Friday, March 30, 2012

Aluladdin and the Magic Pumpkin

Once upon a time in a land not far enough away, lived a raven-haired princess named Aluladdin (but who preferred to be called Lula).

Aluladdin is a boy's name. Don't ever call me that.

One day, Lula discovered a mysterious pumpkin on her futon, and out of curiosity, put her paws on it.

I must get this play thing off of here.

And poof!

This better be good. I could've slept another 100 years.

Out of the hollow of the orange gourd - in a pillar of smoke - a snake-eyed, magic Tabby appeared.

"So what's your wish?" barked the Tabby.

"What wish?" answered Lula, dazed and confused.

"Duh! Like you just released me from that slimy gourd, so now I'm gonna grant you one wish.
It's simple. If you could have just one thing in the whole wide world, what would it be?" 

This is my futon; who invited you?

Lula pondered.

"I already have everything I really want," she thought out loud. "Hmm....

Yes, that's it! I've got it!" she exclaimed, like someone who'd just had an epiphany. 

"Well, what is it?" inquired the Tabby.

"I want to be able to speak - with clarity and conviction - two words in English," answered Lula.

"Really? That's it? Of all the things in the whole wide world, you just want to speak two English words?" mused the Tabby.

"Yes, thanks," replied Lula, smugly.

"Okay, whenever you're ready..."

And with that, Lula turned around, walked to the edge of the futon and spoke two words...

And she lived happily ever after.

The End

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pinterest Pin It Button 101 (plus a guided pinning tour)

Preface: By adding a Pinterest Pin It button to your blog post(s), you are essentially telling your readers that you are "pin-friendly." In other words, if you don't want your images to be pinned, don't tease people with a button. In fact, you can prohibit pins to your site by following these simple instructions (on Pinterest).


Four score and seven years Several weeks ago I promised to share how I added the Pinterest Pin It button down at the bottom of each of my posts (where the other social sharing buttons are).

Note: Pinterest provides - on their Goodies page - some code for adding a similar Pin It button; however, their code must be added to each individual post, as it is being composed, and will appear in the post itself. In other words, if you want your button to automatically display in the footer of each of your blog posts, like mine, the code that Pinterest provides will not work.

So that you can see the difference in the two buttons, I added Pinterest's Pin It button (using code I got right off the Goodies page) below the following image. 

Image Source

Now, GO AHEAD AND CLICK THE BUTTON to see what happens.
(Note: If you don't have a Pinterest account, you'll be taken to a log-in screen.)

Did you see? Good, I'll come back to this in a minute.

Add a Pin It Button to Your Post Footer

Okay, so I don't know about you, but I don't have the time, patience or memory to go over to Pinterest and get the code to add to each post (or even each image) that I publish. So I scoured the web and found some good instructions for getting the button to display in my post footer, near my other sharing buttons.

Interestingly, it was at this exact time that I decided I needed to get my own Pinterest account, and here's why:

I wanted to bookmark those instructions so I could *come back later* and add the button to my blog.

So I did (join Pinterest and bookmark/pin those instructions).

And if you'd like to get them (the instructions), you'll need to go straight to my COOL BLOG STUFF Pinterest board - where they're waiting for the taking. ;)

(Note: You do not need to be a member of Pinterest to look at my board and simply access the instructions.)

Okay, so if you haven't already, GO TO my Cool Blog Stuff board.

Hint: The instructions I followed to add *my* Pin It button are here. However, since then, I came across another set of instructions (for Blogger and WordPress users), which seem to be simpler and more intuitive. (Just know that I have not tested them.)

So What's the Difference in the Two Pin It Buttons?

Remember what happened when you clicked on the Pin It button (below the above image) earlier? Good.

Now scroll to the bottom of this post and CLICK THE PIN IT BUTTON IN MY FOOTER.

Did you see?

So here's the difference: If you use Pinterest's code, you can link the button to a specific image/URL and you can even pre-fill a description of the image (so the pinner doesn't have to).

The footer version of the Pin It button, however, is more generic (although the page URL will always get pinned along with the image selected by the pinner).

I'm not sure I'm a fan of all this pinning business. I don't like needles.

So there you have it! All of this is simple, right?


P.S. If you look at all my boards, you'll notice that I don't have a whole lot of pins in Pinterest, other than "cool blog stuff." That's because I like it that way. My point is, Pinterest has lots of great uses, and doesn't need to be terribly time consuming. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I See When I'm on the Verge of...Having Some Privacy my room. the bathroom*. the front yard. the garage/back yard.

However, if you must know, I don't get these views very often. 

Who needs privacy anyway? ;-)

*Jon Farleigh was busy harassing Lulabelle (the cat).

P.S. Yes, I shut these various doors in their faces. After I've told them to wait and that I'll be back. :) 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Dog-Friendly Is Seattle, Washington?

Or Portland, Oregon and Maine?
Or Cape May, New Jersey?
Or Burlington, Vermont?
Or Colorado Springs, Colorado?
Or Cannon Beach, Oregon?
Or Victoria, British Columbia?

I stole this wonderful photo of Temperance (the Cardigan Welsh Corgi) off of Shep's lovely blog, Cardigan Complex. (Which has PLENTY more gorgeous photos where this one came from. In fact, she has another Cardigan, Simon, whose "famous" face you might recognize from other pet-related sites around the web.)

Want to guess what city little Tempe is in? 

Do you think one of the eight cities listed above might deserve the title:

 Best City for Pet Travelers
(in the US and Canada)?


Well drop everything you're doing and click over to Take Paws, the official blog of Go Pet and VOTE VOTE VOTE! (Actually you can vote four times, but not for the same city twice. But hurry! Voting closes at 10 p.m. EST tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28!)

That's right, in case you don't know, Go Pet - the web site for people who love to travel with their pets - is holding their first-annual Best City for Pet Travelers Tournament and the eight cities listed above are duking it out to move on to the Final Four (Round 5).

And why am I invested in this, you might wonder? (I live in Virginia, after all.)

Hmmm, perhaps because I have a few peeps (human and canine) in or near a few (or all, I really can't be sure) of the eight final cities?

And I'd really hate for your city to get passed over just because you didn't know you needed to go vote. :)

Good luck!

And may the best pet-friendly city win!

Note: I do not represent Go Pet and they did not sponsor this post. I wrote it because I like to start trouble for fun! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

How Facebook Made Me Stupid (and some cute pictures)

Note: Random photos of Jon Farleigh appear throughout this post.

Hi, whatchu doin?

I am not a great big Facebook user (in my non-blogging life); therefore, I reluctantly created a fan page for this blog, after weeks of rebellion against all the social media experts who insisted that all "successful" blogs must have one.

Fast forward a year and I still rarely use my personal Facebook page, but have come to rely on (and even <gasp> enjoy) my fan page for connecting with many wonderful blog readers.

And that is why, when it (my fan page) suddenly left me this weekend (for a better blogger perhaps?) - without so much as a note or an envelope stuffed full of cash, I lost my ever-loving mind. Really.

Shortness of breath.

Sweaty palms.

Racing heart.

Hysterical googling of the words "my facebook page disappeared."

Twitter begging of @Facebook to "please put my page back, lest I might die." (except I left out the dying part)

Strongly worded pleas to the mysterious bureau known as Facebook Help.

I did all of that just this morning!

Shut the front door! She did what?!

Then at precisely 1:50 p.m. my time today (as I peeked at the clock through a squinted eye), it slowly loaded. My wayward little fan page. 

And I felt a little nauseated from the adrenaline release. 

So tell me: If I can find a bright side to a day of scrubbing dog poop off interior surfaces and my dog's butt, ill-fitting clothes and burning my dinner to a block of ash, but can't get it together for temporary Facebook maintenance*, do you think I might be in deep doo doo?

What about you? How would you react if your Facebook (or any other well-used social media) page suddenly disappeared? 

I like to roll in deer pee. Do you?

*I'm assuming that my page was down due to temporary maintenance (vs. a glitch, hack, etc.). Whatever the case, I'm so relieved it's back! ;-) 

P.S. If you're a Facebook fan and it goes missing again, please check the blog (or look at my Twitter feed) for updates!

Friday, 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 me begging my shorts to "please still fit" when I pulled them 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! :)

See you Monday!

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. hee hee Oh yes, 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...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why I'm Head-Over-Heels for My Oft-Hateful, Once Borderline-Feral Cat

In case you're newer to this blog (and my cats), that would be Eva. (Hint: She's the "dark menace" from yesterday's loo post.)


We (I) rescued Eva a few years ago from a life on the lam. She showed up on my front porch out of the blue one day, covered in ticks and half starved. She was far from reciprocal of my attempts at friendship, but grateful for a meal.

For weeks after taking her in (because being the cat-person I am, I thought her crotchety 'tude would fade after she had a few meals in her) I agonized that I'd made a HUGE mistake in keeping her. She never came out of the basement except to eat, and she distrusted (and therefore, treated with disdain) every human in my house. It was awful.

But then slowly, after - I presume - she began to view us (especially me because I'm the one who was with her most of the day) as not threats so much, but colony members, she made more and more appearances and even allowed some limited handling (meaning one's hand had to approach her face from the front and was not allowed to touch anything but her head and neck).

It wasn't much, but it was enough to give me hope.

Weeks and months passed, and so did Eva's penchant for lonely basement living. And while she still preferred to see the human's hand before it made contact with her fur, once it did, she clearly enjoyed it, slitting her eyes and belting out choruses of idling lawn mower engines in the distance.

Then one day she followed me.

Not to her empty bowl. Not to the pantry where the cat treats are dispensed. Not to the couch, where the bowl of ice cream I'd just finished would be placed on the floor for her licking pleasure (yes, I do).

But simply to the place where I was going.

Because on that day, at that time, all she (this borderline domestic, emotionally scarred animal) wanted was to be with me.


On a typical morning around here, the cats curl up in their favorite out-of-the-dogs'-reach place and nap for a good two-to-three hours.

Eva's preferred napping place is in my bedroom, even though I have to shut the door behind her to keep the dogs from running in and wreaking havoc.

When I opened that door this morning, Eva lifted her groggy head in typical fashion, and emerged with a stretch, ready to participate in the day (which usually means getting a bite to eat, visiting the cat box and then taking a bath in a sunbeam in front of the kitchen window).

So today, just like most days, she made her way to the kitchen - where the dogs eagerly awaited their mid-day snack. However, unlike most days, she didn't keep to the rest of her routine.

You see, while the dogs were still frolicking together in the kitchen, I quickly made my way back down the hall to my bedroom. I almost got there, too, without an animal on my tail, shoving its way past me in a desperate attempt to keep me within eye-shot.

The first sound I heard was the jingle bell on the cat's collar, then the galloping feet, and just as I was about to cross the threshold of my bedroom door, she blew past me in a blur of black fur. Then she stopped, turned around and gave me a look of adoration that beckoned like a magnet to steel.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Eva had just enthusiastically returned to the room that she'd so readily just left.

Not for food or water. Not for a bath. Not to satisfy a bodily need of any kind.

But simply because it was where I was going.

Because today, at that moment, all she (my borderline domestic, cherished family pet) wanted was to be with me.

So I shut the door behind us and relished the chorus of idling lawn mower engines in the distance.


For more about Eva, read her story at Richmond Pet Lovers (dot) com.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Canine Devotion: Poetry from the Loo

My Dearest Jon Farleigh, 

It is you
Who dutifully accompanies me to the loo

Like a sentry stationed there,
Just beyond my underwear.

But for your quiet presence,
I'd surely not escape the dark menace*

Who stalks me from the floor,
Staring through the bathroom door.

My trusted canine friend
Through thick and thin.

Gentle Corgi.



Coming another day soon: Privacy in Pictures

*According to a non-random, unscientific poll conducted by Jon Farleigh and Dewi

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chilled Dew Dew

And a lesson in the use of homophones. (smile)

Edited in Picnik using Velvia effect in Advanced > Curves

Edited in  Picnik using Polachrome Yellowed effect in Advanced > Curves

Hope you have (had) some time to chill today!

P.S. I haven't decided to quit replying to your awesome comments; I'm just going through a lazy, post-sick, need a mental and physical vacation phase. Replies will return soon. And, thank you for not writing bad things about me on a public bathroom stall.  ;-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Classic Cardigan: Hilarious Outtakes from Jon Farleigh and Dewi's 2011 St. Patrick's Day Photo Shoot

Oh, and why not throw in one from last week, too?

I'm not buying it anymore. The luck of the Irish is pure malarkey.


And now for the classic:

Some of you might remember, from March 18, 2011...

Please refer to the limerick post for reference.

Dewi [using sarcasm]: "Nice tie."
JF: "Yur wearing one, too, Short Stack."


Dewi [singing]: "The HILLS are alive...with the sound of MUsic..."
JF: "Why are you still here?"

Dewi: "d-d-d-Doood, looks-lika LAYY - DAYYYY!!!!"
JF: "I think I can make it down with only a slipped knee."

Dewi: "Summer breeeeze makes me feel fine...blowin' thru the jasmine in my MIND..."
JF: "Do you hate me?"

With apologies to:
* The von Trapp family
* Aerosmith
* Seals & Crofts

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Corgi Limerick for Ye - 2012 Edition

Here have ye two Corgis from Wales,
Whose person tells embarrassing tales.
To tell you the truth,
They find her terribly uncouth
And these leprechaun headbands suck nails.

Dear Santa, I've been real good. Can you bring me a new life next Christmas?

Coming in your dreams St. Patrick's Day 2013:

Jon Farleigh and Dewi debut their song and dance routine - 

Celtic Corgis in Kibbledance!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all!

 - Jon Farleigh, Dewi and me

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Dust Rag Makes Jon Farleigh Homicidal (and other household evil)

A while back I published a post called Vacuuming with a Vacuum Terrorist, which included a video of Dewi going postal on the end of my high-powered vacuum nozzle.

A little while after that I published a post called Neuroses, in which I confessed Jon Farleigh's bizarre disdain for the sound of all salt/pepper/sugar/spice shakers - to the point that I can't even open my spice drawer without him having a meltdown, moaning and shoving his head under my hand, as if to protect me from some evil presence that I can't see.

What I have yet to spill (until this moment), however, is that dust rags (cloths/Swiffers/gloves/whatever) that are in my hand, and in the process of trapping dust from hard surfaces, make Jon Farleigh homicidal (with intent to kill the thing trapping the dust).

Like so:

If you can't see the video, go here.

(Oh, and - as you can see {and hear} in the video - when Jon Farleigh goes after the duster, Dewi barks incessantly, trying to get both of our attention.)

So I can't vacuum, cook or dust without the dogs going completely bats**t crazy.

Could it be a sign that someone other than me is supposed to complete these menial tasks from here on out?

Yeah, more like a sign that the dogs need to GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL while I vacuum, cook and dust around them.

We must rid this house of the evil.

It's no wonder that I don't do menial chores more often. ;)

It's almost Friday! Yay!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why I Should Never Judge Others' Dog Food Choices

My kids ate this for breakfast.

It doesn't matter that their dad bought it (the day I stayed home and he took the kids shopping).

They still ate it. 

Chocolate cereal.


 So I have a question: If dogs were capable of knowing what foods are best for them (vs. the junk), do you think they (like some kids) would always ask for the junk?

I think there's a lot to ponder in that question.

And I'm really glad Jon Farleigh and Dewi can't read, talk or understand English. :)

It's good for me? Alright, I'll take it!

Is it okay if I have cake for breakfast? No? Okay, how about something good for me?

Yes, we are coo coo for this healthy snack. What's a cocoa puff? 

Wishing you unconflicted food choices today. :)


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