So Much to Share, Summer 2017

I’ve had idea after idea about what to post next, but to actually get my fingertips to the keyboard just wasn’t happening. Today I say, “self, stop using up all your brain power thinking and just starting typing!” Here goes….

Waterfall wonderland was our summertime fun.

Mitch found this fountain free here in town, it just needed a little fix and now it works great

I got this fountain at the dollars for scholars here in medical lake last year. The birds love it!

Mitch made a tree stump waterfall that ‘s just beyond beautiful. He worked on it for days, and it couldn’t be any more amazing. He’d tried to find ideas and suggestions on Pinterest without much luck, so maybe now he’ll be able to help others.

He started with drilling the outer shape

Drilling took way to long, so he brought out the big guns… his chainsaw

Hours later

Painted out perimeter for stone blocks

Its starting to take shape

He used retaining wall stone blocks he’d found on Craigslist, and just chipped off the lip of the stone with a hammer to make it work

Pump is set, power cord ran underground, pond liner finished, now to add water

Ahhhh, the sound of flowing water

He has the lights on a timer so they go off in the morning and on at night, and even though its August there has just got to be some color.

Starting to look real nice now, but he just insists on more color

Out watering every morning or evening

nighttime look

I’ve read that cats like to drink from moving water and so I looked into one of those cat water fountains, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money so I decided to make my own.

Zoey trying to send me a mental messages saying, “mama, make my world wonderful…… you will pamper me!”

My first round was probably a year ago, I got a small water pump, put it in a dog dish and cut out a flower from an aluminum can. After cutting myself trying to shape it, and noticing all the sharp edges I decided that it just wouldn’t be safe for Zoey to drink from.

my first try with the water pump and soda can

Trashed that prototype, and 6 months later I was ready to try again. This time I’d found a bowl and pitcher at a yard sale for $15,

bowl and pitcher with water pump before we cut off the  bottom half to make it fit better

bought a ceramic tile cutter for our Dremel and after some trial and error, tada!

Dremel diamond wheel cut super smooth and worked great

the pitcher bottom after we used the Dremel, just leaving the last little cut

Zoey using the final product! wahoo

Now to be honest, after the first couple days she rarely drank from it and it was a pain to clean, so after about 5 months I gave up the ghost.

now I use it as a candy dish

Zoey hanging with her best buddy

We still have a pet water filter in her dish, but even with cleaning it daily she’d rather just drink out of the dogs water. Can’t say we didn’t try, that’s for sure.

this little window bird feeder is  awesome, great treat to see the birds from inside the house! got it used from amazon, only cost about $12

Lake Wenatchee State Park near Leavenworth is where we were when the eclipse took place, spending time with the kids.

Nettie riding in style and Charlie trying to get settled in for the drive

using our selfie stick for the first time capturing a family photo and Harvy the RV as a backdrop

As the eclipse was happening it made some really cool sun rays

capturing all the colors in the sun rays

Chef Marcus cooking it up

DELICIOUS!  Great job Marcus! thanks for making it a glamping experience! (note, never never again will we have shrimp in the rv fridge! Peweee, that was some work getting the smell out)

Sunset at the campsite

the sunset colors hitting the trees

our new friend Oreo, named after the snack he first went for when we set up camp. He’s stocking up on some dog food here in the picture

Mitch made me a homemade air conditioner this summer for my Four Lakes Post Office because it was so HOT in my office

fan on the top, PVC pipe coming out the side and ice inside the cooler

It definatley gave me some relief from the heat in the office

I had my hair gal cut my hair and I donated it to Children with Hair Loss (only place that accepts dyed and grey hair!)

measuring my hair to make sure I had enough to donate

we were able to send about 10 inches

About a month after my initial cut, my hair still felt heavy and just too much, so I asked my hair gal if she would shave off some of it and she said, “no, your hair’s too thick, I just don’t think it’d look good.” I was a bit taken aback, and needless to say; not ok with the resistance in doing whatever I wanted with my own hair so I thanked her for looking out for me and told her I understood. Then with a tone of joking but with truth I said, ” gosh, I don’t know, I think I’m going to have to break up with you… maybe we should just be friends ” Later that night I got the hubby to give er a little shavin! It worked out the way it was supposed to, it made for memorable quality time with my love, and I’m happy to say I stayed friends with my hair gal because I spoke my peace so I could keep the peace.

Mitch prepping to shave my head

all up top will stay, down below will go

trying to get the line just right

just like it, she gone

now, when my hair’s down you can’t tell it’s shaved and it feels so much lighter and manageable

Found a puppy left in a car this summer and was about to report it to the authorities when I was lucky enough to encounter the female owner and her two male companions, who’d just finished their lunch at the Texas Road House in Cour d’Alene. It was at least 85 degrees outside, and the female who said it was her dog was probably 8 months pregnant! She defended her choice by stating that she cracked the windows and left water for the dog. It took every ounce of self-control I had not to grab that puppy and lock them in that hot car for an hour while I went and ate my lunch! I tried to get a picture of their license plate so I could still call and report the incident, but by that time the situation had escalated to, “mind your own bleeping business, and bleep off !” So of course by then I was screaming at the top of my lungs, asking her if next time she’d be leaving her child in the car like that! Oh boy! It was not good, there was a moment when I had to decide, just walk away or sucker punch those punks in the throat, take the dog and run. Realizing it was 3 against 1, as Mitch, not knowing what was happening and was non-the wiser enjoying his warm rolls and cinnamon butter inside the restaurant, I walked away, using some of my own choice words, while taking a picture of one of the guys who was trying to block the license plate. Seriously, what is wrong with people?! Ugh!

yes, he’s blocking the license plate

Charlie boy our Golden Retriever was getting a much-needed pampering session this summer when I noticed a big ol lump near his poo shoot.

found this bobble head at a yard sale, and yup it looks just like our Charlie boy

Figured it was his anal glands that just needed expressed so we headed to the vet the very next day. Never thinking it’d be anything else, imagine our surprise when the vet gave us the news that it was cancer.

peanut butter heaven

Of course she told us what to look for when it starts getting worse, and that there are things that they can do to help him when he starts showing symptoms. We were so sad initially, but then also grateful, because now he’s getting super spoiled, no more diet and we’ve been giving him things he’s never had before, like ice cream, a hamburger and other kinds of people food! I’m not too much on giving our dogs people food very often, only as a treat, but now for Charlie, everyday is treat day!

first time having ice cream

In Nettie news, it’s not good news either! Don’t know if you remember, but she’s living with us now, back in pops cottage. Story goes, Nettie’s been having back pain for the past few months and it’s progressively gotten worse. This summer she went and spent a month with the sis’s in California, before that she’d had some discomfort but it was manageable. After returning home she was really struggling and we thought it was sciatic pain so she’d made an appointment to see the doctor.  The doctor said “well, I’m going to send you to physical therapy and they’ll probably just send you back to me and then I’ll refer you to get an MRI.” Well they didn’t, they started giving her physical therapy. We assumed a bulging disk, pinched nerve, sciatic pain…. Week after week Nettie’s pain got worse and I suggested she try acupuncture because that’s what’d helped pops when his sciatica was so bad. She tried it and still no relief. Every now and then I’d check in with her, ask if she’d done her exercises to see if she was doing what she was supposed to. Sometimes she hadn’t, and I would give her the good ol’ talkin to about being consistant with her exercises. After going back to physical therapy the 3rd time and just being in too much pain she saw the doctor and they finally sent her down to get an MRI. The next day she got a call from the doctors office and they said she needs to get to Deaconess emergency, get admitted and get a biopsy that day! She ended up spending 5 days in the hospital, two other biopsies and a surgery to remove a huge tumor on her spine that was pinching all her nerves.

getting briefed by the surgeon before surgery to remove the tumor

The surgeon was surprised she could even walk! Talk about  having a high tollerance for pain!

off she goes

That poor girl, after ALL that time of suffering! With all the test result in they’ve diagnosed her with high risk multiple myeloma.

before her first chemo shot she’s contemplating if she should’ve brought in her coffee

Nettie’s endured months of pain unneccessarily, and there I am giving her a hard time about not doing her exercises! I called her crying uncontrollably after finding out what it was and couldn’t apologize enough about pressuring her to do her stretches. We got to bring her home Sunday the 5th of November, and you can tell she is feeling so much better and ready to fight the good fight with this cancer. Nettie has got the best disposition and attitude of gratitude of anyone I’ve ever known, I admire her so much.

beautiful birthday girl (we celebrated on Thanksgiving since her birthday was the day after), free of that horrible nerve pain

Happy to report, she’s responding well to the treatment and  just started her second cycle of treatment this Friday the 8th of December. Please keep our Nettie Noodle in your thoughts and prayers.

What It Is

What’s the opposite of dog days of summer….

Cat-naps of the cold winter days?  Freezing days of Jack Frost?  Brrrrr, that’s what I would call it, just down right, brrrrrr.

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parking slots in front of the house made of snow piles

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During one of my nighttime wake up calls I was greeted by the most beautiful freezing rain. 2/9/17

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Finding a way to make chores fun, my love got a torch to melt snow

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to let go of my expectations of how I think things should be. I now try to accept life for what it is in that moment, not what I wanted it to be.  Case in point, Zoey…

What? me?

What? me?

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She is so cute and cuddly

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But she has tore up our blinds

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stary blinds, created by zoey

Thankfully they are older blinds and we’d talked about replacing them down the road.  We still try to keep her off places and things where she doesn’t belong.

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These both somewhat work, but not like I’d hoped

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She didn’t like the sticky of the tape, but that didn’t stop her

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Soon enough she started jumping straight over the tape onto the counter

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That’s right, no shame in my game!

We got her a tree house thinking that would be all she needed

We got her a tree house (thank you Chewy.com!) thinking that would be all she needed

along with more toys

along with more toys

But she's a kitten, and she loves her life and her Charlie

But she’s a kitten, and she loves her life and her Charlie

and Charlie is just trying to nap away his winter

and Charlie’s just trying to nap away his winter

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life will always have a little bad that comes along with all the good. That’s what makes living so flavorful!

Speaking of FLAVOR…. I made my first ever frittata. What a fun word, frittata, frittata, frittata.  I just love the pioneer woman, she’s where I got the how to make it and then I just used what we had in the fridge.

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first I cooked up some onion, mushroom, asparagus and canadian bacon in my cast iron skillet

gratted some pepperjack cheese, used 8 eggs added a little milk and sprinkled parmesean and tomatoes on half...just in case it tasted different

gratted some pepperjack cheese, used 8 eggs added a little milk, salt and pepper and sprinkled parmesean and tomatoes on half…just in case it tasted different

Then I got so excited to eat it I forgot to take a picture until it was half gone

Put it in the oven for a bit, and then I got so excited to have some I forgot to take a picture until it was half gone

 

I hope you have something you’re too excited about and forget to take a picture until halfway through too!

 

Frittata, frittata, frittata

 

 

 

The Happy Factor With a Little Zoey

When we took in Happy we had no idea how fitting the name would be, but we’ve learned he’s beyond happy to be away from the life he once had.

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 Milo in the yoga zone, doing downward dog. Happy waiting for Mitch to turn on the lazer pointer so he can chase it.

Happy told us about his previous owners by his actions and reactions. When Happy first came to live with us we thought that the resident of the assisted living facility was the only one to hit him, unfortuanely that wasn’t the case. In the beginning Mitch and I would hug each other and Happy would  bark incessantly, but slowly over time he’s become more comfortable with knowing it’s love, not anger and he doesn’t have to worry.  He still sees us hug and whines a little, but a vast improvement from where he began. Sometimes we say we should’ve named him Yappy because when he starts barking, he does NOT stop, but we’re working on that as well.

 

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Here he’s saying, “yeah buddy, now this is the life”

One time I was joking with Mitch and pretended to give him “two for flinching” and Happy lunged toward me trying to protect Mitch.  Sometimes when Pops is getting up and the monitor goes, bleep, bleep, bleep and we’re in the house I’ll start to run toward the back door and Happy just isn’t having it.  He’ll wake up in the middle of a dead sleep and start barking and chasing after me.

 

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“Hey mama check me out, I’m hangin’ with the big dog”

We had a mosquito flying around the house a couple weeks ago, so Mitch got the fly swatter out and that triggered a frenzy of emotions from him. After the fly swatter incident, Mitch asked more about the previous owners, and turns out they were physically abusive towards each other and they often went after Happy with a fly swatter or a rolled up newspaper!  The poor guy had some rough times, and he’s obvoiously scarred from his past, but I’m happy to say, he’s getting better.  Everyday’s a slight improvement, he’s learning that he no longer has to worry, there’s only love in this house and he wont be hurt, and people aren’t going to hurt each other.

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There’s so much love, we even find it in our taters.

Milo and Happy became good friends and started to really play with each other until…..we added another family member to the house who’s just soo much more interesting.  Her name is Zoey!  She came into our lives spuuuuuur of the moment and meant to be! She’s the cherry on top, the purrrrrfect addition to completely make our house a home.

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Zoey’s homecoming picture

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You talkin about me?

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Every time pops see her he says, ” hey there kitter cat” and laughs

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Zoey thinks Charie is the coolest… but who doesn’t

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“whats the world look like from way up there?”

 

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She even loves to use my phone

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I couldn’t believe what I saw, but there she was, comfortable as can be laying ontop of Charlie

I’m a dog person, especially since I’ve been randomly attacked by a few cats over the last 20 years. I tried to have a cat about 15 years ago and I ended up crying and having panic attacks everytime I saw her.  I thought it was allergies but the doctor said otherwise. Now, where I am in my life, I know it had to do with my situation at the time, not with the cat.

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Over the last year we’ve looked at shelters, and it just never felt right. Thankfully, Zoey found us and we can finally stop looking. One of Pops wonderful caretakers was showing me pictures of kittens at her mom’s place and said she wanted this one, but couldn’t take her.  I said, we’ll take her and then you can see her all the time! I was certain Mitch would be on board, he’s a cat man and since Happy, who’s supposed to be his lap dog always seemed to find his way over to me…

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Zoey, Milo and Happy cuddled up on my lap, love the love!

The circle of intrigue stays the same, Happy wants to play with Zoey, Zoey plays with Charie, Charlie doesn’t care and Milo just wants mama.

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I cant believe I got them all in one picture!

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If Zoey’s napping, Happy goes and lays next to her

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If Happy’s napping, Zoey goes and lays next to him

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Kickin it, kitty style

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Could I BE any cuter?

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I sure CAN!

 

Happy

Say hello to our little friend…

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They called him Pistol

We named him Happy

We named him Happy

Mitch was working at Brookdale yesterday doing his maintenance gig when 10 minutes before he was to come home, this little guy needed a new forever home.  He’s had a tough go of things for the last few months, after moving into the assisted living facility with his owners, they both became unable to physically or mentally care for him.  The staff had hoped to keep him as a community dog, but unfortunately a resident repeatedly slapped him in the face when he wouldn’t stop barking  (and admitted to doing it) which resulted in a bite, and rightfully so!  Since it did happen though, they had to find him a home and quick.  Thankfully Mitch was at the right place at the right time.IMG_3230

Charlie (our golden) took to Happy like they’d been buddies forever. Milo, on the other hand, takes a little longer to make a new friend. So he’s a little skeptical.

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Milo’s thinking…what’s your deal, you gonna steal the spotlight or what?

Happy’s been giving Milo space and time to adjust, and it seems to be working.

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But Charlie and Happy are already running around outside playing together

Milo's a mama's boy so he'll just need a little time to warm up to our new family member.

Yeah, I know, I can be a little selfish… but I’m a work in progress too!

The best part is… Mitch now has his own cuddle bug.  Milo is a mama’s boy, which I love because I’ve always wanted a dog that would pick me first, but I know how Mitch feels wanting to have that same thing. Believe it when I say Happy takes the cake when it comes to being a lap dog.  He’s the best. He just wants to be loved.

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This is him at the assisted living facility before Mitch brought him home. He’s just laying on one of the residents feet.

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So after a bath

and meeting the boys

and meeting the boys

Happy is happy to be home

Happy is happy to be home

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Thanks for loving me!

 

The Return of Be and We

Of all the things that I miss when there’s an overload of work in life, I miss just resting my brain the most. The freedom to be me again, and not feel like the walking half dead. I was thinking I could describe remodeling a house and finally being done as getting the monkey off our back, but it wouldn’t be fitting unless it was a poop flinging, screaming, sharp clawed meanie monkey that never gave us a moment of peace, and haunted our every thought. Then maybe it would be descriptive enough. There’s a twist to this story though because the second that monkey jumped off our back, we had to haul our ol’ tired bones over to the big house to get it ready for our new renter.

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The Big House

We hadn’t finished doing trim inside The Big House before we had moved out a few years ago, so our next couple weeks was fine tuning lots of areas.

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To trim out the upstairs would’ve cost way to much, instead I used a putty knife to pull back the carpet and painted the wall where it meets the carpet.

While I painted Mitch completed tons of trim work

While I painted, Mitch completed tons of trim work

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Trimming the windows

Thankfully we had the time to do all that work before our new renter moved in, and the fact that we actually already had it rented, phew!

Finally trimmed out the bathroom!

Finally trimmed out the bathroom!

Plus, it was good just to keep on keeping on with the work until it was all done.

Even the fireplace got spruced up with trim

Even the fireplace got spruced up with trim

What are you looking at you ask, you are look at a newly installed transition bar!

What are you looking at you ask…. you’re look at a newly installed transition bar!

I am beyond happy to report that we also now have renters in the Yeller Feller!  After 8 months of paying two mortgages we can finally, finally release that top button on those pants that are two sizes too small, take our first deep breath, hopefully stop hemorrhaging out money and start paying down our mountain of debt.  Happy days are here again! Not only are the new renters wonderful, the house is designed perfectly for their needs and they love everything about it! Definitely one of the perks of owning the houses next door, picking our neighbors!

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The yeller feller is in the background of the tulip happy to have become a home

Flowers are blooming, days are getting longer and spring is in the air….ahhhh. I’ve now been able to direct my attention to doing the things I’ve been thinking about for months.

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Happy to just BEE

ORGANIZING

Yes, I know, I’m still working on organizing.  I’m getting there though, seriously!  Now I’ve learned that there are things made in this world that really help to keep things organized.

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Everything out on the counter waiting for their new officially designated container

I used to just straighten things out and hope they stayed that way, HA, what was I thinking?

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Hello plastic drawers, shelves, racks, compartments, and baskets you are my new found happy place!

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Happy shoes

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Happy books

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Happy dog treats, rubber gloves, work gloves, manuals, light bulbs and Mitch’s hats

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Happy candy reserves hidden in baskets

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working on being a happy closet. Decided to use shoe holder for sweaters! works great!

PAMPERING PAPA

I’ve designated every third Saturday morning after work as papa pedicure time.  Last Saturday, while soaking his feet I changed his sheets and as you can see pops was also multitasking too, getting a pedicure, napping and holding the blankets.

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Sorry Felicity, Pops and my hubby are my only exception to the rule of no pedicures, but I love ya!

About a month ago we went and got his oxygen levels checked, we found that pops only needs oxygen when walking,  so now he’s set up to do some Walmart laps and mosey around the block with me.  He’s such  character and loves to find change when we go out for walks.

Who's the REAL cookie monster!

Who’s the REAL cookie monster!

I convinced him a couple months ago to go into Shopko and give me his opinion on some sweaters, while we were roaming around, he was determined to find money. I decided the best way to make his day was to increase his odds, thankfully I had some change in my purse. Needless to say he left the store 62 cents richer and I found some awesome clearance sweaters, all papa approved.

That's right world, I'm that darn cute!

That’s right world, I’m that darn cute!  Milo says, “hey what am I, chopped liver? “

 

DOGGIE DAYS

Taking the dogs to a groomer is pretty much out of the question, both because of price and the concerns of leaving them there with strangers.

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I’ve become a pretty good groomer, trimming their hair with scissors and a grooming razor, they usually fall asleep during the process, thankfully.  It’s definitely not a professional looking end result, but I get the job done.

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Little dog takes big dog’s spot, the nerve!

The next day, Mitch and I each took a dog and finished them off with baths and clean dog beds. I’ve gotten so good, Pops lets me cut his hair now too, the funny thing is, he moves around more than the dogs do!

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What? Who? Me?

MAKING PLANS WITH MY LOVE

Before we traveled I was all about only doing things that we saved up for, never incurring any debt and putting things off until we could afford it.  So basically we didn’t do much of anything, and were always so mindful of the cost of everything. Not to say that’s a bad thing, but it became more important not to have debt than to have life experiences. We’ve thrown that out the window and went to the debt side, oh i mean dark side.

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Even Milo stuck his tongue out when I asked him what he thought about us going from one extreme to the other.

Hopefully in the future we can find a happy medium, where we still do things, incur a little debt along the way and pay it off within a reasonable time frame. As for right now, we’ve taken on so much water, a couple more drops isn’t going to break us, so we decided it’s time to reward ourselves with something we’ve wanted for years, we’re going to get kayaks! We are blessed enough to live in a town with a few lakes, we love to kayak and just haven’t made time for it before, but now we will.

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Mitch testing out the dry hatch on a kayak when we started look at kayaks. 

We’re looking forward to sharing pictures of our future outings from a whole new perspective! wahoo!

This is the kayak we've decided on and will out on the lake next month! It's a an Elie Sound 100 XE

This is the kayak we’ve decided on and will be out on the lake next month! It’s a an Elie Sound 100 XE.