Belly Lovin'

There are many things to love about Bassets - droopy eyes, waddle when they walk, howling at the front window, and so much more. But Basset bellies, they are something to behold!

They tend to droop down when walking. Spread to the side when laying down. And are covered with spots that resemble a cow's hide. And boy do they love to show off their bellies!

So when the hounds roll onto their backs, it's hard to resist rubbing them. And at times blowing raspberries on them (although Mabel won't usually hold still for such silliness).

You can imagine my delight when both offered up their bellies and luckily the camera was within reach. Unfortunately, stillness is not a hound trait so the photos are a little out of focus. But you get the idea.

Release the hound......bellies!


Cleo showing off the finer points of her belly - two angles.
Mabel putting her whole body into the belly show.
Once the bellies were sufficiently admired, rewards were in order (or at least that was Cleo's opinion). I placed a few mini marshmallows in my pocket and this is the look I was waiting for - hound anticipation.

So intent and so dang cute!
And just a few candid shots that I couldn't resist.

She's got the look down pat - droopy eyes will get you just about anything!

Mabel wasn't sure she wanted her picture taken again :)
I love these dogs so much! Life wouldn't be the same without them.

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Blog Hopping Happiness

A day off. Time to putter around the house, watch a little TV, and catch up on favorite blogs. Here are a few things that caught my eye in my blog browsing.

Lollipop Bouquet - Danielle Flanders made this adorable lollipop bouquet from a variety of stamped designs that she trimmed and then either inserted a sucker or layered over a sucker. What a fun idea for end of school treats or as a pick me up for a friend.

Favorite Things - Wendy Sue Anderson shared this fun way to capture your kids favorites and she had them write it themselves so she had their handwriting as well as the list. Even if you don't scrapbook it, what a fun idea for capturing a moment in time.

Root Beer Float on a Stick - With summer just around the corner, this delightful summer treat caught my eye (originally saw it on Funky Polkadot Giraffe's web site but knew I had to have the recipe). Can't wait to give them a try!

Chocolate Dipped Pringles and Pretzels - LOVE the mix of sweet and salty! I've made and eaten the dipped pretzels (although I do caramel and then chocolate on my pretzel rods), but chocolate and Pringles, now there's a unique combination. But after looking at this post, I'm thinking it is worth a try and they are certainly easy to make. Oh yum!

That's it for today's wanderings. Have a lovely day!

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Live, laugh, don't fall!

Why must embarrassing moments happen in front of people or worse, leave a visible sign on you? I guess it wouldn't be an embarrassing moment if it weren't witnessed (kind of like does a tree make a sound when it falls if no one is in the forest).

While at the Vatican museum last week, we were walking down this spiral ramp, admiring the architecture and chatting about the Sistine Chapel. K was in front of me and said "step" and I said "okay" even though the concept of "step" did not fully gel in my brain. And that's how I found myself on my hands and knees in the Vatican museum with about 30 witnesses. No, I wasn't hurt, just horribly embarrassed (although I did gouge K's arm with my thumbnail in the process of falling). And as K kindly pointed out, you know you're getting older when the guys around you ask if you are okay and need help up rather than snickering (I mean, who laughs when an old woman might be injured??). Wow, did I feel like a dork!

Fast forward to today. I'm mowing the lawn and need to empty the bag in the garden area that is raised and surrounded by a short fence. No problem, I've done this for years! Lift the lawnmower bag into the garden, step over the fence, and into the garden. Except my foot snagged on the top of the fence and well, I did a face plant in the garden (ironic, since you do plant things in gardens). Not only was I covered in grass clippings and dirt, my cheek hit the railroad ties that encase the garden. Can you say raspberry?? Yep, no one saw but I have a lovely red scuff on my cheek that proceeded to swell a little and doesn't cover well with makeup (I'm so hoping it won't bruise). Thus, an experience that might have been a blip on the day turned into an embarrassing moment.

So, in just 10 short days I managed to impress those around me with my lack of grace and/or coordination. All you can do is laugh - cause if you don't, you cry. Life goes on!

Here's to a week with limited embarrassing moments. Live, laugh, don't fall!

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The week...

....is over! I only worked 4 days, but it sure felt longer.

This week:

  • I attended an inspiring high school graduation
  • I made it to Zumba class
  • I was the first one at the office (a small miracle I'm sure!)
  • I found out I have a bone spur on my heel (thus the pain for the past year or more)
  • I did lots and lots of laundry
  • I saw my family of deer twice
  • I enjoyed my Friday evening at home with the hounds

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Grateful

I have to confess, I was not thrilled when the thunder started the other night because I knew there was a possibility that Mabel and I would do a lot of bonding and pacing and not much sleeping (since she HATES thunder).

Today my perspective has changed - I am grateful that all we've had here are thunderstorms. As I listen to and read about all the the tornados, severe flooding, and other weather related problems, a little lost sleep is nothing compared to what so many others are going through. My heart breaks for those that are suffering and living in fear of the next storm and trying to rebuild their lives.

So tonight I am sending prayers heavenward on behalf of those in need and feeling grateful that thunderstorms are my biggest worry right now.

I AM GRATEFUL

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Words

Some days the words just won't come. Not that my brain isn't full of thoughts and words, just that nothing seems print worthy or able to be grouped in a way that makes sense to anyone but me.

Maybe it's vacation brain. Whatever it is, tomorrow is work and I'll need my words. Hope they arrive in time.

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Laundry Blues

For some reason when I do my laundry I can't seem to remember to switch it from the washer to the dryer. But today is a new one for me.

I put in a very large load of wash, checked the water temp, added soap, and the clothes. All good. About an hour and a half later finally remembered that I needed to switch it so I put it in the dryer and started it going. Went to load the second load of wash and noticed that the load size was set to Small. Um, that won't really work with a really large load of wash. Dang!!!!

Pulled the clothes out of the dryer and started them rewashing, on the Extra Large setting! Maybe I should set a timer to remind me to switch them to the dryer so that I can finish my laundry today rather than tomorrow.

If I had loads of money, I would go buy new clothes rather than deal with laundry. Well, not really, but it sounds good today.

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This week...

  • I walked enough hills to count as a mountain
  • I ate way more gelato than I should have and thoroughly enjoyed it
  • I mowed the lawn, again
  • I saw things I've always wanted to see
  • I spent time with friends
  • I read two books and watched two movies

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If I Could...

  • I would have a bakery or book store or scrapbook store
  • I would travel the world taking photos
  • I would have a dog refuge with tons of acres for them to play in
  • I would make sure the people I love could do anything they want
  • I would spend time doing things I enjoy with people I love
  • I would not worry about the little stuff
  • I would make the most of every day no matter what

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Can you say YUMMY????

This is one of our favorite treats, but one that we usually save for special occasions. It's really more than a treat it's a decadent, layer after layer of ooey gooey goodness. Enjoy!!!

CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES

Brownie Base

Melt together and stir:
½ cup butter
1 oz (1 square) baker’s chocolate

In a bowl, mix together:
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla

Mix in melted chocolate mixture. Spread batter in a well greased (can also flour) pan.

Cream Cheese Filling
Mix together:
6 oz cream cheese – softened
¼ cup butter – softened

Add:
2 Tbls flour
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup sugar
1 egg

Mix well and spread over unbaked brownie batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cream cheese is light brown.

Topping
½ bag miniature marshmallows

Sprinkle over baked brownies. Place in oven for about 3 minutes or until marshmallows puff.

Icing
Melt together and stir:
2 oz cream cheese
¼ cup butter
1 oz (1 square) chocolate
¼ cup milk

Mix in:
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Drizzle/coat marshmallows with icing. Cool and cut.

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My week...

  • I walked a ton!
  • Mowed the lawn, which is usually someone else's assignment
  • Cleaned my room (something that's been needed for about a month)
  • Handed off the Silent Auction items
  • Watched the newest Harry Potter movie

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Mothering

While I may not have children, I do have two adorable pups that act like children. As this day approached, I remembered back to the process involved in getting our sweet hounds.

It was June and we had just lost our beloved Golden Retriever Buster. It was time for her to go, but it nearly broke our hearts. About two weeks later I got a call from K & J giving me an address to stop at on my way home from work. There I found K & J with the cutest Basset Hound. She had just the right blend of white, brown, and black. She waddled when she walked and she was a nuzzler. We looked at her brothers and sisters, but we knew instantly this pup was for us. We ran to a pet store, grabbed a pink collar, and paid for her. We had to wait a couple of weeks until she was ready to leave her mom, but the owners were kind enough to let us stop by several times during our wait to see her. During this time we did a lot of studying about crate training so that when we picked up Cleo we were ready for her. She was so good with the crate.

The thing we quickly learned about Cleo was that she was a lover, but she was also a Basset through and through. She would get the stubborn I dare you look, even when she was only a few months old. We describe Cleo as having an old soul - she started turning white across her face when she was a couple years old and she doesn't put up with much silliness. But this sweet lady is as loyal and loving as they come.

At this time we also had a Springer Spaniel named Barkley. Talk about a loyal dog, she was definitely K's dog (even though she was a house dog - she loved K like no one else). So when Cleo came along, Barkley was none too happy. But our neighbors got one of Cleo's brothers at the time we got Cleo so we'd have him over for play dates and all was fine. Until the day the neighbors got a divorce and decided that Waldo needed a new home. Cleo would sit on the deck looking across the fence for her brother - it was so sad. After 3 months of this we decided she needed a buddy.

We started checking the area for Bassets and soon found a litter near Salt Lake City. So off we went to see the litter. What a difference this experience was - all the pups looked a like (except one lemon Basset, which means she was all light tan and white). We held puppy after puppy trying to decide. We knew we wanted one from the litter, but how to decide? We narrowed it down to two but K couldn't take the pressure of deciding and headed for the car. J and I knew which one we wanted so we produced the dog collar, paid the money, and went home to wait the two weeks until we could pick her up. We had grand plans to crate train this puppy since we'd had such good luck with Cleo.

But, Mabel was not into the crate. She cried (even when we tried all the normal puppy things) and cried and cried. So we ditched the crate thing. She also wasn't as quick to pick up the potty training and she really didn't like her paws wet. The wet paw thing was a problem since it was February and there was lots of snow. So we'd carry her from the door to the yard she'd do her thing and we'd carry her back. So yes, she is the princess of the house and it started early. Where Cleo was driven by food, Mabel is driven by attention. If your hand isn't busy it better be petting her. We even figured out that you could rest your foot on her and that worked well - as long as she was being touched. The great thing about this is that she is a snuggler! She LOVES to sit on you or near you. She has spent many hours sleeping between my knees on Sunday's while we hung out. But this hound is truly excited to see you. Most dogs are, but wow, Mabel has taken it to new heights. Her whole body wags when you come home and she talks (really more a squeek thing).

These are our babies, our children. They are the center of our lives and they know it, but I wouldn't trade them for the world. My life is better because of them and the love they share every single day. Here's what they look like now - cute aren't they?

Cleo
Mabel












Happy Mother's Day!!

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This week....

  • I tried something new - Zumba
  • I struggled to get out of bed in the morning even more than usual
  • I craved cookies and baked goods as if they would not be around tomorrow
  • I got ahead on several things at work
  • I skipped lots of songs on my iPod until just the right one was found to sing to
  • I took photos of the spring flowers in our yard
  • I won a game on Words with Friends finally
  • I made a new recipe for dinner and it was delightful (Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake)
  • I gave several belly rubs to the hounds

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I Survived!

A second night of Zumba and I'm alive to tell about it. Honestly, it wasn't as hard as the first night AND my legs don't hurt like they did the day after last time. But apparently there are muscles in your sides and across your waist. Did you know that?? My body didn't or had forgotten many moons ago.

So victory for me and my getting older, out of shape body. I'm excited to continue attending and very grateful to sweet B who talkws about it enough to get me interested in going and for admitting she knew me in class even when I was mopping the sweat off my tomato red face.

Onward and upward!

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Zumba Realities

Tonight I attended my first Zumba class with a friend that has been going since February (and attended the 7:00 class before our 8:00 class). Let's just say it was entertaining for all.

What is Zumba, you ask? I would describe it as the aerobic classes I did in the 80's set to loud Latin music and a LOT of hip, bottom, shoulder, and chest shaking (that made me want to giggle every time I had to do it).

Why do it? That is a good question. I think they should plaster this quote all over the classroom walls: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"

But I survived! I certainly didn't keep up and I can't remember the last time I could ring the sweat from my hair or that my face looked so red (I assured my friend I would NOT have a heart attack on the way home). But I made it through the entire, just over, one hour class and even said gamely "Whatever everyone else wants to do" when the teacher asked "Do you want to do one more or cool down?" The funny part is I'm sure my brain said, cool down, but somehow that isn't what left my lips.

And here's the kicker, I'm going back on Wednesday. As we walked out to our cars I told my friend I'd see her Wednesday night for class. Not really sure what makes me think I can do that again! I'm not even sure I'll be able to get out of bed to go to work in the morning. Just kidding! I'm sure the ibuprofen I took will kick in any minute and after sleeping like the dead tonight from sheer exhaustion, I'll be up and ready to go in the morning.

Because remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! Ah, life is good.

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Signs of Spring

It snowed yesterday, but today it looks more like spring. So I snapped a few pictures of what commemorates the beginning of spring here.

In case you're wondering about this last picture, that's what we fondly call worm jerky. And they are abundant in spring as they crawl off the grass onto the sidewalk. The hounds think they have died and gone to heaven when we go for walks this time of year - there's nothing better than a worm jerky snack!

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About This Blog

My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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