So I have this friend named Rachel…and the dog lived.

Today didn’t start out so hot. I didn’t get a chance to get rid of the hawk that’s been plaguing my chicken yard for the past week, despite getting up when it’s still dark outside. I am NOT a morning person. I have been getting up early for two days now with no success. Then my dog faked me out with an untimely death scare. Francesca Buttons isn’t just any dog. She is like our third furry child who pees on the rugs and loves to eat dirt. So basically, a tiny furry toddler. She has a smooshy monkey face and the happiest personality. Here is a photo:   spring12 007   She’s the most awesome dog we’ve ever had, and two days ago she started having a sniffly nose, and I didn’t think much about it since she was otherwise fine. Fast forward to this morning, and when I picked her up, she was sneezing so much, she had doggie snot from her nose to her shoulder.  Of course, it’s a Saturday and no veterinary offices are open with exception to the emergency clinic, so with a snotty and sneezing dog in one arm and a phone in the other I frantically call Jason to tell him Fran may have contracted something fatal and horrible and I was at fault.

As I drove through town, I was trying to come up with the correct verbiage on how to break Fran’s imminent death to my children (who, of course, are not at home) and simultaneously come up with a proper dog eulogy and burial procedure. (Would it be odd to invite friends? Are they still cloning dogs? Are people who stuff their dog really all that strange?)

I call my friend Rachel while trying not to choke on my words to see if she can bring some wood shavings to my house since I am on the way with a rapidly declining dog to the town 30 minutes away, and I need those shavings because the stupid hawk won’t leave my stupid chickens alone and now everyone has to stay in their way-too-small chicken houses and my poor chickens will be swimming in their own nasty poo thanks to the dumb hawk and I couldn’t make it to the dumb feed store because my dog is dying in a laundry basket in the back seat of my car.

Rachel says, “Sure.”

As we are leaving town, I notice Fran got quiet. I look in the back seat and she looks back at me as if to say, “What? May I help you?” No sneezing, no lolling tongue, no panicking. As I got to thinking about it, I remembered her only having a runny nose out of one nostril. Hmm.

My rusty brain gears get to squealing and then I thought: Maybe she has something shoved up her nostril? Maybe it isn’t the Parvotemperfluenzatella virus? As we are at the final red light just before turning into the clinic, Fran goes into a violent sneezing fit and I turn around. I see an eighth-inch long piece of green protruding from said nostril. OH. MY. GEEZY.

We pull into the emergency clinic parking lot (a 40 minute trip), and I rip open Fran’s door and extract a good one and a half inch long piece of grass from her nose hole. Sigh. SIGH. And, double sigh.

Maybe my dog is as frugal as I am; either way, she saved me an $80 visit by sneezing out a piece of Bahia in the parking lot. I tell this story to tell you: It ain’t been a great morning for me.  It was definitely a “Boo-Yay” kind of day, but I hate the stress rollercoaster. I hate it a lot. And mornings aren’t my thing, and neither is this cold yucky weather.

Enter my friend Rachel.

Rachel is my funny, thoughtful, list-wielding, introverted friend who never forgets anything. She is the person responsible for me wearing skirts and cardigans. Yes, so I totally stole her wardrobe ideas

. She loves Anthropologie, good wine, and delicious food.  She loves books, musicals, coffee, chickens, and gardens. She can’t stand inefficiency (Pickle, pickle, bun, bun—-inside joke there), large crowds (especially festivals), or people who steal her hand soap.

Actually, the first time I met Rachel, she DID forget something, and that was to order some chinchilla food for me(she worked at a feed store). I think that was the only thing she has forgotten in the ten years I have known her.


So with all that mess going on today, I was feeling low. Just snake-belly low.

Then she brought me an estate sale find. A vintage Neiman Marcus coffee mug covered in……mushrooms. I love mushrooms and I love owls. I now have mugs with both!  It is strikingly similar to my other favorite mug: mugs Bonus points for the inside of the mug being a perfect shade of a mushroom cap or perhaps a nice mushroom bisque.

Now today has become a “Boo-Yay-Yay” kind of day thanks to an extracted piece of grass and a dear friend who knows me all-too-well!

Much love to my friend who thinks about me at yard sales and brought a little bit of sunshine to me on this cold and dreary day!

For another post about a shared adoration of owls, mushrooms, and snails, head on over to Rachel’s blog post she wrote last month.

See you later, friends! I’m off to make some nice hot coffee in my ‘shroom mug….and hopefully tomorrow will be a lot more boring.