Courting Lunacy: My Experience Adopting an Alaskan Husky

Luna trying to play with the squirrels.

The Wear-Down A few months ago, Mike decides that we need another dog. We lost our beloved girl, Misty, in 2013, and he misses the energy of a house with two dogs. His first thought is of a puppy but after some discussion, we both agree that an older dog from a shelter will be the way to go. We want to provide a home for a dog in need. Also, our aging boy, Moose, is beginning to act like a grumpy old man and I know that a puppy in his face all day will drive the poor guy batshit crazy. Then I stall. As much as I want to help a homeless dog, I do not want to adopt just yet. I want to make Moose’s remaining years as happy and peaceful for him as possible. I can see how much he relishes being an only dog. After … Continue reading…

Beautiful Girl

Our Beautiful Misty (RIP 12/9/13)

This week in 2014, I wrote a love letter. Dear Misty, It has been one year since you left us, and the hole in my life is still as gaping and wide as it was on December 9, 2013, the hardest day, the day we said goodbye. Your body had started to fail. You could not breathe very well, constantly panting and wheezing with every breath. Your back legs would not cooperate and I suspect you fell down the stairs more than once, never (thank god) breaking any bones, but even the thought of it breaking my heart. I wanted to build you a ramp or get a little chair lift for you but I know you would’ve been too proud to use it. On our walks, Moose and I were always happy to walk slowly, you trudging doggedly along, in more pain than you let on. You stopped more … Continue reading…

Resolution Time Again

It’s that time when we start compiling lists: accomplishments, celebrities who passed away, resolutions (ahem, goals) for next year. Before I start thinking about my goals for the coming year, I thought I’d see how I did in 2014. Goal #1: Read 30 books. Success! The honor of the thirtieth book goes to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Welcome to the Monkey House.” I’d read his short story “2 B R 0 2 B” and his longer book, “Cat’s Cradle,” earlier in the year and thought to myself, “What my holidays really need is a good, hearty dose of socially critical satire.” And there it was in all its comic genius. Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut. Goal #2: Lose 10 pounds. This one is still in progress. So far, I only have 13 more to go. Thankfully, I do still have 26 days left on the 2014 calendar. Goal #3: Finish the first draft … Continue reading…

Throwback Thanksgiving

Mom & Leanna Goofing Off

Today, dear readers, is not just Thanksgiving, USA, 2014. It’s also Throwback Thursday, the day of the week for reminiscing and posting old photos that make people snicker and comment about how much you’ve aged since then. Although you wouldn’t know it from the number of photos I post of my dog, I never used to be a big photographer of anything. I once went to the Czech Republic and came back with fewer than 10 photos (which I have lost) so it’s no surprise that my photo library is not filled with photos dating back earlier than a handful of years. This is kind of a bummer, because I can’t remember much of anything between 1984 and 2004, except maybe the Howard Jones hair. Today, as friends and family across the country gather, overeat, and count their blessings, I’m throwing back to 2008 and Thanksgiving spent with my wonderful … Continue reading…

Gratitude

Moose

It seems like everybody’s posting gratitude statements this month, which is awesome. Research has shown that expressing gratitude has a host of physiological, psychological, and social benefits, including stronger immune systems, higher levels of positive emotions, and fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation. Plus, stating what we are thankful for makes us feel good in the moment, like giving ourselves a warm-fuzzy hug as we count our blessings. November is a great month for this, especially when the weather outside turns from delightful to frightful, our heating bills rise, and we find ourselves skating to and from our appointments and jobs on black ice. In the dark. Over critter-crossed country roads. As a dedicated journal writer, I scribble down my thoughts and emotions several times a week. Often my words are just shooting off ideas, sometimes they’re just venting, and sometimes they’re my truth. And, despite that I may gurgle … Continue reading…

Photo Soup

Moose With Ball

Seemingly overnight, the weather here has turned from warm caresses of Summer gently tousling our hair to the icy breath of Winter blowing cooler than comfortable breezes up our skirts. Add to this freezing rain, frost, and blink-and-miss-them daylight hours and you have what I like to call, “soup weather.” Event-wise, this week has been a lot like how I make soup. I look around at the ingredients I have – most times they are quite humble – throw them together, and enjoy.  For this week’s post, I thought I’d just share a little of this week’s photo soup.

Truck Shopping vs. Instant Gratification

Mike's New Truck

I’ve missed a week of posts. I’ve been out truck shopping. Or, rather, Mike’s been out truck shopping. Scout and I have gone along for moral support, and to help wear the salesmen down with our constant jibber-jab. Truthfully, I know very little about trucks, although after living with Mike’s obsession and desire to share his very thorough research, I now have an entire quadrant of my brain swimming in truck-related words: Duramax, Cummins, turbo-diesel, Vortec, V8, long-box, short-box, crew cab, extended cab, three-quarter-ton, hemi, Allison® transmission, tie rods, 6-liter, drum brakes, disc brakes, tow package, tow hooks, payload, torque, bad-ass rims and tires, bull bar.  The list goes on, mindnumbingly so. Last weekend, we went to Coeur d’Alene where Mike test drove a Chevy crew cab long-box with a Duramax engine. It had quite a few cosmetic problems but none that Mike was willing to sweat over. He liked the truck and … Continue reading…

Ball Thieves

The past two weeks have been somewhat uneventful. We’ve had great weather, no celebrations, and no exciting excursions. Many in the family have been feeling poorly, and I’m all out of gardening disasters to write about. In other words, not much blog-worthy material. What we have had is a series of spectacular mornings, lazy slow-wake-up mornings where coffee flows freely and breakfast isn’t eaten on the go. This morning I took Moose on a walk to the river and captured a few moments of quiet, glorious beauty. When we got back from our walk, Moose went directly to his precious. What, you say? Moose is in possession of The One Ring?! No, sadly, I’m not talking about J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical ring of invisibility. I’m talking about Moose’s ball. (Minds out of the gutter, people!). The boy has become overly attached to two rubber balls.  He has an indoor ball and an outdoor ball, and nobody is allowed … Continue reading…

Lunch Peak Lookout

Lunch Peak Lookout Sign

Out every window, I see mountains. The window directly in front of me, in fact, displays the rusty tones of autumn as the ferns turn red and the aspens shed yellow leaves onto a hill rising, rising, rising until almost out of my view. Living in a river valley as I do, tucked between tree-covered slopes that cast shadows on the barn well before the darkness falls across the lawns and landscapes of our neighbors, I’m always looking up. I always have trees and hillsides towering above me. It’s enough to make a person feel downright insignificant at times. So for me, going to a place like Lunch Peak Lookout is a treat. Going there with my sweetie and my parents is even better. We started off at Base Camp Clark Fork (a.k.a. my parents’ house) and drove up Lighting Creek Road for several miles, where we unloaded the ATVs and headed further up the dirt road with … Continue reading…

Killing Time

Moose with Stick and Ball

Wow. I cannot believe what a fantastic procrastinator I have become. Just in the past three days alone, I have been amazingly productive – at everything except writing this blog. I have cleaned the kitchen three times, swept the house twice, cooked countless meals (countless because I lost track of how many), run the treadmill twice, walked the dog a few dozen times, done umpteen loads of laundry, wrote a handful of e-mails, finished a novel, and started my Christmas shopping (ack!) by buying Mike and myself a set of Moose mugs, featuring photos of this guy: In addition, I did a little online research, chauffeured Scout to school, did the grocery shopping, helped Mike with a car project, and pulled up all the carrots in the garden. I even broke out the Cathe Friedrich step aerobics workout DVD that I haven’t done in years. I have been the Queen of Busy-ness. Do … Continue reading…