Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sophie Lee.....

One year has passed since we said goodbye to this beautiful Girl.  We still see her sweet face, feel her gentle nudges and her need to calm and comfort.  
Our year has been one of loss and gain, sadness and joy, changes and constant.
The losses felt harder, the sadness more deep, the changes not easy.
The gains felt less, the joy not as full, the constant less steady.....
without you by our sides
We love and miss you every day Sophie Lee.  Every single day.
In our hearts and memories you remain.  

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ivy and Me......

and Lola make three!
Please welcome our newest family member,
Lola Lee Schwalbach
Sweet Lola was gifted to our family by Denise of Labradorable English Labs, 
same wonderful home our Ivy came from.  Lola came to Denise from Maple Creek Labs where Ivy's Dad Rocco resides!  The Girls aren't connected genetically but they are connected by a couple of wonderful top notch breeders of Yellow English Labs and we are over the moon happy to be given the opportunity to give another Girl from Ohio a home with us.  
It was a heart wrenching decision for Denise to make as she had never re homed one of her pups that she had chosen to keep.  She put much thought into it and she knew in her heart that it would be the best for Lola to be with us here on the Lane.  Not because she didn't love her immensely but because she loved her so much and wanted her to be where she got not only the love but all of the attention she deserved as well.  
She is a sweet, calm and obviously beautiful three year old, just three months older than Ivy....
I know, two three year olds in the house!!  What was I thinking?  
Thinking about how much fun I was gonna have, that's what!!
The Girls were fast friends right from the get go and Ivy is the happiest I've seen her since we said goodbye to our sweet Sophie!  Well, with the exception of a couple visits from Sister Rumor and her day with the Michigan Six.  
Seems to be there will be little adjustment with our new Girl as she's fitting in just fine already....even Isabelle has given her the nod.  

We are in hopes that many of you will get the chance to meet Lola in person and we know she would love that too.  She's sweet to the core, just like all our other Girls and we know you'll love her too!

Poor Big Pop's.....four Girls to one!  
Two blondes, a redhead and the unpredictable tortie....
He's one lucky guy!!

From the Lane,
Ivy, Lola, Isabelle
& Big Pops

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


my word for 2019
albeit a bit late to be sharing it with all of you, BELIEVE it is.

I have been very absent from my writings here this past year of 2018
Mostly I think, as often times my heart could only find sad things to write,
and as the year dragged on, I lost words to put on paper, try as I might.  

It was a year of loss.  Our last parent, Mom Ione.  A final goodbye to our dear sweet Sophie.
A devastating diagnosis for my 23 year old nephew.  Kind, sweet, loving.
Talented, intelligent and with oh so much to offer this world.  
And those are just a few of the life changing days dealt us in 2018.  

We also had joy filled days as well.  Family gatherings filled with laughter.  Meetings with friends that warmed the heart.  My trip to Disney World with my brother and family....a celebration of life for my sweet nephew.  
Gatherings with friends who have become family and so much more.

We take Happy with Sad.  Laughter with Tears.
Joys with Sorrows.
We believe in Life and Love 
Family and Friends
God and Miracles
We believe that good things will happen in this New Year
We believe that our prayers will be answered for miracles of healing,
mending of fences and broken hearts
and we believe in all things good.....
believe along with us 
And if you might....send a prayer for a miracle sent our way

Happy New Year
Thank you for your support of my little dream here on the Lane....
a dream I would throw to the wind if it would bring us the miracle we pray for.

May it be your best year yet.....
From the Lane,

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


a simple word, that holds so much meaning. 
Thanksgiving and Gratitude.  Being Grateful.  Giving Thanks.  

Big, small and everything in between.  
Not always joyful, not always good, but always for a purpose.

2018 has been a challenging year for me personally and also for loved ones and friends.  
The challenges should make us appreciate all we have and know that we are given them for a reason.  We may not know the reason now, but God has a purpose and we must trust in that.

Life is short.  Never let the chance pass to let those you love know just how much they mean to you.  
Make memories.  We don't get do overs so don't regret the past but strive to do your best in your days ahead.  Be kind.  Be considerate. Don't judge.
Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody.  

Small things.  Big things.  Everything in between.  
Show gratitude for each and every one.  

My Thanksgiving wish is for a miracle....a rather big one.  Those of you who know me well will know the miracle I wish for and I know you pray for it to come true.  For that I thank you.  
For those who don't, just know it involves someone very close to my heart.  A young man who deserves this miracle more than anyone I know.  He is good.  He is kind.  He is loved by many.  
Please join me in this prayer.  

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving filled with love, family, friends and gratitude.

Thank you God for this good life.
Small things, big things, and everything in between.
And forgive me if I don't love it enough.

Be Blessed,

Friday, October 12, 2018

Although it would appear that I can party like an absolute Rock Star......

it's become apparent that I can't recover like one!

To say the least it's been a busy couple months for me....two weeks north, the packing and unpacking, repacking and unpacking...14 days worth of laundry.  The Labor Day holiday, followed by, or I might say the continued preparation for the "Home and Harvest". *  More packing, flying and keeping up with the youngun's at Disney World **,  more flying, unpacking and laundry.  Prep for an Oxford Punch class of 10, lots of prep, hours.  Kitting up  "Sophie'sSong" and "PumpkinCrazy" and starting new projects for the rest of the year.

I did it.  Made it through.  The Cabin, "Home and Harvest", Disney and all that followed and enjoyed every second of it.....and then it hit.  I'm not real sure yet what "it" is but let's just say it grabbed me by the seat of the pants and whipped me around until I feel about as energized as a wet dishrag and probably look much like one.  Before you lecture, I got my flu shot.  Early September.  I'm glad I did or Cammy would most likely be reading my self written eulogy.  Seriously.
Going on almost two weeks with this and determined to beat it as those that know me well know I'm not easily sidelined.  Although I will have to admit that I felt bad enough this week to cancel my Cellar Stitchers class.  Yes cancelled.  But we will hopefully make it up next week and all will be well with most of the world.

The moral to my story....
Please get your flu shot.  If what took hold of me is any indication of what could be in store for all this flu season, please, get one if you are in the at risk category.  Please.

Lots of fun things planned for here on the Lane yet this year.  Some great classes and open hooking/punching opportunities coming up along with more great things!
Follow our page on FB at YellowDog Lane for the most up to date postings and continue to follow us here as we hope to be a bit better at updating you about Life on the Lane.

From the Lane,

*Although the prep for "Home & Harvest" was a rough one, we have preparations in full swing for
"Home & Holiday"
Saturday November 17 ~ 10am-2pm
More info to follow soon!

**It's important you know, I had no problem keeping up with the kids at Disney.  I'm not sure if I was the only 63+ year old running from ride to ride at 10:45 at night to get, "just one more in"...but I was probably one of few.  I never missed a beat.
Life is short, seize the moment.....every one you can.
We made the sweetest memories 🧡

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dirt Road Diva's......

I know, a "Diva" is actually "a distinguished female singer, Prima Donna", according to the dictionary that is.  Well, I needed a title....and a tag of sorts as it seems like Ivy and Me do a lot of tracking on the dirt roads, making memories....living adventures.  They aren't all dirt roads mind you, but back roads, country roads.  A good friend uses the tag "backroads" so obviously it would be a "copy" if I used that, and all I could come up with for the country was Country Road Cruisers.  Lame.  
So, Dirt Road Diva's are we!  What we aren't is distinguished female singers.  We are female and we do sing.  Well, I sing, and I do believe that Ivy taps her paw and hums along.  

We've been in a bit of a funk since we said goodbye to our sweet Sophie.  I haven't had words to write that wouldn't make me, and most of you come to tears.  I haven't been able to find much of a song either and like I just said, I sing.  I love to sing, I'm told by my boys and Big Pops that I can make a song out of anything.  I didn't say I was a good songstress but I always have some sort of song or another to sing.  Those songs have been missing here the past couple of months.  I guess I just couldn't pull the joy out that I needed to find my song, and then....Ivy and I went for a long ride in Ranger Reba the other night.  She is now my Shotgun Rider and right now we don't have a Miss Daisy to fill the back seat.  Just the two of us.  The rides have been lonely for us, that is until this ride.  
I'm not sure about Ivy, but I think I can speak for both of us and say that we had an Angel in the back seat.  Really we did.  Or the feeling and presence of someone we love.  Ever get that feeling?  

It all started as we flew by these freshly baled hay and straw fields

and then as we continued down the familiar dirt road.  One I traveled as a child and beyond.  Over the bridge where the creek flows.  The creek that we fished when I was young.  The same one I waded in accompanied by an earlier faithful companion.
The dirt road that has the old boards peeking through that were laid eons ago to cross the wetland area before they used gravel.  Past the corn fields....
across the dirt road from where I lived as I grew up
We pulled in to the drive of the old farm house....the house no longer stands, lost to a fire a few years back.  Barely a remnant of the old beauty but in my mind I can see it all, every last detail and that's when I felt the song in my heart begin to build.
The old barn and the silo where I hung from the bottom ladder rung whenever I had the chance.
The chicken coop and the rabbit hutch that I played hours on end in

The apple and pear trees I picked the fruits of.

Old and wonderful memories.  A new Shotgun Rider by my side and the presence of the past one riding back seat.  I think she may have had someone by her side back there too.  My Dad always said, "if you've got a song, sing it", and so we did.  All the way back to the Lane I let the sorrow go and I sang a joyful song.  Ivy hummed along and tapped her paw and I do believe there was a paw and a foot tappin' coming from the back seat keeping tempo with those tunes.
Old memories revisited.  New memories made.  Some of the sorrow released and replaced with the new found joy of today and what tomorrow will bring.

Life is short, don't forget to sing your song.  Often.

From the Lane,

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Our Miracle Girl......

we got almost and extra year with our sweet Girl, and a good year.
They called it a miracle that she pulled through and that she pulled through so strong and happy even more surprising.  We were warned at the time that with each recurrence of this awful 
autoimmune disease that took hold of her, it would be much more difficult to put into remission.  
They were right.  For the past almost month we have tried.  Everything.  
I prayed all the way home last night on our midnight ride from the Yoop that God would give us another miracle for our Girl, just a tiny one.  Just to make her well enough to be able to come home to feel good enough to take her walk down the Lane and around the Farm.  Take a ride through the fields on Reba....my Shotgun Rider.  

My heart breaks as I say that it wasn't meant to be.  She was a critically ill Girl and there was no modern medicine to give her those extra days or hours we so wanted with her.  
I always remember a friend telling me many years ago, when at the door of making this decision for someone you love so, you must always remember to think with your head, not with your heart.
We told ourselves that over and over and although our hearts were screaming, no, no, no....our heads told us, that what was best for her was to let her go.  It was time.
We made the heartbreaking choice to say our last goodbyes.  

We spent time with her.  Showing her the love she has always known and telling her we didn't want to say goodbye but we wanted her to be free from the suffering.  
I held her sweet, sweet face and could read in those sad brown eyes the pain she was feeling and I knew we had to let her go.  I kissed her soft snout as Pops caressed her forehead.  
She closed her eyes, nuzzled my face and let out a long last breath.  
We knew instantly that she was at peace.  
We also knew our hearts were shattered.  Peace will come for us in time.  
We will miss our Miracle Girl every day.  Every single day.

She now runs free and we choose to think she has met up with her big Sis Grace and most likely her Momma Ginger.  We also believe that we will meet them all again.  
God would not put these wonderful beings among us on earth if he had no place for them in heaven.  

Run with the wind sweet Sophie!
We loved you more.....

Sophie Lee Schwalbach
of YellowDog Lane
January, 2010 ~ May, 2018

With hurting hearts,
from The Lane....
Big Pops, Sharon
Ivy & Isabelle

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Oil Patch.....

a well known moniker by those who work or have worked in the oil fields.
Makes it sound sort of cute, like the pumpkin patch or the strawberry patch.
Well, that would be a definite misnomer if you asked those who have spent many hours, days, months and years working from dawn to dusk and beyond in those "patches".  
Not much cute about it.  Time spent in sub zero weather, scorching heat and everything in between.  The only respite offered, in the "dog house, most often an old and used up camper trailer remade into somewhat of a locker type room for the workers to take breaks and lunch. 
 Not an easy job to glorify, but this guy....the guy that many of you know personally and most of you know as Big Poppy, well he kinda liked this job.
After nearly forty years, almost 30 of those spent at the helm of this big red rig, Big Pops hung up his hard hat and those oil covered coveralls and bid farewell to those long hours, early mornings, late nights and too much time spent away from home.
As of last Friday, he has officially joined the ranks of the retired.  His last day was a tough one.  
Saying goodbye to many people and routines that have consumed so many years of his life.  
I have been blessed enough to have spent over half of those years with this man.  
He never complained of the hours, the cold or heat, the sometimes back breaking work.  The days missed going in over those years can be counted on one hand.  A work ethic that many know nothing of in todays world, nor have they experienced this level of hard work.
Not a glorified job by most but I am writing this to give just a bit of that glory deserved to Big Pops.
Pulling oil and gas from the ground over the years to help the country move along.  Just a small cog in the big wheel that makes it all turn, but in my book, a very important one.
I'm sure you've figured out by now just how proud I am of this man and I am so excited that he is stepping into days, hopefully years, of much deserved respite and time to enjoy life.
  I've been telling him that once he retired I was going to teach him how to dance.  
He had his first lesson last night.  No fancy dance floor or attire.
Just our outdoor work clothes and the cement garage approach.  
I cranked up the mini Bose and the notes of Brett Young's "In Case You Didn't Know" wafted through the treetops as we did a sweet step on our make shift dance floor.
For his first lesson I will have to say, he did mighty fine.  He even managed to dip me quite gracefully at songs end.  I know, it's probably hard for you to envision "graceful" when thinking of two old fogies, in their work clothes, on the cement approach, dancing to a portable sound box.....
but I can assure you, grace was surely there.
Here's to many more dances on the cement dance floor!
Oh, and Big Poppy.....In Case You Didn't Know, I'm Crazy About You.

From the Lane,

Sunday, April 1, 2018

No April Fools.....

just Easter Blessing that we wish to You

A day filled with blessings to you and yours....
A month filled with all that and much more!

From All of Us here on the Lane!
Big Pops, Sharon
Sophie, Ivy and Isabelle

Thursday, February 22, 2018


and no, I'm not breaking into a rendition of the Beatles song.
My story of Yesterday......

It actually started out at around 1:30 am with Miss Lively Ivy's sweet face pushed up against mine.  
She seems to feel the need to go out and explore during the night, well or at least perch herself on the Farmer's Porch and sniff the air.  Most likely she would wander but she's scared of the dark, thankfully for me.  I let her savor the air a bit and then get her back in and on her bed.....yes "her" bed, although she did beg quite heavily to be let up on ours.  
So it's 1:45 by now let's say.  I snuggle back in and of course, I can't sleep.  Tossing, turning.  Up, down.  The night was long.  At 4:20 Big Pops alarm sounds.  He hops up...well, that's stretching it a bit.  He doesn't hop, most especially in the morning.  He doesn't talk either, his first hour or so he mainly grunts his answers.  He is not a morning person.  Anyway.....he is up and the Girls get to join me on the bed, usually one on each side of me.  Snugged up.  I am kind of like the sausage in the bun.  
I fall asleep, hard.  When I wake I realize I need to get going as I have the Cellar Stitchers arriving.
I jump out of bed, I do jump.  Take the Girls out and get them breakfast.  I grab a cup of coffee and take it to the bedroom with me to savor a bit while I get ready.  In my haste at getting out of bed I failed to grab my glasses.  Can't see much of anything without them.  I attempt to sit my full cup of hot coffee on the night stand, I miss it completely and the floor is flooded with coffee as are my slippers and pajama pants.  I grab a bath towel to sop up my mess and then go to check on the Girls.  Kick my slippers off and slip on my ankle Mucks and out the door I go.  They come running.
I turn the door knob.  Locked.  No problem, I have a key right here.  Well, I usually have a key right here, someone used it and didn't put it back.  I try all the doors, but of course they're locked.  I lock them.  My only option at this point is to attempt a crawl through the pet door, which thankfully is open for the Girls to exit after breakfast.  I've done this several times in the past, mostly at the old house but once here.  I wasn't almost 63 when I did it the last time.  It gets harder.  You need to go arms over your head first and then wiggle through.  I do manage to master it and we're in.
This is when I notice that laying on the counter is the deposit that I thought Pops had made on Saturday, that needed to be made on Saturday.  It wasn't.  I rush to slap some makeup on, get dressed and run a brush through my hair.  Figure if I'm out the door in less than 10 I can be at the drive through and back home before 9 to ready the Studio for the Stitchers.  
I get to the bank at 8:45, drive up to the window.  Amy and Shelby turn and look at me....and I will have to say, sweetly smile and wave.  That's when I see the sign that say the window opens at 9am.  
It use to open at 8:30.  Now I wonder how many times I've driven up there before opening and they've always kindly tended to taking my deposit and giving the Girls a treat?  
They must think I'm nuts.  Which maybe isn't that far fetched I'm thinking.  
I get back home and it is only when I jump out of the Blazer that I realize I still have my coffee drenched pajama pants on and my Mucks.  I was perfectly dressed from the waist up.
My Lord, what if I'd been stopped for speeding?  
This all before 9am.  I was still a bit helter skelter when the Stitchers arrived but their sweetness and understanding quickly turned my day in a much better direction.  
It seems as if I might be leaving something out but for the life of me I can't remember....
that might quite well be a good thing.  

And there you have it......
Here on YellowDog Lane

Nothing but blue skies and sunshine today....
A good nights sleep and lots of stitching awaiting me.
Wishing you all a day filled with all of that and more.

From the Lane,

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

On this Valentine's Day.....

sharing the words of a husband and father
These words, handwritten on a simple piece of paper
Words of love and devotion to his Wife and his Children
Simple paper, priceless words

Ione ~
Truly my last thoughts will be of you ~ and the kids ~

I first read this note a few weeks ago at the memorial for Big Pops Mom and Dad.
His Mom, Ione, passed on January 2.  Dad Jack, passed five years ago
The memorial was for both
As I read these words my first thought was, what a gift this simple note was not only to Ione and the kids, but to all who are connected to them and to Jack.  
It confirmed to me where my husband got his huge heart and gentle spirit
His devotion to his family and those he cares about
How lucky I am to call him my Husband
How lucky others are to call him Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Friend.....
Big Pops

Wishing you all a day of love...
and may you all find yourselves as loved as these simple words are meant

From the Lane,

Sophie Lee.....

One year has passed since we said goodbye to this beautiful Girl.  We still see her sweet face, feel her gentle nudges and her need to ca...