Tag Archive: dog

Like a Good Neighbor

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

If you happen to see me walking my dog and she gets a little excited and tries to climb a tree, she is only being neighborly.

SquirrelLady is protecting me, you, and everyone else from squirrels. She has not figured out how to climb a tree but I am sure that will happen one of these days. Lady is doing her part to make sure that the evil squirrels will do no harm to the rest of the world and her neighbors.

She extends this service to cats as well. Sorry if she chased your darling up a tree. In her defense, she is just being neighborly, as Dan Moore can attest when Lady chased a stray cat off of his porch this past week. She also likes to go after rabbits. Near the parsonage, she has noticed a number of rabbits and would be delighted if Father gave her permission to eat one or two. As the owner, I do not allow this. I merely hold on to the retractable leash for dear life and pray that she does not pull out my arms from the sockets.

The other night the husband and I watched a fairly new movie with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte called A Walk in the Woods. Based on the book by Bill Bryson, the story is about a travel writer, Redford, who decides to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. However, his wife does not want him to do this alone, so she insists he find someone to go with him. The only person that willing is boyhood friend and old traveling buddy, Nick Nolte. He is doing his neighborly duty.

Walk in the Woods

A Walk in The Woods with Nick Nolte and Robert Redford

They are a typical odd couple but both men are seeking one last adventure. While neither are truly prepared for it, Nolte looks as if this could be the last adventure he ever takes on, physically. Redford, on the other hand, looks like a man fit enough to hike over 2000 miles in a six-month period. But during their time of the trail they deepen their relationship and come to understandings.

This is not a movie with loud explosions or chase scenes. There are no bank robberies or broken bones.

Nor does it stay exactly true to the book. Bryson and Katz were in their 40s when they did the hike. Redford has owned the rights for a long time, hoping to do one last movie with Paul Newman. It is a movie that is reflective with humorous bits as older men come to terms with their life choices. Perhaps not as deep as Wild starring Reese Witherspoon but certainly bawdy and down to earth. The language is just salty enough that I would not allow younger children to watch it.

But if you are looking for a movie that is family-friendly, you might want to try Chicken Little. This movie came out in 2005 and featured the voice of Zack Braff as the little chicken who swears something hit him on the head. He sounded the town alarm in order to save his neighbors. Well, it caused a panic in the town and the little guy has not been able to live it down.

Chicken LittleHe becomes the town hero for one day when he helps win the big game for the summer baseball league. But that night, once more, something hits him on the head. Worse yet, there is a someone along with that something. Should Chicken Little set off the alarm once more, knowing that if he is wrong he will face the ridicule of the town once more? Or should he say nothing to save face but see his town destroyed.

What we get is a fun little movie fill with 90s and 70s music that also shows bravery in the face of absolute embarrassment and shame. The young ones through 5th grade can watch it and have fun. Sometimes that is the best fun, cuddled up together and laughing.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.




Dear Jane,


Image by Melodi2

I wanted to take a few minutes out of this holiday season to wish you a happy birthday on the 16th. If it is possible, I would love to share tea time with you but when is always the question. With all of the events flying around our family, I scarcely get a moment to breathe and think.


Last night, our daughter and her Girl Scout troop sang carols at a senior living facility. Later in the evening, our second oldest played in a band concert. I had to run youth group at church and missed out on the concert. Tonight, half of the family will take part in the 4H Christmas party while I attend my daughter’s band concert. Friday night is my office party.


My house is getting quite messy. Toys or pieces of toys are strewn about and the dog insists on shedding. Dust is everywhere. I am hoping to spend some time cleaning on Saturday morning before heading to the stores to buy a birthday gift and a grab bag gift suitable for a boy or girl. My daughter is voting for candy although one of her classmates is diabetic.


Saturday afternoon my daughter heads to the birthday party while I am off to a Christmas party for children at my church. Then there is a singing time at my church from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. Our church choir will sing four songs and our youngest member will do a solo of “Emmanuel.” Then I plan to go home, eat some soup and go to bed. I am hoping to stay there till New Year’s but you and I know that is not practical.


Book Cover image from barnesandnoble.com

I am being quite rude as I have not asked how you are doing or if you are working on anything new. I look in the stores and hope some forgotten manuscripts have been found but I am always disappointed. I am hoping to begin work on the series by Rebecca Ann Collins which looks at the lives of various characters after “Pride and Prejudice.” Perhaps that will be my goal for the new year.


Please let me know when we could have tea together. If it cannot be in December, perhaps we could get together in January. Life slows down considerably and my biggest concern will be cleaning out the ‘closet of doom.’


Your devoted fan wishing you the best on your birthday,



Related Posts:

Notes From Rumbly Cottage: Curling Up with a Good Book
Notes From Rumbly Cottage: Wishing the Happiest of Birthdays

Notes From Rumbly Cottage: My Dream Casting Wishes for Jane Bites Back 

Notes From Rumbly Cottage: Austenland – My Dream Cast

Moments of Joy

Wordy Wednesday


There are times that using a phone camera to capture a moment is so wrong.


Like when you are driving.


The other day I was trying to get home when I passed a car with a dog hanging his head out of the back window. There were three people in the car and the dog was hanging his head out the passenger side back window. The dog was so happy to have the wind on its face.


It was like a commercial for happiness. And I wanted to take a picture but realized that it would be near to impossible as I was driving down the road at 50 miles per hour. By the time we got to the stop light the moment was gone, the mood was wrong.


So I moved on.


Then a few days later I was on my way home from work when I got stuck behind a school bus. I watched a boy, about 8 or 9 years old, get off and walk to the driveway. He got about ten feet in when he looked to his left and his face became excited. He saw someone and I am thinking it is his grandmother. The boy dropped his book bag and moved towards the other person.


That is when I see who the boy is looking at. It is a beautiful black long-haired dog, probably a mix of a black lab and golden retriever. I have to keep moving but I see that the boy and dog are playing together in a familiar pattern. It is a scene of such happiness I almost feel like a creepy person looking where I shouldn’t.


But I don’t turn my eyes away until I have to. Seeing such joy in so small a moment reminds us why we do it all. We do it for those quick joyful moments.  


Because I have to get home and there are cars behind me so I move away from the scene. I have not forgotten it a week later.


These are the moments of joy I see. But during my day I also see people getting by, people walking with family or friends. I see families and kids on bikes – some happy, some not so much. Their worries are overwhelming.


Every town has that one ‘special’ person who goes all over and everyone knows them even if you have never talked to them. Our town has the doll lady who hangs around town with beautiful dolls about the size of a four year old. You know her when you see her. The woman is happy and I hear from others that her family work to keep her that way. Oh, and she will never sell one of her precious dolls.


I remember her every time I see her and her dolls. The image of her on the benches around town does not leave my imagination.


I do not always need a physical picture of these things; they live on in my mind for however long I am able to continue to remember.


What moments of joy do you see on a daily basis?

Family Movie Night


It has been hot. Terribly hot, unbearably hot.


I think I have lost five founds without even trying. People see me walking my dog and wonder – out loud – about my sanity.


I wonder as well. But when I come home from work, the dog jumps on me and begs for his walk. So I hose him down before we go and then we take an abbreviated walk.


When we get back, we are thirsty. I am ready to be under the sprinkler if it is running.


When it is this hot, I am ready for a silly and ridiculous movie. I want a movie that is going to make me giggle and laugh and forget how hot I am feeling.


Movie poster image from IMDB.com

A few weeks ago, Arthur came to the home market. This re-make of the Dudley Moore movie follows the adventures of a very rich man who remains child-like in his daily life. Russell Brand stars as Arthur in a winning manner. You come to understand why he acts the way he does with his constant attention seeking behavior.


But then his mother demands he marry Jennifer Garner, a woman from a wealthy family but a bit driven and coarse. In the meantime, he meets the wonderful unlicensed-tour guide, Greta Gerwig, and falls in love with the unpublished children’s author. There to catch him in every bad situation and save him is his faithful nanny, Helen Mirren.


This is a sweet movie with funny moments. There are the sad moments and truthful moments and moments that make you shake your head. The movie rating of PG-13 is there for sexual situations, drug references, alcohol use throughout and language. I would not watch this movie with young children around but it is fine for a date night at home.


Movie poster from IMDb.com

One movie that I love for kids that is silly and fun is The Jungle Book from 1967. There are so many good songs that make you want to dance and jiggle around the house. The animation is incredibly dense and beautiful, which pulls you in to the movie even more.


The movie also has some great performers. Phil Harris plays the lovable slacker bear, Baloo. Louis Prima gives voice to King Louie of the Apes. George Sanders is the silky smooth danger that is Shere Khan the Tiger. Sterling Holloway, also known as the voice of Winnie the Pooh, plays Kaa the snake.


Movie poster from IMDb.com

Finally, the best silly and incredibly funny movie out there is Airplane. This movie spoofs every disaster movie and gets comedic performances from people you would never expect such as Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Billingsley. This movie came out in 1980 and is on every list I have ever seen for best comedic movies ever made. It is suited for those who are in their teens and up due to some sexual situations and drug references.  


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

What is it about ghost stories that intrigues us?

Picture by Earl 35

I love hearing people’s tales about bumps in the night and figures appearing. I am willing to watch Ghost Adventures and other shows like it for the chance to see or hear something. When people show me pictures with those orbs of light, I am hooked. I know what is there and I wonder who it is.

You might even say I get really gullible when it comes to these things. People can tell me all sorts of spooky stories and chances are I am going to believe them.

My husband is inclined the other way. There is not a ghost story he can’t poke a hole through. For him, ghosts are non-existent. And anyone who tells them can be found to be unreliable as a source. This is when being a journalist who needs cold hard facts is a bad thing.

I know ghosts exist but I cannot prove it. I have known them since I was a kid and the ghost in our house would knock stuff down. I have known they existed when I would see weird things out of the corner of my eye. I knew it when I heard my recently dead dog wag her tail on the floor of my husband’s closet where she always slept.

I heard the dog and I felt her presence. I told her that we were fine and she could move on to doggy heaven. Soon after, I no longer heard her or felt her in the house. I hope she is chasing all of the rabbits she can find.

A few weeks ago, Patty told a great story about seeing another bicyclist on the road. When she looks back for him, the man with the white bicycle is gone.   It sounded similar to the Resurrection Mary story in my neck of the woods but without the trip to the house. In her story was the sense that someone was looking over her, being a protective force.

Recently, someone told me a story about how they have working on restoring their house. There is a lot of sanding and floor replacement to do. Once they are done the house will be restored to total grandeur.

As this person is working on the back stairs, they happen to look up and there is a man sitting on the top half of the stairs. He is watching the work go on and says nothing. The storyteller asks him for advice as to how to get the old water stain out of the wood but there is no answer forth coming.

While I am in this house for a tour, I hear a noise and a light that I am pretty sure had been turned off  is on again. The storyteller feels as though the house is happy to be reborn, to have its past delights re-worked to shine once more.

Picture by Wallyir

Not all ghosts are bad, they simply do not want to leave the place where they have been happy. So they linger in their home or in a church or other places.

Is my house haunted? You betcha, it is by the former piano teacher of my town. I feel her every now and again. Sometimes when I am singing or need to pick out songs for choir, I feel her right there.

Just don’t tell my husband cause he will never believe it.

Mom Said Yes!

Product Thursday

Normally, in the course of any shopping trip the question or request or outright demand comes out.

“Can we get this?’

I always say, maybe another day but not today. The kids have learned that this means no. So every now and then I have learned to give in say yes as long as it is something reasonable.

Our little grocery store in town has a lot of stuff and some great display stations packed into the tiny confines. One of those displays is Goldfish by Pepperidge Farms.

Remember when Pepperidge Farms commercials had that guy from New England talking about how great their breads and desserts were because they were made the old-fashioned way? “Because Pepp-ridge Faarms Re-mem-burrs.”

Pepperidge Farms Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish

When it comes to their kids snacks – those goldfish – Pepperidge Farms is willing to try something new. This time around the little bad said “Vanilla Cupcakes” and because we like cupcakes, my little guy said “Can we get these?”

I said yes and it was an effort not to have the bag torn into right there and then. We got home, had supper and then had some.

Man, they were tasty and addictive. Vanilla goodness, just the right amount of sweetness with the right amount of crunch. It took effort not to eat the entire bag. I also had to make sure we saved some for the other kids.

The day we finished off the bag, even our dog tried to get in the act. He was waiting for his moment to steal the bag or at least scarf anything that hit the floor or the couch.

This day, he was out of luck.

Every Thursday I review a product. If you have something you would like to share or a product you would like me to review, please send a note to bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.

You eat that much?

Picture by Xenia

Today is Valentine’s Day and you have made the terrible realization that spring is not too far away. March 21 is just 35 days away. That means Spring and the clothing which is lighter and prettier and telling of rolls of fat is 35 days away.

“‘Noooooooooooooooo” is the collective scream being heard across the snow belt despite the joy of warmer weather. How does this happen? Where does all of this fat come from.

You know the answer.


Food loaded with fats and sugars and sodas that have nothing nutritional to give.

I love it, can’t get enough of it. When I am having a bad day, the thought of bread pudding cheers me right up. Chocolate cake, brownies with caramel swirls in it or even a simple frosted cupcake with a raspberry on top can do the same.

When it is my turn to make the Sunday Dinner, I go for chicken in cream sauces or crab cakes.  I like trying new recipes for soups, main dishes and desserts. All of which explains the extra weight I carry. 

That is why I put myself on a diet aimed at improving all-around health along the threat of diabetes. It runs in my family like the Mississippi during a flood. There are days that I feel like a ticking time bomb just waiting for my sugar numbers to explode and make my life miserable.

Today, I am sharing that diet that has helped me drop 30 pounds but be warned. This works for me and the condition I know I am going to have no matter how hard I try. My mother is a skinny woman and she has diabetes. I am 25 pounds over my highest allowed weight (by the insurance company’s charts) and despite making some great improvements, that chronic illness is headed my way.

What I have worked to do is make a diet that is tasty and not depriving me of anything. I also make sure to have plenty of liquid throughout the day.



First thing: 16 oz of water

Breakfast: 2 fried or scrambled eggs, slice of bread or malt-o-meal, 12-16 oz. green tea

Mid Morning: 12-16 oz coffee, 1 serving of a sweet cookie or a sweet roll)




Picture by Johnninbkk


Lunch: Sandwich or soup, starch (bread, chips or carrot sticks), fruit, 12-16 oz water

Mid-afternoon: 12-16 oz. coffee, 2 small pieces of candy (pic-a-snack or 2 Dove squares)

After work: Protein (hard-boiled egg or peanut butter), 12-6 oz tea


Supper: Protein, starch, veggie, salad, 12-16 oz drink




Picture by Karpati

The other important factor:

You have to get up and move. I walk about 20 -30 minutes a day with the dog, every day. EVERY DAY. I also try to do a 20-minute workout in the morning. I am getting a little anxious and want changes to happen quicker.

This is what works for me. Now tell me what has worked for you. Perhaps we can trade secrets that actually work.

Is it Over Yet?

This is the part of winter I do not look forward to seeing.

The month of February can produce hope and it can squash your dreams of warm weather like a mortar in a pistil.

Picture by Dieraecherin

Today our high temperature was in the high 30s. Know what that does to snow? It makes it melt, not all of the way gone but the process is starting. All of those streets that have been scraped clean of snow now have melting remainders of snow.

But then the cold air blows in. Cold air from the arctic, shifting the temperatures back to around zero and below. The windchill make the feel of the outdoors goes down even farther.

Wind whistling over the snow-covered prairie for hundreds of miles just gets colder the farther it travels. Yesterday’s slush is today’s ice patch just itching to trip you up.

I hate it.

The dog has no sense of slowing down when he sees that stuff. He very seldom slips or splats while on our walks. Storm like to dig in the snow when he smells something interesting in the hope the carcass might still be there for him.

I, on the other hand, must watch every step. Is the pavement clear or am I looking at black ice, that trick bit of ice that attempts to mimic asphalt? When the melt and freeze cycle gets here, there is only one thing to do.

Walk where it is crunchy. Unless the pavement is absolutely clear you can only walk where the snow beneath your feet make that delicious sound of crunching snow. That is the only way to know you are not hitting ice, that your legs are not going to fly out like a gymnast who did not go into a backflip with full force or conviction.

When it happens to me I can almost hear the comedy-movie soundtrack sound of a person falling with the air blowing out of their body followed by the thud sound. That is unless I get lucky enough to find a snow bank to break my fall.

My fear with the incoming deep freeze is that those banks that have broken my fall on occasion will now be rocks that I will bounce off should Storm decide he has to chase an ice block that looks like a cat or greet another dog that he has not been able to converse with in doggy language.

To me that means snarl and threaten to rip each other’s throat out until your person drags you far enough away from the other animal. That is when said dog goes into the whining stage, indicating they were only playing and he wants another chance. 

Picture by Bowling Granny

In my head I think that I only need to get through February. Get through this month that will produce terrible cold and shocking thaws. I pulled out my Chia Herb Garden and made all four pots. Everyday it requires water. With any luck there will soon be some new greenery to give the air inside that fresh planting smell.

Another good thing to look forward to, it is the slow return of song birds. This week our family was enraptured by the female cardinal who visited our bird feeder several times, causing our youngest to call out whenever he sees her.

The female may be grey with a touch of red coloring. But she is marvelous to watch when ever she makes an appearance.

How is the winter falling away for you?

This is the pair of socks I am wearing for the rest of winter. By the end of this week, the Midwest is going into the deep freeze. I heard 5 was going to be the high for Friday. That’s right 5 degrees. I do not want to even know about the windchill.

My Favorite Winter Socks

I stole was given these socks by my husband who bought a five pack from K-Mart. That’s right, K-Mart. Not Dick’s Sporting Goods, not Farm and Fleet or even Wal-Mart. They are thick and warm and make me feel all cozy.

There is a reason why they are being shown today. I love the blog entries by The Pleated Poppy called What I Wore Wednesday.

Every week she have a pictorial essay on what she has worn for the past week. Part of it was to encourage herself to dress better and the other half is encouraging the rest of us to share our pictures.

As much as I want to do this, I am also wary because the only room with a full length mirror in my house is a wreck. So to ease myself into that entry, I started with showing one of my quilts last week. This week I present my socks.

I am trying to stay warm this week. And as for the dog’s afternoon walk? Well, he either crosses his legs or does everything within five minutes because that is all the time I am spending outside during single digit weather.

How are you keeping warm?

The Smells of Life

Picture by Click

It was a wintry afternoon and I was walking the dog. There was snow on the ground, no breeze, just the right amount of light when I smelled it.

A sweet fresh clean smell. Not too flowery, not too perfume-y but welcoming. I felt as if I was being wrapped in something wonderful.

 Then it hit me – dryer sheets. Someone was running their dryer and the exhaust was sweetening the air outside. If you are not a fan of perfumes or have allergies to various scents, I can see how the scent might be offensive. But for that moment I was enjoying the lightness of the perfume, the sweetness that was not overwhelming and the memories of home it brings out.

It is similar to when I recognize an older lotion from Mary Kay. It is as if I am back in my grandmother’s bathroom and I can smell her favorite cream. I get the feeling she is nearby and that if I turn around at the right moment I can talk to her once more.

Picture by MNP

I feel happy and comforted all at once in the same way I do when I smell pipe smoke. It can be one of those rich, woodsy-sweet smelling varieties and I am in my grandparent’s living room while Grandpa is enjoying his pipe. Maybe we are playing war or slap jack. He could be explaining how two bits equals a quarter and making us better mathematicians than fate had allowed.

Smells take us to the past and new smells imbed themselves, creating future memories. When we make a new dish, I love smelling the new smell. I am trying to recognize it and place it.

Last night I did that as I was making Chicken Riggies. I found the recipe at Happy When Not Hungry’s blog. It is Chicken in a tomato-cream sauce mixed with Rigatoni. Apparently, the dish is a favorite in the Ithaca area of Upstate New York. I had to make some adjustments as I do not keep Vermouth at the house.

 When I would take the lid off of the sauce pan to smell everything, I could not recognize it. Slowly, the tomato sauce furled out as did the onion. The cream did not come to me straight away. I was not sure if it smelled good and asked my husband for his opinion.

He thought it was tremendous. I had him pour the Rigatoni into the pasta bowl and then I poured in the sauce with the chicken. I began noticing the interplay of flavors as I mixed it all together with a bit of mozzarella cheese. In our excitement and hunger, we did not take a picture of the dish. There is none left to do so after the fact.

Picture by Mimiliz

Perhaps what my kids will remember is not a specific smell but simply the smell of something cooking that will make them feel at home and comforted. The smell of life all around them. Or maybe what they will remember is my perfume as they cuddled to me at the end of the day.

 Once I pass and can no longer give soothing words, perhaps this will remind them of me and wonder if they turn at the right moment they can talk to me once more.

Do you have a smell that transport you to a memory?