Monday, March 14, 2011

Long Term Hiatus

This photo best captures the essence of my boys, so I leave you with this.

As some of you may know, my husband and I are empty nesters. Both of our children have long left the family domicile, married and moved on with their lives. We yelled- Freeeeedom.... No more kids or pets and proceeded to spend a summer touring our lovely State on the back of a cruiser. That summer was among the finest. Warm, free of responsibility, and all the sweeter for it. Then we promptly turned around bought a heard of cats. To be followed by our grey beastie and the freckled wubba. Our wild abandon came to a screeching halt and while we occasionally mourn its demise, we are all the better for it. The boys rule the roost as well as our hearts.

They say if you live long enough, all things come back around. Low rise jeans, skinny jeans, high waisted jeans, I've worn them all long before they were a staple of Old Navy. A different name and a different time, but all the same. Same with food. Those cool retro McDonald's? I've eaten at them and they weren't new. Those high end fondue restaurants? We huddled around a Sterno flame dipping bread in burning cheese long before it became a Friday night favorite. However, I don't recall dipping strawberries in chocolate so that is a win all the way around in my book. So, in some ways it should have come as no surprise when my young, adult child asked to move home. It did surprise me though, and I am still striving to wrap my head around just what this means in reference to our day to day life.

What it does mean is my life is no longer be my own. I will shed the hat of empty nester to don the one of mother, once again. It has been awhile, and I am a bit rusty. I quit laying awake at night waiting for our children to arrive safely home. I no longer buy those frozen (horrendous) burritos my son lived on for many a year till he turned vegan. I quit replacing my clothes my daughter would "borrow" never to be seen again. When on rare occurrence an article would reappear it was inevitably ruined. We have all grown and moved on with our lives, so some things will change and some will remain the same as we expand our nest once again. The guest bedroom will once again house its former occupant, the closet filled with craft supplies will be emptied to accommodate the trappings of a young person. The expensive comforter will be folded and stored for guest use. Other things will change as well. My time will no longer be my own, and my computer will be getting a college education, not to mention a bit of culture shock at the new and interesting web sites it is sure to peruse.

This is my rather long and rambled way of saying, I will be off the grid indefinitely. My time and circumstances not being what they once were do not allow for the leisurely way in which I spent my free time. Grey Dog is officially on long term hiatus.

Life ebbs and flows. Where it takes us, is not often predictable, nor the destination ascertainable. Yet, it is still my belief that you should enjoy the journey. So from photo-blogger to mom, once again, we shall go.

xoxoxoxo- A,Taren, and KK
Friday, February 25, 2011

A Little Dab Will Do Ya

We had a bit of snow yesterday, and this should be Winter's last hurrah. The bushes are starting to get new leaves, and the Spring flowers are starting to make their appearance. Not a moment too soon either. Warmer weather is still months in the making, but it feels like it might be do-able these days.

The snow doesn't phase Caelan in the least. He happily makes his rounds, trotting around the backyard.

Taren turns all pink from the cold, even though we were out just a short while. Him and I agree, a good snuggle on the couch seems like a better idea than the white stuff.

What's that noise?

Nothing snaps their heads around quicker than the woodpecker. I haven't heard him in a while, so I am glad he has returned. Taren is all wide eyed as he listens. What's that?

Taren says, How about that nap? This photo makes me yawn every single time I look at it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Trip To The Vet

Caelan has had a pea sized lump on his side for a while now. I figured it was just the result of boy will be boys, an injury from a bit of rough play. I didn't feel like it was anything to worry about, but kept my eye on it. The lump was movable and did not seem to hurt him, yet he was aware when I looked at it, and I looked at it often. I hit up Google and began to fret and imagine the worst like most of us dog lovers do. The, nothing to worry about, became something to worry about and we called the Vet. I met my husband at the office and he took him in while I waited with Taren in the Jeep. I don't take the boys in because they do better when I am not there, especially Taren who gets overly protective. I sat there with a vice around my heart waiting. I could see the examination room from my viewpoint, and watched as the vet examined KK, although I could not actually see him. Seems Caelan has no more than a clogged up sebaceous gland for which I will go back to keeping my eye on. Fluid was aspirated and it was measured for comparison sake, and all is okay. Thank goodness. I rather felt like the overly protective doggy parent, who needed to back away from Mr. Google, but you can't put a price on the feeling of relief that comes from knowing those you love and cherish are well, and that a bump is just a bump. A rather unsightly and clogged bump, yet and still, just a bump.

I wanted to share KK's Valentine photo for the year with you. He is such a good sport.

The kit I used can be found for download (free) here:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How It's Done

I love this series of photos, not only is Taren showing KK how it's done, but I can almost read his mind. He is leery of the candle, but food trumps caution when stalking cake.

Taren: Mmmmm....cake. It's on the table, and I'm not supposed to be up here, but the momma isn't clapping her hands at me like an insane person and saying, OFF! So, lets creep in here, maybe she won't notice. 


Mmmmmmm.....Frosting. I'm going to keep my eye on that candle though.

Actions compliments of the ever generous and talented Rita at the Coffeeshop Blog
Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is bar none the worst photo I have ever seen of Taren. It is bad. Bad lighting, bad angle, just bad, bad, bad, and being such, just makes me laugh. So who can resist a nice play on words Valentine wish? Certainly not I. That being said, Happy Valentine's day! If Valentine's Day is not your bag, well- Happy Monday, it will be over soon!
Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Let There Be Cake

Caelan wanted nothing to do with his cake. Taren, chow hound extraordinaire was all over it. I think it was the candle. So after letting big brother show the way, I will post photos tomorrow, we blew out the candle. No go. So then we removed the candle. Still not buying it. We then took it off the table and put it eye level and then he thought he just might give it a go. The sweet potato frosting was big hit.

In case anyone wants to know, the cake is a meat cake. I made it with nearly fat free organic ground beef, carrots, whole oats, rye, barley, flax and wheat germ. It is held together by two eggs and mashed sweet potato.

The white frosting is mashed potato and plain yogurt.

The orange frosting is mashed sweet potato with low fat cream cheese.

The orange dots are thinly sliced carrots.

I wanted it to look like a dog food bowl, and I kept staring at KK's bowl wondering just how I was going to pull that off. Hmmmmmm......I wonder...... I grabbed his bowl, greased it up, pressed the meat in the dish and baked it. When it was done I flipped it over on a plate and scooped out the center. That my friends is the best idea I have had in a long time. I let it cool and frosted it, which was so much easier than I had imagined. I then pushed in the carrot dots, and ran some frosting around the bottom edge. I am telling you, it was so easy. I am not a cake maker or decorator. I am a pie girl. This cake came out so much better than the one I made at Christmas- for people. That one looked like garbage, seriously.

I did manage to do one really stupid thing, which I am not up to admitting at the moment, and still cannot believe I did, but we'll get to that. *blush*
Monday, February 07, 2011

Birthday Boy!

Today is my sweet, speckled wubba's Birthday. He is two years old. Just a baby, but it squeezes my heart to have them grow older. Not all that much has changed in the last two years. He's still the best *speckled* boy in the house, also the naughtiest.

Taren has been the most kind and patient big brother. He loves KK and has always been very sweet with him. Up and until he touches his suckie and then all bets are off. Some things are sacred. I could not love these boys more if I tried.

Happy Birthday, baby. Cake and presents tonight when the daddy gets home. Momma loves you till the ends of the earth.

Where Brod'r goes, I goes. He knows all about the fun stuff. The naughty stuff too.

What Brod'r likes, I likes. Including dirt clods and sticks.

What Brod'r has, I wants. The momma is gonna be mads when she sees what he has. Aroooo!

I wants it.

Brod'r won't gives it to me. I'm gonna makes him.

Even if I haves to take it and play bitey face. I likes bitely face a lot! It makes Brod'r grumpy.

Sometimes Brod'r trades with me. How abouts my stick for yours foamy thingy?

Sometimes Brod'r just gibs it to me. I has the bestest Brod'r.

Look momma, look what Brod'r gaves me!

I brings it to the momma. We can shares. I lubs the momma.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Saturday morning we took the boys into doggie daycare for a little fun as we headed out and about. We went into Portland to the famous Powell's Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. There is not much better than a leisurely stroll through story after story of books. The photography books are on the very top floor tucked into an obscure corner, and you need an oxygen tank by the time you get there, but I digress. After our purchase we left and drove over to Doner Kebab for lunch which serves German and Turkish food. So good. After a few more stops we head home, and then off to pick up the pups. I stayed home to prepare their food, and upon arrival they burst into the door excited to be home. I hear, "Stealer" drift in from the garage. Your dog is a stealer. In the famous words of Scooby Doo- Ruh-roh. I said, Ohhhhh, who's the bad boy? Of course, I already knew who the bad boy was. I asked what he did. Well, the daycare has toys, treats and bones to purchase at nose level laying all over the place, which I have always thought was a bad idea. Seems someone had a taste for a pig ear, which they do not get at home. It was snatched, and gobbled at lightening speed on the way out the door. Next time we owe them for one ear. My husband said, Taren must have been really hungry. Wha......????? Taren? I could not believe it. I laugh and scratch him behind the ears, telling him he has pig ear breathe, and that he has been a bad boy. He flashes his Weimy grin at me, his wiggle butt at full speed, as if to say, ya and it was good too.

Actions compliments of the ever generous and talented Rita at the Coffeeshop Blog
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why Toys Don't Last

I will be the first to admit toys don't last long around my house. The boys play hard and fast. We have spent a small fortune on keeping them entertained. Who am I kidding?  They are the ones providing the entertainment.  There is nothing better than an afternoon of keep away, bitey face, fetch, and boys will be boys, roughhousing. The particular toy in the photo was a Kong Pet Stix and lasted longer than most. All the extra branches made it exceptionally fun as there was always someplace to grab onto. I was sorry to see it's demise. When I heard the first seam groan I knew its days were numbered. Like with any toy, the first bit of stuffing to show results in a destuffing frenzy. I can't wait till summer. I miss these warm evenings of play. Please ignore the abysmal state of the grass. We were waiting for it to die, so we could till it under and cover it with bark for the boys. We do own a lawnmower. Really!

Click new products and scroll a bit if you want to get a good look.

*Disclaimer- No, I don't work for Kong. I know fellow pet owners just like to see the goods. =0)
Monday, January 24, 2011

The Art Of Sleep

German Shorthair-Caelan
 As a life long insomniac I have spent a great deal of time observing how others sleep, the dogs are no exception. They are similar to people in their likes and dislikes. Enjoying to go to bed with the chickens or taking on qualities of the genuine night owl. Caelan, especially in the winter, loves to get his snooze on. He goes to bed early and will snuggle as long as you are inclined. Taren, on the other hand, is generally wide eyed long after Caelan and awakes in the morning if anyone rustles the blankets a bit restlessly. We have learned if you want to sleep past 5 on the weekends it is wise to lay still. Very, very still. Caelan likes to sleep under the blankets next to me. Taren likes to sleep on top of the blankets, but covered with his own blanket. He is also a grumpy sleeper. If you jiggle the mattress too often he grumbles. If you dare move the leg his head is propped up on, the one every last bit of feeling has drained out of hours ago, he grumps. He likes to hog the bed and the pillows. He enjoys the 2 a.m. stroll out to potty on occasion, and the ever annoying and somehow endearing need of a midnight snack. Taren seems to dream a lot. Sometimes his tail thumps happily, his legs moving in their own rhythm in slumbered chase. Sometimes he makes sounds that induce me to gently wake him. Caelan does not seem to dream as much, but he does snore. He has never once gotten up in the middle of the night to potty. He does however, have his own bad habit. KK is much like a cat, he cleans himself. Lick, lick, lick, slurppppppp......again, and again.  Oh, and again.The sound drives me nuts after a while, and the constantly wiggling mattress sends Mr. Grumpy Pants over the edge. He likes to lick me too, but no thanks. I know where that tongue has been. The thing they have in common is they like to sleep on their backs, and is probably the result of being a bit too warm. It is not uncommon to wake up with a foot in your face, jammed in your back, or propped up on your legs. Like his brother, Caelan is a bed hog, and he radiates heat better than any electric blanket on the market. When morning arrives, and it always arrives early with Taren, the real fun begins. I ask Taren, Where's daddy? Go get him! Taren grabs the blankets with his teeth and pulls them off and buries his snotty nose in my husbands face, rooting around and trying to get him awake. If that fails, he just starts digging and barking  and any hope you had of staying snuggled down evaporates. KK and I lay back to watch the action and cheer him on. Saturday mornings come early, but not without their entertainment.

*** The occasional midnight snack is the result of increased running miles and trying to regulate the amount of food needed. Sometimes I get it wrong, and he lets me know.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Lurks In The Shadows

German Shorthaired Pointer Stalking Squirrels
Morning comes early at our house. I feed the dogs straight away, because Taren is pretty sure he is on the verge of starving to death if you do not. I pour my coffee, and nuke it so it is extra hot.  Just the way I like it.  Then drown it in creamer and fake sugar. Yes, I am well aware that somewhere in the world a gourmet coffee grower just heaved a great sigh. I then trudge upstairs, turn on the computer and proceed to drink my coffee. Bothering me before the caffeine flow is firmly established is a bad idea, a badddddd idea. I hear the door open, and the boys rush outside to potty, and then I hear the barking. They normally never bark so I wonder what is out there in the dark. I yell out the window a sharp- Caelan!  His pitch and fervor rise. It's 5 a.m.- Hi Neighbors! Good Morning! Somewhere in our neighborhood I am sure someone is thinking- Gonna shoot me a dog. I run down the stairs, I never want to be *that* neighbor. I get Caelan to begrudgingly come in, and I proceed to drink my now not optimally warm coffee. Grumble.....  As the morning progresses I let KK back outside and he rushes to the edge of the deck, stands, and leans over the railing. His entire body is quivering. I usually throw bread over the edge for wildlife, so I was expecting to see a deer or two. I know, bad habit.  I look over the railing and I see what appears to be a cat. I go back into the house thinking, That was kind of a weird looking cat.  So I look out the window and sure enough it was a weird looking cat, up and until he turned into the light. It appears we have ourselves a possum. I grab Caelan, yell at my husband to come look and make it snappy, and shut the door in a hurry. You know, because they can levitate, hurl themselves at your face and suck out your soul through your nostrils. Okay, maybe not, but their eyes glow red and they growl, and not in a very nice way. Have you seen their teeth?! So while my coffee is now stone cold, I know what lurks in the dark, and am none too happy for the knowledge.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Behind Blue Eyes

When we brought Taren home he was a sweet, blue eyed bundle, of Weimer joy. Just like most puppies I would guess. He would eat, sleep, play, and routinely trot you down the stairs for potty breaks. Time passed and he morphed out of the very young puppy stage into the- Holy Crap! There goes the furniture stage. The- We need a new garbage can, with a lock, phase. Followed by the- Quit eating the ever loving bark, rocks, sticks, and everything that was not nailed down stage. Somewhere along this line we were fairly convinced we had brought home a really goofy, ten year old boy, with a bad case of hyperactivity. One that could not quite grasp the meaning of no, down, off, or for the love of doG not those shoes! He was much more kid than dog. Every once in a while you would capture a photo, and there it would be. This glint of boyish charm, and something in the eyes that made you think he had pulled off something grand.
Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Friday! Aroooooooo!

German Shorthaired Pointer

One of the boys has big feet!

It's Friday and not a moment too soon. My friend and I were just discussing how this week has lasted an eternity, maybe two. Anyone have any big plans? It has been so rainy here that we all have a bad case of cabin fever. I think we will head into the big city, as opposed to small town America were we live. The boys will head to doggie daycare to romp with their buddies and burn off some stream. One of their favorite friends is a girlie. A 200 pound Mastiff, with a very dainty name like Daisy. Daisy is anything but dainty and is more along the line of slobbery, but she always makes me smile. Their other best bud is a wild black Lab, and I do mean wild. That should not surprise any of you in the least. He is owned by a very, very, petite older woman that gets drug across the parking lot every time she drops him off. We just hold open the door and get out of the way. He makes our two look like perfect angels, which they are of course. (ahem) I love doggie daycare. The boys get to socialize and they come home exhausted and sleep the evening away. However, the best part is they do anal glands for three dollars. Three! Squeeze away! You weren't eating were you? =o) I would pay ten times that not to have to do the nasty, but I am keeping that little secret to myself. The boys play away the day, and get groomed. Mom and dad spend the day not having to worry if we are straining anyone's bladder. It's a win-win in my book. So how about you? What's up?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Thank you all for your wonderfully kind words. They mean a lot to me. Just to make things clear, I am NOT closing Grey Dog, only Rainier Blue and Rainier Blue Photography. More of the people it matters to converge here, so it seemed the place to make the announcement  as my template has so many quirky issues that I wanted to make sure you knew before I took the two sites off line.  Sorry about any confusion it may have caused.
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Catching Snowflakes-Happy Anniversary

We received a bit more snow, and I do mean a bit. Small, dry flakes that lasted till morning. Enough time to get in a little fun though. I can't decide if Taren is catching snowflakes, or expressing how he really feels about these cold blustery days.

Some of you know that Grey Dog-and His Speckled Brother Too, is really my secondary site. A year ago today I posted my first photo on Rainer Blue.  It was a collaboration between two friends and we committed to no less than one year. As my skills improved, and I found my way around the Blogger format, Rainer Blue gave way to Rainier Blue Photography. A site that I felt reflected my growth and vision. Rainer Blue speaks more to the person I am than I could ever express in words. It was a project born of my heart, a labor of love to be sure. With tremendous, tremendous sadness I have decided to close the door on Rainier Blue and its sister site. For one reason, for a hundred reasons. I believe in signs, and I was given one yesterday that sealed its fate. I do not know what the future will hold. Take a last look around if you please, and wish me a happy anniversary. I'll let it be for a small while.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trouble 2011 Edition

Well, he made it to the 11th, that's something, right?
Somebody has been a baddddd boy. (bad)
He's still the best speckled boy around though. (sort of)

As always, textures compliments of the ever generous and talented Jerry Jones of Shadowhouse Creation.