Pets, Photography

Look Who Crashed My First Fashion Shoot

I had this bright idea to take some photos for an upcoming post on coats. I selected one coat, got a scarf and set up my tripod. I experimented and quickly came to the conclusion that I am not photogenic and that I am far too critical of myself to be doing this. I mean, there was a long list of flaws I had even before I downloaded the photos. I’m not sure if the photo will ever appear on this blog or if I will make another attempt at selfies for posts. But, my little guy Billy doesn’t have any problem crashing my photo shoot and the little furball is extremely photogenic. He never takes a bad photo. Lucky dog!

A big yawn for a little guy.


Settling in for a nap.


This photo of me isn’t so bad. Maybe I’ll always shoot with Billy in my arms. 🙂



So, how do you feel about pictures of yourself? Love them? Hate them? Will putting myself in front of the camera more often decrease the self-criticism?



Pets, Technology

It’s a Brave New (well-funded) World

Ten years ago who would have thought that you could write a post for a website and ask for $10 to buy potato salad? Who would even think of asking for $10 to make potato salad? Apparently some guy did and somehow he raised thousands of dollars. How crazy is that? Websites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Fundly make it easy to fund a project or charity or potato salad.

When I heard about the potato salad fundraising event my interest was piqued about these types of sites. I was curious about the people who generously turned over cash to strangers so that the strangers could pursue a dream, support a cause, launch a business or pay an unexpected bill. It was about a month prior to the potato salad fundraiser that I first visited a crowd funding site. One of my favorite food blogs, The Yellow Table, was using Kickstarter to raise money to publish a cookbook. While I was over at Kickstarter I checked out some of the other fundraising events.

I had many choices. A handmade soap line was looking for funding. An anthology was looking for funding. A fiction writer who will write me something if fund her writing project. I admit, I had fun checking out all of the projects that were looking for funding.

Until, I spent sometime reading projects that involved sick pets. My smile faded and my heart broke.

Now, I was completely content reading the fun projects and considered funding one or two. That was until Wednesday morning.

I received a call from my friend Alison, she was in tears. She told me that her best-friend, her dog, Annie, needed surgery and chemotherapy and that she was going to create a fundraising page to help raise the money for the huge medical bills.

Suddenly this fun, sometimes silly, brave new world phenomenon became very real, very intimate. My friend and her dog, who I love dearly, needed the help of their friends and family and from strangers. Over the past few days I’ve watched the number of dollars raised rise but I admit I’m scared that the goal won’t be reached. I’m scared that this amazing dog, who has a heartbreaking story in her past, will not receive the medical treatment she needs.

On the other hand, I’m in awe of social media. I feel so fortunate to be the generation who has seen us go from television with only three major networks to watching television shows on computers and tablets and who can embrace the technology without fear. Twenty years ago Annie wouldn’t have had any chance at survival since Alison’s fundraising would have been limited to a small pool of people.

For everyone who gripes about this brave new world hasn’t had the opportunity to experience the hope that the brave new world has to offer.

Even though her tumor is growing, Annie still managed to upstage Alison in Alison’s selfie. LOL.

Annie only has one eye because of injuries suffered during her younger years when she was used as a bait dog for training fighting dogs. Yeah, her life sucked until she was rescued and found a home with Alison, who was a volunteer at a no-kill shelter when she met Annie.

If you would like to learn more about Annie and her cancer story please visit her Fundly page. I know that I will be paying forward the kindness of all those who have helped Annie so far by finding a beloved pet of someone I don’t know who needs help.

Have you ever supported a crowd funded project? Have you ever launched a crowd funded project?


The Art of Play

Mondays can be hard, can’t they? This Monday seemed more brutal that the previous few. Maybe it’s because the realization that the holiday season is upon us and this means that my job is going to become crazy. We have a high-volume of work during the months of November and December. This isn’t anything new, somehow we manage to survive but this year it’s going to be a little different. We’re down two people. Ouch.

‘Tis the season.

I had an unexpected errand at work, rushed to make dinner so that I could hit the treadmill for 40 minutes and then there were dishes to deal with and some writing to do. I was focused on revising a scene, it needed to be done tonight. But my pups had different plans for me. In short, they wanted to play.

I tried to resist, that didn’t work. Then I tried to phone it in, you know grab a toy and engage in play while working. Susie wasn’t buying any of it. She wanted to play and she wanted my full attention.

I relented. Within minutes I was on the floor with her and we each had a limb of the toy duck pulling to win. Then Billy came over to join us. Before I knew it I was no longer thinking about the scene or work or the dishes that needed to be put away. I was laughing and Susie was wagging her tail feverishly, she was happy. Billy was happy to, he grabbed his Angry Bird toy and trotted off to the other end of the family room (it’s his thing).

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While it was actually just a few minutes, it was the world to Susie and Billy. And when they were finally done playing, they each went their separate ways (Susie jumped up on the sofa and Billy settled by the back door) and I was totally relaxed and happy. What a great way to end the day.