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Busy, Busy, Busy!

I’ve overbooked myself this week.

It kind of feels like I’m drowning.

The text messages and emails are piling up ….

I apologize if you’re one of the many people I owe a response to.

I had an unexpected technical issue yesterday and it ate up over four hours of my day.

Don’t you just hate when stuff like that happens?

And, of course, things like that *always* happen when I’m already super busy.


I did manage to get a fairly big project sent off to my printer …

So, at least I accomplished something.

Fred, isn’t helping with my productivity.

He’s all amped up from the cool/cold weather we’re having.

He wants to play, play, play and play some more.

It’s not easy to look into his soulful eyes and tell him “no more playtime” when I have to work.

(He finds ways to circumvent the rules whenever he can.)

Fred Kiss © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred gives me kisses while I try to work!  (Fred’s head will get much bigger before he’s done growing!)

In other news, why do we have to get rid of Daylight Savings Time?

I hate all the darkness.

How do you feel about it?

Are you pro or con Daylight Savings time?

P.S.  Barring additional technical problems, I’ll have a “favorite things” post up tomorrow!

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Thoughts …

I was really touched yesterday by the outpouring of birthday wishes I received.

Living so much of my life “online” brings people into my life from all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to get well wishes from hundreds of friends –  including many whom I will never be able to meet in person.

By the way, these people are just as much my “real” friends as those I am able to meet in person.

I was wished a Happy Birthday in so many languages I lost count … and I used Google Translator to understand each and every message.

Being a photographer/writer is a lonely occupation.

I shoot best when I shoot by myself.

I write best when I’m alone and in a quiet place.

Sometimes my life feels very lonely …. does anyone even notice, or care, I exist?

Other times, I’m more than content because I am, by nature, an introvert.

I was genuinely honored to hear from so many well wishers yesterday.

(I really love that I’ve come to know such a great variety of people from different walks of life.)

It made me feel like, in some small way, I have touched lives.

It was a beautiful morning yesterday, followed by a cold (for us!) afternoon.

Friends stopped by unexpectedly,

And they brought surprises with them.

Isn’t it always wonderful to be surprised by kindness when you have absolutely no expectation of it?

I LOVE surprises!

Rain arrived in the evening … bringing total joy to Fred!

Fred absolutely loves when it gets a little cooler.

He runs around in GLEE.

I, also, enjoyed having a little “weather” on my birthday.

I was treated to a fancy dinner out.

I returned home, late at night, to indigo colored skies … spattered with stars and remnant storm clouds.

I also returned to a soaking wet dog who had sat in the rain and soaked it all up (happily) every minute I was gone.

(Trust me, Fred had plenty of shelter available … he CHOSE to sit out in the rain – Newfies love cold/rain/snow!)

I’ve been making lists and I intend to publish a post this week about some of my current favorite things.

In the meantime, thank you to every single one of you for being a part of my life!

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Happy birthday to me!

I’m 24 again today!

It’s always so nice to turn 24.

(Except this year, I noticed 24 is NOT looking at all like 24 used to look.)

Fred was spoiled all day last Friday – his one year birthday.

Fred snoring happily next to his birthday hat.

Fred weighed-in at 140lbs (63.5kg) on the morning of his birthday.

Fred isn’t done growing.  He’ll grow for at least one more year.

Many Newfs continue growing until they’re four years of age.

Fred didn’t want to wear his Halloween costume, so we settled for just a hat.

Sheriff Fred made sure the trick-or-treaters stayed safe on Halloween.

It was a very busy weekend at my house.

It was also a really beautiful weekend here.

I was in Laguna on Sunday and it was picture perfect.

I strolled through shops and galleries, and walked along the beach.

I even indulged in a birthday gelato from Gelato Paradiso … one of the best gelato shops in California.

It was a nice treat.

My week, this week, is kind of crazy.

I might try to sneak away to a coffee shop to get some quality blogging/writing time.

There seem to be a lot (!!!) of distractions/interruptions otherwise.

(And, I have so many things I want to write about.)


Can you tell I’m having a difficult time getting quiet time to write?

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I don’t know where this week went?

I was so busy, and yet I only got a fraction of my “to-do list” done.

Today is Fred’s ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY!!

I’m going to try to get a good birthday photo of him today.

(I’ll post it on Facebook if I get a chance!)

I also want to get him in to be weighed.

Yesterday, Fred had a play date (at Dana Point Harbor) with his 8 month old cousin, Dexter.

Dexter is 90 pounds and he looked like a small dog next to Fred.

I see Fred all the time, so I forget how truly gigantic he really is until I see him with other Newfs.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’ve never seen a Newfoundland as big as he is!”

(All Newfies are gigantic – Fred is just super sized.)

Anyway, Fred went absolutely crazy with Dexter.

He was SO excited to see another Newf.

In other news/updates –

•  Fred did come back clean from the groomer, but they did NOT cut his ears correctly.  They’re still very long and shaggy.

I may have to buy a pair of dog shears and learn to do them myself.

(I haven’t attempted cutting Fred’s hair because of my arm.  I think I might “ruin” him if I try to cut left handed.)

Also, Fred only stayed clean for about five minutes before he was a mess again.

It’s impossible to keep a Newfie clean.

•  My pain level is back to normal (for me) thanks to Paul Newman.  I‘m so grateful to him.

•  My Roterfaden (birthday present to myself) arrived late yesterday.  I was surprised at how quickly it arrived.  I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet.  (My birthday isn’t until Monday, anyway.)

•  It’s BEAUTIFUL here.  I love Southern California when it’s like this.

•  My house is a disaster and I have people coming over today.  I remember when I used to worry about things like that.

•  I’m so excited for the weekend because I’m not in horrible pain and the weather is nice, and I want to be outside and play, play, play!

•  Hopefully, I’ll have lots of photos for you next week – of both Fred’s birthday and Halloween …..

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So Much To Say ….

I’ve got a lot I want to blog about, but I’ve had absolutely zero time to write.

I will do my best to have a “real” post up in the next 24 hours.

Thank you for your patience ….

I’m having a super busy week!

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And, The “Season” Begins ….

Yesterday, I went shopping for a Halloween costume for Fred.

I think it’s ridiculous when people dress up their dogs.

But, Fred is the undeniable star of my neighborhood.

I know he’ll be greeting any/all trick-or-treaters on Halloween – which is this coming Saturday.

It seems like Fred should make a *small* effort to be a little festive for Halloween.

A lot of pet stores sell dog Halloween costumes, but they won’t fit Fred.

Fred needs an adult human costume.

And that’s how I found myself at a costume store yesterday.

Not only was I AT the store, but I kept laughing out loud (ALL BY MYSELF) as I imagined Fred in the various costumes I saw.

I came to my senses eventually, and decided simple is best for Fred.

(At least, if I hope for him to actually WEAR his costume.)

Fred also has his birthday on Friday.

We’re going to be very busy … Fred’s birthday on Friday, Halloween on Saturday, and my (24th!!!) birthday next Monday.

And then, we move right into holiday madness with family visits and Thanksgiving, etc., etc.

I’ve also been on the hunt for the “perfect” lip gloss to replace my favorite (now discontinued) lipgloss.

So far, I’ve bought ten bazillion lip glosses to try.

They’re all very similar neutral shades and none of them are perfect.

Maybe I’ll do a lip gloss review sometime soon?

I’m also trying various mascaras … which I seem to do every few years.

(Is there such a thing as a perfect mascara?  One that won’t smudge, won’t flake, adds volume AND length, etc?)

I’ve also ordered a Roterfaden as my birthday gift.

Many of you know I LOVE journals, even though I don’t really journal in the traditional sense.

I suppose this blog is a type of online journal?

I just like collecting beautiful blank journals from all over the world.

A Roterfaden is a notebook/binder/organization system from Germany and I’ve wanted one for over a year.

It’s my treat to myself this year for my birthday.

(Although, I’m not sure when it will actually arrive?)

I think it’s so interesting and fun to see how people across the world journal/organize/plan.

I love the Midori, the Hobonichi, the beautiful Belgian (Gillio) leather journals, and now (hopefully) the German Roterfaden.

Someday, I suppose, I will die as an old woman surrounded by beautiful books.

Is that such a bad thing?

I’ll probably use my Roterfaden as a sketchbook, but I won’t make a definite decision until I get a chance to play with it.

Maybe next year I’ll take an art class or two.

I have so much fun “playing” on my own, it might be nice to actually learn the proper way to do things.

Or would that ruin the fun of it?

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Oh, Fred! (AGAIN!)

Fred is being groomed today for the first time.

Fred Monday © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred was feeling very “Monday” yesterday!

He’s gone in for baths before, of course.

But this time, for the first time ever, he’s getting his shaggy ears trimmed to look like Newf ears.

(The brownish color you see on his ears is remnant puppy fur.  The puppy coat lightens up prior to falling out and being replaced by his adult coat.)

I figured it was time for an ear trim since Fred will be turning ONE YEAR OLD later this week.

(He didn’t come home to live with me until January, but he was born on October 30th.)

It’s next to impossible to find a groomer who knows what a Newf is supposed to look like in Orange County.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed Fred doesn’t come back looking like a poodle.

In other news, my arm is getting better.

Paul Newman was pretty horrified at how messed up I was when he saw me last Friday.

My arm wasn’t where it was supposed to be, and the upper right quadrant of my body was in the wrong places.


I think it exhausted him to try and get my body parts back to where they’re supposed to be.

I’m going to see Paul Newman again tomorrow.

I’m on the road back, I think.

Although, I have to say this prolonged period of pain has been an extreme emotional downer for me.

I forgot how utterly depressing it is to live with that level of pain for more than a couple days.

Life has been on hold for two weeks … and counting!

Anyway, I’ll take some photos of handsome Fred tonight or tomorrow.

I’m sure he will want me to share his handsome self with you.

I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween!

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Car Repairs And Smelling Good

My car has been yelling at me for WEEKS.

I love technology, but having a car nag at you for service every single time you get into it is stressful.

I’ve found myself talking back to my car, “I know you’re due for service.  I’ll try to take you in NEXT week.”

Then, a week later (as the car began yelling at me MORE often!),

“I know, I know.  Just give me another day!”

Finally, yesterday morning, I took my car in for service.

While it was being worked on I decided to kill time at a nearby Nordstrom store.

And …?

I ended up getting my makeup “done” for the first time in my entire lift.

S MakeUp © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Me with makeup on … For the first (and maybe last?) time.

I was looking at the cute little gift bags at the Trish McEvoy counter and the next thing I know I was getting my makeup done by their “artist.”

And …?

I actually liked the way my lips looked.

I told her I don’t normally wear makeup so she went with a lighter look vs. a super dramatic one.

I thought my lips looked pretty.

(Did I buy the lip stuff?  No, I did not, but I might.)

I don’t usually wear anything but lip gloss because I have big lips.

I’ve had big lips since THIN LIPS were in, and so I’ve always felt self conscious about my big lips.

I certainly never have wanted to emphasize them with lipstick.

(Yes, I know big, fat, fake, gigantic, lips are “in” right now.)

I also tried the Trish McEvoy perfume.

She makes several flavors of perfume.

I tried the one with blackberry and vanilla and I thought it smelled very nice.

(Fred thought I smelled delicious when I got home!)

I brought home samples of a few of her perfumes to try.

I thought my eyes looked nice made up also, but I know myself well enough to know I just won’t wear eye makeup – except for mascara.

Maybe I’ll try it if I have a special night out or something?


If you ever want to have some fun, just watch the facial expression of a makeup artist when they ask me what facial moisturizer I’ve been using.

“Moisturizer?  Oh, sometimes I slap some hand lotion on my face if I think I need it.”

“You do WHAT?  What kind of lotion did you just say?”  (Face AGHAST!!)

Hand lotion.  You know, the stuff you buy at the drugstore to use when your hands get dry?  But, I use it everywhere if I need it.”

Her look?

Was priceless.

I guess there aren’t too many people like me in the world?

Switching subjects, my arm is still not great, by any means.

It’s improving a little now, so I think each day should get better.

I’m spending my morning with Paul Newman and I’m sure he will help a lot.

I’ll limit my activities as much as possible until I’m sure I’m over the worst.

Happy weekend to all of you!!

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Update ….

I’ve been taking a little blog break while I try to get my pain level under control.

I think (??) I’m starting to improve?

I’ve been on pain meds for three days and it’s hard to communicate a clear thought while I’m taking them.

(I’ve just been hibernating and trying to wait it out.)

Fred and I are restless to be out shooting, but I also know if I do *anything* I will just prolong my misery.

It’s too bad because the weather has been great and I would have loved the camera time outdoors.

(I’ve, also, had such an incredible desire for a road trip to ANYWHERE!)

Hopefully, if I take the time off now I’ll be back to normal sooner.

Maybe this weekend if I’m lucky?

In any case, I’ve been keeping busy with house chores, taking care of Fred, and watching way too many YouTube videos.

How do people have time to make so many YouTube videos?

And, unless you’re house-bound for some reason (like I currently am),

Who has time to WATCH them?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know the latest.

This has been a bad, bad, BAD flare-up.

I don’t say that for sympathy,

But, just to explain why I’m not my usual charming, witty, self.


I hope to be back soon ….

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In The Last 24 Hours

In the last 24 hours:

•  I’ve discovered what a Newfie puppy acts like in cooler weather.  My calm, relaxed, Newfie disappeared.  He was replaced with a 150 pound puppy filled with total GLEE!  “It’s cool outside, let’s be a hyper puppy like most other puppies are all the time!!”  WHEEEEEE!!

Fred rests while he stops for a quick drink of water.

•  Did I mention how happy I am to have cooler weather?  Honestly, everywhere I go Southern Californians are rejoicing.  Yes, the very same people who normally brag about how great and warm our weather is year round.  Everyone is done with being so, so, hot!

•  As happy as I was for Fred to enjoy cool weather, the timing is a little off since I’m in the worst pain flare up I’ve had in the last year.  This would be a good time for Fred to sleep a lot.  But no, Fred wants to PLAY.  Nonstop!  And, he will not be ignored.  Go ahead, just try to ignore a smiling, gleeful, 150 pound, hyper, puppy who keeps bringing you toys, and sticks, and rocks and …!

Empty beaches – another benefit to cooler weather!

•  I’m giving myself 24 hours to “come down” from this off-the-charts-pain-flare-up on my own.  If it doesn’t happen, I will visit Dr. Painless for an injection.  Ugh!  I do not want to visit Dr. Painless!

•  On a positive note, this reminds me of what my life used to be like every single day for years and years.  I don’t know how I existed.  I feel very fortunate I only get *this* bad once in awhile now.  Thank you to Paul Newman for THAT!  I don’t know what I would do without him – I really don’t.  I think I probably would have either committed suicide or become very dependent on strong pain-med cocktails if he hadn’t come into my life.  And no, I’m not exaggerating at all.  It’s really a horrible thing to live with extreme pain 24/7 and with no end in sight.  I tell Paul Newman I love him five hundred times each week.  He thinks I’m joking, but I’m not.  He’s invaluable!

•  I made spaghetti yesterday.  Spaghetti is a cold weather food.  I make homemade spaghetti sauce.  Homemade spaghetti sauce involves using hands and arms and body parts that don’t work very well for me.  But?  I did it – so yay!

•  I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It’s a book about creativity and the process of being creative.  I’m over halfway through with it.  I can’t say I subscribe to 100% of her theory on creativity, but the author does make some good points.  And, it’s an easy read.  You might enjoy it if you’re in a creative field of work, want to be, and/or you’re a creative person.  Elizabeth Gilbert is also the author of the best selling book Eat, Pray, Love.

•  The links in yesterday’s post were not, initially, working correctly.  I repaired the problem as soon as I was aware of it.  I apologize.  The links are all working now.  (In case you wanted to check out the super-nifty pencil case and/or the lip glosses I mentioned!)

•  Speaking of lip gloss …  I wear very little makeup.  (I wear mascara so my blond eyelashes are visible, and lip gloss so my lips aren’t chapped all the time.)  I don’t even know HOW to wear makeup.  For some reason, I decided to watch a YouTube video on makeup.  I admit, I only got about 30 seconds into the tutorial before I turned it off.  But?  I was AMAZED.  There was a woman with super horrible skin doing the tutorial.  In the opening, she looked stunning.  Then, a few seconds into the video, she showed “how she created her look.”  It showed what she looked like when she first started applying her makeup.  I couldn’t believe how good someone could look who really looks so BAD.  And, what did I learn from the thirty seconds I watched?  I could have looked a lot nicer my entire life if only I wore makeup!  (However, I still don’t wear it and I never will because I just don’t have the patience or desire!)

•  Supposedly, there’s going to be a pumpkin shortage this year.  (As in, canned pumpkin not the pumpkins you might buy for your porch at Halloween.)  This might be important for some of you?  At my house, it’s important and I’ve begun stocking up on canned pumpkin.  (Not the pumpkin pie filling, but just the plain, unsweetened, canned pumpkin.)  Why, you might ask?  Fred was given a small scoop of canned pumpkin after each meal by his breeder.  I’ve continued doing so since Fred came home with me last January.  I hide his vitamins/supplements in the pumpkin.  He loves pumpkin so much he gobbles it down and thinks he’s getting dessert.  After every meal, Fred comes RUNNING to get his special pumpkin treat.  (Fred also loves carrots and apples, but he doesn’t get either as often as he gets pumpkin.)