Labradors are known to be a bit food obsessed. My hound dog, Dharma, should be the poster girl for dogs that love to eat.
She happens to think sleeping is pretty cool too.
Dharma LOVES BarkBox! She knows the difference between an ordinary delivery and when the box delivered belongs to her (and Gracie). My favorite brother shared a photo on Facebook of his puppy with a toy from this month’s delivery at his house — a cute little blue airplane with clouds.
My Dharma got this…
I’ve had the same email address for at least 15 years; therefore, I’ve gotten on more email lists than I can count. The process of emptying my spam folder and deleting the occasional marketing message that makes its way into my inbox is a pain and is time consuming.
Today, an email slipped in and caught my attention from friend and speaker, Scott Friedman, (http://scottfriendman.net). The font was funky and the header read, “Celebrate 2017 With 10 Workplace Celebrations.” I couldn’t help but read it even though I don’t have a typical workplace.
One of the 10 celebrations — and the purpose of this post — was called, ‘Snap a Happy.’ Every day you take a photo of something that makes you smile and compile an album. What better place to compile a happy album than right here?
So here goes… a photo a day for 2017 of something that brought me a smile. Even if I don’t have time to write a post, I can share a photo… right? I hope you play along at home!
Summer is my favorite time of the year. At least, it used to be when I had a pool. I’ve found that without water in the backyard I don’t know what to do on weekends other than sweat or stay inside. We don’t grill out nearly as often — we don’t enjoy evenings outside even. While some get ‘spring fever’ for a car… I’m seriously thinking pool over here.
Dharma, on the other hand, is satisfied without a body of water to get into — she’s happy when it just rains…
My puppies walk through a closed-in porch to go outside. When they want back in, they expect the door to open for them immediately. But it’s not like they’re chained to a doghouse in knee-high water, or stranded in the hot sun with nothing to drink — still, poor Gracie looks like she’s auditioning for a part in one of the ASPCA commercials that make me cry every single time (so I’m NOT linking to them here either). Sometimes I let them stay out there long enough to smear my door’s window up with nose prints.
There’s apparently a hidden treasure trove of messages that Facebook hides from you. They’re messages that are most likely sent from someone not on your friend’s list. My favorite brother sent me the link last night — and I’ve seen others sharing it today within status posts.
I primarily use FB on my desktop computer and to check this out, you need to be on your phone. I didn’t have any hidden messages, but it seems we lost a couple speech inquiries and more on another FB account because of this.
The lesson here is two-fold. Check your hidden FB messages more often than once a year, but most importantly… don’t use FB to send a message to someone if you’re not “friends” — and especially if you’re sending a business message to a personal account.
So much talk about pit bull terriers! Some claim they are vicious and dangerous around children, while others claim they’ve gotten a bad rap and are sweet animals. Because I’m not 100% certain which side I believe, I don’t own one. Although I think they are a gorgeous breed, I have a granddaughter. Not knowing is not worth it.
When it comes to dogs, I ‘get it’ that some breeds are simply more aggressive than others and pet owners may also contribute to their pet’s aggressive behavior by poor treatment and training/non-training. But that isn’t always 100% accurate either. My Libby, (now resting in box in my office) was a labrador. Labs are known to be friendly and goodness knows I did nothing to make her aggressive… but she was. More protective than aggressive — but she would bite. She was the true alpha dog.
And speaking of alpha dogs… I think I have another one.
Have you noticed the overwhelming number of articles that have a number in the headline/title? You know… like, The 7 Creepiest Abandoned Places in (and Around) Louisville, and 9 Ridiculously Easy Weeknight Pasta Recipes? Books utilize the concept too. For example, 7 Tenets of Taxi Terry and The 6th Target (Women’s Murder Club).
It is said there are five, high-level headline types:
Studies show that headlines written utilizing a number resonate more with readers — as much as 15% more than 2nd place, ‘addresses the reader’ headlines. I guess I agree, even though I feel saturated with lists and more lists. Having said that, allow me to share the ONE reason Dharma loves Valentine’s Day… fuzzy teddy bears!
I need to go Christmas shopping but at the end of every single day I make an excuse to wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow, I have to maneuver 2 dogs to the vet (which will undoubtably require patience and strength — neither of which are my strong points) so I KNOW I’ll have an excuse to wait until at least Friday. Time is running out and we have next to ZERO percent chance of snow for my favorite holiday. I’d be all merry and bright with just a small flurry or two but Mother Nature isn’t cooperating this year.
It’s official. I have the holiday blues. 🙁
PS. On the bright side — the chin hairs aren’t mine.
Posting this photo today that I took last weekend because Dharma is growing so fast she’s already bigger now.
Something else that grows like a weed? A fib. (A fib is a really kind way to say a LIE, isn’t it?)
Your friends and family will love you anyway if just tell the truth when you screw something up. When it comes to a business interaction, you’ll get a better result if you simply tell the truth and ask for help.
A liar deceives himself more than anyone, for he believes he can remain a person of good character when he cannot.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich
Make it easier on everyone else, but especially yourself, and simply tell the truth.
Sometimes when you try too hard it comes off as insincere. At least it does to me…
ME: Would you kindly explain how this will alter my monthly bill?
Company Chat Responder: I will be more than happy to explain it to you!
Company Chat Responder: It will be a real honor!
A REAL honor?? And then, it got better…
Company Chat Responder: By the way by part of AT&T and me I want to wish a marry Christmas and wonderful day, please do not hesitate to chat with us again!
Maybe it’s just me being my grumpy, bah-humbug self — but c’mon now. While I think it’s pretty cool the wish mentioned Christmas instead of some politically correct ‘happy holidays’ sentiment, I still wanted to type in SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS… it’s MERRY Christmas. MERRY… not MARRY.
I guess trying too hard is better than not trying at all. This girl doesn’t care one little bit if she pleases anyone but herself. She doesn’t try at all.
The Christmas tree is up at my house but this year is not merely a repeat of previous holidays. I had to buy a new tree this year… my Martha Stewart special lasted only 2 years. And Dharma is so destructive that I didn’t feel “safe” pulling out my collected ornaments. My (now 33 year-old) baby’s “first Christmas” ornament is pretty special to me and I simply didn’t want to chance finding it chewed and discarded after the holiday season. So my new LED tree has just plain ole’ ornaments this year…
With a selection of colors and display choices (flashing/firefly/etc), I thought I’d just share a black and white rendition and let you guys pick whatever color you want. When I pick, it’s purple every single time. Evidently, everyone else thinks the “P” on the tree remote stands for “PINK” (not purple) and switch it to something…. ANYTHING else the second my back is turned.
If trying to monitor a puppy during the holiday season (so everything remains somewhat intact) isn’t enough — I have this five-year old granddaughter. Kids LOVE remotes, you guys. Between remotes for the TV, the AppleTV, the fireplace, the cable box and more… it feels like I’m almost always looking for a remote to something. And when I find the remote I’m looking for? It doubles as a pretend cell phone and rings often.
I thought Dharma was doing so good with the whole potty training thing… until I found her poop stash. I watched as she snuck into the living room (the room with white carpet) and slithered behind the couch. It was pretty evident what she was about to do. I yelled and she came out like a flash and ran to the back door. Of course, this is proof she KNEW where she was supposed to do her stinky deed.
When I pulled the couch out to see if any “mistake” happened before I stopped the process, I found a couple other “mistakes” already there. This puppy thing is rough, you guys.
Pretty sure this will be the last share of live outside plants until next year. Dharma thinks they smell nice — but what would she know about smells anyway?
So I asked Google when I might expect Dharma’s eyes to change color and I found about 100 answers that were all different. Some articles said 8 weeks (that’s long since done and over with) and others said that breeders of chocolate Labs may try to achieve dark chocolate or black eyes by breeding only black labs that are known producers of chocolates. I know Libby’s eyes were amber/brown in adulthood and they were green/blue when she was a puppy. I figure Dharma’s will change and was just curious as to when I could expect it. Now I know it could be yesterday or never. Thanks, Google.
Gracie’s behavior, while often annoying, is also commendable. She has such a high tolerance level in respect to the constant pestering of her puppy sister, Dharma. I had a friend suggest that little Dharma is too cute to be such a bully. (You know who you are!)
Dharma could never be as bullyish as you and Gracie say. She is just too cute. LOL”
Every waking moment, Dharma is after poor Gracie. Gracie looks at me with pleading eyes as I break up the torturous acts of brutality inflicted upon her. No matter how quickly I put a stop to Dharma’s relentless assaults, there are always consequences for Grace. One day, the girl will be bald.
Libby was never a fan of water. Although she was a lab and the whole water thing was expected, I can’t remember a time she didn’t do whatever she could to avoid getting her feet wet. Baths? She HATED them! Getting her in and out of the tub was nearly impossible. When I tried bathing her outside in the warm summer months, she was terrified of the water hose. I’ve dipped warm water from the hot tub more times than I care to remember and although it was difficult, she made it 100 times worse. Libby would seriously poop on the sidewalk rather than get her feet wet in the rain.
Dharma is totally the opposite. Because she’s too evil to be left alone even long enough for me to shower, I lock her in the bathroom with me. I have better luck with a shower (even though she’s hopping on her hind legs, grasping at the shower curtain trying to get in) because it’s quicker. A bath for me is no longer a relaxing experience. Every part of my body is shredded that she can reach as she hops and scrambles to get in with me — just barely too short. I figure I’ve got about a week before I am required to change my routine.
When I do give her that extra boost and she hits the warm water (once I’m safely out), she growls, barks, and bites at it. It reminds me of a ninja… bite in front, leap, and bite that bad water behind.
She may look all innocent… but she is far from it, you guys. She’s a little terror with a love/hate relationship with H2O.
Once again, thanks to Veterans and their families for their service. I want to share a comment made on Facebook by friend, Dan Leclerc, in 2009 — it touched me then so I kept it… and it still does today:
This morning, I saw the old man who has served as the crossing guard down the street for years in a new light. Usually he’s wearing overalls and beat-up ball-cap. This morning he was in his old dress uniform, the chest covered with medals and ribbons. I guess his job has always been to protect us.
I have learned 10 very valuable lessons that I want to pass to you:
If my list consisted of 11 lessons instead of 10, I would’ve added that dogs in general are expensive and you shouldn’t get or have one if you don’t intend to take care of it properly. Between vet visits, shots, heart worm pills and dog food ($22 for a 4.5 pound bag, you guys — about the same as the going price per pound for ground round), it is an expensive, long-term commitment. But in my opinion… it’s sure worth it!
Dharma holds the belief that she is inherently deserving of privileges and special treatment. I know that description is pretty much the definition of entitlement — but it’s not just that. It’s more about the attitude. Dharma makes it impossible for anyone to ignore her because of her ‘I am the princess’ behavioral patterns.
Gracie, on the other hand, is totally the opposite. She is grateful for everything. No matter what it is… treats, food, love… she’s appreciative and submissive.
Sadly, the lesson here is that the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease. And, if you don’t make what it is you want in life known, you might just miss out on opportunities — and be forced to steal someone else’s pink bunny. Life sucks like that.
We all know this one person we would consider a bit of a bully. Right? Maybe not to the extent that we’d consider their actions mean, but enough that we’d love for them to leave us — and others — alone. I’m not talking about stealing lunch boxes or beating up one who is defenseless. My thoughts are about the type of bully that picks and picks and picks until they get what they want. You’ve got somebody in mind right now, don’t you?
Closing your eyes and merely hoping the bully will go away doesn’t work. The bully remains. Looking all innocent and waiting for the next moment they can make you miserable. Sadly, sometimes they don’t even know they are a bully.
I haven’t talked much about photography for a long time because I simply wasn’t taking many photos. This new puppy has me picking up my camera again, and for the first time in over a year I pulled out my favorite lens and snapped a few quick photos.
Which lens is my favorite?
The Canon 85mm, 1.2. When this lens locks in at f/1.2, there’s not another lens I know of that produces better bokeh.
The Canon 85mm, 1.2 is a medium telephoto — I can get shots that are more ‘close up’ without being right on top of my subject (Diva Dharma in this instance). I’m not going to tell you this is an easy lens to use. It isn’t. It takes practice to deal with wide apertures and you’ll most likely have some shots that simply aren’t in focus (especially when photographing moving objects like a rowdy puppy). The good news is that with a wide aperture lens, you can shoot in about any lighting situation.
These Dharma photos were taken on a dreary, rainy, fall day. Yes, that’s a raindrop on her nose — and yes, I was cold. These photos are nothing more than Dharma on the sidewalk and me standing above her inside the patio room.
So now that I’m once again fascinated with taking photos — I want a NEW lens. I’m hoping Santa brings me the 33mm, 1.4 for Christmas.
I tried two separate Pinterest ideas over the weekend and neither worked:
It was a banner weekend, all right. I now have no sound on my computer because the cord mysteriously got severed by some wild (and exotic) animal.
My favorite sister-in-law gave me a ‘Dammit Doll.’ She picked it up while on an excursion with Scott because she (a) thought I needed something to take my frustrations out on (b) thought I would find it amusing.
This camouflage dude with orange-spiked yarn hair has had a rough morning. The dammit doll needs a dammit doll, you guys.
Whenever things don’t go so well,
And you want to hit the wall and yell,
Here’s a little dammit doll,
That you can’t do without.
Just grasp it firmly by the legs
And find a place to slam it.
And as you whack the stuffing out,
Yell “DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT!”
I wake up early and make a cup of coffee thinking (praying) I could have a few moments peace and quiet before my day got underway. From the bedroom in the bedroom (Dharma’s crate), I could hear wailing. A sound so loud and shrill it probably cracked a vertebra or two. Now Dharma hadn’t been in her “bedroom” all night — just for the last few hours after I took her out in the middle of the night and she wanted to play during my sleep time. Still, she wanted OUT of that darned crate and she wanted the neighbors to know it.
It’s not quite daylight, mid-sixties with a bit of rain, and I think playing outside will wear the heathen down. Torturing Gracie is what Dharma lives for. (It’s sort of like me and my brother were years ago… wait… it’s STILL like that!!) Torturing Gracie is also strenuous activity that results in a nap — a puppy nap means your toes, computer cords and all those objects close to the floor are perfectly safe for a short time.
Fast forward two hours and the hounds look so cute rolling in wet leaves that I dash inside to get my camera. Within the minute and a half it took me to get back, they’d gone their separate ways to explore the backyard and I missed the chance to capture that memory. So, I snapped this instead:
Our golden retriever is a saint — not a very smart one — but she is one just the same. Dharma is a big bundle of high-powered energy. She flits around Gracie like a moth around a lightbulb nipping at everything in her path. A tender lip, an ear… she doesn’t care. Yesterday, I watched her ride Gracie’s tail into the kitchen. Dharma had a firm grip and was sliding behind — the ride looked a lot like a water skier behind a boat. I laughed at poor Gracie’s expense. Don’t judge me. You would’ve laughed too!
I did learn something last night that you should store in your memory banks somewhere. Puppies do better in a crate if you simply cover part of it up. After hours upon hours and nights multiplied, I remembered reading something about dogs thinking of their crate as a cave. Dharma’s wailing stopped immediately after I placed a blanket over the top and 3 sides of her prison. We both slept peacefully.
I also learned that this puppy gig would be easier in a climate where mornings aren’t frigid. Bare feet and pajamas aren’t enough for an urgent trip outside when it’s 40 degrees. I guess I should enjoy these before they are all gone…
This little bunny is a future artist (or maybe a brain surgeon). A child’s colorful imagination is inspiring — and Colette sure has a vivid one. Her Dad made the paper bunny head item and it’s near impossible to get her to take it off…
She wore it as she carefully took every brown crayon in the box and put it against the fur of our new puppy, Dharma, to make sure she got the exact color match. And then she scribbled a masterpiece!
The people? They are purple and brown — no color picking going on in that regard. The final artwork had 3 people and one Dharma (with only 3 legs). When I asked who the people were, Coco spoke in a condescending tone and said, “They are all ME!” Her other drawings included her Dad, me, Perry and even Katie made an appearance. But not with the dog. The only one allowed in the same drawing with the 3-legged dog was her.
I’m not a fan of subscriptions. I’m ok with subscribing to certain things but not the programs I depend on and use every single day. Let me BUY them. If you want Microsoft Office… you now subscribe. Adobe products? Subscribe. Everything is going to subscriptions or memberships. It makes me crazy because I HATE monthly bills. I’m the girl that pays her homeowner’s insurance by the year. I pay $300 at a time for small utility bills just so I don’t have to remember to pay them every month. Even my phone company continuously tries to get me to change my plan and pay for my phone upgrade by adding to my monthly bill, rather than paying for the darned thing when I get it. Everything feels like a lease.
I know things change — I get that. But I guess I still hear good ole’ Dad harping about paying for what you want.
In the spirit of change and subscription-based everything — I should’ve secured a DOG SUBSCRIPTION instead of buying little Dharma outright. I could’ve cancelled the first time she pooped on the floor. I could’ve unsubscribed today right after being handed the $185 vet bill (and right before I paid it). Best of all, I could put my Dharma membership on hold for a month and feed her again around mid-November.