The Ugly Side Of Blogging No One Talks About

Are you a new blogger? Are you a veteran blogger? Have you thought about quitting your day job to be a blogger? Read this fantastic post first from my friend, Elena Peters. She tells it like it is, folks. The take-away? Blog because you LOVE it!

Elena Peters

Scroll through my feed on Pinterest and you would think that tons of bloggers are rolling in money, free travel and products.

Scroll through my feed on Instagram and you would think that most bloggers have fabulous lives, perfect homes and families, and look amazing ALL THE TIME.

Scroll through my feed on Facebook and you would think that a lot of bloggers are oozing self-confidence and that they always know what to say and what to do with their blogs and businesses. And if you pay for their courses and copy their formula, you will have success too. Easy. Peasy.

No wonder the world of blogging has exploded and people are starting new blogs in droves. I mean, who doesn’t want to start their own business, be their own boss and earn a full-time income for part-time hours? Where do I sign up for that? No, seriously, where?


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Wedding Anniversary and Wind: A Good Match

What does a married couple do on their 3rd wedding anniversary? Well, windsurf, of course!

Windsurfing together on our 3rd wedding anniversary!

When we first started dating in 2009 I asked him to teach me how to windsurf. We were both aged 49 when he found me and I found windsurfing!

This photo was taken by a friend (on MY phone) on August 22, 2016, our actual anniversary.

The weekly photo challenge asks us to find A Good Match.

Macro Moments Challenge–Week 32: Clovers

Clover Close-up

I’m excited to submit this macro photo of these clovers  for Musin’ with Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge.

This photo was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. I cropped, added contrast and HDR, framed, and watermarked with PicMonkey premium.

Wild clovers grow in my backyard. Right now, due to all the rain, my backyard is mostly mud, but these plucky little clovers will be popping up soon!

This is also submitted to coincide with Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World–Shamrock.

Photography challenges are fun, interesting, and potentially bring more viewers to your blog. Give it a try!


Macro Moments Week 31: Poopy Little Puppy

I caught Brodie’s cute little puppy face right after he got in trouble for leaving a “present” in the hallway.

Brodie the Boykin Spaniel, 10 weeks old

It’s tough being an active, 10-week old Boykin Spaniel while the rain keeps coming down here in California!

This photo was taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ 300, and post-edited in PicMonkey.

Feel free to participate in Musin’ With Susan’s Macro Moments Photography challenge! This week’s theme is Baby Animals.

This post is also included in Trent’s World Weekly Smiles!

paw printssignature


What are the Odds of Finding a Rainbow in Your Hand?

What are the odds of finding a rainbow in my hand?

The weekly photo challenge asks us to find a photo that depicts a subject that is Against the Odds

I’m thinking this qualifies as an unlikely occurrence. We caught this just right as the winter sun’s rays illuminated the skylight!

A rainbow in your hand


Me and My Aero: For the Love of a Dog

Shadow of the dog walker

In the shadow of the 2017 Westminster Dog Show and Valentine’s Day…

We’re talking about dogs and love today! Rumor, the German Shepherd, won the coveted “Best in Show” title.

If you have followed my blog within the last few months, you probably have seen pics of my dog, Aero. In honor of two blog features, the WordPress weekly photo challenge, Shadow and 51 Weeks; 51 Songs by Hugh’s Views and News,  I submit some photos of “me and my Aero.”

Oh, hey, isn’t that a song? Here is the YouTube clip as arranged by Harry Nillson from the animated short film, The Point. Check that out here.


“Me and my arrow
Straighter than narrow;
Wherever we go, everyone knows
It’s me and my arrow.
Me and my arrow
Taking the high road;
Wherever we go, everyone knows
It’s me and my arrow”

Me and My Arrow song and lyrics by Harry Nilsson from “The Point” peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Did you ever see the movie? I still hear the song played occasionally.

If you haven’t guessed, Aero, a six year-old Boykin Spaniel/poodle mix, is my pride and joy. We go for walks nearly every day. I get some great blog post ideas on these walks. Speaking of shadows, Aero now has his own shadow.

But first, the back story.

Aero has several brothers that look nothing like him. When my daughter moved out and took Gideon with her, Aero was alone. Well, he has me and his “daddy,” but we talked about getting another dog.

Chappy, Boykin Spaniel
Beloved Chappy. Used with permission

Scrolling through the WordPress Reader, I saw a photo (on the left) of a puppy that looked just like Aero. As I clicked on the link I was astounded by what I saw…the spitting image of my Aero-perro! Joan at her blog MV Obsession posted a memorial to her grand-dog Chappy. As I tearfully read through Joan’s beautiful tribute and looked at the gorgeous photos, I knew instinctively that Aero was descended from this noble breed of water-fowl retrievers, known as Boykin Spaniels. You can see why Chappy became the inspiration for my puppy love. Better get some tissues!

Once I discovered that Aero was part Boykin Spaniel, not Cocker as I originally thought, I wanted to know more about this breed. Joan’s post has a link to the Boykin Spaniel Society at the top of her post, but you can check that out here.


Following this, I was just amazed that I had never heard of this breed of dog. Boykins were bred in the early 1900s as retrievers for duck and wild turkey hunters. Although Boykins can weigh up to 40 pounds, they are shorter, stockier dogs, perfect for fitting into a small boat. Boykin Spaniels are the South Carolina state dog, and are seen in the Southern part of the U.S.

Aero at 2 months old

Aero’s chocolate brown coat prompted people to ask “What kind of dog is that?” We naively answered Cocker Spaniel mixed with terrier and poodle. Cockerterapoo? Or “Oh, he looks like a miniature Irish Setter, or Portuguese Water Dog.”

I don’t know why I got so emotional over discovering other dogs that look like Aero. I guess I love my Aero so much, I wanted to know his ancestry.

When I showed my hubby the picture of Chappy, and the Boykin Spaniel website, he was as amazed as I was and he somehow found a facebook page of a Boykin Spaniel breeder in California…the ONLY one. Luckily for us the breeder is in Northern California near Mt Shasta. Then more luck, the breeder had just whelped a litter of pups in December. We contacted her and asked several questions. Only two were left. Within two days, we made an offer and got our Boykin Spaniel.

Meet Brodie. Hubby thinks he looks like the night fury dragon, Toothless, from the movie, “How To Train Your Dragon.” Brodie means “muddy paws” in the Irish/Gaelic language. His official kennel name is CR Shasta Chases the Wind. He certainly chases everything now.

Brodie is Aero's new shadow

Aero will never be as large as pure-bred Boykins, only weighing in at a svelte 14 pounds. His “cousin” Brodie, at 9 weeks (at the time of this post) already weighs 12 pounds and is growing fast!

Stand Up Paddling with the poochBack to the Aero’s new shadow. Brodie loves Aero and they tumble around the house and backyard all day long. Raising a brand-new puppy isn’t easy, but the timing for our active lives was perfect. By the time we head to the Sacramento delta in April for our weekends of windsurfing and stand-up paddling, Brodie will have had all his shots and be 4 months old…ready to rumble! Or retrieve an unsuspecting duck!

We now belong to a couple of Boykin Spaniel Facebook pages and have made some friends. I never thought I would see so many “Aeros!”

All this “for the love of a dog.”

paw printsAero is starting his own “dog-blog” soon, called Aero’s Perspectives. It will be a monthly feature on one of my pages.



Are you afflicted with Puppy Love? Was this year’s Valentine a dog? WOOF!



Macro Moments Challenge: Week 30–Birds

Hummingbird enjoying his shower
Hummer after the rain

A few weeks ago, as the never-ending much-needed rain trickled to a drizzle, my resident hummingbird enjoyed fluffing his feathers after a well-deserved feeding.

We are all used to seeing hummingbirds in flight, we may forget they actually perch!

Submitted for Musin’ with Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge

Photographed with my Panasonic Lumix FZ300 in full zoom. Cropped and framed with PicMonkey premium. I have also taken great macro shots with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, too, so don’t be afraid to play along!