#PhotoFriday: Clematis in full bloom

Growing up, my mom had a purple clematis in our front yard. Every year it would grow up our porch railing. Along with the johnny jump-ups that popped up every spring, the clematis was my favorite flower.

When I rented my first house, I bought a clematis bulb and grew it in a pot for a few years. It did okay, and I transplanted it to my yard when we bought our house. It’s grown exponentially over the past three years! It’s now a very happy plant, and every spring when it blooms it reminds me of home.

a purple clematis vine

What flowers or plants remind you of home?

#PhotoFriday: Happy 14th Birthday, Lexi!

Lexi was born on April 4, 2004. She’s my lucky 04/04/04 dog. On Wednesday, she turned 14. Maybe I’m being superstitious, but that, too, seems lucky.

My family adopted Lexi shortly after my childhood dog Maverick passed away. She was six weeks old, a little young but already weaned and spunky as anything. I’d taken Maverick’s death the hardest, I think, and was angry at my parents for not doing more to help him (as an adult I realize my anger was misplaced and that my parents did every reasonable thing they could and ultimately made the right decision). We had two young German shepherds, but my mom decided we’d adopt a Welsh corgi puppy for me–even though I’d be heading off to college soon.

Me holding Lexi as a puppy.

Me and Lexi in 2004, the summer before my senior year of high school. I demanded she be in my official photos.

Lexi has always been an adventurous dog. We went on lots of walks together, and when I did go off to college my mom took her to agility classes. When I graduated I found a place that would let me have pets, and Lexi moved to Pittsburgh with me.

Lexi, Kelly, D.J., and Ruby

Lexi and Ruby were ring bearers at my handfasting ceremony in 2010.

We’ve hiked and climbed mountains together in National Parks, gone on long road trips, and done a fair bit of just hanging out at various coffee shops in Pittsburgh. She knows me better than anyone—she can sense my moods before I even know what I’m feeling. She’s quick to draw my attention to her with a “grr” or a nudge when she knows I’m sad or distressed. I can (and do) set my clock by her.


Lexi a few days before her 14th birthday.

Our time left together is getting short, but we’re celebrating every moment of it. Lexi is my girl, and I love her to the ends of the earth and back.

#PhotoFriday: Corg on the town

I had planned to write a review of Octavia Butler’s Kindred for today, but that didn’t happen! Instead, here are pictures of my cute dog.

Did you know you can take your dog to Home Depot? Well you can! My new favorite thing is to take Lexi. I can hook her up in her harness and booties so she can walk around, and when we both get tired she can ride in the cart. The staff love her and always give her a treat and some good pets.

A corgi in a shopping cart.

Lexi taking a break in Home Depot (pictured with my new Ryobi One+ drill!).


The only downside to her harness is that it’s pretty tough on my shoulders to hold her back end up for long periods of time. I’m still feeling it! After we got our new drill, we went to Starbucks so I could get an iced coffee and Lexi could get a “Puppaccino”–a small cup of whipped cream. If I give my dogs people food, it’s usually whole, unprocessed food (never grains because of allergies). Every now and then they get a special treat of ice cream or a hot dog, though. Or in this case, a Puppaccino!

A corgi eating a puppaccino

Lexi enjoying her Starbucks.

Who says disabled dogs can’t have fun? I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as Lexi enjoyed her Puppaccino!