Archive for the ‘Allie’ Category


For the past 2 summers, I have promised Dutchess Bull that I would taker her swimming at Grandma Debbie’s house. Several years ago we used to take Dutchess and Bogie swimming frequently. Dutchess was and still is a very good swimmer and Mr. Bogie was an amazing diver, but not such a strong swimmer. For no particularly good reason, we have not taken the babies swimming over the past 2 summers, but today that changed. Taking Dutchess was truly old hat, as she loves to swim, but taking the Bostons was a new adventure. Alex did take Fenway swimming last summer, but only briefly and he seemed to dislike it. That is still true.

Once we arrived at Grandma’s to swim, Dutchess took to the water and never missed a lick. She has slowed a little since she is older, but is still a very good swimmer. The boys were a different story. Gulliver attempted to swim, but basically just slapped at the water and refused to use his back legs. Gulliver would drown if left alone. Fenway was no better, but did not seem to enjoy even making an effort. Luckily, we had a plan B. This past weekend we picked up a cheap inflatable boat at the mall. Now the boat says sweet girl on it, but we just figured the boys would not care. Fenway loved the boat. We put him in it and he just floated around like he was at a resort. Since we only had one boat, Alex, Whitley and I took turns holding Gulliver as he floated on a smaller floatie. Gulliver loved to float half in the water and at one point appeared to be falling asleep in Whit’s arms. Whitley was very good with the boys in the pool.

We all swam, floated and chased invisible monster for about 1 hour and then decided to call it a day. Dutchess had a blast and got some good exercise. The boys discovered their secret calling is to be lounge puppies at a resort. They seemed to suggest a cabana boy and puptail were in order for next time. I on the other hand was an anxious wreck, worrying myself to death over nothing. Alex was her normal steely self and as she predicted, all turned out OK. Dutchess and the boys are now back home sleeping after their big adventure. Oooh what a day!

You might wonder what a wayward turtle and cupcakes have in common? This past weekend Alex and I had one amazing weekend. Friday we went to Three Dog Bakery in Southlake and ordered up some new treats for the fur babies. After procuring puppy happiness, we spent a little time shopping at Grapevine Mills followed by dinner at Buca di Beppo. Since having my Lap Band, I cannot eat the portions Buca serves, but I was in luck now that they serve two different portion sizes. My favorite entree there is pizza! Surprised? Probably not!

Saturday we woke up and after spending some time with the babies, decided to head up to the shopping area off of Heritage Trace in north Fort Worth. With the exception of an “incident” at Sam Moon, we had a great time. We did some more shopping at JC Penney’s and for the first time in many years I was able to fit into a 2X shirt. Now, the 2X was not flattering but it did fit. It is the little things like this that make having my Band worth it. Before we shopped we ate lunch at Olive Garden and had a wonderful waiter named Hedey. His name he told us was Brazilian, but he was Mexican. Hedey was one of the nicest servers we have had in some time. I always try to call servers by their name and make sure they know that the service they provide is both appreciated and important.

After lunch and shopping, we left JC Penney and on the drive out, we saw the little guy in the above photo. I am not sure where he came from since there was no water nearby. Alex, me and another nice family spent some time snapping photos and getting chased around by Mr. Turtle, but eventually we decided the best thing to do was to put him on the other side of a work fence as far from the road as possible. I hope Mr. Turtle made it home wherever that is. After rescuing the wayward turtle, we enjoyed the sweets you see pictured above from Sweet Spot Bakery. Honestly, the ding dong concoction was a little too sweet for me, but the red velvet cupcake was good and the place decorated very cutely.

After we finished our sweets, we did some more shopping and came home to spend some time with our babies. We were home for a few hours until time to leave to meet our friends at the Royal Falcon Pub. We spent several hours at the Royal Falcon learning about sordid affairs, rumours and other generally good gossip (God forgive me). Around 2 A.M. we finally made it home and after enduring an hour or so of puppynami, we all finally went to sleep. What an amazing couple of days with my best friend in the entire world!

Date Night!!

Posted: August 13, 2011 in Allie, Spice of Life

Tonight was a truly great night. After Alex came home, she and I drove up to Southlake and purchased some goodies from our friends at Three Dog Bakery. We had hoped they would have the shin bones which our fur babies LOVE, but alas they were out. Since we did not find the shin bones, we opted to drive over to Pets Mart and found some chew bones which were just about as good. After finishing the puppy shopping we decided to go to Grapevine Mills Mall to see Legoland and do some shopping. To my chagrin, we arrived and Legoland was closed, but the aquarium across the way was open. We did not go today, but plan on attending soon on another date.

Since the aquarium was closed, we decided to do a little clothes shopping. I took an entire set of photos I titled Mall Walk inside Forever 21 and a few other places. I truly enjoy shopping with Alex because seeing her buy new clothes makes her very happy and inspires her to work hard at WW. After shopping we walked around a little and decided it was time for dinner. Alex and I left the mall and went to Buca di Beppo to eat in Southlake. For those of you who have not eaten at Buca you are missing out. Even though I have a Lap Band, I can still eat their thin crust pizza and it is AMAZING.

I posted the above photo because it truly embodies who I am. I am a big kid at heart. I know sometimes, I am very serious about heavy topics like politics and religion, but when I am with my wife I am just me and I LOVE Legos. The last time Alex snapped a photo of me with a lego that I liked, I did not buy it and it was a special purchase so I missed out. This time, my birthday is coming up (HINT HINT) and I really like this lego project.

Well that is all for tonight peeps!

Bostons and Marshmallows

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Allie, Family, Fenway, Gulliver

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Who knew Boston Terriers LOVE marshmallows? Tonight my beautiful wife was making candy coated marshmallow pops for Miss Texas Outstanding Teen Reilly Johannsen’s homecoming this weekend when mysteriously a marshmallow ended up in the boys’ mouths. I cannot be sure how this happened since neither is tall enough to fetch one from the counter, but I am guessing they put either their daddy or their mommy under some sort of hypnotic spell and “suggested” they try one. Shortly after this extra sensory event, the boys got dressed in their best pirate shirts to pose for photos involving, yes, more marshmallows. Now I cannot be sure how all of this came to happen, but I do know that we currently have 2 Boston Terriers wearing pirate shirts and a few less marshmallows for marshmallow pops. Please stay tuned for the on going saga of the Boston marshmallow thieves!

Well here I am with my beautiful bride on day 31 of my photoblog challenge. Towards the end of June, I was at Amy James’ home visiting with my friend Bobby Harris. I explained to Bobby that I had sold all of my camera equipment and was taking a hiatus from photography for many reasons. Besides needing the money, taking pictures simply had stopped being fun. I told him that there was simply too much emotion wrapped up and that I was just a “tormented artist.” Bobby looked at me with a scowl and said that was all BS and that he was pissed off at me. I was perplexed to say the least.

A few minutes after the initial exchange Bobby challenged me to take a photo a day for one month and blog about it. Initially, I dismissed this idea because I had taken thousands of photos and what could a few snap shots per day really matter? A week or so later, I decided to accept Bobby’s challenge as I had been missing taking pictures. So my month long journey began and I cannot thank Bobby enough for kicking me in the ass and making me do it. You are welcome to browse the daily photos to see what I captured during July so there is no need to rehash each day, but looking back I can honestly say that it made all the difference in me as an artist.

Before I engaged in this challenge I was always so focused on the technical details of the picture I did not appreciate simply taking photos and seeing the art come out of them. Instead of shooting with thousands of dollars worth of equipment, all of these photos were taken with an inexpensive compact camera and a little help from post processing. I learned to appreciate the randomness that accompanies simply snapping images and seeing what happens. I learned to tear down the ideological boundaries that traditional photography place on art. I learned to take photos for my pleasure and for my art rather than for others approval.

I am not sure where my photography will go in the future. I do not know if I will ever become a professional or serious photographer, but I am a photographer and a good one. I can be a professional if I chose and I know I have the skills and talents to do so. I know that I am my own worst critic and that I need to work on accepting the outcome for what it is: ART!

I am going to keep today’s post fairly short. This morning I received a bottle of Heartbreaking Dawn’s 1498 Trinidad Scorpion hot sauce. The Trinidad Scorpion is currently the hottest pepper on Earth and this sauce is a scrumptious mixture of Scorpions and other ingredients. Growing peppers and becoming a “chilihead” has been quote therapeutic for me. Since the late winter, Alex and I have poured alot of love into our little chili pepper garden and I am hopeful that this fall we will see the fruits of our labor. Doing anything in life is so much more enjoyable when I do it with be beautiful bride and pepper gardening has been no exception. Between peppers, photography, guitar, Boston Terriers, Bulls and the normal day to day living, I have been keeping busy which has been a huge help in overcoming my OCD. If you like hot things, try this sauce and hit me up in the fall to see how the harvest goes!