Henry Bear...

Is absolutely wonderful. I luff him so much!

Tuesday night, I buzzed around the house like a hornet. XL Crate here, XL food bowls there, XL leash on hook, XL brush in pet cabinet, XL treats on table, XL toys on floor. Check, check and check. Everything is so XL huge compared to all of Betty Rascal's things. Big Bear meet Bitty Betty. I got so excited about all the puppy planning, I even left my phone in the pet department at Target and had to drive back to store to retriever. All the thoughts of puppy kisses had turned my brain to mush.

Around 8:45, two of my very good friends came over, helped me put the crate together, and then we were off to get Henry Bear.

Honey...the contractions are coming. I think it is time to go to the hospital. This baby is on the way!

I was so giddy with excitement, I assure you that I annoyed everyone. But all I could think about was that beautiful face. And the gut-wrenching paw tuck. Could he be any more beautiful?

Finally, the transport arrived. All of the sudden, I had a wave of panic. I froze. Were we ready for this? Could we handle another dog? Especially a dog that will likely weigh over 100 lbs when full grown? I turned to look at the truck, and all of a sudden (most likely in slow motion), this beautiful white huge puppy tumbles and bounds out the truck. Instantly, I fell in love.

The white fur. The black speckles on his nose. The intelligent eyes. The never-tiring tail. He was ours. He was perfect.

Our baby is coming home!

(my future's so bright, I gotta wear shades)

On the ride home, Henry was hilarious. I sat in the backseat so that I could play with him, and he was everywhere. Behind my back, on my shoulders, on my head, nose pressed to the window. Not annoyingly excited, but just endearingly so.

Betty Rascal...meet your new brother, Henry Bear!

When we got home, I was very curious to see how Betty reacted to Henry. She is a very playful puppy and adores big dogs, so I thought she would be just fine. Boy, was I wrong. To say the least, Betty was not impressed. She bared her teeth at him the moment he stepped into the house, and pretty much never stopped baring and growling until we went to bed. Everything was hers. His crate? Hers. His food? Hers. The floors? Hers. The air he breathes? Hers.

Oh, but, Sister, I love you so.

Henry, on the other hand, simply adores Betty. He follows her around, tries to kiss her, and makes wholehearted attempts to play with her. His tail wags as soon as he sees her, and his ears only droop a little bit when she menacingly growls at him. It is really quite pitiful. He hunkers down with his front legs smooshed to the floor and his rear and tail just a waggin'. He barks, hops, and does a clumsy paw press to her head like "Hey sister! Wake up! Play with me!" Betty simply looks at him, sniffs, and saunters over to her favorite spot on the couch. "I would prefer to have nothing to do with you. You are dead to me."

I know Betty Rascal will come around. It just breaks my heart for Henry because he wants her to like him so much. I just know that at some point, he will become the yin to her yang. Just not today. :)

(what you can't see in this picture is that while Henry is sniffing, Betty is snarling. The beginning stages of true love, for sure!)

As for the Knight and I? We were in love DAY, HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND 1. He is so smart and cuddly. So sweet. He just follows us around, and craves attention. So far, the chewing and accidents in the house have been at a minimum. I am sure we will have some battles, but so far, so good.

We are taking him to McMinnville to meet his paternal grand-parents this weekend. I know they can't wait to meet their new granddog!

potty training and shoe-hiding...here we come!
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The Knight's White Horse

So, guess who we get tonight?....[drum roll please]....Henry! That's right - our great Pyrenees/lab mix is currently on his way from Sparta, TN to the the King's country.

I just talked to his foster dad, and Henry is currently 13 weeks old and a whopping 35 lbs! He is truly is gonna be a horse! He'll probably weigh about 100 lbs when he is full grown. We'll have to get Betty Rascal a saddle. :)

Henry's foster dad told me the sweetest thing. He said Henry is about as perfect as a dog can be, and that his wife is very sad that Henry [aka Bear] had to leave. They already have three dogs, but were just about ready to make room for a 4th if our adopting Henry didn't work out! I made sure to thank them for their kindness to Henry Bear, and promised to send lots of pictures. He told me that Henry is very smart, and to watch out...apparently, he had figured out how to get out of his crate during the day. Ruh-roh...hope we don't have a Marley on our hands! :)

I go pick him up tonight while the Knight is at work. I can't wait to have a few greedy moments with our new puppy before his daddy gets home!

Puppy breath, tail wags, and chewed up shoes...here I come!

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Mancandy Monday Vol. III

Today's Mancandy Monday is dedicated to my very own personal piece of Mancandy...the Knight.

Here's a picture of him when I threw a surprise 30th birthday party for him.

Isn't he yummy? I am such a lucky lady. :)

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Ugh. I love this city! Yesterday the Knight and I visited the navy pier, rode the ferris wheel, took an architectural boat tour, went to the art institute, and soaked up the sun at buckingham fountain and the silver bean. We have a wonderful late breakfast at Moni's cafe, had hummus, pitas and veggies at Artisan, and dined late night at the fabulous Rosebuds on Rush. Very delish Italian.

Right now, we are on our way to the Museum of Science and Industry, then to the aquarium, and finally to Wrigley fiel. We won't get to wrigley in time to get tickets, but we'll have plenty of time to peep the game at a nearby pub.

The weather is beautiful and I never want to leave!

Kiss kiss,

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to have + to hold

The Knight and I are in Chicago celebrating our 5th anniversary. We got here around ten this morning. We have strolled up and down the magnificent mile, ate lunch at Giordanos, and visited the Hancock Tower. Tomorrow, we have a full day of touristy fun. Did I mention I love Chicago?


What to expect when you're expecting

Many of you have heard of the preggers' women's Bible,

but did you know that there is a similar version for new dog owners?

When the Knight surprised me with Betty Rascal, I had absolutely NO IDEA that she was coming. I mean, no clue. So, although I had begged for a yorkie-poo or some other hypoallergenic mix, when she actually arrived, I completely panicked. Growing up with a house full of dogs does not necessarily translate into immediately knowing how to handle potty training, feeding, chewing on the furniture, and vet visits.

I did what any good little lawyer-to-be would do (I was still in law school then), and headed to the local bookstore. I proceeded straight past the mystery novels, chick-lit, and decorating books (my personal weakness) and immersed myself in the pet section. Some of the books were overwhelming, while others had little more to share than simple common sense. Finally, my eyes rested on this beloved tome:

I bought it, and it was the perfect book for us. It gave us a great history on the breed, its personality, and what the breed's strengths and weaknesses were, answered all of our inane questions (How many times a day is a doggie supposed to be fed? It is normal for puppies' breath to smell?), gave us some good advice on things like crate training and teaching tricks, and provided a wonderful list of health issues which require or do no require heading to the pet emergency clinic (that was extremely useful for worrywart me).

Over the past couple of years, I'm pretty sure I have read this book cover to cover at least twice, and have returned to key chapters on numerous occasions when I needed to check something. It has been an invaluable resource, and, unless you are some fancy shmancy dog breeder/trainer, I highly recommend buying the book for dummies for your breed.

Of course now, the funny thing is, I'm pretty sure Betty Rascal IS NOT a yorkie-poo. Compare Yorkie-Poo puppy image search v. Shih-Poo puppy image search. Here is Betty Rascal as a wee pup.

See what I mean? Total Shih-Tzu + Poodle. Oh well, Betty Rascal sure acts like a little feisty yorkie. :)

She is such a diva.
Wonder how she'll take to Henry? My guess is that she'll be the total little Napoleon that she is and whip him into shape on Day 1. Oh, and he will luff her. That is fo' sho'.
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Excitedly Expecting...

That's right! The home of AFS and the Knight is going to be a little bit more crowded very soon!

A few weeks ago, I gave the Knight some very exciting news...

I have found the next perfect puppy for us!

Hee hee. I know you thought I was going to tell you that I am preggers. :) Nope, not pregnant (as far as I know), but definitely getting a new baby in the house. This time, its a boy!

Meet Henry - a rescued yellow Lab/ Great Pyrenees mix.

Right now, he's about 10-11 weeks old and between 23 - 28 lbs.

He is a BIG bouncing baby boy! He is scheduled to be fixed this Thursday, and then we'll get him next week.*

We are SO EXCITED! More details to come when Mr. Henry comes to live at Mr. and Mrs. Knight's house...

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*I'm not thrilled with the idea of getting him neutered so young, but these rescue place won't release him until he's fixed.


So low...

No Mancandy Monday today. I just can't muster up the grin and humor today.

I haven't blogged in a while because the Knight's family recently experienced a death in the family. Last Wednesday morning, his uncle died of a sudden heart attack. He was in his early fifties, and was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. The Knight's family came from all over to huddle together and grieve the loss of their baby brother. Almost everyone has now returned home, and the profound loss is slowly setting in.

Since Wednesday, I have just been in a slow-moving state of shock. He was such a wonderful, talented, loving person. The things people said about him at his memorial were the kinds of things that you hope to hear about the people you love - "He was the only man I knew who managed to have two favorite children," "His relationship with his wife was a wonderful example of what true love really was," and "When he came to our company, he unified everyone and made the business such a success."

Although his life was relatively short, I have much to learn from him - his zest for living, love for his family, and love for God. He is dearly missed.

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Mancandy Monday Vol. II

I don't know about where you are, but the sky is throwing down quite the storm right now. Lightning, hail, sheets of rain...the whole shebang. My office windows are shaking, and I keep thinking I should have worn a hardhat to work...just in case they explode into my office.

Know what I need when I'm scared by a big bad storm? Not one, not two, but three big strong hotties to protect me.

*sigh* I feel better already. Now, if only I could go back home, snuggle under the covers, and dream sweet dreams about Rob, Kellan, and Taylor.

Happy Monday!

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Easy Summer BBQ Side Dish

Hi everyone! I am always looking for new recipes, and I think ones passed down by friends and family always seem to taste better! :) Today, I would like to share one of my favorites. It is fairly cheap, SO EASY, and super quick. Oh yeah, it is delicious, too.

The Pepper and Pear Salad is something that I bring to almost every summer BBQ. It goes great with tofu, chicken, ribs, and burgers, and is a pretty addition to the table (plus, its not too hard on the figure, either!).

Easy Pleasy Pepper and Pear Salad
1 red bell pepper, pitted and sliced into long pieces
1 orange bell pepper, pitted and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, pitted and sliced
4 green Anjou or Bartlett pears, cored and sliced

Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup rice vinegar (can find this in the ethnic food aisle), salt and pepper to taste, and toss.

I know it sounds weird, but it is very refreshing. I have also done other variations of the veggie/fruit salad: Tomatos (technically a fruit, but still) and Peaches; Celery and Apples; Pineapple and Cucumber. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

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June in review...

Whew! We have had a busy month! I was just looking at my calendar, and I realized that we have had company every weekend (or been company at someone else's home) for the past 5 weekends. No wonder I'm pooped!

The first weekend in June, my mother and my youngest brother came to visit. We had a wonderful (and all too short) weekend yard-saling, estate sale-ing, and eating 4 lb burgers at the Kooky Kanuck.

That weekend is the weekend the Knight and I got our bargain buffet.

Here it is now... decorated with a tea set given to me by my beloved paternal grandmother.

The second weekend in June, I headed up to Nashville for a weekend to see Daisy. We sipped wine, listened to Etta James,

and did our fair share of gardening and shopping on Saturday.

That afternoon, I learned that the Knight's parents had decided to come visit, so I zipped home only to find that we had no power. Although we had muggy weather and stifling heat, it was fun to sit around the living room amidst a host of candles and battery operated fans.

The next weekend, Daisy and her boyfriend Leroy came to town for the Tennessee Bar Association convention.

We certainly attended several bar functions, but they didn't have anything to do with the law. :) That weekend, we stuffed our faces at Molly Fontaines, Orleans on Front, and partied at Itta Bena, Silky's, and topped off the night at Raiford's.

That was also the weekend that I surprised the Knight with a plush night at the Peabody and a couple's massage at Gould's.

All in all - a perfect weekend!

Then, my dad and sister came from Tulsa for a fun weekend.

We grilled out, played with Betty Rascal, and sister and I headed out for our very own Wicked girls' night at the Orpheum Theater. Toss, toss!

This past weekend (happy 4th!), my best friend since the 8th grade (we'll call her Bianca, b/c she's such a world traveler) and her husband came for a visit.

Actually, to be honest, her husband (we'll call him Bernard) lives with us off and on. He is a reserve pilot for a major airline, and his reserve (like being on call) is based out of Memphis. They love their life in Nashville/Nolensville, so rather than moving here for a somewhat tenuous position, he stays with us when he is on reserve and heads home to see her after his reserve block is over.

Anywho, we had a great weekend with Bianca and Bernard. The Knight had to work a night shift (boo), so the rest of us headed to see the fireworks in Collierville on Friday night.

Saturday, Bianca and I did a little shoe shopping, got a pedicure, and met the boys for lunch at Central BBQ. That night, we moved back and forth between the patio and the couch. We watched New In Town, the Nascar race, and several shows on the Food Network. Aren't we a motley bunch? :)

This coming weekend, the Knight have no plans until Sunday night. We are going to have a "Backyard Blockbuster" night and project "Viva Las Vegas" on projection screen in our backyard.

We're having a nacho and sundae bar, complete with plenty of citronella and bug spray. We've never done anything like this before, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to share!

Hope you all have a great week!

Firecrackers and fireflies,
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