This blog has gone to the dogs

8.28.2014

So Fletch has been here for five weeks and has made himself right at home.



I thought that now that he is settled, it would be a good time to give an update on how he has adjusted to Skelley life. Very well - as long as we don't leave him for long periods during the day. That is when dog drama happens. I have started leaving the television on for him and he is much calmer when we come back home. I think he does not like the quiet.

Fletcher still eats his meals like he is at his foster family's house. He gobbles it as quickly as possible, as if the other dogs are still nipping at his heels. I ordered him a slow feeder to curb that problem as eating too fast can be dangerous for dogs. He loves morning walks, just as much as Baxter did. He knows the routine and starts to get excited about 7am. If it is raining, he is not a happy camper. I took him for a walk the other night while I road my bike and he kept up until he saw a neighbor - somehow I managed not to take a header.

We finally gave in and gated the stairs after he wreaked a little havoc on the second floor. I don't trust him to not go upstairs and eat some toys. He ate a Lego a few weeks ago but it was one of the tiny Lego Friends, so we think we are in the clear. He is definitely a ninja, this morning he grab be Little Kid's headband out of her hand and took off! Strangest thing I ever saw. He loves to pull out old clothes and stuff from our donation pile - doesn't chew on them - just pulls them out and leaves them in the middle of the floor for us to see. He is a little odd. The only time that he has really gotten in trouble is when he tried to snatch a hamburger out of Big Kid's hand. That landed him on the patio for most meals.

He has decided that he would much rather poop on walks than in the backyard, which is all well and good but remember the poop service that I wrote about last week? I am rethinking that now.

Fletch is my buddy during the day and my shadow pretty much all of the time. The kids get upset when they want him to play with them but he won't leave my side. I tell them that it is because I feed him and he ain't no fool. They are very attached to him - even more so than Baxter. I think they thought that Baxter would always be here because he always had been, and they took him for granted. Fletcher loves to snuggle, which is right up Little's alley. My son is a pretty typical ten-year-old and abhors anything mushy gushy, but I heard him baby talking Fletcher the other night: "Who is the best dog in the world? Fletcher is!" Fletch has developed an interesting relationship with Big's friend, M. He barks his head off every day when he comes over and then they make a few laps around the house. It is as if he sees him as his playmate.

He takes defending the homestead very seriously. Especially against the grandma who lives behind us and various lawnmowers. This morning he lost his mind while our other neighbor had the nerve to tend to his garden. If it is not too hot, you will usually find him every morning patrolling the perimeter with his trusty bone in mouth. Then he will bury and rebury his bone multiple times until he finds the perfect spot. He has been known to play tussle with Toby, our neighbor's dog, but his true love are kids. Fletcher LOVES kids.

He is different than Baxter and I think that has helped the transition. I still miss Baxter a lot but it has taken having a young, healthy dog to realize exactly how much Baxter had declined.

Oh yeah, and he weighs 86 lbs. Needless to say he is on the fat dog diet and his snacks consists of frozen green bean which he strangely likes. We have not missed a walk yet so hopefully exercise and no people food will slim him down to the 70 that the vet wants. I refer to him as the furry manatee.

He has eased much of the sadness of losing Baxter but at the same time carved out his own space in our hearts. You are a good dog, Fletch.

To follow Fletcher's travails, check out the #fletcherhound tag on Instagram. You can also follow Team Skelley at @teamskelley.

Happy Weekend!


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Lake time

8.27.2014

For someone who grew up on the lake, I am a little embarrassed to say that my kids have not spent a lot of time there. Granddaddy sold his lake house when Big Kid was a baby and although he has been to camp and parties and out on my aunt and uncle's houseboat, he does not have a lot of experience with lake sports.

Last weekend our friends in our neighborhood here in Huntsville invited us to their lake home back in my hometown in Tennessee. It is such a small world.

For a newbie, I think he liked it.


Little Kid brought home one of those fun back to school colds that we passed around the house last week so I sat out the water fun this weekend. Temps hit triple digits and after a miserable soccer game that morning, neither she nor I felt well. Poor Little, by the end of her soccer game, she was in tears from her head congestion and the heat. We won't do that again. She sat out the lake trip and instead spent the weekend crafting with Gramma.


I have said this before but I don't think I truly appreciated the landscape of my hometown while growing up there. It has taken many years of traveling to different places to appreciate that not everyone is fortunate enough to grow up alongside a lake surrounded by mountains. Franklin County is a beautiful place.


Photos by Danny Wyndham

I don't know what camera Danny used but I am going to find out - these are amazing shots! 

Sunday I headed to a baby shower for my cousin's wife Amber - just down the street from our friends lake home in Winchester.  My sister, cousin and cousin's wife are all pregnant and due within four months of each other. The holidays are going to be awesome this year.

It is weekends like these that make me pause and appreciate that although we might be under the weather and the temperature is ridiculously hot, we have been greatly blessed with an abundance of family and friends. We are lucky.

Happy Wednesday!


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My Favorite Under $10: Chatbooks

8.26.2014

I am the world's worst at uploading and sorting iPhone photos. Which is unfortunate as I take more photos with my phone than I do with my camera. When I learned that the Chatbooks app will upload and arrange all of your IG photos in one handy and pretty little photobook I said, Yes, please. And that the books are only $6? Even better. The procrastinator with phone photos from 2011 rejoiced.

My first book arrived this weekend and I could not be happier with it:


I chose Dad and I at his Father's Day dinner on the lake for the cover.


The photos are a little grainy as they are three years old and were taken with my old iPhone3. Little Kid loved looking through the book and seeing her life at age 3. Big Kid was eh, as only ten-year-old boys are.

The Type A in me especially liked this detail -


The app cannot be any easier - it does everything for you and will even arrange them into volumes. Each book holds 60 pages and is $6/book with a subscription. I ordered just one to test it out but plan to go back and have the rest of them printed out. The only drawback that I have found is that the app does not save your work so if you are ordering a large number of books, carve out some time to edit and organize. Chatbooks told me that I had enough photos to make 24 books. If you follow Team Skelley on Instagram you already know that a sizable chunk of my photos are nonsense and those will not make it into the books. So that number will shrink.

I think that these would make great grandparent gifts for the not-so-tech savvy. All of our grandparents are on Facebook but not IG, so they have seen few of these. This is not a paid review, I just enjoy sharing stuff with y'all that I think you will like.

Happy Tuesday!


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