Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 Year in Review: Books I Read

I didn't keep track of the months on these. I read way too few books in 2015 :-/

~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (second reading)

~Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (second reading)

~The Second Time Around by Mary Higgins Clark (audio)

~Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs (audio)

~Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs (audio)

~The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins*

~The Virgin's Lover by Phillipa Gregory

~The Chimes by Charles Dickens (audio)

*My favorite

Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Year in Review: Movies I Watched

Youth in Revolt


St. Vincent*


Pitch Perfect





Mockingjay: Part 1
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Far from the Madding Crowd
Woman in Gold
The Imitation Game
North & South (BBC mini-series)
Dark Places

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Jimmy's Hall
Get Hard
The End of the Tour

Mr. Holmes
The Age of Adaline
Mockingjay: Part 2
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

*My favorite

Sunday, September 20, 2015

San Antonio Sights: Boerne Lake

{Boerne} has a really pretty, small {lake} that I absolutely love. There are no motor boats allowed on it so it's pretty serene. There are a lot of kayakers and people on stand-up paddle boards and folks just floating in tubes near the shore. The doggies love to go walking in the attached park. They also looooove to wade along the shore, but they don't care too much for swimming. 

Down the road from the lake is a dog-friendly, family-friendly beer garden called {Random} that has 80 beers on tap. That road is one cool place. 

Boerne Lake

Boerne Lake

Lake selfie :-)

Yummy beers at Random

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

August in Photos

I don't know why I don't have any pics of Nugget. She was right there along with us :-)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Camper Life with Dogs II

I've been here for two full months now. I still wish I had a doggie door and yard for the pups, but I'm getting used to not having those things. I do have an arsenal of things I use to make camper life with dogs better, so I thought I'd share. 

1. Good Leashes
Good leashes that don't fray (ahem, I'm looking at you Martha Stewart leash that cost the most and is already frayed) are a must. Also, having leashes that are each a different color is really important so that when they inevitably get tangled, you can know which one to let go for a split second while you do the untangling. 

2. Gentle Leader
I cannot walk Clyde without {this}. He is so strong and this reins him in gently and painlessly. 

3. Barking Spray
Nugget is a serious and bad barker. {This stuff} was recommended to me by her trainer and it's pretty effective. It's just air and some calming pheromones and I only use it when she's really getting her bark on (not for whining or growling or anything). You just spray it in the dog's direction and it interrupts their barking because it's loud and has a smell. It's probably technically negative reinforcement, but it's completely non-violent and sometimes it's really necessary. The other people around us don't want to hear her maniacally shrieking and stroking out because she doesn't like the look of the gentle pit bull walking by and cowering, terrified of the tiny canine sociopath screaming at him. She's a hot mess, in case you haven't figured that out yet. 

4. Barking Controller
Update: I don't really use this anymore. I realized that it's not as effective as I originally thought, especially when there are three dogs barking at once. And there's no on/off switch, so I need to take the battery out every time I'm done using it. Which means the battery needs to be put in when I want to use it again. And by the time I get the battery in, the barking has usually reached epic proportions and the little sensor just can't make a dent in the fray.

Speaking of barking: we got {this bark control sensor} for inside the camper. When one of them barks, it emits a high-pitched sound that the dogs don't like. It does stop out-of-control barking, but we don't use it very often because it has two major drawbacks. The first is that all the dogs have to hear that uncomfortable noise when only one dog is barking (Nugget...). Also, the sensor misinterprets thunder as barking and so the dogs have to hear the bad sound when they're already stressed about the storm. So, I only put the battery in when I'm there and can control it. It's good for when we're sitting outside for a while and we might need it for Nugget barking at dogs walking by. 

5. Head Lamp
We do our morning walks when it's still dark and picking up poop is not easy when you can't see it. {This head lamp} is essential (well, this is the one I use, but any head lamp would do the trick except those really cheap ones that stretch out and don't stay put). It has a dim red light and also a couple levels of bright white light. 

6. Toys
My doggies love love LOVE {Nylabones} and squeaky {Kong balls}. We keep a bin of these in the "living room" and Custer manages to take almost every single one out every day so that I'm stepping on half-chewed Nylabones all the time. I actually thinks it's super adorable when he goes digging through his toy box, so I can't get too annoyed. 

7. Poop Bags
Grocery bags will do in a pinch, but they have a tendency to have small holes in the bottom that are dangerous. Dollar Tree sells {three or four-packs of poop bags} that fit in those little {bone-shaped dispensers} that clip on your belt (not pictured). The bags are surprisingly good quality for being from a dollar store and they are 60 for $1. Pretty good deal. Also 60 for $1 are the small blue trash bags in the roll in the photo. They're really too small for trash bags but they get the poop-picking-up job done (they don't fit in the bone dispenser though). 

8. Stake and Leads
For sitting in the "yard," we have to have leads for the pups. I don't have them pictured, but I got {this} and three of {these}. 

9. Waterproof Dog Bed
For comfy lounging while we're hanging out outside (and inside), {this is the best bed}. They sell {this waterproof liner} that makes it perfect for outdoor use (or geriatric pups that wet the bed....). 

Monday, July 13, 2015

San Antonio Sights: Guadalupe River State Park

On Saturday, we went to Guadalupe River State Park, about 30 minutes from Boerne. We sat our chairs in the river and just drank beer and stared at the amazing cliff walls and water running by and kiddos jumping off the rocks. It was so relaxing and fun. I wish every day was Saturday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Camper Life with the Dogs

Full-timing in the camper has been a difficult transition, much more difficult than I anticipated. No question, the worst part is the change in routine with our dogs.

In our house in East Texas, we have a big, shaded fenced-in yard and we have a doggie door. The dogs had complete access to the backyard at all times of the day and night.

What?! This place has no doggie door?!?
 In the camper, we have no fenced-in yard and dogs have to be leashed at all times. For potty time, we have two options: walks or leads. For early morning and late at night, I use the leads because they're just going out there for a short while. I also use the leads when we're sitting outside hanging out (they are never tied out when we're not with them).

Yeah, no. I don't do grass, Custer. 

Just take the lead off, Mama. I promise I won't go anywhere. Promise ;-)

But walking several times a day is really important for them. First of all, it's stimulating. Being in the camper or sitting out on their leads in the "yard" has to be really boring for them. Walks let them sniff and smell and pee on every other vertical object they come across. Also, the exercise is really good for them. Even though they're all older and less active than they used to be, keeping their weight in check and keeping their joints mobile is really important to me. I think they actually probably walk more now that we're here because we schedule at least three walks each day. At home, I think they got a little lazy and really went outside only to do their bidness.

Camper life with dogs is not optimal at all, but we're all making the best of it. These doggies are handling it so, so well. Much better than I am. They're just such wonderful little souls. I'm so lucky to have them in my life.