Girls like flowers

After 14 springs in Washington state, I guess I don’t have to go to the tulip fields every April. Fortunately, Mia and I saw some color in the beds along Mount Vernon’s newish Skagit River Walk.

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6 ways to beat the winter blues

Last week I started experiencing some pretty textbook symptoms of the winter blues. After cheering myself up by buying not one but two new winter coats, I shared

Mental Health Tip #1: Retail Therapy.

The next day, I decided that watching Making a Murderer is doing nothing to help anyone’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, so that became

Mental Health Tip #2: Stop watching Making a Murderer.

Turns out, I was just getting started.

Mental Health Tip #3: Float.

Full disclosure: We tried this the first time Saturday. I didn’t care for it. The water felt cold and I got bored, but Rob liked it.

Mental Health Tip #4: Color.

Put a bird on it

My advice to a FB friend (Hi, Cinthia!) interested in getting started: Adult coloring books are awesome because it completely does not matter how it turns out. I had an art teacher when I was little who said “There’s no such thing as a mistake,” which is bullshit in real life and real art. But grownup coloring books? No one’s going to judge. Or even see it unless you Instagram it. You can go outside the lines, use the wrong color… it does not matter. And if you get a book you like, it’ll look cool no matter what you do.

Mental Health Tip #5: Sing Along.

I like showtunes, but that doesn’t mean you have to. I’ve been listening to Hamilton, Broadway’s hottest show. Find your jam.


Mental Health Tip #6: Walk in the Rain, or the Snow, and if possible, on a Beach with Dogs.

How do you stay sane during the dark months, friends?

BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog HopOnce again, a few extra words this Wordless Wednesday.

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Things that go blink in the night

What do dedicated dog owners do when the sun goes down?

Walk their dogs anyway!

To a degree, it can be easier for us to walk Leo when it’s dark and cold, because there are fewer joggers and cyclists.

We took our first afterdark walk of the season on Saturday, and realized that one of our blinky reflector collar clip-on things is broken and the other is lost.

Good thing Rob’s sister sent me a PetSmart gift card for my birthday!

The salesgirl sheepishly told me that the only light-up thingies they had were on the Halloween display. Thinking I was going to have to choose between a candycorn headband and a pumpkin bandanna with one blinky light, I was delighted to discover a selection of Dog-e-Glow collars and leashes. Some of them had Halloween patterns, yes, but you can see from the company’s website that their collars and leashes aren’t novelty items. They’re exactly what I was looking for!

The collars were on sale for $15.99 from $19.99, and although the choices was limited, they happened to have patterns that suit our doggies (and us) perfectly.

*I wasn’t compensated for this post, but if PetSmart or Dog-e-Glow want to send me matching leashes, I wouldn’t send them back!

And now, I present to you a video of the Dog-e-Glow collars in action. Perhaps not my most visually slick production, since darkness is required to appreciate the glory of the collars’ two settings: steady glow and blinky. It has a ’70s horror film feel to it, right?


5811656This post is a follow-up to the National Walk Your Dog Week Blog Hop, hosted by Cascadian Nomads and My GBGV Life.

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Fit Dog Friday

My GBGV Life also co-hosts FitDog Friday with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love.

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Another throwback snow day

We got one day of snow in 2013. I took the day off and the dogs and I visited Rob at work for a snowy walk. Later, Rob’s mom asked if Leo likes the snow as much as Isis did. Nope. Wonder why that is, what made Isis love the snow so much she had to put a paw in every inch of it.

In remembrance of that brief moment of snow the Friday before Christmas, I give you the scene from Bark and Lunge where Isis first sees snow:

first snow

We woke the next day, delighted to see a layer of white coating our backyard. Our first snow in the new house.

Isis’s initial steps in the snow were tentative. Where did the grass go? With just a few more steps, she decided she liked it and pounced in the snow, mouthing and play-bowing to it.

Rob dressed Isis in the coat he’d bought her during his shopping spree: light brown faux suede with a shearling lining. I looked at the two of them and wondered whether Rob realized that he had picked out a miniature dog version of his own coat.

matching coats

The snow stayed on the ground all weekend, and the temperature dropped so the roads were icy by Monday morning. The news people kept saying, “If you don’t have to leave the house, don’t.” Had I still worked as a newspaper reporter, I would have been expected not only to leave the house, but to experience the inconvenience and hazards of the bad weather so I could write about them. Lucky for me, I didn’t work for a newspaper anymore.

I sat at the kitchen table in my pajamas and watched the weather reports in a loop on Northwest Cable News. Isis still cried every time I left the room without her, so I never even took a shower. She poked around my feet, then napped on the plush tan bed in her crate while I repeatedly clicked “check mail” on my laptop.

When the sun came out, I slipped my boots and parka over my pajamas and snapped a leash on Isis. She waded beside me through snow as high as her fuzzy black belly. Nosing the terrain, she dusted her muskrat face with white flakes, her oversized pointed ears as long as her muzzle.

We walked around the side of the house to the front yard where Isis sat down in the snow and assessed her surroundings. The neighbors, college kids who rented the house next door, had built an igloo. A blue sky framed our plowed street, nearly devoid of cars, and Rob’s tire tracks had carved trails in the layer of snow covering our long driveway shaded by a canopy of cedar branches. A creek ran along the other side of our house, where icicles formed underneath blackberry brambles. I walked Isis up the stone steps to our front porch, past our little garden with a heavenly bamboo plant bent in half from the weight of the snow.

“This is a magical place where we live,” I told Isis.

licking snow

Throwback Snow Day

I don’t know what the rule is for Throwback Thursday, how old the photos have to be. Two years doesn’t seem very old, but when you’re dying to play in the snow, it feels like ages ago. Best I can remember, January 2012 was the last time we had any snow worth playing in.

This is what I’ve been fantasizing about lately:

snow faves (29)


snow faves (20)

snow faves (22)

It’s warming up this week, too, so there’s no snow in our immediate future.