It's been oh, well, 6 months since my last post. Shame on me! I thought everyone might like a mini update to hear what I've been up to all this time.

Things around here are superb; Derby is such a good girl! We've been doing a lot of training to get her less cautious of people and she's doing marvelously -- she's such a smart dog!

Recently, we entered to win a Collar of the Month subscription from our favorite collar company Lucky Fiona (and if you love handmade fabric collars, Lucky Fiona is an absolute MUST!) The contest was a "makeover my pet" contest, so we whipped up a little movie and we tied with the most darling bloodhound boy named Teddy, who has a very rags-to-riches story. I thought he would win most certainly, but because Lucky Fiona is so awesome, we both were made winners!

Here's the movie we entered :)

We've been planting a lot of flowers and doing some general yard beautification, too. No edible garden this year -- we had some trouble with our deck collapsing (don't ask...) so we decided to focus on the front yard and I'm so happy we did. I promise to post some photos once my salieri daylilies bloom. Here's what they might look like:

We also have yellow daylilies, Easter lilies, azaleas, mums, forsythia, a little white bleeding heart, hostas, a purple flower who's name I can't remember, and 3 hydrangeas (pink, white, and blue). Everything is doing well but for one of the forsythias...for some reason, though planted at the same time as the other, it's a little pale and not looking so good. Not sure what the cause is, but it's a shame. I hope I don't have to replace it!

It's hard to believe it's almost July. Where has the time gone? I have a bunch of great craft projects in the works, so more posts on those later -- sewing some awesome clothing pieces for my sister. I can't wait to show you! Also, I've lost 18 pounds since March. Crazy, right?! I'm on the Take Shape for Life Medifast plan and it WORKS. I've been dedicated and man, oh man. I feel so good. I really should start making some clothes for myself and show off this trimmed up frame ;o) If you want to learn more about the program or have any questions, check out my Health Coach Dan's website at http://ohiodan.tsfl.com/ -- he has lost 119 pounds since last August. Now that, my friends, is outstanding success. He's a great coach and will help you get feeling better. One of these days, I'll share some of my favorite Medifast food hacks recipes with you! I'm 4-5 pounds from hitting my goal weight...I might even share my before/after (though I shudder to think of posting my before pictures on the internet LOL -- but hey. If it could inspire someone else to take the plunge, it's worth public humiliation :o)

That's all for now -- I hope to check in again before the summer's over!


500th Post...and Our Puppy

She LOVES to watch football.
So. 500 posts. Who on earth would've thought that I could manage to pull THAT off?! Certainly not me! It has been awhile since any real posts, but that's because I'm livin, folks! Not that I don't miss blogging, because I do, but I have a pretty good reason. Her name is Derby and she's the newest addition to our little family.

Here is her story...
I had been a fan and follower of Ohio English Setter Rescue for about a year before we took the leap into fostering, which we knew would be an incredibly rewarding experience and help provide unconditional love and support for a rescue dog. After application approval, passing our home check, fixing a fence, many conversations, pup meet-ups, and a LOT of discussion (truth be told, we were nervous and carefully weighed every option, scenario, and never forgot our beautiful senior kitty gal Wink throughout the process), we knew that OESR was a group of people who were exactly our kind of people and we were committed to becoming part of their organization one way or another. We also knew that when it was right, it would be right, that we would know it, and the rest would be history...

There she is...far right.
 Well, during all of this time, OESR rescued an English Setter named Jordie from a high kill shelter. And she was pregnant. Oh boy. Oh boy and five girls, as it turned out. All the pups were born late June 2011 at foster momma R's house and they were the. cutest. puppies. ever. But I really didn't want a puppy. Really and truly. I wanted to give a home to an adult. Maybe even a senior dog. I felt it was a calling for me, but...But. Bubs felt a bit differently about that. He had his eye on those pups. Oh boy did he.

As a bit more time passed, Jordie momma dog was adopted out and one, by one, the pups, too, were both fostered out and found their forever homes. But R. held on to the little brownie bundle of puppy love named Josie. Josie was the one pup who was different in the litter. Out of the 6 pups, she was the one born with the most color and, of course, being the odd girl out, she tugged at my heartstrings.

Pupper McSpottypants
Josie's first foster DogMomma R. is a rock star. She's a wife, mom, dogmom to her own pack and, on top of that, she went back to school to become a vet. She had fostered Jordie during her pregnancy and was there for the entire whelping. Needless to say, she was (and is) a busy, busy lady -- one who made the very hard choice to love this pup enough to let her go. This was an incredibly difficult thing for her (trust me, you'll see how much stronger she was than me!) and her family to do, but she had Josie's best interests in mind through and through. Fate played her hand in all of this, because once I came to learn that R. might be looking for a new foster home for 3-month old Josie, I told Bubs and, after a few more phone calls and coordination, we got the green light to take over Josie's fostership and we drove to pick up our new little foster babydog!

And she was perfect. She snuggled in my lap the entire 2 hour car ride. She went potty outside at a rest stop. She didn't pee or barf on me. It was love at first sight.

Wow. It was not easy! I was raw nerves those first few days. (From what people tell me, it's a lot like what having a new baby is like...) But after some time, we found a routine and stuck with it. We were up 3 times a night for almost 2 months so we could housebreak her, knowing that even though difficult, it would be worth it in the long run to support her early. We taught her to sit, stay, come, lay down and shake with both paws. She had all the right toys to chew on (and only the toe of one flip flop and the side of one slipper ever was chewed - not bad for damage control lol!) She was our little genius dog. We were going to help her be the best dog we could help her be for her future forever family.

A couple months passed and conversations came up about whether or not we would adopt her. I stuck to my commitment as a foster (and no one believed me...), knowing that letting her go would break my heart...but I told myself it was for the best. And then, after 2 months of our fostering, she was put on Petfinder. And the next day, an application came through from someone very, very far away. And I cried. A lot. Bubs sulked in his man cave. The truth was, neither of us wanted to let her go, but it took the thought of never seeing her again to help us to see that. Even though everyone at OESR had warned us, that once an application for her was in, there's no going back if it got approved. We KNEW that. But with a hope and a prayer, we let them know that if, for whatever reason that first application didn't get approved, that we wanted to adopt her -- and so we put in our application, too. (We were such jerks. How we had waited so long is beyond me...I chalk it up to major anxiety and commitment issues. God bless OESR for putting up with us and, specifically, my neuroses.) After a little less than a week, the planets aligned (and fate once again played her hand) and we got the joyous news..."Congratulations, it's a girl!" And the rest is history...and just the beginning of our glorious foster failure.Bubs said an English dog needs an English name, so we renamed Josie to Derby. She's now our little "brown" Derby and she the best little girl ever. I never thought I'd be one of those people...the kind who forgoes normal adult conversation to tell people about Derby's poops or the custom, handmade coat I bought for her on Etsy, but I am 100% that guy and loving every minute. She helps me see the humor in everything. To get outside more (even if it means being on poop patrol), to meet new friends at the dog park, to smile and laugh, to watch my tone, to grow up.

Derby's 6-1/2 months old now and growing like a weed. She loves chewies, her stuffed duck (which is really a pheasant I think, stuffingless, beakless and stinks to high heaven), belly rubs, playing at the dog park, shaking for treats and digging holes in the back yard (but we're working on that one...) I could go on and on, but this post is long enough...I can't wait to share more funny stories and cute pics later. Thanks for stopping by :o)
Look at that face! The sun washed out her Setter spots but they're there :)


A New Year...a New Blogger!

Happy 2012 everyone! Yep. I'm alive, though barely (I rang in the new year with food poisoning. Oh what fun that was...) And yes. I've been a MAJOR blog slacker this year, but for good reason. My Etsy shop is rocking and keeping me very busy! AND! We got a puppy! More on that later, though. This post is about introducing someone very special to me, who just got into blogging! Please pop over to The Nest at Finch Rest and welcome Michele as warmly as you welcomed me into this crazy thing. xoxo

The Nest at Finch Rest: Happy New Year - very first blog post ever! -- here's the link! I can't wait for more :)

Happy new year, lovelies. As Tim Gunn would say...make it count!
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