Saturday, November 28, 2015

It's NORA'S Birthday today!

So! I got a birthday greeting from the vet clinic that I work at, wishing Nora a Happy Birthday today.
I text Kitty, who's working today 
(yes, that's her name! and she gets SO much grief for it, working at a vet clinic! LOL!)
to double check how old my Nora is. Kitty said she's 9!!!
I asked her to make Nora 3 again and while she's at it, make Blue 2. 
Kitty said she'd take care of that for us.
So, here's a big Happy Birthday to my Nora! 

She's absolutely wonderful and would protect me to the death. I'm so happy she's mine.

She certainly doesn't get the credit she deserves, living with such characters!

I'm so grateful that her previous owner was such a stupid selfish idiot, otherwise I wouldn't have this perfect dog in my life!
Xoxo to my Nora!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Work, Poop, Feeling Tired and Jimmy

This week will be a crazy one.
Today was kinda horrible.
I came in to work to find many of the boarders had accidents and then jumped in and on it.
Yep. An old tiny Aussie was waddling around with poopy dreadlocks hanging off his butt. 
A crazy yellow lab who had jumped and spun in it and an elderly sick corgi mix that smeared it all over the walls of his run.
(I actually have a story about that old guy but I'll save it for another day.)
Yep, lots of fun.
So I had to give baths to them all.
That's my duty, not the groomers.
The groomer only "grooms" her own clients.
She will do my boarders but they must call her and book an appointment.
She has also decided that she's too old and tired to bathe large dogs, rowdy dogs or pitbulls. So if they need just a bath, they have to set it up with me.
I only get 25% so it's not a big money maker for me and I have it set up that the money is directly applied to my account.
I figure if I don't have it in my hand, I won't spend it.
Anyway, the funniest part of this whole thing is...
I'm 5 years older than the groomer!
Oh well!

So tomorrow should be an ok day but Wednesday, my half day at work, I have 22 more boarders coming in between 8 to 11 that morning.
Should be interesting.
So as always, Thanksgiving will be packed to the max as well as the weekend.
That's just the nature of the business.
I can feel my throat feeling sore and I'm kinda achy all over but I'll drink some Alka Seltzer cold medicine and get some sleep and I'll be fine.

I need to get to work on my Art.
I've been doing some sketches but to be honest, yesterday I just cleaned the house and then spent some time online and then sort of crashed.
I was on a roll for a while there, creating paintings, and then I got distracted.
I need to organize my time better and make sure  I squeeze creative time in there someplace or I'll be washing poopy butts forever!

I'll leave you with a couple of photos of Jimmy Chew that I took yesterday.
He actually got exhausted from being his rowdy self and he just crashed too.
Yep, Jimmy Chew and I were feeling the same.





Saturday, November 21, 2015


This morning -
(My apple tree)

The back yard dog area -
Blue clearing a path for Ping -
And then Blue hurried back to the door, leaving Ping by herself!
But Ping didn't dilly dally.
She was quickly behind him, running to get back inside.

None of us are too happy about this latest development.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I'm a natural worrier.
I worry about absolutely everything.
Big things, little things ...
I worry so much that I sometimes become paralyzed in making a decision.
I need to get out off my own head and stop worrying and enjoy NOW.
And yet, some people I know never seemed worried.
Are you a worrier too?
What do you worry about?

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Blue was born!
Here he is the day I brought him home.
8 weeks old and 20 lbs.

Here is the same night and then a comparison shot from not too long ago!
And now!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I can't believe how well Blue is doing!
Here are two quick videos of him from yesterday.
Both are less than 15 seconds.
In the first one you can hear Blue.
He always sounds like a Lion.
He's not ROARING but he still has that Lion growl.
It's a playful growl of excitement at Jimmy who is just off camera.

The second video,
please ignore my voice. Ugh.
And Yes, I call out to Blue even though he can't hear me.
I normally do a lot of "motions" with him but I do talk to him too.
And you'll see a second of Jimmy and Nora.


I got an email a while back from a reader.
Actually I apparently had another email prior to it
but I think I must have dismissed it as spam and it wasn't.
She wanted to know if I'd write a post about a female mentor I might have.
Someone who I has come up with a novel way to save money!
I told her that I doubted that I would be the person to ask to write this but she urged me on.
She stated that only 53 percent of women have saved and made a retirement plan
compared to 65% of men.
I responded back to this that it didn't surprise me as typically women make less money than men
so therefore don't have the funds to save.
And also, so many times a single woman is taking care of others too.
I told her that I had friends who might make for a good mentor on saving money
but ultimately they all have a common factor in their lives
and that was having a husband who helped add to the financial situation.
But Marianne, still wanted me to write about a female mentor.

Now, truth be told. My biggest financial mentor isn't female.
His words echo in my head and sometimes I swear his voice still guides me.
Whenever I've gotten myself into financial trouble, it's because I ignored his voice and
rebelliously went ahead and did what I wanted to.
So, I will include him too, my dad who passed many years ago, even if I'm not suppose to.

But first, I'll start with the only female role model I have who is not married.
Now let me take a moment here and make it very clear that I mean no
insult towards all my married friends.
I'm very happy that they found someone to share their lives with.

I unfortunately never found that and that's OK.
I'm just saying, I imagine life might be a teeny tiny bit easier having someone help
with the financial load.
Therefore the best tip on saving some cash, planning for retirement and all that stuff, 
would be to find a good mate, a funny compassionate person with a good job.
There you have it. My best tip.

But life doesn't work out as we plan (and I've probably let a good one or two slip away)
but obviously it wasn't meant to be.
So.... Who is my FEMALE role model?

It would have to be Tammy.

She's worked hard and took care of herself and always kept a very positive attitude.
She lives simply but beautifully. She rejoices in minimalism and does not need THINGS.
She's the most caring and giving person and I think that's why she's so happy.
Her wonderful energy radiates out and circles back to her. 
I'm trying EVERY DAY to be more like her.
To let "stuff" go and to just appreciate BEING.
To experience real joy from a puppy's face or a good book, a movie or
conversation over a great meal.
The woman is a true inspiration and all it takes for her to be ecstatic is for it to rain!
That's not to say that she wouldn't like to win the Lottery.
But for her, it wouldn't be about big houses and cars.
It would about seeing friends she's never met.
Or helping out the whales, the elephants, the animal rescue groups...
So she's my mentor financially but so much more.
She's my reminder that once the bills are paid and the critters are cared for ...
Well,...most important things are free or not all that expensive.

And then there's my other mentor, my Dad.

Who tried to be my financial mentor from day ONE and I now regret not following his advice earlier.
It's only in the last few years, I realize how right he was about MONEY.
Maybe not about a lot of other stuff, but money, yeah. He had that figured out.

His tips for saving money are not gender related and I think would be useful to anyone. 
Here they are:
Buy quality.
Buy it once and make it last.
Repair don't replace.
Don't charge what you can't pay off next month.
Don't charge unless it would be foolish not to. -
Example: you need a refrigerator but don't have the full amount and
you find the perfect one and its on sale and you can pay it off before the
no-interest offer expires.
Then he might say to charge it. But begrudgingly.

NO, now that I think about it,

what he'd really say is that you KNEW that the
refrigerator was OLD and you SHOULD have been saving up for it.
More tips -
Don't pay rent.
Buy a house you can afford that's nice but not too big and easy to maintain,
in the best neighborhood you can afford.

Take care of your home.
Caulk the windows, clear the gutters, be watchful and save for rainy day repairs.
Don't pay others for what you can do yourself.
Help your friends and they will help you when there are things you can't do yourself.
Make good friends, real friends - once again, QUALITY over quantity.
Save your warranties.
Be polite but firm in financial transactions.
Don't let people walk all over you, have a sense of humor but don't back down
when it comes to getting your money's worth.
Eat healthy and don't waste food.- he always said to push yourself away from the table
a little bit hungry. That it's not good to be FULL.
(OK, gotta admit I don't do that one for sure!)

And finally the last piece of advice of his that I remember and will always, is....
Time with your loved one is more important than any amount of money.

He used to work all week and go out in the evenings and work some more.
He was an insurance agent.
In those days he'd go on calls and do sales and also collect money in the evenings!
He actually had his own route of his clients who he'd stop by monthly
and pick up their payments.
He made a very nice living and we lived in a nice home and then
my mother got Cancer, was ill for long while at home, then hospitalized and then died.
Afterwards he told me that his greatest regret was leaving her home alone so much
and how if he had known how life would play out,
he would have spent every moment he could have, with her.

So, my two mentors have helped me to decide a few things about my own retirement.
They have both shown me that life isn't all about having things.
That there's nothing wrong with having a few nice needed or treasured items but
just remember to take care of them so as not to waste money replacing them.
To spend times with those I love and to realize real friends are priceless.

And then I've decided a few things on my own.
I know that we are all told to invest and while that might work very well for others it won't be
happening with me except for how they invest the money in my 401K at work.
A 401K that doesn't have enough to buy a good second hand car!
But someday might be able to replace my roof.
Instead I will invest in myself.
I will work on my Art, that right now isn't a business yet. 
It's just me selling a little bit and then buying more Art supplies
but I will keep carving out spare moments and someday it WILL be my business.
And I will never retire from that, I will never want to.
I will work on paying down my debts and repairing and then maintaining my home.
Some day I will be debt free.

I don't think I will move but rather live many places.
I was telling my sister that this weekend. 
How maybe I will rent out my home and drive an RV or something

and stay with her in Vermont when they retire there and when the weather is beautiful
and then when it turns bitter cold, me and my current old dog will head south!
Yep, I could do my Art anywhere and just keep moving and having adventures
until the day comes that I don't.

Yep, that's today's plan...but who knows.

I should mention that you can track your personal finances with free apps like those from Personal Capital.
You can check those out here!

This isn't a sponsored post or anything.
I just agreed to do it to make myself actually THINK about it.
So, all in all, this has been a good thing.

It's something that I would kinda start to think about but then push from my mind...
Like last month when I carried out that Golden, I didn't mention it before but,
I messed up my knee.
I really hurt the dang thing and I've been stretching and twisting and
sleeping in weird positions, hoping it will go back to where it was and feel better.
I've been careful and babied it and finally today it doesn't ache.
Yep, I think I learned that from my mentors too.
To try to walk it off, if possible!

But it's also a little wake-up call to me to think about the future.
So there you have it. 
That's MY retirement plan. 
At least for today.
(On a side note. This text is still wonky! The spacing is weird and... it's got to Blogger.)

Sunday, November 8, 2015


OK, I fixed that post.
The one about Blue being sick
(but now he's fine.)
I finally got the photo's to upload 
but now everything is showing up as a post, posting 21 hours ago when it was only 20 minutes ago!
I give up. 
I need to do something else.
I'm hating Blogger right now.
But if you want to see cute photos of guilty Jimmy Chew, 
There's a post 21 hours hours ago.
Well, at least Blogger is free.
Thanks for your time and patience.
My own patience is gone.


OK, let's try this again.
Although it has become kinda of a mute point, seeings how Blue is now doing well.
But I did have some cute photos of Jimmy AND there's a part of me that just wants to fix this darn post!
At first I couldn't load my photos.
Then the post didn't post, just the header I guess.
But some people got just the words of the post in an email.
Jeez, I have no idea what was going on.
Now I think maybe it was a blogger problem because when I went back and read this morning's post
I noticed that the font was all wonky.
So of it was big and some small and while I was super tired and had not had my coffee...
I don't think I did that.
I'm thinking something was/is up with blogger.
SO, here's my final effort for my post entitled -
I just thought some fans of Jimmy Chew would like to see how his guilty little face gives him away every time!
OK, here it goes! I hope this posts as it should. (Fingers crossed.)
* and Thanks again for all the kind words and concern over my boy Blue*

Wednesday night Blue didn't want to eat.
That is NOT normal.
Then he started making a deep "humming" noise.
A couple of times he made a little gagging noise and then back to the humming.
I felt his belly. It wasn't swollen or hard.
If it had been, I would have loaded him up and driven like a bat out of Hell to get him help.
A swollen hard belly accompanied by drooling, pacing and the inability to get comfortable are all signs of bloat.
Dogs very rarely survive bloat.
But nevertheless, I spent most of the  evening just staring at him and trying to get him to eat some bread or just poking his tummy.
He finally hid under the kitchen table, to get away from me.
Sometimes his upper body trembled and wouldn't stop when I stroked his coat.
He went outside and had a loose stool.
I Googled all his symptoms and posted them on Facebook as most of the vet techs that I know and one of the doctors, follow me on there.
Everyone seemed to think he was just having an "off" night and most likely be better in the morning.
So he and I had a restless night and he had to go outside once at about 2:30 am.
In the morning he was sluggish and still would not eat.
I took him and Nora and Jimmy to work.
He didn't have the strength to pull himself up onto the van seat so I had pick up his hind end and shove him in.
I strapped the seatbelt over him and the other two bounced happily in the back.
When I got to work I went in said that I knew it was surgery day but - these were his symptoms.
Then I said that this was THE reason I worked there and that someone needed to look at him ASAP.
They took his temperature right away, drew blood and ran several tests and...
found nothing.
That's when we decided to do an X-Ray.
I knew something was really wrong when we lifted him to the table and he just laid there without moving.
As they positioned him I held his head. The vet techs remarked how good he was and I said that I really worried because he had to feel horrible if he didn't move at all.
So the X-rays showed some opaque objects in his stomach.
I had no clue what it could be.
They gave him some injections for pain and some pills for the loose stools and special canned food.
The vet said that whatever it was could remain in his belly for sometime but they were small enough that they should eventually pass.
Thankfully he's so big that it should TRAVEL out...
I kept running through my mind what he could have gotten into.
He's just not the type of dog to eat things he shouldn't.
Then it dawned on me.
Last week I was going through things in the spare bedroom where Blue, Nora and Jimmy stay during the day while I'm at work.
I had a big retro shelving unit in there that I cleared off and took to my booth.
I had a lot of art/craft stuff on those shelves and I suddenly remembered how I had moved a bag of little pebbles that I had bought at the dollar store.
I had gotten them to use in my little fairy garden (and of course, never did).
After I had moved them, I came home to find the bag off the top of the dresser where I had placed it and ripped apart and scattered all over the floor and over the bed they sleep on.
I had gathered them up and for a moment worried about the dogs possibly eating some.
But then I thought NO, they wouldn't eat rocks!
The pebbles were small dime-sized in brown, tan and white colors.
Now I suddenly I thought 
What if Blue just slurped some up?
I went to the vet and told him about the pebbles and he said - Yep! That could be it!
I was very irritated that someone had gotten those pebbles off the dresser and made Blue so sick.
OK. I hate to blame anyone when I can't be sure but...
I'm betting it was Jimmy Chew!
Later in the afternoon Blue started to perk up.
He wasn't a 100 % but he was much better than before.
I took all three dogs out to the play yard.-

Hey Jimmy! Come here!

Blue isn't feeling good.

He slurped up some pebbles.

Do you know who ripped open that bag?   

Jimmy? Jimmy? Was it you?

I think it was.

And Nora? No, I doubt that it was Nora.

She doesn't care.

She's busy looking for sticks.

Yep, she's just happy with her stick.

I might be joking now... but I tell ya.
I was a basket case.
Truly, I hate loving anyone this much.


Last night I tried to do a post about Blue being sick.
The photos wouldn't upload.
I gave up and went to bed.
I'll try to post it again, later today... after I get home from WORK!
Yeah, I JUST now got a call from my boarding girl that she's sick and can't make it in.
I'm currently a zombie and waiting for my coffee
and then I'm out the door.
But I noticed an email from Vicki.
She said that the TITLE of my post about Blue being sick came up but nothing else.
She was alarmed and worried about Blue.
I'm SO SORRY for scaring her and anyone else out there.
Blue is fine now.
I just was giving the details of what happened 
and... WHO caused it.
OK, coffee is ready and I gotta go.
Sorry for the confusion
and deeply touched by the friendship.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I took Blue, Nora and Jimmy with me to work yesterday.
Tuesday are my long days.
My double shift days.
But right now it's the calm before the storm. 
The weekends are still busy, people still taking day trips, but mid-week its been a bit slow.
This is good because I'm able to do deep cleaning, rearrange things and toss what is not needed!
Since I didn't have a lot of boarders I decided to bring my dogs along.
I figured that they could all get nail trims and if it stayed slow enough, hopefully baths.
Jimmy and Nora are always good about the baths, but Blue is the best.
He will stand there and silently suffer through it.
The other two tend to jump and twist and turn but Blue is like a rock.
He takes up the whole space in the shower stall so I'm only able to suds up his back and one side and then when I need to do to other side, I will lift up his chin so that he is looking at me and then I take my pointer finger and draw a circle in the air. 
Somehow he's figured out that this gesture means for him to turn around and he does.
I'd like to say it's because of great training on my part or that I read up on it and learned how to handle a deaf dog but it's not that at all.
I never read a thing.
I just always went with the flow of what seemed natural to do and he just gets it.
It's always been him.
He knows.
He just "listens" to me better than all the others.
This not to imply that he does these things happily.
In fact he wasn't happy about the bath experience at all.
Afterwards he gave me the "sad eyes" look.

Which turned into the "evil eye" look

Which finally became the "forget you" look

And then into the cold shoulder "I choose to ignore you" look.


Sunday, November 1, 2015


So I got an email the other day from Uncommongoods asking if I'd like to do a sponsored post.
I was at work at the clinic at the time and when I went to the website I instantly loved what I saw.
I went up front and showed my friend/co-worker and we laughed and commented how funny the cat things were.
We laughed when we saw the cat scratchers!

How cute!
What a cool idea.
Then we looked further. 
We both picked out different items that we loved.
Of course I wanted all the different things for my cats -

and then I wanted the cute donut toys for the dogs

or the pillows for my sofa! I LOVED the pillows!

They would look so cool in my house.
Check it out HERE.
Then I came across the ceramic bee feeder!

OMG! my sister would love that.
She's all about bees.
She even has a little bee tattoo! That's how much she loves them.
And...I want one too for my garden!

Then I found a mug with a lid that holds your tea bag!

My oldest niece only drinks herbal teas. What a great Christmas idea!

I found Owl hand warmers for Lily

and Alpaca socks for my brother-in-law,

the hardest to buy for person in the world!

My middle niece loves handmade items and she loves to bake.
She's a wonderful baker, She's been one since she was little and she even worked at a bakery while going to college.
Maybe she'd like the egg separator 

or the bundt baking dish

or the batter bowl!

OMG! so hard to choose, I could have my Christmas shopping done in one swoop!
and here's another really cool thing.

They are one AWESOME company.
Read about them HERE!
They care about the environment and about their employees.
They are all about handmade, recycled and organic.
They sell nothing that would harm animals.
No leather, feathers or fur.
They try to do most sales online in an effort to save paper and are very conscientious about using recycled paper or paper from FSC forests, when they do mail catalogs.
They "give back" and even include the option to donate at check-out to a selection of non-profits.
and they are a B corporation, the Certified B Corporation seal means that a company has undergone and passed a comprehensive screening questionnaire, which evaluates areas including company governance, environmental practices, and impacts on the local community.

I've been trying to stay away from the big box stores.
The stores with almost everything made in China.
I try to buy gifts at Art/Craft shows.
Or pick up cool items at estate sales and such, as a way to pass on a treasured item and recycle.
The more that I read about Uncommongoods, the more excited I got.
I love what they are doing.
You can read their blog HERE

They are the kind of company that some day, when I've got my Art business up and running and I feel like my work is ready, that I would happily summit my work to!
They have a great selection of Art - HERE
Here are two pieces that I think have some similarities to my work -

Hopefully they would feel that my Art would fit in well with the other work that is offered.

So please take a moment and look at all the amazing things they have to offer.

I'm thinking I might need to get the Sari Bag for myself!

It's handmade from recycled saris in India

or maybe the hand-crocheted shoulder bag handmade by a fair-trade collective in Guatemala.

or maybe the cat/ mouse garden statues,

or maybe.... LOL! 
Seriously, so many cool items!
Check them out!
What's your favorite?