New Year, Same Old Us

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I gave up my half-hearted attempts in about 5th grade when I failed, again, to keep my desk clean and organized. I’m good with goals, though. I dig the connotation that goes with “goals.” If I meet a goal, I get a reward or something.

This year I want to put my goals out there for a little accountability. It also provides an excuse to write another list, so, win! Add in the dogs and it is a double win!

  1. Have at least one dog pass the test to graduate group obedience classes. Drake and Haas are now the bad boy bunch with Percy causing minimal issues these days. I would love for Drake to stop hitting and for Haas to not eat my home from the foundation up. Obedience classes should be a great start.
  2. I am going to take each dog for a walk at least once per week. Hmmm. I think part of my brain may be trying to sneak in a fitness resolution. Fine. We’re not running and absolutely no burpees!
  3. Start my own YouTube channel with anti tutorials for quilting. It would be a “what not to do” so beginners feel better. On second thought, that might lead to profanity which is not a good example for my students. Maybe I will just settle for making dog beds for the demons.
  4. (I like odd numbers and wanted to stop at 3, but my most excellent mother hates them and I don’t want her to either throw things at me or to stop reading so…) I will untie my shoes before I take them off.

The dogs don’t seem to make any goals except to see how gassy they can be before we make them go outside. Do you have any goals for this bright and shiny new year? Let me know in the comments below! Like and subscribe today! (I’m practicing in case I ever start a weird YouTube channel but I would still love to read your goals or reasons not to have them)

Tis the season for stress and tests.

It’s testing time! Finals begin tomorrow for the human teens in my district. Only a few days are left before celebrations begin. Kids start sleeping again while teachers can breathe and have normal-ish blood pressure. Percy is “chill,” though. No more tests or class for him. While he didn’t graduate from group obedience classes, I’d say he has the skills to be successful in the family. He is currently relaxing with his blanket on the floor. We should all be so calm.

I love learning and try to find something new every day. Sometimes it is a line from a beloved book that I understand just a little more. Sometimes it is a new recipe. Sometimes it is something as simple as learning what new shows have been added to Netflix. Today I will do a little research on de-stressing.

Here’s what I know:

  1. Dog snuggles are a great way to calm down, provided those dogs are on the proper food and haven’t broken into the kitchen and then into the ranch dip. Regular readers can probably guess who the culprit was and I am ready-ing the air freshener.
  2. Few dogs are allowed in the school so I can’t use that for my kids who believe semester finals are the key to a successful life.
  3. Semester finals are important but not at the expense of your health.
  4. I can’t afford enough chocolate to feed all of my kids for the duration of finals.
  5. I really like lists.
  6. I am easily distracted and I was intending to write about stress relief techniques.
  7. One of my co-workers gave me candy today, but I left it at school.
  8. I have candy for tomorrow!

Was there a purpose to this post? Oh! Now, I remember (reading back through helps). I have learned today that I need more stress management techniques and definitely some to share with my darlings.

Today’s list

This is the time of year that can be a challenge.

First: the weather.  Will it be 80 when I get out of school or do I need a parka? Will my backyard be a lake or… nope, the backyard will be a lake. I like to refer to this time of year as “carpet shampooer season.” It becomes my best friend and the only way to avoid growing a mud monster of my very own.

Second: Parent-teacher conferences. It’s not that I want to avoid parent contact. I get to tell parents how great their kids are. It’s the long days. At the 12 hour mark, I am feeling as if I have been away from home for forty years. I’m too introverted for that. The worst part of those long days is that I miss my trouble-making boys. For some reason, I am not allowed to pack up 250 pounds of dog and bring them to school. I know it isn’t a good idea, anyway. Drake is in a slapping phase. I hope it is a phase, anyway. I’ve never known a dog who got annoyed and hit whoever or whatever he was mad at. I caught him trying to smack Oldest Child the other day just because he didn’t want to go to bed. It’s better than biting, but why are my dogs so weird? Maybe a couple long days will be a good thing.

Third: Campaigning politicians. The television and Spotify ads are bad enough but now they are coming to my door. Normally a giant head that fills the window next to the door is enough to deter even the most persistent politician. The barking helps. Then, if they see all 3 of my boys through the storm door and still want to talk, I am impressed. Today’s visitor was smart. She complimented my boys and even remembered their names. Maybe I’ll remember hers in return.

Now I am off to spend some extra cuddle time with the terrors so I can stockpile the love for the rest of the week.

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This is a rare picture. It features both Dad and all three dogs being calm! I checked to see but it isn’t snowing…

10 Reasons I Love My Big Dogs

The husband has always loved and wanted big dogs.  I liked medium or small sized dogs. They don’t eat as much, they don’t have giant poops, and when they are obnoxious, you can just pick them up and move them out of the way.  I never wanted a big dog.  Now, I have three.  Since I love them terribly and wouldn’t give them up, I decided to focus on the positives of the big guys.

  1. There has been a drastic reduction in the number of politicians and salespeople who come to the door. I guess a giant head with teeth bigger than most people’s fingers staring at you from a window next to the door might make you hesitant to knock.
  2. I don’t have to lean down to pet the dogs.
  3. When I can no longer afford gas due to my feed bill, I can either saddle one of the dogs or have them hitched to a cart.
  4. If we lose power in the winter, I don’t need a space heater because they are as big as blankets and are happy to sleep right on top of us.
  5. Our furniture gets even wear because they weigh as much as some adult humans.

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    Haas sitting on the couch
  6. I don’t have to clean out from under the couch cushions because they regularly lift the cushions and check to make sure there is nothing tasty (like food, socks, or money) under there.
  7. We don’t have squirrels. I’m not sure that this is really a bonus but sometimes I think they plot my demise.
  8. Now that I think about it, we no longer have midnight cat fights in our yard. Oldest Child could now sleep at night if it wasn’t actually night time and Oldest Child is nocturnal…
  9. Vacuum factories are going to be able to be in business for a long time because asking even a “designed for pets” vac to handle the amount of dog hair I have is unreasonable and I totally understand that I will have to replace my vacuum often.
  10. Dog hugs when I am having a bad day. If I try to resist, the biggest brings in reinforcements and I get both dog hugs AND kisses from those three big babies.

Things I have learned from my dogs

I love lists. That is actually an understatement. I love them as much as my dogs. Lists rule my life. If there is a “listicle,” I will read it. It doesn’t matter if I know anything about the subject matter or not, I will probably read that list. If it can be put into a list, I am on it faster than Percy can gobble an unattended cake.

On any given day, I have four different lists on my work desk. They are short term lists, long term lists, things accomplished, and grocery lists that will never make it to the store. Some of my lists have sub-lists.

I like those “Things You Can Learn from a Dog” or “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten” type lists. They are almost always happy and good for a laugh or smile. The things I learn are seldom that fun, though.  They often earn a sigh and occasional profanity.

Here’s what I have learned from my dogs (and demon cat). Your results may vary.

  1. Flower pots can be shattered and then double as chewing gum when mom won’t let you have the real thing. (No backyard container garden for me this year.)
  2. There’s always room for treats and eating slippers. (Apparently, the more expensive the slipper, the better it tastes.)
  3. Flossing is great, especially when you use an iPhone charging cord.
  4. Someone will fall for sad, puppy-dog eyes. You just have to find the person who wasn’t in the room when you got in trouble.
  5. The more you yowl and stir up the dogs, the faster someone will scoop out cat food.
  6. You are never too heavy, or have too bony of a butt, to be a lapdog.
  7. 100 pounds can sit on the back of my sofa without tipping it over. 120 pounds is too much.
  8. A closed dog mouth is a suspicious dog mouth.
  9. Anti-gas dog treats exist and are a nose-saver. I recommend them for daily use.
  10. (My personal favorite) Dogs will love you and still want to snuggle when you come home sick from work on a Monday and look like a zombie.