Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here Comes 2010!

It's almost upon us (and for those of you ahead of the west coast, Happy New Year!)! I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. If I want to do something, I don't want until the end of the year to make myself start doing it. If I want to make changes in something, then I just do it. Usually in the form of a list. A list that is usually contained within an Excel spreadsheet.:) Did I mention that I'm a little nutty about Excel sometimes?:)

So instead of doing a resolution of some sort, I'm just going to spit out the goals for the new year that I've already thought of. I'm sure plenty more will occur to me throughout the year, but I'm hoping that keep things a little more under control this year and try to not over commit myself. Hmmmmm......maybe I can make a spreadsheet for that.....he he he....I'm mostly kidding. In no particular order, here they are:

1) Even though I've already started some initial ground work, my new activity with the dogs is going to be obedience. With Bess I want to do Rally and traditional Obedience. With Heffner I want to do Rally (even though he has really improved, his hatred of intact males doesn't mix well with the long sits and downs in obedience). We're shooting for monthly private lessons with our agility instructor (once I've got BOTH dogs up and working) and occasional group classes as time and money permits.

2) Get Bess finished!! 2010 is the year! I want that CH in front of Bess' name. With regards to going for the Canadian CH, we might do some shows this summer, but I really want to start focusing on performance events with her.

3) Skijoring! Heffner is retired to training runs next winter when he's back and at 'em. This winter Bess will enter her first skijoring races and we're doing the recreational skijoring division because it's only two miles and doesn't take much preparation. Next fall and winter (the part that's still in 2010) I would like to start training her for the advanced skijor division, which is six miles long. I know she can do it, but I want her in peak form for it and I'd like to do the whole six miles at a good clip.

4) Agility! I want to do enough AKC trials to get Bess into the Open division by Oct. For Heffner, once he's allowed to go back to training and eventually trialing, I'm shooting for reducing his stress at trials and getting him to focus on me for the entirety of each run. I have some ideas how I'll achieve that, but we'll see! For CPE, I would like both the dogs to finish off those individual legs in Level 1 to get that out of the way.

5) Tracking! Um, actually do some of that! I tried to set a goal for 2009 and too many things got in the way. My goal for 2010 is to just get out there and practice. That's it. Keep it simple, so that I can actually stick to it!

6) Scrapbooking! I used to LOVE scrapbooking and did a fair amount of it. I pretty much stopped around the beginning of 2007. I just sort of stopped making time for it I guess. I'm planning on doing a monthly get together at my house on some weekend day, for scrapbooking. Invite some friends over and we can sit around and have some chat time while also doing something. I have PLENTY of general use items like scissors, hole punches, and things of that variety that other people can take advantage of. Plus it'd just be fun! I should do a post in January about the scrapbooking that I've done in the past!

7) Education! I'm always trying to expand my doggie knowledge base (it's what I love, so it's what I can enthusiastically throw myself into). This year I'm shooting for trying some seminars, preferably working slots as money allows, but auditor slots would also be helpful. I just want to learn more about so many things. I've already got Bess and I signed up for a Corky Vroom handling seminar in March that I'm crazy excited about! Maybe an agility and obedience seminar somewhere else in the year?

8) Photography! I want to learn more about picture taking because I love it! I've started by joining the Flickr group 52 weeks for dogs and I think that'll help. But I also want to do some reading and learning about cameras, lighting, and how to get that great picture. Who knows, maybe a new camera will be in my future? (I put that in there just in case my husband is reading my blog!)

I think that about covers it for me! Here's hoping that 2010 is a great year and I'm excited to see what it holds!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Running in Slush.... not fun! I posted yesterday about the freak snow that we got. It wasn't forecasted and we got several inches of it. Which is definitely not normal for our area. It was forecasted to rain over night and essentially most if not all of the snow would theoretically be gone by morning. Let me remind you, this was forecasted by the same people who didn't see the snow coming until it was falling. Then said it would be rain by 4pm. And still the snow came down. Needless to say, they were wrong again. I don't think it even rained a little over night. Some of the snow did start melting, but most of it was still there this morning.

Fast forward to tonight when I got home from work. At least half of the snow had melted and the roads were basically clear. Unfortunately, the sidewalks really weren't. I came home to two very happy and energetic dogs. One dog who it is killing me that I literally can't do anything with (can't even practice anything obedience related because that basically involves exercise and him using his rear in some form) and the other that remembers our fun jaunt in the snow yesterday and is eagerly thirsting for more!

In order to keep some semblance of peace in the house, Bess HAS to get exercised. Or as I like to say, exorcised! It's seriously true though! If you've had the "opportunity" to see Bess in her rare unexercised and totally amped up form, it's a sight to be hold. She honestly doesn't know what to do with herself. Sometimes I wonder if her head won't explode if she doesn't get some form of exercise. Of course, sometimes I like to augment her craziness and get her REALLY riled up and doing zoomies. It's just freaking hilarious! But I digress!

My only choice in order to keep Heffner from getting too riled up was exorcise the she beast, so off we went with Heffner barking at us from the house. Bess thought we were going out for a quick jaunt to the park where she would get to fly her freak flag again. I had other plans. I wanted to get a nice jog in and release the tensions of the day. After much spinning and bouncing, she realized that I did in fact mean to keep her attached to the leash. She made the best of it and happily trotted ahead of me. Once we got onto our normal running path, I almost turned right back around. The threat of two crazed dogs stuck in the house with me and no real means of "exorcising" them, was enough to keep me going. The sidewalks were pretty much water and lots of slush. Which meant that with every bounding step, I was throwing slushy, nasty, coldness into my shoes and onto my pants. Running in sloshy soaked shoes isn't entirely pleasant. But again, the alternative wasn't even thinkable!LOL

We headed off to the soccer fields where I was hoping to let Bess off leash for a bit so that she could burn off her zoomies. However, it was so nasty, my feet were already pretty gross, and the fields looked like mushy slush pits, so I opted NOT to even attempt wandering out there.

We pretty much didn't see another human being on foot while we were out. I'm sure people passing us on the road thought I must have been daft to be jogging along in that stuff and dragging my poor dog with me. I will say this though, it's an altogether different type of work out than I'm used to! Not only are you getting the exercise from running, but you're running on a surface that can and will at any moment move out from underneath you. And usually in a direction that you don't expect. Bess seemed otherwise pretty unphased. I think she was disappointed that we passed by her usual off leash fields with no off leash fun, but I have a feeling she'll live.;o)

The moral of this long story is that they need to make comfortable, waterproof, above the ankle, running shoes for just such an occasion.:) Betcha didn't see that moral coming!:)

Since tomorrow is New Years Eve, I am going to attempt to make a list of things that I would like to accomplish with the dogs in the new year. I think it'll be good for me to have a recorded list that I can go back to and check things off. I really do enjoy lists! Even better when they're in a spreadsheet! I'm also a heck of a lot better at accomplishing things when I write them down and make myself find a way to "get 'er done!"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blogger Tuesday

My pick for Blog of the Week is Zoya's Kennel Journal! These are the adventures of a working husky kennel! You can check out things are going with their winter training, what races they're entered in, and how the team is doing. Go check them out!
In other news, we got snow today! And not just the usual dusting either! I think we have some where around 5 inches now. Maybe more. It's stopped snowing for now and the forecast is that it's supposed to rain tonight and the snow should theoretically go away. However, it's kind of difficult to put a lot of stock in weather people who also didn't forecast us getting this snow in the first place, let alone the large amount that we have. And of course, it's totally wreaked havoc on all the roads. Anyone who had to use anything remotely close to a major road of any sort has had a hellish time. I've heard from one person that it took them an hour and 45 min. just to go two blocks. Most people have had relatively short commutes turn into multiple hour commutes. So yeah, while the snow is beautiful and I had absolutely no problem getting home today other than just driving slower than usual of my own accord (and having it in 4 wheel drive), it has really done nasty things for people in moving vehicles.

When I got home, naturally the dogs were super amped up. Heffner was DYING to go out and play in the snow. I feel even more guilty than I've been feeling for not being able to let him out to play and romp like he would like to. Bess was also climbing the walls and her I could do something about. I took her down to the park that's two blocks from our house. It was totally deserted and I was able to let her off leash for a good 40 min. to burn off some serious steam. She was pretty funny! And naturally, I took pictures.:o)

I did also get some shots of Heffner out in our backyard while he was given a quick pee break. He did manage to get a lap of zooming in on me (that's what happens when you're paying more attention to the view finder on the camera than what your dog is about to start doing) before I got him to stop. In the process he managed to cut one of his rear foot pads. Maybe that'll teach him? Doubt it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Magazine of the Month

My pick for Magazine of the Month is The Bark! It's another one of those fun general dog fanatic magazines. There are sections on nutrition, health, how to pick various things for your dog, and of course, many product reviews!:o) The one thing that I like about this magazine as compared to some of the other dog fancy magazines is that it seems to be a little higher on the written content. It's not quite as fluffy. I'm not saying that they don't have the fluffy stuff, but there's more of the written word in this magazine. In addition to the many informative articles, they also have some fun fiction article segments. I think I just find the grouping of authors for this magazine more enjoyable. Stories abound about various different breeds of dogs living in their element (whatever that may be!) in all different areas of the world. I just find it a very enjoyable magazine to read.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Conditioning - Skijoring

One of the many activities that I love to do with my dogs is skijoring!! I don't even honestly remember how I came to learn about the sport or why I decided to try it. Actually, scratch that, I do usually start to envision what it would be like to do random dog related sports with my dogs when I first hear about them! So mostly I just don't remember how I came to hear about it. Either way, I found myself a mentor who told me how to get started and got Heffner fitted for a harness and the rest is mostly history. Sort of.

Pull training with Heffner didn't quite go as smoothly as I had planned. I'll put together some videos using Bess to demonstrate some of the ground work that will usually help to lead to a better pulling dog. I started off having Heffner pull too heavy of a tire. He wanted nothing to do with that. Then I tried a lighter tire and he still wasn't thrilled with it. So we skipped all that and I started using an old cart type thingy that Adam's parents had lying around from when he was a kid. Yeah, Heffner wasn't terribly thrilled about that. After all that, I decided to just scrap the dryland training (this was before I got the scooter) and go up to the mountain once a week to practice!

For anyone who thinks that skijoring is just you lolly gagging along while your dog does all the work, I dare you to try it and NOT discover all sorts of sore muscles in places you never thought you had muscles! It's work just to stay upright! And if you have a dog who isn't always thrilled about staying ahead of momma, it's even more work than you bargained for! Heffner by himself is a very distracted skijoring partner. He wants to check things out along the way and not always necessarily stay ahead of me in the preferred position. Here are some videos of our first winter out.LOL As you can tell, he tends to get a wee bit distracted!;o)

Not the most productive runs, but I will grant him this, he's always looking out for him momma. Every time I fell (and in the beginning that happened more times than I care to count), he would turn around and come check on me. Awwwwww....wasn't that sweet! And no, I most definitely did NOT catch my falling on camera!LOL

With the addition of Bess, I had a feeling that our skijoring jaunts were going to be more productive. Heffner seemed like he would be more of the calming force between the two. He's out there more to have a good time, take in the sights, and check on his clumsy momma (thankfully he doesn't need to do that hardly at all any more!). Bess has been this electric force that wanted nothing more than to RUN! Together, they ended up making the perfect pair! Bess encourages Heffner to keep on going and happily does the bulk of the work when he likes to take little breaks and slack off on pulling. And Heffner gets Bess to STOP! This is a VERY important command to have trained in a pulling dog. More importantly, you need to teach the dog to do this command even when you continue moving. I learned this the hard way!

I was giving a little introductory skijoring clinic this past late winter. I decided to run Bess solo because there were dogs in the group that I knew Heffner would not get along with. And you can't exactly give instruction in a class when you have a dog who renders you non-approachable by some of the people in the class. This ended up not entirely being the best decision. There were a couple things NOT in my favor that day. 1) The snow was icy and VERY fast. 2) I hadn't instilled a good WOAH command with Bess while I was still moving because I'd always just depended on Heffner stopping the team. With the snow being icy, no amount of snow plowing was slowing me down. Once Bess got over the fact that she had to run in booties, she realized that they protected her feet and she could run like a mad dog possessed! And she pretty much did just that! I will grant you that she was quite fast and loving every minute of it, but the only way that I could get her to stop was by falling and getting drug for a ways. It was rather unpleasant and I've never been so bruised and battered in my life! So take my advice, train your dogs to stop even while you continue to move. It's incredibly valuable!

And just to give you an idea of what a difference Bess has made to our team, here are a couple of video clips from last winter when I was running them together.:o)

It is such a rush when they're both running!! There's just nothing quite like it. I will definitely miss running both the dogs this season, but I'll have Heffner back into shape by next winter. In the mean time, Bess and I are registered for her first skijoring race on Jan. 9th and 10th! I'm planning on getting up to the mountain next weekend to run the course and see how she does running completely solo with no Heffner.

In other news, there's a three month old great dane puppy that I'm going to be playing with over the next few months! I just met him and his owner this afternoon. His name is Obelisk (I believe that's how you spell it). His owner potentially wants to have him shown. I'll be working with the puppy and the owner to get him trained up and ready to go and I think that Bess' breeder is going to show him. A lot of it depends on how he matures and when he looks ready to hit the rings. Puppies can go through some pretty ugly growth spurts. Generally what you see at 8 weeks is what you get as an adult. I didn't see him as an 8 week old puppy, so it's hard to say what he'll mature into. Right now he's all sorts of adorable and has his positive conformation aspects. Hopefully he'll hang on to those! Here's a couple of pictures of the adorable little guy!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Catch Up

The problem with taking a few days off from blogging, especially the days of Christmas Eve and Christmas day, is that there is much to catch up on and I have to figure out how to condense it. 'Cause really, the details of some of it are really only important/entertaining to those who actually involved! Here goes!

Christmas Eve morning I took Bess out to Hagg Lake to burn off some energy. Heffner was definitely not happy that he was getting left behind yet again, and especially when we were travelling some where in the truck. On a side note, he is getting INCREDIBLY difficult to keep quiet. If it weren't for the almighty fit that I know he would throw in the crate, I would start sticking him in there for chunks of time.:o/ Anyhow, here are some pictures from Bess at the lake:

She was able to burn off a little of her crazy energy, but not nearly as much as she would have been able to if she had Heffner to rough house with. We were originally going to meet up with my friend Kati and her two whippets, but Kati's dad passed away that morning and she was getting ready to fly out on Christmas to be with family. It wasn't entirely unexpected, but still very hard, especially at this time of year.

Next up was wrapping presents. That went pretty well, until I started wrapping the dogs' presents! Heffner KNEW that those toys were for HIM and was all sorts of nosy. As I'm wrapping, he's trying to unwrap. I finally had to banish him out of the office. Bess them came up and did her usual lean with head tilted up at me adoringly as if to say "I'm the good dog! Can I have the presents?" Yes, they are a wee bit spoiled!

After present wrapping we got ready to head out for the Christmas Eve extravaganza with Adam's side of the family. It's a joint Christmas gift exchange and birthday celebration for his grandma who's birthday it also is. It's a fun time with LOTS of great food and lots of Christmas cheer! Here's the tree with the presents sort of sprawled out.
The highlight of the night for the women folk were the Slankets (a Snuggie competitor) that we all got from the kids of the family who were hosting! I gotta tell you, now that I have one, I can totally see what all the craziness was about last year. The Snuggie was reported to be the #1 Christmas gift last year. After the Christmas craziness with it, there were Snuggie "parties" popping up all over the place. One such party was advertised on the radio in our area for an American Idol Final Snuggie party. Yes, the Snuggies were hot and now I have one!:o)
We had to head out of the festivities early because we still needed to go home and pick up the pooches and head down to my parents' in Silverton. I had been going back and forth on whether or not to bring the dogs this year. On the one hand, I obviously love having my dogs around and especially on such a mushy holiday, their company is very enjoyable. They just get so excited about EVERYTHING! On the down side, I'm trying to keep Heffner quiet, and the dogs get excited about EVERYTHING! I finally decided that it would be more enjoyable to have them there and I didn't want to leave them in the house alone over night since we weren't entirely sure what time we were going to be home the next morning. My original plan had been to bring the Rescue Remedy down to hopefully take the edge off the dogs through the night so that I could get some sleep. Unfortunately I forgot it, and boy was I sorry!!

Heffner has a hard time settling down anyhow when he's not at home. Compound that by the excitement of lots of decorations, being at my parents' (which usually means we're going to do something fun), all sorts of food smells, and a dog who hasn't gotten any exercise in a week (and is used to a daily release) and you have a dog who CAN NOT settle down through the night. He was up at least once every hour. If I just let him be and stand up and check the door, then he would start pacing in the room (Adam is a really light sleeper and was sleeping out on the couch to avoid the inevitable). After a couple times of that, as soon as I heard him stand up I would make a grab for his collar and make him lie down again. It worked pretty well, except for the fact that I was constantly on alert to hear him get up and had to fully wake up to get him to lie down again. Which meant that I didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night.

We did finally get up at 5:30am, which is our usual Christmas morning start time with my family. We're early risers on Christmas morning! Go figure!:o) We ripped into the stockings first. They're sort of the speed bump to the present opening. My mom likes to use them to gain a few more minutes of shut eye. She used to go through this whole elaborate charade of needing to be woken up. First we had to have her coffee ready, then we had to spend forever trying to get her out of the bed, and finally we could get her out to the tree to start the present opening. Now, however, mwahahahahahahaha......she doesn't dare dwaddle in bed or else I unleash the hounds on her.>:o) There's certainly nothing like two giant dogs jumping up onto your bed with reckless abandon as to where their feet are going!LOL This year, it was just Bess who got to jump on the bed, but Heffner did his part by ramming his face in my mom's face. Needless to say, she gets out of bed MUCH faster than she used to!LOL

So we do early Christmas morning with my folks, then we head back home to drop off the dogs, feed them, drop off our loot, and head over to Adam's parents' house for Christmas morning part 2. They tend to get up later than my family so it works out well. More present opening and the traditional Christmas morning souffle! Then it's back home to get cleaned up and do some napping. And let the dogs open their presents.:)

Then it's time for Christmas dinner. More great food and family. And that pretty much raps things up through today. December 26th. The day that I dread all year. Because it means that Christmas is over for another year and I can no longer wear my Christmas socks, Christmas earrings, Christmas clothes, listen to Christmas music, or watch Christmas movies.:( It's kind of a sad day for me. I think it was a little harder this year because I felt like I didn't get enough time to really enjoy the season. We've had a lot of things going on at work and a lot of stress as well that has kind of put a damper on things for me this year. It just firms my resolve to take at least a week off around Christmas next year so that I can do all the things that I wanted to do this year, but didn't have enough time to.

Here's hoping that you all enjoyed your holiday break and had a great time with friends, family, and those wonderful pooches in your lives!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let the Games Begin!

Happy December 23rd! Just the dogs and I in front of our house. We don't have a ton of outside decorations as yet. We're slowly accumulating them. Mostly because it takes a lot more effort in iffy weather to put hose up!
Well, tomorrow is Christmas Eve!! We've got a pretty hectic schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas day with splitting the many events between the two sides of our families. I'm not entirely sure that I'll have much time over the next couple of days to get on here and pitter patter way at the keyboard, so I just wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!!!! I hope that you all get to fully enjoy the day with those who mean the most to you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blogger Tuesday

My pick for Blog of the Week this week is Danes World! This blog is all about Sasha the great dane and her daily adventures. Go check her out and say hi!

Happy December 22nd! The dogs were just settling in for some Christmas tea.;o)

Well, tonight was the first night that I actually had to exercise only one dog. Heffner's vet visit was last Fri. and Fri. night I had plenty going on after work getting ready for the Christmas movie marathon, that I just didn't get around to doing anything with Bess. Then Sat. was the big movie marathon and I spent the whole day vegged out on the couch watching Christmas movies.:o) Sun. I was feeling incredibly lazy in the morning, then did some Christmas shopping, and felt like more laziness in the evening. Not entirely normal for me, but I think I was sort of preparing myself for the stress and craziness I had ahead of me this week at work. And yet again on Mon., no exercise for Bessy because I was at work from 8am until 7pm. I had to be at work again by 6:45am this morning, so there was no ball exercising for her. So pretty much the dogs have had a whole lot of nothing the past few days! And good lord were they feeling it!

It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep Heffner quiet. He's still got at least a week and a half of no exercise and he's definitely feeling his oats! I felt incredibly guilty when I took Bess running with me tonight, but she is also feeling quite full of herself. The both of them inside the house with cabin fever just leads to WWF in whatever room they happen to be in. Not good! So I took the crazy one running and let her off leash in some soccer fields along the way to burn off her zoomies. She was having a total blast zipping all over the fields!

Once we got home, Heffner was over joyed to see us. Thankfully Bess had exorcised her demons and wasn't as enthusiastic to get all up in his face for some wrestling. Then they got fed and all was well. Except that I've noticed one thing about Heffner since he's been on the Rimadyl. I was totally prepared for him to drink a whole lot of water and need to pee a whole lot. Adam actually volunteered to come home during the week days to let him out to pee. It's the side effect that I've heard people complain about the most. Only, we haven't had that AT ALL. And he's getting it twice a day. I was a little surprised, but also pleased. However, one of the side effects that I read about was increased appetite. Heffner has had an awesome appetite since being switched to raw almost two years ago. And he's always been pretty easily food motivated. Now, though, he's like this intense black hole for food. I literally just fed him his dinner and started to eat mine and he was staring my food down. And actually being pretty rude about it. I'm not hard on the dogs when it comes to me eating food around them. As long as they keep their distance and respect my space, I really don't mind them being around me. Heffner will usually watch the food for a short bit and then lose interest. That is NOT the case now. He watches every bit of food like he's been starved for a week! I really can't adequately describe how incredibly intense he is about food right now. When I'm posing the dogs for their pictures, he's practically falling over himself in order to go where I point and do what I ask for just a morsel of treat. It's just insane! Has anyone else experienced this with their dog(s) if they've been on Rimadyl??

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fun Collars!

Happy December 21st!! Today Heffner was reading a book about Santa Claus to Bess. To read a Christmas book, you need to be wearing special Christmas glasses.;o)

Last night, I was feeling a little crafty. Not a lot, just a little. So while watching more Christmas movies, I spent some time working on some Christmas "party" collars for the dogs. First I took some skinny elastic string stuff:
Then I took a couple of the MANY random Christmas garlands that we have that I don't really know what else to do with other than to make the dogs wear them, and I cut them up into small segments.

Next I cut the elastic string stuff into lengths that will fit each dog's neck. I tied off the ends and covered them in hot glue to sort of seal them closed (I couldn't think of anything else that would work and elastic doesn't melt with a flame the way nylon does).

Then I tied the individual garland segments onto the collar of elastic. The end product was:

I then tried my hand at making a "party" collar with actual ribbon and some beaded string using the same manner. I actually kind of like how it turned out!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Movie Marathon 2009 and More!

First of all, we would love to thank Murphy for giving us the above award!! You guys totally rock! We would like to pass this award on to:

1) Blogging Dante. I love hearing the stories about these two beautiful doberman kids and the musings of their mom!
2) Brutus the Frenchie. Ridiculously adorable little frenchie who does agility and obedience!
3) Chihuahuas Are Not Sheep. I just love hearing all the stories about the little chi's and their crazy border collie brother!
4) Danes Can Q. It helps that we know Vegas and her mom in "real life," but we'd enjoy their blog (and the collars Kennedy makes!) anyway!
5) Dig-it Fetch-it Herd-it. Love the pictures, love the dogs, and love all the stuff they get to do!
6) Romping and Rolling in the Rockies. I absolutely love all the breath taking pictures of the gorgeous wilderness these guys live in. Love the hidden wildlife camera shots, the explanations on different animal tracks, and especially how energetic this lady is!
7) The Life Story of Miss Layla. Beautiful malamute girl who does agility and obedience!
8) Evolution of Darwin. The stories of a blue dane pup as she grows up in the Pacific Northwest!
9) The Thundering Herd. I can't help it! SIX siberian huskies??? I love hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of these beautiful guys!

And since I didn't blog yesterday (I'll get around to the fun story of my day yesterday!), I have two Christmas pictures to post! Here's December 19th's picture:
This is the dogs with all the Christmas movies that we have. This picture was taken Friday night as we were gearing up for our 6th annual Christmas Movie Marathon!
Happy December 20th! I was going for a sort of humorous shot of Bess "pulling" Heffner in the little plastic sled. However, it was kind of icky outside and I didn't really feel like trying to get the dogs to cooperate with all of this stuff while outside, so I opted for inside. Since Heffner isn't allowed to get any exercise right now, I thought it would be funny to have him in the sled. Bess was not amused! Heffner, however, WAS! Here are some of the out takes:

Yesterday was one of the Christmas traditions that we have that I totally look forward to all year! It was our 6th annual Christmas Movie Marathon (CMM)! I started doing it back at our old house soon after Adam got his first projector. We had started to slowly accumulate Christmas movies and I wanted to sit down and watch a bunch of them. Then I thought it might be fun to have something along the lines of a movie marathon and it just grew from there. I am slight OCD about the schedule (that might be an understatement depending on the type of person that you are). Here's yesterday's schedule:

7:00am Breakfast
8:00am The Muppet Christmas Carol
9:32am Claymation Christmas
9:59am The Year Without a Santa Claus
10:49am 45 min. Lunch Break
11:34am Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
12:26pm Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
1:20pm Frosty the Snowman
1:47pm Frosty's Winter Wonderland
2:14pm A Charlie Brown Christmas
2:42pm A Garfield Christmas
3:08pm How the Grinch Stole Christmas
3:36pm Classic Holiday Stories
4:11pm A Merry Fraggle Holiday - The Bells of Fraggle Rock
4:58pm 60 min. Dinner Break
5:58pm National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
7:38pm A Christmas Story
9:14pm The Santa Claus 3
10:46pm The 6th Annual Christmas Movie Marathon is over until next year.

The start times for each movie is based upon the run time for each, with an included three minute "break" in between each movie to allow for quick bathroom breaks, a stretch, grabbing some food, and for me to switch DVDs and queue up the next movie.:o) I have a wonderful spreadsheet (have I mentioned before that I LOVE Excel??) where I have a list of all the Christmas movies that we own with their individual run times. Within this spreadsheet I have separate pages for each year's movie marathon. There are some movies that I absolutely love and will be there every single year. And there are other time slots that for rotating movies. We have a ton of Christmas movies, and the number only continues to grow each year, so it gets hard sometimes to figure out which movies to include and which to leave out. There are those "odd" Christmas specials that I usually like to occasionally throw. Ones like He-Man and She-Ra's Christmas Special (bet you didn't know they had one out on DVD!!LOL) or the Fraggle Rock Christmas Episodes.;O)

For the meals, I usually make a Krispy Kreme run early in the morning and pick up a couple dozen donuts. Mmmmmm.....Krispy Kreme's!! I also pick up some ridiculously delicious bagels from My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe the day before along with their variety of cream cheeses.:o) Lunch is usually a hodge-podge of meats and cheeses. This year Adam ran out to Trader Joe's and picked us up some goodies of the meat and cheese variety. Dinner is also kind of a whatever I'm feeling like at the moment. This year, for the small group that was hanging out at that point (I also invite some people over to enjoy the festivities and my neuroses), we had Baja Fresh. Throughout the day there's always a variety of drinks including orange juice, soda, coffee (with holiday creamers!), egg nog, wines, beer, and whatever else we pick up. It makes for some not too terribly grazing throughout the day that is highly enjoyable.

Now that we have all three of the Santa Clause movies, I am REALLY tempted to have a mini marathon the night before showing those movies. We'll see if I add that in to repertoire!

Basically it's a whole lot of eating, being lazy, and soaking up the Christmas mood.:) Here are some pics I took of the dogs throughout the day, soaking up the laziness and attention they were getting!

Bessy going in for some lovin' on my sister, who happily obliged her.
I had to give my dad a stern talking to before my parents came over on Sat. because he LOVES to get the dogs totally riled up! That's all I needed was for Heffner to go into full spaz mode because grandpa was there and tweak something worse!
Andrea getting some loving from both the dogs!

We LOVE our theater room!!
Bess getting snuggly with her daddy. She is such a snuggle bum!:)

I believe this is all of the Christmas movies that we have. I wonder exactly how long it would take us to get through ALL of the movies if we just watched them straight through?? That may very well be a challenge that I will take on one of these years. Though I better do it soon before the collection grows too out of hand.;o)
Bess taking advantage of Tilly's niceness and essentially taking over the whole couch!
You may be saying to yourself, what is the appropriate attire for a Christmas Movie Marathon? Why Christmas pajamas and a Christmas sweater of course (and throw in some Christmas earrings with a matching light up necklace, and Christmas socks)!!
At one point I was sitting in the middle. Then Bess starting gradually taking it over and I got up. She was actually sleeping, and snoring loudly, like this.
Today has been more laziness with some Christmas shopping at the mall thrown in. I'm almost done with my shopping!! Just one more gift card to buy and I'm good to go.