24 September 2010


Ever see the episode of I Dream of Jeannie where Major Nelson gets shot out of a canon? Me either. I'm going to take some time off to write and create it, replacing the characters with hamsters.

I will return when my sanity does. Don't come looking for me...

21 September 2010

mini chocolate sea salt caramel cupcakes

mini chocolate sea salt caramel

The reason I've been a bit occupied this past week. I helped out again at Cupcakes-a-go-go with an order for 13,100+ mini cupcakes! Flavors included chocolate sea salt caramel, shown here, s'mores (with handmade toasted marshmallow cream-yum), bourbon pecan pie, and vanilla. All from scratch, ten people, two shifts, seven days. I was scheduled to serve at the event Monday evening too, but they asked me to come in that morning because they weren't quite done frosting, so I didn't get to photograph the event as I had hoped. Only a few final shots of finishing touches before being boxed up and trucked off. But I'm sure it looked quite similar to when we made 6,000 minis for the same company last March. So, you can just view those photos and double up the amount in your head.

16 September 2010

tugging, rolling

tugging on the camera strap
frozen grape

"Baby" pix of Nigel. Pretty adorable, huh. We fed him frozen grapes as treats for about a year before we heard of the hazards. Never seemed to affect him, but we stopped for fear his next grape might be his last. A shame though as he loved chasing those little balls around before eating them.

Been busy at the bakery this week. Keeps me from sitting around the house missing my little guy, but I worry too about Kensi home alone now. She seems a little mellower since he's gone. We're trying to walk her more often to visit "friends" in the neighborhood. And when the girls next door get home from school, she likes to be apart of whatever activity they're doing outside. Just one of the girls.

10 September 2010



Nigel is gone. We still have to travel north to bury him, so I'm sure there are a few tears yet to shed. The void here in the house is already apparent. Even a sleeping pug cannot be ignored.

Kensi hasn't noticed he's missing yet. I think she'll catch on when I next leave the house, as he was her backup for cuddling. She's going to have to turn to Isaac now.

She's not really sad here as her brother was still with us on this day. Pugs are notorious for having eye boogers.

To all of you who have called, emailed, and left messages through various ways expressing your concern and well-wishes to our little family; I thank you so much. It's been a very shitty week to say the least. But the eight and a half years prior well made up for it.

09 September 2010

good night, little man.

Our pug, Nigel (the first one out the door and doing all the wiggling here) is being put down tomorrow. He has been plagued with chronic ear infections for longer than I care to remember. Earlier this year, the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine ran tests and recommended surgery to completely remove one ear canal. The blockage was already substantial, and damage was starting in his other ear. A pattern started to form that each time things were looking bright and he was off meds a little while, symptoms would reappear. Nigel already has diabetes, is blind and has hyperthyroidism. We couldn't make an argument for allowing him to lose his hearing as well. Our personal vet agreed. He said there were additional complications to this surgery that could add to Nigel's list of health issues. So, we filled our medicine cabinet and crossed our fingers.

This strategy lasted us approximately seven months.

The infection that started in his ear then traveled to his jaw. He started showing difficulty while eating the middle of last week. Meds were not helping this time, and considering he loves eating, it was never too hard to get him to take them. Now he couldn't take solids and refused to eat anything I pureed with the bitter taste of pills. From there, it didn't take long to see the deterioration. His equilibrium was also failing, although he still knew the layout of our house and yard. As you can see in this video, he now needs direction to get out the door. His little head tilts to the left so he circles in that direction in the yard. We've kidded that he could be a Nascar driver, except that he takes a pit stop every 20 seconds. He's fairly content on the leash and trusting of whoever's on the other end to take him where he needs to go. Although, he's been putting on the breaks more and more there too. Stopping, turning left. The pain killers causing his butt to hang low to the ground when he pees...

This clip was shot Monday, September 6th. We were still on the fence about putting him down, but changes occurred day by day. Now, when his pain medicine wears off, he whimpers, and turns down food as simple as chicken broth. He'll take 2-3 laps, turn away crying, then loses the location of the bowl. The bad times now outnumber the good. There's no turning back for him, and we see no point in allowing the pain to become intolerable.

We'd hate for him to leave us having lost his wiggle completely.

07 September 2010

a grand day out

a grand day out

We spent almost two hours on a gorgeous Labor Day at the dog park. Probably for me more than Nigel. Kensi allowed us about twenty seconds of her time to pose for a picture with her brother.

My husband captured this shot while I played pug wrangler.

06 September 2010

this pug's life

this pug's life

Nigel's health is going down hill so I've been doing little other than worry about him. He's having difficulty eating due to jaw pain so he's not receiving the medicine he's suppose to take. Eating is just about his favorite thing to do(!) so there isn't a whole lot of joy in his life right now. He still likes walks so we're bumping those up to two or three a day. I'm trying to face the inevitable. Still it's hard. He's only 8 1/2. Thought he'd be around a bit longer than that.

This photo was taken in my parents' back yard in late July.

I should also mention today is my folk's 53rd wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, you wacky kids. Sorry for putting you second in my thoughts right now. Love you.

03 September 2010

this ceiling's seen a lot

this ceiling's seen a lot

This image doesn't justify how massive this structure is, and according to historical records, "[this} style of roof eliminated any support posts inside the building and yet accommodates a large dance floor free of posts to interfere with dancing. Several tons of nails and bolts were used in the construction." More importantly, it has seen the likes of Duke Ellington, Gene Autry, and Johnny Cash, just to name a few...because we were there in July and I've since forgotten all those who were on their wall of fame.

I was reminded of the day we were there because it was during my great aunt's 90th birthday party. My Grandma's 88th followed later that month. And today is the 90th birthday of my Grandma on my Dad's side. So, I come from good stock!

Well, Grandma U. went a bit off the deep end a few years ago already so she doesn't even realize today's her birthday, let alone who the hell I am, so maybe that stock has turned to rue at this point.

01 September 2010

a happy man

a happy man

My husband appears just giddy here, doesn't he? Can't blame him. Look at the gorgeous creature draped on him. And how many wives would allow such a thing, let alone take a photo of it.

I often remind him of how lucky he is to have me. Um, to photograph him in such situations.

All 60 photos from the evening are up in flickr now. I'll move on to less tantalizing material in the days ahead. Goodbye recent followers...

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fly over country, United States
this blog is my "live" photo album of sorts. occasionally, i'll throw in some art i've done or some work of my husband's as he's an artist as well. we have a nice yard in a quiet neighborhood with two pugs and a cat, all black. which most of my photos will attest too. ;) i'd love to hear from you, but happy for you to just browse. hope you find something to make you smile. b.