‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge Day 2: Shiba Inu Wedding

Alex nominated me to participate in the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge. I like Alex’s blog, Only Bad Chi, because it’s awesomely funny. I probably also like it because I relate to almost everything she says, which I guess is a lot of what drives us to read blogs, right?! I’m hoping this shameless flattery will help her not be mad that I’m just cutting and pasting the next part from her blog 🙂

For the challenge, I have to post a different photo for five consecutive days, and include an accompanying story (fiction or non-fiction) along with each. I also have to nominate a new blogger each day to keep the challenge going! If I nominate you, it’s completely up to you whether you participate. The only other rules are to mention the person who nominated you in your first post, and keep nominating others.

Jewel's weddingSo, umm, this one time I went to a dog’s wedding. And it wasn’t even a dog that I am close and personal friends with. But, we were invited, and we drove an hour to get there, and brought gifts 🙂 It was as beautiful as weddings for people that I’ve ever been to. Maybe I should back up?

As I have mentioned before (Kuma’s story and Riley’s story), my dogs came from a local rescue, Northwest Shibas4Life. We adopted Kuma in 2007, and we have been in touch with the rescue ever since. They are a wonderful resource, and we also try to support them whenever we can. Shiba Inus aren’t that common, so it’s hard to find people that can really help with them.

Northwest Shibas4Life is run out of a private home, but they have a huge piece of property and so many safe places for the dogs to play. Every year they host a picnic in the summer for both humans and Shibas. I get made fun of a little when I say I’m going to a dog picnic, but it’s so much fun! They have guest speakers, an auction, a dog park for all the Shibas, food, and more. It’s really cute to see them all play together.

So, a couple of years ago I started to see posts about how Jewel (the spokes-dog of Shibas4Life) was getting married.

I thought they were joking.

They were not joking.

Obviously, this was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. There was absolutely no way I was going to miss this. Guys, it was a real wedding (I mean, obviously not legally binding…). They had outfits, a wedding party, the father of the bride gave her away, there were vows… I have no words. The bride and groom were both rescues, and their stories were told. It was so touching to hear about how much their lives have changed. It was also unbelievably precious seeing them playing along so nicely. If you want to see the invitation, one version is still online here.

There was also a purpose behind it, besides playing dress up and cooing over the cuteness. It was part of the annual picnic, and a fundraiser for Shiba Inu rescue. Gifts involved donations to help pay for dog food, vet bills, things like that. It was even written up in the Oregonian!

I know it sounds like I’m making this up, but it really happened ❤

What do y’all think? Would you go to a dog’s wedding?

I want to nominate Khalkinised at The Buddha Sutra to do the challenge next (no pressure if you don’t want to!)!


Simplify Sunday- Gift Giving

shibasI think it’s safe to say most of us love giving gifts, no? Sure, it can induce stress budgeting for and finding the perfect thing, but there’s nothing like seeing a loved one opening up the perfect gift (my perfect gifts are pictured to your left!).

However, a lot of us are trying to minimize our consumption and general level of stuff in our lives. If someone gives me something I don’t need, I will donate it or reuse it in some way (I’m not afraid of the occasional, careful re-gift). Since I do this, I can’t help but worry that I am giving others gifts that they won’t use. I don’t want to give someone something that is actually a chore waiting to happen- something they need to get rid of or that will clutter up their home.

In this post, I mentioned that I find magazines to be a great gift. The recipient gets to enjoy them month after month, and they don’t take up a lot of space. They are an indulgence that not everyone will buy for themselves. However, they are still stuff. In a comment on another post of mine, Mag suggested both a way to personalize the gift of magazines, and a really great website where you can donate toward a birthday celebration for a homeless child. What a perfect birthday gift! I would love to receive that.

Mag says:

That site is a game changer. Another one that I love is https://www.birthdaydreams.org. Many of us are wrapped up in consumerism and believe the more expensive the gift or the number of gifts means we are more loved. It simply is not true.

The gift I love to give to my friends and loved ones is a magazine subscription. I always send the first copy filled with tabs and post-its about articles and recipes. It is my hope that this simple but monthly gift will remind them of me, while providing them a stopping point each month in their busy lives to take a moment for themselves. By the way, happy birthday.

One time, my friend MK gave me the gift of supporting a polar bear with World Wildlife Fund. I received information about the donation and polar bears, along with a stuffed polar bear. That was so cool, I adore bears and loved to know they were being supported. Gift cards are another popular choice, but of course that’s still contributing to general “stuff”. Even better might be a restaurant gift card and the offer to babysit while your friend has a much needed night out with their spouse.

You know what your grandma wants? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not another plant. It’s to see you. The perfect gift for her is to take her out for coffee or lunch and tell her about your life. Get her to tell you a story she’s never told you before. My sister took me for a spa day, and it was fantastic. My mom sent me a sweet message about how she thinks I’m amazing.

You can easily give a gift that has meaning and creates a memory- just think outside that Hallmark box.

One more thing- Mag also left a really cool site for registries (So Kind Registry). This site lets you register for intangible things as well as tangible gifts. Having a baby? You can specify what kind of meals you would love to have people bring by for you and when, or when you could really use a babysitter for your toddler. Getting married? You can register at So Kind Registry and tell people that you don’t need plates, but you totally need someone to officiate your wedding or set up chairs between the ceremony and reception.

On a side note- friends, I am so psyched!!! A reader emailed me and she is using my 2015 Exercise Log. She showed me what she has done, and it’s incredible. She did almost 40 miles and 17 days of exercise. I’m so happy that someone is using it 🙂 *insert absurdly ridiculous dance of joy here (followed by tripping and falling on the floor)*

Does anyone have any real cool gift giving ideas to share? Please let us know.