides…and pretty early in her “demo dog” career she didn’t like events where other dogs could get in her face. She would defend her ground for sure.  Hated water. Hated thunderstorms. Hated getting her nails cut. Hated veggies.

But she was a love bug. A toy hound. A chow hound. My shadow. My heart. And I am still not sure how I’m going to live without her.

Posted in Animal Rescue, Crazy Random Thoughts, General Dog Stuff, Greyhounds, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

On being an Episcopalian in South Carolina in the 21st Century

Y’know, this will be a topic not many will want to read and I’m fine with that. So, if you are more interested in my ramblings about food, rock ‘n roll, and my happy, sunny, silly crap…you’re out of luck.

This blog has nothing to do with being holy, or righteous, or wearing a collar…nothing like that. It actually has almost everything to do with the opposite of that.

First, a little history. In 2002, I returned to the church. I had strayed for personal reasons, not the least of which was the fact that I felt by being divorced I had done something wrong. It was a greyhound event that drew me to St. George’s Episcopal Church in Summerville. I met a few people who were involved in planning their first St. Francis’ Blessing of the Animals. And, I met Father Mike. I could do chapter and verse on him, and how wonderful and how much of a Christian light he shines through all the inane darkness in this world…that’s for another time.

What is important about meeting Father Mike is, he preached a sermon, the first time I attended services there that spoke straight to my heart. I knew that God was talking to me, welcoming me home and telling me that St. George’s was the right place to return…So, I became a member. I attended regularly. Met some of my first “Summerville Friends” through St. George’s….y’all know who you are! I went to Cursillo. I served on Vestry (for what seemed like fifty years or so…) And it was a happy place. We loved each other, we grew close and grew out into the community…we WERE evangelizing.

For reasons that are way beyond my understanding and my control, I had to move to Carolina Shores and I did move into a church with community…made some of my first “Grand Strand” friends too. It was wonderful…but there was the beginning of these “rumblings” in the church…Division. Derison.

All of a sudden (to the normal person, it was pretty dern quick), we were no longer one community of believers in Christ, the One True Savior. We were…all of a sudden, “TEC” and “DOSC”….we were in fights. We had brought in lawyers, and courts…hurled insults at each other, swearing this one started it by saying THAT, and that one started it saying THIS. Trials, rulings, appeals, rulings, appeals, rulings…more hurling insults back and forth.

So…I’m wondering…what does standing behind TEC or DOSC do to help us get our message out to those who are unchurched? How much of the money we’ve (and by WE I mean both sides) spent go to feed children in our communities that go hungry overnight, over the weekend, over the summer because their families are homeless or living below poverty level? How much of the time spent in courtrooms is actually EVANGELIZING?

Here’s my theory on all of it:

  1. The church is not about all the buildings, the grounds, the beautiful Camp St. Christopher, the fellowship halls. ALL THAT MEANS NOTHING. Nothing. It means nothing if there are still people who won’t darken the doors of a church because they see us (yes, all of us) as hypocrytes…saying “be kind to others,” “spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and then we go argue over who owns the buildings we worship in. Did anyone for JUST ONE MINUTE think maybe that GOD owns them? They are HIS. Why? Because we are his.
  2. I am pretty sure that this “holy war” is costing millions and millions in legal fees, man hours, sweat “equity”…and yet no one seems to focus on the fact that not ONE PENNY of the money Episocpalians have spent on this fight has furthered the Kingdom of Christ. Not one. Who has been brought into the kingdom because of this fight? If (and that’s a HUGE If) one person did come to Christ because of it, I’d wager a bet that at least 10 have been driven away. One comes in, ten leaves. I’m no mathemetician but that’s a net of MINUS 9.
  3. And, to beat what seems to be a sad, dead subject even further…no one (really, no one) looks at the court battle and says, “YAY, GOD’S WINNING HERE.” He’s not. As a matter of fact, I’d also be willing to bet on this one too: When you short-sighted, sadly mistaken people battling this all out stand in front of God and are called to reckon…I don’t think he’s gonna pat you on the head and say, “good job son, you drove 10 people away for every 1 you brought into the church by arguing back and forth over materia things that I told you (in that book you haven’t been paying much attention to) were temporary….do not cling to things of this earth.

So, I’m probably one to be ex-communicated because of this but I’m sick and tired of bowing my head in shame when I say I’m Episcopalian.

I know we’re all broken sinners. That’s crystal clear to me. But let’s be clear on something else. We are supposed to REPENT. That means turn away from, for those of you who have forgotten. TURN AWAY FROM THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SINS. TURN AWAY AND RETURN TO GOD. Return to his loving arms. Ask for forgiveness.

Oh, and please don’t say that “My Side” *was* asking for forgiveness. When we’re talking about millions of dollars in properties, and millions of dollars WASTED in court…no one was asking for forgiveness.

I’m just totally surprised that NO ONE ELSE in South Carolina feels this way. Or has stood up and said it. What is wrong with all of you? Do you all actually think that wasting money (some of it is mine, that I donated, or TITHED, by the way) and hurling appeals and insults will open the gates of heaven wider?

Just once, I’d like someone to mention the fact that Christ came to this earth so that we could learn about God’s love. About God’s grace. And so we can learn to SHARE THAT with others. How is arguing about this crap sharing God’s love and God’s grace with those who don’t believe? How does that make them believe? How does that make us seem to the “outside world”?

Think about it for a little while before you vilify me.

Posted in Daily Fat Fight | 5 Comments

Beep beep boop

………..anyone that uses WordPress knows what that means…

I’m sitting here, working…at 9:13…while binge watching (no, just two episodes at a time) Sons of Anarchy and thinking to myself how is it that people come up with the idea that Kurt Sutter is glamorizing motorcycle clubs.

It’s all about charachter development, I know…but as the seasons go along, I am moved from liking to loathing each member of the cast (except Chibs…I like Chibs all the time). Right now I’m on a Jax-loathing tear. I’m impressed by Charlie Hunnam’s acting and of course, everyone else in the cast is pretty awesome too. But character-wise, these are not men and women to want to emulate. As time goes on, each of them seems to lose their conscience – and that line between life and death…right and wrong…murder and revenge (wait, is there a line there?) Well, it gets all kindsa blurred.

Not really what I totally wanted to talk about – but it might have sucked some of you in.

I just want to shout out to everyone on the day after my birthday for the great well wishes cuz well, it totally sucked being sick on my birthday. Not that I had any huge plans, but regardless – you can’t do anything if you’re sick.

And, on the positive side, I got a 12″ cast iron skillet (I have the 10″ and a grill pan), and what looks to be an 18″ round griddle. Oh YAY! So… you’ll probably see more stuff from me in the near future. Yup, cast iron cooking. lodge

I love my family. They know me so well.  Thanks Honey, and thanks Mommy.

Posted in Crazy Random Thoughts, Food, Journaling, My Thoughts and Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I might seem clingy ….

So, if you get an oddball Facebook post from me in th next few weeks, don’t be alarmed. You see, I learned a painful lesson this past week. I thought I would share the lesson with you so you can learn from my mistake. Thursday started off identically to Wednesday.  Got up, worked out, showered, went to work. Spent about 3 hours focusing on class…the one I was observing. Around noon, I received a barrage of messages from Jim insisting I call him immediately.

I don’t clearly recall the rest of the day. I recall my feelings. Despair. Sadness. Guilt. Disbelief. It brought no comfort that I wasn’t alone in these feelings.

I prayed. Please God, don’t let this be true.

Have you ever put off being a good friend? What I mean is, have you INTENDED to get together with a friend and continually put it off because you were “too busy”? Let me encourage you NOT to do that anymore. See, that saying “life is short” isn’t just a saying. It’s real. And in a moment, that person you INTENDED to hang out with could be gone. Every moment is precious. Every day is a gift. I’m not just spouting  clichés.  I’m telling you that our time here is just a grain of sand and when you put off those times you could be enjoying the company of friends who mean the world to you, you risk missing the chance to see them…maybe one last time. See, Thursday, those insistent messages from Jim were to tell me a dear friend that I had been INTENDING to get together with had died in a car accident. The sadness, guilt, and pain of losing someone I meant to get together with is palpable. And then my mind raced through all the friends I had INTENDED to see in the past 6 months.  I love them and I have not made the time for them. No more.

Believe it or not, I was just called on doing the same thing! Thank you June for setting me straight.


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