Round Two!

It’s official.  I might be just a little bit crazy.  Back in October I found myself watching a total of six dogs at once.  It wasn’t until after the fact did I realize just HOW crazy I might have been.  But somehow -I have found myself in the same position once again, only this time -the dogs are all big dogs.

It seems a little less chaotic this time, however.  Perhaps because they all live in the same general area, or perhaps because mom is back in town and can lend a hand.  Either way -we are back to having six dogs.

Round Two!

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Introducing:

Kilo:

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Kilo is a purebred lab.  She is one of the best dogs I have ever watched, and am terrified I will break her!  She listens SO well!  Her puppy dog eyes are because she is trying to tell me she doesn’t like plain dog food and needs more treats.

Winston:

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Mr. Winston is an good old boy.  We used to watch him -many, many years ago.  Probably 10 years ago.  He is old, but still good.  He got himself stuck in the bushes this afternoon, took me about ten minutes to coax him out!

Bob:

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This is Bob.  Bob has been here before.  He is surrounded by female dogs -and enjoying every minute of it.  Don’t let his sad look fool you!  Every time I see him, I see Scrat:

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He is a good boy too.  He is easy going and gets along with every dog.

Harper:

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Miss Harper has been featured here before.  She is still hanging with us.  These sad eyes are brought to you by the word “sit.”  She loves to run, jump, play and do anything BUT sit.  Don’t worry -she was back to smiles and kisses after the picture.

Belle:

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Belle is a husky.  She has one brown, one blue eye.  She is a beauty.  A nut.  A wild girl who loves to play in the snow…I guess being a husky it runs in her blood.  She was more than happy to smile for the camera -perhaps because I was holding a treat?

and back by popular demand, Yoshi!:

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The ringleader of it all.  Her look says it all.  I have been super happy -she has done VERY well with all these dogs in her house.  The only casualty has actually been to her -I let Yoshi into Harper’s area and Yoshi came in with a bit too much gusto.  Harper bit her ear.  But she is healing nicely.  She is going to be one lonely nut when all these pups leave!

Intentional

When I was growing up, people had all the questions for me. Questions that, I suppose -gave them a gauge as to where I was in life. How grown up I was, how much growing up I had left to do. Questions that grew with me: What grade are you in? When do you graduate? Where are you going to college? Are you married? When are you getting married? Do you have kids? And the all to famous “Is that your husband?”

These questions used to annoy me -I couldn’t understand why people would ask such silly things. Why not ask me what I was interested in? What my hobbies were? What I liked to do in my spare time? It isn’t that I could answer these questions any better -just that they seemed more universal.

I then started to gauge myself by these questions…I never had an official graduation -I was home schooled, I finished school -there was no grand hooray -it simply was over. Time to move on. What’s next. I didn’t have a college lined up -I didn’t see the need to go as I didn’t know what I wanted to do and spending money on school to do something I didn’t even want to do seemed silly. I’m not married. I don’t know when I am getting married or if I am getting married!

Over the years I started to hate hanging out with people, their questions that I couldn’t answer would turn even the best social events into horrible times that I couldn’t enjoy. I began to make excuses. Hold myself back. Play the old “If only” games. I started to think that when I “get older” I would have all the answers to all the questions and suddenly I might just ‘fit in’ with ‘them’.

But the older I get, the more these questions make sense. They simply are questions. People asking something to try and get to know me. The only thing holding me back was myself. And so I have started to try and change my mindset. My answers. My perspective.

The other day a customer / friend was at the shop talking about how God is in control -of everything. While I know this, and knew this and believe this -it still was nice to hear her talk and be reminded that yes -He is. That as long as I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, and seeking His will -then whatever happens will be ok. I might not understand it -but He does, and that is all that matters.

My days don’t always go as I have planned them -and this often, ok usually always -upsets me. I am so focused on MY plans that I fail to realize (or remember) that my plans are not His plans and when things go off course -they are actually directly ON COURSE. If I could stop and remember this.

Intentional.

It is the word I have had in my mind to try and spur me on this year. It may or may not stick -I never know. But it seems to be a fitting word.

I sometimes look at other people and think that their lives are so much easier because they have A, B and C -and I seemed to have skipped ½ the alphabet and only have X Y and Z. That because I am ‘missing’ these key points in my life -that somehow I am doing it all wrong and in order to BE someone, I must accomplish the same things as everyone else. I must climb the ranks, I must do the things. I must have the answers to the questions and if my answers are different than everyone else’s then I am somehow less.

That because I haven’t gone to college and still have no earthly idea what I want to be when I grow up -that I am somehow held back. When really -I am not. I am here for a reason. I am here for a purpose. What that reason is and what that purpose is sometimes confuses me beyond belief. I sometimes cannot fathom why I should be here, doing this. But I am here…and I am doing this…and God knows…and as long as I seek Him -it will be ok.

I will be ok.

I want to live more intentionally. To be more present. To achieve great things, yes, but to remember that I am here -for a reason…and that is ok. I might not know the reason, I might not see the reason -but that is ok. If I can remember to seek God in all areas of my life, and follow His plans -I know things will be so much better.

Now…if only I could remember that.

The Grand Canyon

A few weeks ago, we were in Arizona.

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Mom and I had one day together, a car, and nowhere to be…so we punched “The Grand Canyon” into the GPS and took off for a mini road trip.

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After driving for about three hours we passed a sign that said something about the Grand Canyon, but the GPS said we were still a bit away.  We kept driving.

…and driving…

…and driving.

We came across this gem, and assumed we were close.

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But then the main road turned into a dirt road and we started going down…not up.  Finally, the GPS announced that “You have reached your destination!  You are now at the Grand Canyon.”

Except that it wasn’t the Grand Canyon.  In fact we were pretty much the opposite of the Grand Canyon.  We were at the base of some ugly looking rock hills, with a dirt trail snaking around them.  “Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!” mom gasped.  I was less than impressed.  I chucked the GPS in the back seat and took off back up the dirt road.

“Are you sure we are going the right way?” Mom asked.

“You are heading the wrong direction.” The GPS piped up from the back seat as if answering mom.

“I think that was the Grand Canyon.” Mom said again

“Turn around, you are leaving your destination.” GPS continued.

It took some maneuvering but finally, after a few wrong turns -we found ourselves at the Grand Canyon.  The real, Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon West.

It was much prettier there.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought my good camera -all pictures are camera phone pictures which I suppose is better than nothing.

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When mom tries to use the phone to take a picture it goes something like this.

Mom: Smile!

Me: Cheese!

*Silence*

Me: Mom? You taking the picture?

Mom: ….

Me: Mom?

Mom: SMILE!

Me: MOM TAKE THE….

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Dogs, Dogs, Dogs!

I don’t have anything against any breed of dog, or at least, I didn’t until about two years ago.  The pit bull breed has always gotten a bad rap -and I have always done my best to stay away from choosing sides.  But two years ago I dog sat two pit bulls and vowed never to do it again.  It was the worst two weeks of my life.  The money I made was not worth it.  I am all about following through with my jobs, but this was one job I actually threatened to leave.  I’m not entirely sure what was wrong with them -I just knew I would never watch a pit bull again.

Fast forward a few years.  A few weeks ago I got a phone call from someone asking if I would watch their dog.  I said yes then asked the breed.  A bull dog, she told me.  A sweet bull dog.

It wasn’t until she showed up to drop her off did I realize this was no bull dog.  This was a pit bull.  I couldn’t exactly back out, so I bit my tongue and braced myself for a hard month and ½.  It hasn’t been as difficult as the last time -but it still has been a challenge and one that has made me agree more than ever that I will never watch a pit bull again.  Nothing against them -just that they are not smart.  They have no brains.  I don’t mean it to sound mean -it’s just how they are.  They destroy everything in their path and don’t think about anything else.

I figured however, that since I am going to be watching this bull dog, er, pit bull -for over a month that I would buckle down and try to do some training.  While it hasn’t gone well -it has gone ok.  Which is more than I could have hoped for.  I make her sit before getting her leash on or off.  I make her wait before going in the door and I make her wait before eating her food.  We are still working on “Be quiet.”  I’m not sure that will ever happen.  It might not sound like a lot -but believe me.  It is a lot.

She is a sweet girl.

As a bonus -Yoshi, who doesn’t get along with ANYONE has taken a liking to her.  They enjoy playing in the snow and chasing each other around.

Introducing, Harper, the ‘bull dog.’

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It was all fun and games until Harper stole Yoshi’s snowball.

Until Next Time…

When I was younger, making friends was easy. People often joke that I was friends with everyone. I suppose most little kids are. I befriended neighbors and strangers alike. I’m not sure I really had a best friend -because everyone was my best friend. When I got a little older I had a close group of friends.

Then somewhere over the years my friends moved away and I fell into a comfortable area of life where my sister was my best friend (and really, still is). Then she grew up, got married and moved away. While nothing much changed (other than the fact, of course -that she moved a billion and one miles away, got married, has kids and started a life of her own!) I am still here. She is still there.

I guess I lost the ability to befriend everyone.

I don’t remember when, exactly -but a few years ago I had this prayer that I prayed on a regular basis. It went something to the tune of asking for a friend. I specifically remember saying that I didn’t need a bunch of friends -just one. One really good friend. I suppose you have to be careful what you pray for -because sometimes God answers those prayers.

Because I got that one really good friend.

One that quickly became that person that made me laugh. The one that traveled the world with me. Plotted silly things. Watched movies. Hiked waterfalls. That one that you exchange a look with over the table when teaching an especially difficult child -and know that they have your back. Over the years we have shared many different memories. Traveled many different places. Laughed about so many different things. Shared stories. Prayed with each other. For each other. We have shared more cups of coffee than I can count.

Both of our lives have changed over the years, ups and downs -ins and outs.

We started teaching Sunday school this year -in separate class rooms, but with a shared door. Early Sunday morning when I am going over my lesson -the door will slide open and she will march in.

Over the past few years I have stopped praying for that one special friend, and instead starting thanking God for her. Asking that I become a better friend to her. That I can be the same kind of friend to her -that she is to me.

Last year we traveled to England. France. Germany. Italy. And Ireland. We have memories and stories that only need one word to evoke those special times. To make us laugh. Remember.

But the thing about Ketchikan is that no one stays here forever. I knew that when I met her, they were only planning to stay a few years -but I pushed those thoughts aside and instead focused on living now. In the present. Not thinking about that day. Secretly hoping that she would stay longer.

…and then the time came. Where her family announced they were leaving.

It took me a few days before I could even think about it without bursting into tears. It’s hard to say good-bye. I’m still not entirely ok with it. But I am trying to be happy. To know that she is embarking on an adventure that will be filled with so many opportunities. I still get sad thinking about a life without her in it on a daily basis. I still am plotting ways to make her stay. But I am also thanking God for a wonderful friend that has made my life so much better.

A friend who has encouraged me over the years, a friend that God used to answer my prayer. That one special friend who it is hard to say good-bye to.

I’m going to try and be a better friend -a more open, willing, happy person -much like she was. To take these things that she has shown to me -and show them to others.

Thanks for being an awesome friend, Morgan.

Thank you for being a part of my life, and being a wonderfully awesome friend.

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Don’t stay gone too long -there is so much more of the world to see (and so much more coffee to consume!)

Red Alert

Last February before I headed off to Australia, I had my hair dyed red. Not full blown, raggedy Ann red, but red highlights. I loved my red hair. But it faded fast and within a good month, it was gone.

A few weeks ago I was looking in the mirror and noticed a handful of grey hairs. I pulled them and went about my business. Except a few days later -they had returned, and brought friends. I told myself it was where my hair had been bleached. I’m 26. I’m certainly not going grey yet.

A few days ago I made an appointment and went to put the red back in my hair. While I was there I asked if she could give me the skinny on my grey hair. She was silent for a good 30 minutes about the subject, then asked if I wanted to hear the truth.

I could have said no -but, well, I kind of already knew from that. She said I am going grey. GREY. Me. At 26. I told her I’d rather go red…and asked that she please cover it up.

Introducing, Red of 2016:

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Who knows, maybe I will just keep going red and ignore the fact that I am slowly (quickly?) getting old.  That works, right?

It’s A Dog Party

Big dogs, little dogs, blue dogs, green dogs…

It certainly has felt like a dog party out here!

A few months ago I got a phone call from someone asking if I could house / dog sit for their two dogs. I agreed. Then a few days later, a regular of mine called to see if I could dog sit during the same period of time. I told her I was house sitting -but wouldn’t mind adding her dog to the mix. Then a week later I got a call from another person asking if I could dog sit at the same time. Again, I agreed. Then a few days ago a friend asked if I could dog sit their dog for the week.

I started out with two -and over the course of the past few weeks have slowly added to bring my final number to six. Six dogs.

Knowing that Yoshi doesn’t appreciate dogs in her space -I bought a baby gate to close off a section of the office in hopes of keeping the peace. It was the best thing I ever did. Not only are dogs not rushing out to tackle customers, they are staying away from Yoshi and the peace has been kept.

Tonight I drop one dog off on the way home. Tomorrow, I drop another. Sunday I drop two. Next week I am back home in my own bed with only one dog who lives here.

It’s been a wild ride!

I felt pretty much like this:

Meet the cast of characters (all of whom were together under one roof):

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Yoshi:

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Scooter:

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Moose:

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Molly:

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Max:

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Allie:

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Fall Photography and Yoshi

Two of the things on my “To do list” this season are to walk Yoshi more and pick up my camera more often.  The two kind of go hand in hand, and have worked together rather nicely.  That combined with the unseasonably nice weather the past few weeks and I don’t have any excuse!

As a result, Yoshi and I have gone on quite a few different walks and hikes trying to soak up the last of the sun before it goes to bed for the winter.

Ward Lake:

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A few days ago I decided to be brave and try out a new trail:

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It was a beautiful trail that snaked through the woods -even Yoshi was calm and collect, something she usually isn’t on our walks.  That is, until we popped out at the end.  I was under the impression this trail looped around, but apparently it doesn’t.  We popped out in the College parking lot and had to walk down through two schools to get back to the car. It was lunch time.  There were a lot of people and cars and noises.  Yoshi thought she might die.

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She was very relieved to make it back to the car.

A few other sites from our outings:

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…and of course, back by popular demand, some more shots of the star herself.

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She cracks me up!

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Ha!

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Only in Alaska

So yesterday afternoon I was feeling a bit cooped up, it was raining and I hadn’t been outside for a walk for a few days.  I can’t remember the last time I picked up my camera (post summer blues) so I decided that I would take the dog for a walk on the beach.

It was raining, which meant I could let her off the leash and not have to worry about anyone else being there to scare her.  So off we went.

This is what I originally had planned on photographing. Maybe spending a few minutes perfecting a shot like this.

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The rain, the birds, the low tide -I had some ideas I was planning to perfect…but then something caught my eye.

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Now that in and of itself isn’t that unusual.  There are people out surfing on occasion, but this person didn’t appear to be surfing…in fact, I couldn’t be sure what they were doing.

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I watched a few more minutes…

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…and then this happened…

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I couldn’t be sure if I was seeing things, but from what I could tell this person was doing handstands…on a surfboard…in the ocean…in the rain.

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I am still not sure what, exactly, was going on -but it was sure impressive, especially considering I slipped about four times this weekend.  On solid ground.

Fuzzy Weather

It’s official -fall is here.  How do I know this?  Well just the other day I was outside and stumbled upon these little guys.  They go by a variety of names, and I am not even sure of their technical name -but we have always called them fuzzies.  We would spend our time rescuing these guys from the middle of the road where they would meet their certain death.

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