07 August 2015

Where to live?

We've been downsizing / right sizing since 2009 starting at my parent's house and moving on to our own after that and now we are wondering where we should go for the next step -- the AARP move. I think we are on a good path to perpetual downsizing and learning how to re-purpose what we do have to get the most out of what takes up space in our lives.

The first part of the AARP plan may be deciding whether or not to move. Sometimes moving make sense and sometimes it doesn't, let's figure out some things to think about.
  • Family and friends - how close do you want to be to those people? You may want to think about what those folks will be doing too, will they always want to be where they are now? For me it's fairly easy on the family front, most of mine no longer live on the frozen tundra.I would like to be near a vibrant community and perhaps a University, but it's not a deal breaker.
  •  Weather - I'll share with you that Minnesota's climate is unfriendly, we have the Amazon in the summer and Siberia in the winter -- who wouldn't want to live here! As we consider locations I keep thinking that a place with less extremes would be a nice start. San Diego and Santa Barbara are both places with lovely weather, Minnesota not so much. I just want to be able to walk every day without worrying about falling on the ice or collapsing because of the heat.
  • It costs how much! There are definitely places that have a lower cost of living than Minnesota, but there are trade offs and it's important to figure out if those places really are cheaper. We have lots of practice living on the low end and that should still be doable as we age out of the workplace.
  • Housing for old farts - okay I still am not sure I'm an old fart, but if I were I would want my house to be easy to live in. As a Minnesota resident, I do not want a house with a steep driveway and that has no age barrier, it's just common sense! In the household pieces that are nice to have I would include being able to live on one level, no thresholds, not too many stairs into the house.  
  • What about being an RVer? Yes the open road is appealing, but there are a lot of expenses that go with that lifestyle. I would love to hear from anyone doing it full time or those that have stopped to learn what to pay attention to. 
  • What about being transient? This is easier for the non-doggie crowd, but it would be tempting to go from place to place renting houses and experiencing all the USA has to offer -- or why stop there, how about the world?   
 What would you do?

05 August 2015

Doga - Yoga for you and your dog

I like Yoga, even if I'm not that great at it. I like to be able to stretch and have some calm time to work at being more physically flexible and strong. The dogs always enjoy being near me when I am at home doing my Yoga so this could be a way to incorporate a little more for them into the routine.

What are you doing to exercise with or without your dogs?

Source: Fix.com

30 July 2015

Do you really need all those clothes?

I'm always trying to figure out ways to reduce the "stuff" that I need to look after, and by "stuff" I mean the inanimate items that require care and may not offer as much payback in rewards. After talking with some friends, I realized that clothes are a real sticking point and for a number of reasons. I did some searching on the Inter Webs and found some good tips to help you go through your clothes and decide what you want/need and what can go make other people happy.

  1. Does it fit? If not, purge it out of your collection. Donate to a worthy cause, give away to someone that it would fit (only if they want it), or it may mean tossing it out. If these words are in your vocab list you may want to move the items on to new homes - Clothes with modifiers like fat, skinny, mending, and any others that fall into those excuses category. 
  2. Does it flatter? Make no mistake, all of us likely have things that don't flatter us -- the trick is in really seeing how the clothes look on you. It helped me to take cell phone pics of my in different outfits to quickly move some things on to new places. Are you looking frumpy? Did you know you could look frumpy wearing really high-end clothing? Mom jeans, yes, those should go. Too baggy, too saggy, constantly needing adjustment to make them functional? Out they go! 
  3. Do you wear the clothes? Now I will cut you some slack if you live in a climate that requires clothing from the tropics to Siberia, but even with that latitude be sure you are actually wearing the clothes. If your attire hasn't been on your body for an entire year, it should move on to make someone else happy. You can always do the backward hanger trick, hang everything with the hanger pointing the wrong direction and then after the season is complete if the clothing hasn't graced your body, out it goes. No cheating! 
  4. What is your color? No, not in the seasonal or aura way, but what is the base for your wardrobe? Mine is black, and it works for most of what I am doing. The biggest trick here is to select a neutral foundation color like black, brown, khaki, gray, and then move everything else to a new home. 
  5. What will you use to accent and accessorize? Pick things that work with your base color -- again, mine is black and that seems to work with everything. I would limit the color selection some so your closet isn't full of accent pieces, but get some classic pieces that are good quality. I like silver with turquoise and I like emeralds too so I ave those as accessories. What about purses? I've got two that I rotate through and at an event I'm really more likely to be carrying a camera bag than a handbag. Stick with your base color or accent color and get something that is both practical and attractive.
  6. What's on your feet? In my past I had so much footwear that I may have been rivaling Imelda Marcos, and I wish I would have listened to the nuns about not wearing high stiletto heels -- who knew my feet would be destroyed . . . oh yes, the nuns knew. Anywho, now I have more practical footwear, one pair of dress shoes (in patent leather, thanks Catholic school!), a casual shoe (loafer), a slip on after tennis shoe to wear in the house and a walking shoe /tennis shoe/sneaker so I can get out and walk the dogs every day with good support and less pain and one pair of dress boots that I can wear in public or to the horse barn.
What's in the closet? (Besides skeletons...)
  • Underwear - I've got a lot of these, about enough for 3-weeks. All are black because all my slacks and pants are dark. Brands to consider: Jockey, Exofficio, Vanity Fair. 
  • Bras - find a fitter and get some help selecting a bra, of course even then you may or may not have great success. The fitters at Nordstrom's at the Mall of America have been good in the past and are worth a shot. There are people that make custom bras and that is always a good option. I've also got one camisole style top that is black and I bought at a horse expo, offers good coverage and is slinky enough to pack easily.
  • Socks - socks with arch support and good toe room for walking and daily wear, a few pairs of trouser socks for dressing up. 
  • Jeans - 2 pairs that look nice, holes and other adornments are more for the youngsters than for me. I wear my clothes for a long time and I don't need to go out of fashion in the next season. 
  • Slacks - 4 pairs all but one with pockets which comes in handy for both dogs and photography. (Yes I usually pass on attire that doesn't have pockets and when I wear an outfit without them it annoys me.)
  • Tee Shirts - I have too many... In a perfect world there would be 3 long sleeved tees and 10-15 short sleeved tees. I don't wear tank tops because the sun is hard on a delicate flower like myself but you could include a few if you wanted to. 
  • Sweatshirts - I have too many of these too, but my excuse is living in Minnesota. I have a zip up hoodie one that says "Purdue" and has pockets (yes, dogs and photogs) and then some that need to be weeded through so my goal is 4 pull over style and 1 zip up. Then maybe pare down to two zippered hoodies... A girl can dream! 
  • Button front (or pearly snaps) oxford style shirts - I've got a few of these and use them as sun protection and for business casual. I love the western shirt with the pearl snaps, but note to self it is white and your bras are black... Maybe one more bra should be added to the mix?
  • Turtle / mock turtle necks - Again, we live in Minnesota and these are a great part of layering. You may or may not need anything like these. I've got three black and one burgundy.  
  • Short sleeved shirts / tunics - for the tropical summers in Minnesota I've got 3 that are currently in rotation. 
  • Blazers - I need these for business meetings and have 7 in colors that go well with my black slacks. It is a timeless look that can be dressed up or down. 
  • Coats - okay, again it is Minnesota so there are more than most people might need, we have all kinds of weather here and a lot of it is on the same day. Windbreaker, Polartec zip up, zip up vest (with my Riley Photo logo), long lined duster coat for those horribly cold winter days. 
  • Swimsuit - I've got two, one solid black and one with white polka dots. Now that I'm not a Road Warrior I could likely have one swimsuit and be just fine. 
  • Exercise attire - that made it sounds fancier! The tee shirts come in handy here and then 4 pairs of sweats with pockets for dog treats and poop bags.
Your list will be different than mine, but the basics apply for all of us, good quality, comfort and fit and clothes that hold up to use.

04 June 2015

What You Don't Know Can Make Your Dog Fat

Did you know 95 percent of pet owners thought their overweight or obese dog was a normal body condition? With summer barbecues on the horizon “people food” may tempt your dog and he could eat more than just his daily kibble. Here are some stats that may surprise you about pet obesity:
·         In 2014, 43.8 million dogs were overweight
·         42 percent of owners said they didn’t know what a “healthy weight” was for their pet
·         Dog owners can end up feeding about 37-80% more food than their dog needs
The folks at Just Right by Purina have created this wonderful infographic with some fun ideas for how pet owners can prevent pet obesity and keep their pets healthy and happy this summer. 

I've been feeding our dogs Just Right by Purina and they LOVE it! The food is a personalized option that keeps your pets nutritional needs in mind and is a great way to keep your pet healthy in addition to these tips. 

Thanks for stopping past and be sure to share this information with you "dog people." 

03 May 2015

Just Right by Purina Discount Code


I'm really excited about Just Right® by Purina®, a personalized feeding experience that is geared toward your dog's unique needs. I've been feeding my Chinooks, Minnow and The Beej, their specialized blend since 2014 and I LOVE how well the food performs and how great they look. 
This food is available only online, and when you order, you'll provide your firsthand knowledge about your dog's physical and behavioral characteristics, and the folks at Just Right® by Purina® apply their nutritional expertise to suggest a personalized blend that your dog can truly call his or her own. In addition to great nutrition, you can even put your favorite photo of your dog right on the label - I like seeing my dogs on the front of the bag. Once you've selected your food, it will ship directly to your door for free and my UPS driver even commented about how regularly the boxes arrive from Purina®
And now, to celebrate National Pet Month, JustRight has offered us a special code for readers of 20% off one order!* That's right - now is your chance to try JustRight! Simply use BEEJMINNOW20 when checking out.

To get started and learn more about JustRight, visit their website. Don't forget, this code - BEEJMINNOW20 - is only good through May 24th, 2015!

*Official Terms and Conditions
Offer valid for 20% off one (1) order (up to $68.95) of Just Right® by Purina® through May 24, 2015. Valid on JustRightPetFood.com only. For full terms, visit www.purina.com/terms-and-conditions. If you have questions about the product, technology, et cetera, get in touch with the Just Right by Purina team. http://justrightpetfood.com/contact-us

Disclaimer: We are part of the JustRight pet blogger network but were not compensated directly for this post.

01 May 2015

National Purebred Dog Day May 1st

Minnow the Chinook mugs it up on the National Purebred Dog Day Facebook page

From Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, to Uggie and Air Bud, from Brian Griffin and Santa’s Little Helper, to Snoopy and Marmaduke, purebred dogs have had a place in American history and culture.
Did you know that about half of all dogs owned in the United States are purebred dogs? Purebred dogs were created to work alongside man as hunters and herders, vermin control and livestock guardians. They are service, military, and Search and Rescue dogs, and have provided companionship while protecting family and home.

On March 10, 2015, Colorado became the first state in America to recognize May 1st as National Purebred Dog Day. State legislators voted on Joint Resolution 15-1015 introduced by Minority Whip, Rep. Polly Lawrence, to celebrate the diversity, heritage, predictability and contributions of the purebred dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports National Purebred Dog Day too.

The path to National Purebred Dog Day begins Hungary in 1944. Founder, Susi Szeremy's mother had grown up with a Puli dog and in near the end of World War II, allied aircraft were bombing Budapest on an almost daily basis between 1944 and 1945. Unfortunately her mother's Puli did not survive and Szeremy shares "A broken chain and bits of bloody collar were all that remained of him. This dog became a casualty of a war that had nearly decimated all the Hungarian dog breeds either by bombing or starvation; many more shot or beaten to death by soldiers."

It was thirty years before Szeremy's mother could pet another Puli. It was a Puli puppy that Szeremy had searched for years to find. Seremy shares, "When I first introduced them to each other, my mother buried her face in the puppy's soft black curls and wept for a long time. In that moment, I understood the significance of the human-dog bond."

While every dog should be valued whatever its ancestry, National Purebred Dog Day specifically recognizes the 300+ distinct dog breeds and varieties recognized worldwide, each breed a "bit of history with a pulse," each the legacy of the culture that created it for a reason. Some purebred breeds are in danger of extinction, such as the Skye Terrier that is outnumbered globally by Panda Bears.

For more information about National Purebred Dog Day visit their Facebook and YouTube pages. To join in the fun use these hashtags: #purebreddogs and #NationalPurebredDogDay

25 February 2015

Family Photos - are these your family?

These photos came to me as part of my research I am sharing in hopes that they will find their families. If you can identify anyone please let me know.

Names that I have found:
  • Vickerman
  • Hoskins
  • Micken
  • Daniels
  • Quade
  • Batalden
  • Lake View Church in Hillman, Minnesota
  • South
  • Adel
  • Aret
  • Look
  • Niekem
  • Christensen, Jane 
  • Miller
  • Weiskopf, Richard Oswin 1926-1 Sep 1952