Since early August we have had three dog visitors: Bo, Shiloh and Bella. It seemed like there would be a pause in our hosting four-legged guests, but Shiloh’s mommy just got engaged and asked if we could watch her furry angel while they visited family this weekend. And really, how could we say no to this face?
This morning Shiloh and I got up late — of course she got up early with my hubby before he went to rowing, came back to bed, got up again to go for a walk when my hubby came home, then came back to bed again — made coffee and started to work, but she was still a little bit tired.
Despite some big yawns, Shiloh managed to pose for a few pictures. During her photo shoot she was preoccupied, wondering what this so-called “work” was that I had been doing because she certainly could have gone for a lot more petting.
Then she just couldn’t take it anymore — it was nap time! It’s “ruff” being a doggie intern.
Is that you don’t have to pretend to be busy all day. My job, like every job, has hectic times and quiet times, but when you are in an office with a boss you don’t want it to look like you are “wasting time” checking your personal email or catching up on facebook. It’s not that you aren’t doing your job, there just may not be anything to do at that moment, but no one wants to look like a slacker. So you try to get ahead on projects, check your work email a million times, review your calendar… and want to bang your head against the desk when you realize that only 5 minutes has passed and you still have nothing work related to keep you occupied.
This is why I love working from home (and for myself) — when I have work, I do it. When I don’t have work or am waiting for edits, there are plenty of other things to do — laundry or running errands or learning a new jazzercise routine or meeting a friend for coffee. For me, these other outlets are key to the idea that I am working to live, not living to work. I love my clients and I pride myself on doing every project on or ahead of schedule, but there is a lot more to life than working and by being my own boss I don’t have to spend a part of each day proving to someone else that I am doing my job.
Usually I’ll just have a quiet day here or there, but this week with Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah every day has been fairly low key. I’m so glad that this morning I could enjoy the cooler, breezy weather over an iced mocha with a friend, her son, and my newest doggie intern, Bella. Now, with Bella’s assistance, it’s time to see what I can get accomplished during this mellow Thursday afternoon.
It’s been a gorgeous week in DC — weather in the 70s, no humidy, and cool breezes are spoiling us. This week we are also lucky enough to have a four-legged friend around the house to help us enjoy the cooler days.
Shiloh and I took some time yesterday afternoon to evaluate the garden (one of our bell peppers is actually turning red!!), throw the tennis ball around, and have a little photo shoot. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our outside adventure:
It’s been about a year since we found ourselves with a dog in the house. In late 2011 we started fostering for a local lab rescue and have hosted 9 furry friends looking for a furever home over about 10 months. Some super fab pups resided in our abode (remember Ian and his dog socks? or Princess Honey and all her pudgy rolls?) and some more, er… challenging guests stayed as well (Black Bart and Timmy were more along these lines). But when my hubby found out he was going to Afghanistan for 8 months and I knew I’d be doing a lot of travel during the time he was away, we had to put fostering on hiatus.
Now that he is back we are getting ready to start some major home renovations and fostering remains on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have doggie guests before the work begins! This weekend my dear old friend Bo is staying while his mom and dad are on vacation. I’ve always joked that the dogs are my “interns,” but so far Bo isn’t working very hard. Although he did keep an eye on the neighborhood for a bit this morning, I’m happy to report he is finally napping.
In the next few weeks we have two more doggie friends coming to stay — Shiloh, a Yellow Labrador and also a repeat customer, and Bella, a Golden Retriever who will be staying with us for the first time. It’s nice to have a dog in the house again even if it means that in less then 24 hours all of the floors are covered in fur and drool.
Bonnie—also known as The Bonster, Bonnie Bear, and Bonster Monster—is the most spoiled dog who has ever lived with my parents. When I was growing up we always had sweet labs in the house (there was Bunny, Daisy, Shady and Sunny prior to Bonnie), but those pups did not live the life of luxury to which Bonnie has become accustomed.
Bonnie is definitely the spoiled youngest child. She’s got a toy box that includes an Eeyore she likes to snuggle, a mooing cow, and not one but two Snoopies that squeak (among other things). Bonnie also has a dog house in the backyard and, like Motel 6, my parents “leave the light on” for her at night because if they didn’t she’d “get scared.” No, seriously, Bonnie the black lab is apparently afraid of the dark…
This weekend while my parents and I watched a basketball game together, Bonnie enjoyed joining us in the living room, although I had to sit on the stairs since the couch was a bit full (mind you, it easily seats 6). Oh, and no dog pre-Bonnie has been allowed on the couch. Ever.
Well hello there faithful readers (ie my dad). It’s been awhile. In fact it’s been about 6 months since my last post. What’s been going for all that time you may be wondering (or not, but I’ll tell you anyway):
• Continued Home Improvements: These have focused mainly on our basement, which is starting to look like a real living/guest space (except for being sans bed). The bathroom is quite lovely now that my husband and father-in-law re-tiled the floor, put in a new sink and fixtures, and applied a fresh coat of paint. The main room has also been painted and we’ve finally put up a few things on the walls—mostly “pubby” things like pint glasses from England, a dart board (at regulation height mind you), and a rowing oar. Ironically we mostly drink wine in our basement, so we haven’t been acting terribly “pubby” ourselves.
• More Foster Pups: We’ve also had quite a hiatus from fostering. We took a break from March to May and then from May until September after our experiences with Timmy the Terror. He was a sweet, but insanely neurotic guy who hated stairs, the backyard, other dogs, and sometimes my husband. It was a rough two weeks for us and the poor guy. Our most recent doggie house guest, Sophie the Sweetie, was a much better visitor. Despite her good manners, a puppy hiatus has been imposed as my husband prepares for some extensive overseas work travel.
• Speaking of Travel: We were away almost as much as we were home this summer. First, we spent two weeks of July in California where we attended weddings in Pacific Grove and Sonoma and where I celebrated the big 3-0. During our California getaway my husband and I also had a chance to head back to where we honeymooned — St Orres in Gualala — and belatedly celebrated our fifth anniversary. In August we crossed the Atlantic the old-fashioned way (with a stop in Iceland) on our way to Norway. Being abroad meant two weeks away from the states, away from work, and away from everything that is part of our daily routine. We visited Oslo, Kristiansand, Trondheim, the Sognefjord area, and Bergen, and our getaway included spending time with old friends and making some new ones. On our return trip we spent two days exploring Iceland, including enjoying a delicious break from the frigid air by spending our last morning soaking in a thermal pool. The weather was amazing and we enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends, see the beauty of both countries and unplug from reality for a bit.
• Garden: Despite all our time away our backyard garden still did pretty well in its first summer season. My husband hooked up an automated watering system and we ended up with a decent amount of tomatoes (and a freakishly high water bill…). Our peppers and jalapenos finally took off in September. In fact we still have so many jalapenos that we’re using them in everything. We’ve also harvested a good haul of green beans, salad greens, herbs and potatoes. Turnips, green beans, beets and carrots are still growing — along with the jalapenos, of course!
• Jazzercise: To top it all off, I spent the spring preparing to be certified as a Jazzercise instructor. I was grateful to pass my audition in June and jumped into teaching classes around DC in July. I’ve been teaching between 6 to 8 classes a month and it’s going well. I’m feeling healthier and enjoying helping others have fun exercising. This has been made extra easy by the inclusion of some of my favorite summer pop hits in the recent choreography — who doesn’t want to rock out to “Call Me Maybe” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”? This week I am teaching every night. It will be interesting to see if I can move on Saturday!
With all the changes and diversions this summer, it’s been hard to blog. I’m hoping that this fall I can get back into the swing of it.
It’s been about a week since our seventh foster — Lisa — found her forever home. She was our first chocolate lab and as a two year old (or 14 in dog years) she showed her teenage-ness by testing her boundaries, but also by still wanting to be part of the pack.
Lisa spent about a week with us and we quickly got used to her puppy ways. Most of the time she liked to be near the action. But if she wandered off and things were a little too quiet, it meant she was probably standing on the couch looking out the window. As soon as we caught her, she gave us an “I know, I know, I’m not supposed to be up here” look and got right down. If she wandered off and we heard too much noise, it meant that she was probably, um, having her way with her bed… We did our best to put a stop to this behavior, but we didn’t have too much luck.
When the weather was nice, Lisa loved looking through the front gate and watching the world go by. Or she would come lay at our feet in the kitchen while we were cooking or doing dishes. On the rare occasion we had to put her in her crate, she didn’t like to leave us, but she would willingly go in after a little prodding (and the knowledge that she would get a bacon treat once she was settled).
Just like our other foster dogs — particularly Ian and Princess Honey — Lisa quickly felt like part of the family and we were really sad to see her go. But her forever parents report that she is loving life with them and we are glad she is thriving in her new home.