Friday, July 9, 2010

Time For A Fortune

It's officially summer here in CT, as of June 22. Time is no longer a luxury and I'm finding it extremely hard to squeeze out a few quiet moments for writing or reading these days. In fact, as I write this post my daughter's friend arrived and silly puppy play quickly became mayhem, sending me running downstairs and outside to referee. On an unrelated note: Dog obedience classes begin in August :D

Among other changes, I'll be taking the rest of the summer off from my blog, which means I'll also be taking time off from doing reviews. I'm going to regroup and get my focus back on my writing, which seems to be the area in my life that suffers when things change around me.

What brings me to this decision? A fortune cookie.

Yes, you heard that correctly, a fortune cookie. I'm not an overly superstitious person and don't believe that luck alone makes things happen, but sometimes I am amazed by a simple statement on a random tea bag tag or fortune cookie. Now you want to know what it said, right? Here it is... but before I do, make sure you're ready for it. This is Confucius worthy stuff here, not to be taken lightly. Reading this could change your life, or a small part of it anyway.

Ok, all drama and joking aside...

What is more important to you, your goal, or others' opinions of your goal?

*Bashaaaa* That was the sound of your mind blowing, well at least that's what mine sounded like. Or maybe I sat on one of Scout's squeaky toys ;)

This little cookie summed it all up nicely. What is more important? And, which am I putting more effort into? My writing is very important to me, it's why I have a blog. But, when I really think about it, I spend more energy and time than I want to admit justifying or feeling guilty for taking the actual time to sit down and write. So, when family or friends need something I am quick to say yes. So quick that they feel very comfortable asking the next time, and the next, and .... you get the picture. The more I do for others, the less time I have to work on my goals, and the more frustrated I become.

It's time to put my energy where it belongs. That means a break from online commitments, saying no more, taking time for me to write, undisturbed, and MAKING everyone respect that time.

Notice a theme here? How many times I've mentioned the word 'time'? It's a great theme, because it's time for a change. That fortune cookie, though lacking in flavor, was packed with a timely message. Ok, I over did it at the end.
I'm ready to make these changes and know that it's not going to be easy to enforce them, but we'll all be happier in the end. I welcome your thoughts on this and would love to hear what inspired you to make changes.
Kristin : )

Friday, July 2, 2010

Scout (blank) Callender

Hi everyone. It's time for another Scout update. The above picture is of 2 month old (pre-puppiness syndrome) Scout and my daughter :) She is 3 months old now and has found her puppiness, which comes with sharp teeth and a few unpleasant offerings left in dark corners. Sure puppiness also comes with a lot of cute, fluffy, nuzzling stuff too, but that's not what I'm here to talk about now. I'm here to discuss those parts of puppies that dog lovers like to call "spunkiness, mischievous, or the infamous still learning stage."

As we continue to help her through this energetic (and possibly overfed) time I have found that her name (which I love and won't let my in laws change to Sprout. Yes they have tried) needs a little something extra. When she thinks it's great fun to run around me, nipping and occasionally catching a whole mouthful of my flesh, I find that shouting "Scout, NO!" isn't always enough. She seems to hear, Scout, NO... you're not biting hard enough and Scout, NO... you should not go to the bathroom while we stand outside for an hour, you should wait til we go back inside.

Now I proud myself as a problem solver, so I start thinking how do I solve this? The books I've looked at and many websites say your tone of voice should signal to your puppy if she has done something good or bad. Hey, that works with my kids, but after countless attempts and variations of tones I truly believe that Scout is tone deaf. She can't seem to tell the difference between our happy good girl voice and our angry stop what you are doing one. Although to her credit, she is fully conditioned to sit and give me her paw at the slightest potential of food being offered. And yes, I have tried to diffuse an overly energetic biting/playing session with food. It has had mixed reactions, sometimes she will sit and listen, but once her eyes glaze over and the Gremlin in her is released there is no getting through to her.

So, I sit and think again, read some more information published by people who have sparkling good puppies, and wonder how I have managed to raise four kids that don't bite and only occasionally miss the toilet. That's when it hits me. When all else fails, when my kids tune out my angry voice, there is a secret weapon I use. It's a weapon that has been passed down, generation to generation, and yet when used properly never loses its power to stop every kid in the neighborhood in their tracks and bring all eyes on the wayward child in question.

What is this awesome power? It's the dreaded middle name. You laugh, but every kid knows when their middle name is used something has gone terrible wrong, they have been nabbed beyond all reasonable doubt, and they scamper home to learn their consequence. (Well, maybe not scamper. It's more of a stompy sulk)

Why not try this power on Scout? This is where you come in. We need help coming up with a middle name for Scout. Something that will help her better distinguish when things have gone terribly wrong. So far we have had some interesting recommendations.

Some suggested middle names for Scout:

  • Sprout (does make a cute middle name) (TY to my in laws)
  • Bella (for her Vampire tendencies) (TY Dave & Amy)
  • Gremlin ;)
  • Ignatius (TY @Stinginthetail )
  • Lee ( TY @amydaugustine )
  • Scout-A-Roonie (TY @amydaugustine )
  • Potato (TY @MrsWhich )

You can vote for one of these or add your own to the mix.

Please keep in mind, this is all in good fun. We are dealing with the same issues that all new puppy owners do and are just leaning on our sense of humor to get through it. Scout is well loved, exercised, and fed. So, with all due respect, if you are here to lecture me about proper pet care do me a favor and get your own puppy and call me in the morning ;) If you're here to help give our Scouty Pouty Pudding Pie who bit the kids and made them cry* a middle name, THANKS for your help and sense of humor.

Kristin : )

*That is what we sing to her now. With our singing, she is very lucky to be tone deaf ;)