Beloved (photo challenge)

Beloved

Almost a year ago we adopted two dogs whose owners at the time wanted them kept together if at all possible.  That’s Bear in the foreground and you can see his age is showing – he’s 12.  Bear is a fitting name too – he stands nearly as tall as our dining room table and can clear the top of the coffee table with a mere swipe of his tail.  And his tail is always wagging!  He’s a sweetie, and so firmly lodged in my heart I wouldn’t give him back if they paid me.  The only downside is that his bark is strangely unnerving.  It doesn’t seem to affect my husband, but when Bear is excited about playing tug of war (or for umpteen other reasons) he barks – loudly and often – and the feeling or sound or whatever is akin to fingernails on a chalkboard to me!  Bear always wants to be as close as possible to us and the above photo captures his favorite car-riding posture.

You can see Kohl up there behind Bear, resting his chin on Bear’s hips.  They’re both fairly large dogs, so sharing the back seat can be challenging.  Kohl is slightly smaller than Bear and his limbs are more delicately shaped.  He’s the more sensitive of the two – taking a scolding more seriously than Bear, who shrugs it off when we’re correcting him.  Yes, dogs can too shrug!  Kohl is about 8 years old but still has the energy of a puppy and wants to play ALL. THE. EFFING. TIME!  He’s also our first responder – letting us know whenever there’s even a hint of company arriving. Every night when I shut the car door after parking I can hear him going off inside.  Here’s a better photo of Kohl, practicing his yoga:

Kohl yoga

There are moments I think we did them a disservice by adopting them.  At their original home, they were in a fenced yard all day while their family was at work.  They could run around as much or as little as they wanted.  The two of us are on either side of 60 and we just aren’t as active as the boys need us to be.  Also, we live in a senior mobile home community which claims to be “pet-friendly” but frowns on walking dogs within the park!  So their outdoor activities are somewhat limited.  We can walk them around our little yard and we take trips to the park down the street for a quick walk.  There’s also the occasional visit to the leash-free park when the weather and the husband’s frame of mind are sunny.  As a result they’ve put on some weight and aren’t looking as sleek as they used to be.

When I have those moments of wondering whether we made the right decision, they look into my eyes and Kohl smiles his doggy smile, snatching a Wubba toy out of the air before his brother can grab it.  Then I’ll hear the rain pouring outside and remember they’d be out in their yard (at least on a workday) in that weather if we hadn’t adopted them.  They had a shelter from the rain of course, but I like to think they’re very happy being inside during the worst of the weather – they’re never reluctant to come indoors at least.

They became part of us the moment they arrived, an essential, beloved part of us.  And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

 

via Photo Challenge: Beloved

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Quotable Quotes – 2

Another from the Freaking Great Job book.

Judy Garland quote

This makes me wonder…does this apply if you’re a mermaid?  You know the meme/tee shirt saying – Always be yourself.  Unless you can be a mermaid (or Batman, etc.), then be a mermaid.

The Hat by C.S. Boyack

The Hat

I always have good intentions about reviewing the work of other authors, especially when I enjoy it.  We all know about good intentions though don’t we?  My follow-through is sadly lacking.  Add in that I’m not an experienced reviewer, and when I read other reviews I realize how poor my own are…well, you can see I’m not all that motivated.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed The Hat, by C.S. Boyack, whose blog is here.

If you’re a fan of fantasy and adventure with a bit of suspense thrown in, you’ll enjoy The Hat.  Think J.K. Rowling’s the Sorting Hat meets Stephanie Plum!

As mentioned above, I don’t have a lot of experience at writing reviews but I can tell you what I liked about this book, or novella actually.

The characters were well-defined and very believable.  I’m sure other reviewers have mentioned that Lizzie would make a great friend and I’m on that same bandwagon.  We would definitely have fun snarking at each other.  The Hat was such a genuine personality I had to remind myself it was a hat for heaven’s sake!  I loved his curiosity about the Internet, as well as his musical talents.  He could also give snark as well as Lizzie.  Together they make an unbeatable team.

Envisioning the Hat’s different forms was entertaining in and of itself.  One of those styles creeped me out a bit but I won’t spoil anything by describing it.  You’ll have to read the tale for yourself.

I’m realizing I haven’t mentioned anything about the plot, or how the Hat comes into Lizzie’s possession.  Briefly, Lizzie is working 2 jobs to keep herself afloat.  Her strong work ethic resonated with me.  When her grandmother passes, her uncle won’t give her anything to remember her grandmother by, so Lizzie swipes a box with unknown contents.  The box is home to the Hat, who has been stored away a very, very long time – hence his curiosity about the Internet.

Together they must solve a baby-napping mystery and along the way Hat teaches Lizzie some family history and how to jam, among other things.

This was incredibly fun to read and I look forward to seeing more about Lizzie and Hat in the future!

A day late and…

This would have been so cool to post in MLK Day, right? With his “I have a dream” theme.

I have day dreams folks, and since it’s one of the few remaining holidays recognized by BigLaw, I was off being lazy, so this is being posted now, not then.

Happy Belated MLK day!

Back to Basics

The next page in the You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job book, simply reads:

Back to basics

What does “back to basics” mean to you?

Basics could be the ABCs, or reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  Perhaps “basics” refers to living off the land – growing your own vegetables, raising chickens or goats or cows.

Then there’s the fashion basic – black.  I used to wear black a lot.  Many larger women did and still do.  I didn’t trust my own judgment about what colors might flatter me so I went for black because it was easy.  And of course there was the lie we all believed for years that black was slimming.  [Eye roll.]  Now I wear a variety of colors and love it.

Basic jewelry equals pearls.  A simple string of pearls was the one piece of jewelry my mother gave me when I was a young woman.

Basics can also include learning to roller skate, or ride a bike, or drive a car.  Baking your very first cake, meticulously following the directions.

I’m trying to relate “basics” to my job and the only thing I can come up with is learning to touch type and taking dictation.  I never learned to take dictation myself.  But I can proofread, spellcheck, transcribe audio, type quickly and accurately and file like a badass.

Basics got me where I am, with a few flourishes along the way.

Let me know what back to basics means to you, won’t you?