Welcome! My name's Jennifer & I live a pretty furry life with a few critters that call my house home. I ramble a lot about my kids, my critters, trips we take & stuff that strikes me. I post a LOT of pics & my posts run all over the place. I try to stay consistent on when I post but sometimes life gets in the way. So, if you don't mind reading about different topics, with small lulls in between, then I hope you'll sit a spell.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Furry Friday ~ Graphite Portrait


Today's Furry Friday post is a bit of a cheat. Y'all have seen this picture before and in fact, it's the same picture that is on the top left of my blog. I took this picture last year, trying out my new camera, and it has quickly become one of my favorites of Rio.

This picture:


And my reason for sharing it again?

My dear friend Vanessa, has given me a wonderful gift: a commissioned graphite picture from the above picture!

The artist, Catherine at Wild at Art was kind enough to let me share the progression shots with you. I've included my "watermark" with her permission.



and the final product:

Wild at Art

And just for comparison, the original above the finished graphite and enlarged for you to see the detail:


Catherine did a wonderful job! She captured his soulful eyes, his sweet expression and look at that detail on his nose! I can't wait to have it in my hand, and it already has a place in my dining room. Eventually, I hope to get a graphite portrait done of Katie too (the one on the right side of my blog), and it'll go up on the same wall as Rio's.

(Stay tuned for another post where Catherine has GRACIOUSLY agreed to do an interview with me. I'm extremely excited, if not a bit nervous as I've never done an interview before. I'll be including more portraits she has done of Vanessa's Brodee and Bree, along with their progression shots too. And just to let y'all know, I'm not getting anything in return to do any of this. :-) I'm just really happy with what she and Vanessa have done for me and want to share it.)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why Moms Shouldn't Be Fat


I ran across this poem that The Diaries of a Wimpy Mom wrote and wanted to share with y'all.

Why Moms Shouldn't Be Fat.

The bending the lifting, the ups and the downs.
The rocking and shh-ing, the fixing of frowns.
Of all the things that I do with this bod,
I should look nothing less than a chiseled Greek god.

Bringing in all of the groceries alone,
Up the stairs, down the stairs - where is my phone???
How many times do I take this from you?
The plunger's off limits, the TP is too!

Why did I put my mixing bowl there?
Better climb up the counter, or pull up a chair.
Using the muscles I didn't know of,
To reach Lightening McQueen, by that old piece of grub.

You ate a hot Cheeto? Oh great, here it comes.
Wait for the dipaer that will be "the runs".
Hauling out trash bags that reek of old poop.
Hoisting it into the dump full of goop.

Pulling you in your red wagon each day,
And just as I stop you yell, "Mom! Go that way!"
Coming home tired and wanting to rest,
Is just such a joke because now there's a test.

How patient are you by 7 pm.
Dinner, then bath time, and cleaning the den.
The kids are in bed, you plop down and sigh.
When all of the sudden, one starts to cry.

You dash up the stairs and you don't make a peep,
In fear that you might wake the one that's asleep.
The problem is fixed, and tip toed you go.
When right out of nowhere you get quite the blow.

You hop and you jump and turn right around,
To see what you stepped on. Oh look what you found!
That green dinosaur with its big pointy tail
All up in the air - that's what made you wail!

Just when you feel the day couldn't get worse,
Your muscles are sore and you just want to curse,
Your back's out of whack and you begin to think -
P90X doesn't do this to me!

My kids kicked my butt by the end of the day.
And I got quite the workout, I just have to say.
Changing into my jammies, I take off my top,
My trusty old belly pops out with a flop.

Bewildered I'm wondering, "How can this be?"
Did you see all the things my kids did to me?!
But talking to fat never did anyone good,
If I could get rid of it, surely I would!

Men age so graciously, handsome and grey.
Women's boobs droop and their fannies? They hang.
One thing's for certain though, I'll tell you that -
It isn't fair moms are the ones that get fat.


It certainly had me giggling a bit with it's truthfulness! LOL

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wisdom

I ran across this on a blog called Exercise Finished and even though it started out pertaining to the graduating class of 2014, the author then tweaked it a bit to fit dog training but I think it could go even further and pertain to everyday living.

WISDOM

I initially wrote this as a newspaper column focused on advice for the high school graduating class of 2014. Then I tweaked it a little for dog folk.

Welcome To The Real World (Of Dog Training)


  • Follow your passion. Don't do something just because everybody else is doing it.

  • Not everyone you meet is going to be supportive and encouraging. Most will, but a few won't be able to think beyond their own insecurities. Don't take it personally. Grudges are just one more thing you have to haul around and if you're involved in dog sports, you've already got enough gear to schlepp.

  • Every time someone is rude or downright nasty to you, pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. Especially people you don't even know.

  • You never know how you can touch someone's life with a smile or small act of kindness.

  • If it doesn't feel like the right thing to do, it probably isn't.

  • You've only got one body. Take care of it. You're not going to be 18 (or 38 or 48) forever, so start making good habits now. You're breakable. Medical science can repair, replace and prevent a lot of things but it can't cure stupid. Don't be stupid. This applies to your dog's body, too.

  • Practice tolerance. There is a whole planet full of people out there who may not share your world view. You'll set yourself up for a lifetime of misery by disapproving of everyone who doesn't agree with you.

  • Keep your mind open and your mouth shut.

  • Smile, laugh, sing out loud. Kiss your dog. Kiss your partner. Hug your friends.

  • Don't be so worried about tomorrow that you can't enjoy today.

  • Be responsible. You're an adult. Your actions have consequences and you have to live with them.

  • Judge not. Unless you have a license and a club has hired your.

  • Be determined. Be persistent. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you refuse to give up.

  • No one owes you anything. You want it? You make it happen.

  • It's okay to be frustrated, pissed off and disappointed. Go sit in your car and pound on the steering wheel and shed some tears, but don't take it out on your dog or your friends. Nobody wants to see it. Then let it go and figure out how to make it not happen again.

  • You're going to make bad decisions and screw stuff up. Learn from those mistakes. Make new ones next time.

  • You can't fix a problem using the same thinking that created it.

  • Be yourself. It's who you were meant to be. Trying to be someone else doesn't work. If you're trying to be someone else to please someone else, that especially doesn't work.

  • You are a unique individual - celebrate the gifts you have been given. Share them with others whenever you can.

  • If you have a job, good health, a sound dog and disposable income to spend on dog sports, you have more than a lot of people.

  • Count your blessings and never take your support network for granted.

There's a popular graphic circulating on Facebook that reads, "When I was little, I couldn't wait to be an adult. This shit isn't what I expected."

Yeah, there are days when being an adult (dog trainer) is overrated, but it's a journey that's going to last for the rest of your life, so look for the good stuff and you'll find it.

The door has been opened, walk through it with your dog and begin that journey.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mini-Vacation ~ Traveling Home Woes

Dun, dun, dunnnn.
What an ominous sounding title, huh.

Wednesday (7-9) was the day we had to leave Mema and Papa's after a lovely few days visiting and one hiccup.

We got a late start b/c Sonny (my Step-Dad) had a doctor's appointment that required my mom to be his chauffeur home and I didn't want to leave Papa home alone after having a house full of people for a few days.

Just call me Mrs. Softie.

Anyway, after a few tears, hugs and promises to return again soon and my last sight being of Papa sitting in one of the patio chairs looking so tiny and alone, it was time to load up in the Kia and head back to Tennessee.

It was about 1ish when we left but our motto was the same; just arrive safely. It didn't really matter what time we made it home, just as long as we made it.

About 30 minutes from Mema and Papa's, just a mile from the freeway we needed, we took a wrong turn. That wrong turn ended up being a Godsend.

I drew a diagram to try and help "tell" the story. The black line starting
at the bottom was the road we were on. We needed to take the 
red road,
instead, we continued straight to the main road, which doesn't allow left turns
and so we had to turn right (the 
blue dotted line).

Ok, so we had missed our turn and HAD to turn right, taking us in the opposite direction of where we needed to go. We drive just a little bit up the road, until we can find somewhere to turn around. As we're heading back in the direction we need to be in, a tractor trailer comes up beside us, pointing at our right rear passenger tire.

Bleh.

30 minutes from Mema and Papa's.

6 hours away from home.

And we have a flat tire were we know where nothing is.

Fun.
Fun.
Fun.

We pull off on the side of the road to inspect the damage and figure out a plan.

Well, clearly we ain't going anywhere on a flat tire and you can't go far on a spare tire, providing it even has air.

Now remember that we've been traveling/visiting, so we have a suitcase and pillows and other items involved with traveling....plus a few extra items we're taking back; 3 trees to be exact. LOL

And ALL of it has to come out so John can access the spare tire compartment.

Then once the spare tire is put on, everything has to go BACK inside, along with a full-size tire.

Conveniently enough, there was a tire store just a few yards from where we pulled over, we had actually passed it as the truck driver was telling us about our tire.

$45 later, we have a new-to-us tire and the spare tire is returned to its proper place, everything is put back in and we're on the road once again.

At this point, we've been "stuck" for about 2 hours and decide we might as well stop for a bite to eat before we hit the freeway.

As we're sitting at Cracker Barrel, I'm thinking about the days adventures and how I believe God had a hand in it:

I've traveled that same route my entire life. I know you can't turn left onto the main road and that you have to turn before it. Then we just happen to turn out on to the road as a kind person points our our flat tire.....b/c how often do you pay attention to people's tires? Then we just happen to pass a tire store.

We could have easily gotten on the freeway before we knew we had a problem and been quite literally stuck on the side of the freeway, with a 5 year old and 80 mph traffic.

Yup, I believe God was watching out for us.

After we eat, we're finally on our way home.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Furry Friday ~ Sleepy Critters


Cameo.
My physco kitty.
So loveable one moment, biting the next b/c
you were petted in the "wrong spot".
Never a dull moment with you.




My dear, sweet old gal Katie.
My heart aches knowing my days are limited with you
but I'm cherishing every moment God lets you stay.
Sleeping with your eyes open
dreaming of the days when you were younger
and your body cooperated with you more.



Rio.
My sweet, loveable, goofy blue guy.
Dealing with summer time allergies turns you into a hot mess,
but we deal with it the best way we know how.



Peaches.
Sister of Cameo.
Fluffy, fuzzy, tickle my nose kitty.
You insist on sleeping practically in my face
and drool all over my shirt.


My animals may get on my nerves but I wouldn't change any of them for the world. They may make me work more cleaning up after them but that's the price I gladly pay to have the companionship, love and laughter they give me daily.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mini-Vacation ~ Day III

Tuesday (7-8), our 2nd and last full day at Mema and Papa's, started out much the same as Monday; I took pictures of the horses and the go-cart was brought out.

However, other things we had planned; swimming and playing at the playground, didn't quite work out as planned. Instead, John, McKayla and I ended up spending the afternoon at the Urgent Care Clinic.

I'm getting a head of myself though. First off, pictures and then the story.





This time I succeeded in getting proof that *I* rode the go-cart too. :-) McKayla told me at one point that she liked it better when *I* drove b/c I'd take her over the old vegetable garden full of rutts and bumps that would jostle us around. Haha.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mini-Vacation ~ Day II

Monday (7-7), our first full day at Mema and Papa's dawned early. We didn't have much planned, just relaxing around the house and recuperating from our 6+ hour road trip the day before

I walked around the yard, camera in hand once again, snapping pictures. With horses next door, I was drawn to them. I remember spending hours just watching the horses and daydreaming when I was younger. The owner had even put in a set of stairs that went over the fence and I'd sit there reading books and talking to the horses. Ah, memories. :-)




I was pleased when I was able to catch this gal rolling around. I wish I had my camera on continuous shot, but if I had tried to put it on that setting, I would have missed her rolling all together. So I made this "video" of the clips. :-) (If it doesn't work, let me know and I'll post the pictures.)

video

After spending a few minutes with the horses, I walked back to the driveway as Papa and John brought out the go-cart. They checked the tires, checked the oil and fueled up.......it hadn't been messed with since our last visit.



And then John and McKayla were off! Zooming around the yard and house. Racing through grass and bumps, past the horse pasture and through the old gardens. Around and around they went.


Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read about my adventures! Hope to see you next time. :-)