Taking Out the Dogs (Sundays In My City)

We have lived in our house (together) for almost two years.

The backyard is GORGEOUS. There is a big section of open land that runs up a hill behind us.

It makes for a nice mini-oasis in a big city.

The guy at the top of the hill owns it all and he won’t build on it.

The backyards on our block and the next over face this “meadow” and, like us, don’t have fences either (because it is too pretty to block). Unlike us, most of them don’t have dogs.

So morning, evening, and late evening you can find us taking the dogs out. Keeping track of them as they run pell mell here and there, sniffing out phantom squirrel trails, and hitting the potty (sometimes) OUTSIDE the lines of our yard. Oh no!

Or they might end up disappearing from view, going MIA, or “friending” all the neighbors sitting outside on their decks (who may not like ENORMOUS DOGS in their yard at night). All this causes much tromping, hollering, and venturing out at all hours, up the hill, through the meadow, and over to the next block (if necessary).

But it was worth it for the view. Riiiight?


Honestly? I couldn’t keep my eyes on all four dogs, much less leash them all, or give up an hour to take them out one-by-one – three to four times per day.

The entire ordeal (especially in the morning) became downright exhausting.

I say all this in hopes that when I tell you WE GOT A FENCE! It will truly reverberate into your brains how ECSTATIC we really are over such a simple thing.

We have an adorable gate on the side of the house (we will be getting back gate too).

It’s only about four feet in height.

We still have our view since it’s a shorter fence.

Anna is wondering…what the heck that is?

And why she can’t take off running?

Fred says…it’s a FENCE to keep me in. And mostly that is true. See Fred is not off-lead trained and he is the WORST at seeing you look away for a second and taking off. He found the front of the house, and crossed the busy street faster than I could BLINK. Holy Moly!

Salem doesn’t seem to mind it. But then again, she is ten years old. Snoozing is more her speed.

And Brownie barely moves from the back porch.

So now you are updated on our new editions (fence and dogs). And can you believe Brownie is two years old now?

I, also, updated the Furry kids tab if you want to take a look.

Hope your Sunday in the City is as awesome as ours….

Unknown Mami

It’s a Ruff Life

I have three dogs.

Brownie Cinnamon Elizabeth Hardy (a little over one year old).

Anna Foursocks Elizabeth Strumila (3 1/2 years old).


Salem Dixie Elizabeth Sims (9 years old).

They all have two middle names – one after their doggy momma, and one after their human momma – and different last names. Thing is, they are not from the same marriage, heh!

Two are big, and one is very small (well, not too small).


Brownie is the smallest. She is probably about 10 1/2 lbs and a full-blood Shih-tzu. I have NEVER heard her bark, and she finally learned to jump about three months ago.

Next is Anna.


She gets a special frame, because well, she is special. See, her middle name is foursocks. She is from Choctaw land, and we are pretty sure she had something funny in a pipe before coming to her fur-ever home. She is part greyhound, which makes her very loving, and very skitzy at the same time (or maybe the skitzy is from the peace pipe).

Lastly, is my first puppy love – Missy Salem.


She is full blood Black lab. She weights about a 100lbs. Tells time by her tummy, and is one of the most tolerant dogs I have ever met. Not to mention….. wicked smart.


And very funny! ROFLMFO! (rolling on the floor laughing my fur off!)

These fur friends have it made.

They are house dogs fed twice a day. They have a basket of toys. A couch just for them. And dog crates for safe sleeping. They get to run in the yard – unfenced – when they need too. They are loved. They are spoiled. And, I think, they are the best dogs in the world.

I have no idea what we do without them. But I know, it wouldn’t be near as entertaining.

The REAL Texas snow

It doesn’t snow often here. Not more than an inch, and if it does snow an inch it goes away by noon the next day.

But when it’s a real snow? Look out! And boy did it really snow!

I think I have the Green Bay Packer Snow Mojo Team to thank. Since they arrived in our Superbowl town, our weather went (north?) to the cold arctic arm pit. I heard Dallas was colder than Anchorage on Wednesday. So, um, thank-you! I’m rooting for ya! And after the game on Sunday, we are ready to see our 60’s again, mkay?

The weatherman predicted snow about 3am, actually it started at midnight. This was not the sleet and ice snow bits like Tuesday. These were honest to God snowflakes – fat and happy – floating their way down to stick.

Brownie seeing snow. REAL snow falling for the first time in her puppy life.

This caused a great uproar in the house to those of us awake. The husband. The teen. I think he almost (almost) woke the little girls up to see it too (he wanted too!). We are not used to it falling, not used to it sticking, and definitely not used to it being fluffy. It’s funny, because we jumped, hollered, ran outside with tongues hanging out (okay, that was just me and Sydney).

Texans heart snow.

The ground (and ice) was completely covered within thirty minutes. The snow churned from the sky like someone had a machine aimed right at us. I was so thrilled, I did not go to sleep until about 2am (still planning on going to work if I could). I couldn’t help it. I had to keep looking out the window to see if it was still there. It was!

I woke up at my normal time. Took the crazy snow dogs out and waited about five minutes for the little girls to wake up. They are early risers (just like the dogs). I get a text that the office is closed due to weather. Another snow day for ALL of us ( as the schools had announced closing the day before).

Ice is one thing. It’s cold. It makes the world a freezer and it’s not fun to play in. Tuesday and Wednesday we had ICE. We had ten degrees with a windchill of zero. Not fun. Snow is another thing all together.

Snow is fun. Snow and thirty-degree weather all day is even more fun.

Here is a recap of half the day.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? What is that streaking through the snow faster than a speeding bullet?

It’s Brownie the Abominable Snow Dog!

Able to dodge small children in a single bound.

Of course she’s not really abominable. She is cute, hairy, and full of big dog ‘tude.

Needless to say – Brownie LOVES snow. The real stuff. She thought she loved the ice stuff, but no, it’s THIS stuff she loves.

By afternoon, she had so much snow crusted on her face and feet, Jason had to give her a bath. It was that bad. She would not come in. Over and over, she buried, chased, jumped and dug her face into the mounds of snow. Sooo fun!

Then, The Teen rose from her slumber. All the girls bundled up, and well…….I guess they love snow too.

This crazy dog Anna can catch a snowball in mid-air. Amazing!

Like I said, a super fun day had by all, all the way around. And this is only part one. Part two is tomorrow. I will explain Texas sledding and how to build Stan the Snowman. Hippiest dude this side of Red River. 🙂

Snice Day

That’s snow + ice = snice. And what happens when you get a snice day in North Central Texas ( or Dallas, if you prefer)? Answer: no school or work!

That’s a sNICE day! Yay!!


I stocked up and it paid off (by the way I grossly underestimated my supply stock of oatmeal pies). Meh.

But we did not lose electricity. In all respects, if not for the ice, it would have been fine. But of course, that is not what happens in Texas. The rain from the night before created a slick SHEET on the roads and as predicted, not enough sand trucks. The road by our house is a hill. I saw two cars spin their way to the top (on the second try) (barely).

Let’s just say…we are not going anywhere. No way out.

The little girls are at their mom’s house. Good thing too. Their Aunt from the North is visiting and she knows ALL about snow. I have no doubt she taught them some mad snow skills. Go Auntie!

So, what’s a mom to do when a teenager is afraid of the cold? When she has no little kids to entertain? She watches TV and plays on the computer. Ahem. No, actually, she watches TV, plays on the computer, and takes care of her fur kids.

And when the fur kids need to “go potty” a zillion times, what can she do but entertain them?

Moooommmmm, I need to go potty.

Again? Really? You gotta go, huh? Well….we will just see.

And what happens as soon as they get out the door?

Snow! Snow! Weeeeee!

They love the snow (ice). LOVE IT!

It’s 21 degrees. Windchill (and it’s blowing HARD) is 1. I can last about FIVE minutes and that is with gloves on.

But I decide it’s a great time to use my new camera AND practice my action (freeze – ha) shots. I employ The Teen to help me call the dogs to capture all the running and the snow spin out action.

With much rolling of eyes, she agrees – with no gloves, nor hat. I urge her to get gloves (and hat). Gee Whiz.

Winter Texas wear.

As The Teen models her winter snow gear for Texas weather. I snap pictures of dogs, but do catch her in this one.

Wonder why she didn’t last long? I am thinking the pajama pants were a little breezy. Mhmm?

I didn’t need her any way. The dogs need no urging to run. They run, and run, and run.

I nicknamed Brownie (the shih-tzu) “Brownie The Flash”. She is little, but mighty. I swear that dog has wings.

Flying Snow Dog

This was her first experience with snow. It was most adorable.

Brownie with a snowstach. Got snow?

Maybe we didn’t have the little kids, but our snice day was a great success. We thoroughly enjoyed it and guess what? It didn’t melt. In fact, it’s even crunchier.

Snow + ice + crunch = Snirch

What happens on a Snirch day?

Answer: Schools close (again!). Work? Well…we will find out tomorrow. But it’s looking like a SNIRCH DAY! Unless our steep hill of ice melts, but I believe the temperature high tomorrow is a whooping 10 degrees!

Stay warm, and be safe everyone.

**Also, I am being featured over at The Red Dress Club today (Feb. 2nd). Be sure to click over and read my interview. All my fiction writing has been inspired by these wonderful ladies and the writers that participate. This is a incredible site to grow your love of writing and have a lot of supporters offering feedback.