Hannah Joy’s Birthday

Today is Hannah Joy’s birthday. Well, we don’t know the day she was actually born, but four years ago today we adopted her from the animal shelter. I’m calling this her birthday because she began her new life with us. She was the best Christmas gift ever….well, except for the baby born in a manger 2,000 years ago. Nothing can compare to THAT birth.

For new readers: Hannah Joy was one of three dogs who had been rescued from an owner who had kept them outside 24/7 and starved them. Hannah Joy (and the others) was so thin that we could count all her ribs. We have loved and pampered her and while she is still food-obsessed, she is no longer skin and bones. She has been such a blessing and a joy to us. She is intelligent, opinionated, and expressively vocal. She is sweet, loving, and loves to cuddle. When EJ is home on the weekends, she goes to him for her “goodnight kiss” before she heads off to bed. She insists on being part of all our activities, and she takes serious responsibility for our protection, entertainment, and exercise, as well as cleaning up if anything falls from the kitchen counter while we are cooking. She also does things like steals kleenex from my pockets and eats them. We call her adorably quirky. You can read the story of the day we adopted her here: Introducing Hannah Joy. Above and below are photos taken the day we adopted her.

Hannah Joy sometimes invents games for us to play with her, which I think is hilarious, but this is a game I invented for her. It’s sort of like the children’s game, Simon Says. I tell her to sit and then I call out random words. She “loses” if she runs to me without the “correct” word being said–a Hebrew word that releases her. Every now and then she “loses,” usually when the word sounds similar to her release word, but she rarely makes a mistake on a word more than once. Here is a video of our game.

Last weekend EJ made homemade cat food for the outside cats. He ground up old liver and beef tongue that someone gave us (which I will NOT eat) along with an egg or two. I think he baked the meat first–I was doing other things and not paying close attention. Then he scooped it into cupcake pans and froze them. I thaw one cake each day for the cats. We figure they should have an extra treat since they are not inside cats. They love the homemade food so much that they “chitter” like a squirrel when they see me coming with it. Making homemade cat food is now added to EJ’s lists of tasks. We will have to find a cheap source of meat for them when we run out of what we have.

We discussed what to have for Christmas dinner. EJ suggested turkey, but we still have a lot of homemade potpies in the freezer that I made from leftover Thanksgiving. We finally decided to just get deli meat and fixes for sub sandwiches and chips for a low-key meal. He will go shopping tomorrow morning.

For gifts, we just plan to go to Goodwill or the Habitat for Humanity re-store. We are at an age where gifts aren’t all that important to us. We most value the gift of togetherness and peace. But we do enjoy “treasure hunting” at thrift stores. Starting tomorrow, EJ has a few days off for the holidays so we will probably go on Monday.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with love and laughter.

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