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A Family Reunion?

When we adopted Victory in the fall of 2013, Victory was one of many shelties living in a horrible hoarding house on the western side of Michigan.  Soon after, we discovered Chrissy, a sheltie who was also a victim of the horrible hoarding situation.  You can read and view further information about the hoarding situation here, here, here, and here.

After we adopted Victory,  we saw that Chrissy was up for adoption through the Michigan Sheltie Rescue, and Doug and I believe that Victory and Chrissy are related as they have a striking resemblance — just look at the unique coloring with a hint of Blue Merle; the snout shape; and the similar nose and ears!  Perhaps Chrissy is Victory’s sister, auntie, or cousin?  What do you think?

In the photos below, Chrissy is shown on the left, which was taken on her first night in her furever home; and Victory is shown on the right while she was in her foster home taken shortly before we met and adopted Victory.  (Both images were taken approximately at the time of adoption).

I recently contacted the Michigan Sheltie Rescue who put me in contact with Chrissy’s parents.  We discovered that Chrissy lives in Ohio, not too far from my parents who live in Michigan.  Our plan is to coordinate a reunion for the two fur girls the next time we travel to Michigan to visit family!  At that time, I will take some photographs of the two girls together, and it will be wonderful to witness both of their wonderful transformations!  We can’t wait to meet Chrissy!

We hope that you have a great weekend!  We are headed back to the Eastern Shore this weekend with Victory!  It should be a fun and beautiful weekend!

 

Chrissy and Victory

The above images are courtesy of Chrissy’s parents; and Victory’s foster family.

Snapshot: 2011 Nova Scotia Vacation

I recently finished making eight photo books, and I realized that I had not shared our trip to Nova Scotia that we took with Biscuit in 2011, which predates this blog.  (We also took Biscuit with us on vacation to Nova Scotia in 2012; and we took him to Manchester, Vermont in the spring of 2013.)  We love Nova Scotia and we had a wonderful time together.  We rented a cottage on the water in Hubbards, a quaint and charming town.  My parents also joined us for a portion of this trip.  We enjoyed several day trips to Halifax; Lunenburg; Mahone Bay; and Peggy’s Cove, to name a few.

Biscuit absolutely loved visiting Nova Scotia, and he especially enjoyed the beach and the boat ride around Peggy’s Cove.  The temperatures were perfect and it was lovely being on the water.  It was an added bonus to be surrounded by nice people — the Canadians are very friendly.  We rented the same cottage again in 2012, and each time we celebrated Biscuit’s birthday along with our birthdays!  We hope to someday return to Nova Scotia.  We have many wonderful memories together with our beloved Biscuit.

We are looking forward to returning to Canada later this summer for our vacation with our fur girl, Victory!  We also look forward to my parents coming to visit soon along with Nick!

Below is a snapshot from our trip to Nova Scotia in 2011.

 

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Victory: Photography Project — 67

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

This past weekend we went to Newark, Delaware.  We had a great time and the weather was gorgeous!  While in Delaware, I also photographed a sheltie for my long-term photo project.  Below are three shelties together — Blu, Coco, and Victory taken at the University of Delaware!  Victory did really well and she liked meeting other sheltie gals!  Victory was not as outgoing as Coco and Blu who enjoy playing fetch, but she enjoyed watching and observing!  Maybe Victory is more of an introvert, if there is such a term in dog land!  After the photo shoot, we all had dinner together along with the three shelties and all the shelties did really well at the restaurant!

Additionally, here is a link to view three other shelties together!

 

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Around Here: July

Well, the year is already half way over.  I can hardly believe it — the time is flying by!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in July!

-received positive feedback on the first portion of my project from another reviewer.  I have begun working on the images for the second portion of the project.  The photographing portion is nearly complete after nearly three years of photographing for this project!

-preparing filings with the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress; and getting test prints made for my project.

-finished reading this book — a good read!

-started reading this book — so far a good read.

-making dinner together with Doug — enjoying lots of yummy food on the Big Green Egg!

-finished watching the third season of Orange is the New Black, which was a bit disappointing this season.

-started watching the new seasons of Masters of Sex.

-enjoying evenings together on the deck with our fur girl, Victory — we have been enjoying the recent cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings.

-Loving this new podcast!

-enjoying weekends at the pool, catching up on all of my reading — I still have many books sitting on my nightstand!

-finally finished selecting images (and sizes), which go to print next week, to frame and put up in our home.

-finished making eight different photo books via Artifact Uprising, which we can’t wait to receive!  It was quite time intensive to make these books, but they will be really nice to have and look back on for years to come.  I also finally finished making our wedding photo book.  Our photographer made us an album at the time of our wedding, but I wanted to make a photo book, creating a narrative of our wedding day, nearly seven years ago — better late than never!

-still enjoying my yoga class (and the gym)!

-gradually getting the items on our to do list completed this summer — we are slowly getting there!

-Doug purchased tickets for Pups in the Park in late September — it should be fun and hopefully Victory will like it, too!

-having date nights with Doug!  We are heading to Delaware with Victory this weekend!  The weather looks really nice!

-Lastly, Victory finished her antibiotics, which she was on for three consecutive weeks to treat her infection.  We have also been giving her a supplement and we have been wiping and clipping the fur around her ‘lady parts’ to keep this area clean.  We recently went back to the vet for a follow-up appointment, and the vet took another sterile urine sample, which was very concentrated.  Fortunately, the recent urine culture showed no bacteria indicating no infection!  The vet recommended that we change Victory to a human-grade wet food diet, two feedings a day, making a soup/chowder to get more water into her system in order to flush out her system more frequently.  Victory loves her new diet!  The vet thinks that perhaps the lack of water consumption may be contributing to these infections, which we have been battling for over two months.  We will recheck her urine in about a month, prior to leaving for vacation, to make sure she is still infection free.  Our fingers are double crossed!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

 

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The Importance of Mornings

I love the mornings even though I was not always a proponent of the early mornings.  However, for the past couple of years, I have been getting up early and going to bed much earlier in order to get roughly seven to eight hours of sleep a night during the week.

During the morning hours, I find that I am more alert, able to focus more easily, and everything just feels easier.  So, if I need to tackle something that requires a lot of attention to detail and concentration, I will have a greater chance of being successful in the morning hours versus towards the end of the day, when I am more tired.  It is always good to know your “peak hours” in order to set yourself up for success.  I am really glad that I made the move to getting up early and going to bed a bit earlier.  Even on the weekends we are now getting up earlier, which provides more time for us to enjoy the mornings together.  I encourage you to take advantage of the early morning hours — where so much more can be accomplished and enjoyed!

 

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Celebrating 40 Years!

It was our parents’ 40th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday; and before our parents left for their trip commemorating this milestone, we gave them a surprise anniversary gift.  The three of us, including our spouses, gave our parents money to use towards taking a trip to England; and we also made a custom anniversary card along with photo cards spanning the past 40 years beginning with our parents’ honeymoon in 1975 to the Virgin Islands!

Below are a few images (courtesy of my sister), taken at my sister and brother-in-law’s house, of our parents opening their surprise gift from all of us, which they loved!


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Honoring 40 Years Together

Happy 40 Year Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Thank you for setting a wonderful example of a steadfast, loving, and happy marriage, that we only hope to emulate.  We have a great deal to aspire to.  We are very grateful for your constant unconditional love and support.  We are truly blessed with loving and supportive parents who are always there for us.

We know that you will have a wonderful trip together commemorating this admirable milestone!  We wish you many more happy years together!

We love you always.

“To love someone deeply gives you strength.  Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu

 

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Good Read: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I recently finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  Japanese tidiness and organizing expert, Kondo, believes that decluttering your home can truly change your life.  Kondo has a waiting list for her services, and apparently, she does not have repeat customers as her “KonMari Method” really works.  Kondo firmly believes that serious tidying up cannot be done in baby steps of fifteen minutes daily or throwing out a few things every day.  Her philosophy is to do it all at once.

Kondo focuses on the relationship between three things: “In essence, tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in.”  She believes that the art of de-cluttering is “a special send-off for those things that will be departing,” and part of the process should be “a ceremony to launch them on a new journey.”

I do not like clutter and this book provided great suggestions for de-cluttering, which is really freeing.  Some of my favorite quotes from this book are shown below.

“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask” ‘Does this spark joy?’  If it does, keep it.  If not, dispose of it.  This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

“When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.  As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t.”

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart.  Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.  By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”

“Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever.”

“Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong.  Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.”

“I recommend you dispose of anything that does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely.”

This book inspired me to go through my closet and attic and get rid of items that do not bring me/us joy!  If you are looking for help getting your house in order, I recommend this helpful book!

 

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Victory: Photography Project — 66

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Victory had a good weekend and the weather was very nice!  We are all enjoying the summer weekends! Victory got a bath, to her dismay, and she is looking great!  Doug grilled steak this weekend and, of course, little Victory had to try some.  She was in heaven — a big fan of steak tenderloin!  After eating dinner on the deck, she did not want to come into the house.  So, I got my camera and captured a few shots of Victory as the sun was setting, shown below.

We find out this week, hopefully, whether her infection is gone, which we really hope that it is gone for good this time!

Happy Tuesday!

 

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Good Read: The Power of Starting Something Stupid

I recently finished reading the book entitled, The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton.  This was a good read. This book is full of helpful information, while providing a new perspective.  Richie illustrates how stupid is the New Smart—the key for success, creativity, and innovation.

What if the key to success, creativity, and fulfillment in your life lies in the potential of those stupid ideas?  This inspiring book will teach you:

-How to crush fear, make dreams happen, and live without regret;

-How to overcome obstacles such as lack of time, lack of education, or lack of money; and

-The five actions of the ‘New Smart’ to achieve authentic success.

One of the best takeaways for me came towards the end of the book.  In the conversations Richie had with older people near the end of their lives, their greatest lament didn’t have to do with failure, but with regret.  Therefore, if you have a wild idea that everyone says or thinks is ‘stupid’ — don’t discount it.  There is great value in those ‘stupid ideas’ that are actually not ‘stupid’ — instead, they are very insightful — and you should give them more attention and thought.

Have a great weekend!

 

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