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Morning Walks...

 One of my most favorite parts of our summer days this year has been my morning dog walks. I started out just walking with Ozzie at the start of summer. He is, after all, a big bundle of energy who becomes a much better listener after a morning stroll.

 We've never really walked our other 2 dogs on a regular basis and for the most part they've been okay with that. Our poor old buddy Jasper's body is starting to fail him in his advanced age (15+) and at this point can hardly handle walking around the yard during outdoor potty breaks. I'm quite afraid that by summer's end we probably need to make the tough decision to say our final goodbye to Jasper. He still gets excited when we talk to him. He still likes to gently play with the other dogs. That being said, it's very obvious how uncomfortable he is when life requires him to move from the spot where he's currently planted. It's so hard to know when it's the "right" time, before we've waited too long and he's suffering. It will be one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, not only because I will miss him, but because of 2 little girls who love him to pieces.

The reason Tilde has never been walked regularly can be explained by one fact: we've been lazy over the years and she's not big enough for her extra energy to be much of annoyance. I'll admit it, that's the only reason. As the summer has gone on, I've felt a little guilty about showing Ozzie special treatment through our daily walks. Besides having lots of neurotic energy that could use a healthy outlet, Tilde could use to drop a little extra weight since she eats her feelings.  A couple weeks ago I decided to see if I could walk both Oz and Tilde at the same time. Tilde has no leash manners, again, our own fault for not spending more time working with her over the past 6 years, but she's small and manageable when she's wearing her harness. Ozzie is a pro-walker and easily managed when he's wearing his head collar. So I harnessed them both up, clipped on leashes, and out the door we headed. We made it a full 3 miles that first day, and 2-3 miles most days of the week since.

The amount of happy whining and tail wagging that occurs each morning after I pick up the harnesses and my tennis shoes makes me smile. After some initial excitement for the first few blocks, we settle into a very organized walking arrangement and have a great time stretching all 10 of our legs. We get lots of smiles and good mornings from people we pass on our way. (Way more than when it was just Ozzie and I walking alone.) Best of all, the rest of the day at our house is so much calmer with exercised pooches. (And an exercised mom.)

I will miss having plenty of time to work in our daily hour pounding the pavement once the girls and I head back to school, but I will do my best to work it into our crazy school year schedule for happier dogs AND a happier me.



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.