Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Annual Basset Hound Parade......

The Annual Basset Hound Parade!

The annual Basset Hound parade is actually part of a three day event called the Basset Waddle. It is held in Birmingham, Michigan during the month of May. It is one of Michigan's largest Basset Hound Rescue fund raisers. There are balloons, trains, marching bands, trophies, prizes, and a whole lot of Basset Hounds! Apparently this parade has been going on a number of years and between 400 to 500 lovable and sweet Basset's participate.
I have included a link so that you can view a little bit of the parade and waddle for yourself. It is an older video and apparently the parade just keeps getting bigger and better every year.
I have always had a affinity for this particular breed because my childhood dog was a big old sweet Basset Hound named Chill. In fact, if our eldest son had not had such severe allergies as a child we probably would have gotten a Basset Hound instead of a Schnauzer. Shh... What ever you do please don't tell Charli. You know how sensitive she can be.
Some of my best childhood memories included my precious old hound Chill. He was quite the character! He went every where with me including on occasion to school. Let me just say that my elementry school principal and the teachers were not very happy on the days he decided to pay me a visit. Especially since Chill sometimes snuck into the school if a door was left open. He would run up and down the halls howling for me, in the way only a Basset Hound can do, disrupting classes while everyone was trying very hard to catch him. It was bad enough on the days he hung out by the school door or on the school grounds waiting for me to come out. He was always getting into some kind of trouble but it was all because he loved me ♥ I can't even begin to tell you how many phone calls were placed to my parents. We lived in a rual area in the days when doors were never locked and dogs enjoyed much more freedoms then they do today.
Unfortunately, I had never heard of this wonderful and fun filled parade, or the Basset Hound Waddle until about a month ago when my cousin Jamie posted some pictures on his face book page. After writing Jamie for permission to post some of his pictures here on my blog he graciously invited Charli and me to be his guest at the parade next year. We are very excited about attending and I have tenatively marked my calendar with a date.
Charli is already fretting about what to wear. You know what a little diva she is! She has mentioned that a cheer leading outfit would be nice. Of course she is kind of put out that she won't be in the actual parade or crowned queen of the Basset Hounds.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did......
I hope you are having a beautiful day and doing something fun!
As for me, I'm off to do the grocery shopping :>)
I can't wait to see what all of you have been up to.
With warmest regards, Carol

Memorial Day........

Memorial Day.......
A time to remember those women and men who died so valiantly in service to our country. Here at 'Charli and Me' we honor our American heroes. We understand and appreciate the sacrifices they made so that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Answers, many thanks, and a tip......

Answers, many thanks, and a tip....

First of all I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely comments and e-mails some of you left regarding our little diva Charli. I love to make everyone smile so you really made my day :>)

Some of you have asked where I got Charli's cap and gown. There are not many graduation outfits for animals out there and the few I did find were rather expensive so I decided to make my own. For those of you who have a little diva and would like to make a graduation outfit for her as well this is what I did. I purchased a square of plain black material from Jo-Ann fabrics. Originally I was going to use the material as a bandanna but that didn't look very graduation like to me. I don't sew very well so I decided to use two way tape to hem the material. Then I taped some yellow quilting strips to the black material to make the decorative border. After I put the outfit on Charli, I added a mauve ribbon, and an old fake gold necklace. I also used two way tape to close the top of the cape but I am thinking perhaps of adding a snap to it. I found a package of graduation stickers and used one of them on the side of the cape for decoration. You can hardly see it in the picture but it says graduation. I'm sure if you sew you could come up with something much fancier and more creative than this. The diploma is simply a sheet of printing paper that I rolled up and tied with the same mauve ribbon as on the cape. The cap is made out of card stock. I cut a strip of card stock for the bottom of the hat and glued black construction paper onto both sides. Then I folded it in half and then fourths. I cut slits on one side of it, folded them down, and stapled them to the bottom of another piece of square card stock. I used scrap booking paper as an over lay and glued it to the top of the hat so the the staples wouldn't show on the top. I added a black strap to the hat because Charli doesn't like to wear a hat if it doesn't have one on it and the strap also keeps the hat more secure on her head. Then I poked a hole in the top of the hat and added a flat gold button that had a loop on the bottom of it. I ran a piece of wire through the loop and taped the wire to the bottom of the hat. For the tassel I used embroidery thread that has what is called precious metal effects on it.
My hubby really gets a kick at the way Charli loves to pose in her outfits. I originally got her to pose by setting a little hat on her head, telling her how beautiful she looked, and then taking it off again. I would do that periodically through out the day, each time leaving the hat on a second, or two longer. After a couple of days I got the camera out and started clicking away. Now all I have to do is put a hat on her head, tell her how beautiful she is, and she will pose. She loves it! She knows she is beautiful. In fact, she has become quite the little ham during our little photography sessions.

Now I have a tip for all of you who have dogs and cats. You probably already know this but it's something I thought was a very clever and cute idea that I had never seen before. As some of you know Charli recently went to a new groomer. Well, when I picked her up, instead of the usual bandanna the groomers use, this groomer had added a darling little bow to Charli's collar. The bow was secured with a rubber band that had been looped around her collar. I thought it was so cute! I am going to start using bows on the holidays. Charli already has a red collar so when we go to the fourth of July parade this year I think I'll add a patriotic ribbon to it.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful day ♥
Charli sends her love to you!
With warmest regards, Carol

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We really miss all of you!.....

We really miss all of you!.....

Hello everybody.... It's Charli here. I thought I would play on the computer while my grandma is out planting flowers. I'm not going out there. It's way to hot for me. It's been pretty busy around here and we have been missing all of you. We have been going to parties, back and forth to the store to get garden supplies, and working out in the yard. Well, I haven't been working in the yard but it's a big job keeping those canine boys, Jake and Bo in line. It took them a while to get the fact that this is my block and they just better do what I say. I've got it all under control now. They either run when they see me or walk slowly back up the yard where they belong. My grandma gets a little frustrated with me because she thinks I'm too bossy and boy does she get mad when I howl in the car! Well, I just don't think it's fair that I have to wait in the car while she goes into the nursery. When my grandma isn't running around town, and gardening she has been busy setting up a new site here. She said she needed some where to post a link to her book reviews. Here is the address if you want to check it out She is still going to post everything here on our blog because she says she likes to keep things in one place. Any way it's a long story. I'm sure she will tell you all about it.

"I'm watching you squirrel! You just better not come in my yard!"

My grandma and grandpa even had to tear down a tree because it was interfering with the power lines. They were pretty upset about it. They liked that old tree but Mr. Edison didn't. Oh well, now the lilac bush can grow again. I like lilacs. They smell pretty and they tickle my snoot. I told them I would help take the tree down but they just kept yelling for me to keep away.

It's OK though because I found something to do. Shh.....
I'm graduating this summer with Michael even if my grandma doesn't think so. I like books and I especially like books when my grandma is reading them. I like to snuggle up beside her on the sofa with one of my cozy warm fleece blankets. Sigh...... I'm getting tired just thinking about it..... Sometimes she reads to me out loud so that counts towards graduation right? Besides, I'm already very smart! Believe me, I have my grandma wrapped right around my little paw. I want to graduate so I can have a party like Michael. I want a great big party with a lot of treats and.......
"Charli where are you? What are all of these scraps of material and paper doing on the floor? You better not be getting into any trouble! Are you playing with my computer again?"
Oops Oh, Oh.... I gotta go now."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

'Skeletons at the Feast'..... A book review......

'Skeletons at the Feast'
A book review......

'Skeletons at the Feast', written by Chris Bohjalian, is an historical novel that takes place in the final months of World War II. Bohjalian, in an interview, said that the inspiration for the book came after a friend loaned him the diary of her German grandmother. However, he points out that the book is not based on the diary, nor are the characters. Bohjalian also states in the interview, "one of the issues I wanted to explore in the novel was the complicity of the average German civilian in the Holocaust." This book was very different from any other book I've read about World War II in that it is written from a German civilian prospective.

The story begins in Prussia, where the Emmerich's, a family of Prussian aristocrats own an estate. Unexplainable things are happening around them. People are disappearing. Children at school are being pumped for information about their home life. The family economic situation has deteriorated and the Russian front is moving in.
Seven British POW's from a near by prison camp are sent to help the family harvest crops. One of them known as Callum and the Emmerich's eighteen year old daughter Anna fall in love. They begin having an affair unbeknownst to the family. It is through the conversations Anna has with Callum that she begins to realize some of the atrocities people in her country have been committing. She begins to doubt her government and many of the things she has grown up to believe in.
As the Russians begin closing in the family realizes they must leave their beloved estate. The father obtains permission to take Callum with them. They pack very little belongings, leave most of they're pets and live stock, and become refugees like so many others during that time. Shortly after the family starts this very treacherous journey, the older brother, and father leave to fight in the German army. Callum, the mother, the little brother, and Anna are forced to continue on alone in the hopes of reaching the American and British lines.
Callum and the family face death and destruction every where they turn as they travel through the war ravaged country side.
During they're journey they meet and then travel with Uri, a Jew who has escaped from a train heading to Auschwitz, a Jewish death camp. Uri, calls himself Manfred, and is traveling the country posing as a German soldier. These five individuals come to form a deep attachment and lasting love for one another.
Through out the story one gets a clear view of war and the chilling and horrendous devastation it causes. One hears of the death camps and of the death marches. One follows the fictitious Cecile, a young Jewish girl forced into one of the death marches and the torment she and others must endure.
'Skeletons of the Feast' is a story about love, loss, heroism, and humanity at it's worst. It is also a story about the human spirit at it's finest. It is a book that is quite disturbing to read and yet one that is difficult to put down.
In deciding on an epigraph for the book, Bohjalian said he considered several options. One option that he didn't choose was the remarks of Martin Niemoller in the post war period.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I didn't speak out-
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionist's, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me- and there was no one left to speak for me."
-Martin Niemoller-
Instead, the epigraph Bohjahlian did choose was as follows:
"The past is never dead.
It's not even past"
-William Faulkner-
Images courtesy ofbarnes and Noble

Monday, May 17, 2010

The count down is on!......

The count down is on!.......

The tuxedo has been rented and the prom tickets purchased. The graduation announcements and party invitations have been sent. The decorations have been bought and the cake has been ordered. Our grandson Michael is reaching yet another milestone in his life, his High School Graduation! What an exciting time for Michael and all of our family! My hubby and I feel sooo incredibly blessed to be sharing in all of these wonderful and fun filled events. It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating his fathers High School Graduation. Where does the time go?

Let the count down begin!!!!!
Dear Michael,
We are so proud of you! You are an incredible person and a fine young man. Our hearts are just bursting with love for you ♥ What a joy you are. We loved you since before you were born, we love you now, and we will love you forever ♥ Enjoy every moment of this truly exciting time. You are creating memories that will last a life time.
Woo Hoo!!! High school graduation!!!

"Yes Charli, you can come to the party. No Charli, you are not getting a cap and gown."
What about you? Do you have fond memories of you high school graduation? I know I certainly do. Are you having any milestone celebrations in your family in the next couple of months? If so, I would love to hear from you.
I hope all of you have a happy and sunny day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An Award and a thank you!.....

An Award and a thank you!......

Imagine my surprise when I learned I had been a recipient of the Sunshine Award! This beautiful award comes from my good friend Grandma K, at I hope all of you will stop over and visit her. She has a very warm and charming blog. Thank you so much Grandma K! I am so honored to recieve this lovely award. It made me smile to think you had thought of me :>)
I do love and cherish all of the precious awards and gifts Charli and I receive here at Charli and Me. If you would like, you can view them all on my blog attachment which can be reached through my sidebar. Each one is very special indeed.
All of you know that these sweet awards come with rules. I am supposed to pick twelve fellow blogger's to pass this one along to but how can I possible choose? Therefore, I would like to pass this sweet little Sunshine Award to all of you who visit here. You are my sunshine ♥ I cherish each and everyone of you. Thank you so much for all of the kind, warm, and sometimes funny comments you leave here. All of you have enriched my life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
With warmest regards, Carol

Friday, May 14, 2010

A birthday tablescape and a little oops......

A birthday tablescape and a little oops.......

Some of you who follow this blog know that I have always liked to have themed parties, or parties that were in some way geared towards our children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren. I've always thought these types of parties were so much fun and they really do bring out the child in all of us.
Last month, for my hubby's birthday, I was thinking of having a cowboy or spiderman theme but then I saw these little dinosaurs at the dollar store and thought a safari theme would be perfect. The dinosaurs were so cute! They had a little button on their belly and when you pressed it they roared. Charli loved them! She would have really liked to get a hold of one of them to play with but even though the button seemed quite secure I was afraid she might choke on it.

With roaring dinosaurs in the house it only seemed appropriate to have a dinosaur cake. I've always written, or had Happy Birthday Dad, or Grandpa put on my hubby's birthday cakes.

I found some sparkler candles to put on the top of the cake. Everyone really loved those! They looked so festive with the lights turned down.

The only feminine touch to the party was a ribbon wrapped around my cake cutter. A girls has to do what a girl has to do :>)

I took the sweet little rabbit out of my spring center peice, added a couple of dinasours, and the table quickly became prehistoric inspired.

I found some dinasour activity books and favors for Ryan and Ayden. I also found neat safari hats for Grandpa, Ryan, Aayden, and Aaron. Everyone got blowers and dinasour book markers to take home. The book markers are great and were very colorful. My hubby and I are using ours here at home. I think everyone had a great time and especially my husband ♥

This is our lovely granddaughter Jessica with our great grandson's, Aaron and Aayden.

The oops part of the celebration came when two of our sons started teasing me and their father. They made statements like, "Gee dad how does it feel to be a dinasour" and "Mom you must think dad is really old" The more I tried to explain it was a safari party the worse it got and then my hubby got into the act too "Sooo you think I'm an old dinasour do you?" My family just doesn't give it up and especial my hubby. Can you just imagine what life has been like around here lately :>) This teasing went on for several weeks and even included some of our friends.... "I can't believe you threw him a dinosaur party." "No, it wasn't a dinosaur party. It was a safari party!" Next year, God willing, I think I'll stick to my original plan and have a cowboy, or spiderman themed party, but then again, maybe, just maybe, I might throw my hubby an old dinosaur party he'll never forget..... LOL.... What do you think?
The sun is shinning here after many days of rain. Charli and I can't wait to get outside!
I hope all of you have a beautiful day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Booking Through Thursday.....

Welcome to Booking Through Thursday at A weekly post where book lovers such as myself get together to have discussions about literature and books. If you would like to join our group, or you would like more information about us, just click on the above link to reach the official Booking through Thursday web site......

This week our questions are as follows.....
"Are your book choices influenced by your friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight with you? Or do you choose books solely by what you want to read?"
My book choices are sometimes influenced by my family and friends. If it is something that sounds interesting I will definitely read it. I also like to read books I wouldn't necessarily choose to read on my own. I have a friend who loans me books all of the time that have proofed to be quite interesting but I would probably have walked right past those books had I seen them in a library or at a book store.
My reading choices are also influenced by the blog world. I am always getting tips about good books here.
However, I would have to say of all the recommendations I receive, my book club carries the most weight with me. Those books are carefully selected by a team of librarians and are usually quite good. Our book club just finished reading 'Skeletons at the Feast' which was a very powerful book indeed.
I also get tip and recommendations about books in my humanities group. 'Sacred Hearts' and 'The Red Tent' are on my bedside table now.
Sometimes I even get recommendations from church bulletins.
I was recently sent a book from Random House called "South of Broad' which I am looking forward to starting next week and perhaps recommending to my book club. It looks like it is going to proof to be a very good read.
I just finished reading 'Home' which was a book that caught my eye in a book store.
As you can see my recommendations and literary selections come from just about every where.
Who, or what influences your reading selections? I would love to hear from you.
Well, I'm off to catch up on things. We have been having storms in our area and Charli has been freaking out. It's difficult to get much done on these kinds of days.
Happy BTT everyone!
I hope all of you are having a lovely day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tips for a better life......

Tips for a better life.....

Recently I recieved an e-mail from a friend that included some tips for a better life. I thought they were worth sharing here....

* Take a 10 to 30 minute walk a day and while you walk, smile.
* Sit in silence at least ten minutes a day.
* Sleep seven hours a night.
* Live with the tree E's, energy, enthusiasm, and empathy.
* Play more games.
* Read more books than you did last year.
* Drink plenty of water.
* Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less foods that are manufactured in plants.
* Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a begger.
* Make time to meditate and to pray. They provide the daily fuel for our lives.
* Dream more while your awake.
* Smile, giggle, and laugh more often.
* Try to make at least three people smile every day.
* Don't waste precious energy on gossip.
* Don't have negative thoughts about things you can't control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
* Spend time with people over seventy and children under six.
* Life is to short to waste it hating anyone.
* Don't take youself so seriously. No one else does.
* Forget issues of the past. Don't constantly remind your partner of his or her mistakes. This will ruin your present happiness.
* Realize that life is a school and we are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away, like an alegebra class, but the lessons you learn last a life time.
* You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
* Don't compare your self to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
* Make peace with your past so it doesn't spoil your present.
* Your job won't take care of you when you are sick but your friends will stay in touch.
* Forgive everyone for everything.
* What other people think of you is none of your business.
* Get rid of everything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
* However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
* Envy is a waste of time.
* You already have all that you need.
* The best is yet to come.
* No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
* Don't over do. Know your limits.
* Your inner self is always happy so be happy.
* Do the right thing.
* Call your family often.
* Each day give something good to others.

There you have it... A recipe for a good life :>)
Charli and I will be heading off to Pet Smart today for some dog food. "No Charli. You are not getting a new outfit." Gees!!! That dog thinks she's a little diva!
I hope all of you have a beautiful and sunny day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Very pleasant surprise!....

A Very pleasant surprise!........

Just imagine my surprise when I opened the mail box a couple of weeks ago and found an invitation to a 'Retired Nurse's Reception' in honor of Nurses Week. Apparently this is something new the organization I was affiliated with is doing to recognize and honor all of the nurses who have worked for them in the past and are now retired. Is that lovely or what?

Most of the years I was affiliated with the hospital, and Saint John's Health System, I like other nurses had many different roles which has led to some wonderful and lasting relationships with co workers and peers. Some of us have not been able to see each other as often as we would like, but believe me, when you work side by side with someone in a variety of different and sometimes difficult situations they quickly become unforgettable.

It was very odd walking through the doors of the hospital. I had not been back there since I retired several years ago. The minute I stepped inside memories of working there came flooding back. I've always been grateful for all of the opportunities and experiences I've had wandering those halls.

The reception was held in the board room and it was just wonderful! It truly was special ♥
Everyone there in administration went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and had a great time.
We were all asked to fill out a form that included our e-mail and home addresses in case anyone would like to get in touch with us. We were also asked to fill in what our most memorable moment working in the hospital was and who our mentors were. Then we were asked questions about our hobbies, our families, and that sort of thing. We were told all of the information will be compiled and then placed in a book so all of the people still working there will be able to see what we have been up to. Each of us will also receive a copy.
We were given a beautiful long stem red rose as a thank you. There were door prizes and we were treated to coffee, tea, fruit, cheese, crackers and my favorite, cake. The cake was so delicious!
It was so much fun to get together with everyone. There were many hugs, exchanging of information, sharing of stories, and giggling that afternoon.

Yesterday I met with some of the girls again at our monthly luncheon. We have quite a large group that includes social worker's, nurses, lab techs, and secretaries. Most of us used to work together at one time or another. Sometimes someone will bring along a sister, brother, or husband. Right now we are in the process of planning our annual picnic. Everyone is invited to that including all of our families. As I looked around the room yesterday I thought to myself I have been blessed. I have truly been blessed with the gift of friendship ♥

Well, I'm off to pick up a Thank You card but I wanted to remind every one that this week is Women's National Health week. You still have time to take 'The Women Challenge'. All of the information is on my side bar. I hope you will join me. Always remember to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

It's been raining here so I haven't gotten out as much as I would have liked to. I'm trying to tough it out on the treadmill. I do not like to exercise but I do like winning the adchievemnt awards though 'The Woman Challenge' program :>) I think it's just the motivation I might need.
While I'm on the treadmill Charli sits or lays on the back of our sofa totally frustrated. Sometimes she starts shaking or pretends like something is wrong in an attempt to get me to stop. She can be such a little hooligan when she wants to be.

"Come on Grandma! This is boring! Enough is enough!"

Happy Tuesday everyone!
With warmest regards, Carol
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