How I became a Dog Lady at 24

To explain how I became a dog lady, we need to start from the beginning. 

First, there was Bandit. Bandit was 8(?) when we got him. He was a great first pet, because he was already trained, was extremely mellow, and extremely loving. He was also my pet- because he always ended up sitting by me or sleeping with me in bed. 


Exhibit 1. Also that floral combination is on point!

In junior high I had a dog ,Buddy Guy. Buddy Guy was the best dog. He slept next to me every night and would bark whenever I tried to kiss my scumbag of a boyfriend. I remember staying up late at night, crying and telling him all of my secrets. I wouldn’t have called myself a dog lady then- not yet. 

imageBuddy Guy was my man. Damn the coyotes who killed him. 

After Buddy Guy’s tragic death, our family waited awhile before getting another animal. It wasn’t until I was on my own with my now husband that we decided to get a dog. My husband had never had a dog, so I was super excited! We went to our shelter and found the perfect little funky man who I immediately named Einstein. That lasted a day before he made me change it to Sam.

imageFor Samuel Clemens. I’m from Missouri- Mark Twain is kind of in my blood. 

Everything was actually pretty normal with Sam. Yeah, we took an engagement photo with him (a week after he was adopted- he looks much better now!) but you know, otherwise things were completely normal. We cuddled on the couch, went for walks, took too many Facebook photos, etc. 

And then I got sick. I have epilepsy. I had been seizure free for almost two years, so with the blow of losing my license and independence came a crippling depression and suicidal thoughts. I stayed at home, missing work for 3 months. I would sleep for days at a time. I didn’t dare venture outside, for the anxiety could trigger a seizure. So I had Sam. He would lick my tears. I knew I would go outside at least twice a day to let him outside. He pushed me, but then would also cuddle me all day while I watched American Dad nonstop. 


Happy little man.

Slowly my seizure meds were changed, I was put on antidepressants and I started sleeping less. The crying didn’t stop, but it was an improvement. And then the local shelter posted a picture of a dog who had been there for over a month, despite being adorable. Like my first dog, Bandit, she was older. For some reason I just needed to have her, take care of her. That’s the only time I felt better- when I was taking care of someone.

So I went and adopted Scruffy.

imageShe’s not scruffy at all.

Soon my energy levels started picking up. My husband and I would take the dogs for a walk every night. I would do laundry every day. I would go out and water my garden.

And then I started leaving the house. Sure, it was to my grandma’s house, and the dog’s had to go with me, but it was a step. My grandma and I would talk about them, make them little treats, and sit on the porch with them. It was very relaxing. 

And then I would go to my mom’s house with them. Slowly I was recovering, thanks to my dogs. Now I’m able to go out without them, but sometimes I still hurry home to give them extra cuddles when a room is too loud or I’m just having a bad day.

So- that is the background. Last week I was sitting in the living room messing on my phone when I looked up. Sam was walking towards the kitchen when I told my husband, “He needs to poop.” 

"How can you tell?"

"His asshole is red."

And that is how I know I am a dog a lady. Not only do I talk to my dogs, owe my recovery to my dogs (and my husband), but I can tell when my dogs need to defecate before they do. Sure enough I took Sam outside and he released a big one.


My little nurses.

There’s no hope for me. I’m a dog lady. 

“Pepper plants (plants in the Capiscum genus) are not actually annuals: in fact, they usually produce more fruit in their second year. Peppers usually need a hot growing season of 120 days, which is not possible in many temperate climates.

If you bring your peppers indoors, with regular pruning, good sunlight, and heat, and they can live for 10 years or more, being most productive in their first 5 years.

If you have a pepper plant you love that is no longer productive, instead of propagating it from seed (and risking hybridisation), you can take cuttings from an over-wintered “mother” plant. This way you get a head-start in terms of growth and fruit production.”

#garden hacks #peppers #cuttings #hybrids

Here are some resources to get you started:

(via biodiverseed)


I just came home drunk for the first time in 6 months after being at a winery with a bunch of 70 year olds listening to big band music. It was an awesome night with awesome music and amazing wine. I do not apologize at all for this post.


The Devil’s Honeycomb

Whenever I try to tell my friends that Missouri is beautiful, they usually scoff. Those that have traveled through think of the flat Northern area or the truck-stop littered interstates. Venture a little south down a winding highway and you’ll find the Missouri Ozarks- hills rolling into mountains, outlined by spring fed, crystal clear rivers. My Missouri. 

This week we decided to head south of Potosi to the Hughes Mountain Natural Area. Nobody in my family had heard of this gem, not even my father who grew up nearby. It was only discovered thanks to a Missouri Department of Conservation special (worth a watch) on a public access channel I caught with my grandma one afternoon.

The drive from Steelville to Hughes Mountain is beautiful. It winds through old farms and forests. I was too busy talking and singing with my husband to take any pictures, so you will have to imagine it for yourself. Like most MDC areas, you have to really be looking or you will miss it. Luckily this was the first time we didn’t have to make a U-turn.

The short trek up the mountain was pretty serene. The wooded trails were well-maintained, and the gradual climb made it easy on me. Once the woods cleared we started seeing areas of rocks. They were pretty cool, but nothing like in the video. We were starting to get bummed thinking “Is this it?”

Then we hiked 100 yards more.


The rhyolite rocks jutted up out of the Earth like this as far as the eye could see. 

The views were breathtaking. 

Even the birds took them in. 

It’s a running joke in our area that the only thing you can grow is rocks- but this is something entirely different- almost other worldly. It was formed in the same fashion as the Devils Tower National Monument, but happens to be in Missouri. 

We’re beautiful.

We rushed down the mountain due to a thunderhead rolling in and a meatloaf in the crockpot at home. If you have time, I recommend making your way through Steelville and stopping at the Soda Fountain. Ruby’s Homemade Icecream and the best malts you could dream of. Because you’re beautiful, and you just hiked a mountain. You deserve it. 

Sleepy eyed fall Saturday. Aren’t winter caps just the best?

Sleepy eyed fall Saturday. Aren’t winter caps just the best?


Found this lady while cleaning the fence.



Capps Creek Conservation Area sunflowers.

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