Tag: dog (page 1 of 2)

Artober 14: Snowy sunrise and Arches!

It’s winter somewhere, right? It definitely isn’t in Louisiana, but it looks like we’ll get Fall tomorrow. That’s something.

This one’s from an Angela Fehr tutorial on YouTube. I’m really interested in learning to paint snow because I have a trip to South Dakota planned for early January (YAY!). I’ll be taking my watercolors up there, and I’d like to try my hand at some plein air in the cold – or at least through the windows at my dad’s house on the side of a mountain. In the middle of a national forest. Yep. It’s been too long since I’ve made it up there.

And this Arches business? It’s only one of the best watercolor papers you can buy. It’s also crazy expensive.  Michaels, though, came through with a 60% off coupon, and I finally got a pack of this paper. The texture is different than the Canson I usually use, and it’s just better. The only issue is that it lifts terribly, which is bad when you’re painting a lifty painting (as in you want to paint a big part of the paper, then dab up parts of it with a paper towel, leaving near-white). This, of course, is a lifty painting: I attempted to lift the trees from the background, but it left lots of color. Good to know. Otherwise, I love this paper.

In Puppy News, we’ve started potty training Lucy in earnest.  The puppy pads are gone. Palmer put up a bell by the baby gate to the kitchen that, in theory, she should ring when she needs to go out. We’ve been setting Alexa timers for every 30 minutes to remind us to take her out. The problem is that she can, but doesn’t really need to, pee every five minutes if she’s playing, which means that we’re still cleaning up a lot of pee. Hopefully she’ll realize pretty quickly that she needs to hold it for a few minutes. I know she can because she can go a whole night in her kennel without peeing. That’s a lot longer than five minutes.

Since Fall is apparently coming tomorrow, Penny and I celebrated with some Hose Time in the back yard while Lucy napped inside.

Bring on the cooler weather! PLEASE!


Artober 8: Rurnt with a line

See that obnoxious blue line around the water. Yeah. Lame.

But that’s okay. After yesterday’s success, I can take a failure. Anyway, it was another tutorial. If the line had been much more subtle, it would have been fine. The rest of it is fine. As a matter of fact, I like it. If this were acrylics, I could fix it, but I can’t fix watercolor.

Watercolor is still my favorite. It takes more skill than acrylics because it’s so much easier to mess up. That said, I’ve messed up an acrylic before.

This is another Frugal Crafter tutorial, by the way. She’s the easiest to follow along watercolorist I’ve found so far on YouTube.

And in Puppy Time, it’s a little hard to see because they’re under the coffee table, but that’s some serious cuddlin!


Artober 5: Progress and Palette!

Yep, I just added more trees. I’m soooo slow at painting that it took me an hour. Okay, I did it and redid it (especially that misty bit at the bottom, which still needs work). Arts are hard! I’m really happy with this one so far.

I also filled my Portable Painter palette. Well, almost, because I have to get quinacridone rose tomorrow. I hope I can find it locally.


Here’s the breakdown:

First row: lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, [quinacridone rose], alizirin crimson, ultramarine blue

Second row: phthalo blue (my favorite color!), phthalo green, permanent sap green, yellow ochre, raw umber, payne’s gray

I’m waiting for them to dry. Hopefully I’ll be able to try them tomorrow after I get the rose. I have a purple I like (dioxyzine), but The Internet says that I need a rose instead because it’s more versatile. I figure I can always change it later. See? Progress!

In Puppy News, Penny taught Lucy how to climb the stairs to the porch, but she didn’t teach her how to get down. Lucy likes to climb them but then whines to be carried down. Sigh.


Artober 4 Progress Report!

Yeah, it’s only the 4th, and I’ve already reevaluated my life decisions. Trying to create a complete painting of any sort every day is tiring to the point of torturous, especially since I have an 8-week old puppy to keep track of. So instead, I’m letting myself take a few days to finish a painting and posting my progress here. That, and as I thought I would do yesterday, I retreated back to Acrylic Tutorial Land, and those always take longer than watercolor. Possibly the main reason that’s the case (at least for me) is that acrylics are so forgiving – if I don’t like something, I can paint right over it. I rework and rework and rework, and it usually turns out acceptably. A watercolor would be plain ol’ rurnt.

Anyway, here’s my Day 4 effort. I painted the background yesterday and did a little editing and added the trees today. Tomorrow will be more trees. I probably won’t finish then, but I might. If you’re wondering what it will (hopefully) look like at the end, check out this tutorial by Angela Anderson on YouTube.

In other artsy news, I got my Portable Painter today! I can’t wait to take it outside and paint! Except I have to choose what colors to put in it first. I’ll post an update when I do.

Oh! And here’s a video of puppies rasslin’:

And playing keep-away with Penny’s current favorite stick:

Tomorrow is Puppy Day!

And I can’t wait, so I figured it might be nice to have a little retrospective post about Penny when she was little. We got her when she had just turned 8 weeks old. Lucy is 7 weeks, so she’ll probably be a little smaller. Here’s the First Ever Photo I took of Penny:


When we went to the breeder’s house, there were only two puppies left, and I sat down on the floor and chose the one who came toward us first. Those are Palmer’s feet, and there’s Penny.


Here’s the first picture once we got her home. It was getting late and Palmer and I were exhausted. Penny, I’m sure, was confused, and the cats were already pissed off. This was a few days after Thanksgiving, 2015.

She settled right in, partially thanks to the kitties.




Here’s her first trip to Petco:



And her first time in the back yard. She seemed a little bit concerned.


And her little red sweater! (Which she grew out of within a couple days.)


And her first nail trim at Petsmart, followed by her cute little fleece (which she also grew out of within a few days) and total exhaustion:



Awwwwwlz! Here she is sitting with her friend Mr. Alligator. (Lucy will also be receiving her very own Mr. Alligator tomorrow!)


Here’s the first time she met my grandmother:


Okay, I’ll stop now, after one more, one of my favorites, of Penny and Mr. Pig.


How can you not squee over every puppy picture ever! Well, there’ll be a whole new round starting tomorrow. And if you like puppy pictures, make the most of it because it’ll be a loooooooooooong time before we get another one – our menagerie is complete!

I *think* we’re ready. Our bedroom is now filled with kennel.


Of course I’m back on Facebook. In other news…

In my defense, I lasted a week without it, which I consider a feat. And yes, that’s a puppy. Her name is Lucy, and we’re picking her up from the breeder on Saturday. I’m so excited I can’t stand it, of course.

Further, I changed the blog theme yet again. I think I’m happy with this one? Maybe? I know I need to write posts more than anything. Hopefully I’ll be better about that.

And, finally, I’m attempting to learn how to paint. This watercolor is, quite possibly, my favorite:

I really like this one, but I’m just getting started – and this one came from a Skillshare tutorial, anyway. I haven’t painted much on my own yet. There’s time! Well, there’s time until Saturday afternoon when we pick up Lucy and after a few months when she becomes sensible. I’m so used to Penny (mostly) behaving that a puppy will be a shock. Here’s a video of Penny mostly (okay, not) behaving:

Goodbye, Facebook! For now…

I’ve just deactivated my Facebook profile, so what do I do to ease the withdrawal? Read about Facebook withdrawal. There’s a really interesting article from LiveScience that explains that while Facebook triggers pleasure in the brain similar to that of cocaine or other drugs, it doesn’t quiet the part of the prefrontal cortex responsible for inhibitions.

Which means that Facebook is addictive but that we can probably quit it pretty easily.

We’ll see about that. A friend deactivated her profile a couple of weeks ago because she’s super busy, and she talked about the withdrawal, though she didn’t seem to have a terrible time keeping herself away from the site. Her experience made me consider how much time I spend scrolling through post after post after post – most of them photos of dogs from around the world. There’s no justification for the amount of time I spend doing that. Facebook is an attention black hole.

I should probably note that I’m not at all trying to deny the human need for distraction. We’d all go crazy if we didn’t have something to distract us. I just want to spend my distraction hours elsewhere on something I feel is just a little bit more worthwhile. I’ll probably be in a better position once I figure out what that something is. It might end up being Twitter, though I don’t know how anyone could spend as much time on Twitter as they do on Facebook. And there lies the latter’s genius: remember when we could just scroll through a chronological news feed? We could log on and quickly see that no one had updated anything, then log off and return to our business. Now, that’s not an option: we see a mix built with an algorithm that Facebook thinks we will like and that will keep us scrolling. Endlessly.

Sure, deactivating a Facebook account isn’t at all permanent. After I’d clicked through the various “are you sure???????” screens, I was finally logged out but presented with a big button, front and center, reminding me that none of my data is lost and I can log back in whenever I want to. We’ll see how long I last.

A brief log. Since I deactivated my account about three hours ago, I’ve read some book, washed dishes, and hosted my mother for a few minutes while she petted my menagerie. I also checked Twitter and read the aforementioned Facebook-and-the-brain article. The alternative, of course, was to scroll endlessly through dog pictures. I admit: there are worst things.

When it comes down to it, though, do we really care about anything we read on Facebook, or is it manufactured idle curiosity springing from the knowledge that we can check up on anyone at any time? Do I really care that my old high school friend who lives across the country took her kids to the park today? Does anyone care that my dog played in her pool today? No. I don’t. We’ve just been conditioned to keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.\

But just in case you do care about what Penny did today, here’s some video evidence. At least I didn’t post it on Facebook?

Santa Claus is coming…to Penny’s nightmares!

Let’s all think about this for a minute:

This was certainly the case today with our favorite puppy, who decided she did NOT like Santa. At least the one at PetSmart, who didn’t seem to like her, especially, but who was remarkably patient as she tried to climb all over him to get away from him. At home, we call that game Pointy Feet – though she’s usually not desperate to claw herself away from us, I hope – but there, it was more like Crazy Dog and Crazy Dog Parents #156 Today. Poor guy. I hope they paid them well, though I imagine they didn’t.

It was a struggle! But, thanks to my good camera, not entirely unsuccessful. On PetSmart’s end, it was entirely unsuccessful: there was a poor young girl with an iPad trying to get a picture so she could add a snowy branded overlay, and Penny wouldn’t stay still for long enough for her to get a picture! Luckily, Palmer and I pulled out our camera and started snapping away. At the very least, I’m amused by the outcome. In the best picture of Penny (well, almost every picture of Penny), Santa appears to be sending us some kind of death stare. Penny kept trying to squiggle away! I don’t even know how Palmer got her up onto that bench, but I’ll call that a huge achievement for the day.

Here’s last year’s much calmer (and tinier!) Santa photo from Your Pet Butler in Bossier:


I really need to see if I can get a better scan of that. Penny had her picture taken at Pet Butler again this year, but I don’t think it involves Santa, and it won’t be ready to pick up until Wednesday. But soon enough!

But wait, there’s more!

Awwww what? A post? Gah, it’s been a long time. Yes, this does mean your Very Favorite Blog is coming back, and SOON!

I just need a minute to sort things out.

So this page is gonna look silly for a few days until I get everything looking and working like I want it (note the new title font!) – or until I load up the default WordPress theme and call it a day.

It won’t be the old book blog of yore. I’m on a break now, but I’m still in Round Two of grad school, and I have a year left and not enough time or motivation to read much of anything that isn’t boring library essays. It’ll be more like the latest posts – photos of the dog in various places and such. I want to use my good camera instead of my iPhone (there’s a HUGE difference in picture quality!), so most posts will be photo-heavy. The featured photo is a good example. Dog Doing Things, Taken with Good Camera.

I’m also seriously considering starting from scratch – from this post, probably. The old posts going back to 2010, or so, would go away. They’d still be accessible, but elsewhere, like somewhere on WordPress.com or so. I’m not sure about that one.

But! I’m coming back! We’ll see what this blog turns into. There will be dogs and photos and possibly, even some Minecraft. I’m keeping the subject open to help me get excited about it again. I might fall back into a theme – maybe even books – but we’ll see.

Keep an eye out for new posts! The’ll start soon!

Puddles in Pensacola

Before our weekend trip to Pensacola, Florida, Penny was already an interstate traveler, as she visited the Wildflower Trails Festival in Linden, Texas (at which there were no wildflowers or trails) in April. This, though, was a much longer trip – hours longer, even, than our trip to Mandeville earlier this year. We took the long way there, down I-49 to I-10 because there’s a dog park right off the interstate in Baton Rouge, and I wanted to give Penny a break.

We spent somewhere around 8 hours on the road, and by the time we made it to Pensacola, we were both exhausted. We were very glad to see Palmer, though, who was working for there for two weeks. It was around 6 o’clock by the time we got there, so we headed almost directly to dinner at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille, which welcomed us with excellent food, a lovely sunset, and a bowl of ice water for Penny.

The next morning, we headed to the beach, where Penny found her true love: big puddles of water. She was so excited and pulled so hard to get out into the surf that Palmer had to hold her because she was about to pull me in.

We couldn’t go to any beach in Pensacola, though. We had to go to the Dog Beach. It was really nice, though, because there were no fences and it was just a section of normal beach bounded with signs. The caveat was that dogs were supposed to stay on-leash. Not that half of them did. Penny, though, followed the rules.

After tiring ourselves out at the beach, we went to Shaggy’s for lunch. I ate a pile of super-fresh fish and had a local beer. I could get used to eating by the water.

26668270503_2e011f5d63_kAfter lunch, we took Penny to another dog park, this time inland, so we she’d really be exhausted. She had a great time and made a new friend! A couple brought their two dogs, one of which was a lab mix, and he and Penny ran around and around until it was time to head back to the hotel for a serious nap.

We had dinner at the Sunset Grille on Perdido Key. There were a few too many children for my taste, but the food was good and the sunset was amazing. They chose their name well. The sunset alone was worth the 45-minute trek from the hotel.

The next morning, Palmer had to do laundry, so Penny and I paid an early visit to the dog park. We played Ball, and she ran around with the other dogs like she was a regular.


Palmer and I decided that Penny needed more beach time. The first time we went, we weren’t wearing swimsuits, so Penny was limited to the shoreline. We had a really nice breakfast at George’s Artisan Bakery and Bistro, picked up some necessities, and headed back out to the dog beach. We had underestimated the ridiculous amount of traffic headed onto Pensacola Beach on a beautiful Sunday. There’s only one bridge over the bay, and it’s a huge bottleneck. It took us well over an hour to get there, so by the time we made it to the island it was time for lunch, and everywhere was crowded. Since our restaurant choices were severely limited because Penny was with us, we ended up back at Shaggy’s and had a good time.

Finally, we were off to the beach, this time with swimsuits, beach towels, and an umbrella. The trade-off to preparedness, though, was no camera and very limited phone use because Sand. Penny bounded into the water as soon as we got there. Palmer took her farther out in the surf, and I guess she got intimidated because she was almost instantly ready to go.


Luckily, though, she came to her senses and enjoyed herself after that. I, on the other hand, finally came to terms with my absolute hatred of sand. It gets everywhere and it’s hard to clean off. I think Penny will probably be limited to rocky seashores and lakeshores for most of her future, but I’m pretty sure just about any puddle of water will suffice.

After allll of that adventure, we were exhausted again. We’d planned to go to a restaurant/bar called The Oar House, but when we pulled into the parking lot, it was already crowded. Bad music was blaring, and it was full of sun-baked partiers, most of whom were over 50 and generally gross-looking. We decided instantly that it wasn’t the place for us and ended up back at Jaco’s. At least we knew the food was good and they like dogs.

I was so tired of seafood, so I ordered the filet mignon, and it came out in a pool of barbecue sauce? It was good enough, but it tasted more like the sauce than anything else, so I was disappointed. The server said the kitchen must have used the wrong bottle because it was supposed to be steak sauce. They also said the chef was new and was working out the menu, so I’m not sure which was the actual case. So I’ll call that meal adequate.

Penny, however, had an excellent time. She got all of the attention and tasted her first filet mignon! She liked it so much that she refused to eat her puppy food afterward. We watched the sun set, then crashed. I think Palmer and I were both Done for the weekend.

On Monday morning, we took the shorter route home through Mississippi. Penny was so good, but she really hates long car rides. She spent most of the time napping, but every time she’d hear an unusual noise, she’d jump up and look out the windows. Then she’s lean her head against the back seat and look pitiful for several minutes before lying back down. Just before we got to Vicksburg, I stopped in a green area next to a Tractor Supply parking lot to give her a break and let her eat her lunch in relative peace. I think she was grateful.

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When we finally made it home, we were both tired but glad not to be on the road anymore. Penny seemed to have a good time, but it’ll be a while before we take another field trip that involves driving 8 hours each way – maybe even until we make it to the Rocky Mountains, which will hopefully happen next summer.

I should also note that I took most of these photos with my sparkly new camera. It’s a Sony a6000, and I love it. I was planning on getting a new Nikon DSLR because mine is almost ten years old and is totally outdated, but then I stumbled on this new mirrorless trend. They’re smaller than DSLRs but have interchangeable lenses and take photos that I think are just as good. I don’t need a professional-level camera because I’m not a professional, but I wanted a nice mid-grade one. This Sony fits the bill. (A super-duper thank you to Palmer for choosing a most excellent birthday present!)

Here’s a link to the entire Flickr album in case you need to see even more photos.

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