First up, we have the fantastic Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by our pals over at 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader.
This week's fill-ins are a precursor to Christmas, which makes us very happy. Here they are:
1. I have a hard time finding a gift for _________.
2. I have no problem finding a gift for _________.
3. One of the best gifts I ever gave was _________.
4. One of the best gifts I ever received was _________.
I had to put my thinking cap on for a while, and ended up with these:
1. I have a hard time finding a gift for my dad.
(My dad is a pretty handy guy, and he loves taking it upon himself to personalize things like his truck and his fish aquariums in very unique and creative ways. That being said, his Christmas wish list often consists of tools and all sorts of parts and pieces that I honestly never wholly understand. I'll think I know what I'm looking for, and then I get to the store or online and find dozens upon dozens of options and don't know which is the one he might actually need. It makes it hard not to be like, "Hey, Dad, you know how a while back you mentioned wanting those air deflectors for your truck? So, can you tell me which store carries those, and maybe in which aisle, and how about on which shelf? While we're at it, do you by any chance have the exact part number for those things? Because, you know, I'm just curious like that." Honestly, what even are air deflectors for a truck?)
2. I have no problem finding a gift for my mom.
(My mom is one of those low-maintenance, humble, easy to please sort of gals. She loves cats, and cats, and anything to do with sewing, crafting, and cats, and cooking, and simple and easy things like soaps and lotions, and pretty much anything you get her. Whew.)
3. One of the best gifts I ever gave was a big box full of food and toys for the animals at the local shelter.
(I did this last Christmas. I got a big box and bought enough dog and cat food, treats, and toys to fill it. Knowing how much even a simple can of yummy goodness or a treat or a new toy can brighten a pup or kitty's day, I wanted to provide plenty of those for those animals still awaiting their forever homes. I try to do something along these lines for the shelter animals each year.)
4. One of the best gifts I ever received was my first digital camera.
(I wanted to go for something far less materialistic for this fill-in, but I just kept coming back to this answer. There is a reason, though. I received my first digital camera from my parents for Christmas back when I was a teenager. That was the first camera that really got me taking pictures on a regular basis, and which really sparked my hobby of stalking my furbabies in order to acquire as much photographic evidence of their cuteness as possible. I used that first digital camera for over a decade, and it was pictures from that very camera that got me started on this whole blogging journey. Who ever thought I'd be thinking a camera for leading me to meeting all of you pawesome blogging buddies!)
Now, speaking of Christmas, all I can say now is here's Eddy's picture of the week:
It's blurry, I know, but this is Eddy we're talking about. And a cat frolicking in a Christmas tree isn't exactly the most stationary object around. So, that's what Eddy's been up to.
Sammy is known for his Tuesday Teasers, when he posts a picture from somewhere around the world, trying to see who can guess the location, and who gets stumped. In honor of that, and of course in honor of Sammy, the Come Fly with Me hop was organized for all of Sammy's furiends to help take him all over the world.
Sammy, the furbabies here wanted us to give you a tour of Shawnee National Forest, in our home state of Illinois. Pup Astrid asked to be your official tour guide.
Now, seeing that we've arrived at Shawnee National Forest, we're going to take you to its Garden of the Gods, Sammy. To get there, we'll just squeeze through here...
Then we'll just climb a few stony steps...
And then we'll have ourselves a nice little view...
See that rock there at the right, Sammy? In its entirety, it looks like a camel hiding behind some trees. See?
Well, we sure hope you enjoyed Shawnee National Forest just as much as we did, Sammy. We sure enjoyed your company! And, of course, we're sending lots and lots of purrs and prayers your way!
(Edit: We just learned that Sammy will be making his way to the Rainbow Bridge today. May you fly high, Sammy.)
Now, on to today's art. Can you believe that, once in a blue moon, I have the audacity to draw something that doesn't have four legs and fur? I know. The horror! But, nevertheless, here are some festive little fellows I drew for this weekend's art fair:
These Santas are meant to be ornaments, but I've learned they make pretty good bookmarks, too (sorry, Santa). The last two are feeling pretty patriotic, in large part because tomorrow's art fair is benefiting our local VFW. I figured, why not have Santa himself honor our veterans? So, there you have it.
Ho ho ho! Have a fun and festive Friday!
Our Tip of the Day:If you ever plan on going on a hiking trip with your furbaby, which would likely be limited to your pup, don't forget to make all proper considerations and plans. First and foremost, please be aware that hiking can be a strenuous and at times exhausting endeavor, so if your pup has never before been, or if he or she has any medical conditions, please take these into heavy consideration. Also keep in mind your dog's behavior around people and other dogs, as well as around wildlife, and of course be aware of the weather and other environmental factors that could affect how successful a hike with your pup might be. Once you've decided that your pup is a fit candidate for a hike, ensure that you have any and all gear required. A sturdy collar and leash are a must, as well as other basics needed on even typical walks, such as plastic bags and water. Don't forget food and treats, bowls for both the water and food, and of course a first aid kit for your pup. Past that, be sure to consider where you will be hiking and pack additional gear accordingly. You might need booties for your pup's feet if the terrain is rough, or a comb in the case of burrs. Activities such as hiking can make for a fun bonding experience with your pup, but first please always be sure that it is a fitting option for which you and your dog are prepared!