HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Road Trip

Hello world. Mom and I are back from our trip to Roanoke. This was a short road trip compared to the one we took in the spring to Aunt Teresa’s house in Fort Worth. That one was 11 states and about 3,200 miles and included a visit to the Clinton Museum store in Little Rock. This one was only five states and 1,000 miles yet included a drive by the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum in Staunton. Those presidents sure like to show off. I’m going to open a Pugsley Museum and gift shop…..but I digress……

I met lots of new friends last week. Our first stop October 8thwas in Berkeley Springs, WV to see Aunt Teresita. I got a little confused, but mom explained that I have an Aunt Teresa AND an Aunt Teresita.

Here I am with Aunt Teresita in her living room next to her tree

Aunt Teresita lives in a really cool house on top of a ginormous mountain. When I sauntered in and saw a tree in the middle of her living room my eyes lit up. INDOOR PLUMBING! I soon found out it was just for decoration…….after I tested it.

I’M SORRY AUNT TERESITA FOR GOING WEE WEE ON YOUR PRETTY DECORATIVE TREE!

Now when I walk mom I stop and ask if the trees are operational. I don’t want to make that mistake again.

Mom and I checked into our motel and while she was channel surfing she saw Mayor Nutter on Hardball talking about the election. You just can’t run away from home these days. He was so great and I decided that he should run for president. I would vote for him, but I have a slight photo ID problem as noted in my previous blog posts.

We hit the road early the morning of October 9th and headed to Front Royal, VA to take the Skyline Drive south through Shenandoah National Park. Mom gave me Rescue Remedy with my breakfast so that I would relax for the long ride. What was it that mom called it? Oh yeah, DOGGIE CRACK! I cried the whole way and kept scratching and slapping mom while she was driving even though I was hooked up to my zip line seat belt in the backseat. It was far from relaxing for either of us.

Mom tried to ignore me, which made me shriek louder. Even so, she thought the ride was beautiful even though I think we were a week early since it didn’t look like the fall colors had peaked yet. The trees (real ones – I asked) were mostly golden with some orange and a smattering of red every now and then. October 9th is our Aunt Doris’ birthday and this was the first one since she passed away in July. Mom said she could see Aunt Doris in all of nature’s beauty and it was the perfect setting to feel close to her.

Shenandoah National Park

We finally got to Salem, just south of Roanoke, late afternoon. The view from our motel was beautiful too. Every morning we walked outside and looked up at the mountains. You can’t help but smile at the view.

Salem, VA

I went to daycare at Klub Kanine for three days while mom was in her class. Klub Kanine is for little kids like me. Klub KanineThe big kids went next door to Barkley and Rover. I saw some of those kids going inside. They looked like ponies. I thought they were bringing them in so we could ride them, but nope; no pony rides. I didn’t know what was going on at first; there were so many kids there and they were noisy.  I’m used to my solitude and meditated whenever I could. By day two I felt more comfortable and played with my teacher Uncle Kevin and new pals Odie, Kiwi and Chloe. I was so tired when I got home that I fell asleep before my head hit the pillows. Mom’s classes were so intense that she napped with me before she went to dinner. I love snuggling with my mom, but she kept complaining that I hogged all the pillows. You know what they say, “Last one in sleeps at the foot of the bed.”

On my last day at daycare, Aunt Ashley gave me a bath and trimmed my nails. I’m going to have to talk to mom about that. I thought I deserved a seaweed wrap and a deep tissue massage at the very least.

Here I am with Uncle Kevin

Here I am saying goodbye to Aunt Ashley after my bath

Jonathan and Elsie

Jonathan and Elsie

Our journey home began Friday afternoon. Mom tried to find a motel in Charlottesville, but it was UVA’s homecoming and there were no rooms anywhere. She emailed her friend Tommy Greene who was in Richmond the last time she saw him and found out that he doesn’t live there anymore so we couldn’t see him. We ran out of options and had to take the boring highway back so we stopped for the night in Harrisonburg then went to Fairfax Saturday morning to see my Aunt Judy. We went with her son Jonathan, daughter in-law Leslie and granddaughter Elsie to the Cox Farm pumpkin patch. As we were walking toward the entrance some mean man said there were no pets allowed. I felt really bad that mom would have to stay in the car until in some crazy mixup, they all decided that I was the pet. I don’t know who these Cox people are, but if Bill Clinton let me in his store, they could have let me on the hayride! I drifted off to sleep while I attempted to figure out how that happened. I apparently missed all the fun watching Elsie play and watching piglets wake from their naps to eat lunch.Oink

A few hours later mom and Aunt Judy came back and brought me a pumpkin. Even though I didn’t get to choose my own, mom picked out a very cute little round one. I can’t wait to carve it.

We got back on the road around dinnertime, which meant that my dinner would be very late by the time we got home. So I did what I do best; I went to sleep and a few hours later we were home.

Mom said her nana used to say, “It’s good to go and good to come home.” She was so right! I ate my dinner, thanked mom for taking me on our trip, cuddled in my bed and drifted off to sleep with a big smile on my face. I love my mommy!

In War There Are No Unwounded Soldiers – José Narosky

I was away at camp for a few days while mom volunteered for Vets Journey Home. This national organization is designed to heal the emotional wounds of military combat service and operates in Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, Southern California, and Texas. The weekend was held in Pennsylvania for the first time September 28 – 30. Mom is so honored to have been asked to staff the weekend. In fact, she said this was the most rewarding volunteer work she’s ever done and that’s saying something because she does a LOT of volunteer work.

She’s not allowed to share much with me about the weekend since I have a tendency to blog when she’s not looking….like now.  What I can tell you is that this is the first time some of the veterans who participated were able to share their experiences in a safe, nonjudgmental place filled with loving hearts who genuinely wanted to help them heal their wounds from service. Some of them were welcomed home to hostility. Some came home to indifference. Some never even received a “thank you.” These veterans fought so that we could be safe. Mom witnessed a release of the burdens the veterans who participated carried, some of them for more than 40 years. They were wounded when they arrived Friday night. By Sunday afternoon, they smiled….and laughed. They all had beautiful smiles. Mom is still a bit off balance from crying so much so when she picked me up from camp we spent the day snuggling. I got extra belly rubs too!

If anyone knows veterans who came back from service emotionally wounded, I would absolutely recommend they participate in this program. Mom said it was life transforming. There’s another session in December and spots fill up quickly. The program is free of charge for veterans so donations are very much appreciated and welcomed. I’m just putting it out there….

Beetle Bailey’s, Mort Walker’s and My Friend Otto

I would like to do something life transforming so I asked if I could staff the next weekend instead of going to camp. Afterall, if Beetle Bailey’s Sergeant First Class Orville P. Snorkel’s (Sarge) dog Otto can be in the military, certainly I could staff a veterans weekend. Mom said there are some rules. For instance, staff isn’t allowed to wear sandals because of the intensity of the work and movement in the room……..

HEY MOM, I DON’T WEAR SANDALS, DO I?

Nope. No sandals.

MOM, DO I DO ANYTHING IN EXCESS?

Okay, let’s skip that one.

MOM, WHAT TIME DID YOU START EACH DAY DURING THE WEEKEND?

WHAT TIME??? SAY THAT AGAIN…..

I really loved camp. Did I mention that my report card said I excelled at sunbathing?

So today I am thankful. If not for these brave men and women who served our country, I might not be free to unlock my food bin and have a feeding frenzy or knock over the trash can and strew trash everywhere or have fun pulling mom’s important papers off the table and tearing them to shreds when she’s not home.

I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave because of our military – all of them heroes. Because of them, I am free! I am brave (until mom gets home)!

I am Pugsley!

NO PHOTO ID IS NEEDED TO VOTE IN PA IN NOVEMBER

Hi world. I’m back. It’s been quite busy around here. Tuesday Judge Simpson halted implementation of Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law for the November 6 election, saying “voter disenfranchisement could happen because the state hadn’t made it possible for voters to easily get photo IDs before the election.” Tell me about it!

So now I could be asked to show my photo ID, but pollworkers can’t stop me from voting on the machine even if I don’t have one. Score one for the side of the angels and people like my mom who have been working 24/7 since April to make sure Pennsylvanians, especially seniors, have a valid ID so they can vote.

I’m so excited to vote. I’m going to love pushing the flashing buttons. <Note to self: Pollworkers frown upon kids chewing on the curtain>

I’m going to have to bring a step stool because I may not be able to reach the screen. And snacks in case the lines are long. Maybe my cell phone so I can keep in touch with my peeps while I wait. I just asked mom to make sure she packs all my stuff and takes it with us to the polls.

…….Darn, mom just told me that if I can’t reach the screen, I can’t vote. First I needed a photo ID and now there’s a height requirement to vote? That sounds a bit unconstitutional to me. It’s not Disney World! Mom said I couldn’t go to Disney World last year when she went with cousin Sammy because I wouldn’t be tall enough to ride Space Mountain or any of the other big kid rides. Is the voting booth like Space Mountain? I know there are flashing lights, but I don’t think there are long cars with seatbelts so that you don’t fall out. I guess it depends on who the candidates are. Mom says sometimes the choices make her feel dizzy and she would appreciate a seatbelt.

Mom said she asked the Election Board and they told her the rules. I’ll have to ask my cousin Oliver about that. He knows lots of stuff. Mom said that since I can’t vote, the president-elect will send home a present for me. Hmmm, last year she said Mickey Mouse was so upset that I couldn’t come play that he sent home a present for me. I think I smell a rat. No offense Mickey.

Mickey's Present

Moral of the story: Know the rules; your mom may not always tell you the correct information (but you will love her anyway). Check for yourself what you need to know for Election Day.  Most of all, make sure you vote!

Love,

Pugsley