November 29, 2011

an atheist's xmas tree...

i am an atheist. and i celebrate xmas, sort of, in my own way.

as a child i never believed in santa or god. i don't know why. it was just something hardwired in my brain. i've spent years pondering things. searching. reading. studying various religions and philosophies. and in the end, i just do not believe in god, or any higher power.

so why put up an xmas tree? well, it's a happy childhood memory for me. i always loved putting ornaments on the tree, and the beautiful lights. and as an adult i LOVE the pink xmas tree my friend rachel gave me. only now i decorate my tree with weird dolls, glittery things, and whatever dan adds to the tree. it's pretty and makes me happy.

as i've gotten older, i've become stronger in my convictions, but also less adamant. i don't feel the need to change anyone's mind, or to proclaim my beliefs. my beliefs are mine and while i'm happy to discuss these things, i don't force it on anyone.

i also choose to respect other's religious convictions. in fact, i support them in their freedom to worship, and to believe in whatever makes sense to them. i will even bow my head in prayer if sitting at a dinner table with people who pray. a few years ago i wouldn't have done that. but now it feels right to me.

i say "happy holidays" or "merry christmas" when i feel like it. or when someone says it to me. it's fun to take this time of the year to be extra warm, polite, and to make people happy.

i try to take time to appreciate my family & friends. i also try to commit random acts of kindness. i make a pot of coffee at work even if i'm not drinking it. i clean up after someone who's made a mess and left it behind. it's stuff like that makes me feel good, and i think that is the spirit of "the holidays".

i do feel like i need to continue to speak out when religion is being included as part of the government. i need to vote to show my support of candidates that want to keep religion out of government, out of schools, etc...

so, there's my rant on being an atheist, putting up an xmas tree, etc...

November 27, 2011

3 generations of yawning... (updated with 4!)

dan was able to get all 4 dogs yawning, including a much better shot of gilly. this makes me giggle!

November 26, 2011

wide awake!

i've been sleeping better. the awesome tempur-pedic helps. fibromyalgia meds help. but i still wake up super early most days. which is ok, because i can catch up on laundry, facebook, etc...

i can also find goofy pics of myself. see above.

i have found that if i wake up super early, it's better to just get up and do something instead of laying there, trying to force myself asleep.

November 23, 2011

gilly: the only dog?

we've been debating the pros and cons of adding a 2nd dog to our home. (we started this conversation way before griffin even got sick.) we always said that we'd always be a multi-dog home.

so now it's just gilly, and... she seems ok. a little subdued at times. but she seems ok.

we did take her to a dog park on sunday, and seeing her play with other dogs was amazing. i'd forgotten how much that girl likes to play!

so we're considering a 2nd dog. a lovely little girl, close to gilly's age & temperament. we'll see how that goes. we're both prepared to welcome another dog, or to say "not right now".

here's a blog post by a dog training expert who gives reasons to keep it to one dog. it's interesting because it's good advice that you don't usually hear from "dog lovers".

here's a blog written by a dog training expert who is an expert at multi-dog households.

photos of things in november...

click here to see the usual pics

click here to see my work thanksgiving party pics...

click here to see the rest of the west side adventure pics...

November 22, 2011

November 17, 2011

Ice cubes
3 ounces (1/4 cup) vanilla vodka
2 ounces (1/4 cup) crème de cacao
1/4 cup whole milk & heavy cream
2 dashes of pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the vanilla vodka, crème de cacao, heavy cream and pumpkin pie spice and shake well.

Strain the cocktail into the glasses. Add whipped cream and a dash of spice. YUMMY!


November 15, 2011

losing a member of the pack...

rachel & wayne lost their dog eiko last night. it was sudden. he was a beautiful german shepherd who was by wayne's side day & night. he was also an accomplished escape artist who was able to sneak out of windows and magically appear in the driveway!

when i met him, it was when i was house sitting. i let myself in the door and he sort of lunged and growled at me. he was a protector and doing his job. i tried telling him i was there to feed him, and when he saw that maubee was happy to see me, he backed off.

he was a great companion to wayne, rachel, donna martin, numerous cats, junior, and many others. he liked to sleep on rachel's side of the bed, to be near to his beloved dad wayne.

he will be missed.

November 13, 2011

brandywine - 4th time...

we spent our 4th weekend at brandywine inn, in the back "carriage barn". we got to see louie the dog, the goat, and the innkeepers (george & katie) who are really the best part.

brandywine pics here.

we also visited a few cemeteries. it was such beautiful weather, perfect for an old cemetery visit. we found one with the most interesting brick work. really strange and beautiful and crumbling.

we had a good time, but so happy to be home with gilly!

November 11, 2011

happy 11-11-11...

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don't you make ten a little louder, make that the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pauses] These go to eleven.

November 2, 2011


well, the sad day has arrived, and griffin is no longer with us. we tried 3 different types of chemo and none worked. he went downhill fast. it was hard to take, but i'm glad he only had a few bad days and that we knew when it was time to let him go.

but let's remember the great times we had with the "old man puppy"! he was a big, shaggy, clumsy dog who thought he was a lap dog. he was full of joy. he had glorious eye brows.

ah hell, i've got 6 years of photos, blog posts, and videos. i tried to celebrated griffin every day, and i'll continue to do that with gilly and the next dog, and the next...

click here to read dan's thoughts on griff.

click here to watch a really sweet video of gilly & griffin.

click here to read the 30-odd posts i wrote about griffin, with tons of photos.

click here to watch griffin eat a stolen cucumber.

click here to watch griffin rip up a stuffed toy (while cleo watches on).

click here to read my thoughts on loving (& losing) our beloved pets.

and here's the ad that started it all... a fitting end to this post: