Lu the star student

I signed Luna up for puppy training at Petsmart.   I waited until she had her shots before signing up which they require (and don’t check!!!!)  It’s $100 total to go for the six weeks, one hour a week.  Yesterday was our third class.  They teach, recognition of their name, sit, walk on a leash, greet without jumping on people, leave it, and down so far.   I wish I would have taken my first dog to training, I may have mentioned how terrible she was around people.  I still think that part of that is a dog’s disposition and there are things that you do that can add to a dog’s anxiety.  It is really important to lead your dog.

Luna is in a class with 2 German Shepard puppies that are 10x the size of her.  We all occupy the training area and sit away from each other, if our dog barks, we turn them to face the wall.  I encouraged the family to attend the dog training class with me.  This week I got my son to come with me.

We were amazed of how quick the dogs learned leave it and she actually learned down.  The trainer talked about behavior issues.  Luna likes to steal socks and currently she has been hiding under the entertainment center and chewing the wood.   The sock stealing can be dangerous for dogs, if eaten, they can cause blockages in the intestines requiring surgery.  I have been negotiating with her to release things she has with treats.  This effectively teaches her to do exactly what she isn’t supposed to, another reason that people need training just as much as the dogs do!  The trainer taught me how to squeeze her gums into her teeth so she releases objects and it works!  I’ve been trying to pry it out of her jaw which didn’t work.

For chewing, the trainer suggested using the product Bengay which is an ointment that relieves muscle pain, I went to purchase this and read that it’s poison if ingested.  This is the only bad suggestion she has made.  I went back to the bitter apple which is much safer for dogs.  When she goes under the entertainment center, I dig her out, put her harness and leash on and keep her next to me.  I had to do that multiple times yesterday.

For the most part Luna goes to the bathroom in the correct spot.  On occasion she will pee in the wrong spot.  The trainer was adamant about removing the dog from the area,  saying nothing, and cleaning the area without her around.  She suggested to continue making it a big deal when she goes in the right spot.  The idea is that the dog responds to positive reactions and actually want your positive acknowledgement.

It’s worth it to go to dog training.

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Lu the star student

High School Senior Pic FAIL

As a mom, there are some of those moments that you look forward to with your children. A child who made it through 12 years of education is an accomplishment that is celebrated in many ways, a graduation ceremony, prom, college visits in some cases and pictures.  Usually it’s the picture with the cap and gown that you remember.  Lately, it has become popular to take pictures of your senior with scenic or meaningful backgrounds and you can truly come up with some unique casual photos that are creative and are more than just the solid color backdrop with the “say cheese” smile. My plan was to use one of these “senior” pictures in my son’s graduation announcement.

I have been talking to my son for weeks about arranging for a picture.  He liked my idea of taking the picture at Minute Maid Park.  He was trying to make arrangements so that we could go and take the photo of him on the field and unfortunately never got a call or email back.  Photographers charge $500 for a session, and we just didn’t want to spend the money.  We just want a decent picture.  My husband has a friend with a fancy camera and he said he was willing take the picture.  To set that up required taking away his time and he lives further away so when my daughter suggested taking the picture with her boyfriend’s camera, I thought, why not give it a try.

I bought a nice button up shirt in Astro’s colors and wanted to try taking the photo in a few different settings.  A local neighborhood practice ball park, by the railroad tracks, around water, etc.  I wanted to try blurring the background leaving him in focus and was really excited about getting creative with it.  Sadly because I didn’t give my daughter’s 18 year old boyfriend ample time, it caused an argument.  It was 10:30/11:00AM on a Sunday.  I didn’t even push a specific time and said we’ll go looking for a spot and then he can meet us.  Because I dismissed the need to schedule this session with her boyfriend down the street, my daughter said I was being difficult and I was kicked out of my own photo session with my son.  (She suggested to my son that the three of them go on their own).  I like to give myself some time to evaluate before reacting, so I returned home and let them do their thing.  I did explain that I was disappointed and sad that I wasn’t included.  I managed to get one picture on the scoping session before it ended abruptly.  If you have ever tried taking pics of little kids and they cry, this is the 18 year old version of that effort.  My son’s point is that he had in mind a different place.  No one seemed to understand the idea of taking pictures at different spots, all within minutes of each other and on the way.  With busy work weeks, I don’t see that I have to execute the same level of effort just to get family together to take a picture.  You never know what goes behind the seemingly effortless amazing senior photos other people have.

I’m taking a relatively sad day and making it playful…here is my son’s graduation picture.  He loves baseball and you can come up with your own idea of what his expression says about graduating.  My thought….”Oh no!  Now I have to go into the real world!”  Priceless!  I did get to play with some effects in an imaging program, vignette, didn’t get the blurred effect though.

travis senior picture

High School Senior Pic FAIL

CLOSING!

It’s here!  Finally.  The house has been cleaned everything is done and we are ready to close and start the 6 week move process!  We are really happy with the design decisions we made and now have more to make with the interior.

our house

We purchased the sofa sectional after visiting the house and taping off the dimensions to see how it would fit.  We have agreed on the smaller 60 inch round table for the formal/only dining room and instead of buying the chairs that go with the set, we found some tufted chairs for $75/per chair!  This will not only save money, it will give it a casual – formal look.  We still need the buffet and the bench for the opposite walls, window treatments, a rug and artwork.  We have a long way to go.

I finally have decided on a setup that will work for my office which is in the breakfast room that we are not using for dining.  This is a win that I sold my husband on this idea.  I know I will be happy in this space.

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office

I am also happy my husband is helpful in making the decisions on what we need.  We sold our last house with the refrigerator which means we need to buy one.  As it turns out, this was great because our new refrigerator will need to be counter depth!  These are things you don’t notice until you start putting in the appliances.  Our last house had the refrigerator on a separate wall and it was built in for a good size depth refrigerator.  A counter depth refrigerator sticks out less and is a lot smaller because of it.  I don’t do a lot of storage, so it will be ok to have a smaller refrigerator.  The builder assumes the laundry room will have another refrigerator and allows space for it.

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Since Luna came into our lives we have adjusted by lowering our mattress to the floor so she can sleep with us and jump off the bed to get to her potty pad.  Now that we are going to be setting up our master bedroom we need a solution for Luna to get in and out of the bed.  She is now 5 months and jumps on the furniture and sits on the back of the chair in the living room.  So we are going to purchase a day bed that will allow her to get in and out of bed!  I love dual purpose furniture.  It’s called a daybed and we can use it for guests, yay!

daybed

Still more decisions to make and things to do.  All of this with a senior in high school getting ready for prom and a puppy in training.  Life is really busy for us!

CLOSING!

Cajun Crawfish Trip

This year was my second annual Crawfish Tennis tournament in Lafayette Louisiana.  It’s definitely nice to be invited to go with a group of tennis friends.  I booked a room and shared it with two others.  There was a king-size bed and a pull out couch, the only room options for the Staybridge.  I will say that this hotel is so much nicer than the Wyndam!  It was rainy and fortunately the clay/har tru courts absorb the water and you can still play on them.

We ate lunch on the way at Steam Boat Bills in Lake Charles.  It’s a “hole in the wall” place.  I don’t think the food is anything extraordinary.  I had some etouffee and a boudin ball.  A boudin ball is filled with pork with organ meat and rice, rolled up in a ball and fried.  (We don’t eat this often!!!)  Dinner was pretty cool, it was at Blue Dogs which features artwork (not originals) from a local artist, George Rodrigue, who died in 2013.  I had Pompano.  I love the fish and always try to get fish like I can in Florida. The best fish I’ve found in the gulf is drum and red fish.  I’m not really sure where they got the pompano, hopefully Florida.  It’s a good fish, not fishy-fish.

bluedog

We did play tennis, this trip is really about the party.  The food is worth mentioning because it is so different than what we usually eat.  Texas has crawfish boils, however I have never seen anything like the crawfish in Louisiana.  The crawfish are big and they are meaty.  We get about a pound of crawfish and I only eat the tails which you peel with your hands.  It tastes kind of like shrimp.  The claws are good too, they were sharp and cut my hands without a tool to crack them with.

crawfish

Our team traveled together, texted to stay in communication, ate together, etc.  While we didn’t win all of our matches we always supported each other.  I got to learn more about the people on my team.

About Lafayette…First and foremost, the people we met from Louisiana were very nice!  And I hope not to seem discriminatory with mentioning there are so many poor areas and in between road ways that are not kept up.  You can see the really rich and the really poor, not much in-between.  We drove around a lot!  It would seem there is an issue with gangs based on the signs in establishments (although we didn’t see anything like that).  Louisiana is the most alcoholic state in the USA that I have seen.  They sell alcohol everywhere, even available for drive thru pickup.  The event had beer, beer and more beer.  Not to say Texas doesn’t love alcohol.  I think the policies are different.

It was a good time for sure.  I love going.  We bring a large crowd, five teams of six plus extras.

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Cajun Crawfish Trip

Texas Easter

The blue bonnets are in full bloom.   We saw the most amazing sunset today passing by an enormous cross with the beautiful pastel colors in the sky.  As we were speeding down the road I couldn’t capture just how gorgeous it really was.

texassky

My husband stopped on the side of the road today between Houston and Austin as did about a million other people to take pictures in the wild flowers.  This is one thing I love about Texas.  The drive between Austin and Houston was mesmerizing looking at the wild flowers on a clear blue sky day with white puffy clouds.  I took a picture of Luna in the blue bonnets, she kept trying to eat them.

lunabluebonnets

I am so blessed to be with my family this Easter.  We had a nice lunch together to include pot roast, carrots, mashed potatoes, salad and an Easter cake for desert.  This lunch came out nice and definitely did not go as planned.  I threw out the first batch of frosting and the roast took way too long to cook…(3 hours late).  Still the end result was excellent.

easterdinner

This time next year, hopefully we will be in the new house.  Closing is now a couple of weeks away.  Yesterday I met with the design consultant.  My husband isn’t visualizing her suggestions, but I am in love with them!  We picked out a sectional and I went to the house to tape off the measurements.  I think it will fit fine.  There is an art at getting the right configuration of furniture in a room.

couch

couchlayout

We addressed the formal dining room again.  It helps to visit the space.  The chandelier has been moved so that it isn’t centered in the room.  In doing so we are going to need a smaller round table to get the chandelier in the center and have enough space between the chairs and the windows.  The 72 inch table would have been great for 8 people, that don’t live here!  The 60 inch table will fit perfectly and with 5 people, it fits our lifestyle.  I can use this room for just us and add a rectangular temporary table if we do a formal gathering.  I love this idea!  What my husband isn’t thinking is that whenever we had company over at our old house, we would try to squeeze as many people as we could around our 4 seat breakfast table.  Without a breakfast room, we are going to be using this formal dining room often!  I’m so happy to not waste this space.  This room is something I’m really looking forward to living in with family.

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Texas Easter