much merries from the @furkids

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

2016 X-mas Card, Final

Since Jayne passed away in July, we’ve been down to “just” three dogs (not counting the fosters, of which we’ve thankfully had four since. They keep me busy and distracted, okay.) I know that three is still more than most households have, but we haven’t had such a critical low number since we adopted Kaylee and Jayne (dogs #4 and 5) in 2006 – so basically a decade! Not coincidentally, 2005 was also the last year I was able to squeeze all our dogs into a single photo. I gave it ye ole college try in 2006, but it was a hot mess.

Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures of Rennie, Mags, and Finnick, both individually and as a group, and the result is what you see above. This wasn’t my favorite shot, but it begged the best captions, so there you go.

I kind of stumbled when it came to the message on the back of the card. 2016 was a dumpster fire from beginning to end, and 2017 is looking even worse. Not much to celebrate, you know?

2016 message label

That’s David Bowie’s Rochester mug shot in the background. I chose it both because I’m from Rochester, and it matched the picture I made for the address labels, which was a montage of photos of Bowie, Prince, and Gwen Ifill, run through the charcoal filter in Photoshop so they’d be all nice and matchy. It took awhile to find a good one of Prince (his face always tends to be turned and in shadow more often than not), but I think it came out pretty neat.

2016 address label montage

For the return label, I just went with a simple pawprint and heart design.

2016 return label

These dogs are my world and they each carry a slice my heart with them. Some days this arrangement works out better than others. Sigh.

Yeah, I’m feeling pretty melancholy today. The fog and thunderstorms aren’t helping, but at least there’s a Golden Girls marathon on TVLand, and plenty of cookies and chocolates in the fridge. (Yes, there will be pictures and recipes in the new year!)

After the jump are a few of my favorite pics. Look out for each other, people. Be compassionate and RESIST.

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Twenty-Four Little Mags & Finnick Things

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

2015-10-11 - Mags-Approved Reads - 0005 [flickr]

Mags –

I LOVE YOU SO FUCKING MUCH, MY SWEET BABYGIRL! I can’t believe it’s only been five years since you noodle-walked into my life; it feels like you’ve owned a part of me forever.

There are so very many things I love about you, good and bad. Is that weird? If any other dog gave me love bites or barked at me to hand over peanut butter balls that they didn’t even want, it might not be so cute. But somehow you make it work. You are fierce and funny and so damn sweet, even when you’re trying not to be. I guess it helps that you’re old and have a bum hip. Like, how much damage could you do, even if you tried?

And it’s not like you do. Try to hurt me, that is. I know because occasionally I’ve been on the receiving end of your “real” bite – like when I try to trim your nails – and you pack a surprisingly mean one, for an old girl who’s missing a fair number of her teeth. Nope. All the mouthiness is just your way of professing your love for me. I {{nibble}} you right back.

I love how great you are with O-Ren, and with Finnick. We may only have three of you little buggers left, but it’s shiny that you all get on so well; you guys make a nice pack, as little as it may be. I even love how not-great you are with the fosters; it’s ironical, since it’s more or less how Kaylee treated you. Howdya like them apples?

Even so, I’m sorry the newest fosters are putting you out so. I’m starting to think that maybe we rushed back into it after Jayne’s passing. I thought that you guys could use a distraction, but perhaps quality time with mom would have been better. Plus Brutus is so damn fluffy and cute. It must be eating you alive.

But I love you and you know that and I’ll take a little extra time on your birthday to remind you of that fact. You’re my sweet little babygirl, my lovable little shithead. My Mags and Cheese, my Mad Mags; my Mags and Other Monsters, and my Baked Magsaroni. My sun and stars, my little spitfire. The one and only dog I photograph next to serendipitously-titled literature, much to your annoyance.

Wishing you a happy fifth adoption day anniversary (and an even happier thirteenth birthday), and crossing my fingers and toes for five more.

– Mom

 

2015-07-29 - Playing Dressup - 0046 [flickr]

Dear Finnie Boy,

I never would have guessed that when Kelly called me five years ago about two dogs in a shelter, that I was about to meet my constant companion for the next five years. You were called unadoptable and we already had five dogs, but we did the crazy thing and took you and Mags home with us. I don’t remember how many days it took, but soon you were following me around, curling up next to me on the couch, curling up on the chair in my office, and curling up next to my hip at night.

I’ve loved all the dogs equally, but you and I are a pair. I could be sad and bummed out, and you’ll still want to lick my face like nothing is wrong in the world. You don’t mind if we watch a bad Sasquatch show, as long as I pet you. I’m still the only one who can pick you up with without a freakout. We’ve been best friends for almost every day you’ve lived with us, and we’ll be best friends even after we’re both gone.

How much code have you watched me write? How many times have you heard me lay down on a bed and immediately break into a run to go find me? How many nights did you sit on my lap while I played video games? I wish I had counted all of that and more, and maybe that would approach a way to quantify how much you mean to me. But you know, I bet it would fall so very, very short.

–Dad

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Stacking the Shelves: August 2016

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

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2016-08-16 - New Comic Books - 0008 [flickr]

It’s been a rather shitty month (literally and figuratively, hardee har har!; no but really, the new fosters introduced a worm into the pack, and everyone’s had varying degrees of diarrhea, yay!), so I decided to treat myself to a few comic books from my wishlist. Also: A Helena Pop, because 1) it was on sale and 2) Helena is easily the best character in one of the best shows on television, so.

2016-08-19 - Kaylee Pop - 0001 [flickr]

2016-08-19 - Jayne Pop - 0002 [flickr]

…aaaand of course, once you buy one Funko Pop, you can’t stop. My next two purchases were Kaylee and Jayne, in honor of my little ladies, may they rest in peace. Kaylee looks scrappy as heck – wtf is up with that hairline!? – but there’s no way I can return her. Besides, my Kaylee was pretty funny-looking too, so I guess it evens out.

2016-08-19 - Kaylee & Jayne Pops - 0010 [flickr]

Pictured here with our 2011 FSMas card, which featured some pretty hardcore cosplay. (We leave a laminated version on the fridge year-round, because how could we not?)

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Book Review: Senior Dogs Across America: Portraits of Man’s Best Old Friend, Nancy LeVine (2016)

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Old Dogs Rock (and so do Nancy LeVine’s Portraits!)

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: Schiffer Publishing provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

An old dog’s eyes, milky white, are not so much going blind as they are being clouded by memory: every stick, every ball, the squirrel that got away – they’re all there. Nothing is forgotten. The day she swam across the lake, or chewed your mouthguard into a million pieces. Remember when she was lost for two days, and came home soaking wet, muddy, and with a bird’s feather – blue and white – somehow lodged beneath her collar? She remembers. They all do. Every word, every walk, every time you RUBBED their neck. The memories spill into their eyes, and eventually all they can see is the past.

– Daniel Wallace

Anyone who’s ever opened their home and their heart to a dog is sure to love Senior Dogs Across America: Portraits of Man’s Best Old Friend. Award-winning photographer Nancy LeVine traveled across America, photographing senior dogs in their natural habitats: in forever homes and animal sanctuaries; lounging on couches, riding along with their humans in tractors, and playing with their siblings, human and non; aging with dignity and wisdom and grace.

The eighty-six portraits included here promise to tug at the heartstrings – and make you hug your canine companion just a little bit tighter tonight. The dogs featured run the gamut: there are big dogs and little dogs; pit bulls, dachshunds, greyhounds, Chihuahuas, and mutts; and several tripods, a few one-eyed dogs, and one very big German Shepherd on wheels (hey, Abby!). There are even two Otises, both chocolate Labs by the look of ’em, living just a state apart in Washington and California. LeVine lovingly captures the spirit and personality of each of her subjects; while the book is rather short on words, each picture sings and shines and speaks volumes, dancing off the printed page and right into the reader’s heart.

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Stacking the Shelves: July 2016

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

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July’s comic book pre-orders!

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I won an autographed copy of Reliquary along with some shiny book swag, also signed by Sarah Fine. Thanks Sarah!

(Photographed next to my giant TBR comic book pile. SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME.)

2016-07-15 - Senior Dogs Across America - 0014 [flickr]

Schiffer Publishing was nice enough to send me a copy (beautifully wrapped, I might add!) of Nancy Levine’s Senior Dogs Across America, which is 1) lovely; 2) already out; and 3) makes a wonderful gift for dog lovers of all ages.

2016-07-15 - Senior Dogs Across America - 0010 [flickr]

Mags is rather miffed that she didn’t make the cut. :P

2016-07-05 - The Call - 0001 [flickr]

Shelf Awareness FTW! Specifically, an ARC of The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín.

2016-07-09 - Book Mail - 0001 [flickr]

Also from Shelf Awareness: an autographed copy of Vengeance by Zane.

2016-07-04 - A Vegan Ethic - 0003 [flickr]

For review from the publisher: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing a Life of Compassion Toward All by Mark Hawthorne. I had the pleasure of reviewing Mark’s previous two books, and the intersectional focus of this one really has me psyched!

2016-06-28 - Signed Katherine North - 0003 [flickr]

I know we’re barely halfway through the year, but The Many Selves of Katherine North is poised to go down as one of my favorite 2016 releases. I was lucky enough to win a hardcover copy, signed by Emma Geen herself, in a launch day giveaway on Twitter.

(Check the shiny little blurb graphic Bloomsbury made for me!)

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Normally I’m not a huge book collector, but. I AM SO HAPPY YOU GUYS I CANNOT EVEN!

2016-06-27 - In My Humble Opinion - 0003 [flickr]

I wasn’t quick enough to snag an ARC of Soraya Roberts’s upcoming book, In My Humble Opinion: My So-Called Life, on NetGalley – but when I emailed the publisher to inquire about a physical ARC, ECW Press was kind enough to put one in the mail for me. Thanks a bunch, Sarah!

 
I also snagged a few great deals on ebooks this month:

  • The Chain (The Kinship Series #1) by Robin Lamont ($2.99)
  • The Other Side of the Stars by Katherine King ($.99)
  •  
    For review on NetGalley:

  • The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race edited by Jesmyn Ward
  • Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online by Bailey Poland
  • Ice Crypt (Mermaids of Eriana Kwai #2) by Tiana Warner
  • The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
  • Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare) by Margaret Atwood
  • Everfair: A Novel by Nisi Shawl
  • A Vegan Ethic: Embracing a Life of Compassion Toward All by Mark Hawthorne
  •  
    For review on Edelweiss:

  • Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt
  • History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  • Yesternight by Cat Winters
  • The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
  •  
    For review on Library Thing:

  • The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine Tobler
  •  

    Thanks for the memories.

    Friday, March 18th, 2016

    2015-08-31 - Going to the Drive-In - 0022 [flickr]

    When I was sixteen, a work friend of my father’s got us tickets to see The Rolling Stones. He worked for Coke (or was it Pepsi?), and I think they were sponsoring the concert? Anyway, they were primo seats – my friend Heather and I were able to muscle our way up to the fifth row – and we even carpooled with him. (To Syracuse, maybe?) My parents went too, but they hung out with the other adults. It was pretty flippin’ awesome, all around. I still have the concert tee, all these years later.

    My mom was really big on thank you cards, and this was an instance where I actually agreed with her policy. Of my own accord, I wrote him a thank you note, attached it to a pricey box of chocolates (not vegan, sadly), and tasked my father with its delivery. Apparently the Coke guy was so impressed that he shared it with his class (I think he taught a class, anyway; or was it his employees, maybe? I forget!) as an example of how to behave in the business world.

    After Ralphie and Kaylee died, I thought about bringing a basket of home-made (vegan!) cookies to the staff and doctors at Blue Pearl, where we were regulars for most of May. Everyone was so kind to us, and I wanted to show them that it didn’t go unappreciated. (Especially that one vet tech who helped us carry Kaylee’s body to the car and then hugged me and let me cry on her shoulder. If you know me at all, you know just how damn out of character that is. I must have been a hot mess.) But between the grief and the heat, I never quite got around to it, and I still kind of regret it to this day.

    2015-10-25 - Going to the Drive-In - 0038 [flickr]

    These anecdotes bring us to Peedee. The Summer of Peedee, to be exact, in which the I-70 and Twin drive-ins played a prominent role. Maybe this letter is a little silly or sentimental, but it’s coming from the right place. As in, straight from my heart.

    After Peedee relapsed, we started taking him to the drive-in with us…partially because we wanted to try new things with him, but also because we didn’t want to leave him home alone. (And I don’t think we did, not even once!) I was so nervous, since we’d tried it when he was younger and it was an epic failure. I thought for sure he’d make a scene and we’d be asked to leave. But he was okay and, perhaps more importantly, they were okay with him. The I-70 and Twin are really very dog-friendly; not only do they allow dogs, but they keep the ticket windows stocked with dog treats and sometimes host dog-themed events during the day.

    I’ve learned not to take this for granted, particularly in light of the drive-in that opened in St. Joseph a few years back – and explicitly disallowed dogs. (They only lasted a season or two. You do the maths.)

    Anyway, to get the point: they helped us create some really special memories with Peedee, and I’m forever indebted to them for that. And it certainly can’t hurt to tell them as much.

    2015-07-21 - Going to the Drive-In - 0061 [flickr]

    The 2016 season opens tonight, and though Peedee won’t be there with me in person, you can bet his spirit will do a little happy dance in my heart.

    (More below the fold…)

    This Week in Pictures: Telling Peedee’s Story to Its End

    Sunday, February 14th, 2016

    2011-06-30 - Peedee hearts HDM - 0007

    Oh, man. I’ve been putting off writing this post for so long that I’m not quite sure where to start. I guess the beginning is as good a place as any?

    Many of you know that my oldest furkid, Peedee, passed away right before Thanksgiving due to complications from cancer. He was first diagnosed in March 2014; a few weeks later, he underwent surgery to remove a tumor, along with a sizable portion of one lung. Nine months later, the cancer returned and he started chemo. It worked swimmingly until it didn’t. (That was always the case: we got bad news when we were expecting good, and good when we expected bad.) On May 20th – the two-year anniversary of Kaylee’s death, as it just so happened – the oncologist gave him 2-3 months to live. Probably closer to two. She was doubtful that he’d still be around to celebrate his 13th birthday at the end of August.

    We immediately put him on CBD oil. I would have done it a year+ sooner, if only I’d known that you can buy it online, legally (or semi-legally) in all 50 states. It’s not quite as potent as the stuff you can get in medical or recreational marijuana states, but I still think it helped. Scratch that: I’m positive it helped. He outlasted the oncologist’s best-case scenario by three months, and had a really good quality of life right up until the last few days. In any case, it was better than doing nothing; just sitting back and watching him die. This topic deserves its own series of posts, but suffice it to say: this ordeal only strengthened my stance on legalization. It’s like my main beef with Hillary Clinton at this point. But I digress.

    About the same time that Peedee was waging his 20-month battle with cancer, I discovered Cane’s Bucket List on facebook. Cane was a 6-year-old pibble whose people planned a whole “bucket list journey” for him after he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Simple goals like “pictures in front of the Dallas skyline” and “paw print art projects” soon gave way to some really amazing experiences when Cane checked off item #14, “be featured on NBC DFW.” Not only did he get to sit on Santa’s lap – Cane’s caregivers threw him his own damn Christmas party. Talk about shiny!

    I wanted to do something similar for Peedee, but … by this time, he was old and a little fussy and set in his ways. Also, the phobia he’d developed of the car – thanks in no small part to all those unpleasant vet appointments – didn’t really help. So I came up with a slightly less ambitious bucket list (called the Peedee-Do List) and resolved to share pictures of our progress each week. Enter: This Week in Pictures. (I still don’t love the series title, but it’ll have to do.)

    Our last post was on November 3rd. Peedee was still doing reasonably well then, but symptoms of his illness (labored breathing, a decline in endurance) had begun popping up and just couldn’t be ignored. I knew Peedee didn’t have much time left, and I wanted to spend as much of it as I could spoiling him. So I put the bucket list blogging on hold.

    This week, I’ve spent a lot of time looking back on those old posts. It’s a bittersweet thing. We created so many happy memories together, but now they’re all I have of him. I wish I could go back and do it all over again. All the stress and worry and anticipatory grief? I’d relive it in a never-ending cycle, just to see him again.

    After Peedee died, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself. When Peedee relapsed, he became the center of our lives. Everything we did, we did with him in mind. Fostering, doctor’s appointments, traveling: we put it all on hold. Peedee went everywhere with us…and if he couldn’t come, we didn’t go. I don’t think I ever left him home alone, not once. Now that he’s gone, I’m adrift. Unmoored. Directionless.

    It took months before I was able to go through those last batches of pictures. Nearly three, apparently, before I could bring myself to write this last This Week in Pictures post. Even if it’s really just for me, I feel like I have to. Tell the story to its end, that is. (Yes, I totally lifted that title from a book in my TBR pile.)

    Peedee was a devoted friend, a loving older (and younger) brother, and a crazy smart dog with a big, mushy heart to match. If I needed comforting, I could always count on Peedee to give it, and generously. He felt timeless, as though he’d always been with me, and always would be. And he will, in a way: in pictures and memories and blog posts like this one. He lives in my heart, and in the tubes, and in the stars. In bubbles in a glass of champagne.

    On his last night, we told him stories.

    (More below the fold…)

    The Christmas Post: Better Late Than Never

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

    2016-01-05 - O-Ren - 0004 [flickr]

    The title pretty much says it all. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a month now, but what it lacks in timeliness, it makes up for with cute doggy pics.

    Shane and I didn’t do much for Christmas, on account of being in mourning and all, but I did spoil the dogs with a ton of gifts. Buying dog toys is a bit of a gamble, since they can be kind of random with their preferences. That’s okay, though; if my dogs don’t like a certain toy, sooner or later a foster will come along who does. (ALWAYS send the fosters home with a gift basket!)

    Rennie does have one weak spot: BALLS. She was big on tennis balls for awhile, but once she lost most of her teefies, she switched to plush balls. Her all-time favorite is the medium Skins ball made by Aspen/Booda. Made, past tense: while I was doing my holiday shopping, I discovered that they discontinued it. I was so bummed, you guys! I imagine this is how parents feel when, rushing around on x-mas eve, they spot the very last Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Horse on the shelf, only to have some stranger beat them to it by a millisecond. I SHOULD HAVE FILLED A WAREHOUSE WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE.

    So I did what any good mom would do, and I bought every single other kind of plush ball I could find. Something like 48 of them, when all was said and done. Rather than wrap them all individually, I put them all in one box and dumped it over Rennie’s head. The video was not as dramatic as I’d hoped.

    But she loves her new balls and really that’s all I could ask for. Still, she has not abandoned her six original Booda balls, which are scrappy with saliva yet in surprisingly good shape considering how much she uses them. I guess she treats them with extra loving care. Most of her balls look like swiss cheese or fluffy amoebas after just a few days.

    Sadly, Rennie was more or less alone in unwrapping gifts this year; Peedee was the only other dog who was super-into it. Jayne helped, a little – but she was more interested in eating the paper than playing with the gifts inside.

    2015-12-25 - Christmas Doggies! - 0074 [flickr]

    Mags and Finnick want nothing to do with our human nonsense. I even tried wrapping a few treats for them – like I did for Peedee’s birthday – but even that wasn’t enough to pique their interest. They just are not accustomed to working for their meals. (Mags has trained me to feed her by hand, yo! Diva much?)

    After the jump you’ll find some more x-mas pics, mostly of Rennie since she’s the only one who really performed for us. Most of the presents were for her, so…fair’s fair I guess.

    (More below the fold…)

    Oh, bother.

    Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

    2015-12-16 - Mags Eeyore - 0057 [flickr]

    Since losing Peedee exactly one month ago today, the mood has been pretty morose around here. “Not in the holiday spirit” is kind of an understatement: I didn’t even realize that it was Thanksgiving until ~6PM the night of; I did the bare minimum in terms of Christmas decorating (the requisite tree + a few childhood items and every dog-themed decoration I own; I may have been several weeks late, but I got it done in record time – three hours instead of the usual three days!); and the only gifts I managed to buy were for the dogs. For a hot second, I actually considered skipping the annual holiday cards entirely: TOO. MUCH. WORK.

    But my kiddos aren’t getting any younger, and I’m afraid that we don’t have that many more Christmases together. For all I know, this could even be someone’s last. (Knock on wood; I can’t handle any more bad news for at least another year or two. Preferably twenty.) And how shitty would I feel in retrospect if I decided to hell with Christmas this year? (Worst human mother in the world type shitty, more or less.)

    So I decided to power through with an impromptu Winnie the Pooh theme, and who cares if I’m a little late? (Dear friends and relatives: Your cards will be late this year. Don’t think it’s because you got bumped from my list, or that I only sent you a card after receiving yours. I am just moving like molasses on account of my depression and apathy.)

    The theme was inspired by the dread I felt as the holiday season approached: “Oh, bother.” And then I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be adorable to dress Jayne – mopey, doe-eyed, sad sack Jayne – up as Eeeyore, Eeeyore being what would really should have named her in the first place? (Jayne Cobb the girl ain’t.) And simply title it “Oh, bother.” The sentiment is apropos, but also still hella cute.

    To wit:

    X-Mas 2015 - Oh Bother (Main)

    (Click on the image to embiggen. They look better in the larger sizes, I swear!)

    But of course I couldn’t begin and end with Jayne; for the supporting cast, I bought an Eeyore hat online (stuffing the top with newspaper, so the adult size would kinda sorta fit on their tinny lil’ goggie heads) and took some pictures that I’d planned on making into “outtake” cards. But I’ll be damned if the outtake didn’t turn out better than the original!

    X-Mas 2015 - Smallest Things (Main)

    (All the quotes, by the by, are Pooh-based. I like saying that – “Pooh” – because it reminds me of Peedee. Pooh, Pooh, Poo!)

    So everyone will, in point o’ facts, be getting two cards this year, to make up for their tardiness. Win/win.

    I also made a series of “in memoriam” pseudo-cards just for me. Normally I’d say “just for funsies,” except I was bawling my eyes out the whole time I worked on them. Damn you, A. A. Milne, and your lovely, life-affirming, friendship-celebrating one-liners.

    (More below the fold…)

    This Week in Pictures #24: Halloween ed.!

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-10-25 - Napping in the Sunroom - 0002 [flickr]

    The weather was warm-ish, so we spent the afternoon napping (them) and reading (me) in the sunroom before we left for the movies. I suspect we’re going to have to close it up soon for the winter, so best enjoy it while we still can!

    2015-10-25 - Napping in the Sunroom - 0011 [flickr]

    2015-10-25 - Napping in the Sunroom - 0010 [flickr]

    I’m really starting to build quite the collection of pictures of Mags paired with adult-type books: Mags and Bitch magazine; Mags & Other Monsters; Mags hearts Bitch Planet. Now: Mad Mags, Furry Road. I feel like maybe I should start a Mags + Books tumblr? Yay or nay? (I think you know where Mags stands on this.)

    2015-10-25 - Going to the Drive-In - 0001 [flickr]

    Going to the drive-in! We saw The Last Witch Hunter (predictably cheesy) and Sicario (a little weird, but good; ever since Edge of Tomorrow, I love me some Emily Blunt).

    2015-10-25 - Going to the Drive-In - 0038 [flickr]

    Peedee wants to know, what is the holdup on his french fries? (Yup, I share my fries with him. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING HE WANTS.)

    (More below the fold…)

    Stacking the Shelves: October in Books

    Saturday, October 31st, 2015

    2015-10-29 - Book Mail - 0001 [flickr]

    Lucinda Riley was nice enough to give away a copy of her latest novel, The Seven Sisters, on her Facebook page, and I won! This book traveled all the way from the UK to be with me, you guys.

    2015-10-28 - Banned Books Week Prize Pack - 0003 [flickr]

    Check out this awesome Banned Book day prize pack I won from @Simon Teen – a whole set of Ellen Hopkins’s YA titles. Enough to keep me busy for at least a month.

    2015-10-24 - You're Never Weird - 0001 [flickr]

    Shelf Awareness sent me a copy of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), signed by Felicia Day herself!

    2015-10-23 - LT Spoils - 0001 [flickr]

    The latest in Library Thing spoils: an audio version of Devoted, courtesy of Recorded Books. I really enjoyed Jennifer Mathieu’s first book, The Truth About Alice, and have been looking forward to this one as well!

    (More below the fold…)

    This Week in Pictures #23

    Sunday, October 25th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-10-18 - Walking By the Smithville Dam - 0007 [flickr]

    2015-10-18 - Walking By the Smithville Dam - 0044 [flickr]

    I’m kind of shocked that Shane keeps managing to find new trails for us to walk, but he does! Sunday we took Peedee, Rennie, Mags, and Ice Cream Star to a little patch of shoreline along Smithville Lake, right by the dam and across the way from Smith’s Fork Park. The trails wrap around the Army Corps of Engineers building (which is pretty rad looking) and then just kind of dead-end a mile or two down (I think! We never seem to reach the end, you see.) Between the gravel paths and ALL THE WATER!, it wasn’t exactly Mags’s favorite, but we made it work.

    2015-10-18 - Walking By the Smithville Dam - 0049 [flickr]

    2015-10-18 - Walking By the Smithville Dam - 0054 [flickr]

    2015-10-18 - Walking By the Smithville Dam - 0064 [flickr]

    2015-10-18 - Going to the Drive-In - 0014 [flickr]

    Aaaand Sunday = movie night, natch. Crimson Peak was paired with Trainwreck, which the drive-in brought back for a few weeks. This seems to be a trend – resurrecting months-old movies – the logic of which I don’t quite get. Like, did we really need to revisit Pixels? And it’s not like there’s a shortage of new movies. Crimson Peak plus The Green Inferno, just saying… (I’m not much for torture porn, but this one’s got me intrigued.)

    That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Trainwreck the second time around (the fox even made a repeat appearance!), and would totally pee my pants at a second run of Mad Max.

    2015-10-18 - Going to the Drive-In - 0025 [flickr]

    We were all so beat from the walk that we passed out on the drive down. Except for Shane, who had to drive the van. Bless his heart.

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    This Week in Pictures #22: Rocky Horror Picture Show ed.!

    Monday, October 19th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-10-11 - Ready for Rocky Horror - 0035 [flickr]

    Sunday night was the Halloween-themed Retro Movie Night at the drive-in: Young Frankenstein and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW! The dogs were so excited that they insisted on dressing up for a pre-show party. “You get toilet paper, and you get toilet paper, and you get toilet paper. EVERYBODY GETS TOILET PAPER!”

    (Incidentally, the only thing that would make Rocky Horror better? Replace the German Shepherds with wiener dogs. Not only would the optics be hilarious, but what better dog to guard the Frank N. Furter Castle, hmmm?)

    2015-10-11 - Ready for Rocky Horror - 0029 [flickr]

    2015-10-11 - Ready for Rocky Horror - 0074 [flickr]

    2015-10-11 - Ready for Rocky Horror - 0023 [flickr]

    2015-10-11 - Ready for Rocky Horror - 0045 [flickr]

    2015-10-11 - Still Swimming - 0006 [flickr]

    But first: swimming! This might be the latest we’ve managed to push into fall, but I’m pretty sure I say that every year.

    2015-10-11 - Outside with the Dogs - 0074 [flickr]

    Then some light sunbathing, because six hours crammed in a van with wet dogs will surely sap away some of the MAGIC OF THE MOVIES.

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    This Week in Pictures #21

    Monday, October 12th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-10-04 - Going to the Drive-In - 0007 [flickr]

    Movie night! This time around we saw The Martian (rad despite the residual disgust re: the recent spate of Damonsplaining). It was paired with The Scorch Trials, which we’d already seen and weren’t terribly excited to sit through again, so we skipped out after the main act. I actually got to bed at a decent hour, which quite pleased the old lady in me.

    Incidentally, a) I missed the swinging penis and b) the filmmakers missed a most excellent opportunity to drop a Firefly reference: HE WANTS TO BE CALLED CAP’N TIGHTPANTS, NOT CAPTAIN BLONDE BEARD!

    2015-10-04 - Going to the Drive-In - 0025 [flickr]

    2015-10-04 - Going to the Drive-In - 0012 [flickr]

    Funny story: I was still recovering from that awful poison ivy rash, and the pilled fabric on the ratty old hoodie I chose was making my arms itch something awful, so about fifteen minutes into the drive, I decided to turn it inside-out. (Much better!) Well, Peedee kept trying to raid the front pocket for tissue – which, post-switch, was on the inside of the sweater. He went to stick his snout in the pocket only to find that it no longer existed. Mind, blown!

     
    — TUESDAY —

    2015-10-06 - Peedee Pirate - 0002 [flickr]

    I’m not sure what I was thinking with this combo,
    other than “Hey, here are two pieces Peedee’s never worn before!”

    2015-10-06 - Peedee Pirate - 0030 [flickr]

    Much better.

    2015-10-06 - Finnick - 0004 [flickr]

    Finnick just kind of wandered into our photo shoot, so.

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    This Week in Pictures #20

    Sunday, October 4th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-09-27 - Going to the Drive-In - 0008 [flickr]

    Movie night! We saw The Perfect Guy and The Visit (Shane narrowly escaped the Grease/Dirty Dancing retro combo), and even got a perfect view of the blood moon out of our passenger side window!

    2015-09-27 - Going to the Drive-In - 0019 [flickr]

    2015-09-27 - Going to the Drive-In - 0027 [flickr]

    2015-09-27 - Going to the Drive-In - 0024 [flickr]

    2015-09-27 - Going to the Drive-In - 0037 [flickr]

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    This Week in Pictures #19

    Sunday, September 27th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-09-20 - Going to the Drive-In - 0002 [flickr]

    Sunday night = movie night! We saw the YA combo: The Scorch Trials and Paper Towns.

    2015-09-20 - Going to the Drive-In - 0025 [flickr]

    2015-09-20 - Going to the Drive-In - 0043 [flickr]

    2015-09-20 - Going to the Drive-In - 0038 [flickr]

    2015-09-20 - Going to the Drive-In - 0035 [flickr]

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    This Week in Pictures #18

    Sunday, September 20th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-09-13 - Lemmy - 0004 [flickr]

    (In my very best Jerry Seinfeld voice) LEMMY!

    2015-09-13 - Going to the Drive-in - 0003 [flickr]

    Now that the drive-in is only open on weekends, Sunday night is our official Movie Night ™. Unless it rains, in which case Friday or Saturday night will suffice. This weekend the I-70 was doing a retro movie night ($10 per carload!), so we saw Top Gun and Jaws. Aaaand now I can’t get “Danger Zone” out of my head. On a happier note, there’s way more homoerotic stuff in that movie than I recall from my childhood viewings.

    2015-09-13 - Going to the Drive-in - 0015 [flickr]

    2015-09-13 - Going to the Drive-in - 0017 [flickr]

    2015-09-13 - Going to the Drive-in - 0031 [flickr]

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    This Week in Pictures #17

    Sunday, September 13th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-09-06 - Sleepy Jayne-Shy Jayne - 0010 [flickr]

    2015-09-06 - Sleepy Jayne-Shy Jayne - 0015 [flickr]

    2015-09-06 - Sleepy Jayne-Shy Jayne - 0020 [flickr]

    Jayney, being uncharacteristically cute/characteristically camera-shy.

    2015-09-06 - The Last of the B-Day Presents - 0092 [flickr]

    She was chilling in the office, minding her own biz, so when it came time for Peedee to open the rest of his birthday presents, I just couldn’t find it in me to kick her out.

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    This Week in Pictures: Birthday Blowout Bonanza!

    Sunday, September 6th, 2015

    — SUNDAY —

    2015-08-30 - Misty Morning - Birthday Poo - 0012 [flickr]

    It’s Peedee’s birthday! My baby is a teenager now!
    Would it have been too much to stick a candle in that pile of birthday poop
    he’s guarding this fine, foggy morning?

    2015-08-30 - Morning Routine - 0001 [flickr]

    Still not too old to sit on mom’s lap while she plows through the morning rountine.

    2015-08-30 - Rennie in the Molasses Bow - 0006 [flickr]

    Time to get started on Peedee’s birthday cake!
    But first let’s put the bow from the gift jar of molasses
    on Rennie and see what happens, mkay?

    2015-08-30 - The Cake is Baked - 0008 [flickr]

    The cake is baked and frosted and I am entirely too proud of how it came out. The recipe is from Emma’s K-9 Kitchen, with a peanut butter-flavored cake and carob frosting. Humans, it’s totally edible, if you’d like to partake with the dogs; just a little on the bland side (no sugar!), rather like a very granola-y muffin. The frosting, on the other hand, rocked my socks off, and I am seriously considering incorporating it into an ice cream. Vanilla Carob Swirl, anyone?

    2015-08-30 - The Cake is Baked - 0010 [flickr]

    Aaaaaand what we have from this angle is a penis. Okay then.

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    Twenty-Two Little Mags & Finnick Things

    Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

    2015-07-29 - Playing Dressup - 0082 [flickr]

    These two goobers.
    ——————————

    Mags and Finnick. Finnick and Mags.

    Words cannot adequately express my happiness and gratitude that we found you when we did. When we decided to adopt you – dogs six and seven! – your dad and I thought that we might be losing it. Going crazy. Full-on animal hoarder styley. And maybe we were. (Crazy, not hoarders.) But in the best way possible.

    Mags, you helped to soften the bluntest edges of grief when I lost Kaylee. Maybe you’ve noticed recently, in times of extreme happiness or exhaustion, how I sometimes slip and call you by her name. Probably it’s a tad insulting – you are your own woman, after all – but I don’t mean it to be. It’s a compliment of the highest order, I swear. Kaylee was one BAMF – and you are too. It’s only natural that I get confused sometimes.

    You gals look so much alike, and yet your personalities couldn’t be more different. You are the mini-Kaylee and the anti-Kaylee, all wrapped up in one tiny little package. You love me fiercely and without reservation. You’d follow me to the ends of the earth, and yet you’re unafraid to call me on my bullshit. In so many words. Come to think of it, you two aren’t so different after all. Not in the ways that matter.

    2015-06-01 - Swim Season Has Begun - 0014 [flickr]

    Finnick, trying not to catch the swims from his mom.
    ——————————

    And Finnick, you were just what your daddy needed after losing Ozzy. He didn’t think that he was a Dog Person, but you proved him wrong, wrong, wrong. I love how much you adore him, and also it takes a little of the pressure off me.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had such a rough time these past few months. I’ve been pushing you away for Peedee’s sake, and I feel horribly about it. I promise to make it up to you, probably sooner than I’d like. Your day of spoiling is coming, little guy.

    They thought we were crazy for committing to seven dogs. Six of them RAT TERRIERS (said in a long, drawn-out sigh). I think we just had extra love we needed to share. I’m over the moon that it was with you.

    2014-12-25 - X-Mas Morning-ish - 0048 [flickr]< Mags is going as the Grinch this x-mas.
    ——————————

    And so, without further ado: twenty-two Mags and Finnick Things. One for each of their years on this earth.

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