No no no, no-no-no, no no NOVEMBER

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Hello grumplings, how’s it is hanging? Yes? Good! No!

I have been thinking about my blog a lot the last few days. Been missing it really. Missing the little community of cool-ass bloggers, and their cool-ass blogs that I usually spent my mornings reading. I miss rambling in broken english and mortifyingly poor grammar. I miss telling you all about the latest food ingested and outgested. The only cure for this kinda blues is to write a blog!

Today is a wet sort of cold that gets into your bones, so we are curdled away inside like squirrels. There is a steady shower of rain that every so often turns to snow and then back to rain again. We have a more temperate little mini climate in Gabarus, and the rest of the island is having a fun-time blizzard today so no complaints here. CB has a fire roaring away, and we’re spending the morning in the kitchen cooking together and watching all the Harry Potter movies. We started last night and have just finished the second one. Its a good background movie on such a Novembery day. I forgot how dark they were, Harry P just straight up murdered some guy. And then got awarded school points for it. Wtf…

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Life is pretty great right now, but one of the top 5 best things has got to be visiting the library regularly. Libraries are the best places on earth. Last month we took out books on compost, solariums, gunsmithing and the first volume of Hellboy. FOR FREE. FOR NO MONEY! It feels like stealing. And stealing feels exhilarating like driving a race car. And driving a race car feels awesome like doing cool drugs. And doing cool drugs feels like visiting the library. I like to get high, on imagination.

This month I grabbed Mastering the art of French Cooking by Julia Child, an ancient old book of Nova Scotian cooking and a book about Scottish baking. We haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while so the Scottish baking book is great, every recipe only has about 5 ingredients, one of which is usually oatmeal. And we never run out of oatmeal…

The first recipe Ive baked from the book is for “sour skons”, to use of the last of the sour cream in the house. This recipe originated in Orkney in the late 1700’s.

ORKNEY SOUR SKONS

200g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
25g medium oatmeal
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
142ml sour cream
2 tbsp milk

Mix into a soft dough, pat into a 1″ thick round and cut into 6.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.

I have to admit, I did not put the caraway in these. Instead I added nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon because I wanted a vehicle on which to shovel tablespoons of apply jelly into my face. And caraway.. I dunno. But I think that would be nice with cheese maybe! Like a fine aged Cheezwhiz perhaps. This recipe took, I shit you not, 17 minutes from when I stood my lazy butt up to when I was eating a softy warm scone. It was super light, with a fluffy texture and I liked the addition of a little oatmeal. They tasted, however, like the 1700s. I’d make these again but probably add a bit of sugar and maybe a pinch more salt to balance it out.

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Sweetpea was hoping I would hate them and dump them all into her dog bowl in a fit of disappointment and rage. Instead I just ate three, covered in jelly. Actually I put mayonnaise on one. Don’t you dare judge me!

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This spider has turned my window plants into his very own apartment complex. I like him, he can stay. I haven’t seen a single fruit fly since he moved in.

I have lots to write about but I should pack it in now and go help CB with the pork dumplings he is making for dinner. EXCITING! Dumplings are the #4 best thing in life by the way. I’ll tell you about the others later. Peace out!

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Frong Snogs

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Took Sweetpea for a walk. Came home, drank a beer and wrote a sloppy poem about how gross spring is. There ya go.

 

Slugs sewn though wet grass
like thick strands of satin ribbon
flapping around in my flip flops
thwap thwap thwap
regretful squishing on my toes

June bugs buzz, fat and hard as rubies
THK THK, they collide
put my hood up, hide my hair
scarab bastards wont get in there

Along the highway
Gravel crunching under foot
like dentures on hard candy
Jeepers chirping car alarm love songs
(they’re fucking in the ditches…)

Dog jumps at trucks barreling by
Hey! Be nice! Stay Down!
Poop bag swings wildly in hand
Pendulum of doom

Lonely loon serenading nobody
A sad, panicked howl over the lake
Hell-oooooo?
Google “Loon Calls” and hold out my phone
You’re not alone!

-Definitely not fucking Wordsworth

 

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Darling Buds of May

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Hi buddies!

Its been so so long since Ive written a blog. Usually that means Ive been working too much or depressed (or both!), but not this time, by golly. I’ve just been busy doing good stuff. Life stuff, house stuff, dog stuff, family stuff, love stuff, nature stuff, food stuff, that kind of stuff. Adult stuff!

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We have gotten a lot of Shit Done in the last couple of weeks and it feels good. We sorted out things like insurance and licences for various things, registering vehicles and getting health card crap. We saved up and bought ourselves a washing machine so I don’t have to spend my evenings fastidiously spot washing buttercream stains off my work shirts and re-wearing my socks until their are stiff as dicks. We also bought a very small counter top dishwasher, because that is an area of adulthood that we routinely fail at. We both just hate dishes so much and it often is a point of contention. So now we sleep in a bed that isn’t just a mattress on the floor, we have a $20 robot who vacuums our house for us, a little machine that magically cleans our clothes and dishes AND clean water AND heat all in the same place at the same time. It feels nice..

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3 months ago I started a blog with some Life Goals which I never finished.. so not really off to a rip rollicking start there. But here it is:

I have been mad craving Russian food for some reason so I was really into the idea of making the Russian salad Herring in a Fur Coat. The picadillo vainica is a South American dish of ground beef and green beans that was delicious and will definitely be something we make often. I made pork fried rice for dinner one night that was such good junk food. That butternut squash pasta recipe I have been dreaming about was pretty meh. The Sup Mang Tay is a delicious Thai soup with French influence that was so lovely for lunch. And we had lobster for mothers day with Marie which was such a great day.

Ive been walking most every day with Sweet Pea after dinner. Its so nice to spend an hour outside while the suns going down, listening to the robins and frogs chirping their spring time love songs. The heavy perfume smell of trees and flower coming into bloom. Even picking up the dogs poop is nice because at least it wasn’t in the house!

 

 

Ive definitely mastered French macarons, having made a thousand or two since I wrote that, and I am learning how to do fondant cakes and loving it. Work has been a bit rougher than Id like lately and I was thinking of quitting. But I sucked it up and had a good long talk with the boss lady about what I need and what we need to do better on, which I always find so hard to do. It went well, so I think things should sort themselves out. We will see.

CB dyed my hair magenta, turquoise, blue and purple. It was pretty rad.

And my garden is started!

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They are big enough to transplant, just waiting for the morning frost to pass before I get these babies into the ground! My nasturtiums are looking hardy so they have already made the move to a pot outside. Actually I think its an old metal water or milking bucket or something.

I have been spending 100% more time outside than I have in the last couple of years. CB and I come home after work and play with Sweet Pea out in the yard and then lay down and have a little nap on the mossy lawn. The black flies are out now though, so its hard to lay peacefully on the grass without having to blow blackflies back out of your nose every 10 seconds.

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So far we have a few plants coming up outside, but mostly just beautiful daffodils which apparently the smell of which work Sweet Pea up into a psychotic frenzy with a thirst for human blood. Ah, Spring Time.

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OK because of our slow ass internet this blog has taken about an hour and a half to write, so long past my Attention Span’s point of no return. I leave you with this poem about daffodils, because I hate you.

Lolz kidding. You’re alright.

Love, Kara

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils
– Wordsworth

 

 

 

Gull Cove Road

Hola mis pequeños frijoles! A poem:

Spicy, spicy

BEANS BEANS

Picante!

Inspired by you. And this warm spicy weather we are having. Its well over 10 degrees every day! I have maybe a tan on my left arm. Although I think it went straight from “a whiter shade of pale” to “discount brand turkey bacon red.” BUT I also discovered my long lost friend; freckles. I missed them so mush. I accidentally typed mush there instead of much but Im just going to go with it because backsapcing is way too much work. I’ll leave that one too.. okay I best start correcting my typos now or this blog is just going to be totally unreadable garbage as opposed to the mostly unreadable garbage it usually is. Also all the wavy red lines all over the place as I’m typing is really distracting.

I digress.

I guess I do anyway. Not 100% on the meaning and usage of that word. As I type this Im sitting in one corner of the bedroom having a nice sunday morning tea, watching CB and Sweet Pea cuddle in bed being super super cute. I’ve come to terms with the fact she doesn’t love me The Most, because watching her love CB The Most is like the best thing in my whole life so far. Probably not even exaggerating. It makes my grinch heart grow three sizes each day.

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Anyway! Check out these cool rocks! Last weekend CB, Sweet Pea and I went for a walk out past Gull Cove Road. If you drive down through the Gabarus village and turn right down Gull Cove it takes you down a shady dirt road. At the end of the road is a cemetery from the late 1800’s. There’s a path there that leads down through the forest supposedly to an abandoned fishing village from long ago. Its been my life long dream for the last month to go see it. I pictured houses full of pirate booty, and cool stuff that I can steal photograph. So we finally went!

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Sweet Pea was in maximum Dog Mode. You would not believe she was 13 to watch her bomb through the woods, somersaulting around, leaping over creeks. She is amazing. She had a blast. It was a beautiful walk, and a gorgeous warm spring day with so much sun. This is a secret beach we found. We made a mental note to come back and maybe do some camping here sometime in the summer when the black flies aren’t too bad.
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We walked for over an hour without seeing any signs of a cool 19th century fishing village before we figured we should turn around. I was an IDIOT and didnt pack snack or anything, so we were pretty unprepared for a 2 hour hike through the woods. We started eyeing up puddles thirstily and getting jealous at Sweet Pea for being able to lap up the delicious spring water without dying of dysentery. Dogs are a superior species. We are too delicate.

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We found evidence of coyotes, which I snapped a picture of, but after looking at it decided it was maybe not blog material. I will spare you. I will just say, it was poop. And you could tell it’s diet consisted mostly of fluffy white bunnies….

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Someone is taking care of this trail and there was a nice clear path through the woods. However, it’s spring, so the nice clear path turned into a nice clear river in most spots. Our walk turned into a creek walk. It was so nice!

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In the puddles that get sun most of the time we found bundles of frogs eggs! At sundown you can hear their moms and dads chirping away. Its the nicest sound in the universe.

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In the spots that didnt get sunlight there was still beautiful patterns of ice on top. It was very satisfying to crunch through the icy layer into the mud below.

Crack, plomp, squelch.

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This is a terrifying “bridge” over the bog into the forest. None of those are nailed down. CB and I are going to come back again with a drill and some long screws and secure them. It was fun going across.

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This is a particularly lovely marshy bit before it turns completely into a lake. You can see just on the horizon the breakwater of stones that separates the lake from the ocean.

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Bridges dont last very long here by the looks of it. It was nice to have though, this area would have been impassable. Maybe one day we will bring Blairs canoe out here and paddle around like a couple of fancy adventurereers.

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Another bit of beach. As the waves came into the shore it would hit and then pull piles of rocks back with it, rolling them against each other into the water, only to push them back in again. It sounded like thunder cracking and rolling across the sky and for a second we thought it was. So nice!

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Sweet pea is in most of the pictures as a golden blur in one corner. Here she is stopping to smell something so you can actually make out her shape! She got so so dirty she is probably completely camouflaged in the last pics. She was just solid mud from belly down, she just did not give a shit. Nothing stopped her. She was a wild wolf, out in the woods. I was so damn proud. After the walk she let us spray her down with the hose outside, which I thought was particularly brave because that water was so cold. What a goddamn champion, my little Sweet Pea.

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A bit of sun beaming down onto a nice soft spot of moss. At the start of the walk I was proclaiming my desire to live in Olden Times where we could walk around all day eating bits of jerky and bread and cheese. Like Xena and Gabriel! Or Frodo and Sam. By the end of it I just wanted to have a snooze on this moss. It was like a lush green carpet… so inviting.. but we made it home. Next time out, we will make it to the village. I’ll pack snacks.

Bog Tromp

Saturday. Rainy day. Its about 7 degrees, but just pissing down. Even the ducks are like “ew, gross, dude, like, quack, totally.” Yesterday it rained on us so hard on our drive home we thought we were being pranked. There must be some dastardly ne’er-do-well on the roof of the car hosing us down with a pressure washer. During the evening we sat at the kitchen table reading about nerd stuff and watching it rain horizontally. We didn’t have dinner because we were waiting for ribs to hurry up and finish becoming ribs in the oven. So we went to bed and came back down later to have…….

MIDNIGHT

RIBS!

Bold, italic, underline. Exclamation mark. Fact: ribs at midnight just taste better. Probably because you’re fucking starving, but I think the novelty of eating such an impractical food so impractically late also adds to the flavour. We sat down with some pop, and two dish towels as napkins. Class. I made the rib-rub so spicy though, if you stopped eating for even a second your tongue burst into flame, so you just had to always be eating a rib. Problemo, solvidos.

OH! We bought a BBQ this week! Its so fucking awesome. YEAH YEAH YEAH! It was so, so, cold out out that day but I was so excited, I stopped at Master Meats and got a T-Bone, some sirloin steaks, some bone-in pork chops, and ribs and buns and A1 sauce and then raced home. CB ‘Q’d us up a feast. Now that I’m all old and my brain is getting soft like Jell-o, sometimes I do things in my life and I think “Oh, thats probably how my Dad felt doing this.” And I feel a deeper connection to my SUPER old parents. Ya know, like getting off work being excited to pick up some nice steaks for the BBQ for family dinner. Or when I have an especially hard day at work and stop by the convenience store on the way home for pop and chips and chocolate bars to bring home to eat while watching a terrible action movie. Always I have a near constant desire to buy fireworks, which I think is also from my Dad…

So anyway, our new purpose in life these days is tiring out Sweet Pea so she doesn’t eat our stuff and then shit it back out onto the kitchen floor. She’s temperamental like that. So she must be either walking, or exhausted from walking. Which means, we spend a lot of time lately out in the rain. I made the executive decision this morning to walk back into the woods on the property under the false assumption that the trees would offer us some coverage from the rain. I forgot that mostly the rain is on the ground… on our feet.. into our boots. Its okay though, it was a lot of fun! I had CB, CB had a big stick, and we had a dog. Life is great! Sweet Pea was in full-on dog mode, racing around, smelling smelly smells, peeing on stuff, splashing around in ponds, peeing on more stuff. It was great.

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Here she is, being a wild huntress. Huntin’ some bog turtles for supper. Oh my god, do you think there might be turtles in there!? I never thought. Mental note: in the summer, go look for turtles in there.

So this is the woods behind our woods, its mostly just moss and marsh and boggy bits, rotten trees, that sort of thing. I did however finally stumble across something I have been keeping an eye out for: Labrador Tea! Like from Newfoundland! Up until now its all just been its poisonous twin brother, Bog Myrtle. But this was the real, fuzzy bottomed, deal. It was like coming across an old friend. So I’ll have to pick some!

(April, if you’re reading this, I’m meaning to send you some for tea!)

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So pretty. Everything smelled like old wet wood and clean rain. So nice. I was diggin’ it.

There’s a little brook-ish kind of dealy on the very ass end of our yard. Its covered by 25 foot trees, and has an ancient broken down shed in a pile beside it. There’s a bunch of old garbage left here, from back in the day where you’d just chuck your old broken shit in the woods. There’s an old manual wash tub, evidence of an old wood cooking stove, and lots of cool old bottles. I took a few nice looking ones back in the house.I’ll clean out the moss and use them for decorating. MARTHA FUCKING STEWART STYLE.

Look at whats growing inside this old broken milk bottle! Its like a little natural terrarium. The plants get water through the broken hole in the bottom and the bottle acts as a little green house. CUTE.

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Its about 2pm now, that time of day where Nap Feelings start to kick in, so I may just go partake. GOODBYE NOW!

Meeting The Meatball

 

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Yolo, homebrewskis!

So goes the traditional greeting of Gabarus, CB.

Starting right now. Our house represents 7.5% of the population here and if you include the crows we represent a solid 10% so I think it’s fair to say we are making this happen.

Speaking of the crows, I just fed them the last half bag of stale Sriracha flavoured chips. They are on the front lawn gobbling them up them like rambunctious frat boys, and then jumping up and down with either happiness or spiceness. I have trouble distinguishing the two.

Last night we had our first guests to the house!! It was so exciting. Bryce and Celina were passing through Cape Breton on their way to Fogo, Nfld, and stopped in to waste time before boarding the ferry. Fortuitously we had spent the morning at the Farmers Market buying curry, african food, chili, naan bread, and german treats for dinner so we had a feast.

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This is kind of a crappy photo of the farmers market, but there you are anyway.

Bryce and Celina had their dog with them– a 50 pound Meatball-Of-Handsome bulldog named Brent. He was SO AWESOME! I could spend the rest of my life watching him climb the stairs and do “tricks.” What a little cutie.

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We have learned a lot about Sweet Pea this week. The first thing we learned that despite being 90+ years old in dog years, she is not an old lady. We thought she needed love and naps. Instead she needs constant attention and exercise. Because, she is 100% border collie. YAY! So instead of constant naps, we are doing constant walks. We learned she can do tricks: stay, sit, shake paw, dance, speak, kisses.. etc. She knows her toys by name and will bring them to you. We decided one day that she is either incredibly stupid or manipulating us, guess which one was correct. She is super smart. And super athletic and energetic. We also learned, she hates every other dog. Including sweet Brent the Bulldog puppy. Despite Sweet Pea routinely dominating dogs half her age and 3x her size, Brent held his own. Their stubborness was well matched. So we had some scary sounding dog fights in the kitchen with our Curry and wine!

But it was really nice having them over, Celine and Bryce are some of our favourite peeps. She has a Lemongrab tattoo. Thats all I need to say. We talked about food, and they made us want to take a motorcycle trip to Montreal to eat at Au Pied du Cochon and have the trotters and foie gras poutine SO BADLY GOD DAMN IT!!! Bryce and I shared my Ra-Ra-Rasputin beer, which was delicious and deep and dark but kind of tasted like that time I poured beer in my coffee for experiments. I dont think it’s going to be a routine purchase.

 

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On the work front, everything is still chill & fun. Look at these sprinkle macarons! HOW FUCKING CUTE ARE THOSE!!? TELL ME! TELL ME!!!! Yeah pretty cute. I made a Minecraft cake this week, with fondant figures, which made me very proud. Easter was incredibly busy, and we made a million cakes and all the money. Felt great!

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We had Chinese at Peking Restaurant, which is always the best.

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Aside from the pure crazy joy of having a dog around the house, and her excellent properties for warming up my feet at the end of the bed, another thing that Sweet Pea has brought into my life is walks. Im outside at dawn and dusk now, my two favourite times of day, that I rarely see. The other night we went for a walk down to the beach in the rain, and it was getting dark and the world smelled like wood smoke, and moss, and salty air. We walked through the graveyard that is slowly falling into the sea. I took a few pictures with my phone of the moody dark blue world. I would normally be at home reading the internet or watching TV. This was 1000% more relaxing. Thanks Sweet Pea!

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Sp00o0O0o0oOO00O0o0Ky ghosts!

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We also visited with Blair, as it was Distilling DAY! It was very cool to watch a bucket of sugar, water & yeast ferment and distill into clear, 180 proof alcohol. I went home with about 3 quarts of the stuff. My plan is to bring it down to about 40 proof, and add herbs and plants from around Gabarus to make a kind of gin. Angelica, rosehip, spruce, etc. The rest maybe will turn into bourbon.

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wowzaaaa

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Its been very wet and rainy this week, but the sun is shining now. I can hear bluejays and chickadees and buntings making their sweet little bird sounds. This evening we are going to drive into town to buy a BBQ, and a frisbee for the dog. On monday I get my package of vegetable seeds in the mail from Veseys in PEI. We bought about 20 different kinds of veg to try planting in the back yard. For the front garden Im going to grow a hardy hedge lavender that winters well, german camomile and pink echinacea. As well as random wildflowers for the bees. Im thinking of trying to grow some kind of water lily in the ditch in front of the house. It’s always full of water. CB tells me there will be tons of frogs in there come the warm weather so Im looking forward to some frog songs in the summer. Thats the nicest sound in the world. Dogs, BBQ’s & Frogs Forever!

CAN’T WAIT FOR SUMMER!

B.B.F.F.F’s

 

BEST BUDDY FART FRIENDS FOREVER!

We have a dog we have a dog we have a dog!

This is Sweet Pea!

Fun Sweet Pea Facts!

a) she is a little cutie

b) she is 13 years young

c) she likes snuggling, tummy rubs, daytime naps, going for long walks on the beach, pooping on the ground, weird smells, and kisses

d) her favourite foods are chicken nuggets and dog food

e) her least favourite things are being seperated from CB for any amount of time, car rides, and baby carrots

f) she can shake a paw with the best of ’em

So as you can see, she is pretty much the most awesome. We are fostering her from the SPCA until some test results come in for a lump in her doggy boobies, and when she is all clear we will adopt her!

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The night before we went to pick her up, we drove over to the pet store and bought her a new collar with her name and our address, a softy cozy bed, and a nice leather leash. It was so hard not to buy approximately 12091871239hss80 dog treats and toys, but I think I did well.

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This is Sweet Pea sleeping in her new bed on the first night at our house. Which is going to be a very rare picture because she vastly prefers to sleep in the bed directly on top of CB. Nay, she demands it. We have compromised with letting her sleep at the foot of the bed. So my only dismay is that our bed is going to smell like an old dog, and my life has 100% more dog poop in it. Small price to pay for being able to hang out with a dog all day though! And she is nice to have at the end of the bed, she is like a furry water bottle warming up my toes. It’s like that song says “happiness is a warm dog, yes it is.”

She had a really exciting first day with us, and she especially did not like the ride home. I’m starting to think she didnt get out much with her other family. They gave her up for adoption because they could no longer care for her. CB took her for a walk to the beach and she acted like she had never seen water before. He took a little video.

Does the water want to fight with her? Does she have to fight the water back? Yeah not very impressed.

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And here is Sweet Pea, wrapped up in a pizza, having a snuggle.

Anyway, we are off to family Easter Dinner, so I better go hop in the shower and get the stank off me. Be prepared for a billion more pictures of Sweet Pea on my blog though, because I’m all about her right now.

Ok BYE! HAPPY EASTER!