Let in the Big Dogs

by Shelley Preston


Edwin Landseer

Edwin Landseer

While I strive to keep things little in my life, there’s one big exception: dogs. We have two very large greyhounds—over 70 pounds, each. Big dogs are often overlooked as pets. Big dogs have strikes against them from the beginning because they're more expensive to take care of: food is charged by quantity, so are medications and flea treatments. I wish the pet industry would even out the cost of caring for big dogs by charging a bit more for little dog food and meds and reduce the price of bigger packages of kibble. Dogs can't help their size, afterall, but every dog deserves proper care and nutrition. Big dogs are just a gentle and sweet as little dogs—dare I say more so because they don’t overcompensate for a lack of mass by yapping, shaking and biting your shoelaces. Big dogs have more to love—there is nothing like giving them a bear hug or letting their sleek, soft heads rest on your lap. I admire people who dedicate time to taking in and fostering big dogs in need of safe, loving homes. Some of my local favorites are:

Greyhound Pets of America and Big Dog Ranch Rescue

If you are seriously considering a dog, don’t overlook the possibility of adopting a larger animal. That big tail is wagging for you.


What's Wrong With You?

by Shelley Preston


Berndnaut Smilde

Berndnaut Smilde

When you’re single people ask why. You get into a relationship; people ask when you’re getting married. When you get married the question is, “when are you going to have a baby?”

If and when you have a kid, guess what? People ask when the second one is coming.

If you’re single, married with kids, or without kids, there’s no winning when it comes to (mostly) well-intentioned questions about your status. My husband and I like the idea of having a sibling for our daughter--I have plenty of impressive friends who have two or more kids and seem to enjoy it and handle it with aplomb--but there are pleasant sounding reasons for having just one: three seats in a row on an airplane, college is expensive, shuttling multiple kids to different activities sounds exhausting and finally, what’s wrong with getting one special person in your life to adulthood? Of course, the big scary reason why we humans aim for more than one offspring: to make darn sure they get old and gray. If anything should happen to her…gulp…I barely have the nerve to write that--- is the most frightening part about raising a singleton.

Ah, but back to the questions. What have you been asked? I know a single friend who is content but gets bummed when asked why he isn’t married yet.

 I also know someone who was pregnant with a third and someone asked her, “You’re stopping there, right?” Whoa.

Saying you don’t care what people think is easy, but do questions about your relationship/child status bother you? How to we achieve contentment with choices or circumstances of our personal life?


Laundry Day

by Shelley Preston


Take a Light and Bask in Nighttime by Li-Hsin Wang

Take a Light and Bask in Nighttime by Li-Hsin Wang

Open my drawers and you’ll see a jumble of wrinkled, contorted and sad piles of cotton and jersey. Folding clothes is not my strong suit. I have drawers assigned to various articles of clothing, but that’s about as far as it goes. My husband is a folding savant. I am still amazed at his skill at getting a T-shirt into a perfect, flat rectangle. The towels and sheets he puts together have no wrinkles and are crisply stacked. remains a mystery how he learned this—he just shrugs and smiles. He’s showed me how to do it, but I just can’t seem to master it. Or maybe I don’t want to. But I would say folding is a genuine skill and one that makes life more relaxing. What are your folding tricks? This vid shows some serious Japanese folding skills: 


To Trash or Not to Trash

by Shelley Preston


painting: Gabriel Vormstein

painting: Gabriel Vormstein

You may assume this is a blog about being “green.” These days, I’m not sure what that word means anymore. I do know I have never liked waste. The ease of tossing something in the garbage has always weighed on me. My grandparents lived through the Depression when repurposing and care for material items was not a choice, but a hard fact of life. I would like to find a balance between caring for what I already have and clearing the way for less stuff. How do you feel about throwing things away?