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Today Fred The Newfie Pup Comes Home!

Fred, the Newfie puppy, is scheduled to come home this morning.

Throughout this process, I haven’t let myself really believe I was getting a service puppy.

I think I had post traumatic puppy purchasing stress syndrome from my previous experience.

Even as the date approached, a part of me was convinced the breeder would cancel everything at the last minute.

I know that sounds crazy,

But it happened before which means it could happen again, right?

Even as late as Monday night, I waited for Nice Breeder to do a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde on me and snatch the puppy out of my arms.

Instead …?

She opened her arms, hugged me, and said, “Welcome to the family!”

I almost cried.

I feel SO fortunate to have met such a nice person.

Originally, I had figured Fred would come home next weekend at the soonest.

(I made this assumption based on my work schedule and the breeder’s work schedule.)

But, my son only has a few more days to be in California so we made some adjustments.

As a result, I found myself running all over yesterday doing puppy-related errands.

Today will be spent quietly as we acclimate Fred to his new home.

I do have one appointment midday, but my son will be home with Fred while I’m gone.

I don’t think Fred could be in better, more loving, hands.

I’ll try to snap a photo or two if I get the chance.

(Fred will probably become one of the most frequently photographed dogs in the world?)

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Puppy Breath

Yesterday, “the” litter of Newfoundland pups had their final health check up.

Last night, my son and I went to visit the litter to make the final pick of “our” puppy.

(This entire process has been handled WAY differently than it was throughout my Bad Breeder Experience.)

I had an idea of which puppy I’d be picking as I drove to see the litter.

And …?

I did not pick that puppy.

I surprised even myself.

Here is a (poor quality) photo of my new pup:

Pup 1 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

He will be coming home to live with me/us tomorrow, Wednesday.

On the drive home last night, my son said the puppy “looks like a Fred.”

I told him we couldn’t name him Fred because the “lost puppy” from Bad Breeder Experience was named Fred.

My son told me I needed to name this puppy Fred, regardless.

And …?

I surprised myself, again, by agreeing.

Our new puppy is now named Fred.

Let me tell you a little about Fred.

Fred is huge – even by Newfoundland puppy standards.

Fred weighed 23 pounds at approximately nine weeks of age.

Fred has huge paws.

Fred’s dad is an extra-big Newfie and I think Fred is going to be extra-large too.

Fred is not perfect.

Fred has a minor “flaw” or two … flaws I found endearing.

(For example, Fred has a tiny “kink” in his tail.  It isn’t visible, but if you feel along his tail you can find it!)

I explained to Fred I have flaws too.

I told Fred about my bum arm.

I asked him if he’d like to be my helper.

Fred didn’t seem to mind my flaws at all.

In fact, Fred seems eager to become my ever-present assistant.

I decided I didn’t mind Fred’s flaws either.

I could have picked a different pup …

An “unflawed” pup.

But, I discovered I didn’t want to.

I think Fred and I are well suited for each other.

We can make our flawed way together ….

In fact, I think our imperfections make us just perfect together.

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What’s Going On?

I just listened to a Marvin Gaye song … can you tell from my blog post title?

Here’s a list of some miscellaneous stuff going on right now:

•  I did some hiking and walks over the weekend.  Yay for warmer weather!  (It’s supposed to be downright toasty today.)

•  On Saturday evening, I was excited to capture the sun dropping into the ocean at sunset … between the branches of a silhouetted tree.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

•  My youngest son is here for one more week.  We will be busy doing lots of STUFF before he leaves.

•  This evening my son and I will be visiting the Newfie puppy litter.  He is SO excited.

•  My photo (taken last week)  of the mountains behind my house, covered in snow, is selling like wildfire.  I have learned it was the most snow Orange County has seen since 1967.  I guess a lot of people want my photo to “prove” it happened?  The photo was also featured on the front page of the OC Register last week which helped “get it seen” by a lot of people.  I even ordered a large metal print for my own house.  For those of you who missed it, here it is again:


Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

•  I had someone write and ask me for advice on getting the media to feature their photos.  I didn’t have much advice to offer.  The photos I’ve had featured by mass media have been “discovered” on Instagram and/or Facebook and/or my blog and/or other social media forums.  The media then contacts me and asks for permission to use a photo.  I own “all rights reserved” copyrights on all of my photos.  I don’t send my images, unsolicited, to anyone.

•  I sold my Canon 7D and a few lenses over the weekend.  I’m happy my ex-camera will be going to a very good home.

•  I have a Sons of Anarchy addiction problem.  Yes, I know I’m a little behind the times.  I rarely watch anything when it’s *really* on.  I’m always playing catch up.  Binge watching for the win?

•  I have not listened to the Serial podcast, have you?  It has been so popular … it’s on my list to get to eventually.

•  I’m SO EXCITED about some of the projects I’ll be working on this year.  I feel so fortunate to have a job I love.

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The Last Day of “Do Nothing” Week

Snow in Orange County!

Backyard View of Snow:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.


I’m not the biggest fan of the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

In many ways, it’s a wasted week.

Today I finally return to visits with Paul Newman and I sure need to see him.

Last night I had dreams/nightmares of “someone” trying to fix my arm.

They kept trying, and trying, but it wasn’t getting better.

(Sort of like the reality of my last eight years?)

I woke up multiple times during the night, but I kept falling back into the same dream/nightmare.

I think it was because my arm was hurting a lot, and my mind just incorporated the pain into my unconscious thought process.

(For some reason my arm hurts worse at night when I’m in bed.  I hear this is true of many shoulder injuries.)

Anyway, it might take a few weeks of regular visits to get me back to my version of normal,

But, I’m more than ready for Paul Newman to work his magic.

I also have one vague goal/resolution I’m going to start working on.

My daughter and I agreed we’d both put a little more effort into dressing less-slobbish at least one day a week.

I know that doesn’t sound like much of a goal, does it?

Especially since I make my living by crawling around on the ground (or climbing up on top of rocks) to take photos.

But, the plan is not to dress up NICE, really –

Just to dress a little less sloppily.

Surely, I can do that?


Today, I’m also going to track down a new battery for my FitBit Zip.

It’s been sitting in a drawer with a dead battery for at least two months.

Since the last two weeks were a free for all of food and drink,

I figure I better get back on track with my “normal” routines.

Sheesh … sometimes I wish I’d just stop nagging myself.

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Happy 2015

Yesterday morning I woke up at sunrise to a very beautiful sight.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’ve seen snow on “my” mountains before, but I’ve never seen this much … or such a low snow level.

I grabbed my camera and began shooting.

And then some snow fell off the roof of my house and hit me.

Say, what …?

Snow on the roof of my house?

OK, so it was only a teeny, tiny, amount – but, still!

I really hate being cold.

I think, if I lived in a cold weather climate, I’d probably never go outside.

Fortunately for me, the weather should be much warmer by this weekend.

Most of the snow has already melted.

It’s a good thing it’s warming up.

I need to get busy puppy-proofing our house and yard.

It will be a much more pleasant chore if there’s warm weather and sunshine.

And yes, if everything stays on schedule, it won’t be long until I will be bringing home my new assistant.

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It is COLD here!

I know “cold” for us isn’t *as* cold as it is for most of the country.

(My sister said it only got up to 2F/-17C at her house in Colorado yesterday.)

Still, it’s much colder than it should be here right now.

How cold is it?

Today is supposed to be the coldest day of this storm with a high of only 56F/13.3C  and a low of 37F/2.8C.

Last night it was really windy and rainy … at least, here at my little house in the canyon.

I’ve got a house full of frat boys here for a couple days.

Last night I made a huge pot of chili and baked cornbread for them.

That seemed to make them happy.

Today I’m going to attempt to find a quiet hiding place (possibly in a closet?) so I can get some work done.

If I’m not shooting, I work (photo editing/marketing/pricing, etc.) out of my home.

It can be difficult when the house is bursting with house guests.

I’ll have a lot of guests staying here, off and on, for the next several weeks.

(Maybe everyone is avoiding the even colder temperatures where they live by coming to visit?)

Hopefully, our new puppy (my future service pup) will be coming to join our family in a couple weeks too.

House guests, a new puppy, a backlog of projects for work …

Sound fun?

I guess it would get boring if there wasn’t always a lot going on.


I’m really excited about a lot of my upcoming work projects.

I think 2015 is going to be a very good year.

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Goals? Resolutions?

I’m not much of a resolution maker.

Resolutions never seem to last.

I do have a few goals for 2015, though.

I’ve been invited to attend the Kentucky Derby in May.

I want to learn to drink bourbon (without gagging) by then.

I know a lot of people enjoy bourbon …

I’ve just never been one of them.

I’d also like to visit, and photograph, the city of Charleston in 2015.

I’ve wanted to see Charleston for a long time, but I never seem to be able to pull it off.

I also have a vague goal of moving closer to the beach during this next calendar year.

I’m pretty sure acquiring a beach house isn’t a realistic goal.

I’d love to find a house with enough room for me to have a studio to work out of …

You know, with a beautiful ocean view too.

I’m sure there are homes like that available, but they probably cost millions upon millions of dollars.

(For those of you who don’t live here – Southern California beach properties are extremely expensive.)

But, I can dream, right?

Then, of course, there are all the CONSTANT goals of living a healthy lifestyle, blah, blah, blah.

Goals like that are year round … and, let’s face it, a little boring.

What are your plans/goals/resolutions for 2015?

Is there a trip in your future?

Or a bad habit you plan to rid yourself of?

Or some other type of goal you’ve been considering?

Maybe some of you are even great at sticking to formal resolutions?

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Dead Week

At colleges, the week prior to finals is referred to as “dead week.”

Dead week is a study week … no classes, and not yet finals.

It’s a time with no structured commitments.

I always think of the week between Christmas and New Year’s as dead week also.

Christmas Tree Etc © Suzanne Haggerty 2014 W
Some of us have to work, but a lot of people aren’t working, aren’t going to school, and aren’t doing much of anything.

Even if you DO have to work, it seems like not a lot gets done because it’s such a quiet week.

How can you get much work done if the people you work with are vacationing even when you’re not?

I admit, I’m moving in slow motion myself.

After the rush and chaos of the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s been great to “do nothing” for a few days.

I had a nice Christmas.

I hope you did too.

My tree is already down, and the ornaments are put away.

I might have left the tree up longer but my son has invited a lot of his college buddies to our house for a few days.

I wasn’t sure there’d be enough room for everyone with a nine foot tree taking up so much of my living room.

On Christmas Eve, a few friends stopped by.

It was nice to visit with them.

On Christmas day, my older son (the one in North Carolina) “face timed” with us a good portion of the day.

We put him up on our TV and opened presents together, after he was done working for the day.

In that way, technology allowed us to be together for our first Christmas apart.

The last few days have been made up of lazy days, lots of leftovers, a couple jigsaw puzzles, and family time.

Today …?

Well, for me today means back to reality.

It will be a slower than normal work week, but I’m back to work nonetheless.


It’s time to put away all the baked treats we were gifted with and concentrate on a more normal, healthier, lifestyle again.

It sure was fun while it lasted though!

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Merry Christmas 2014!

I’m taking a few days off.

Before I disappear,

I wanted to wish all of you who celebrate a very Merry Christmas!


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Ready or Not

My car is in the shop for a couple days.

(Talk about terrible timing … who wants to have repair expenses in the days right before Christmas?  Ugh!)

I do have a loaner car, but I probably won’t be using it a ton.

I’ve decided to spend most of today at home – wrapping gifts.

(Paul Newman is cringing?  “Nooooooo … don’t do it,” he yells through the Internet … while waving a screaming, detached, arm in the air.  P.S.  I have a very active imagination!)

I hope to have my car back by tomorrow so I can do a few (very) last minute things.

In the meantime, I’ve been living on cookies and coffee … isn’t that healthy?

(And to think, I was being very health-food oriented until a day ago.)

I admit, I feel a little sick from living on caffeine and sugar for the last 24 hours.

It has been so beautiful here.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

It’s a shame to “waste” a day indoors wrapping gifts.

On the other hand, the more I get done the less stressed I’ll feel.

There will be time for the beach, and walks, and hikes, and everything else in just a couple more days.

Next year I’m going to be WAY more organized and on top of things than I am this holiday season.

(Seriously, this is my most disorganized year EVER.)

Remind me to get my act together in 2015 around mid-September, okay?

I want to be able to brag about having everything Christmas-y done by Halloween.