Tuesday, April 21, 2015

STOP the Madness! It's Time for Affirmations and Meditation With Maddox (My Thumbed Cat)

Note: Neither I, nor Maddox, are certified meditation instructors. Frankly, we don't know what the heck we're doing. This is a parody. That said, we dare you not to smile.

Welcome, friends! It's been a tough go of it (your day, life, endeavor to become a professional magician, etc.) and we want to help! Do you have three minutes (of course you do; you're on the internet looking at social media)? Yay! Let's meditate for a bit. But before we start, here are a few helpful hints:

  1. Sit down. If you can't sit (because you're standing in a subway, for example), for dear life, tether yourself to something, so you don't doze off and fall on something sharp! (Note: You won't doze off. Unless you're on the toilet, in which case, I hope you doze off, and your reading device falls in. Because ew! That's just wrong.)
  2. Imagine you're sitting beside a picturesque waterfall, NOT Niagara Falls, though. Too violent.
  3. Get over any issues you might have with giant tabby cats who have thumbs. Especially old ones named Maddox, with crooked whiskers and eyes slightly cocked. Maddox and his paws are a gift to stressed humans. Trust me.
Alright, you're almost there! To start, Maddox will say several affirmations directly to you (feel free to read them out loud; no one will care), and then he'll lead you through some calming imagery. Ready?! OK, shhhh....


The sun is shining through your window and through your heart.

Today you will take one step toward your dreams.

Snacks make you smile.

You feel a deep connection with your feet.

Today you will be pleasantly surprised.

You are in a state of pure joy.

You are grateful for your breath, no matter how bad it might smell.

You are a calm airplane passenger.

You look for humor and fun in as many situations as possible.

Meditation is calming and will help you not have road rage.


And now, repeat the word "catnip" while viewing the following photos (and remember to breathe).






{Now, do that again, in reverse.}

end of session

Please use caution not to stumble while exiting, and have a pleasant day. ☺

Note: Maddox will not accept money.

Bonus Sound Effects

Maddox is a former shelter cat. We adopted him in 2012 from the Richmond SPCA. He was nine years old and on a prescription diet to maintain his urinary tract health. He is a polydactyl, and my soul man.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wherein I Show You 12 Pics of Smokin' Hot, Shaggy and/or Red-Headed Guys (1 of Whom Is My Dog)

I'll just come right out and say it: My Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Jon Farleigh - is a hottie (because "hot dog" just doesn't work in this situation). He makes me swoon. Here are just a few reasons why:

OK, time-out. On second thought, maybe there's really only ONE (multi-faceted) thing about him that makes me die a little inside every time I look at him. A thing so big, so undeniably HIM, that it has to stand alone. And that, my friends, is his glorious (if unconventional), silky-soft, sometimes unruly, undeniably sexy...

Fluffy Red (and white) Coat!

Still a puppy and ne'er a blade had touched his locks.

Its squish-ability calls to my wanton fingers (and face - yes, I bury it in there sometimes) like a siren song.

You know you want to lay hands on it.

And that white patch on his hip? [sigh]

White swirly on his thigh? Artistic brilliance.

Let's face it: I knew he'd be a lady-killer before he was even five months old!


Know what else? I'm pretty sure that Jon Farleigh is to Cardigan Welsh Corgis as this guy is to people:

  (source: princeharry.org)
I believe you've all met Prince Harry.☺

But wait! Here's a better shot...

source (this photo and 4 following): Popsugar

And so you know, just like Jon Farleigh, the Prince grooms up well...

Would you look at that! He even loves (reddish) dogs!

And brownish-black dogs!

AND itty bitty hedge hogs!

Come to think of it, Jon Farleigh reminds me of this guy, too...

source: Josh Holloway
And this one...
source: People Sexiest Man Alive 2014: Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor)

I've become too distracted to type anything else. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

11 Unexpected Ways Living With Dogs Is Like Living With Babies (Plus 1 About Cats)

You don't have to have a baby to know what it's like to live with a baby. How can I say this, you ask? Because I've had both babies and dogs. Three of each, in fact. And I'm telling you, if you want to know at least a modicum of what babies are like (without having your own), get a dog. And if you've had both? See if you don't agree!

Note: I can think of way more than 11 similarities, but for the sake of your attention span, I prioritized the less expected ones. (Portions of this list were previously published here.)

11 Unexpected Ways Living With Dogs is Like Living With Babies

1. A formed BM (after a sustained period of "unformed" BMs, aka horrible, explosive sh^t that necessitates a bath/shower/laundry/or infected item(s) thrown - using tongs and rubber gloves - in the outside garbage) is cause for loud celebration.
(Because one hasn't fully experienced parenthood until needing to cut the infected onesie off one's baby, or throw Fluffy's entire L.L. Bean (for example) dog bed in the trash.)

Soft, warm pretzel, anyone?

2. Leaving the house with either (baby or dog) requires one to tote an ample supply of plastic poo receptacles, both of which - when loaded - are like toxic hot potatoes, and must be thrown far, far away, to avoid olfactory assault, dry heaves and perceived ridicule from random passers-by.

Same sh*#, different butt.

3. They both eat crayons. Which makes for colorful #2.

4. Sometimes, they need a pacifier to satisfy their oral fixations.

5. Even though the toilet is only 5 feet (or less) away, they throw up on the floor/bed/you.

6. They make accessorizing outfits a breeze.

7. Extended periods of blissful silence, somehow, always end up as nature's way of getting you back for being selfish and inattentive. 

8. They enjoy the taste of furniture.

You know the saying: "Your face will freeze that way!"
(It won't, but don't tell any dogs or babies, OK?)

Image courtesy: My Parents
 (yes, it's me; I might not have actually eaten the table,
but I could have.)

9. They like to eat food off the floor. And if you have BOTH dogs and babies (or cats and babies, for that matter), they'll eat EACH OTHER'S food off the floor. 

Source: Bored Panda

10. For entirely different reasons, you'll want to nibble their feet.

And, lastly (because I can't resist, and I certainly wouldn't want you to think having dogs and/or babies is a bad thing), one AWESOME way living with dogs is like living with babies...

11. Their mega-watt smiles might make you melt into a quivering pile of goo!

The resemblance* is uncanny, don't you think?

Really? You think 6-month-old me looks like Jon Farleigh? (wink)


Wait! You know what? Living with cats is like living with babies, too. Yeah, they can't keep their clothes/shoes/vital accessories on for 5 minutes!

See what I mean?

Darn cat. ☺

So for anyone else out there who's had experience with both dogs (and/or cats) and babies, got anything to add to the list?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Classic Cardigan: How to Make 'Lemons' When Your Dog's Poop Looks Like Lemonade (and Other 'Bad' Things)

  • The first time I wrote this, I was exactly three years younger, but no wiser.
  • I do not buy the whole "life gives you lemons" metaphor. I mean, who said lemons are so bad? They were wrong. Lemons are good. Lemonade is fattening and can make one's teeth rot (if not consumed in moderation).
  • My life is exactly the same as it was in 2012.
  • I promise not to mention the word "lemonade" again, in the same sentence with the words "dog" nor "poop," for the rest of this post.  

Originally published March 23, 2012...

Exploding Dog Butts and Ill-Fitting Clothes - An Experiment in Looking on the Bright Side

My day could conceivably have gone two ways today: crappy or awesome.

Crappy attitude?

Okay, well, if I'm speaking in literal terms, so far, there's been lots of crap. But I'm not speaking in literal terms...just yet.

So because it's Friday, and I LOVE Fridays, I thought it would be fun to list all the crappy things that have happened in my house so far today and then for each crappy thing, come up with a way for me to look on the bright side. 

So, for example, if my bedroom smoke detector had started chirping at 2 a.m., forcing a middle-of-the-night battery replacement and minor sleep disturbance, I would argue that on the bright side, my family would not have burned up in a potential 3 a.m. house fire. 

Pretty simple, yes?

Okay, here we go...

Crappy Thing (CT): Jon Farleigh broke out of his crate at 2:50 a.m. because he had to go RIGHT THEN.
On the Bright Side (OtBS): He didn't go in his crate.

CT: I didn't get back to sleep until approx. 4:15 a.m.
OtBS: I watched a TV war documentary (on the Smithsonian Channel) and in comparison, my problems seemed petty.

CT: JF's crate had a pile of poop in it when he came out of it this morning.
OtBS: It was still in one neat pile and only touching the hard crate floor (making clean-up easy).

CT: After coming in from being walked (by Middle Child - who told me JF had NOT done #2 outside), I discovered JF's back end was a big nasty mess, so (while 2 of my kids were trying not to miss the school bus) I had to give him a bath (with kiwi-scented shampoo).
OtBS: He didn't have a chance to smear his poopy butt all over the carpet or upholstery. The kids still made their buses, proving I can do several things at one time when pressed.

Positive outlook?
CT: About 15 minutes after his bath, JF (smiling and with a spring in his step) sneaked out of the kitchen, pooped in the family room and tracked it back into the kitchen. And I had to give him a second (butt- and foot-only) bath.
OtBS: His butt hadn't been that clean and sweet-smelling since infancy. Also, I got to do a load of towels.

(Note: JF is okay; he just ate something disagreeable.) 

Look how curly his fur gets after a bath!

CT: JF didn't get his breakfast, except for a teaspoonful each of mashed pumpkin and plain Greek yogurt.
OtBS: BOTH dogs got to eat yummy pumpkin and yogurt. (Note: JF didn't poop again for 3 hours after eating, and did not require a third bath.)

CT: My summer wardrobe shrank a half-size over the winter (despite my pleading to "please still fit!" when I pulled my pants on this morning).
OtBS: I get to go shopping? (Okay, not.) My tight waistband is making me not want to eat? (Not really, it just hurts.) I get to spend more time outside (not sitting) with the dogs (and/or family)?  Yep! (But would someone please hide the grill...)

In summary: My day was awesome because:
  • I'm not a statistic in a war documentary.
  • Jon Farleigh's crate and butt are squeaky clean.
  • My dogs got to eat something yummy and wholesome.
  • I can multitask.
  • I have clean towels.
  • I have an excuse to go outside and play. 
Hope you all are having awesome days, too! :)

UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: Because I was scrambling to get this post finished and not paying enough attention to my family's dinner sizzling on the outdoor grill, I have another CT to add to the list:

CT: My hamburgers got burned to briquettes in a grease fire. Oh yes, friends, they did.

No lighter fluid required.
OtBS: I saw a Bald Eagle while driving back from the grocery store (because I had to go out and buy more beef). I had time to prune some plants in the garden while I was outside (not writing this post) supervising the grill. And it turns out, there was enough good cooked meat inside those black rocks to scrape out and add to Jon Farleigh's bland dinner (and breakfast tomorrow). Furthermore, if he could talk (thank heaven he can't, but if he could) he'd probably tell me he likes his meals better after a butt explosion than when he's regular. 
(Shhhhh. He's been explosion-free since early afternoon.) ☺

I think I need some chocolate ice cream...


Have a lemony day, all!


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