P'update: Hound of the Baskervilles


JoJo and Tom like to play fetch games every evening -- either frisbee or ball.  It's gotten really hard now, though, with the dark coming earlier and earlier.

Until today!

I picked this up at our pet supply store . . . 


a ball that lights up and glows! 

Seemed ideal, but I had my doubts.  Would it work?  Would JoJo freak out?  (She's a bit of a 'fraidy-dog.)

But, no.  Great Success!  Here.  See for yourself!


I'm not sure who had more fun -- JoJo . . . or Tom.  Whichever.  JoJo looked like one of the hounds of the Baskervilles, glowing and flashing.

Despite the darkness . . . game on, JoJo!

Apparently Still a Lemming


Back in my middle school and early high school years, I was quite a lemming.*

But Mooooooooom . . . EVERYBODY is wearing them.

Oh, c'mon Mom . . . EVERYBODY is going.

Mooooom, I want [my ears pierced] [my hair cut] [my jeans too tight] [to wear incredibly short skirts]. . . just like EVERYBODY.

It's okay, Mom . . . EVERYBODY is doing it.

My Mom (never one to be fooled by lemming tactics) always gave me this line, "If EVERYBODY jumped off a cliff, would you follow?"

Well, DUH.

(Of course.)  (Because lemming.)

And . . . apparently I am STILL a lemming.  Because I hadn't heard about the March Through Time KAL (Knit-A-Long) until Vicki first blogged about signing on.

And then Margene joined.

And Carole.  

And Kim.

So, of course, I looked closer.

March Through Time

And I discovered that this is a rather unique and very cool KAL.  Because knitting (a cowl) AND fitness (walking).  (But not at the same time.)  (Although I saw MANY knitters doing just that at Rhinebeck.) (Ahem.)

Now, I am already a very regular fitness person.  I swim and I spin and I do Pilates and yoga.  I also walk my dogs.



(But I get lazy about walking them when the weather is not so great.)

So I decided that this KAL might be a great way to motivate myself to walk the dogs daily - and especially when it's rainy or chilly or I'm busy.


But also happy and healthy dogs!


Big WIN all around!

(Join us.  EVERYBODY is doing it.)


* I was going to include a video clip of lemmings plunging over a cliff.  But, oh man.  Too horrifying.


Lucky, Lucky Dogs

My dogs LOVE sweet potatoes.  (Jenny, in particular, loves sweet potatoes.)  

Over the years, I've purchased several types of dehydrated sweet potato snacks for the J-pups, with this one being their hands-down favorite.  But they're expensive.  And a bit oversized.  And despite being made with "all natural" ingredients right here in US, they seem a bit . . . overly preserved.

So I decided to put my dehydrator (purchased primarily for harvesting herbs, but capable of oh-so-much more) to use and try to make some myself.  A little research on the interwebs convinced me it couldn't be more simple.

Wash potatoes.


Slice potatoes.


Place in dehydrator.


Dehydrate for about 12 hours (or so).


And - voilà - sweet potato snacks!

Admittedly, not as "pretty" as the Big Boyz . . . 


But just as welcome by the J-pups!


(Cheap, too.)

Lucky, lucky dogs!

Weekending . . . Ten on Tuesday Style

We kept ourselves quite busy all through this long, hot Labor Day weekend.  It won't be any trouble at all for me to tell you Ten Things I Did This Weekend, à la Ten on Tuesday.


1 - On Friday, I helped Tom transfer his latest beer batch from one large container to another (which is trickier than it sounds).  The stuff in this photo is called the trub . . . or what's left in the bottom of the container after a successful "first stage fermentation." (And this means we're one week closer to our own IPA!)


2 - Then we headed for Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids to see John Hiatt perform in the outdoor amphitheatre. I love sitting outside in my lawn chair, sipping a beer, watching the  geese and herons fly overhead, seeing the sun go down . . . all while enjoying a great concert.  (And it was great.)


3 - On Saturday morning, the dogs and I had a very exciting walk . . . where we discovered a (dead) snake in the road, a huge (very live) wasp nest in a tree, and a giant (also live) cicada in the grass (near the J-pups' favorite pee-corner).  So much to check out.


4 - On Saturday afternoon we headed up to the cottage for a quick overnight. . . and one last sit on the dock and (probably) the last swim for the dogs.  (We won't be back up until October.)


5 - Because then we took the docks out for the season.  (Always kind of sad; summer goes by too quickly, y'know?)


6 -- I knit almost all of one sleeve for this sweater.  I also taught myself to cable without a cable needle.  (I know.  I'm like the only knitter on the planet stubborn enough to continue with a cable needle.  So it was time.)  (Bonus:  I'll get plenty of practice on this sweater.)


7 - I re-did my front porch containers with more fall-ish flowers.  (The summer batch was looking really, really tired.)  (Maybe even dead.)


8 - I read a book  - Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal.  I highly recommend it!  Just delightful.


9 - We had a little cook-out, just Tom and I.


10 - And I spent plenty of time just kicking back with Tom and the dogs . . . enjoying a long, pleasant summer weekend.

How about YOU?  What did you do this weekend?


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A Few Quick and Rather Random Updates

I'm on my way to Lansing today for an all day meeting, so I thought this would be a great time to bring you some updates . . . on this and that.

First, Brian and Lauren are settling in to their new apartment in Broomfield, Colorado.  While moving somewhere new always requires an adjustment (or two), they're managing very well.  (And with a view like this, what's not to love?)


Second, driving Miss JoJo  . . . worked!  Here, you can see both dogs in the back seat as we were driving home from our trip up north last weekend.  (On a beach towel, of course.  I'm not stupid.)  Although car rides are still not JoJo's favorite thing, she willingly jumps in the car now, and will even take a nap.  (And no carsick.  Bonus!)

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And, last, our Baby Loon is growing up fast!  Last weekend, the Loon Family was still hanging close together -- but you can see Junior is beginning to show the distinctive loon markings.  (I'm betting he/she will be all grown up before we get back up to the lake in a couple of weeks.)


Enjoy your day!

Refreshed . . . and Ready to Roll Again

We're back from a lovely week at the cottage.  


It's always so nice to just get away for awhile.  To not have to worry about schedules and to-do lists and having to be somewhere.

Just to kick back. . .


Relax around the campfire . . . 


Soak up a little sun . . . 


And then cuddle up with dogs and a book when the temperature plunges!  (Because July is no guarantee for summer weather.  Unfortunately.)


We had plenty of time for our annual Scrabble-Extravaganza (Tom's stunning Scrabble-BINGO with a 7-letter bonus of 50 points left me no chance of catching up in that game!!!)


The dogs did lots of swimming . . . 


and some fishing!  (Jenny LOVES fishing.  L.O.V.E.S.)


 We even made a quick trip to the Lake Michigan shore.


 It was a great week away.  I'm feeling refreshed . . . and ready to roll again!  (Although coming back from vacation is never easy, is it?)

Driving Miss JoJo: a P'Update

Back in April, I wrote about JoJo . . . and how I'm working at trying to overcome her car-riding discomfort.  

Now that we're making regular trips up north to our cottage - a 2-hour + drive each way - I thought you might like a little . . . p'update.

  FullSizeRender 2

(She looks a little sad, but she really wasn't; she was just waking up at a stoplight.)

JoJo is Much Improved -- and maybe even having a little fun.  These days, JoJo is relaxed and engaged in the car -- and is even napping during the long drive.  Best of all . . . no car sick issues!  (Although we're still using the anti-car-sick meds, we're at a much reduced dose, and hope to have her completely weaned off the meds within the next couple of trips.)

And . . . BONUS . . . her adjustment to driving in the car . . . has spilled over into to riding in the boat!


Last year, JoJo was pretty much petrified on our pontoon boat. 

But over the weekend, she was exploring and sniffing the fresh air, and generally checking everything out.


By the end of the summer (maybe even the end of June), she's going to be as excited to be up at the lake as Jenny!


It's getting easier . . . this driving Miss JoJo!


Gittin' r 'Dun


There's nothing like a 3-day weekend for . . . gittin' stuff dun!  Here's what I did this weekend:


1 - Planted my herb garden!  (I think it's safe from frost. ) (Finally.)  (But I still didn't put in the basil.)


2 - Cleaned up some of the messiest of my garden beds.  (The worst one is yet to come, though.)


3 - Lent Tom moral support while he cleaned out my ponds and got them running again.  (A really messy job.)  And then cheered HURRAH when Tom got my rain barrel set up again.  (And just in time, too!)


4 - Pointed and directed as Tom wielded his shovel to move hostas and ferns and daylilies.  (It takes a village.)


5 - Dealt with this kind of help.  (You should see the hole. . .)


6 - Finally put away the Christmas china.  (Yeah.  I know.) (I also installed my external hard drive and backed up my lap top.) (In case you were wondering.)


7 - Got to this point in knitting a sweater.  (This one.)  (Trying to decide if it's time for ribbing.)  (It's not.) (It's also not this color.)


8 - A bit of work.  (Nearing a deadline.)  (I'm totally in charge of my own schedule.)  (But still.  Deadlines.)


9 - Ran a bit.  (Without pain.)  (First time.)  (Woo-hoo!)


10 - Some reading.  (But not enough.)  (And I've finally found a really great book, too.)

How about YOU?  What did you do this past weekend?


Join the fun!  Sign up to recieve Ten on Tuesday prompts here - or read other lists here!