Tag Archives: dog beach

weekly photo challenge: tour guide

We live in Evanston, IL which we think is a perfect location!  The border to the south is the city of Chicago and the border to the east is Lake Michigan.  The majority of the lakefront is open to the public with a walking trail, parks and beaches. We spend a lot of time there, all year round. The beginning of our walk always starts on the south end and we walk past two beaches, kayak and sailing racks and a playground.

The mid-point of our walk up the path brings us to a beautiful duck pond, the motorized boat launch and our favorite place on earth, the Dog Beach!


If we don’t stop at the dog beach (a decision we never agree with), we find ourselves on the beautiful Northwestern University campus.  It has its own beach and sailing center as well as many spots to stop and enjoy the Chicago skyline.

If you ever find yourself in Evanston, we would love to show you all of our favorite places!

via Photo Challenge: Tour Guide

What are sisters for?


To share their wisdom of course!


“A well dug hole feels great on the belly.” Winn missed the part that it should be in a cool corner somewhere, preferably behind a bush.  Holes in the middle of the yard get filled in so that no one falls in and breaks an ankle.IMG_2941.jpgIMG_5079“If you wait till they leave the room, you might find something yummy lying around”IMG_3340.jpgIMG_2998.jpg“Mealtime is the best time of day!”IMG_2972.jpg



“The beach is the best place on earth!”IMG_2728.jpgIMG_3046“This is how we run with the pack.”IMG_3037IMG_3036“After the beach, we get a bath.” and “When the hair dryer turns on, we get treats!”IMG_3058IMG_3064IMG_3085

Weekend update

Aren’t long weekends wonderful? For us, it means having time for fun, a house project and a little rest in between. For the dogs it means playtime and meeting new people, baths and lots of sleep. Maisie thinks this is all wonderful, Annie still has her moments of doubt.

Chris and I are finally tackling one of the projects we have postponed every summer since we moved in: replacing the shingles on the north side of the house.  When we moved in, we ripped the old siding off and began the slow process of restoring the clapboard and molding, replacing what was necessary and repainting the house in a cheerful 5 color Victorian scheme. We have worked our way around the house each summer and have even made second passes of touch-ups when needed. The top portion of the north side has been out of reach from our 35 foot ladder and has been a topic of debate every summer.  I wanted to hire someone to complete the job, I really don’t like Chris being up that high.  He  wants to do it himself, so we’ve been at an impasse. I finally caved, he bought a 40 foot ladder and 4 boxes of new shingles and the process has begun.

Chris is getting the paint stripped off of the sides and then underlayment and shingles will go up.
Last weekend the rotted and warped shingles were removed.

Setting aside time to have fun was part of the weekend plan so we managed to take the dogs to the beach on 3 occasions.  We had our niece over for dinner Friday night, friends who were in town for the weekend came by for brunch Sunday morning and we had our new neighbors over for drinks Monday evening. For Maisie, this was all lots of fun and she was completely worn out by Monday night.  I hoped Annie would be receptive to house guests since she has become so much more relaxed in the house.  She knows Maggie (our niece) and when she came in the house Annie was wagging her tail and started to approach her.  Unfortunately, she got spooked, put on the brakes and backed up until she could turn around and retreat to her crate.

When our friends came for brunch I knew Annie would spend the entire time in her crate but at one point she did venture out and walked around so that she could take a look at who was in the dining room. When she was acknowledged, she quickly turned back around. I always think this a good sign when she wants to see who is in the house.  When they left, we walked them out to the sidewalk and they weren’t even to their car when I felt Annie by my side.  She listened for the goodbye and came right out once they were out of the house.  So there she was, next to me, as we waved goodbye.  Baby steps with her and hopefully one day she won’t hide in her crate when we have visitors.

After a full day of work Monday, Chris on the ladder stripping off the old paint and me removing the thistle bush (truly one of the worst things I’ve done in a while) that the dogs keep brushing past and picking up terrible, prickly burrs that are very difficult and painful to remove from their fur.  We got our work areas and ourselves cleaned up just in time to get to know our new neighbors.  We stayed outside and while Maisie was very social, loving the kids, running in the yard with them, Annie stayed by my chair most of the time but didn’t seem to be uncomfortable with the new voices.  All in all, a great weekend.  We got a lot accomplished but still took the time to have a little fun.

A trip to the beach is a great way to relax after a day of hard labor.

My favorite DIY: The doggie shower

IMG_2494We have been taking Maisie to the beach almost every weekend since she was old enough to go.  She loves it there, rain or shine, hot or cold, it is one of her favorite things to do and she knows when it’s time for another beach day.  She can tell by the way we are dressed and how long we sit and drink our coffee, a trip to the beach is on the morning list. Before we got Annie, she would head straight for the basement shower when we got home and patiently wait for all of the sand to be washed away.

To say this shower is rustic, is probably being kind. There is nothing fancy about it and the opening is about 24″ wide.  The best way to get her clean was to get in there with her because there is no way to reach her otherwise.  The sink is right next to the shower opening so you need to squeeze by the sink to get into the shower.  Really, the whole thing needs to be torn out and reworked, but for dog washing purposes and the occasional teenage boy sleepover it served the purpose.

When we brought Annie home I knew that there was no way she would go in there.  She didn’t like small spaces or doorways and this was the tiniest space in the house with the most narrow doorways.  We had to figure out an alternative because in order to treat and control her itchy skin, she needed twice weekly medicated baths.  The tiny shower just would not work!

My best ideas come to me in the middle of the night, and that’s when I found a solution.  Shortly after we moved into this house we relocated the laundry machines from the basement to the second floor.  Left behind was a huge 48″ cast cement double sink that we were using mainly to wash paint brushes.  Talk about wasted space!  If we removed the sink, we could build a shower base 20″ off the floor and the drain and water supply lines could stay in the same place.  When I said to my husband “I have an idea”, as usual, he was completely willing to put in the work to make my vision come true.IMG_2452

The deep mop sink, which was found on a bargain website, gets filled with soapy water and then we use a submersible pump and hose to lather them up. ( Annie’s foster dad gave us that brilliant idea when he gave her a bath the day we picked her up.) We got tile from the tile discount warehouse nearby and a rolling cart to tuck into the corner that houses my supplies, towels, and the dryer.

Chris built a rolling step with locking casters that stores underneath the baIMG_2465se.  Maisie jumps right up without the step but Annie uses it so that she can easily walk in when it’s bath time. It also works well with the grooming table (Maisie despises the grooming table, Annie stands patiently like it’s no big deal).






I hung pictures of all of our dogs all around the IMG_2455room but the 3 Princesses each have a place of honor right over the rolling cart.  Bailey in the snow, Maisie at the beach and Annie in our backyard.

IMG_2506We didn’t intend on bathing them together but one day Maisie decided to jump in with Annie and they both fit so we went with it.  We also blow off a lot of the water with the dryer before they get down. It keeps the hair and water contained and then I can move them one at a time to the grooming table if we are doing a full groom. (This doesn’t happen after every bath, only when I’m feeling especially motivated). IMG_1750

Once they are completely dry they get a full brush out and trim.

No more climbing in the shower with the dogs, we can now easily reach them to wash and rinse.

Voila, a fabulous area to wash the dogs and sweet-smelling pooches as the final result!