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Photographs: Vacationing at Lake Michigan

We vacationed at Lake Michigan recently, and I finally had time to finish culling and editing the images from our vacation, our third vacation with our dear, Victory!  You can view the snapshot of our vacation here, which I posted upon our return from Lake Michigan!  (You can also view our vacation last year with Victory to Quebec City here; and you can view our vacation two years ago with Victory to Montreal, Quebec here.)

Our family, along with our furry family members, rented a house for a week within a short walk to the lake!  Fortunately, we only had one day of rain during our vacation!  We got to spend a week with my parents, my sister, and our little nephew, Liam!  Doug and I went for morning walks together along the lake, and we even ended up crossing over into Indiana on our walks!   We did not pack the Hound About for this trip, so Victory did not come with us on the long walks, especially since it was very warm outside.  Victory did well on our trip and she loved the beach and she got along well with her ‘Uncle Nick!’ and her ‘cousin’ Liam!

Doug enjoys good bourbon, so we went to the Journeyman Distillery and took a tour with my sister and brother-in-law.   Doug has built quite the collection of different types of bourbon!  We also ate several times at the Distillery’s restaurant, the Staymaker.  The food was very good, and bourbon was incorporated in every menu item!  We also took a day trip to Notre Dame, and the dogs did really well on campus.  We did not even have to get out our Ergo for Victory during this trip!

My Dad and Doug made it to the Casino where Doug doubled his money while playing blackjack, while my Mom, sister, and I did some clothes shopping in Michigan City.

We also played lots of Dominos.  Doug is officially the reigning Domino winner.  Nobody can seem beat him!

We really enjoyed our time at the beach and the lake.  Doug and I went swimming in the lake quite a bit.  The water was very beautiful, clear, and clean!  It was a little rocky walking into the lake, but there was plenty of sand when we walked out a bit into the lake.  I even found several heart-shaped stones on the beach!  We had planned to take Victory in the lake with her life jacket on, but we decided not to this time.  Doug was scared Victory would get too scared.  (Doug is an over protective Daddy to Victory!)  Victory dipped her little white paws in the water, though, shown below, similar to her first time at the beach while we vacationed in Quebec.  Liam also dipped is feet, for the first time, into the lake, too!

Most of all, we are grateful for our time away together.  We enjoyed spending time together; getting away; having a change of scenery; and having days where we had no plans and were able to take each day as it came.  Even after 14 hours in the car on the ride home, Victory still spotted her exit to her house, and she loved coming home and going into her garage, like always!

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!  We are soaking up the last several weekends relaxing at our pool, while it is still open!

 

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Around Here: August

We have been enjoying the last months of summer!  It has been very hot this summer, and it is hard to believe that summer will be coming to an end in several weeks.  However, we are looking forward to fall, one of our favorite seasons.

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project — this December is my target finish date after nearly four years of consistent work!

-we took a vacation to Lake Michigan!  (More photos to come this week!)

-we celebrated our birthdays and we had a fun birthday weekend together!

-we took another trip to the Eastern Shore for crabs and shrimp with Victory!

-I accepted a new position, which I am excited about starting!

-Victory’s Audrey Hepburn inspired portrait is almost finished and we love it!  I can’t wait to share it!

-finished my new website.

-tried acupuncture for the second time.

-we pretty much finished our spring/summer cleaning — we have a couple of closets left remaining to clean out!

-enjoying the final weeks at our neighborhood pool, relaxing and reading!

-enjoying evening walks with Victory in her Hound About, when it is not too hot to walk outside!

-enjoying evening runs to TCBY for frozen yogurt with Victory — her favorite is the peanut butter frozen yogurt!  I had a TCBY yogurt birthday cake made for Doug’s birthday, and he loved it!

-enjoying time on our decks together on cooler evenings, watching the sun set.

-burning summer scented candles in our home!

-my friend introduced me to singing bowls, which are neat.

-began watching The Night Of, a really good series.

-watched Miracles from Heaven, a really good movie.

-enjoying the second season of the Magic Lessons Podcast, with a lot of good content and lessons.

-began reading The Alchemist — a good read so far.

-still using my Fitbit and I’m hitting 10,000 steps per day most days.

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Tuesday!

 

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Happy Birthday, Doug!

We are kicking off our birthday weekend today in celebration of Doug’s birthday with a trip to the Eastern Shore!

Happy Birthday, Doug!  I cannot believe another year has flown by and that we have known each other just shy of twelve years next month.  I cannot imagine sharing my life with anyone else.  You are my best friend.  You are my rock.  You are my confidant.  I cannot imagine getting through the past several months without you.  You keep me balanced and grounded with your steadfast patience.  You are one of the most kind, giving, thoughtful, and generous people I have ever met.  You are truly remarkable.  Words cannot express how fortunate I am to be sharing my life with you — and I am certain Victory feels the same way as exemplified by the love she showers you with every day!  We love you always!  Happy Birthday!

 

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Also, Victory, pictured below, did some online birthday shopping for her Daddy and Mama!

 

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Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!

Planning a Birthday Theme for your Furry Family Member

It is our birthday week!  Doug’s birthday and my birthday are right next to each other!  We always celebrated Biscuit’s birthday during our birthday week as well!  So, this got me thinking about Victory’s birthday in October.  She will be five-years-old, we think, as she is a rescue.  You can view Victory’s first birthday celebration with us here where she turned three-years-old; and you can view Victory’s second birthday celebration with us here where she turned four-years-old.  I like to plan, when I can, and I think we are going to have a light pink and gold themed birthday for Victory this year.  It is fitting with her golden colored fur coat!  We have fun documenting Victory’s birthday each year, and it will be fun to look back through the years and see her physical changes.  Growing up, my Mom had our portraits taken around our birthday each year through college — so I am continuing this tradition with our fur girl, Victory!

Here are some birthday ideas to celebrate Victory’s fifth birthday!  We cannot believe that she will be with us three years on October 12, her adoption date, which we made her birthday!  The time really has gone by too quickly!  All items, shown below, can be purchased through Oh Happy Day!

 

birthday ideas - furry family member

 

Below Victory is pictured on her third birthday — a rainbow themed birthday; and she is also pictured on her fourth birthday — a pink themed birthday.  These are the two birthdays, so far, that we have celebrated since rescuing Victory!

 

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Happy Birthday, Biscuit

Today is Biscuit’s birthday.  He would have been thirteen-years-old presuming his age was accurate when we rescued him.  However, it is very likely he was older.  We made August 8th Biscuit’s birthday as it was the day Biscuit was rescued off the streets in North Carolina where he was then taken to the Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.  We rescued Biscuit from this rescue organization on January 7, 2011.

We celebrated Biscuit’s birthday in Nova Scotia during the summers of 2011 and 2012; and in 2013, we spent our last vacation together in Manchester, Vermont.  We had a wonderful time together.  Doug and I have many wonderful memories of our summer vacations together with Biscuit.  We know that Biscuit is always with us in spirit.

Whenever I see a rainbow, I think of Biscuit.  We have seen several rainbows, including a double rainbow, this spring and summer, and, each time, we immediately thought of Biscuit.

Below is one of my favorite images of Biscuit and Doug taken on the beach in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.

Biscuit, we hope that you have a wonderful birthday!  We hope that you are running on the beach with your sheltie furs blowing in the wind — a lovely and lasting image and memory that I will always cherish!  You are always and forever in our hearts, our sweet dear Biscuit.  Thank you for the many, everlasting gifts you gave to us.  We love you and miss you very much.  Happy Birthday!

 

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Summer Update: Victory

This spring and summer has been unexpectedly chaotic, and I have not shared as much about our fur girl, Victory.  Victory is indeed doing very well!

Her fur coat continues to grow and she continues to fill out!  She has physically and emotionally come a long way from where she started with us.

Her health is doing well, as far as we know.  She has her annual check up with the vet soon to ensure she is healthy.

She is getting a little more confident.  She would still prefer not to share the sidewalk with anyone else during her daily walks, but she is getting better.

She still loves going for rides in her Hound About!

She loves outings.  It has been quite hot and humid here this summer, so we have not been able to take as many outings together, but we have managed a few get aways together this summer, which she loved.  With the summer heat, we have been taking Victory to TCBY in the evenings this summer and she absolutely loves it — she loves the peanut butter flavored yogurt, and she loves sharing a waffle cone with her Daddy!  We also take her out to dinner when it is not too hot!

She still absolutely loves coming home after an outing to our garage — she thinks it is the best thing ever as evidenced by her wide smile, front paws on the top of the interior car door, with her sheltie furs blowing in the wind.

She loves to play in bed at night before bed — this might be her favorite activity!  She knows when it is ‘last call’ and she heads up the stairs confidently and jumps into our bed waiting for me to pull down the duvet and pillows.  She is loves to run around and jump around the bed trying to put our hands in her mouth, while letting out a few prized barks!

She likes to sleep in.  When we wake up in the mornings, she is always laying above one of our heads!  She also loves to get a belly rub in the morning and she climbs back into bed, after her early morning potty, during the week, and curls up and rests while we get ready for the day.

She also loves her wet Fromm food, which is not currently being made anymore, and this spring we stockpiled what we were able to find online.  In the meantime, Victory has tried similar quality wet foods: Tiki; Weruva; and Evangers.  She, fortunately, seems to like them all!

She loves ‘people food.’  She also loves carbs — who would have guessed!  When we have dinner, she always comes over to the table for some ‘people food!’

She did really well on vacation this year!  She loved the beach, pictured below.

Victory is always by my side while I am working away at the computer, and I would not have it any other way!  She loves to lay by my feet under my desk and rest.  She is a wonderful and loving furry family member!  We love her so much and value each day with our precious fur girl!

We hope that you have a wonderful weekend!  We are planning to rest and go to the pool!

 

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Snapshot: Lake Michigan Vacation

We are back from Lake Michigan!  We are getting back into the swing of things from being gone!  It was a long car ride, nearly 14 hours.  Fortunately, Doug did most of the driving for us!  Victory was a trooper in the car and she did really well on vacation.

We were really fortunate that we had nice weather and temperatures during our vacation!  Today’s post is a sneak peek, as I have not finished editing the images from our trip.  If you follow along on Instagram, I shared a few images from our vacation during our vacation!

Our family rented a house for a week within a short walk to the lake!  Doug and I went for morning walks together along the lake, and we even ended up crossing over into Indiana!  Victory loved the beach and she got along well with her ‘Uncle Nick!’

Doug enjoys good bourbon, so we went to the Journeyman Distillery and took a tour.  We also ate several times at the Distillery’s restaurant, the Staymaker.  The food was very good, and bourbon was incorporated in every menu item!  We also took a trip to Notre Dame, and the dogs did really well on campus.  Victory has now toured Penn State; Princeton; and now Notre Dame!  She is weighing her college options!

My Dad and Doug made it to the Casino where Doug doubled his money while playing blackjack, while my Mom, sister, and I did some shopping in Michigan City.  My nephew, Liam, got some cute new fall clothing!

Most of all, we enjoyed our time at the beach and the lake.  Doug and I went swimming in the lake quite a bit.  The water was very clear and clean!  We had planned to take Victory in the lake, but we decided not to this time.  She did dip her little paws in the water, though, similar to her first time at the beach while we vacationed in Quebec.

We also played lots of Dominos.  Doug is officially the reigning Domino winner.  Nobody can beat him!

Even after 14 hours in the car on the ride home, Victory still spotted her exit to her house.  She was exhausted, and she actually slept some in the car on the ride home, which is a first, but she still managed to recognize her exit to her house and to the garage — one of her all time favorite activities — returning home via the garage!  She was so excited to be home in familiar surroundings!

Enjoy the snapshot of photos from our vacation below!  Once I finish editing the images from our vacation, I will put a proper blog post together to share in the next week or two, I hope.  Stay tuned.

 

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Gone Fishing…

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We are headed to Lake Michigan with our fur girl, Victory, for a vacation!  It has been an unexpectedly chaotic spring and summer for us, so it will be nice to have a breather.  The blog will be back with regular content in early August.

Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Tips for planning and vacationing with your furry family member

Additionally, if you are interested, here are some links to some of our previous vacations — Nova Scotia, 2011; Nova Scotia, 2012; Vermont, 2013; Vermont and Québec, 2014; and Vermont and Québec City, 2015.

 

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P.S. While we are away, I do plan to post images via Instagram (our Instagram feed is also shown on the right side of the blog!)

Around Here: July

We have been enjoying some warmer temperatures recently, and it really feels like summer, almost like the dog days of summer!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in July!  Happy Summer!

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project, and I have a few more months to go to finally finish!

-since it is officially summer now, Doug and I are checking items off our ‘summer bucket list.’

-took a trip to Delaware and Pennsylvania for the Fourth of July!

-took a trip to the Eastern Shore for crabs and shrimp with Victory!

-celebrated some positive news!

-working on the final details of Victory’s portrait, which is Audrey Hepburn inspired, to be finished next month, similar to Biscuit’s painting where they will hang side by side in our home!

-finishing up my new website, which should be finished shortly!

-tried acupuncture for the first time.

-we pretty much finished our spring/summer cleaning — we have a couple of closets left remaining to clean out!

-enjoying time at our neighborhood pool, relaxing and reading!

-enjoying evening runs to TCBY for frozen yogurt with Victory — her favorite is the peanut butter frozen yogurt!

-enjoying time on our decks together on cooler evenings, watching the sun set.

-burning summer scented candles in our home!

-enjoying long walks around the neighborhood and dinners together outside!  Victory still very much loves going for rides in her Hound About!

-began reading The Art of Possibility — a good read so far.

-watched the first season of Marcella, a really good series!

-began watching Stranger Things, which is a good and addictive series!

-happy that Doug is back home, as he was in Texas for work!

-still using my Fitbit and I’m hitting 10,000 steps per day most days.

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Mindfulness: Adult Coloring Books and Buddha Board

I recently discovered adult coloring books.  They are a great way to focus one’s energy and they are also a great stress reliever, too!  If you find yourself stuck on something or you need to occupy your mind, adult coloring books are great!  You can find a variety of adult coloring books here or at your local bookstore.

Adult Coloring Books

 

Earlier this year I also discovered the Buddha Board, which is like water color painting, except that the painting does not stay permanently, it disappears, so you are therefore left with a clean slate each time, which forces once to be and enjoy the moment!  You can watch a video of the Buddha Board here and view the Buddha Boards here.

 

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Happy Monday!