Saturday, December 31, 2016


I'm really REALLY looking forward to 2017!
I just KNOW it's gonna be a good year!

Some years I don't make too many resolutions
but most years I just say the same things as I've always said.

Get Healthy
Lose weight.
Get Organized
Do my Art
Blah, Blah, Blah.
So this year, what are my resolutions?
All of the above of course but most importantly it's to change my priorities.

I never seem to have time for making my Art
or writing my books.
I have so many ideas and yet I never find the time...

So I'm going to find time.
I might let some things fall through the cracks
but I'm going to work it out.
I might have to cut back on work hours.
I might have to let the new girl take some of them
and while that scares me, both in a financial way
and in a caretaker way, (not to say she's not a good caretaker)
but it's hard for me not to micro-manage.

But if I don't step back a little bit
I'll never get the things done that I'm always talking about.
And wouldn't it be ironic if something I create takes off
and I don't have to work so many hours.

Also, I HAVE TO start taking care of MYSELF.
I hate to whine about aches and pains but
I've been having some problems with my knee
and foot problems.
I'm finding that I have to hold on to the stair railing in order to walk down the steps
for the first time in my life.
It might just be part of getting older but
I've also put on too many pounds.
I hate seeing photos of myself anymore and the other day
I was looking at someone else's photos of Christmas Eve at my stepmom's.
The photo showed the little kids opening presents and in the background
was a woman I didn't recognize.
It was me.
I was shocked,
Do I look like that?!
Evidently so, although I don't FEEL like that.

I need to get the weight off and stop eating fast and easy junk.
Not a diet though.
No, more of a conscious way of eating.
I plan to go the Fork over Knives route.
Anyway... that's the plan.

AND to start focusing on enjoying the NOW.
I'm always careful with money but...
I'm going to start going to the random movie
and stopping and getting a yummy coffee
and get a first ever manicure.

If I've learned anything this year, it's that life is short.
So many celebrities died young this year
and several people I know quite well
are stricken with Cancer...

I'm going to stop worrying
and THAT'S a really hard one for me
and put it out to The Universe that things will work out and be OK.

So that's my resolutions.
#1. Re-prioritize my time and work on my Art.

#2. To think about my health
I will still enjoy an occasional treat
but I'll savor it, and not just mindless snack.

And I will stop eating processed, packaged stuff
and stop the emotional eating.

#3. I will live in the NOW and ENJOY my life.

#4. Stop worrying about everything and put in in
The Universe's hands.

Did YOU make any resolutions for 2017?
I'd love to know!

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Wake up Jimmy!

I think there are a couple of presents with your name on them!

Well Jimmy, you did it!
You fooled Santa!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Truly LAST MINUTE THOUGHTFUL Christmas gifts

Since I am always running a day late
and a dollar short, I thought I'd share some last minute gift ideas
to people who are in the same boat as I.

I've read some suggestions on different design/decor type blogs
and they are absolutely ridiculous in MY world.
Suggestions like giving a plant to someone because they "have everything"
or buying them some other knick-knack...
that kind of thing drives me crazy.

First, let me address this plant idea.
If they LOVE plants, then by all means, get them one.
But if you've never seen a plant in their home,
don't do it.
Most likely they have a brown thumb
OR pets.

Many plants are toxic to pets,
so think before you buy.

OK, here's my ideas.
First, before you leave the house,
sit down with a pen and paper or your smart phone
and THINK.

Write down each person's name
and leave a space for ideas.
I think the object is to only write down 2-3 ideas.
If you write down too many, if you are like me,
it will make you indecisive when you get to the store.

Now think about the person
and what they need AND would actually like to have.
I'll use my own family (because none of them ever read my blog.)

But first I'm going to give a three examples of gifts I've received.
One of which was very thoughtful
and the other two, nice but...
And what we all really want to give, is "thoughtful" gifts
isn't it?

First, the thoughtful one-
I received a box a couple of years ago from a client
that contained a pair of very nice warm gloves and hand lotion.
In the winter, my hands are always cracked and dry from being outside
and also from constantly putting them in dish water.
She had also tucked inside the box a very cute card that she had obviously carefully chosen.
The card had an illustration of dachshunds playing in the snow
and the client's pets, who I take care of, are of course dachshunds.
Inside was a gift card to Starbucks and she had written a note about wanting me
to enjoy a hot drink in the cold weather and she had signed her dogs names to the card.
I love Starbucks but they are not in my budget so I really appreciated being
able to treat myself to a hot beverage.

To me, this was the perfect Christmas gift
and obviously I still remember it.

Now to the other gift I received from a client.
A BIG box of fudge.
Now that was super nice of them
and looking at me,  I suppose they figured out that I enjoy sugar but...
it was really the last thing in the world I needed.
Luckily I was having a "strong" day and carried it up front
so my co-workers could have some too!

Another gift I got was from a good friend.
I had mentioned how much I loved a mug she had gotten me several years back
and how I use it every single morning.
It's a HUGE mug that can hold 2 cups of coffee
and on it is a photo of a Golden Retriever puppy.
PERFECT Gift for ME.
So, this year she got me another mug,
A one cup size mug that had a dog motif and very cute but...
I don't really need it.
What was she thinking????????
I mean, it was sweet of her to give me a gift
but I have a BIG mug that I love!
(She doesn't read my blog either, so I feel safe posting this.)

So, this is what I'm trying to get at.
I think if we just sit down for a minute and THINK,
just let that panicky time running out feeling go
and think....

This is what I came up with.
My sister said not to get her anything.
She didn't need more stuff.
But, yeah... it's Christmas
and because she is always misplacing her gloves
I got her another warm pair that she can keep in her car.
Also, because she has to go out in all kinds of weather, to go to work
I bought some cute little ear muffs because she usually forgets her hat too.

For my BIL, a very hard man to buy for,
I bought him fishing lures off of Amazon
for trout fishing.
That's what he does in Vermont when they go up there.
A cheap gift but something he will actually use.

A word about Amazon.

and while I bought several gifts at Target
(this last Sunday I went, around dinner time, after everyone had mostly gone home from a day of shopping, I hate crowds but these gloves were 30% off! and might not be there for long)

I got about half of the gifts from Amazon.
Amazon has free two-day shipping, if you are in their Prime program.
The fee pays for itself if you buy a lot throughout the year, which I do.
I order my dog potty pads from there, monthly.
Sometimes I will order cat food from there too.
....and my paint water-pens and micro pens and of course BOOKS about everything!
and Amazon is usually much cheaper than the store!
I'm extremely fortunate that my sister put me on her Prime account
and SHE pays that fee! LOL!
That's the best bargain EVER!

So there's another good idea, I think,
an AMAZON gift card, which they will NEXT day to you!
and then your person can choose whatever they really want.

OK, more gift ideas.
My oldest niece who is an Artist who travels all over the country
and has gone to England and France a few times too for artist retreats...
I got her a travel sketchbook and a micro pen.

My middle niece was complaining how she cuts up her legs when shaving, every time!
So I got her a gift box of a nice shaver with shaving lotion and body cream
and then I picked up $3.00 super fuzzy purple socks.
She loves purple socks.

My youngest niece,
I bought her a best selling dog book

(that I might end ordering one for myself! LOL!)
and then I included a block of the Sculpey clay
that she uses for her little creations.
(I'm going to do a post soon about the creatures she creates and her Etsy shop)

Finally, every year my sister and I go in on a gift certificate for our Step-Mom
and her hubs to a dinner theater.
They both have said how much they enjoy going
and they probably wouldn't have gone in the beginning it they hadn't had the gift certificate
and now it's kind of a tradition now.

So that's my suggestions.
I don't think a gift needs to BIG
or a lot of them.
I don't think that's what Christmas is about.
Not for me anyway.
I like a simpler Christmas.
One that doesn't leave you with a BIG credit card bill in January.

Final note:
If you can't think of the right thoughtful gift
and the person has a pet,
you can't go wrong in giving them something for their pet.
In fact, that kind of gift makes me happiest of all!
It tells me the person really knows ME
and was super thoughtful!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Jimmy Chew and Santa

We went to see Santa today.
Jimmy had some lying to do.

Afterwards I let him pick out a toy.
We had to go down three aisles before he found what he wanted.

He stood patiently in the checkout lane and waited.
Other customers laughed and told me I had to get him that toy!
He just ignored them all and waited until it was his turn

to be rung up.

When we got back into the car I asked him if he thought he had fooled Santa?
"Do you think you're still on his "Naughty" list?"

When we got home I told him I'm sure everything would be ok.

But he seemed to still be thinking about it.

We walked up the front steps and I said
"Seriously Jimmy! He knows you're a terrier. He knows it's just your nature to do what you do!"
"If you are good this whole last week, I'm sure he'll put you on his "NICE" list".
I hope that reassured him some.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


So many blogs are now posting beautiful photos of their Christmas decor.

I have to be honest, I haven't decorated.
In fact, I haven't done much decorating for years.
I'll hang a couple of wooden snowflakes above my windows,
and a little wreath on the front door.
Maybe I'll put a tiny tree in a silver bucket on the front steps
and set a couple of bottle brushes on a shelf and then I'm done.

This year, like almost everything that happened this year.
has me way behind and no time to catch up.
But I've made the decision to make major changes next year
so that I'm not always behind and stressed about it.

I just really feel like 2017 is going to be my YEAR.
I've made the decision that I'm not moving.
I'm not moving to a different house
and I'm not moving to a different state.
I will do a different post about how and why I reached this decision but
today's post is about Christmas decorating.

Because of my decision not to move
I've decided to work on my house and make it like exactly like I want it to be.
And that is a simple, white but colorful, farmhouse, folk art, modern style.

What kind of style is that?
I don't know and don't care what it's really called
but I call it my HAPPY style.
Yep, I want to pull in the driveway and smile
and walk in the front door and feel HAPPY!

I'm a HUGE fan of PINTEREST.
It never feels to inspire me.
I've created "boards" of things I love
but I found that some are very unrealistic.
So I've decided to go in and start deleting some of my "Pins"
and just keep what I really truly need for inspiration for MY life.
Not my fantasy life.

So since I don't have anything set up for Christmas to show THIS year,
I thought I'd share some of my Christmas PINS.

Yep, that's what I like.
That's my HAPPY STYLE!

I pulled my little canvases from the place I blogged about.
I gave my notice 60 days ago as my "contract" said I must.
But the owner asked me if I would be interested in leaving some seasonal pieces
on a commission only basis.
Meaning I wouldn't have to pay for a "space"
but rather she would just set them around the shop
and maybe now and then, something might sell.
She wanted only seasonal items and that sounded good to me.
I did a big group of "Vintage Christmas" photos and mounted them on canvas.

We'll see how that goes.

I also am trying to fill up the vet clinic with little canvases
in hopes that people will buy some for stocking stuffers and gift exchange type gifts.

But with Christmas so close now.
I'm starting on Valentines Day.

Yep Valentines.
Several years back I made Valentine's cats.
Some were painted fabric cats.

And some were made of PaperClay.

I sold them on eBay back then.
I remember that a blogger friend had messaged me and asked why they all had broken hearts painted on their chests.
To be honest, I did that kinda halfway subconsciously I guess
and was surprised at the question.
I mean, of course they had broken hearts.

So I'm starting to work on that NOW
because that's my PLAN for next year!
To be AHEAD of the game and actually get my IDEAS created and ready for sell.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Yesterday I did a post of two videos.
It showed a massive amount of birds flying over my home.
I've learned from my wise Blogger buddies that they were starlings.
Those birds were pretty smart too and obviously they knew what was coming!
This morning I woke up to this-

It's one of the trees I showed in the video.
To be honest, I'm not happy about the snow.
And it continued to fall all day.
Here's a photo of the bush just outside my backdoor.
All of it's leaves had not fallen yet.

It's kinda pretty, but it's still snow.
I had some plans for today, including running some errands.
Instead I just stayed inside all day.
My back is hurting and I just didn't want to shovel.
(Although I eventually gave in and shoveled out my car.)
But my sore back didn't stop me from re-arranging the furniture again.

Eventually I should post photos of the back bedroom that I'm decided to use as my Art space.
I emptied everything out of the room and then dragged just what I wanted back in.
I still have Blue's twin bed in there though.
My plan is to work at the big table and then slide my projects into the empty drawers
of the several dressers I have in there when I leave the room to go to work or whatever.
My reasoning behind that is because not only is Blue in that room while I'm gone,
but also Nora and Jimmy Chew.

 Yeah, he looks like a sweet, innocent good boy but I know him better than that.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


A greeting? Kinda eerie. I sorta felt like Tippi Hendren..... (two 7 second video's -)

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I have this thing about lying.
I hate it and I'm not very good at it.
But... I guess I'm admitting that I do lie!
Sort of.

But my lies are usually half-truths.
Things like when the cashier is checking out my items
and I have cat related things and she asks -
"Oh! How many cats do you have?"
and I reply - "Two".
Now that's true.
I mean I do have two cats.
She didn't ask me "How many cats do you have in total?"

Or I don't share information
and that feels like a lie.
If I acquire a dog or cat and don't tell me sister
or blog about it.... it feels like a lie to me.

But I don't HAVE to share EVERYTHING right?!?!?
and I usually fess-up at some point.
I'll write a blog post about whoever and hope that no one notices that
they suddenly popped up in my home.
And my sister,
she's pretty used to it.
She'll come over and as the little ones walk around she might look down and say
"Who's THAT?"
and THEN I tell her.
She knows it's useless to make any critical remarks to me.
I get very defensive and sometimes I'll start listing off all the animals I've said NO to.
Here are two just in the last few weeks!
I just said no to this big guy but happily the owner is going to keep him -

I found a home for this little one year old terrier that was brought in,
she was really hard to resist too
because she reminded me of my Jimmy Chew
but now she's in a home with a little girl -

Or... I'll get angry and hurt and sometimes I will point out who all that I've lost.
But lately my sister has no room to talk.
When her own dog had puppies, they ended up keeping TWO
and both she and her hubs has each rescued a cat.
(I'm going to write a post about one of those cats soon!)

Anyway there's a definite stigma to people with numerous pets.
It conjures up images of hoarding situations I guess and
that's rather insulting to those of us who strive to make it as nice as possible for them.
In my line of work, most the people I work have many.
One of them has a raccoon and her home is spotless! (There's another post! LOL!)

My employee that I've written about, the one that I call a Mini-Me
is forever rescuing some ancient dog or calling me to help.
But we talk about how we pride ourselves in making our homes as pet friendly and yet stylish as possible. (THERE"S another post!)
How almost every purchase we make, has them in mind, whether it's a new sofa or flooring.
We both hardly ever buy anything for ourselves but think nothing of getting something for our pets.
And we talk about how we can never quit our jobs because we get discounts on pet care.

So the other day we were talking on Facebook about dogs
during the Thanksgiving Dog Show on TV.
We were talking about the different breeds and she got on the topic of how she has these little dogs that people have given her but the ONE dog she really really wanted she couldn't have.
It was a little dog who had boarded with us and she fell in love with him on the spot.
It was a little Border Terrier.
She said they would never want to give up that little dog but she was madly in love with him.

I told her to visualize it and it mostly likely would happen!
I told her I was VERY careful about thinking about any pet and then saying it out loud.
I said both my Poppy and my Ping were boarding dogs.
Both had owners that would bring in lots of supplies and fancy beds and special food
and have them groomed on a regular schedule and appeared to adore them.
People who I never ever would think that they'd give up their pets.
Both are perfect little dogs so why would anyone give them up?
And to be honest, both of them were always my favorites.
Then one day Poppy's owners called me out of the blue and asked me if I'd take her.

And then a year later, I had Ping's owners return from vacation and asked me if I would just keep her!
I was in total shock but I did!
So I told my worker, Mini-Me to just think about that little dog and maybe it would happen.

So I went to work the next day, Friday
and it was very busy.
The kennel was packed because of the holiday.
Among my boarders was a little 14 year old Chihuahua that I've taken care of for years.
She used to have a "brother", a little Yorkie that boarded with her,
but that little dog had passed last year.
Her owner is a wonderful older woman whom I'm very fond of.
She shared a lot of things with me when we first met years ago.
She went through a bad divorce and had to move away and had finally came back to the area
and that's when I started taking care of her dogs.
I took care of them all the time.

Then she remarried a couple of years ago and they moved an hour away.
She had called me to ask if I would be mad if they found a vet in their new town.
I encouraged her to!
I said she needed someone close in case of an emergency.
She said they would still drive in to board her little dogs with me.

So she brought in her little Chihuahua Katy and told me how happy she was to see me.
It had been a while.
She said she'd call and check on her little one while she was gone.
She was afraid of how Katy would adjust to boarding without the other dog
as she was always the timid one.

So we put her little carrier in the run, so that she could sleep in there
and have a safe place.
My workers said that she was timid coming out
and one of them had to take the top of the carrier to get her out.

When I would come in to work though, she would get up and tiptoe out her carrier
and her little tail would wag.
So Friday I came in and she tottled out and sat the front of her run.
I picked her up and took her out to the play yard.
The other dogs had already been out and it was just me and her.
I held her tiny body against my chest and looked down at her little face.
I told her "You are such a brave girl! Yes you are! You are SO brave!"
Then I set her down in the yard and she found her "spot" to  potty and looked at me.
"Good job Katy!" I said to her
and her little bottom wiggled and she hurried back to me.
I picked her up and held her to my cheek and I said,
"Oh ! I could just take you home!"
Yep, I said it out loud.
I know I was tempting fate. that it was wrong of me to let The Universe hear me
but I know her mom and how much she loves her.

So I took her inside and fluffed her bed
and kissed the top of her head and put her back in her run.
She was the last one that needed to be let out
so I walked to my office area.

The phone was ringing and I picked it up.
It was Katy's mom.
I flopped down in my chair and was smiling as she asked about her little one.
I laughed and told her I had just been outside with her!
I told her how I told Katy how brave she was! and her mom was surprised to hear how she came and sat at the front of the kennel run.
I gushed how good and sweet she was and I told her that I hoped she didn't mind but I told Katy that I could just take her home, that she was THAT good!
I told her not to worry, that she was doing really well.
I said she was eating and didn't seem stressed.
That's when she started crying.

She was crying really hard and at first I couldn't completely make out all her words
but then she was telling me that she wasn't well.
She was saying she had heart problems.
Problems like what Florence Henderson had just died from.
She was sobbing and was saying lots of things
and she said that every single day she worried about if something happened to her,
what would happen to Katy?
She said her husband was a nice man but not a dog person
and that if something were to happen to her, she feared that he'd just take Katy to a shelter
She was crying and saying things that had me cry too.
I grabbed my kleenex box and wiped my face as she went on
and then she said "Would you take Katy?"
I answered that of course I would, that if she needed a home that I would definitely take her.
Not to worry about it anymore, that she could have a home with me.

She suddenly was overjoyed and told me how much peace that brought her, knowing that.
She said she knew how much I had always cared for Katy.
Then she said she preferred not to see her again.
I stammered a bit, I think and said, "You mean Now?"
"Yes!"  she was adamant. Yes, she wanted me to take her NOW and
that she just felt it would be easier not to see her again.
I was really crying then and
I asked if she maybe wanted to think about it but she said she was sure and
they'd be in the next day to pay the bill and bring me her things.

Katy's owner came in on Saturday.
Her husband went up and paid the bill and then carried in all of Katy's belongings.
While he was doing that, Katy's mom handed me an envelope.
It had her phone number on it and some cash in it.
That's a first for me!
No one has ever given me money when giving me their dog!
I started to  decline it but she interrupted and said not to be rude but she knew I worked hard
and... They had money.
So I said ok and after they left, I made a payment to my bill at work.

I took Katy home and everyone smelled her.
I held her as Blue smelled her butt and then he walked away.
She just walked around the house with everyone following.
She tried a bark with a jump at Charlie my cat but he just looked at her

and if a cat could roll his eyes, he did.

It's weird but she's not scared at all.
She follows me around everywhere and no one cares except Ping.
Ping wants to be with me all the time and always on my lap
and I made her take turns with Katy.

Katy's walked close to Blue many times and I hold my breath but
he just looks at her and then goes back to sleep.
It's all very weird.
It's like she just clicked into place.

Last night I woke up to go to the bathroom and Katy stirred from her little kennel
so I took her out and let her sleep with us.

She went right to sleep and didn't wake up and want out until the morning.
I have dog beds scattered about the house and she likes sleeping in the kitchen as I'm at the computer.

Later I looked over and cranky fussy Button was snuggled in the bed with her.
Button hates everyone.

I don't really know what's going on here but when her mom called this morning and
I filled her in on how she was doing, she couldn't have been happier.
But I kinda lied when she asked how many dogs I had
and what breeds.
I told her about Ping and Poppy and the cats
and left it at that.
I don't think she'd have understood and she sounded so relieved on the phone,
I didn't want to ruin that for her.
She said a huge weight had been lifted off of her.

So, Katy is here to stay I guess.
She's 14 and will be 15 in March but appears to be in good health.
Yep.... so there ya go,
I hesitated writing about this but then I read Tammy's comment on Kim's blog
and that made me want to share.
Seemed like I should or I'd be in some way lying........

Stay tuned for more "not lies".