My Life with Pets

6 Jan

Today I was watching an Oprah rerun.  It was an episode I heard about when it originally aired and I really wanted to see it, but I’d missed it.  It was about animals–how smart they are, how they communicate, what they can learn, and a couple of feel good stories for good measure regarding their companionship with humans.  And, I most definitely cried during some of the more heartfelt stories.  Not all that shocking because I hold a special place in my heart for animals. 

When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian because of my intense love for animals.  My grandma lived in Mississippi and always had a ton of animals on her property including cows, horses, goats, chickens, a rumored alligator and a fox or two.  And of course cats and dogs.  But, I remember one particular cow that I spent hours with trying to get it to trust me enough so that it would take the feed directly from my hand.   I would make a lot of progress, get to the point where I thought it was just about to eat from my hand and then someone would come out and tell me lunch was ready or some other comment, and the cow would get nervous all over again.  Finally, I got it to trust me enough to eat from my hand. 

Growing up we always had animals at our house too.  We had cats, dogs, hamsters, ducks, turtles, frogs, rabbits, and of course some fish.  But we didn’t have all of these at the same time.   I’m pretty sure we asked our parents for a new pet monthly.   Most of the time they said no, but every once in a while we would break them down and they would say yes.  Then we’d spend some time contemplating names for our new pets.  My brother was the youngest and would often come up with what we considered ridiculous names, like toothpaste.   We still make fun of him for that.

So now we have our pets.   Sean says they lucked out big time since we picked them from the shelter.  Molly has what you might call a wee bit of an anxiety problem, and we work with her to ease it.  She’s also the smartest dog I’ve ever had.  And Belle came from a high kill shelter.  And now they get to things like this with their white lab friend:

So, this was my long-winded way of saying if you’re contemplating a new pet, I highly recommend getting a rescue.  They are the sweetest, snuggliest pets!


Feliz Cumpleanos a Mi

5 Jan

So I mentioned recently that I’m turning 30 this year.  Well, it’s right around the corner as in about a month away.   For a while I had mixed feelings about embarking on the next decade, I mean it’s a little scary. 

So how am I coping with it?  Um…contemplating a Mexican vaca of course. 🙂

Maybe the Riu Palace Las Americas?  Perhaps you’d like to see some photos?

Maybe at night?

Or more of the beach?

Source for photos

I want to go to there.   How do you celebrate milestone birthdays?

Woah, Photoshop

3 Jan

I know this is probably old news for most people, but I just stumbled on it so I had to share.  So, I love the Pioneer Woman as most of us do.  But, I typically stick to the food posts and don’t peruse the rest of the site often.  However, her photography is amazing to me, and she has a great way of explaining things in layman’s terms so that even I can understand all the new lingo I’m trying to learn regarding my new camera.  Well, between reading about Christmas recipes and what the heck is an aperture on her site, I stumbled on several Photoshop Actions that I love. 

I’ve dabbled in Photoshop for a while, but I would in no way call myself Photoshop savvy.  I don’t even know how to create Actions on my own (can you even do that?), but what I can do is click a button from downloaded actions I got of the PW website. 

So I started with this photograph and played around with the actions I downloaded.  I’m in love.



PW’s B&W

Old West:



And finally one crazy one where I combined 3 ( burned edge, seventies and sharpen):

And best of all, there is a button that let’s you start all over when you mess something up, or if you just want to try something different.  I barely even scratched the surface with the options you have in front of you with this download.  So go play!  I hope you have as much fun with it as I have!

Home Embarrassment

2 Jan

So, there are a couple of things around my house that embarrass me.   And, I know you’re probably thinking, “Um…haven’t you been there over a year”?  And, yes, we have.  But for whatever reason I’ve done nothing to correct these items.  Finally, I decided that I was tired (enough of one of them) and needed to do something to fix it.  Up first, this beauty:

And because I love you guys so much, here’s a close up:

No, I didn’t make that.  But, I also didn’t take it down either.  To give you a little proximity on where this beauty sits, it greets you when you ring my doorbell while you’re waiting for me to answer.  Oh, and we don’t reserve this for just the winter, all visitors get to see it year round.  I know it has pine and all things winter in it.  However, not only does it have pine, it also has Fall leaves, you know so that it doesn’t have to just be used during the winter.  But I didn’t get rid of it any season. 

I think I was able to ignore it because we usually come in and out through the garage, so I didn’t really have to see it.  But finally I’d had enough.  The problem was that I wasn’t entirely sure what to replace it with.  Each time I went out, I’d search for something, anything to take its place, but I was never inspired.  I was limiting my thinking  to things that could fit in the basket rather than just getting rid of the whole thing entirely.  But, then I was at Target.  I’d gone for something specific though I’m not really sure what it was because I left with curtains and some other items, none of which I went in to get.  One of the other items was a replacement for the basket.  I stumbled on it in the candle section and I don’t think it’s necessarily for outdoor use, but hopefully that won’t be a problem. 

And, I know you’re thinking just stop rambling.  Ok, ok.  I got these:

I didn’t put a votive in it yet, mostly because I don’t think I’ll light one unless we’re having people over.  But, I’m happy with how they turned out.  I think they’re cute and hopefully they’ll be able to survive outside.   So what do you think?  Do you have any other suggestions for what I should put out there?

Happy New Year

1 Jan


I know I’m so behind on this post, but I wanted to wish you all a happy new year!  Thanks for reading along as I ramble about the random things in our life.  I didn’t really get on the new year’s resolution train, but the one thing I do want to be sure I do this year is take time off from work.  I’m at the point now that my vacation time is lost because I have so much of it that haven’t used.  So, time to fix that. 

Also, 2011 is going to be a very good year.  We have a lot of exciting things going on.  We will welcome a new baby nephew, attend a couple of family weddings, turn 30 (for me), take some vacations, continue to work on our house, and talk about starting a family.   And, if it were up to me we’d also talk about getting a new pet, but Sean vetoed that idea. 

What are you excited about for 2011?

Love for Molly and Belle

28 Dec

I’ve talked about Molly and Belle (my doggies) several times before, but when I saw that Trupanion was doing a Pawliday blog contest, I knew that I needed to tell you a little more about them.   

We got Molly first. 

She was 3 months old when I adopted her from the shelter.  She had a fever, was underweight and had kennel cough.  When I took her to the vet, she told me that sometimes shelter dogs just don’t make it.  Although I’d had her for just 2 days, my heart broke.  I knew that my shelter dog was going to make it.  Well, fast forward 1 week and she was happy, playful and destructive, just like any new puppy. 

After several happy years with just Molly, we decided that she needed a playmate and we were yearning for a new dog too.  We were so glad that we were able to help a shelter dog the first time; we couldn’t imagine getting a dog any other way.  So once again we headed to the shelter for our next fury friend.  I found Belle at a shelter about an hour away. 

She was previously adopted.  Twice.  And returned.  Twice.  Since she was just a small puppy when she was first adopted, and the previous owners thought she got “too big” as she matured into an adult and didn’t want her anymore.  The shelter made me promise that we would just give her a happy life and not return her.  We intended to do just that. 

Phew!  Now that we got the background out of the way, time to get to the point of why my dogs’ love is the best holiday gift…

Here’s the thing, dogs love you unconditionally.  I know we all already know that, but its worth repeating.  When I come home from a long, stressful day, nothing cheers me up more than seeing my two dogs excitedly greet me at the door. But more than that, here are all the things I love about my 2 pooches:

  • That when my nieces wake up in the middle of the night with bad dreams, Molly will nudge me awake to go check on them.  And, even though it’s 3 in the morning, she’ll wake up and sit with me while I get them back to sleep.  I imagine that when we have our own kids and I’m up with late night feedings, Molly will always be right by my side even if Sean is snoring. 
  • When Belle cuddles with me like she’s a baby.  She lies on her back, closes her eyes and sits with you for as long as you’ll let her. 
  • That both Molly and Belle look at me to see if they really have to do whatever command Sean is asking them to do.  You know, like sit, stay, etc.  I’ll nod behind him to tell them that yes, they do in fact have to listen. 🙂
  • That when I’m feeling depressed and ugly my dogs give me kisses and always think I look my best.
  • When they encourage me to exercise when all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with some cheese and wine.  They wag their tails and dance around me until I grab their leashes and head out for a walk.
  • When they stare at other dogs on the tv and cock their heads to the side as if they’re confused about what the dog is doing in that box.
  • That they can learn any trick I’m willing to teach them.  My favorite is when Molly shows me her tummy.  I think it’s her favorite too.

So, those are a few of the reasons why my dogs are the best gift I could ever receive.  I can’t imagine my life without them.  I miss them when I’m out-of-town, and look forward to seeing their happy faces when I return.

Christmas Love

26 Dec

Wow, it was a GREAT Christmas!  I got some really nice things, and I feel very lucky.  I also got to spend the holiday with family.  Sean and I went to Dallas to spend the weekend with my family and I gorged myself on more tamales and queso than I want to admit.  It’s our Christmas eve tradition and I look forward to it every year.  I only wish that I brought some of them home with us.  So, curious about what I got?  Well…I got this great necklace from Stone and Honey:

A Snuggie from my brother. 🙂  Which, I could not wait to use as soon as I got back to Austin.  I only wish that my dogs had one too.  And, a visa gift card from my brother.  Always appreciated. 

French food book.  Mmmmm

A brand new chair for the living room!

And….well….um…I got a camera too. 🙂  We returned the necklace, and got this instead.

I also got some great stocking stuffers too.  Overall, it was a really great Christmas.  I hope everyone else got what they wanted too.  What was your favorite gift this year?