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I would like to report that Zada is doing wonderfully after her spay/microchip yesterday. She was a bit sleepy last night, and since they didn't want her to have a lot of water/food, she was pretty hungry today, too.

A breakthrough has been made with her medications - of course now that she's near the end of the course and there's only 1 left - I threw her antibiotic in with her food tonight, and in her utter haste to wolf down her food, she either chewed it hastily with the other kibble or it went right down. Jackpot!

She has pain pills for her spay, but they're "chewy" and "liver-flavored" so I give them to her as treats.

Here's what we learned up at the Bernier Ranch & Spa this past weekend:

The famous command is "On your bed!" and she's pretty good with it. (Yes, Mom, she does use the bed you gave her for Christmas :) Doesn't always want to stay there if I leave the room, but for a not-quite-5-month-old pup, she's VERY obedient! Also, especially now that she's got sutures and a healing scar, she's not supposed to interact with Mack (the roomie's dog) so whenever they come downstairs, she has to keep laying down, even if Mack comes over to sniff and want to play. She's very animatedly laying down, but she stays down! Very good girl.

Well, that's about it for today, seeing as how Parker's steaks are almost done and it's time for a glass of wine. We're going to be watching a couple of episodes of The Wire, which I got him for his birthday. He's very excited that I'm going to 'get hooked' on this show. I just don't see how something can replace Sex and the City, which, even tho' it's no longer on TV, is still my favorite show ever! Hmmm...a close rival would be The X Files, but I didn't like it when Mulder left.

Ok, that's major I've been informed I need to 'wrap it up,' because the steaks are done. (Hey, he's cooking, he can totally call the shots!)

Hasta la later - -- - OH, and speaking of hasta, one week from today I'm going to be FREAKING OUT because I'm leaving for Puerto Vallarta! Not 'til Friday the 9th, but I'll let myself get out-of-control excited next Wednesday.

The Spay

Today I take Zada in to the vet for a double procedure - she's going to get spayed and microchipped at Heritage Animal Hospital in Maple Grove. I never thought I'd be a person to microchip my dog, but let's be honest, the $45 is worth it if she ever gets lost and there's a better chance of me getting her back.

Tho' I did point out to Mom - who was a strong advocate of getting it done - if she does go missing in The Cities, it's MOST likely because someone kyped her and they're either going to a) sell her or b) use her for baiting a pit bull (or worse). But we won't think of either of those scenarios. (Especially since it'll be that much harder for someone to get into my yard come next week when my fence is finally (?) installed!)

Anyway. She was confused that she didn't get breakfast this morning, but evidently she got over it, since as I type she's curled up in her crate - of her own will, I might add.

This past weekend was her first trip up North to the Bernier Ranch & Spa...she LOVED it. Of course, Mom's Golden, Tesa, loved it, too. They ran and played and ate poop all weekend. Doggy paradise. The latest pictures:

I love the "er?" look.

Well, that's about it for now - tonight and the next few days I'm supposed to keep her "quiet" without much we'll see how that goes.

Unfortunately, she'll have to miss doggy obedience tonight, but the trainer said I can practice with her dog instead, which is a 4-month-old Mastiff. Should be interesting.


Blogger Killed the TiVo Star

As I sit here updating my iPod with my sister's CD collection (I'm on a run of '80s music - hence the title twist) I can't help but wonder...would I REALLY drive a million miles to be with you tonight?

I'm not sure. I don't have that kind of time OR gas money, let's be honest.

Or, the whole "I'd walk (500, 1,000) miles just to be at your side" idea. No one in their right mind would do that. I'm doing the Breast Cancer 3-Day this summer, and that's about it. And, don't forget that's 60 miles stretched over 3 days; it's not like I'm huffing and puffing my way through hundreds of miles just for a kiss.


Time has's now 7:48pm on Thursday, and I'm FINALLY sitting relaxing with my Bloody Mary (complete with TWO beef sticks) after a VERY long day.

I've been up since 3am, essentially. I don't fall back asleep once I'm awake, and little Zada had diarrhea again this morning - so woke me up to take her out (which is a good thing!). Tossed and turned 'til 5am, then hit snooze before taking her for an abbreviated walk. Fed, watered, etc, she was content to lay at my feet as usual while I got ready in the bathroom.

When I got home, however, it was the start of a whole other nightmare. I could smell it the moment I hit the kitchen - I approached her door with trepidation and as soon as it opened the stench hit me like a tsunami.

I changed my clothes first (I was in a skirt) and bundled up, and then carried her - crate and all - through the house and out into the yard. She had it on her, it was all over her towel, it was on the sides of the crate, the 2 toys left in was horrendous.

Long story short, as I was starting to clean up she crouched to go poo and I noticed she was passing blood. Bundled her up in the car and we headed to the vet - AGAIN. After they waived the exam fee (since I'd just been there on Saturday) I "only" had to pay $60. More medication (and antibiotic to add to the Albon she's taking for coccidia), a bag of bland dog food and waterless shampoo.


Needless to say I've finally put her "new" crate up in place of the old, which is drying down in the basement. It's a Life Stages Wire Cage deal that's easily collapsible/portable. It also has a divider which you can move as the dog grows. So, it's time to switch over anyway :)

Hopefully all this new stuff helps and we can be RID of these problems. I'm just LOVING dog ownership right now. I'd say it can't get any worse but I'm afraid of Murphy's Law.

Well, it's definitely time to go vegg in front of the TV. Parker's coming over after bowling tonight, and I'm giving him his belated birthday gift - the first 2 seasons of The Wire, which he's evidently majorly hooked on these days. (He has no idea I have a blog, nor would he have time - or want to! - read it before said gift opening, hence my boldness.)


A Visit to the Vet

It's time for little Zada's first visit to the vet. She needs her rabies shot, plus I'm having them check out what's going on with her production of...soft serve. So, not only do I "get" to pay for said visit, shot, and any medication she might need, I'm also the lucky one who has to "collect a stool sample to bring in for analysis." Oh, goodie.

She DID cooperate this morning and left a nice one for me, but the thought of having it in my car is disgusting. I just picked it up in my hands and transferred it right to the front seat to get it over with. Kidding.

I guess I'm also one of "those people" that makes a list of all afflictions said dog is undergoing at the time so as not to forget to ask something once I get there. As of right now, besides needing the shot & the analysis of her BMs, she makes this "snarfing" noise sometimes...mostly after eating, so maybe she's not chewing all the way, or something. Also, she seems pretty itchy for a pup - fingers crossed that she doesn't end up with skin allergies like the last shepherd we had.

Also, I'll need to set up an appointment to get her spayed and microchipped (they do it at the same time, evidently the needle's pretty big for the microchip procedure), plus I need more of her dog food - they sell it there.

I feed her Solid Gold, which is what the breeder was feeding her and which is VERY expensive - $40 for a 33-lb bag! Once I get back from Mexico (the breeder's boarding her for those 2 weeks) I'm going to switch her over to Natural Choice, I think. It's still spendier than Purina or Iams, but I like the ingredients better and it's all natural (hence the name).

My mother and sister feed their dogs Purina Beneful, but the main ingredients in that are ground corn & chicken by-products, plus sugar, mega-preservatives and soy - which is a major factor in allergies for dogs. (Although the Natural Choice contains soybean OIL, which must not be bad?) Having a shepherd - they're prone to skin allergies; at least the American-bred ones are - makes me want to be very careful in what I choose to feed her because my old boy, at the end of his life, had skin problems so badly he'd lose almost all of his hair in the summer. Poor guy.

Anyway, it's time to get going...

Doggy Woes

Although I'm feeling much better (without the aid of alcohol, even) after the events of the evening - I've had time to cool down - I'm still a bit frustrated with the seemingly backward progress I've had with Zada.

She had 2 accidents in the house tonight - TWO! - when she hadn't had one (other than a little excitement pee) in 2 days. What's worse, we seem to be confusing each other with being consistent. She started going to the door and sitting by it, so I'd put her out. But, she wouldn't always do her business, plus sometimes I was going out with her and other times not. So, no, I wasn't consistent...but tonight I got fed up, didn't want to put on my coat/boots/hat and follow her out again, so I ignored her. Aaaaand she proceeded to let me know that wasn't a good idea by peeing on my rug. Of course, I didn't see her do it, so couldn't reprimand her.

After talking to my sister (ranting, actually) I'm going to do what she suggested: every time Zada goes and sits by the back door, she gets let out for 10-15 minutes. Even if, immediately upon entering the house, she returns to the door. I'm not going out with her anymore. Ugh. It's almost like a weight has been lifted.

So, after an hour of constant in and out, she's finally conked out by my chair like she normally is at this hour. I'm a BIT nervous about not going out with her for the evening potty trip...still considering doing that, just to make sure she goes or not. Oh well, I guess she didn't go last night when I went out with her, and she made it through the night...

I really, really don't want to get up at 3:15am again 'cause she can't hold it, but at the same time, I'm appreciative that she lets me know she has to go out because I'd rather get up butt-crack early than clean up a messy crate.

Ugh. This is tiring me just thinking about how much work potty training is. Let's talk about how she mauls my roommate's dog while they're "playing."

Since I don't have a fence, whenever either of the dogs (or both) go out, they're on the zip-cord. This creates a LOT of tanglement when they're both out and playing, of course. Can't wait for that fence. Anyway, Zada seems to think Mack wants her to pounce on him, bite him, growl at him, and drag him around by his NECK. He's a Golden, so he has oodles of patience and is so nice he never gets after her for playing too rough, which she does. At the same time, she's not hurting him, and they both get exercise so they play every couple days or so.

Inevitably when they're out together, this is the end result:

I.e., they're inextricably tangled (but in no harm) and Zada's the victor.

Hopefully by the end of next week, Alpine Fence will be here installing my new black, coated chain link and I won't have to deal with tangled cords and the dogs being confined to one area (as well as all their "presents")...we're waiting on the surveyor, evidently. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly - and quickly.

Well, that's it for this evening. I need to get in a few minutes of relaxing reading before ... well, I just have a feeling I might be up really early tomorrow morning with this pup!

Life Changes

I can't believe I've not written for so many days. A lot has been happening, so I'll try to get myself caught up.

Zada and I just completed our first obedience class last night. I can't call it puppy class, as the age range is from ~10 weeks up to 10 years. I was looking for an animal "behaviorist," or someone that would help me teach my dog by being a leader and basically coming as close to the "Cesar method" as possible :) Well, I found her right in my own back yard. (Not literally)

Linda Brodzik is a canine behavior & training specialist who teaches owners/handlers how to be a LEADER for a dog - and be calm, confident, and in charge - while at the same time showing us how to communicate to our dog in a way they'll understand in order to receive desired behavior.

Last night we did a "targeting" exercise, sort of like "clicker training," but using the voice/body instead of a device. (As Linda points out, you might forget to bring a clicker somewhere but hopefully you'll always have your voice and body :) Zada was actually used as the "demo dog" to show the rest of the class the exercise. She caught on VERY quickly.

Obviously we're building up to a greater goal; Linda says we'll wean them off of needing a treat every time they perform a good behavior, but for right now our homework is to hone this training exercise. I'm excited to attend next week's session already!

This class is given at Heritage Animal Hospital in Maple Grove, which is only ~9 miles from my house. I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and use this place for my vet clinic, as well. I have an appointment on Saturday for Zada's rabies shot...I'll also have them checking out whether or not she's got Giardia, which is an intestinal parasite (protozoan) that'll cause the symptoms she has, which, for the "cleanness" of this blog I shan't discuss here.

Just think DQ soft-serve...

I'm not sure that's what it is (Giardia, not soft serve) but from talking to others whose dogs have been treated for it, and based upon her latest hobby (coprophagia) that seems like the most possible culprit. We'll see on Saturday. We can only hope I have to start off with buying a bunch of expensive medicines, in addition to the cost of the dog herself, accoutrements, obedience class, a FENCE, dog food...

It's positively BALMY outside today - says it's sunny and 22 but with the wind it feels like 7. That's 7 degrees. Above zero, at least - and that's much better than the past couple of days with sub-zero temps + windchill.

Well, that's about it for now. Possibly more later (along with a picture, perhaps) ...


One Full Week and All's Well...

I just realized I haven't d'blogged (blogged about my dog) since Wednesday. That's a record for me.

Sadly, I also don't have any new pictures of my Ms. Zada...but maybe in the next couple of days I'll get some more. I don't really have a very good backdrop in my yard - since the snow's all dirty and trampled from where her zip-line is. That's where black & white images are nice - they hide some of that :)

She's doing well, settling into a routine more and more. She's MUCH better on the leash/Halti now, only pulls when we're in a new place or if she sees another dog. Today, we met several dogs - on the parkway and one in a park - and she has improved SO MUCH since I got her. She was "aggressive" towards the last 2 dogs we met, i.e., she was growling at them, but I was letting her know that wasn't acceptable. Plus, she'd never met 2 dogs at once least, not with me, so I understand why she was nervous.

Oh, and she knows a command! "Sit." I didn't make her do it; just when she comes into the mudroom from outside, I don't unclip the cord from her collar until she sits down. So, I started saying "sit" every time she was already on her way down...then I'd scratch under her collar (she LOVES this) 'til I could get the clasp undone. 2 birds with one stone - she's calm while I'm unclipping her and she gets rewarded for having done something that I asked of her. Bingo.

I now ask her to sit before I put her food down, too - that'll keep her from rushing in while I'm bending over and jumping or whatnot...also makes her calm down before she eats. Let me tell you, she definitely doesn't mind working for food!

Right now, she's chilling outside on her cord while I'm in here typing away...sometimes she wants to go out and just hang out...sometimes not, but I check on her every 10 minutes and mostly she just lays on the steps and watches what's going on. She's pretty calm for a 4-month-old.

Also, she's very good with chewing on "approved" chew toys. Mostly. Sometimes it's hard for her to understand that not only am I off-limits, but my accoutrements are, as well :) She especially enjoys snuggling up to me on the floor and then oops, all of a sudden my moccasin shoelace is miraculously in her mouth...huh. She also tried chewing on my toilet lid the other day. I mean, I told her "no" but geez, I'd rather have her try that than my kitchen table/chairs/sofa/computer cords/clothes, etc.

My computer has become a very expensive radio. See, the PC is in my spare room/den/"office" and that's "her room" as well. Where she came from, there was a radio playing (country music, of COURSE) all day/night so since I listen to music while typing/surfing I just decided to leave it on for her. Wow. Maybe I'm humanizing her, but c'mon, I like to listen to music, and it can't hurt...

One more thing before I sign off...I haven't seen much of Parker since I got this pup. He's been busy, and so have I...but the kicker was yesterday on my way home from work when I was talking to him on the phone and he was mentioning that it seems like I'm busy with this puppy all the time...then he says, "It's like I'm dating a single mom."

All I could do was laugh and agree :)

Day 5 of the Rest of Her Life

So, I can't help but wonder...if I've had Zada for 5 days, and dog years are 7x that of human years - have I had her (in her mind) for 35 days? That would mean that by the end of next December, I'll have had her for a year (or 365 calendar days), but she'll have had ME for 2,556.75 days in her universe. Is her universe the same as ours?

Whoa. Nevermind.

Regardless, she's changed QUITE a bit since the first photo I ever saw of her (taken at 11 weeks and available for viewing in the posting labeled "Zada" below). The breeder says she'll get darker as she gets older...I think she's gotten darker since I picked her up on Saturday!

Yesterday was a trying day - for both of us - as we're both leaping over some hurdles. She's doing wonderfully for a pup who (before me) had never been walked on a leash, but in my mind I keep going over the same thing over and over...don't PULL me! I've switched from her choker to a Halti because I've seen it used/used it myself on numerous dogs and it's great. Growing up with horses you learn quickly - if you have control of an animal's nose, you have control of its body. Generally speaking, of course.

So she's MUCH better with the Halti, but still pulling...part of it is she wants to go faster than my power-walk, and part of it COULD be she's trying to assert herself as the "leader." Yeah, good luck with that. We'll see what the breeder can do with her for the 2 weeks I'm in Mexico (starting in ONE MONTH!) and then after that, I plan on enrolling her in a Level I puppy / obedience class.

Ideally, I'd win the lotto and have the time to badger Cesar Millan into taking me on as an apprentice, but oh well.

One thing about this dog - she's chock full of personality and fully loaded on 'tude. I wouldn't accept anything less :)

Miss Independent

As I'm listening to the song on my iPod I have to being utterly independent a good thing? Mom says I was always "a joy" and I was "always entertaining." I think that's mother-speak for "you were a hard-headed, stubborn little thing and every day was a brand-new CHALLENGE!"

I think I turned out ok, but probably added to Mom's aging process significantly. Oh well - you've gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, right? Mmm...omelet.

Anyway, the point I'm circling around is this: I'm an independent female and put my mother through trying times. It's only poetic justice that the same fate shall befall me some day. Technically, since I don't plan on having kids in the near future, I shouldn't have to worry yet...but then along comes Zada and WHAM! there it is.

For a German shepherd puppy, she's pretty typical. She goes through phases of all the usual actions: chewing on appropriate toys, chewing inappropriate household goods, peeing outside, peeing inside, whining, barking, being cuddly, chewing on ME...but I can see she's going to be marching to the beat of her own drum someday.

Which is fine, but hopefully she learns the rules before she gets too big. She's improved 100% since I brought her home on Saturday - remember she'd been an outdoor dog her entire 4 months on Earth - she doesn't jump up (as often) on people or counters, is VERY good at not chewing on the myriad of dangling, low-hanging objects throughout the house (e.g. hairdryer cord), and is doing excellently on the leash, as well.

I've found that since she has no concept (yet) of what "no" means, the easiest way to discipline her is to be the alpha dog (amen, Cesar). The breeder would scold her in this way, too, and it works - I show my teeth, growl and/or bark at her. Think about it, dogs are hard-wired to be pack leaders or followers. If there's already a follower of the "pack," then they fulfill the follower role. Last night, she was sitting by my feet (I was on the couch) and I was leaning in, scratching her neck (she hates her collar) and she decided she wanted to try to chew on my hair. I showed my teeth and gave one loud, angry bark and she immediately stopped and put back her ears, then laid down with a sigh at my feet.

Hopefully tonight I'll get some more pictures of my "Miss Independent"...I think she's grown just since I got her 3 days ago!


A New Day

No new pictures yet, but it IS only 8:30am :)

I was wondering how it'd be putting Zada into her crate for the night...up until yesterday, she'd never been in one and here she was going back in for the night in a new place. She whined a little bit, but (as far as I know) never made a peep the whole night.

When I got up at 7, still no sound and since I'd been planning my course of action I set it in motion - put on my clothes, unlocked the back door, got my slip-on shoes ready, put my coat on, and went in to get her. I carried her out (wagging her tail the whole way), she said "hello", pottied, and I think I might've breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.

Next, she got fed and then I decided to take her on her first walk. Remember, up until yesterday she'd never worn a collar or been on a since she'd had time to get used to the zip-line, I figured it was time.

We had a bit of a battle going out of the yard into the alley, she balked and didn't want to go...I tried coercing her with food, but she didn't want it. Since I didn't have a ball/toy with me, I decided to just "Cesar Millan it" and started walking. She'd either fight me the whole way or get sick of being tugged by the collar and follow. Thankfully, she opted for the latter action.

By the time we were 2 blocks down the street, she'd gotten the hang of it...of course, every few blocks it was re-learned that she had to stay by my left side and not pull, but overall, she's a CHAMP and learns very quickly.

I took her out early so that she could see her surroundings but it would be quiet - not many folks out at 7:15am in Minneapolis. No cars passed us until we got to the parkway, but they were far away so she got a good look at them. They didn't seem to phase her.

The only thing we'll possibly have problems with is other dogs - we passed by on the other side of the street and a dog in a yard started barking at us...she didn't QUITE bark but was very intent on heading over that way but again I just kept walking and after several steps she went back to focusing on the walk. She definitely needs to be socialized.

That's all for now...we've had another successful potty outing, so hopefully we can keep the forward momentum!

Zada & Sarah Start Their Journey Towards...Understanding

She's here! We're both over-stimulated, confused, dirty, and dog-tired, but she's safely ensconced in her brand new home.

As a recap for the day, Dani & I went to Mankato and got to the breeder's at 9:30am, stayed there for over 2 hours, loaded Zada into the back of Dani's SUVie, ate lunch at BW3s with Kristen and Ike, then went to a big pet store down there to buy her dog food and a crate to fit her (she's bigger than when I last saw her!)...THEN we got on the road to come back to the cities; stopping at PetCo (for a new collar, another leash, and her nametag), Target (tennis balls & a rug for under her dishes), then the liquor store (that was Dani's stop :) and FINALLY on home. We didn't pull up to my garage until 5pm.

Zada had never ridden in a car before; good thing she was crated because somewhere around Jordan she threw up in there...poor thing. It wasn't a lot, just some grass and some treats. One other area of life she's never experienced: a collar or a leash. THAT was interesting. Almost lost her in the parking lot of the Mankato pet store - Ike & Kristen wanted to see her and she about popped her collar off and made a bolt for it. Super.

Hence, the new collar, which is a choker, but seeing as how it's that or she runs off, I'm going to opt for safety. She's getting used to it - since she has to be tied out on a zip-line in my yard, she's finding that battling a non-yielding cord isn't lucrative to anything.

She's a quick learner, so that's good. Found out she doesn't like other dogs - the breeder had told me that, but I had no idea to what extent until Tom brought Mack out to meet her. Granted, he was excited and barking, which isn't the calm state I was hoping for...she started barking and lungeing at the end of the line (I was holding it like a leash) and if you weren't looking, you'd think it was a full-grown shepherd attacking someone. She is SERIOUS about not wanting other dogs near her.

We finally got over that, and they started playing like champs. He's teaching her how to go down stairs - going up, she's cocky and gallops right up; coming down is another matter. She whines and pleads and then comes down paw over paw, griping the whole way.

Everything's new, and she's taking it all in pretty calmly...the mirror on my closet door puzzled her for a few minutes:

(She thought there was another dog behind it)

We've already had one accident in the house - and by "we," I mean her - and I caught her in the act, so HOPEFULLY that'll leave an impression. You're "supposed" to catch them at it, scold them by picking 'em up by the scruff & shaking them (like a mother dog would do) while saying "NO!", all the while carrying them outside, where you place them on the ground and they finish while you praise them.


Didn't happen - her finishing, I mean. So, we'll see. Baby steps.

Speaking of babies, this one's pretty wiped out - I took this just now and she didn't FLINCH when the flash went off...she finally laid down by me about 10 minutes ago, but was a little anxious, so I gave her a "massage" by slowly stroking her head with a couple fingers - she lasted about 30 seconds before laying out flat with a puppy, whiny sigh and falling promptly asleep on my foot :)

...Time passes...

This post is slow going because if she walks out of the room I follow to make sure she's not going to soil my house again...but, I woke her up from this nap and took her directly outside and she peed OUT IN THE YARD. Very exciting. I didn't really think I'd ever be so ecstatic about a dog's urinary habits, but this is great. Like I said, baby steps!

Evidently she's energized after the nap, because she's very alert and has barked once at something (who knows WHAT she can hear with that sonar she's got goin' on)...doesn't miss a tick, this one.

I think that's about it for now...pretty sure there'll be more later (tonight, tomorrow, the next day...the rest of her life...)

Hasta la later.


For those of you not in the know, Zada is my brand-new German shepherd pup. Technically, she's not "mine" yet, as I haven't picked her up from the breeder's yet, but tomorrow's the big day...T minus 24 hours! (But who's counting?)

I've wanted my own shepherd ever since Ivan - my big ol' boy from high school - was put down in '02. He was my shadow for every one of his 9½ years (unless I was gone from the house, then my mother sufficed for him) and he taught me a lot. Mostly, I knew I HAD to have my own some day. Can't WAIT for tomorrow!

I'll throw her picture up here, it's the only one I have (pretty sure more are forthcoming :) and she's so beautiful I can't help but show her off.

This was taken by the breeder when she was 11 weeks old; tomorrow when I pick her up she'll be about 16 weeks. So, her bladder will be that much bigger and hopefully potty-training won't be as arduous a task as it was with my roommate's dog, Mack (now a 70-lb Golden Retriever). Speaking of Mack, he'll be her playmate (but NOT inside the house!) until she gets to be about 10 months old. Here he is:

He's even bigger now (and fatter) but that's pretty much what he looks like. Well, mostly he's blurry because he's on the go, but these are the moments I like - when he's stationary :).

As of tomorrow morning around 10am, I feel I'll have a LOT of information to share regarding my new little buddy and her antics...of which I'm sure there will be plenty!

Ciao for now...

Blawg Your ♥ Out

It would seem I'm well on my way to fixing whatever it is I messed up with my 2 accounts on Blogspot/, now I get the whole "I've been blogging since '05" koudos. Let's forget for a second that I FORGOT about the blog after 2 postings and tried to log in using the SAME email and naming the blog (not the URL) the SAME THING.

Sometimes, I think I have blonde roots. But don't tell anyone.

I feel like talking about my fabulous weekend over New Year's. This year, we rang it in with high style - in bed. Tsk, tsk. Not THAT way...everyone was up at the folks' place in Merrifield (by "everyone" I mean Sister Amy, Niece Sophia, Bro-in-Law Michael & their Dog Hogan; BF Parker; Mom, Dad & their Dog Tesa; and of course, Moi). It's Michael's b-day on New Year's Eve, so Mom cooked up 18 pounds of ribs, plus cornbread, green beans-with-almonds, fried potatoes-with-onions, etc etc etc and after we ate ourselves into a stupor we proceeded to get horizontal to watch a movie. After that, there was only one thing left to do - hit the sack before the ball dropped. Which we all did, of course.

It was great.

Earlier that weekend I tried out my new camera accessory - my remote shutter release. Now I can take night shots and was too cloudy to try my hand at "star trail" images, but there'll be another time for that. My focus this past weekend were a couple of lit trees with fresh snow. Turned out pretty well, me thinks:

Christmas Tree with Lights in Snow

Although the tree appears to be tilting, it's not. It's my neighbors' tree (rather, my parents' neighbors' tree) and since they didn't quite get to the top with the lights, it seems to be tipsy. Pretty, but tipsy.

I especially like the peaceful little (insert animal name here) tracks leading in front of it...kinda like this little (whatever) was hopping along home and stopped to take a look at the pretty Christmas lights. Or, I'm weird and I personify everything.

This is another favorite from that weekend...Amy & Parker built a "snowman" (I use the term loosely because this entity had neither legs nor features of any discernible kind), and then Parker proceeded to go kung-fu on it like it was his job. Pretty funny if you see the whole rapid-fire succession of pictures, but this one I like:

The dogs couldn't quite figure out what was going on, or why he'd be attacking the snowman (neither could we, personally) but it was great entertainment.

Alright, I think even I've gotten my fill of writing for it's time to hop in bed with my book.



I'm not sure if this is redundant...talking about which blog to choose. See, yesterday I started a blog with a different venue, and I'm not sure I'm crazy about it, so today I started THIS one - I thought from scratch - to see how it works, if I like it better, and most importantly, if it's easier to use. make a long story short, evidently over a year ago I set up a blog (for real, my first one) on this very same account...and then promptly forgot about it.

Subsequently, when I tried to log back in this evening (to the "new" blog from this morning) it was lost and I had to jump through hoops; finally I got logged in but the only thing I could recover was the old blog. *SIGH*

So, I made this one (the old new one) look just like the one from this morning and am now CTRL Copy + Pasting this (with added snippets) Even I'm confused. I have 6 browsers open and they're all some version of blogspot/blogger and it's a mess. Good stuff.

Anyway, since the theme for my other online journal (that would be the "other venue" one mentioned previously) circles around random thoughts, I guess I'll have to come up with something different for the sloppy seconds blog. Hey, there it is.

In order to fully compare one blog with the other I shall insert pictures and do everything I've done on the first. The other pictures tend towards dogs (and one each of myself and the BF) so I'll start with my niece, who is most definitely the CUTEST little kid on the planet. Makes the Gerber baby look like a freak, if I might say so myself.

She's a pretty intense little kid. Of course I'm biased - who wouldn't be the proud auntie? - but she's abnormally advanced in smartness. For instance, although she stumbles a bit over L, M, N, O & P, she says her ABCs already (complete with "now I know my ABCs..."), I've heard her count all the way up to 15, and she's giving commands to the dogs. They're not following them, but that's beside the point.

So you see, one can argue that everything is about comparing one thing to the other. One blog to the other, one kid against all the rest of the world, etc.

That's all for now...I have nothing left to do for work and I have yet to run some errands, then go home to ride my exciting stationary (ery?) bike and THEN clean the house. Whoopteedoo.