Category Archives: Puppies



I’m not moving to Montana anymore ­čśŽ

I mean, I am. For three months. But after that I’m moving somewhere else. Where? I don’t know yet. Why? That’s a loooooong story. Here’s the short version: MSU didn’t give me any financial aid and because I’d be paying out of state tuition for my post-bacc program, the 4 semesters of classes would cost me over $30,000.

Ugh. Obviously I’ll write a real update on what the new plan is (or at least what it is for now, as I still have no idea where we’ll be in 4 months…) but I’m out of time and energy for a discussion of this today.

In the meantime…I’ll distract you with this!

Two Black Labrador Puppies


A slightly different flavor…


Last weekend was all about snow and winter and being chilly, and it was great! However, coming home to Grand Junction where it hasn’t been above 32 degrees since December 15 and where the inversion is trapping the cold and creating terrible air quality, was not quite as great. Another cold weekend was not in the cards for me. Luckily, Kyle was agreeable and we planned to drive over to the Front Range to bask in some beautiful sunshine and 40-plus weather!

When you hear “Front Range” most folks think Boulder or Fort Collins, Denver or Golden. Not us. We wanted warm sunny weather and lots of fun places to play. We headed to Colorado Springs. The forecast was calling for 50s and sunny, and Kyle found some great places to play. When we arrived, we immediately went to Red Rock Canyon Open Space, a city owned park that allows biking, running and dogs. Perfect!

This crazy rock formation was right outside town, and there were great running trails all around it.

This crazy rock formation was right outside town, and there were great running trails all around it.

This site used to be a sandstone quarry, look at the crazy shelves cut into the hogback. I’m not sure why the stairs were there…

It's the site of an old quarry. See the stairs carved into the rock?

It’s the site of an old quarry. See the stairs carved into the rock?

But Kyle figured it out. He did a couple laps during the run.


Kyle did some stairs during the run.

The area looked out over western Colorado Springs. See that huge rock fin in the distance behind me? That’s Garden of the Gods. Pretty cool.

I was excited to be wearing shorts!

I was excited to be wearing shorts!

After the run, we were both super hungry. We (almost unsuccessfully) navigated busy downtown Colorado Springs parking scene and found Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. We both had delicious salads, a cup of the most amazing green chili stew I’ve ever had, and some tasty beers.

We treated ourselves to dinner and delicious beer at the Phantom Canyon Brew Co.

We treated ourselves to dinner and delicious beer at the Phantom Canyon Brew Co.

That night we “camped” in the Walmart parking lot. We had grand plans of finding a nice spot up in the forest somewhere, but it got COLD, we got tired, and since we were planning to ride through Garden of the Gods in the morning, it didn’t make a lot of sense to go too far out of town.

The next morning we got up, ate some bananas and peanut butter, and drove to Garden of the Gods. I didn’t take enough picture of the park itself, but it’s a pretty great thing. In the early 1900’s, a man donated the whole park to the city and now it’s open to hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking and road biking. All for FREE! Amazing. However, Bailey was not┬ástoked┬áthat she didn’t get to come.

Bailey's reaction to hearing she had to stay in the truck during our bike ride.

Bailey’s reaction to hearing she had to stay in the truck during our bike ride.

We started our ride from the Trading Post. There were these crazy/cool welded saguaros in the parking lot. Here’s my attempt to be artistic.

The cool decorative Saguaro's in front of the trading post.

The cool decorative Saguaro’s in front of the trading post.

The ride through the park only lasted a few miles, but it was scenic! These huge red rock fins jutted up from the ground, and there are whole networks of trails winding around, through and over them.

Gorgeous views in Garden of the Gods.

Gorgeous views in Garden of the Gods.

From there we continued riding through the city. Colorado Springs has a great network of bike paths, so not much of the ride was on roads. We finally popped out near Colorado College (my #2 choice after Whitman!) and it was fun to meander through campus and imagine being a student there.

CC has this crazy schedule where they take 1 class at a time for 3 1/2 weeks, then get 4 days off, then start the next class. As a budding anthropology major, I had visions of field trips and off-campus classes in places like northern Mexico or southern Utah. While I think CC would have been great, I’m so happy I went to Whitman. I got my fair share of field trips, and met some amazing people.

From there, we wound our way back up to Garden of the Gods and hopped off our bikes. We had lunch at the Marigold Cafe and Bakery, a delicious restaurant on the west side of town that I absolutely recommend if you’re in the area. I had a crab cake salad (what is better than that, seriously?) and Kyle had a spinach salmon salad with bacon and goat cheese. It was tasty! Then we headed up north to the Jared’s to pick up my engagement ring (we’d dropped it off to get sized the day before – now I don’t have to have that silly spacer in there!), and went back to Red Rock Canyon for an afternoon run. From there, we decided to hit the road to meet some friends in Avon for the evening/morning and make our drive the next day a little shorter. Bad decision.

We got caught in a NASTY snowstorm in the mountains. It took us 4+ hours to do a 2 1/2 hour drive, and Kyle was literally crawling around some of the corners on the passes. It was scary, but I was really glad he was driving. We finally got in at about 9:30 pm and got to spend some nice, relaxing time with our friends. The next morning we went to a fancy brunch at the Westin.

The decor and bar at the Westin.

The decor and bar at the Westin.

Our friends are about as laid-back and unpretentious as you can get, so it was funny to be in this incredibly fancy/expensive hotel with them eating brunch with the people who were spending $400+/night to stay there. But the food was amazing…eggs benedict with habanero hollandaise, huevos rancheros with avacado in little individual sized cast iron ramikins, goat cheese, zucchini and spinach frittata, french toast stuffed with marscapone and fruit preserves and on and on and on. It was amazing.

After a short walk around the golf course to let the dogs burn some energy, we headed home to Grand Junction where, miraculously, it was above 40 degrees and the snow had started to melt. What a great weekend!







And then a month went by…


Sorry about that! I went home for about 10 days for Christmas. My parents sold their house recently and are living in a 550 square foot cabin on our friend’s farm, so internetting and blogging was not really gonna happen. But it was a great break from reality – fun to be home spending every waking (and non!) with my family. We skied, baked, watched movies, ate (a lot!), went to a play and generally enjoyed living out of town. and on the night before Christmas eve, my sister got engaged! Her boyfriend (now fiance) was visiting for a week before Christmas and he popped the question the night before he left! So excited to start planning her wedding!

Here are some photos from my time at home:


Mt Blackmore from our Christmas tree hunt.

The Elephant Spring in Yellowstone.

The Elephant Spring in Yellowstone.

Bull elk staring us down.

Bull elk staring us down in Yellowstone.

The Christmas Spiders that are hung up in downtown Bozeman every year.

The Christmas Spiders that are hung up in downtown Bozeman every year.

huston dogs

The three dogs we were taking care of on the farm.

And then I flew to California to meet up with Kyle and his familiy in June Lake. Here I got to reunite with Jewell, visit some of my favorite places from a past life ( and have an exciting outing of my own!

My happy dog and I when we were reunited!

My happy dog and I when we were reunited!

We went of an a skiing adventure but Kyle's boots and bindings didn't fit together :(

We went of an a skiing adventure but Kyle’s boots and bindings didn’t fit together ­čśŽ

Kyle at the sand tufa - some of the coolest geologic formations I've ever seen!

Kyle at the sand tufa – some of the coolest geologic formations I’ve ever seen!

Down at the lake's edge...I had no idea what was coming...

Down at the lake’s edge…I had no idea what was coming…

We're engaged!

We’re engaged!

Carson Peak from the front yard.

Carson Peak from the front yard.

Deserted ski resort.

Deserted ski resort. We skinned up to the top!

Looking downhill to Mono Lake.

Looking downhill to Mono Lake. A gorgeous day for a ski!

Pub crawl shirts - June Lake The Lost Season.

Pub crawl shirts – June Lake The Lost Season.

*GASP* I don’t love Paleo *GASP*


There it is: the simple truth. Kyle and I, for about 2.5 months, have been dabbling with the Paleo diet. This is not to say that we eat strictly Paleo at every meal BY ANY MEANS. Rather, our strategy has been to grocery shop Paleo and thus eat Paleo at home (with the exception of beer for him) and splurge on weekends or when we’re eating at someone else’s house. While I can absolutely get on board with the general idea of the Paleo diet (plus it was a fun new challenge to try cooking in a new way) I honestly just think it’s too hard, too restrictive to keep up in any kind of routine way. Sometimes I don’t have time to cook an egg at breakfast. Honestly, sometimes I just don’t want an egg at breakfast. On days when I’m in a rush, it’d be nice to throw together a quick sandwich on the go than have to make a salad and box up last night’s leftovers.

It’s funny that I’m even saying this because I’ve never been a carbs person. I don’t like bread that much, I almost never eat rice and the only dairy I usually consume is cheese. But the convenience factor is hard to deny. And I’m all about convenience right now when I’m working 40 hrs/week, playing in three volleyball leagues, taking an online class and trying to also have some unscheduled fun.

I want to appreciate food again, not pick it apart. I want to not feel ┬álike every meal is a production, and I want to be able to make big production meals without poring over the ingredients list first. So I’m taking a break from Paleo. I’ll let you know how it goes!

In an effort to make this post a little less text heavy, I tried to find an image that did something other than pile praises on the Paleo diet. THEY DON’T EXIST. I googled “Paleo hater” “Dislike paleo diet” “Negative paleo” and other things. Apparently people everywhere completely adore the Paleo diet and I’m an anomoly. So instead, here are some really cute puppies!




I know, I know, I’m a little obbssesed with my dog. But she’s so cute and now that the weather is cooling off she’s super cuddly! I’ve been bringing her into the office lately on days that I have to drive and yesterday she spent the whole day cuddled up against the heater ­čÖé
I may be feeling a little guilty because I’m putting her in the kennel over the weekend while we visit Kyle’s family in San Francisco. This will be the first time I’ve ever kenneled her and I’m more nervous than she would be if she knew what was about to happen :/

This is her grumpy face – I woke her up from a nap to take this picture.

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Busy Busy


So I just worked a 12 hour day. Now I’m at home studying for the exam I have to take tomorrow after I finish working (which I go to less than 12 hours after I got off today) and all I wanted to do was take a picture of my adorable dog helping me study. But, she’s afraid of weird sounds and flashing lights, so as soon as I turned the camera onto her she was┬ápetrified. I got two pictures of her turning her face away from me and cowering and now I feel bad because she was all cuddly before ­čśŽ So you’ll just have to take my word for it. She’s curled up right behind my chair providing all the moral support she’s capable of (which is quite a lot, she’s very compassionate). Hopefully I can work on her fear of cameras so I can get some great photos of her up! For now, here’s this:

How can you not be completely in love with dogs?

Click on the picture if you want to see more adorable pictures of Orvis!

My dog Jewell, a lovely labrador retriever


I grew up with dogs. When I was 18 months old we got Shiner, a huge black lab that my then 4-year-old sister named because he “shined in the sun.” He was a powerful dog, and my parents used to tie the sled rope to his collar, put my sister and I on the sled and throw the stick for him while he towed us, shrieking, around the yard. It took that and more to tire him out everyday. When I was 14 we got Lucy, a petite border collie who was so completely focused on her “job” of fetching the tennis ball, that she only made eye contact with you to make sure you knew the ball was waiting to be thrown at your feet. When I went to college, I always looked forward to coming home, both to see my family and to see Lucy. There’s something so genuine and pure about a dog’s love and companionship.

After graduating from college, I worked several years of seasonal jobs that had me moving from state to state every six months, living in temporary housing or out of my car. During that time in my life, I would have loved a canine companion but many of the jobs I worked were not compatible with dogs.

Finally, after moving to Colorado and securing a job that had a more consistent M-F 9-5 schedule and a living situation that could support it, I was able to start looking for a dog. I didn’t look for long. A friend mentioned that he knew a woman who was trying to get rid of her old breeding dog – well trained, but too old to produce any more puppies. I was interested. I went to go meet Jewell on a Saturday morning. When I arrived, her owner handed me a leash and a bag of food and that was that. Jewell was mine.

The first few months were rough. After seven years of breeding, Jewell didn’t have any interest in other dogs. In fact, she was fairly hostile towards any dog that approached her, baring her teeth and giving a warning snap here and there if they got too close. But as we spent more time out on trails, and as she became accustomed to my boyfriends dog Bailey, also a female lab, she got more comfortable interacting socially with other dogs. Jewell has many funny little quirks and in many ways is a bit of a basket case (that’s what happens when you have 7 litters of puppies in 7 years, I imagine) but our life together is pretty great. She comes to work with me several days a week, we go trail running and hiking, I take her to the river and she has a great backyard play buddy in Bailey.

I highly recommend dog rescue. While it’s hard to argue with the downright sweetness of an 8 week old puppy, there are many older dogs out there that just want to be loved. If you have the time and energy to invest in making them feel comfortable around humans and other dogs, you can give them a better life, one that they absolutely deserve. I love Jewell with all my heart.