Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye, 2011, Hello 2012

As I sit here, and reflect on the last year, I can't help but to feel an overwhelming sense of not only accomplishment, but true gratitude. It's been one heck of a year, that's for sure. Jon and I are so incredibly blessed to be where we're at at this point in our lives.

Be brought in 2011 still living at the apartment on State St. Our house hunting began early in the year, and we found (and fell in love with) our first home.
It's been an adventure, that's for sure. Immediately upon moving in, the basement living room flooded. Then the basement bathroom flooded. Then we tore out all the ugly bushes that for whatever reason people in the 50's thought every house needed.
We've removed two trees. Painted every wall and ceiling in the ground level. Seriously, an oxblood red closet is a bad idea, always. Who does that?! Whoever lived here before us, that's who. And they also liked peach kitchens. Weirdos.

Jon is still working at Wal Mart. We'd be totally lying if we said we totally loved him working nights, but I'm so glad we both have jobs, we simply can't complain. His schooling is trucking right along, in one more year he will have a degree in Forensic (Chemistry or Science, I'm a bad wife and never can remember which one it is) and will hopefully move to a new job while he finishes up on a Pharmacy degree. I'm so thankful for such a hard working husband.

I've had a few changes with work this year. But a lot has stayed the same, too. I love our staff so much. Seriously, I want the girls to just work there FOREVER because it's so much like a second family I don't even like to think about any of them ever moving on! Bleh! Tarah of course moved out of State, which has been an adjustment. I have been so blessed to have not just a business partner, but an honest true friend. She's one of those people that brings only positive to those around her. I love that. Love. Love. Love.

We of course added to the pack this year, quite a bit in preparation of getting Velcro Danes up and working towards producing quality, healthy, sound Great Danes of all beautiful colors they come in. Our first litter will be in Spring 2012 and we are so excited to embark on this adventure with our Danes that we flippin' love so much.

Who knows what all 2012 will bring. I can't even begin to wonder because I had no idea what kinds of blessings were in store for us this time last year. We are o lucky to be happy, healthy, stable, and ever progressing. I hope to never take such things for granted.

Farewell 2011. 2012 is going to be fantastic, it's already been decided.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Ellie,

Dear Ellie,
Over two months ago, I went on vacation. While I was gone you ran away from home. For two months, I drove the neighborhood every day, hoping to find you and bring you home again. I laid in bed praying that you were OK.
 Let's face it: you're a pretty dumb cat. You let Champ carry you around by the scruff. The odds are not in your favor out there.
Halloween was tough. You're such a beautiful dark chocolate kitty, easily mistaken for black. I know what moronic kids do to black kitties on that day. I cried myself to sleep.
Then, one day, I saw you! You were a block away, had been missing about a month, and you were fat, dingy, and so timid. You were never timid before. I cried for you when I couldn't catch you before nightfall.
Winter rolled in. Every night it got colder, I worried for you.
Then tonight, 63 days after you went missing, there you were, in the driveway. I was beyond thrilled when you didn't run this time, you ran to me and leaped in my arms. I'll even forgive you for scratching my shoulder, but don't make a habit of it.
I brought you inside, and can't believe you're home again. My Ellie. My kitty.
You stink, a lot... like stale cigarettes. I'm sad you had to live in that stench, for however long you did. I'm glad someone was taking care of you enough to let you inside, but I wish they cared enough to see if you have a microchip (which you do!) so you could come home to me. You're a little skiddish, but we'll get back to how things used to be, I hope. I wish you weren't SUCH a dumb cat, and would just leave a dang collar on.

ps. Your never going outside again. Ever. SO, I hope you had fun.

The moral of the story, folks: If you ever find a friendly kitty, PLEASE don't assume they are a stray. Take them to a vet to have them scanned for a microchip. ANY vet will do this, and it WON'T cost you anything. Post fliers. PAY ATTENTION to fliers posted in your neighborhood. You might think you're doing a good thing, but you never know who is out there driving, possibly right by your house, night after night, looking for their pet. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things I love.

Every now and then I buy, stumble upon, or receive something I really like. You know, things that just make life easier, get things done faster, and aren't complicated. I like life to be as easy as it can be. I've actually been meaning to do this blog post for a while now, but never really found the time. Imagine that.

I love my Swivel Sweeper.
Let's recap for a moment here... I have 6 dogs. Six not so small dogs, even. I love this thing, because if I just have to sweep something up really quick, and don't want to haul the vacuum out then I grab this handy dandy thing. It's NOT a vacuum, it won't replace a vacuum, but it's fantastic for quick clean up. 

I love my Shark Navigator Vacuum
Again with the 6 dogs bit. When my Bissell whatever vacuum died on us shortly after we bought our house, I was pretty dead set on a Dyson Animal. I mean, there I was at Wal Mart, about to dish out $600 I didn't really have on this awesome vacuum. And then I saw this thing, for like $160, looked p reviews and took a gamble. I LOVE THIS THING! Seriously. I'm not sure how I lived without it for 22 years of life. It has taken giant MUDDY paw prints off the white parts of my not-so-cheap area rug. I'm amazed at all the dust and hair it gets out of the carpet, carpet that doesn't even look dirty. If you don't want to know how gross your floor is, don't buy it. I actually LIKE vacuuming now. 

I love my Crockpots. Both of them. Dearly. 
I love my crockpots because they make dinner easy. Moreso, they make healthy dinners easy... dinners with very little prep time, and really long cook times. I'm in this routine now. Here's how it goes. Every night, I take about 5-20 minutes to throw a bunch of junk in the crockpot and set the dish in the fridge. In the morning, one of us puts it on to cook. When I come home from work, my house smells yummy, and dinner is pretty much ready. Steam some kind of veggie and I'm set to go! Seriously. Without these babies, I'd be doomed to fast food all the time. 

I love my 2011 Kia Sorento.

Have you ever tried car shopping for something that will fit a handful of Danes, be as gas-budget friendly as it can get, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, but still is good quality with a killer warranty, or is that just me? I love my car, oh to count the ways. It's cute, unlike a Prius. It's comfy, unlike a Prius. . It  can handle winter in Utah, unlike a Prius. It fits all the dogs. All of them. At the same time. unlike a Prius It gets decent mileage ok, FINE, Prius wins here.  The back seats fold completely flat. Lots of "cargo space." unlike a PriusIt's fun to drive. It has a killer warranty. I just love it, ok?!

I love my Nikon D40x

I love my camera. Why? Because it's user-friendly, and I get nifty pictures of my dogs. I love it, I don't have much to say about it other than that if you don't have one, you should. 

I love my HTC Evo.
This thing makes life easier from day 1. I just wish it would do the laundry. 

I love the Hound Haberdashery collars. 
Huge huge fan of these collars. Such amazing quality, with fantastic prices, and they look great on my pooches. I love them. loooooove. Go buy one. 

And the rest are all RESOURCES I love. 

I love this crockpot recipe blog. A lot. 
I've been making dinner from this blog for a few nights now. This is why I love my crockpot so dang much. 

I love this Prey Model Raw info source.
A lot of people ask me where they can learn about raw, and this is where I always send them. A place that isn't even trying to sell you some kind of lengthy how-to, or some super supplement to add. And the folks who own it aren' too bad, either. I've contributed to it a few times, too. Go read it. Your dog will thank you. 

I love these pregnancy/birth/parenting blogs.
And in that order. 
I know, right? How backwards is that? I don't even have kids yet. But I will someday, and in the process of research (you know me, I have to question EVERYTHING) I've become somewhat of a junkie on this stuff. I check them daily. And they all have Facebook groups! I'm borderline obsessed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Photo Shoot, Party of Six!

SO. It's December. Woo hoo. I can't believe the end of the year is all but here, and I'm happy for it to not be totally weird that my house is decorated. But only since Halloween. That's reasonable, right?

so this time of year brings a lot of things. Liiiike.... snow, and shopping. And cold, which I guess goes along with the snow. And, it's Christmas card time. I woke up this morning and thought "Hmm, I should get that picture done while I have time."

I pictured it in my head: all 6 sitting peacefully in front of the tree/ fireplace, ears perfect, focused on me. Shoot, I will take a few and then post them on DFC and get input on which I should use. I mean how hard can it be? My dogs can sit. They can wait. Yup, I've got good dogs, this will be a piece of cake. A little Venison jerky, my nifty  camera. We're set. Let the dogs in!

First, Braxton and Timber run in and jump on the couch.
I call them off.
"Picture time, baby danes!"
I heard them, all 6 of them in front of the tree. Armed with venison jerky.
Kola obsessively sniffs my hand.  Leave it, Kola.
I hold one hand up, right by the camera, armed with treats.
Oh good, they're watching!
"Okay, SIT!"
I'm watching through the viewfinder, this will be fantastic!
6 blank stares come my way
"Kola, Timber, Braxton, Annie, Zailey, Mousse! Sit!"
Half of them sit. Braxton makes sure to move several feet to his right, no longer in the picture. Zailey lays down. Timber looks like someone is about to slaughter her, ears tucked so close to her head she looks likie she doesn't have any. Mousse wanders off to his crate.
We gather then again, this time moving the furniture to block them in a small area.
Their attention spans have run out, and so has my patience, but we're going to get this done.
After all, I have good dogs.
SO, now they're trapped. They can't wander off. woot. I'm a smart, smart dog mom.
Except for, have you ever TRIED to enclose Danes in COUCHES, and then expected them to sit on the floor? It doesn't happen. In fact, Danes have some kind of illogical FEAR of the floor, like if more body parts than the pads of their feet touch it, they might shrivel up and die. They will sit/lay ANYWHERE but the floor. Couch occupied? Dog beds taken? They will find a way.
Case in point:

Alright, off the couches, everyone.
Picture time.
Now they're sick of me.
I'm kinda sick of them too.
Braxton, Kola, and Timber are oddly distracted by the knots in the hardwood floor.
I, in my happiest voice ever put out my secret weapon.
"whooooo wantsssss CHICKIE?!"
Chickie. Why didn't I think of it before? It's their "dinner/food/treat" que.
Zailey perks up. She always does. She's a fat Dane at heart.
Kola looks at me, sweet expression on her face.
Annie yawns.
Braxton walks away.
Timber is still interested in the floor.
Alright, I'm bored.
They're bored.
Time to perk up!
Look guys, it's RAINING treats!
I toss handfuls into the air, making them rain down.
They scramble to get them.
I ponder for a moment on how awesome it would be if it rained Jolly Ranchers.
Alright guys, focus.
They're hudled together, looking at me.
I suddenly don't care that they're not sitting.
I pretend to be about to toss more treats.
 Yes! It's working!
I drop the treat.
Timber inches toward it.
I snap the picture anyway.
Her face is way out of focus.
I look at them.
They look at me.
I suddenly don't care. It will do.
YES! we're done.
Jon put them outside for a minute, started arranging our living room again, while I uploaded them.
I upload them to
Resolution too small.
I could cry. Instead I yell a couple four letter words.
Won't say which, this is a family blog. Hi, Mom!
The camera got put on small. How? Why? My life is OVER!
No big deal, we'll just do it again.
Remember, I've got good dogs.
We're losing light, and good light is my key to good pictures.
I'm an idiot and don't even know how to use my camera with crappy light.
Everything just goes blurry and the shutter speed dies.
A few tries, and we quit.
Their heads are hung.
Annie keeps laying down.
We've all had it for the day.

So, we will do it tomorrow.
I bet Jon is excited.
Maybe I'll even get Santa Hats.
I'm sure it won't take TOO long.
After all, I've got good dogs.