A lemonade stand

7.30.2014

Little Kid has asked all summer to have a lemonade stand. We finally had a free Saturday so she set it up last weekend. It was a ridiculously hot day and we would have been lost without our neighbor's tent.


When discussing the stand, I told her that usually when kids have a lemonade stand they decide to give a portion of their proceeds to a good cause, be it a church or a charity or someone in need. She decided, completely on her own, to give her 100% proceeds to Christmas Charities Year Round's back to school program. I was so proud of her. I wrote a story about the program for next week's newspaper and when getting back to school supplies last week, she and I talked about how some kids could not afford to buy panda notebooks like the one she picked out. She has such a big heart, it is huge.


Needless to say that there are a lot of positives to living on a cul de sac but lemonade stand traffic is not one of them. She was a little bummed with the turnout, however her disappointment was eased with a dip in our neighbor's pool. However, my dear friend Leigh Anne in Austin, Texas, was so touched by the Little's idea that she mailed her a contribution. LA, if a package arrives from Alabama with strawberry lemonade leaking out the side … you're welcome.

Telling other people how to spend their money is not my jam, unless you are my sister and in that case, I like to give unsolicited opinions on a variety of topics. But if you do have a local back to school ministry or charity, I urge you to check them out. Every child should have a new panda notebook and a good pair of shoes that fit for the first day of school. Every. One.

So speaking of - school starts in less than a week, gang. A week!

After two years of an extended 12 week summer, the school system shortened our summer back two weeks and I am really noticing the shorter length. I did not think I would as usually by the last couple of weeks, my children have used up every little bit of good behavior and are doing their best impersonation of howler monkeys. But this summer, we have been so busy that I feel like I looked up for a moment and realized that first grade and fifth grade are here. I am a little ambivalent this year about the end of summer - I will miss sleeping in and no homework but I love back to school, I love new shoes, fresh haircuts and the promise of a new year. Needless to say that I was one of those kids who eagerly anticipated the beginning of school and agonized over which Trapper Keeper folders to buy in the store. Do I want the rainbow or the kittens? This is such a monumental decision!

If you need some last-minute back to school avenues - my gotos are Gap - everything in the store is 40% off, JCrew Factory - you can't beat 50% off all items, and of course, the Nordstrom anniversary sale's last week is happening right now. I really enjoy how easy they make returns as both my sneakers and Big Kid's BTS Nikes were too small. Back to the drawing board!

Happy Tuesday! Wednesday! (I was a little late on hitting the publish button.)


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These are a few of my favorite ($10) things

7.28.2014

I am joining up with Erika and Andrea again for their very excellent Favorite Things Party!


After five years of blogging, sometimes I am just flat out of topics. So I definitely appreciate their link ups, new topics and connecting with new readers via the blog hops. Thanks, ladies!

First things first -


I picked this up at Pet Smart for our new basset hound Fletcher and while The Engineer was convinced it was just $10 water, I am here to tell you that it works! The first night we used it, Fletch went straight to his bed and we did not hear a peep out of him until morning. The bottle says that it is for long stays alone, bedtime and crate training. Two thumbs up!

2. Finishing up our back to school shopping has never been easier with JCrew Factory clearance on sale for an additional 50% off! I picked up khaki pants, a gingham button down and two tees for Big Kid and two sweaters and a tee for Little Kid - all for under $10. That is cheaper than Target! Back to school = done. While I was at it, I could not resist this for me for $9.50:


3. 


Is it red? Is it orange? Who knows! I thought that it would be a great summer to fall transition color. That is probably wishful thinking on my part as fall and the cool weather that comes with it are still months away. Alabama in August, sigh.

And I will be remiss if I don't mention one of my very favorite things, that was actually free and on television while writing this post -


Search for Spock, y'all. It's no Wrath of Khan but it still makes for a nice Monday night. Whispers: I might have cheered when they killed Kirk's son. I always found him and his curly hair to be annoying.

Happy Monday!


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Friday Furry Favorites

7.25.2014

It's no secret that I love basset hounds. I know you would have never guessed that by this blog, my social media posts and my clothing choices and home decor. I realized last night that I brought my first hound home when I was 23. The Engineer and I had only dated for four months, which is kind of nuts if you think about it. I can't believe we did that - we put more thought into getting a new mattress than we did getting a dog. I blame the giddiness of new love.

I saw an ad in our newspaper for basset puppies and I told him that my dad has always wanted a basset hound and loves the breed. He said that he had always wanted a basset hound too - one of his best friends  had a big, ol' hound named Jackson when they were growing up. So I called the ad and a few weeks later, I brought home this little fella in July 2001:

#1. Jake Flash




Wow, did we not know what we were getting into. Jake was a crazy dog but we loved him so much. He was our first baby and I worried about him incessantly during our honeymoon that next April even though I knew that he was in good hands with our friend and fellow basset enthusiast, Joyce. Sadly, Jake died in September 2003 from a brain aneurism, two days after I found out that I was pregnant with Big Kid. We were heartbroken.

It took us awhile to get another hound. The arrival of Big Kid completely changed our lives but I knew eventually we would have another basset hound. It took us a long time to grieve after losing Jakie. The Engineer especially took it hard. In summer 2005, I started looking online at the Basset Hound Rescue of Alabama - we knew that we did not need another puppy and loved the idea of helping a dog who needed a home. We came across a little red basset named Sparky, but when I called to ask about him, BHRA told me that Sparky was spoken for - he was going to live with actor and comedian Garry Shandling! Not only did he adopt Sparky, he sent his private plane from California to Alabama to adopt every elderly basset hound (which are the hardest to adopt, of course) on their list! Is that not the best story ever? We were watching a movie this summer and I pointed him out to Big Kid and he said, "That guy has our dog!"

So they asked us - Have you thought about Caesar? Caesar was a beautiful, black and white basset who was three. They found him wandering the streets of Birmingham. But you might know him as The Fat Dog:

#2. Baxter Clyde

My hair … great googly moogly.

His foster mom Linda called him Clyde - she said that he looked more like a Clyde. He became a beloved member of our family and many of his exploits for the past five years are here on Team Skelley under the basset hound tag. He probably looks more familiar to longtime readers with his white face below. He did not stay black for very long. I have often wondered if he was older than we thought.


Even though we did adopt a new hound soon after he passed away, I will miss Bax for a long, long time.

With Baxter, we started our tradition of keeping our adopted dogs' rescue names for middle names. We continued that with our newest hound:

#3: Fletcher Curtis


He is a big lug. Sweet dog and surprisingly agile considering his girth. We have never had one of those huge bassets that you see out and about - until now. He is adjusting very well - every day he relaxes more and is sleeping longer and eating. Loves walks. Loves kids. Loves attention. Loves food (even apples, which is bizarre to me). Does not love our garage door. Our house is covered in Baxter scent so we are having some territory marking issues. I bought some NoGo spray yesterday and that seems to be working. I also bought this puppy calming spray to get him to sleep on his cushion and it works! The first night he fussed and cried at bedtime and lay on the floor beside my spot in the bed. Got up and wandered around in the middle of the night. Last night, I sprayed his bed, he hopped right on and we did not hear a peep out of him until I woke up at 6:30. $10 and it works!

So those are my furry, four-legged loves. As much as I have enjoyed my clean floors this summer (and I really, really have - probably too much) I would not trade clean, hair-free floors for the fun of living with a basset hound. They have brought us so much joy since our early days together and I would like to think that we have given them a happy home and lots of love. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go vacuum up some dog hair.
Joining up with: Friday Favorites:

If you are new here at Team Skelley, welcome! I promise that we do more than talk about dogs. For more about the team, go to the About Katie link above and please feel free to click on the social media icons in the sidebar. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Weekend!

 
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