Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Alaska – 2 years later

In life, wildlife on August 29, 2014 at 3:47 am



photo (15)

As bloggers go, I am about as random as they come, but looking back at old posts reminds me of how far I’ve come since starting this blog of puppies, art and Alaska. Amazingly two years have flown by and Alaska continues to throw us adventures, opportunities and challenges. This year summer didn’t really happen with all the rain and cool weather.My garden was pretty neglected which is just as well since our friendly moose helped herself to what little I had. 

no moose

In the end, I’ve learned that I really don’t have what it takes to be a gardener, and that’s ok. Not everyone can grow a 60 lb cabbage. Alaska has been the backdrop for so much professional and personal growth. Long winter nights can bring out the worst in people – depression, self-doubt, loneliness. Yet – I love the darkness for the opportunities it brings to capture this:


Chasing auroras is something I highly recommend doing at least once in your life. Which brings me to the point of this post – at the age of 31, I’ve learned that life is too, too short to spend it worrying about how you look to the world. Celebrate what makes you unique and give back! Volunteer (I like Fairbanks Youth Advocates), do something nice for someone for no reason. Host a charity event like this one benefiting Marley’s Mutt’s.


(Chloe and Connor are always happy to model for my event promotions)

In the end, you can’t take anything with you when you’ve reached the end of the road – but you can make sure you’ve left something good behind. Oh, and hug your puppy every chance you get, because that’s always good for the soul.








Living in the sticks

In dogs, house, wildlife on March 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

It has been a little bit busy since moving to Alaska and starting a new job, hence the absence from blogging. It is also still bitterly cold some days, but the dark winters are fading into bright spring evenings which makes the cold much more bearable.

As my husband and I promised, we finally got the dogs a house with a big yard in Alaska. It’s not so far from town, but we do live on a dirt road that has been appropriately named for its notoriety for getting cars, trucks and trailers stuck in deep snow or mud. Personally, we have only experienced the snow trap (at great expense) and this spring when the snow melts we will see the full extent of the mud problem.

However, there are benefits to living off the beaten road and having several acres of wild Alaskan land. For instance, we sometimes get to see the auroras off our porch.

Aurora from home

And we occasionally get visitors to our yard.

watching the moose

Moose cow and calf

And sometimes those visitors decide to sleep in our yard overnight and stop at our place the next day for breakfast. Chloe and Connor go nuts when we see moose – and this results in much barking, whining and leaving of nose prints all over the glass windows. However, they will listen to voice commands to leave them alone when they are outside with the moose, which I can imagine is difficult for them because their first instinct is to chase it. Fortunately the moose are large enough to be intimidating up close.

connor is vigilant

Arguably there’s a price for living out in the sticks – but so far we really like it and we would love to be able to share the experience with others.

Happy Father’s Day

In dogs, life on June 17, 2012 at 2:10 am

We love dads. I have a great dad. The best I could have ever asked for – funny, smart, and the right mix of strict and supportive. I think everyone with a good dad should be grateful EVERY day. I love you Dad.

Chloe and Connor love their dad too. Since imitation is the best form of flattery, here is the ultimate in puppy adoration. Sorry if they stretched out your shirts, dad. At least they didn’t borrow your tools – which explains why everything looks unused. I’d also like to add that the puppies don’t look nearly as handsome as their dad in those shirts; in fact, I think Connor looks a little chubby in that shirt. Maybe time for Connor to go easy on the cookies. Happy Father’s Day to all dads, whether you have two-legged or four-legged kids.

Minions – you know you want some

In dogs, life, Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm

If only I had minions to plough through the seemingly endless hours of writing emails, reports and processing data. Whenever a new task arises, wouldn’t it be nice to assign it to someone else, and have your minion obediently say, “Yes Boss. Right away”. In return, I would provide medical and dental care for my minions – and the occasional liver treat for a job well done.

Who am I kidding, though? Puppies can’t type.

Passing on the Versatile Blogger Award love

In dogs, life, Uncategorized on June 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

My very first blog award nomination was very kindly given from teepee12, whose writings on the ups and downs of life have kept me a follower of her blog Serendipity.  Thank you so very much for passing along the nomination! Our ‘versatility’ tends to come as a result of a lack of direction.

Chloe and Connor are proud of this achievement, especially since they provide much of the entertainment and subject-matter of my blog. I believe they now expect some sort of reward for their part in the award which will likely come in the form of something tasty to eat.

Part of the Versatile Blogger Award rules is to nominate other deserving blogs, and to provide 7 facts about yourself. I don’t follow a lot of blogs at the moment, and I believe some of the blogs I love have already been nominated for this award, so here’s my list of nominees to pass on the VBA love:

1. Nikitaland’s blog follows the life of one of the cutest dogs out there – Nikita. It also includes crafts and free printables, and is a lot of fun for anyone that loves dogs and DIY projects.

2. M.K.D. provides versatile uses of everyday objects to create a bird-a-day art. It is amazing what he can do with something as mundane as splashes of water on pavement, and soy sauce.

3. Allen’s Zoo is another favorite for his creative style of illustrations. His marine life series is what really drew me to his work.

4. Mermaid Scientist is a beautiful blog that combines the science of marine biology with the beauty of art. It reminds me of the fun of being a marine biologist, and the importance of conserving our oceans.

5. Sadie and Dasie is a like a visual candy, with a mix of home decor, dogs and fashion pictures that fall into themes. I love what she puts together.

6. Oscar the English Bulldog is a blog about Oscar. He is possibly one of the cutest puppies around, and there are many pictures to prove it.

7. Cooking College Chick is a blog about easy recipes. The fact that chocolate and peanut butter are some of her favorite ingredients makes this blog a must-read for anyone with a sweet-tooth.

8. The Other Alaska – a blog that shows Juneau is worth a visit gosh-darn-it!

Now on to the 7 facts about us:

1. We love pizza.

2. Connor has consistently stayed 5 lbs heavier than Chloe over the last year, but Chloe is still the bully dog.

3. Chloe recently had a tooth extracted for a fracture. Some dogs shouldn’t have very  hard things to chew.

4. The patience exercised by the dogs in costumes is directly proportional to the tastiness of the treat that awaits.

5. We believe in off-leash fun for well behaved dogs.

6. Connor survived eating a partial bag of Raisinettes left out by a child with no ill side-effects.

7. Chloe would rather starve than eat plain kibbles.


In dogs, jobs, life on May 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm


Yes, our vague plan to move to Alaska looks like it is actually going to happen. I accepted an offer for a job in Fairbanks, Alaska and we shall be packing up and moving there in stages. The puppies have no idea what is in store for them yet, but I think some warmer clothes are in their future.

It has been quite an adventure being a part-time under employed job seeker in this dismal job market. I do not envy those still in that position. There is hope though that having a vague idea of where you want to go in life and what you want to do can still work out. It does take: 1) persistence, 2) patience, 3) supportive family and friends and maybe a little luck. 🙂

It is both exciting and terrifying to start planning another cross country move. I welcome any advice on moving to Alaska.

Ivory and lace

In crafts, decor, Etsy on April 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

The latest Etsy splurge involved a set of distressed, ivory frames. There were three frames in the set which were perfect to put up pictures of our kids – the two-legged and four-legged kinds.

Unfortunately, not all the frames came with glass, and the glass on one of the frames broke  during shipping, so Chloe and Connor’s portraits are currently unprotected. Somehow seems fitting with the “shabby chic” look.

This intricate design on the frames remind me of lace, and reminds me of other items I could splurge on in the future.

And Balinese lace to wrap it up – if you have never heard of Uluwatu, they make the most beautiful clothes out of handmade Balinese lace.

Life’s a beach

In crafts, decor, dogs, life on April 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

I feel at some point somebody is going to knock me on the head and say, “Wake up! You do not live at the beach!” Luckily my husband indulges my coastal-inspired decor. For instance, here is a porch that I would love to have – look at that view!

But failing to have the money for the real thing, we do what we can with what we currently have. Here’s the overall set-up using items we already own, some of which have been borrowed from inside the house. Hello plastic Adirondack chairs from Target!

And a close-up of the haphazardly painted table. I didn’t exactly color within the lines. I love the idea of coastal furniture being fun and exuding a care-free attitude. So, I painted it a little messy – stop fussing and go get another drink already! In the background is a hammock  I brought back from Thailand,  wood shore birds from Galveston and a Humpback whale that was a gift from a friend in Hawaii.

In case you didn’t notice earlier, Chloe has a sting-ray pillow. It was custom made by a friend who originally used it as part of his Halloween costume. After Halloween, he stuffed it and made it a pillow. It is almost completely anatomically correct, tail and all!

And an encore for the pillow because it is so cute:

I will refrain from showing you our view and the other side of our porch that stores our under-used grill and Chloe’s baby wading pool. Sometimes it’s best not to look behind the magician’s curtain. 😉

Bunny ears + dogs = Easter fun

In dogs, life on April 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Yes, poor dogs.  However, it is a small price to pay for all the privileges these two get.

Unfortunately, we could not find the white bunny ears so Connor had to share the pink ears costume.

Miss Congeniality

In life on March 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

If there was any doubt that Chloe is the most popular member of the household, there is none now. The other day Shaun and I were walking down the street with Chloe and Connor when someone whom neither of us recognized said “Oh look, it’s Chloe.”

Of course this is not the first time that a stranger seemed to know Chloe by name, it happened before when we used to live in Texas. It could be that we’ve met people who remember Chloe, but whom we have subsequently forgotten, or maybe Chloe does some self-promoting from the window when we aren’t home. Almost all the children in our street know Chloe and come running to pet her if she’s out while they are playing. None of those children know our names, it’s all “Chloe! Chloe!” Fortunately she basks in the attention.

I am sure when we move to Alaska, Chloe will make her rounds so that everyone in the neighborhood will know who she is – maybe some of that Chloe charm will rub off on shy  Connor, who was most recently referred to simply as “the black dog” by our neighbor’s daughter. In the meantime remember this face, folks. She may not be a superstar, but sometimes she sure gets treated like one.