Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Project Pooch Paunch – Initial Report

My dogs are fat. They aren’t disgustingly fat, but they’re fat.

Milo and Mina in 2009
Mina and Milo are my brother and sister duo. They’re litter mates but I suspect their hussy, trailer park mother was taken advantage of by at least two separate males. At first I thought Mina was just the runt because she is smaller than Milo, but upon further inspection, one would notice many more differences than just size.

Her ears are flat. Her nose is shorter. Her chest isn’t as full. Her eyes are buggier. I think her daddy was a Chihuahua or Chihuahua mix. Milo apparently looked just like his mother and the other pups in the litter. Or so I was told.

But I digress.
They’re fat. The vet says Milo should way about 27lbs. She also said Mina should weigh about 17lbs. Currently Milo is about 31lbs and Miss Mina is about 20lbs.

I thought it would be interesting to figure out the percentages. Why? Because I’m a dork. Also, I wanted to see how that would relate to a human so I could wrap my brain around how seriously overweight they are.

SO! They should both lose about 14% of their body weight. That’s HUGE. Especially for a little dog. (Are you beat down by the details yet?)
Okay, so the plan is to get these pups into shape. First we’ve made sure that we aren’t feeding them too much. Fortunately we aren’t but we did decide to split their food into two feedings per day. My husband, Mark, feeds them in the morning before work and I feed them in the evening after work. So far this is working very well. We also don’t give them any processed human food. Never have, never will. Occasionally I’ll toss a carrot or banana or pear their way, but never more than a random raw fruit or veggie. We also don’t overly treat them. So the food really isn’t the issue.

The issue is lack of exercise.
So here’s the plan. I need to walk them for at least 30 minutes every day. SHOCK! What a concept. It really is that easy.

We have a great area where I can let them off leash too, so they get mega exercise running instead of pulling on the end of a leash.
2 weeks ago I was doing very well taking them out but these past two weeks I’ve fallen off the wagon. Today it is storming. I kinda don’t want to be struck by lightning.

So weather pending, from this day forth, I shall walk my dogs on a regular basis!
I will post puppy weigh-ins once a month until we’re at goal! LOL.

Now this is where I ask you, why should you care about my dogs and their fat butts? Well, you might, but you certainly shouldn’t. This post isn’t just about my dogs though. It’s about YOUR dogs!
That’s right. Are your dogs fat? Do you need to be better doggy parents and walk them regularly? If so, then I challenge you to do so. Take care of your pups. They depend on us!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Wish I Had Blog Traffic

How does one get blog traffic?  I see and or hear about these great blogs and they have thousands of followers and those people go on to write books, or get on TV or other neat things. I wish I had something to say that appealed to people.

I don't even get comments. Well, not very many. Maybe I just like my posts way more than anyone else does.

Sometimes I'll put together what I think is a really fantastic post and it just sits here in cyberspace all alone.

I guess if I had something to offer it would be better. But what could be new and different? Something that would really get peoples' attention.

Just about everything I do is average at best. Sometimes I wish I weren't so average.

I need a theme.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Project Noah

While reading about black widows on the Texas Park and Wildlife website yesterday, I saw this beautiful banner ad for a site called Project Noah.

Those big, basic, colorful badges made me want them. So I clicked it. Turns out they're electronic badges, but that is okay. They're still cool.

Anyway, the site is pretty neat. You upload photos of nature you've taken and add information about the organism you've photographed. The site explains it better:

"What is Project Noah? Project Noah is a tool that nature lovers can use to explore and document local wildlife and a common technology platform that research groups can use to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere."

Can you say nerdy modern day photo journal insect collection? Can you say it 10 times fast?

Despite the fact that I love the idea of this, I'm also feeling warm and fuzzy about the way the site looks. A good website is always something to appreciate.

I have a TON of photos of critters and plants. I plan on uploading, identifying, tagging, and geo-tagging some of my better shots.

Here is one I uploaded earlier.

Mangrove Swallow

Part of the fun is figuring out what you've photographed. That is if you don't already know. Until today, until I chose this photo to research and upload, I didn't know what this beautiful little bird was. Because of this site, it made me want to find out. I suppose that is part of the point. So I did. Neat huh?

You should try it too!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Irises and Waxwings

Our local Botanical garden sells plants to the public in the fall and spring every year. Last fall I bought a grab bag of iris rhizomes and two specially identified irises. I have a small patch in my front lawn of yellow irises and along the side of my house I have black ones that have never bloomed. I’ve concluded they don’t get enough sunlight.

When I returned with my newly purchased grab bag I proceeded to thin my yellow ones and move my black ones, planting in the others I had purchased. Being the plant nerd that I am, I could.not.wait. to see what shapes, colors and sizes would show up this spring.

About 4 days ago I saw the first bud. Today it is in full bloom and GORGEOUS. What a treat to have one of the grab bag irises bloom first!!!

click to enlarge

While I was outside drooling over my wonderful new iris I heard a more than normal amount of rustling in the trees behind me and turned to find a flock of Cedar Waxwings descending on a Cherry Laurel and Holly for their, apparently, wonderfully tasty berries.

What a show these beautiful birds gave me. Swooping from tree to tree, resting, keeping watch, and feasting.

If my Chemistry class hadn’t finished lab and lecture early, I would have missed this. What an incredibly beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Dallas Arboretum Tulip Show

One of my nieces stayed with me over spring break. I only worked 2 days last week so we had plenty of time to do lots of fun things. Last Thursday we decided take in the Tulip show. Neither of us had ever been to the Arboretum and we thought this was a great way to see it first.

It actually turned out better than I anticipated. We were there for 3 hours! I of course took lots of photos. Below are some of the better shots.


It was wonderful! I highly recommend a visit!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


I wasn’t raised observing Lent. Several years ago a friend of mine suggested our circle of friends should participate. No one in this circle is particularly religious but we decided we felt we needed a bit of a self-check in certain areas so we all agreed.

This year I’m inspired to participate again. I’ve contemplated it over the last several days and I’ve concluded that for me, Lent is a period of time to deny myself something that I’ve overused or taken for granted.

For me this is normally food. This year I’ve decided to straighten myself out in a few areas I feel I’ve let get out of hand.

I don’t drive through much but lately I’ve been doing it more than I want or need. So no fast food. I’ve also been a bit loose on chocolate. So no chocolate.

One last area is a habit I need to break. I’ve trained my body to crave something sweet immediately after something savory. I, for a very long time now, always grab a sweet after I eat lunch and dinner. A cookie, a pudding cup, an ice cream sandwich, a hunk of chocolate. I feel like Pavlov’s dog. Sometimes I even think about what sweet treat I’m going to get before I even eat the meal. Sometimes the meal is just my justification to get to the sweet treat.

This needs to stop. I’ve decided it is doing me no good. It’s about breaking the habit, not denying myself dessert. So after a meal, I will wait at least one hour to maybe have something sweet. As long as it isn’t chocolate. Those little vanilla Jell-O pudding cups are good!

I bet after 5 minutes I won’t even want something. What are you doing for Lent?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


I wonder how many blogs have been written about organizing. I wonder how many of those I've written myself. Well, here's another to add to the list.

Despite the fact that I had this idea come to me in January, it isn't a resolution. Although it very much looks and sounds like one. I decided this was the year to clear out, weed through and organize my entire house. I, like most of the country, have too much stuff. And I, like most people, have categories of crap.

A few of my categories are:

Belly dance costuming
Home Improvement Junk

The idea is to focus on an area at a time and deal with it. I so wish everything in my house had a place. That is the goal. An organized place. Not just a drawer in the kitchen full of nuts, bolts, pens, twisty ties, clothes pins, duct tape, etc.

Normally when I take on a project like this, there are charts and plans involved. Time lines, Excel spreadsheets and the like. But somehow I've managed to get a few areas done without planning anything. It's March already. If I had planned this I would have wanted to get at least one area done per month.

Well, I've pretty much done that, without any forethought. It is happening organically! It's pretty great!

I've gone through all of my dance costumes and put everything that can be repaired/altered into one box. The rest is hanging in my closet. I also went through all of my clothes and have a large garbage bag full for donation. This past weekend my husband and I went through all of our bathroom cabinets and threw away a multitude of expired medications/vitamins and unused lotions. I've also cleaned up and moved all of my indoor plants back to the outdoor porch.

That's 4 things! That's progress!

I think I'll tackle magazines/books/cd's/DVD's/VHS tapes next. I've done some of this within the past year so it shouldn't be too big of a job.

Onward and upward to my perfectly organized home!