Saturday, April 29, 2017

   Sketching my #Kismet the #kitty #scubadiving while my students are taking their final exam. Next up: jump in the pool!! It's raining like crazy - perfect day for #scubatraining !  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Recommendation: Buttonwood Financial Group

   Sharing in case any of my friends need financial services. When I first started working with them nearly 10 years ago, I thought I'd primarily get investment help. I did, but I also got comprehensive guidance on insurance, budgeting, long-term planning, and much more.
   These guys have steered me through SO many changes over the last couple of years, and helped me muster the confidence to start my own business. I seriously can't recommend them highly enough.

Buttonwood Financial Group, LLC
Jon McGraw & John Jespersen
3013 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 800-448-9093 / 816-285-9000
Direct Phone: 816-285-9029
Fax: 816-285-9001 
   AND the whole office is an art gallery, open most First Fridays. They do some super impressive group shows. Artists, check 'em out—may be a good place to show/sell your work!

Don't disappoint the Sheebs!

   We interrupt the Facebooks to bring you a very important message: we would love it if you would join us for the 30th anniversary of dog n jog on June 11, on the Plaza in Kansas City!
   Register today at

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bad Apples

   PSA: Apple had a run of bad graphics cards in their 2015 MacBooks. I've had three bad, brand-new-out-of-the-box laptops since January. I bought the older model hoping to avoid any potentially unknown issues with the 2016/17 models. But it seems that would've been a safer bet than a 2015.
   I'm sitting at the store now waiting to see how they're going to solve bad laptop #3 for me. 
   If you have a 2015 MacBook and have screen flickering or display issues, document with video and get it to the show ASAP. The issues will worsen over time until your screen goes out. 
  Update: the customer service at the Apple store in Leawood, KS has been outstanding. These guys really care, and are helping me out. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


   This is hard to say. I have strong reason to believe my dear Taylor, who is 10 years old, has Cushing's Syndrome. I will get blood work from the vet to diagnose, but he has all the symptoms (they could also point to diabetes, and kidney failure). Scary stuff!
   Taylor is obsessed with water and drinks excessively—and has had accidents in the house regularly for the past few weeks. Plus excessive appetite, panting, and some muscle weakness (legs shivering after a walk). He has a ton of energy for an older dog. 9 times out of 10, when people ask me how old he is and I answer, "Ten," their follow up question is, "Months?" He looks—and acts—like a young dog.
   I'm very upset and concerned for my boy. I don't have any experience with Cushing's, and I know learning about it will help ease my worry, so… if anyone reading this has had a dog with Cushing's, could you please share medications, diet, or other tips that can help control symptoms? Learning more about the prognosis is helping me not freak out, and I still have a few hours before that vet appointment to diagnose.
   PS: Yes, that's an acorn on his head. During a 9 mile walk last weekend. I love my MSIR dogs to pieces and hope he will be OK for many more years. I enjoy them so much that I rarely think about losing them, focusing on the everyday joy. Unfortunately loss comes with the territory too. And this faithful guy is my daily walking companion—there will be a HUGE piece of my heart that goes with him, someday. I pray that day is a long way off!

   4/6 update: A little good news... urine test ruled out diabetes & kidney failure. Blood results by tomorrow morning. Cushing's and liver trouble are my biggest worries now. (Diabetes insipidus and psychogenic drinking possible, but uncommon.)
   SO grateful that my guy is in great spirits -- no pain apparent. 
   4/7 update:  Blood work was normal. Vet said he'd be thrilled if his 10-year-old dog had blood work like this. But that does mean we still don't have an answer. 
   Could be leptospirosis, diabetes insipidus, psychogenic drinking, or a small chance it could still be Cushing's. 
   Over the next few days I'm going to measure exactly how much water he's drinking, so I have to separate him from my other dog. Then we will try a water deprivation experiment.    
   So very thankful for all the things we now know it isn't!

Monday, April 3, 2017


   Allyson, you inspired me to try making shakshuka. SO GOOD!! This recipe is a winner:

And, now I'm curious to go to an Israeli restaurant to see what it's supposed to taste like!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Great Omen

   I've been working realllllly hard on a project all week, and tonight at 6:15 I decided it was break time. The dogs were thrilled to walk (even if it meant putting off dinner!), and we started out the front door like we do everyday. But I decided we should drive to South Lake Park instead, to change up our routine. 
   We had just finished our first loop around the lake when a couple, whispering, got my attention and pointed way up in a tree. A large silhouette... a great horned owl! The man handed me his binoculars so I could get a better look. Wow! I've seen barred owls in our 'hood (makes me laugh because I used to think they were "bard" owls). But this was a real treat.
   So the couple joined the dogs and me as we walked, talking about the great blue herons, green herons, and white crested night herons we've seen at the lake—and turtles, catfish, and goldfish as well. We were certainly birds of a feather.
   Then the woman, Jane, mentioned that they were out of the county for October last year, and how surprised she was that the oak mites were still around when they returned in November. Gone for a month? That's the part I wanted to hear!
   Turns out Henry is an attorney—and art lover. They traveled to France, Italy, and the Netherlands to see art museums, and then visited his family in Germany. Suddenly that owl wasn't the most interesting thing today... I have family in Germany, and I'm an artist!
   When I shared that tidbit, Jane perked up—she's a volunteer for PeaceWorks KC, and they're seeking artists to show at the Unplaza art fair in September! My petsitter shows there, and Jane though she remembered Mary Ann's work.
   To sum up, a very interesting conversation—it truly is a small world! When we finished our walk, I gave Jane my card so she can stay in touch. Always nice to meet neighbors and a kindred spirits as well! A cool conversation that all started with an owl.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Catch and Release

   I'd be lying if I said that I didn't think they were really d@mn cute, but they certainly don't belong in my home! My animals succeeded at finding but failed at capturing this one, and I was able to grab it by the tail, drop it in a wastebasket, and drive it up the street to the park to release it back into the wild. Welcome to the Rarey Catch and Release Program.