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My Dog is Neurotic!

I got home from Texas Saturday evening.

I worked my a$$ off while I was there, but I managed to finish everything in one week.

(Fingers crossed no loose ends pop up requiring a return trip!)

It was a super tightly-scheduled week with absolutely no down time.

I was stressful, and I got very little sleep.

I barely ate because I was so rushed and stressed.

Apparently, Fred is a lot like me.

This was the longest I’ve been away from him.

He was spoiled rotten while I was gone.

He got to stay at home in the environment he’s used to.

He got lots of love, walks, visitors, and play time.

But …?

On Thursday I got a call saying Fred seemed a little “off.”

I was pretty sure it was nothing, but I made a vet appointment for the weekend.

I figured I would have the appointment available for my return “just in case” Fred got worse.

On Friday morning I got an urgent call.

Fred’s dog sitter was panicking over some of Fred’s symptoms.

I became very concerned.

His dog sitter rushed him off to the vet, and I immediately texted the breeder I got Fred from.

(Fred’s breeder continues to be my resource for all Newfie-related matters.  She is AWESOME!)

The breeder told me Fred’s tummy-related issues were caused by one of two causes.

Colitis … caused by stress.

Or a bacterial infection.

She reassured me both were easily treatable and told me Fred would be fine.

Well, I immediately scoffed at the possibility of colitis.

Fred has no stress!

Fred was having the week of his life and I’d been receiving nonstop photos to prove it!

Fred was having FUN without me.

A short while later, my vet called.

My dog sitter had dropped Fred off with a list of symptoms.

The vet called to ask me a few questions about Fred.

I informed the vet I’d be glad to help, but since I was in Texas and away from Fred, I might have to refer her to the dog sitter.

There was a pause from my vet.

“How long have you been away from Fred?” asked my vet.

And just like that, she informed me Fred was missing me.

Fred was so worried about me he had made himself sick with worry.

(Never mind he was having a GREAT time.  Where was his mommy??)

“Seriously?” I asked the vet.

“Yep,” she answered.  “Fred is very worried about your absence.”

I was reunited with Fred Saturday evening.

He’s on a bland diet for a few days to calm down his stressed-out nervous tummy.

He’s getting lots of love and cuddles, and reassurance, from me.

Fred lost seven pounds while I was gone.

I’m sure, given a week to ten days, he will be 100% back to normal.

I don’t have any other trips coming up in the near future.

But, I’m now totally panicked about my New Zealand trip.

What am I going to do about Fred?

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I told you I didn’t know what to expect from this week.

And …?

I still don’t.

I’ve been VERY busy!

On a positive note, I think I’ll be able to complete everything this week.

I’m hopeful I won’t be commuting to Texas over the next few weeks.

I think I’ll be flying home this Saturday?

I’ve had exactly ZERO free time.

(And, I *thought* I’d have time to take in a museum or two??)

It’s been exhausting and a bit stressful.

But, it is what it is.

I’ve heard Fred is doing great and getting spoiled.

I miss him so much it hurts.

I wanted to Facetime Fred, but I know he’d go crazy and then probably be a depressed dog afterward.


My arm was KILLING me after managing my luggage and gear to get here.

Yesterday, I used a Paul Newman trick and was able to pop my arm back into place.

It really hurt, and I’m very sore, but thank goodness it worked!

I was proud of myself in a weird sort of way.

OK, I’m off to take a two hour nap so I can work for the next 48 hours pretty much nonstop.

I’ll update again if I can!

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Oh, Texas!

I am, a bit unexpectedly, in Texas again.

A project came up a week ago when I was visiting my son.

I debated taking it, because it’s too hot in Texas right now for Fred.

But, here I am.

I don’t (yet) know how long I’ll be here.

It could be a few days or it could be a few weeks.

(If it ends up being a few weeks, I’ll be flying back and forth and/or driving with Fred.)

I *almost* drove out to Texas with Fred this time.

But, I’m very concerned about Fred in the Texas heat.

So, instead, a friend is staying at my house with Fred while I work on this project.

It’s killing me to be away from him, but hopefully it will end up being just for a couple days.

I think I’ll be working weird hours which should hopefully leave some down-time for blogging.

(Can you tell I don’t know exactly what is expected of me yet?)

I wish it was just a little further into fall so the Texas weather would be cooler, but such is life.

I have a few sights I’d like to see if I end up having big enough gaps in my hours along the way.

And, of course, I hope to get a dinner or two with my son while I’m here, too.

I admit to having mixed feelings on all of this.

But, I’ll take it a day at a time and see how it goes.

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My Life(style) In Photos

It’s Friday!

And …?

Once again,

We are expecting “record breaking” heat here.

Personally, I’m really tired of hot.

I’m very jealous of those of you who get to experience FALL.

Here are a few photos of life, lately.

First, a photo I took during a summer, monsoon, rain storm.

The hummingbirds LOVE the rain!

Hummingbirds flock to feed in the rain.

Most people aren’t used to seeing trains just feet away from the ocean.

I was born here, and I still love the sight of our beach trains.

California trains along the coast.

Clouds and colorful skies are probably the only good thing about monsoon heat waves.

So much color!  It (almost) makes the heat bearable.

I’ll be spending a lot of the weekend trying to stay cool.

Happy weekend!

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Randomness …

I’ve got a whole lot of miscellaneous Random for you today (while I’m busy having Paul Newman put my arm back where it belongs.)

 For those of you who asked, I do have a “voice recording” of Fred talking.  I just don’t have a way to get it onto the blog.  I’ll try to find a way so you can hear him.

•  Yesterday, Fred went with me to meet the ladies at my “waxing salon.”  He had a great time meeting lots of people.  He got lots of love and attention and he was VERY well behaved.  (Yay Fred!)

Fred iPhone © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred photo – taken just prior to a visit to OC Waxing.

 I took my Hobonichi and my Peerless Watercolors on the plane with me last week.  Here are some of my plane doodles:

Plane Doodles © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Plane doodles

Excuse the poor lighting on my iPhone photos.

 And, yes, people were looking at me oddly as I painted on the plane.

But, do things like that bother me?

No, they do not!

Doodling and painting kept me amused for the duration of my flights.

Plane Doodles 2 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Plane Doodle

 I also managed to get one page done in my art journal prior to leaving for Texas.

It was done, primarily, with acrylic paints:

AJ1 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

When It Rains, It Pours – Art Journal Page

I made the above page on a rainy day.  (I bet you couldn’t tell?)

•  While I was traveling, I found myself on a very crowded bus.  There were people standing due to the lack of seats.  And yet, there were SOME seats that could have been utilized if it wasn’t for Unthoughtful Man Spread.

Man Spread © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Unthoughtful Man-Spread

Of course, me being me, I got “caught” taking a photo of Unthoughtful Man-Spread by the man on the right side of the above frame.

He seemed to think I was taking a photo of his junk, and he was amused and quite flattered.

Obviously, I couldn’t explain I had absolutely no interest in a photo of his not-too-impressive package.

I was all about the selfishness of Man-Spread.

(I was seated across from these two Man-Spreaders.)

•  And, I think that is quite enough “Random” for one day??

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Texas, Last Weekend

I spent Thursday through Sunday in Texas.

It was very hot there.

(And super muggy/sticky/humid/gross.)

But, the sky is often really pretty in Texas.

Texas Sunset

It was nice to have some family time with my son.

We went to a college football game.

We splurged on a nice dinner out.

We got caught up on life, in general.

It was hard to say good-bye, but I got to come home to this:

iPhone of a very dapper Fred The Newf

Fred is a very funny dog.

He gave me a huge greeting when he first saw me.

Then, after lots of hugs and kisses, he proceeded to “complain” in his dog-talking voice.

He can go on, and on, – never barking, just talking.

Obviously, he had a lot to say about me leaving him for a few days.

I’ve never heard a dog talk as much as Fred does.

He can “talk” to you for a good five minutes at a time.

You might think it would be hard to understand Fred since he doesn’t use human words.

But …?

Fred always makes his meaning very clear.

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Hello California!

I got home last night.

I have to say I find California heat waves way more comfortable than Texas heat waves.

Texas stickiness feels like you’re living in hot soup!

Anyway, I haven’t even unpacked yet so I’ll have a real post up tomorrow.

This is just a pretend post.

My brain is sort of exploding with all I need to do ….

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Society Gone Mad

I’m sure, by now, you’ve all heard about Ahmed Mohamed, a ninth grade student in Texas.

Ahmed, wearing a NASA t-shirt, and only 14 years old, was arrested at his school.

I try to imagine the fear and humiliation of being arrested at age 14, in front of your friends, for doing nothing wrong.

Ahmed’s crime?

Bringing a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher.

By the way, Ahmed just happens to be Muslim.

(I add that detail, because I’m quite sure a 14 year old white, Christian, girl would not get arrested for bringing a clock to school in Texas.)

Apparently, Ahmed shared his clock with an English teacher and the English teacher decided it must actually be a bomb.

The police were called.

Ahmed told the police the “bomb” was a clock he made.

He was arrested anyway.

(Note:  He was not “just” taken into custody to be questioned, he was ARRESTED and sent to a juvenile facility!)

•  Students who make bombs voluntarily share their inventions with their teachers before exploding them?

•  And, presumably, all Muslims make bombs, right?

The story makes my stomach turn.

Our society is so screwed up

The Internet has gone crazy in support of Ahmed.

Facebook and Google, and even the President of the United States have sent messages of encouragement to Ahmed.

(Ahmed has also gotten lots of cool invitations to meet with all these people/organizations and NASA folks, too!)

And yet, Ahmed now has a memory he will never forget.

A memory of being arrested, for a crime he did not commit, because of the color of his skin and the religion he was born into.

Here’s the story in Ahmed’s words via an interview with Dallas News:

Of course, safety in our schools is important.

Of course, people have been scared by shootings like Sandy Hook and Aurora … both committed by white males, by the way.

But, Islamaphobia (with a dose of racism thrown in) is absurd and disgraceful.

Curiosity, education, the desire to learn, to invent, to create … should all be strongly encouraged in our schools.

Yes, even if the children have skin that isn’t the same color as the administrators, and/or hold different religious beliefs.

Ahmed, a shining bright star, said, “It made me feel like I wasn’t human. It made me feel like a criminal.”

And this is the America I live in ….

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Life is Weird, And Fred is Big

Life is a roller coaster, and the last few months have been a downward spiral.

Isn’t that always the way it goes?

Maybe other people experience a more even keel,

But, for me, it seems like there are periods of time when everything seems to go smoothly.

And then, there are times (like the last couple months), where one crisis seems to lead to the next.

I *know* I’m due for a bunch of good stuff to happen.

(I know it, because Paul Newman told me so.)

Someone recently approached me about the possibility of writing a book about my life.


My life is really no more interesting than anyone else’s life.

Yes, I’ve definitely had some major twists and turns in my life,

But, I’m pretty sure everyone experiences similar things.

(It makes me yawn to think about writing a book about it!)


The most interesting parts would be the stuff I don’t feel I can write publicly about!

Of course, not everyone has their own living teddy bear, right?

Recently, Fred has taken to joining me on the couch at night.

He seems to delight in the very idea!

Fred Size 10 mo © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred The Newf (10 months old and very happy) with me (sloppy clothes and no make-up!) iPhone photo

I’m taking a short trip at the end of this week.

I’m going to visit my son in Texas for a few days.

My daughter is going with me – she hasn’t been back to visit her brother’s college before.

It will be nice to get a little family togetherness.

I keep teasing my daughter about putting her on a bull and videotaping her trying to ride it.

(She’s really not a bull riding type of girl!)

I don’t have a big family, but I’m so grateful for the family I do have.

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Mr. Mantis

On Friday, a praying mantis (or “stick bug”) was on my garden hose.

I didn’t see it.

I grabbed the hose to turn it on, and the GIGANTIC BUG walked onto my hand.

My heart nearly stopped and I frantically waved my hand sending it flying through the air.

An hour later, I looked down while working and saw the very same praying mantis at the foot of my desk.

(My back door opens constantly letting Fred in and out … Mr. Mantis must have snuck in.)

It turned its eerie head and looked right at me.

It stared.

I stared back.



Of course, I couldn’t kill it because they look like humans in some weird stick-bug way.

Also, Mr. Mantis was spectacularly LARGE … by praying mantis standards.

I mustered up my courage, grabbed a magazine, scoot Mr. Mantis onto it, and put him outside.

I’m not kidding, an hour later he came to my back door where he kept peering in at me.

He remained in the vicinity of my back door, watching me, for the remainder of the day.

When I fed Fred in the evening I didn’t see Mr. Mantis and I was relieved he had finally gone away.

I promptly forgot about Mr. Mantis and his weird obsession with me.

Later, Friday night, I was watching an episode of Ray Donovan while I did some paperwork.

Fred came over to give me a kiss and seemed suddenly obsessed by something at the foot of my chair.

I assumed I must have dropped a crumb of food at some point during the last 24 hours.

(Fred rarely concerns himself with anything other than snuggles and/or food.)

As I peered down at the ground to see what Fred was looking at,

I felt a very soft tingly feeling on my right forearm.

I glanced at my arm and, there just inches from my face, was MR. MANTIS SITTING ON MY ARM!!!!

I’m not exaggerating one bit when I tell you I let out the loudest, most piercing, blood-curdling, scream of my life.

I have new neighbors next door and I’m amazed they didn’t call for the police.

(I swear, I’m not a person who screams at bugs normally but this bug was haunting me!)


As I screamed, I jumped up, flinging Mr. Mantis to the floor.

Fred got all excited and began wagging his tail furiously as he searched for Mr. Mantis.

There was total chaos for a few minutes.

Long story short, Mr. Mantis is now deceased and no longer with us.

Before you tell me how NICE praying mantis bugs are,

Let me inform you they eat their mates – sometimes after decapitating them.

They really aren’t THAT nice!