Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Farmer's Market

The Farmer’s market opened today. I was shocked because it seems so early. There was one little old white haired man down there with his little table of goods set out in front of his slightly rusty van.

They weren’t local or even Michigan grown goods either. He had some California strawberries, and oranges, some tomatoes from goodness knows where and some hanging flower baskets.

It’s not like I really thought I’d find local zucchini or anything and just the thought of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables makes me giddy. So I went ahead and bought some of the strawberries from this little old guy.

I figured that I needed strawberries anyway and I would much rather put $3 in his pocket than into Meijer’s fat coffers. Considering it was only 25 degrees here this morning, I should have taken him a cup of coffee too!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Gap

I just found out from another one of the blogs I frequent (The Journey to a New Me....see sidebar) that the Gap carries clothes up to size 20! I had no idea!!! As I told her in my comment there is a long list of "thin people" stores that I have never stepped foot in (even if I were shopping with a skinny friend). I longed to shop at The Gap in the late 90's it was THE place to get your preppy clothes. All this time I could have been shopping there?This brings me to why I feared the thin clothing store.

I could have been imagining it, but I always felt that I triped a silent alarm as my body weight crossed the threshold of the store. It seemed as though all the staff in the store would look up at me and in my mind they were wondering what the hell I was doing there as I was certainly not able to wear their clothes. (She must be there looking for earrings or socks) Of course in reality (not a place I frequent all that often) they looked up EVERY time someone walked in the store in order to greet them. Just as the staff at Lane Bryant always looked up and greeted me when I walked in. In my mind the thin store was just such a scary place to be. A place that I didn't belong because I was fat.

Since I've made it down to a size 16 I can start shopping in the regular stores, but it will take a while to feel like I belong. I can't wait to go to the Gap the next time I am at the Outlet stores.

Rationing the Bac-Os

I have a bac-Os addiction. Everyday I eat a salad for lunch and I must have Bac-Os on my salad. Not just any bac-Os. It has to be the Betty Crocker brand Bac-)s chips not the bits.

Why is it that anytime I like something, I have to binge on it? Yep, I have managed to turn these cute little artificially flavored and colored gems into something bad. I have no idea why I like them. The ingredient list is terrible. What exactly is Defatted Soy flour? I just love the salty crunch they add.

None the less I have been binging on them. I’ll eat them plain out of my hand. No moderation for me……I was going through an entire 4.1 oz jar in 4 days of salads. Man, I love these things.

It had to stop. So this week when I bought the jar I immediately divided it up into 6 little servings in zip lock baggies (I will refill the baggies each week). So far so good. I have only had a single serving each day on my salad.

Asparagus is in!!!!

Last night we had the first of the asparagus from the farm I pass on my way home from work. It was beyond divine. I steamed it in a dish in the microwave for about 4 minutes; put some butter spray on it along with some sea salt and we enjoyed it with some fresh Steelhead fish my coworker caught for me. What an amazing meal!

I bragged about how tasty it was at work today and have so many requests from my coworkers; I called the farm this morning and asked them to set aside 18 pounds for me to pick up on the way home.

It seems the long winter is almost over (although it was only 29 degrees this morning) and in just a few short months the farmer’s markets will be open for us to enjoy.

I had intentions of taking a picture of the asparagus that I purchased instead of using a stock image, but it was gone too fast. I have to share asparagus with the dogs. You should hear the whinning and begging that goes on when I am snapping the ends off the asparagus. Every dog gets at least three stalks that they take over to a corner and enjoy like its a meaty bone. So between all of us, 2 pounds of asparagus disappeared very quickly.

Race Times

As I said earlier I had a 5K on Saturday. I signed up as a walker because I have pulled my calf muscle a bit and want it to heal before boot camp begins next week.

The last 5K I did was in February and I jog/walked it in a time of 48 minutes and some odd seconds. Saturday I finished the 5K in 45:43 and I walked the entire thing? WTF????? Now what do those results tell me? It could tell me that when I jog/walk, I slow my pace way down in recovery and that slows my overall time down or two, I have improved my cardiovascular health enough to have shaved that much time off my walking.

I will admit the adrenaline took over and I was huffing it. My shins were screaming I was walking so fast. I had intended to walk casually with my mom, but when that gun sounded, I just took off like a mad woman and after a couple of minutes mom just said for me to go ahead since she couldn’t keep up any longer. I became possessed wanting to pass the other walkers. It was crazy. Fortunately mom wasn’t mad at me for ditching her and she only ended up being a minute or two behind me.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Weigh in Report for April 26th

Down .6 pounds today for a total of 65.4 pounds gone. I don't think all my hard work and clean eating was reflected in today's weigh in, but, other than picking up the scale and chucking it through the window....not much I can do about that.
Today was a 5k run/walk in town and it started at 9:30. My friend and I were at odds whether we should weigh in before or after the race. I thought we would weigh less before the race and weigh more after the race.

Fortunately our WW center has two meeting on Sat, an 8:30 and a 10:00. So we decided to play Mythbusters and do both. I weighed in before the meeting and then raced back after the walk to weigh in again. I was careful not to eat or drink ANYTHING in between. Lo and Behold my friend was right. When I weighed in after the race I had lost another 1.2 pounds! Of course they wouldn't give me a new sticker for my book since my official weigh in was earlier. (My friend was down an additional pound after the race compared to her unofficial weigh in earlier.)

So I guess this means I will be getting up early on Saturdays to do a quick 5K from now on!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Body Scan

I went for my pre boot camp body scan last night. I am really proud that I did it. Of course hated seeing the results but I know that the body scan next month will show exciting changes. I will not be posting it here for your viewing pleasure........

We had to be scanned in a sports bra and tight underwear Let me tell you that no one, NO ONE has seen me in a sports bra and underwear except my husband! I was there a few minutes before the scanning started so only a few people (yes I said few) saw me in that state.

Basically they have you in your skivvies, you put on a robe, step into a little booth with curtains, take the robe off and stand with your legs shoulder width apart and arms sticking out. The scanner has 8 laser cameras that scan your physical self kind of like the scanning the bar code on your groceries. It only took a few seconds. Next they did a thermal scan of me. This was more out in the open so the two student workers also got to see me in all my glory. (Skinny bitches!!!) Then I was told to get dressed and come back out.

When I came back out to the main room there was a computer screen (seemed more like a big screen TV) with my digital image from the scanner for me to view. I could have thrown up. The image made me thing of that Eddie Murphy movie (Nutty Professor I think) That is what I looked at. Every roll was there for me to see. I looked away quickly so that she would take it off the screen before someone else saw it.

All I can say is that I hope to hell I can see a difference after a month of boot camp. It will take a lot to muster the courage to go through this again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

TV Addiction

I just got back from working out and have to tell you all how addicted I am to almost anything on the Bravo network!

Workout, Top Chef, Real Wives of New York City…….you name it, I’ll TIVO it if it’s on Bravo. Today the replay of Step up and Dance was on. I love to watch dancing, not very coordinated so it is unlikely that I will ever participate myself but you never know......

Anyway, the guest judge was Mel B of the Spice Girls so of course the song they danced to was “Spice up your life” by non other than the Spice Girls. I really forgot how addictive their music was. I am going to download it tonight to my ipod.

Park Workout

Last night I did what I am going to call the “park” workout. This park has a VERY steep entrance hill and miles of paved trails to walk. So we started with running up and walking down the entrance hill three times. In order to catch our breath we just walked for about a half a mile then back to the hill. We ran up and walked down two more times.

Still looking for torment we found a long flight of stairs and we ran up and down those three or four times (lost count). We walked again for a while to catch our breath. Next we took a five minute break on the swing set. Man, it’s been years since I played on a swing set. I have been missing out!

We still had one more obstacle to tackle that we’d heard would be used in a boot camp workout. Running in the sand of the volleyball pits. Holy Cow! That is tough stuff. Ended the workout with walking again and then ran one last time up the hill.

That was one serious workout. This helps me believe that I’ll be able to make it through boot camp. Can you tell I am really nervous about keeping up?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Today is the official Earth Day. Today, take a minute to think about recycling or using a little less energy. Buy a reusable bag for when you get groceries at the store. Keep track of how many plastic bags you do not use in a year of using a reusable. One person can make a little bit of difference, but if many people make little changes, we can see big results!

Today I weight trained for the first time in over two months. (Can any one say worried about being strong enough to survive Boot Camp?) "They" say that after not weight training for two weeks you start to lose the muscle mass that you've built. I believe it. I had to go from using 15 pound weights back down to 10 pound weights. I was only able to force myself to do about half the amount of crunches that I used to. Not sure really why I stopped lifting, I just got so busy trying to burn calories with cardio training, I let the strength training drop off the schedule.

My muscles are pulsing as I type and I love that feeling. That tells me I made lots of tiny tears in the muscle tissue and all the little muscle building elements are rushing to the area like figrefighters to a 5 alarm fire to fill the holes and make my muscles stronger. (Can ya tell I didn't really pay much attention in biology? I sound like a children's book.)

So as you see, in support of Earth Day, I didn't use the equipment that takes electricity to do my workout. (I'd like to say I planned it that way, but just a coincidence).

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Bit Intimidated

I went to sign up for boot camp last night. Yikes, the sign up party was packed with at least 45 women and even a couple of men. The instructor stood on a chair so that she could be heard by the masses. What worries me is that everyone looked so thin and fit. I really hope I don’t fall behind everyone else. Kiersten the instructor is oh so cute and fit as well. I would expect that she would be. I wouldn’t take the class if she weren’t.

Kiersten offered a prep course for boot camp and after talking with her, I decided not to do it and to save the $50. She said it was for people that don’t currently work out or don’t eat a good diet. She did say there would only be a couple of group workouts, so I just didn’t think that it would be worth the money for my situation. It looked like about 8 people or so signed up to take the prep course last night.

It sounds like the first night she will give us a list of foods that are okay to eat. The signing party last night was at a place called Good To Go, which is a little gourmet food shop in town. You can go in and get hot or cold food for dinner along with wines and such. The owner of Good to Go and Kiersten have worked together and developed a menu for Boot Campers. Every night Good To Go will offer a Boot Camp friendly entrée that you can pop in a buy for dinner. Ingenious idea. I love to see small unique businesses stay open. Good to Go had three sample entrées there for us to try last night and they were all delicious.

This week on Thursday I have to go in for my body scan. This isn’t the submerge in water body fat composition machine. Rather, I think it scans your body and measures the density of the body. We have a pre and a post scan as part of Boot Camp. It says we are to wear a sports bra and tight underwear for the scan. Yikes!

Earth Day Festivities

On Saturday our local recycling center had their earth day celebration so I went to volunteer. The center offered free trees and free yard waste disposal for the public. It normally costs to bring leaves and grass and tree branches, but on earth day, it is free.

In past years I have had the cushy job of greeting the people coming to recycle and pass out free saplings. No easy peasy job for me this year. I was given a pair of gloves and unloaded people’s yard waste for 3 hours! Talk about a workout.

In the course of the day over 500 cars came through to do recycling. There were cars that came through three and four times that day since it was free. We had a great time and got a really cool earth day T-shirt out of the deal. I’ll pretty much do anything for free T-shirt…..

Weigh in Report for April 19th

I maintained my week this week. Considering the Vita Muffin fiasco, not surprised.

Friday, April 18, 2008


When I read “The Secret” a month ago, it talked about a gratitude journal. I mentioned it to a friend and she said that she had a gratitude journal she wrote in daily. She started out writing down 100 things she was grateful for and then each day would at 5 things to the list.

I decided to try it and it really does change your daily outlook. Instead of just putzing along in your day, you find yourself actively looking for something that you can say you’re grateful for. I’m sure you can think of all the obvious things, like friends, family, job, and health but I think this is intended for us to dig deeper.

Here is an example: I am grateful for a house that I pass by on my way to work every morning. Why am I grateful for someone else’s house? I’m glad you asked….. Each day I look at this house as I pass and see the family sitting in the dinning room having breakfast. There is just something so wonderful about seeing this family connecting and eating breakfast together. It makes me smile every single day. That is something I am grateful for.

So today I challenge all of you to notice things to be grateful for. I hope it improves your outlook as much as it does mine.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is Global Warming the Fault of Human Activity?

Don't be scared....... No I have not acquired a doctorate in environmental science and I won’t pretend I have. I am not going to lead a heated debate on global warming and who or what is the cause. These are some thoughts that have been bouncing around the last few days.

Global warming, ice caps melting, coastal cities being deluged with the sea, rainforests disappearing…..These are all the effects of global warming. I think everyone can agree that the earth is getting oh so slightly warmer and these things are happening. What people do not agree on is what is the cause of this.

Environmentalists say that human activity is the cause of global warming, some (especially the republicans I work with) say that humans have nothing to do with it and this is a normal cycle the earth is going through. I will admit that I have not read enough information to make an educated decision in the matter. ON one hand, I find it hard to believe that we have not made a difference in the climate of the earth, on the other hand, I was not here at the beginning of time in order to say in all certainty that the earth doesn’t just warm on its own.

In all, I really don’t care so much what the cause is. I like what the thought does to people’s behavior. If thinking that we are the cause of global warming can motivate people to act more responsibly than I am happy with that resulting behavior.

I think the bigger picture that we all need to come to grips with is that we are an exceedingly wasteful society and considering that the many of the earth’s resources are limited if we do not change our over consumption lifestyle we are going to run out of resources.

John and I are really trying to look at buying less, looking at the packaging that contains our favorite products. For example he loves that new low calorie Gatorade drink G2. Great, but the bottle cannot be turned in to our recycling center. That bottle, when it goes to the landfill is going to be there for generations. We could try to reuse the bottle, but I read so many different things about the plastic chemicals leaching into the liquid that you refill it with. What’s a wanna be green girl to do? This may not make a difference, but John is going to call their consumer help line and complain that the bottle could be made out of something else or they could offer the product in a gallon jug instead of only as individual servings

I only went in for Strawberries.....Really!

Today I had to run to the local Meijers to pick up strawberries. I love eating yogurt on strawberries in the morning. I slice the strawberries and put a dollop of yogurt on top like I am making fancy hors d'oeuvres.

Well, only two small isles away from the produce is the frozen waffles isle and next to the frozen waffles are the chocolate Vitamuffin tops. Yep, bought two boxes and ate all four of the first box this morning. The other box is in my car otherwise they would be gone too. The thing is, they are good, but not to die for good.

I think I only binge on them because I know they are only one point each. (Oh and yes I know that since I ate all four they actually count as more than four points but I have my fingers in my ears and am not listening to you (singing loudly so I can’t hear you…….La la la la la la la)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cleaner eating

My eating has been much better this week. Yesterday I only had 2 points of sweets (ww fudge bars). I kept my total points for the day at 23 instead of my 29 allotted daily points. I am very proud that I am averaging 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day!

In the not too distant past, I could go weeks without eating a single serving. I did still find myself browsing the kitchen last night each time I got up to let dogs in or out, but did well at just drinking water and going to bed to finish watching BL at 9:30.

I am sure that the beautiful weather we have been enjoying has done wonders to improve my outlook. This week it has been sunny and high 60’s every day. The sunshine makes me smile from ear to ear. It makes you look forward to getting outside and walking. My face is already starting to tan.

This is going to be the most amazing summer of my life (all 35 of them). I just know it. I have so many fun activities planned. Horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, hiking at sleeping bear dunes and Tahquamenon falls and Cut River Bridge, bike riding on Mackinac Island…..for the first time in my life the possibilities are endless for the fun I am going to have with my friends and family. One of my fave activites is just playing the back yard with John and the dogs. We’ve been getting out there as a family everyday and it is so wonderful to see the dogs romp and play and have a blast.
I am so grateful for the life I have now, compared to the life I had a year ago.


This weekend my friend Stacey and I are signing up for “Boot Camp” a one month training program that “includes accountability groups, group workouts, food plan, guaranteed results and more!” This will be the first time I have ever done any form of group exercise. I have this thing about people watching me; I try to avoid doing any form of exercise in front of people. I don’t even like walking on a busy street.

Most of the workouts are in the evening but there are a few at 5:30am and I already cleared it with my boss to be late for work those mornings. The instructor said that rain or shine we are outside in various locations working out. YIKES!!!! I hope I don’t melt. (Note to self: get some moisturizer with sunscreen in it)

I am hoping this new form of exercise will jump start my weigh loss. Not that I haven’t been perfectly happy with losing a pound or so a week, I just know that changing things up should produce some nice losses not to mention tightening in places that I probably haven’t thought of.

I will keep everyone posted about the workouts and how we like the program. The month long program costs $85 which I don’t think is too outrageous. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up doing a second month.

Biggest Loser Finale

Whoo hooo! The First female biggest loser was crowned last night. I was so pleased for Ali and all of the “losing” contestants.

I would love if they would start doing more reunion shows like Real World used to do. I would like to continue to follow the contestants and see how they made the changes on the ranch permanent.

While I love watching the Biggest Loser, I do wish they would make some changes for next season. One, no more game play, the person that loses the least, goes home that week. End of story. By eliminating all the game play and tears, maybe they would have time to show more workouts, and give more cooking instruction.

Oh, and for goodness sake, stop playing the 2 minutes that were shown before the commercial break, when you come back from the commercial break. I do have a short term memory and am able to use it.

The next season will begin in October. I think I heard them say they were accepting audition tapes right now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Fave Product - Not Food Related

This weekend I made my now monthly trek to Whole Foods and Trader Joes (this time in Rochester Hills). First and foremost, I was VERY disappointed in the Whole Foods in Rochester Hills. It is about half the size of the WF in Ann Arbor. In their defense, they are building a new Whole Foods store that will be opening in August. I’ll stick to Ann Arbor until the new WF’s opens.

My mom and my stylist friend Karen went with me. We had a phenomenal time (didn’t get home until after 11pm!) and on our way back up north we stopped to the outlet center in Birch Run. That is where I bought my new fave product.

Nipple petals! These are little pieces of sticky silicone that go over your nipples so that you don’t look like you are cold all the time. I got them at the Legg’s Bali outlet store and they were only $8.00. I tried them out today for the first time. I love knowing that everyone’s eyes are not drawn to my perpetually perky nips.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weigh in Report for April 12th

Down 1.4 pounds this week for a total of 64.8 pounds lost!

I was surprised by the loss as I felt very out of control this week. I even told the leader as she was getting ready to weigh me that I was not expecting a loss because for the first time, I felt that I had a bad week. What a surprise to have such a nice loss.

I will not however let my "gift" of a loss be used as an excuse to continue the manic eating patterns of the last couple of week.

I really feel like I am reenergized and back on track. This is going to be an amazing week. I just know it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tiny Green Changes

Here is an update on my Tiny green changes I am trying to make in my life.

This week instead of putting all of my salad fixings in individual little ziplock baggies (I don’t like things to touch until I am ready to eat the salad) I dug out Rubbermaid containers with lids and pack everything in those. So, still using plastic, but at least it is plastic that I will reuse over and over again.

I am using reusable grocery bags that I bought at Trader Joes instead of taking my groceries home in the plastic bags at the grocery store.

I have switched to buying only organic milk. I’d like to switch my cottage cheese but it was $6.29 for a tiny container….I just couldn’t get past the sticker shock to buy it even though I had a $1.00 off coupon. Instead I am going to try to make my own. I found a recipe on the Food network site that I am going to try……can anyone say hippie naturalist????????

A coworker (Skeeter) is getting 2 dozen eggs for me every week when he buys his at the Amish farm by his house. I realize that Amish are not organic, but it is a far cry from the horrible cruelty that is committed at the commercial egg farms. Plus they are only $1.25 per dozen so they are cheaper than I can buy them at Meijers!

Can Compliments lead to Bad Behavior?

I have struggled this week. I have eaten all of my daily points each day and been catching myself grabbing stuff I don’t normally eat. Last night was my hair appt and I swear you’d think I had the stylists there on payroll or something the way they fawned over the changes in my looks and covering me with compliments like honey on a bee hive. You’d have thought I had been on extreme makeover the big deal they made over my me (they just saw me 5 weeks ago). It felt really good.

As I paid for my new nail polish, I caught myself eating not one, or two but 6 malted milk robin eggs (whoppers) out of the candy dish on the counter. Why the hell did I do that? I am usually so vigilant about counting everything that goes in my mouth and not eating stuff I don’t have the nutritional information on and it was like not knowing the nutritional information gave me the go ahead. If I had to take them out of a package and look at the nut info, there is no way I would have so casually eaten those. Mind you I enjoy whoppers, but I was eating them while chatting with the girls and didn’t even get to enjoy them. WTF?

Now, I realize that six whopper robin eggs are not going to do me in, but I worry that this starting to become a dangerous habit. Last week Skeeter stood in my office door snacking on carob covered peanuts and I had a small handful. Of course at the time, he was complimenting me on my new physique and we were talking about organic eggs. So are compliments going to send me over the edge?

I have also eaten all of the 100 calorie dark chocolate bars that were in my desk (I did count the points for them…however I did notice I only ate these while alone). Still, I have been doing so well at eating what is good for me and filling my body with nutrients instead of empty calories. It scares me that I can backslide this way.

The bright side is that at least I am acknowledging this and telling all of you. Any advice? What do you think is happening?
I think I will start to post my food journal again. Knowing that you all are looking at it helps me make better choices.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weigh in Report for April 5th

Down .8 pounds for a total loss of 63.4 pounds. After meeting walked a couple of miles at the indoor track.

Later in the afternoon I went to see Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium. Best line of the movie was when Mr Magorium says to Mahony, "Your life is an occasion, rise to it." Something to think about.

All of my boarding dogs have gone home and it is so nice to only have my magnificent seven in the house. We enjoy having the dogs, but it is nice when it is just our crew.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Small changes to a better life

I read Steph’s blog "Back in Skinny Jeans" daily. Every Tuesday she does Two Tiny Changes day. Every Tuesday she integrates two positive changes into her daily life.
I find that every time I make a small change, I think of Steph and know that I’ve make tiny changes that will add up to a big difference in my life. This doesn’t just apply to losing weight, this applies to every aspect of your life. The more gradual you make changes, the more likely you are to stick with them.

My new friend Stacey (that has lost well over 100 pounds!!!!) is what I lovingly call a “hippie mom”. She has been very willing to answer all my questions about eating healthy and living in a more sustainable manner. She was the one that told me about Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. But it wasn’t until a reader suggested to me cut out the processed foods to spark my weight loss a couple of months ago that I really started examining what I put in my body.

I’ve just always thought food was food and really only concerned myself with counting the calories or points. All food is safe and good to eat….right? I realize now that I have actually been living in this stupor. Fruit is fruit, milk is milk, and meat is meat. Wow, was I wrong. I have learned so much lately about pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and cruel treatment of animals on commercial farms that I am ashamed I supported those things for so long.

I am also trying to make better choices for the earth; that includes being less wasteful, recycling more and using kinder products that will eventually end up in our water supply.
I plan to let you know what tiny changes I make in my life that will lead to this small person making an impact on the future of this earth. Yep, me. I can make a difference….with tiny changes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Body Perception

Today I am wearing the “fat clothes” given to me by my coworker Jessica. She has lost nearly 20 pounds now. What strikes me is that I never thought Jessica was fat. Was she anorexic model thin? No. But I would never have called her fat!

The reality that I can wear clothes that she wore when I didn’t even think she was fat, by extension does that make me non fat? I am feeling pretty great knowing that I am wearing the clothes of someone that I didn’t ever consider was fat. Am I finally getting kind of small?

I have never been able to gauge my physical size. Sure I know what size my clothes are and how much the scale says I am, but I have never been able to accurately compare my size to someone else I see on the street. Am I bigger or smaller than that person? I would usually ask John to tell me, but never knew if he was being kind or telling the truth. I found out recently that one of my other friends has this same problem.

I assume that this must stem from avoiding having my picture taken and not having a full length mirror in the house until recently. I wonder if I continue to lose and feel more confident that my perceived body image will get more accurate.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Daily Happenings

Hello, Hello
Sorry about the lack of posting, but I haven't really had much inspiring to say lately. Plus I have been insanely busy with 3 boarding dogs staying at my house and being given some new responsibilities at work.

Occasionally, I do some in home boarding for people I know. Right now I have a little shit tzu Sylvia and her toy poodle Bubba. Their family is in Cozumel Mexico enjoying the sunshine. We have them for 2 weeks. On Sunday I also picked up another toy poodle named Quincy to stay with us for a week while his family is in the Bahamas. So yes, that makes 10 dogs staying in my house right now. Yep, you read that right, 10 dogs in my 1400 square foot home!

This is Quincy's first time away from home and he is so darn cute I just want to cuddle him 24/7 so he is even sleeping in bed with us. Man this little guy is a furnace, I am roasting with him laying near me. Bubba and Sylvia share a crate at night in their own room (John's computer room).

As far as integrating, most of my dogs are great with other dogs. However, Cruise, Haven and Morgan seem to think our house guests should be available for daily hunts. Therefore, we have have the dogs separated into two "packs". Ruby, Leia, Tucker and Buddy could care less about our company so they are rotated with them. Haven Morgan and Cruise make up the other pack of dogs. We rotate everyone hourly. (I am all about being fair even though dogs really don't have an understanding of time) One group hangs our in our bedroom on the bed watching animal planet or national geographic and the other group is out in the living room for play time. So yes, I am slightly exhausted from the rotating.

We enjoy boarding other people's dogs because we feel we offer a better place for dogs to stay than at a kennel or vets office and we of course enjoy the extra money. We are very choosy about what dogs we accept and we have turned away dogs for return visits if we were not happy with their initial stay. A labrador that whined nonstop for an entire week was not invited to return the following year. A girl's gotta sleep!

So that is my life in a nutshell. Trying to keep 10 hounds happy and safe in this muddy mess we call springtime in Michigan.