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Coming Soon: A Very Late Peek into this Week

2 May

I haven’t done a teaser post in a long time and I thought it was about time to bring it back. I don’t normally blog on Mondays; instead I usually clean for most of the day and take some time to research and write. Since Hubs is going to be late getting home today, though, I thought I’d use the time to announce some things.

Only have two planned happenings for this week so far. One, I’m going to be showing you my brand new and very small vegetable garden. If you’re not a gardener (yet), mine will not in any way embarrass or guilt you into starting something. It’s pretty humble for the moment.

Two, I’ll be launching a new project page which I’m calling The Brilliant Catalog. Where this part of my blogging is way more general and probably only appeals to people who actually know me, the catalog will be a sweeping catch-all for things that inspire me in art, science, religion, and some other things that make me feel vulnerable and impassioned. It’s mainly something I’m trying to boost how much time I actually spend on my craft. I think visually creating  a space to see these things and talk about them will make me more likely to weave them into writing. It should be fun so I’m pretty excited!

I’ll also be doing some community round-up for a book club I’m starting this week. It’ll be focused on Twenty-somethings and an exploration of contemporary literature in all its forms. I’m nervous but if I find even a couple good members, it’ll be really rewarding for me.

For now, I have some pictures to share for the Marco fans.

A face his mama loves to death.

For those of you who don’t know him, here’s his story: Hubs and I picked out Marco from an animal shelter when he was only a few months old. We don’t know for sure if he was a rescue or if someone just brought him there for decency’s sake but when we brought him home, he liked to hide under things. He would only come out from under the coffee table to eat or pounce on Luca so we named him Marco Polo (because we had to play a little hide and seek to find him, get it?). As he grew up, Will and I noticed two unusual things: one, there was a stripe expanding right down the middle of his nose and two, he wasn’t a very active puppy. When he was around five or six months old, we took him to the vet in concern for his reluctance to go on walks and told the vet that he seemed like he was hurting. The vet gave him a quick physical exam and chalked it up to growing pains which are common in large breed dogs.

Well, after Will and I picked him up from the vet where we boarded him for the wedding, Marco came home and played too hard in the yard. He collapsed and we couldn’t move or touch him without hurting him. We knew it was serious when he whined because he’d never done it before, no matter how much he seemed uncomfortable. A couple x-rays later and the vet confirmed that Marco had a rare condition in which he was born without hip sockets. A consult with a surgeon gave us only one option: an FHO operation that would remove one of his ball joints and stop the pain in that leg. With a whole bunch of loving prayers and donations from friends and family and even some people we’d never met, Marco had the surgery within a month of his diagnosis and started to recover pretty quickly. Today he’s still a little lazy but he can run and play when he wants to without pain or discomfort and the whole journey has definitely been worth it.

Okay, I mentioned last week that Hubs and I volunteer together at the Humane Society and it was there that we learned just how fortunate Marco was to meet us. Black dogs are usually the last to be adopted from shelters and are often put down or left in the care of shelter volunteers for years, some living their whole lives in a kennel as we saw was the case with one unlucky girl at our local center. Among animal adoption circles, this phenomenon is called the Black Dog Syndrome.

Black dogs are hard to photograph because their features tend to blend in and for some reason, they automatically look more aggressive or undesirable to potential adopters. However, dogs don’t know how they look to humans or even how they sound and some of these not-so breathtaking animals are the perfect companions. Marco, for example, has more markings than the average black dog but his colors indicate an aggressive breed which couldn’t be less true of him. While he may be intimidating to look at and even sounds a bit scary with his deep bark and a growl that he uses to talk to everyone, Marco is a bit of a Ferdinand. He loves all people and is gentle with other dogs and especially children. Oh, how he loves kids, even teeny-tiny ones that hold on to him while they learn to walk. I’ve seen him smell and lick and a baby’s fingers before. He doesn’t know that he looks scary, he just has a gentle heart.

I take a lot of photos of our boy because in a way, he’s the perfect spokesdog for shelter animals and especially black dogs. He’s a dog that probably very few people would have taken on, much less likely that they would have invested hundreds of dollars in medical care for him, but he’s a perfect and sweet dog who really only wants to please and be hugged…and occasionally eat inappropriate things. Dogs like Luca who are beautiful and energetic are easy to love but if you can learn to love a Marco, there’s a really deep reward.

In some ways, he’s even more beautiful and precious to me than our Aussie Princess.

Remember, black dogs need love too.

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Entering Week 5: Time to Celebrate!

27 Mar

I know I was a little delinquent yesterday when I didn’t post the teasers for next week so let me say I’m sorry for falling down on my commitment. Last week was one of the worst for me so far but I’ve had my girl time this weekend and I’m ready to move forward. To live in spite of our hard times, next week I’m going to write some celebratory posts about owning who you are, taking real steps to being healthier and happier, and completing well-fought achievements.

You ARE “That Girl”: Re-programming your thought process to imagine yourself as the person you want to be.

Healthier Living Habits, Volume Two: Taking real care of yourself without feeling selfish or overly-girly.

Conquering the Bookcase: I’m calling it quits on this project of mine by Friday, one way or another. (Because two and a half weeks is far more than it deserves.)

So I hope all of you who are discouraged and burdened will find encouragement this week. May you all persevere and steadily pursue your goals, taking pleasure in the small things and finding comfort in those who love you.

Happy Sunday. Take some well-deserved rest.

Competing with the NCAA for your attentions: It’s the fourth week!

19 Mar

I know everyone is getting hyped for Tournament Week, which for me is a time when I get a lot of alone-type-things done. Hubs gets the TV and I get peace and the white noise of Come-on’s and Really’s. It looks like my half-crazed partner may be going on some very long and…sticky trips in the near future so I’m planning to be by myself for the next couple weeks just in case.

So next week might be a good time to introduce myself as a very apathetic passenger in the military-life car. Here’s what to look for:

The Reluctant Military Wife: That’s my title. I’ll fairly and patiently explain the pro’s and con’s of this lifestyle.

Stewards of the Earth: Trying to be a good citizen of Planet Earth can be really easy. I’ll share some every day ways that Hubs and I try to cut down on our environmental impact.

The Return of the Bookcase: The hopefully harrowing tale of the bookcase that just wouldn’t quit.

By the way, thanks readers for the 307 views! May your favorite teams win and your faith in the sports universe be restored. 🙂

The Path Ahead

12 Mar

The dogs sleeping by my feet while I write to you.

Fellow adventurers, I have some good stuff for you next week! You want to see? Okay, but only because you asked so nicely.

The Publishing Process: I’ve already told you how it feels to call yourself a writer but next week, I’ll share the (somewhat long) process of finding a home for the things I write.

The Problem with “Supposed to Be’s”: One of the most poisonous thoughts and how you can re-train yourself to fully enjoy the way things are, no matter what.

Bookcase Workshop: I’ve been needing a new bookcase for, oh, months, but can’t seem to find one that really appeals to me. Next week I’m going to buy a simple one and show you some easy ways to add your own unique features.

In the meantime–Does this look like the perfect sleeping arrangements for any other couples in the room?

The thing I miss most about being single is sleeping alone. I know most people probably have opposite feelings but what I can say? I’m a selfish sleeper. The Eastern Europeans have a really appealing solution for me with a set of covers for each person on a shared bed.

It’s not super pretty but it could always be covered with a top blanket and what’s more beautiful than a peaceful slumber?

The Show-stopping Third Week

5 Mar

Hello, all you diligent and beautiful readers. You’ve been great to me so far and I’m afraid the title for this next week is meant to be ironic. With the upcoming release of one of my most anticipated games, Dragon Age 2, I’m likely to be less zealous in my posting. However, I’m going to give it the old college try. Next week is going to be even more specifically about me and my experiences. Here’s what you can anticipate:

Video games and their prime location in my heart: I’ll dig into my reasoning for the second biggest passion of my life. It may surprise you.

The ways that marriage has made me a better person: Lessons learned in the first, hard months.

More, more, more decorating: I barely need provocation to talk about nesting but most of the art I ordered is here and I’ll be laying it out next week. I’m bound to keep you updated. I just can’t help myself.

But let’s go ahead and re-examine my original list to see what I’ve already accomplished this year.

“2. Find gym and get on a schedule for exercise”

Check. I take classes at my gym at least three times a week.

“4. Walk the dogs more often”

I walk them both three days a week and alternate taking them to the dog park for another three. (So they get exercise everyday but Sunday…although sometimes on Sunday too.)

“5. Find the right hairstyle”

Got it! Hooray!

“10. Go to church more often.”

Sundays, Wednesdays, and lunch with the ladies on Thursdays. I love our new church!

“19. Start a blog. (Riiiight?)”

Done and doner.

Aw, man. Only five? I thought I was doing better than that. Well, it’s a good start.

What have you accomplished lately? Let’s celebrate together and have a community high-five!

On the Menu

26 Feb

Next week will be less structured and have fewer advice or How-To pieces. I want this to be a versatile blog that celebrates my achievements while making room to discuss inspiration and aspirations and the very important difference between the two. So the posts coming up will deal more with internal struggles and fueling creativity. These are big issues for me at present because I am in a very large state of transition and sometimes starting a new journey can effectively reset or bury your passions. Here’s what you can look forward to, longingly with watering mouths:

The Creative Habit: “You must be present to win,” so sometimes success hinges on just showing up and doing what you do, whether it sucks or it’s brilliant.

The Power of No: Letting your affirmations overshadow the negativity in your life.

Nesting Inspirations: Some ideas I’d like to put into action around the house.

Thanks for sticking with me so far and enthusiastically participating in the adventure, if only vicariously!

This is Luca telling me it's time to get off the computer.

Teaser for next week!

19 Feb

So here is how I plan to run this thing:

I will make a serious effort to write to y’all three times a week between the days of Monday and Friday and on Saturday, I will give a sneak peek of any planned posts for the next week. And guess what? Today is Saturday and I have planned posts. Are you ready for this? Of course you are. You’re ready for anything. 😉

Dog Days: I’ll be sharing some helpful tips I learned from my first adventure at a dog park! Simple ways to get your dogs comfortable in a new and exciting atmosphere, tips on avoiding not-so-well-behaved critters, and proper owner etiquette.

Nesting Habits: Inexpensive and easy (EASY!) ways to DIY your decor and add more color to your walls and furniture.

Healthy Body: Need some help motivating yourself to stay on a fitness routine? I may have some tricks up my sleeve.

That’ll be all for next week! See you then and enjoy yourselves a little this weekend, okay?

Oh, ooohhhh! Check this out if you’re interested. My photographer-for-life (Melody Kristensen of Aria Images Photography) was kind enough to blog my wedding!
Wedding blogged!