Lists and the women who love them

Last year was a busy blogging year for me… just not on this blog. I launched my webcomic, which – like a shiny, new toy – has gotten the lion’s share of my attention. I’ll admit that I’ve found myself missing this space and hope to give some more attention to my first blog-child in the coming year. (We’ll talk more about that later this month – stay tuned.)

With that in mind, I wanted to start off the new year with a new post. When a friend told me about 50 Happy Things, I just knew that this was the perfect way to kick off 2016 (and to help me find some positivity in a year that seemed to be full of sad news from the world at large). Plus, I love lists. I have a list of the lists that I keep. It’s like list-ception.

You can visit Tales from the Motherland for the full lowdown, but here are the basics:

  • Set a timer for ten minutes.
  • During those ten minutes, write a list of 50(ish) things that made you happy (or that you were grateful for) in 2015. (After time was up, I went back and added some links, comments, and photos – you know I can’t resist a good link roundup.)
  • Add your post to the list of bloggers participating in this flood of gratitude. (Don’t have a blog? That’s okay! You can do this on your own – either just for yourself, or to share with your friends in another format. Also, if you want to tell me some of the things that made you happy in the comments, I’d love to hear them!)

I armed Tavish with a stopwatch, which he promptly ignored in favor of going back to sleep. (Hosting people for New Year’s Eve is exhausting, apparently.) So, looks like I’m on my own. Here we go… Continue reading


‘Tis the season (for another canine Christmas carol)

Did you really think I would let a holiday season pass by without sending some new caroldies your way?  Perish the thought.

Tavish Claus via

Hey, lady… let’s get this show on the road.

A Game Upon the Midnight Clear

It came upon a midnight clear,
That canine urge to go.
Whining and wiggling for all they’re worth,
To lead you into the cold.
Canine mirth, you’re out and then,
That puppy won’t do a thing.
You head back in to get some sleep,
Before that alarm does ring.

You’re back to sleep and then they come,
Cold noses end dream world.
And then on sleepy feet you float,
From bed you are uncurled.
Out again, they make no gains,
Back in the house you bring,
Your stubborn and insistent hounds,
Who still won’t do a thing.

To sleep again, you’re on the road,
When they say no, no, no.
You leash again, get on the way,
Your painful steps are slow.
You know it is beyond your powers,
To untangle from this string.
You trudge along a helpless toad,
As daylight begins to sing.

Want more caroldies?  You’re obviously a glutton for punishment (or, more accurately, PUN-ishment).  However, you’re obviously in charge of your own destiny, so… click at your own risk.


You can’t go wrong with The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Pet Blogger's Gift ExchangeIt’s that time again, my friends.  Trees have been knocked over by intrepid feline Magellans and claimed by dogs confused by the sudden appearance of decorative indoor toilets.  Stockings have been knocked off the chimney with care by cantankerous cats and then been mistaken for dog toys. Traditions abound.

One of those traditions? The Pet Blogger’s Gift Exchange (or, as I like to call it, the PBGE) hosted by the brilliant Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes.  Instead of gifts wrapped in paper and bows, we exchange compliments, encouragement, and love.

I’ve been paired up with some pretty fantastic bloggers in the past, and this year is no exception.  You may be familiar with Jan from The Poodle (and Dog) Blog.  If not, you’re in for a real treat today – prepare to find a new blog to add to your must-read list!  Jan’s been blogging since 2005, showing us all how it’s done.  She’s smart, funny, and generally just the greatest.

So… today, I’m dedicating a link roundup to The Poodle (and Dog) Blog and all of its awesomeness.  Join me as we explore some of the many reasons to love this blog (and, at the end of this post, find out how you can help me make this gift really special).  I’ve picked some links from 2014 to highlight, but trust me when I tell you that all of the archives are worth checking out. (Chuck Norris agrees.)


Ready? Continue reading


Walking in a Neutered Wonderland

Disclaimer: Tavish does not endorse, nor does he appreciate, the “humor” of this post.

Super Tavish via

I can’t even look at you right now, Ma.

I was recently reminded of a particular caroldy that I began in the comments over at Something Wagging a few years ago.  It seems high time that we revisit that little gem and add a few more verses.

Walking in a Neutered Wonderland

Puppy balls, are you listening?
At the vet’s, the tools are glistening.
It’ll all be all right, but by later tonight,
You’ll be walking in a neutered wonderland.

Gone away, is your manhood.
Instead you see, you’ll be fixed good.
You might think it’s wrong, but just go along
Walking in a neutered wonderland.

To the dog park you can totally go, man,
And the fertile females will not frown.
Lots of fun you’ll have,
I know you still can.
Don’t let this operation get you down.

Treats aplenty, you’ll require.
As you recover, by the fire.
To face unafraid,
The different junk the vet made.
Walking in a neutered wonderland.

I totally get you’re down about this stuff, and
And now you think our evil has renown.
We didn’t ask your thoughts,
But give it time, man.
You’re still the king, just no jewels set in your crown.

Just wait and see, you’ll be thrilling.
Without your balls, you’ll be chilling.
You’ll frolic and play,
The same old sweet way,
Walking in a neutered wonderland.

So… that happened. Sorry, everyone. Feel free to caption this photo of Tavish as my holiday gift to you.


He sees you when you’re eating…

I hope you’ve been good* this year.  Tavish Claus has been watching.

Tavish Claus via

Tavish Claus in the house, y’all.

Tavish Claus is Coming to Town

You shouldn’t go out. You better not lie.
You better stay home. I’m telling you why.
Tavish Claus is coming to town.

He’s going to kiss. He’ll be licking you twice.
He’s gonna ask if his dinner you’ll dice.
Tavish Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you’re eating.
He knows when you’ve got cake.
If you’re smart, you’ll share your food,
Or a giant mess he’ll make.

You shouldn’t hold out. His patience you’ll try.
He will refuse to go out, until he’s eaten your fries.
Tavish Claus is coming to town.

*In this context, being “good” means giving your dog lots of food. All the food. So much food. (Tavish Claus thinks with his stomach, obviously… I’m the one who has to think about his waistline. I totally get how Mrs. Claus must feel.)


Sometimes, it’s better to be stirring

The news lately has been pretty upsetting, infuriating, and depressing. (I’ll leave it to you to decide which bucket you put each story in.  However, it seems to me that they all fit neatly – and horribly – into all three.)  It’s tempting to bury yourself in cute animal videos, holiday shopping, and other distractions. I know I’ve been tempted.

However, while I was putting up my Christmas tree the other night, I happened to pop in the DVD of one of my favorite specials – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Surprisingly, the animated tale of some mice breaking tradition and stirring on Christmas Eve inspired some deep thoughts.  In particular, this song proved quite relevant to my state of mind:

Frankly put, sometimes the world kind of sucks.  (I’ll leave the eloquence to this brilliant lady.)  It can seem kind of hopeless and that it will never change.

I can’t believe that.  I can’t let myself believe that.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people let the world happen to them and claim they have no agency in the situation.  Obviously, sometimes terrible things happen that are out of our control.  However, we can’t just sit around waiting for a miracle to fix our problems, whether personal or societal.  After all, even a miracle needs a hand, right?

I mean, does your dog just sit in the kitchen hoping that food will magically fall to the floor? Okay, bad example.  He probably does. BUT… he probably also considers counter surfing when he sees an opportunity to make his own gastronomical miracle happen.  I prefer to keep an eye out for chances to give those needed miracles a boost, rather than waiting for them to just happen.  I aspire to be a counter surfer for change… or something like that.

I’ll return to our regular scheduled goofiness with my next post… just felt the need to get this one out there.  Can you think of any other lessons from holiday specials that we can take to heart during these times of trouble?  Share in the comments!