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Hurricane Harvey: Dog Rescue Efforts

The Washington Post recently ran an article concerning the dog rescue efforts occurring in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.  The images below, with photo credits, illustrate the heartwarming rescue of dogs in the Houston area during this devastating time for all.  Doug and I donated to a few organizations, this week, to help those people and animals affected in Houston by this terrible storm.  If you are able to help in any way, all donations and help, no matter how small, matter.  Our hearts go out to all those affected by this extreme tragedy.



*Photo Credit:

Top Right: An elderly woman and her poodle use an air mattress to float above floodwaters while waiting to be rescued on Scarsdale Boulevard in Houston. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Top Middle: Joe Garcia carries his dog, Heidi, from his flooded home as he is rescued in Spring, Tex. (David J. Phillip/AP)

Top Left: Steve Culver cries with his dog, Otis, as he talks about what he said was the “most terrifying event in his life” when Hurricane Harvey blew in and destroyed most of his home in Rockport, Tex.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Middle Left: Residents and pets are evacuated from their homes in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle/AP)

Middle Center: People wait for evacuation outside a funeral home in Dickinson, Tex. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Middle Left: A person and a dog mover through a flooded street in Houston.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Lower Left: Isiah Courtney carries his dog Bruce through floodwaters in Beaumont Place, Houston.  (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

Lower Middle: A boy hugs his grandmother’s dog after being rescued from rising floodwaters in Spring, Tex.  (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News)

Lower Right: Volunteers and first responders help flood victims evacuate the area as waters rise from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston.  (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser/AP)

Around Here: August

Happy August!  Another month has just about flown by once again.  The summer is flying by much too quickly and, with the cooler temperatures here, it is beginning to feel like the fall is upon us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in August!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-we had a great fun in Dewey Beach celebrating Doug’s birthday!

-we have been going to our neighborhood pool and enjoying our time at the pool!  This coming weekend is our last weekend to enjoy the outdoor pool this season.

-we went to the Eastern Shore for crabs a few times!

-enjoying date nights together!  Doug and I are aiming to try at least one new restaurant a month to expand our horizons!  This month we tried a new restaurant, the Victoria and the Dewey Beer Co., which were both good!

-enjoying time together outside.  With the warmer weather, we have been taking more walks outside during the evenings, when it is cooler, and Victory still loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!  There have been a lot of cool evenings in August; and we have even been able to open up the windows in our house to let the fresh air inside, which has been nice.

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-began watching the first season of Atypical.

-saw the The Story of Diana Documentary.

-re-read Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey, a really good read!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-achieving 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

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

Happy Wednesday!


Acupuncture: For Animals

The Washington Post recently ran an article concerning acupuncture for dogs and cats in China.  Many humans, including myself, have tried acupuncture for various reasons.  Now, the human companions of animals are turning to acupuncture to help soothe pains experienced by their beloved furry animals.  A few images of dogs and cats receiving acupuncture treatment is shown below.  “Traditional practitioners believe acupuncture can stimulate blood circulation to promote healing and relieve aches and pain.”  The images below were taken at the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Neurology and Acupuncture Animal Health Center.  Perhaps more humans, in the future, will take advantage of this treatment for their furry family members.

*Photo Credit: Aly Song/Reuters


Doug’s Birthday, Dewey Beach!

We continued Doug’s big birthday celebration this past weekend in Dewey Beach!  We had a really nice long weekend together!  The weather was beautiful, we loved reading and resting by the ocean, and we enjoyed nice dinners together at one of our favorite restaurants in Dewey Beach.  We also had fun taking Victory to the beach, which she loved, especially in the evenings when it was not as crowded.  We hope to return again soon!  A few images and iPhone photos from our trip, celebrating Doug, are below!

Happy Wednesday!





Happy Birthday, Doug!

Happy Birthday, Doug!  I cannot believe another year has flown by again and that we have known each other just shy of thirteen 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 year and a half 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!

We celebrated Doug’s big birthday over the weekend!  I surprised him with a fun, custom cake and special dinner!  We were scheduled to be away this past weekend in celebration of Doug’s birthday, but due to the poor weather forecast and some unforeseen circumstances, we moved the birthday weekend celebration at Dewey Beach to this coming weekend, weather permitting.



Insights: How Artists Work


I just finished re-reading, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey, a really good read.  I highly recommend this book, as it is fascinating to read about artists’ working routines that they utilize to create their work.  Below are some artists’ quotes that I found particularly helpful.  Many of these artists featured in this book held full-time jobs while making time to create their art.

Toni Morrison — “But the important thing is that I don’t do anything else.  I avoid the social life normally associated with publishing.  I don’t go to the cocktail parties, I don’t give or go to dinner parties.  I need that time in the evening because I can do a tremendous amount of work then.  And I can concentrate.  When I sit down to write I never brood.  I have so many other things to do, with my children and teaching, that I can’t afford it.  I brood, thinking of ideas, in the automobile when I’m driving to work or in the subway or when I’m mowing the lawn.  By the time I get to the paper something’s there — I can produce.”

Ann Beattie — “I really think people’s bodies are on different clocks.  I even feel now like I just woke up and I’ve been awake for three or four hours.  And I’ll feel this way until seven o’clock tonight when I’ll start to pick up and then by nine it will be O.K. to start writing.  My favorite hours are from 12:00 to 3:00 a.m. for writing.”

Arthur Miller — “I wish I had a routine for writing,” Miller told and interviewer in 1999.  “I get up in the morning and I go out to my studio where I write.  And then I tear it up!  That’s the routine, really.  Then, occasionally, something sticks.  And then I follow that.  The only image I can think of is a man walking around with an iron rod in his hand during a lightening storm.”

Henri Matisse — “Do you understand now why I am never bored?  For over fifty years I have not stopped working for an instant.  From nine o’clock to noon, first sitting.  I have lunch.  Then I have a little nap and take up my brushes again at two in the afternoon until the evening.”

Stephen Jay Gould — “I work every day.  I work weekends, I work nights….[S]ome people looking at that from the outside might use that modern term “workaholic,” or might see this as obsessive or destructive.  But it’s not work to me, it’s just what I do, that’s my life. I also spend a lot of time with my family, and I sing, and go to ball games, and you can find me in my season seat at Fenway Park as often as — well, I don’t mean I have a one-dimensional life.  But I basically do work all the time.  I don’t watch television.  But it’s not work, it’s not work, it’s my life.  It’s what I do.  It’s what I like to do.”

Gerhard Richter — “I love playing with my architectural models.  I love making plans.  I could spend my life arranging things.  Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer.  I get fed up.  I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.  It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you.  You have to find the idea.”

Maya Angelou — “I usually get up at about 5:30, and I’m ready to have coffee by 6, usually with my husband.  He goes off to his work around 6:30, and I go off to mine.  I keep a hotel room in which I do my work — a tiny, mean room with just a bed, and sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin.  I keep a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards and a bottle of sherry in the room.  I try to get there around 7, and I work until 2 in the afternoon.  If the work is going badly, I stay until 12:30.  If it’s going well, I’ll stay as long as it’s going well.  It’s lonely, and it’s marvelous.  I edit while I’m working.  When I come at 2, I read over what I’ve written that day, and then try to put it out of my mind.  I shower, prepare dinner, so that when my husband comes home, I’m not totally absorbed in my work.  We have a semblance of a normal life.  We have a drink together and have dinner.  Maybe after dinner I’ll read to him what I’ve written that day.  He doesn’t comment.  I don’t invite comments from anyone but my editor, but hearing it aloud is good.  Sometimes I hear the dissonance; then I try to straighten it out in the morning.”

Philip Larkin — My life is as simple as I can make it.  Work all day, cook, eat, wash up, telephone, hack writing, drink, television in the evenings.  I almost never go out.  I suppose everyone tries to ignore the passing of time — some people by doing a lot, being in California for one year and Japan the next.  Or there’s my way — making every day and every year exactly the same.  Probably neither works.”

Vincent van Gogh — “Our days pass in working, working all the time, in the evening we are dead beat and go off to the cafe, and after that, early to bed!  Such is our life.”

John Updike — “I try to write in the morning then into the afternoon.  I’m a later riser; fortunately, my wife is also a late riser.  We get up in unison and fight for the newspaper for half an hour.  Then I rush into my office around 9:30 and try to put the creative project first.  I have late lunch, and then the rest of the day somehow gets squandered.  There is a great deal of busywork to a writer’s life, as to a professor’s life, a great deal of work that matters only in that, if you don’t do it, your desk becomes very full of papers.  So, there is a lot of letter answering and a certain amount of speaking, though I try to keep that at a minimum.  But I’ve never been a night writer, unlike some of my colleagues, and I’ve never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think that the pleasures of not writing are so great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again.  So, I try to be a regular sort of fellow — much like a dentist drilling his teeth every morning — except Sunday, I don’t work on Sunday, and there are of course some holidays I take.”

Willa Cather — “For me the morning is the best time to write.  During the other hours of the day I attend to my housekeeping, take walks in Central Park, go to concerts, and see something of my friends.  I try to keep myself fit, fresh; one has to be in as good form to write as to sing.  When not working, I shut work from my mind.”

Happy Birthday, Biscuit

Today is Biscuit’s birthday.  He would have been fourteen-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, and we enjoyed a wonderful two and a half years together.

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, and, each time, we immediately thought of Biscuit.  In fact, we saw a rainbow just last week after a heavy rain.

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!


Photographs: Charleston, Folly Beach Vacation

We vacationed in Charleston recently, and I finally had time to finish culling and editing the images from our vacation, our fourth vacation with our sweet, Victory!  You can view a snapshot of our vacation here.  (You can also view our vacation last year with Victory to Lake Michigan here; you can view our vacation from two years ago with Victory to Quebec City here; and you can view our vacation three years ago with Victory to Montreal, Quebec here.)

We rented a house for a week and a half in Charleston, really close to Folly Beach while being not too far from downtown Charleston.  We were fortunate that we had nice weather.  We all loved the beach.  We spent a lot of time resting and relaxing there.  We went to downtown Charleston several times and there was no shortage of good restaurants!  We even were able to bring Victory to a few dinners and enjoyed Jeni’s ice cream for the first time!  We also went to Boone Hall Plantation.

On our way to Charleston, we stopped in the triangle area in North Carolina for a few days (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill).  Doug wanted to visit Duke’s campus, and, while there, we even made a stop at the Canine Cognition Center!  It was interesting to see the lab first hand.  Victory did not make it too far walking around the campus, so we used the Ergo, which she loves.  While in Chapel Hill, since Doug loves bourbon, we went to the TOPO Distillery.  Victory was even welcome, so it worked out well.  While in Raleigh, we found a really good restaurant, the Tupelo Honey Cafe!  It was the best brunch and fried chicken that we have ever eaten, and we plan to go again to the Northern Virginia location!

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 a really long drive home, due to horrific traffic, Victory, of course, spotted her exit to her house, and she loved coming home, like always!

Below are a few images from our recent vacation, including an short iPhone video of Doug and Victory!

Happy Monday!




























Around Here: July

Happy July!  Another month has just about flown by once again.  The summer is zooming by much too quickly.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in July!

-I continue to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-we had a great vacation in Charleston together!  (I am finishing up editing our vacation images.)

-we have been going to our neighborhood pool and enjoying our time at the pool!

-we went to the Eastern Shore for crabs for the first time this season!

-enjoying date nights together!  Doug and I are aiming to try at least one new restaurant a month to expand our horizons!  This month we found a new one, the Iron Rooster, which was good and it is dog friendly as well!

-enjoying time together outside.  With the warmer weather, we have been taking more walks outside during the evenings, when it is cooler, and Victory loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!

-took Victory for her annual check up and shots at the vet; and we gave her a bath, after returning home from vacation, which is not fun for anyone, sadly!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished the last two seasons of the Last Tango in Halifax.

-watched the first season of Glow.

-started the first season of Shetland.

-finished reading The Bright Hour, by Nina Riggs.  It was an excellent memoir.

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-achieving 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

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

Happy Wednesday!


10 Fun Things About Victory!

Doug and I have had a full plate this year and I feel badly for not sharing more about our fur girl, Victory!  So, since it is Friday, I thought I would share 10 fun things you might now know about our fur girl!

1.  She loves ‘night night.’  This seems to be her favorite part of the day.  We think she thinks we sleep with her.  She runs up and down the bed and plays most nights with a wide smile.

2. Each night before bed, Victory likes to have a few sips of water before we all go to sleep.  I know she is very spoiled!  (Nobody is bringing me water while in bed!)

3.  She still hates bath time with a vengeance.  She knows when we take her collar off and she sees the bowls to rinse her she knows that she is getting a bath and she runs for the hills.  It takes both of us to bathe her, and it is not easy with her resistance every step of the way.

4.  She loves eating just about anything.  She always wanders into the kitchen and dinning room while we eat dinner or breakfast.  She is always up for tasting just about anything (within reason).  She especially loves carbs.

5.  She is very loyal.  She never waivers from our side and she just likes to be with us!

6.  She is apprehensive with new situations and meeting new people; and she is not always the most flexible little being during these situations!

7.  She loves her daily routine when we are home.

8.  She loves her Ergo and her Hound About!

9.  Despite being nervous in new situations, she is always up for an adventure and going to new places!  We are lucky she travels well with us!

10. Home is where her heart will always be!  It is her sanctuary and where she feels most comfortable.  She always loves returning home, similar to most people.

Happy Friday!