#Project365: Bo & Bean Week (133/365)

Bean is not very photogenic.

She makes stupid faces and about 80% of the time she closes her eyes when the camera flashes.  Bobo is a perfect little prince in most of his pictures; he’s a natural model.  Thursday, when trying to take shots for Bo & Bean week, for once Bean was being a sweetheart and posing nicely for me.  Seeking attention, Bobo decided to photobomb her…twice!


#Project365 – Bo & Bean Week (132/365)

This is my true love.

I’m not sure why I decided to take care of a dog when I was fresh out of college and could barely afford to take care of myself, but for some reason I went to the animal shelter and saw this sweet face and never looked back.  A shelter employee said, “You don’t want that dog.  We have a lot of puppies over here…”  This made me want him even more.  They had him listed as a pit mix, curious since he only barely looks like a pit and they would have had an easier sell if they made something (anything) else up instead.  His shelter name was Bam Bam, but he never once answered to it.   He had been found as a stray, running around Greensboro.  At one point, he had been someone’s pet because he knew basic commands and was completely housetrained.  It’s strange to think that the same 1 year old pup is now my 10 year-old old man.  He has slowed down a bit, preferring to bum around on the furniture rather than try to escape, and has more than a little white fur on his face and body, but he will always be my baby – the only dog I have ever (and will ever) own all by myself.

Retro-Bobo, around age 3 or 4.  So brown!

#Project365 – Bo & Bean Week (131/365)

Our backyard is not what one would consider “well-maintained.”  We keep the front yard in relatively nice working order, but our backyard should feel lucky when it gets mowed.  It’s a wasteland of weeds, holes dug by Bean, an overgrown garden and one struggling pink dogwood.

This, of course, makes Bean very happy.  She frolics in the grass if it starts to get high and sometimes munches on the weeds.  She murders stuffed animals, digs holes and sticks the stuffing inside.  As you saw in my previous post, she spends a lot of time wrestling Bobo (and, even though she’s much younger and stronger, always lets him win).

So, here is Bean munching on some weeds for my pic of the day:

#Project365 – Bo & Bean Week (130/365)

To kick off Bo and Bean week, here is a shot of the two crazy kids playing in the back yard. They may look like they’re going to kill one another, but this is how they always play!

Bobo, the reddish-brown dog, will be 10 years old in July.  I rescued him from a shelter in Greensboro when he was 1 year old and I was fresh out of college.  He’s a little bit of every breed, all mixed together into a beautiful mutt.  Bobo is my best friend, and the man of my life before I even met my husband.  He has an independent streak and used to be quite the escape artist.  He also has an opinion about a lot of things and isn’t afraid to voice it.

Bean (AKA Cocoa AKA Cocoa Bean), the chocolate brown/black dog, was rescued from a shelter near Topsail Beach in 2008 at 5 months old.  My husband and I were casually looking for a young shelter dog to keep Bobo company (and to keep him young).  He fell in love with Bean immediately.  She was a very nervous and timid pit/boxer/lab mix who has blossomed into the single most loving dog I have ever met.   At first we were worried that she had something wrong with her vocal cords since she does not bark at all, but our vet told us to wait it out and she will find her voice.  Well, now she’s 2 1/2 and still very rarely barks.  I have probably heard  her bark a total of 10 times since she joined the family.

So, now you know a bit about my precious mutts, so I hope you enjoy Bo & Bean week!

Run for Ray

At the ripe old age of 23, I moved to the coast of NC with my Boboman in tow and very little money in the bank. Luckily for me, I became fast friends with a new neighbor in my apartment complex.   Erin had a young baby, a recent separation from her husband, and an inspiring story of spinal cord injury survival.  Though only in her late 20’s, Erin served as both a big sister and mother substitute for my new home away from home.  I spent much of my time in her apartment, playing with her beautiful daughter Emma and eating the delicious homecooked meals she generously shared with me.

My job required me to work all holidays, and once again Erin and her family stepped in and invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them.   Through holiday and birthday celebrations, as well as regular family visits, I was able to meet and spend time with Erin’s sister Kerry, brother-in-law Ray and their two adorable children.

A few years later, Erin and I both moved on from our little apartment dwelling.  She got remarried and had another beautiful daughter, I moved into a house with a roommate and eventually got married myself.  Now that we are 30-40 minutes apart,  I don’t see Erin and her family as often as I’d like, but I try to see them when I can.

In 2006, Erin’s brother-in-law Ray was diagnosed with a Chordoma brain tumor.  He put up a fierce battle, but passed away in 2008 at the young age of 45.   From my interactions with him, I saw Ray as a laid-back, funny family man with a great spirit and I’m grateful that I got to know him even on that limited basis.  If you would like to read more about his story, please follow this link.

In Ray’s honor, Run for Ray was created to benefit his family and the Chordoma Foundation.  I was not able to participate this year, but did send in a donation and they were kind enough to send me a t-shirt and participation medal even though I didn’t earn it.

Come rain or shine (or cold or flu!) I plan to make next year’s Run for Ray.  If you live in NC or are willing to travel, I hope you come as well.  If not, there are donation directions on the website.

That was a lot of backstory, but as promised I wanted to explain my Project365 picture from March 9.  When I received my tshirt in the mail, I had an immediate reminder to be kind to the new people I meet.  They just may become family.

Saw God yesterday…

For as long as I can remember, I have believed that God sends me reminders.  Somehow, I learned to associate three things with signs of God:  light shining through the clouds, rainbows, and shooting stars.  The best part about being reminded God is there?  It never happens when I ask for it; it only happens when I least expect it.

Project 365: The Outtakes

Sometimes I have more than one good shot in the same day.  Here are some of the ones I loved, but decided to pass on when choosing my daily pic.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Sunrise :


My friend’s dog, Clementine:

Candle & reflection:

My beautiful old man:

Water drops on trees:

Not pretty, but random:

Wet bridge!

My friend’s dog (and Cocoa’s much larger doppelganger), Armani:

Another dog friend, Lexi:

Bobo & Cocoa:  BFF

Police horse stomping poop:

Airborne Cocoa!

Bathroom upgrades: A semi-amusing tale

Our house was built new in 2007, and we opted out of a lot of the upgrades because in some cases we didn’t like the options they gave us and in others we knew we could get a better deal if we shopped around ourselves.  We didn’t want to add cost to the mortgage when we could pay out of pocket for most of the things we wanted to do.

I won’t go into detail here.  If you want to see our house upgrades, I have a blog for that:  Ally’s Web Space.  It’s not that impressive but my family likes to check it out.  I certainly do not update it as often as this one.

Fast forward to this past weekend.   We decided to do a little upgrade on the master bath, just some simple changes in hardware, lighting and paint.  It was SUPPOSED to be simple, anyway.  What we discovered when we took down the ugly standard Dollar Store-looking vanity light was that the wiring & box were well off-center.   Cue Ally Temper Tantrum #1.

Assuming the construction workers were being slack (why in the world would they put the box off-center when the wall was CLEARLY marked with a bullseye where the box should go????) my husband took out the box and pulled the wiring through.  The plan was to patch the hole and cut a new one where it should have been.  At least that was the plan until he peeked inside the hole and saw…..dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuun…a huge pipe right behind the drywall, preventing the wiring from being placed centered over the sink.  Cue Ally Temper Tantrum #2.

I won’t go into any more detail, suffice to say he managed to pull off  a nice-looking light installation that is still slightly off-center but can be remedied by getting a different mirror.  The story above is how I became frustrated and cranky.  What comes next was what made me temporarily insane.

My husband is a stubborn mule, and decided to change the light without flipping the breaker.  I told him I’d run out to the garage and do it, but he said no no no.    It didn’t matter anyway, because about 10 minutes into his work he tripped the breaker anyway.  I was annoyed for all of the reasons above so I went to the living room to watch TV instead.

He finished the installation, flipped the breaker back on, then went to check out his handiwork.  About 30 seconds later….bam!  Lights out in the entire house.   You probably guessed that my Temper Tantrum #3 happened right about this time, sounding something along the lines of, “How the hell did you knock out the power to the entire house when you were installing a bathroom light???”

We went out to the garage to flip the switches back on, and to our mutual surprise none of them were tripped.  Confused, I went outside to see if anyone else had power and sure enough several of our neighbors were outside checking out the street for the same reason.

We soon found out that the entire TOWN and parts of the city were out of power.  The power outage at our house timed with the installation of the new light was a complete coincidence.  End of tantrum; I just had to laugh instead.

P.S.  This pic from my Project 365 coincides with this story…

More pictures…

I updated my Project 365 with pictures from days 3, 4, and 5, all days I spent in my hometown with my family for Mawmaw’s visitation and funeral.  I, of course, did not spend a lot of time with a camera in hand, but captured a few shots for my project I felt reflected my brief time at home.  Those were posted on my Project 365 page, but here were  a few that didn’t make the cut:

My sister’s dog, the always adorable Reilly.

Bobo, acting silly for a treat

A yard turtle at my parents’ house…yes, very random.

A stool I have always loved, at Mamaw’s house

evidence of Mawmaw’s green thumb, all around her home

The last three pictures were taken with my iPhone instead of my regular camera, and I have to say I was still impressed with how they turned out.   We’re back home and getting settled in.  I think I’ll take the Nikon to work with me tomorrow in case I get inspired to make Day 6 a work picture.