Thursday, September 29, 2011

Changing Things Up

Well, I did it. For weeks I've been tempted to change things up on my blog, but each time I made drastic changes, I chickened out and hit "clear edits." Finally, tonight I got brave and I did it. Have any of you fellow bloggers out there ever become bored with your blog design? And if so, did you wait it out, or mix things up? 

Like every other design project I've ever undertaken in my life, this one had approximately 6, 347 revisions. I've managed to get to the point where I've lost all objectivity, so I need your help. What do you think of this new design? Is it:

Boring? ("Zzzzzzzzz...")

 Confusing? ("Now why did she go and do that?")

Or a happy improvement? ("Yaaaaay for change!")

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Let's Go!

Nothing makes the kids happier than going for a ride in the truck. They're as happy about a trip to the grocery store as they are a legitimate destination. Heather Peden's post over at Three Dogs and a Couch reminded me recently that it hasn't always been that way, however. I'd forgotten all about Lucky's early days, when taking him for a ride meant picking up all 75 lbs of him, carefully stuffing him into the back of my Subaru and then trying to keep him there while simultaneously trying to close the hatch without amputating my own hand. That's so funny to think about now. These days, asking Lucky "want to go for a ride?" is certain to induce a state of giddy dog dancing euphoria.

The cooler fall days make for much better ride along days. They don't get to travel much when the temps are in the 80s and 90s - it's just too hot in the back of the truck, even with all the windows open. But lately, the weather has been perfect.

Taking three dogs on an outing is definitely more complicated than taking two dogs, which was more complicated than taking one. And the necessary preparations for the senior dogs takes a little more time yet. But their big smiles make it worth it.

Lady gets a little worried when the preparations begin.

She gets worried that I'll remember the blankets and ramp, the leashes and water dish - and forget the dogs.

Don't worry, Lady, you're coming!

I wonder where we are going today?
OH boy, it's the park! We love the park!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Late September Whodunit

Someone has been busy here this week. 
Very, VERY busy.
And the culprit is not very good about cleaning up after himself.
(the gender of the guilty party was easy to determine, 
we all know that a female wouldn't leave such a mess)
Who could it be?
"Huh? I don't know what you're talking about."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lucy Is A Star!

Nothing livens up a drab, overcast Monday afternoon like finding a mysterious package at your front door. That was the case this week, when a box from Workman Publishing arrived. It was particularly surprising given that Lady had not sounded the "DANGER!! INTRUDER!!" alert, which occurs with the appearance of any human being within a 100 yard radius of the house. Puzzled, I carried the box into the kitchen, found a pair of scissors to open the seam, and peered inside...

WHAT??? Lucy is a winner?... Lucy is a winner!!!! According to the publisher's letter, her photo has been chosen to grace the pages of next year's 365 Cats page-a-day calendar! Yaaaaay Lucy!!!! Our little Lucy Bowtie is Miss December 28th!

We are so proud, we are just busting at the seams. The congratulations letter and advance copy of the calendar are proudly on display, and we are preparing to take advantage of the ordering discount extended to winners. (Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year?? ha!) Lucy, for her part, seems to be taking the sudden fame and fortune in stride. There have already been some requests for autographs, so we've been practicing. What do you think? 

Never mind that expression on her face in the above photo. The attention from the paparazzi is already getting a bit tedious I think. She has promised to smile when we do her actual publicity photo shoot. 

My goodness, what a surprise this was!!! I had completely forgotten about submitting a photograph for this contest. Fun, fun! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oh Katie, How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways.
I love your shy, serious look.
And the cute little spots under your chin.
I love the "snaggle tooth" expression you get,
when your lip catches on that big lower canine.
And those adorable white eyelashes. 
(How did you get such beautiful white eyelashes? 
Your brother doesn't have white eyelashes.)
So many ways and reasons to love you. 
My only wish, 
that you'd come sooner. 
So we could love you

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bathing Beauty

"Look dogs! You're not the only ones who have a bathing and grooming regimen!"

All clean! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Three dogs in a tub! Well, not in a tub exactly...but all three had an appointment with the hose after our weekend hike. Even Katie, who did not think that was fair, since she did not swim in the river. Turns out, however, that although Katie dislikes getting wet, she sure does love getting dry! She was so cute, snuggling into the towels for drying. That little girl loves to be pampered.

Even when she was finished and it was Lucky's turn, she kept burrowing in headfirst and just standing there, waiting to be patted and rubbed. "More please."

Adorable!! (Katie on the right)

First the towel dry, then the blow dry. Katie isn't real keen on the blow dryer (read: terrified), but Lady and Lucky don't mind it. Normally they would have just dried off outside, but the forecast high of 83 degrees turned out to be 70 and overcast, and they were shivering! So, out came the blow dryer for the whole spa treatment.

After the blow dryer..... (drum roll please)...... The Furminator!!! 

For those of you who might not be familiar with the Furminator,
this little beauty removes vast quantities of loose, dead undercoat hair. 

When I first got it, I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. I used it outside, and all the hair blobs flying everywhere made me crazy. I couldn't easily collect it, and found tufts of hair stuck everywhere for days. Hair in the petunias, hair stuck to the patio table legs. Yuck. The key for me, as unlikely as it sounds, is to use it indoors. All the hair collects in one area, easy to sweep up afterward. Much easier to manage without a breeze to send it wafting every which way. 

(Lady says all this beauty treatment is exhausting)
"But look how beautiful we are, all fluffy with our coats just shining!"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day weekend hike

Tropical storm Lee was forecast to arrive late in the holiday weekend, bringing with it inches and inches of much needed rain. 

So, we seized the day and got out for a hike while the weather was still nice. 

This delightful spot is alongside the Laurel River, where a 7 mile out and back trail runs alongside the river until it meets up with the French Broad. And the most amazing thing of all? The trail is FLAT! I didn't think western NC had any flat trails. Lucky loved getting into the water at every opportunity, paddling out into the current until I'd get nervous and call him back. Lady waded in reluctantly, only because this was necessary to keep an eye on Lucky. She never has been much of a water dog. And Katie said "no thank you, I don't like to get my feet wet." 

Actually, Katie's body language wasn't even communicating "happy," until we turned around to head back at about the 2 mile mark (four miles is about the limit for the two senior dogs). Her tail finally began wagging when we arrived back at the truck. I thought she would read Lady and Lucky's happy hiking energy, but I guess she's still learning to trust in new, unfamiliar situations. Hopefully her confidence will grow with each new outing.

Lady says hiking is fun! The only downside to swimming in the river? Returning home smelling like mud and river water. Which can only mean one thing...

*stay tuned*

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Enjoy Summer While You Can

Before long, red, yellow, and orange will paint the mountainsides, and the air will be crisp and tinged with wood smoke. For now though, summer hangs on; the breeze is hot and the water sparkles. Think I'll go pour a glass of lemonade. We hope all our friends are having a nice Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Driven Insane By A Cat

How can such a small, innocent looking creature wield power capable of bringing a full grown adult to the brink of madness? This is what I was asking myself as I ground my teeth together and turned up the music in a vain attempt to drown out Lucy's meowing. The eyes you see in the above photo are the eyes of PERSISTENCE. They are saying "you will do what I want, or I will meow until the end of time." 

Here she is catching her breath for the next stanza. I don't know what was going on, but Lucy got it into her pointed little head that she wanted to go outside, and she was not to be deterred. 

However she's not allowed outside without a chaperone. Since that wasn't possible, she had to stay in. I am not exaggerating when I say Lucy meowed for 3 straight hours. These photos were taken as she orbited my chair at the computer desk as I was trying to work. MEOW. MEOW. MEEOOOW. But I outlasted her, oh yes I did. She finally gave up, much to the relief of every living, hearing being in the house. She found a good spot on the sofa and stretched out for a long, leisurely nap.

I confess, I was fantasizing about turning on the vacuum.
I resisted the temptation. When she's asleep, she's quiet.