Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry christmas from dog

holidays are as festive as you are.  festive is as festive does.

even if it's raining and gray and muddy, you can always put on the carpenter's christmas album, boil some cinnamon on the stove, focus on the twinkling lights, and be merrier than buddy the elf.

happy holidays to you and yours! warm puppysnuggles to all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

olive and friends

i think photo calendars are a FUNctional and often hilarious present. i like them.

dogs like them too!

big thanks to betsylife for sharing a yearful of puppy pics!

starring adorable black lab puppy olive, and her big sister tally.

nacho approves.

pouncey approves too.

the dachshund i think is named boozer. i have no real life experience with dachshunds (weiner dogs), though i know that one of them bit kevin in the nose when he was a little kid. so now i think they're pretty funny and awesome.

check out betsylife for more puppy pictures, great recipes, and moooooore! 

*ps - dogs were enticed into kissing olive through the magic of coconut oil. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

time sure flies

on the way secured by bungee 
there are very few things in my life that i have done for consistently for 5 years straight. 

i haven't stayed at one school, or played soccer, or played clarinet, or played tennis, or given up eating meat, or kept the same job, or lived in california, or lived by myself, for 5 years straight. 

 i HAVE, however, been (as facebook says) In A Relationship for 5 years as of today. 

 it was 5 years ago that kevin & i met up in hickory for dinner, and nothing's been the same since! 

i have changed my sleep pattern completely - i used to sleep midnight to 8AM, now i sleep 9PM to crack of dawn. i have learned to can it when it should be canned, and speak up when it should be said. for the most part. 

the sum total of my relationship advice is - if you love retriever dogs, pick a partner who acts like a retriever dog! 

i happen to love retriever dogs. they are loyal and friendly and smart and cute and love to be outdoors. i am not saying i couldn't love somebody who didn't have these traits, but it is soooo much more natural for me to love somebody who does! 

basically, i didn't mature and grow as a person in patience and compassion to get to 5 years - more like i found somebody from the start with whom i am highly compatible. when you share values and a general direction, they can get 'their way' and it not be offensive to you. and vice versa. things that could be struggles with a different person, are more like win-win. it's nice.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

pouncey's puppy reunion!

this weekend we took pouncey out to trails end in waynesville to play with his brothers and his mama.

there were 4 pups in his litter. all boys - 1 was white, 3 were brown. the white one was picked first. his name is harley and he lives in franklin, nc.

next we picked pouncey out of the remaining 3 brown ones.

then another family came and picked jake. sadly for jake their circumstances changed and jake didn't get any attention and he was returned to trails end a couple of weeks ago. he is kind of like a feral animal. he has stubby legs and was trying to hump pouncey the whole time, but there's a sweet dog underneath.

the last puppy was duke and he stayed at trails end with their mama, blizzard.

they're not staying, right?
mama blizzard thinks this is fun but wants them all to go home later
pouncey had a BALL!

pouncey, duke, and jake
pouncey, duke, and jake
pouncey was the best fetcher. the fastest. the most energetic.

also the goofiest. and tied for best manners.

pouncey, jake, blizzard, duke, harley
pouncey, jake, blizzard, duke, and harley

jake wins coolest eyes.
jake's got beautiful eyes
clan of the cave dog, jake
cover dog, duke is the biggest by 10 lbs. he is very friendly and sweet, and he is definitely in charge.

duke, jake, pouncey, harley, blizzard

pouncey is the only one who is fixed. (jake is getting fixed soon to curb the humping.)

harley also sucks on his bed! just like pouncey. they were the first two taken from their mama, i think this is why. harley doesn't really fetch, he runs in circles. much like nacho. his fur is soft as a bunny, too.

pouncey, harley, jake, duke
l-r: pouncey, harley, jake, duke

pouncey and duke have matching tongue spots on their XXL tongues. of all 4, they are the most similar.
jake, pouncey, duke

family portrait time!

pouncey, duke, harley & jake - all 4 puppies
pouncey, duke, harley, and jake - the 4 brothers!
i don't think they recognized each other, but maybe they sensed a familiarity, and i know they did have lots of fun!

Monday, November 18, 2013

recipe - bedazzled bananas!

you will not find many recipes on this blog, but this one is fun: 

1. peel a banana 
2. bedazzle it with cashews 
3. mangia! 

This one's for you, @cmoneypenney! #bedazzled #banana #fruity #nutty

good stuff

we were 6 hours into a 9 hour road trip, in a hotel parking lot in columbus, georgia. we were on our way to the florida panhandle for 'parents weekend' - what would be the first meeting of our parents in the 5 years we've been together - picking up my parents at the airport the next morning to stay 3 days at the beach in a condo with kevin's parents. it was 10 pm and kevin asked "can i help you with your bag?"

i said 'sure....where is my bag?"


my bag was at home.

luckily, i am roughly the same size as kevin's mom, who hadn't left for the beach yet and was kind enough to bring me a big bag of t-shirts and pants and belts and jackets that i wore all weekend. along with some junk i scrounged off the target, dick's, and kohl's clearance racks in a one hour early morning shopping frenzy in dothan, alabama, (and one slight breakdown in the kohl's dressing room - why the hell are all these pants spandex! i hate these pants! i am buying these pants anyway! i hate these pants!) and a baseball hat from my dad, i made it!

which was great because we all had a great time. kevin was only slightly creeped out to see me wearing his mom's clothes all weekend. everybody was on their best behavior and there were no fights and lots of laughs. and cuteness.

finley handing out shells

this was followed by a nice week at home, including some pasture time with pouncey. and pouncey's tongue.

cows, me, pouncey, and pouncey's tongue

on friday we got in the car again headed for chattanooga and norman blake. this was hour 5 in what was supposed to be a 3.5 hour drive. it was rough.

hour 5 in a 3.5 hour trip

but the show was smooth! norman blake is a guitar master. he was playing with his wife on cello and his friend on fiddle. it was very sweet.

nancy blake norman blake james bryan barking legs Chattanooga
we came home the next day and pouncey passed his first overnight test with flying colors! he didn't shred anything while we were gone and has earned enough trust to stay at the house next time we go away. no more kennel for pouncey! see you later, bed, bark and beyond.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

sweetest pouncey ever

snuggling with miss maizey, the almost-13 year old golden retriever. 

also, if you haven't already, get your grubby paws on "hands on a hardbody" - documentary made in 1997 about people in texas who go to a car dealership and put their hands on a pickup truck. for 3 days. last one standing drives it away. you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be astounded.

Monday, October 28, 2013

party crasher

my brother is 2 years younger than i am. he is also much more social than i am. when we were growing up, many times i wanted him to disappear.  the more i wanted him to disappear, the more he wanted to do what i was doing.

when i left home and went to college and looked back with some perspective for the first time, i felt a little guilty for being mean to him. he has a big heart and he never meant any harm. i should have been more patient. but damn he was annoying!

i found these pictures of my 7th birthday party and all these feelings became crystal clear.

fine. okay. he can come to the sleepover. it's 6 girls and...chris. fine. okay. whatever. his sleeping bag goes in the corner.

chris sleepover

great. everybody is singing and having a pillow fight. he can stay over there. inside his crayons sleeping bag.

chris sleepover 2 

 NO! no. no. no. what the???? NOOOO! how did this happen. i hate my life. i hate this party.

chris sleepover

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

looks like somebody ate his wheaties

pouncey had some vaccines this morning and as i brought him into the office, the vet said "looks like somebody ate his wheaties this morning...with some CRACK on top..."

snarl 1

the beginning of a snarl

snarl 2

aww pouncey so cute

snarl 3


snarl 4 

really he is a nice dog, just a little spring-loaded!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

happy birthday big popi!

happy birthday to my DAD!
me dad disney
My dad is the greatest!

Here is one small example. Not only did he go to every single one of my Saturday soccer games from age 8 to 12, but he would then spend a lot of his Sunday writing articles about the games, which he then mailed into the Long Islander weekly newspaper to be published. He had legal pads full of notes. Checklists of every girl's name so nobody would feel left out, even the girls who were not so great got their name in print.

He has a fantastic sense of humor and is endlessly patient and rational. What an excellent dad! candid mt mitchell

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

nachos falls

once upon a time there was a waterfall.

nacho went to the top of the waterfall.

nacho hopped straight down the face of the waterfall.

nacho had to think quick because there were slippery rocks at the bottom of the waterfall!

nacho thought quick and hopped even quicker!

nacho did a full extension leap and landed on the dirt and was fine! stuck the landing! 

 the rest of us had heart attacks.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

fly foot blood foot

it's been an eventful time for the doggies over here.

smiling pouncey

last week, pouncey was caught like a striped bass by a fly fishing hook in the ankle. he pounced across the river at the wrong time. the hook went through in two spots and i held him down while kevin removed it with pliers. pouncey did not growl or snarl for even one second. he squirmed and whimpered a little but for the most part laid still.

pana pouncey k

a couple days later the dogs came up from the river and there were bloody pawprints all over the house and deck. (which came right up with white vinegar). pouncey had somehow sliced his back paw open and was gushing profusely, every step he took. we gave him a rawhide chewy and some pain medicine/sedative and kept him in his crate for a day until it scabbed over. 

his spirits were not diminished by either of these events.

The grass mold allergy is over this year and nachodoggy stopped scratching and is free to romp the fields again! Hallelujah! #asheville #dog #avlpet #allergy

in great news, nacho has stopped chewing, scratching, and licking! it's like a switch turned off this week. it also coincides with the grass mold level dipping from 'extreme' down to 'moderate' for the first time in months. here he is on his first hike since spring. he galloped and pranced around the fields like a puppy!


behold a new video from guadalajara joe - in which he impersonates freddie mercury. this is *NOT [edit] somehow an attempt to prevent borat from playing mercury in a movie. so yeah!

* Borat is already not playing mercury, this is an attempt to have guadalajara joe play mercury, as queen searches for the right actor.  so yeah!


Monday, September 23, 2013

roller derby

this weekend the WFTDA (women's flat track derby association) held a tournament at the civic center downtown asheville.

my old friend A-lisa from your favorite kickball team, the san diego kitshickers, is now a member of the chicago roller derby team, the windy city rollers. she goes by 'sargentina' and her job is to kick ass, and she is really good at it. she was an all-star from day one on the kitshickers, and nothing is different on the windy city rollers. 

last i saw alisa, (right) she was ho-downing, now she's downing ho's

i got to hang out with her for a couple of days, and pouncey was allowed to sleep outside of his crate for one night and snuggle with her. he fell in love and will never be the same!

pouncey drooling over sargentina's playing card

windy city had to finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd this weekend in order to make it to the championships in november. they lost in a white knuckle heartbreaker saturday, but last night they squeaked by minnesota to clinch the 3rd spot!

it was really mind-blowing and exciting watching their bout. these women are extremely intense. extremely agile. extremely powerful. the score is constantly changing, as they get a point for each player that their 'jammer' passes on her trips around the track. it's pretty confusing for a new fan, but very exciting. i can't believe the small amount of padding that they wear, considering the speed they're moving and the concreteness of the floor.

i wouldn't want to try to break that line!
 it's always great to see old friends, especially when they're doing interesting things!

Monday, September 09, 2013

a week in colorado

i have been to colorado and i have seen some glorious things.

kevin's parents' neighbors have two bernese mountain dog littermates. poppy (upside down female) and barney (side eye male). they are extremely snuggly and sweet. i spent a lot of time squeezing them. they will grow to 100-120 lbs, and only live 7-8 years, but good lord they are awesome animals!

me & poppy & barney

my late great grandfather 'flops' once went to a bernese mountain dog convention at the hotel near his house in rhode island and was also wow-ed by their adorableness and continued to talk about bernese mountain dogs as often as he could, which was often.

woody creek outside

a big highlight of the trip was a 30 mile bike ride on the rio grande trail from aspen down to carbondale with a stop for lunch at woody creek tavern. the walls are plastered with polaroids and old memorabilia, much of it associated with local legend hunter s. thompson who used to eat (drink) there every day. the carpet is cheetah print. there are oversized christmas ornaments hanging from the low ceiling. the ice water is free. the salad is organic. the place was packed with bicyclists.

woody creek pitcher

another highlight of the trip was walking a sweet munchkin down to her first grade classroom. she took us on a tour of her 100 year old elementary school building and it was so cool to see her interacting with all the kids and teachers. i may be biased, but i think she's a superstar in training!

all in all, it was a wonderful trip, though it's always great to be home!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

happy birthday QUISSY!

today is my brother's birthday. much has changed in the 30 years since this photo was taken. now quissy has 2.75 chirruns of his own. no more short jogging shorts, no more kangaroos and tube socks. his hair looks about the same. 

maybe the birthday fairy will bring him he-man snake mountain with creepy microphone! 

at the bare minimum, i am sure he will get an italian feast from vincent's out of the day. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

reading is FUNdamental

i have always loved reading. i remember being 3 and reading about a gem-encrusted crown in the childcraft encyclopedia. i read all the nancy drew books before 3rd grade. i would check out the maximum allowed on my library card and my mom's at the same time and chain-read them until i was done. same with anne of green gables, the baby sitter's club, and sweet valley high.

the textbooks in school when i was growing up had incredible covers. they inspired curiosity!  compared to the bland computer-generated covers of today, they are vibrant and interesting. all hand done.

these are all houghton mifflin reading book covers from the late 70's. my earliest classroom shelves were full of these. i was transfixed!

 this 'secrets' one i particularly remember because they were left over on a back shelf from an earlier year and i had to ask my teacher if i could take one home with me and read it. she said yes. i mean who wouldn't want to read 'secrets' with a cover like that?!

all this started when i saw this "windchimes" book at a second-hand store today and my mind was awash in a flood of cedar hill elementary school book covers.

the covers today do not hold a candle.

From Houghton Mifflin