Countown to Christmas: Three More Days

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In the last few weeks, my human mommy has taken hundreds of photos (only a slight exaggeration) in hopes of getting that perfect picture for our Christmas cards. Tallulah Bee and I have humored her, mostly because she bribes us with treats. In fact, we purposefully look away from the camera, move slightly, or close our eyes just as she snaps so we can get more treats. Shhhh . . . don’t tell her that. It’s our little secret.

Anyway, Mommy managed to get a few favorites along the way and today we begin the countdown to Christmas. The Bee and I are modeling our gorgeous Geaux Fideaux monogrammed bandanas. If you’re interested in getting your very own Geaux Fideaux original (they’re working on Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day looks), just send an Instagram direct message to @geauxfideaux. 

We’re all smiles as we await Santa’s arrival!


Bashful Gets a Taste of Gumbo and Brass Bands

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It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on Bashful’s New Orleans adventures. Every time I turn around, that little fella is hopping into my human mommy’s purse and they’re headed out the door. I finally got those two to sit down long enough to tell me where they’ve been and to share a few photos. Wow. They’ve been busy. A couple of weekends ago, Bashful joined both of my humans at Armstrong Park for the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival–New Orleans’ Premier Brass Band Showcase, which is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. In New Orleans, we love a festival. There’s at least one every month–sometimes one each weekend of the month–and they usually revolve around tasty food and great music.

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This festival features gumbo of every sort you can imagine: creole gumbo, seafood gumbo, chicken and sausage gumbo, even vegan gumbo and smoked tofu and Portobello mushroom gumbo. (Just for the record, Mommy doesn’t recommend those last two.) Bashful had quite an appetite that day, so he also tasted some red beans and rice served with fried chicken and corn bread. (Mommy had a little bite of the fried chicken. She said it was one of the best things she’s ever eaten. She’s still talking about it.) Naturally, Bashful chose to chase down his festival food with a couple of local Abita Brewing Company Amber beers.

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With his taste buds satisfied (for the moment), it was time for Bashful to enjoy some brass band music. Brass bands are a new Orleans tradition. Rebirth Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, and the Original Pinettes Brass Band, an all-female group, are some of the more well-known groups. Bashful settled in and listened to a few songs by the Panorama Jazz Band. It was my humans’ first time to see them perform, and they had every bit as much fun as Bashful.

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Having spent the afternoon enjoying two of New Orleans’ greatest offerings–gumbo and brass bands–Bashful had one more stop to make before leaving the festival. He headed straight over to visit Miss Linda, the Ya-Ka-Mein Lady. If you don’t live in New Orleans, you probably haven’t heard of ya-ka-mein. Here’s how Miss Linda’s website describes this local delicacy:

Ya-Ka-Mein is one of New Orleans’ well-best-kept secrets. It is a soup. They call it Old Sober. Ms. Linda is world famous as the guardian of the secret juice recipe in her Ya-Ka-Mein. Taught how to make the broth by her mother Shirley Green, Ms. Linda keeps the tradition by lacing the broth with the perfect mixes of spices–not quite Asian, not quite Southern–adding noodles, green onions, a hard-boiled egg and hot sauce. It’s a sure-fire remedy for a New Orleans’ size headache, which is why it’s known as “Old Sober.”

If Bashful keeps drinking that Abita Amber beer, he just might need another helping of Miss Linda’s famous ya-ka-mein.


This Special Delivery Rocks

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Last Friday, my little sister and I received a very special delivery from our sweet little piggy friend Bacon. (If you already know Bacon, then you know what a special little pig he is. If you don’t know Bacon, click here to link to his blog. I promise you’ll fall in love.) To say that our box from Bacon sent both of us into a tizzy would be quite the understatement. It was packed full of everything a girl could ever want.

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Tallulah and I were especially obsessed over the pink piggy toy. We spent quite a bit of time trying to dismember him, but he’s tough and managed to survive . . . at least for the first round.

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As fabulously fun as the pink piggy toy and the fancy treats were, there was something even more special in that little box from Bacon. Meet Bashful, Bacon’s pet rock. As Bacon says, “He knows a lot of tricks like stay, sit, be quiet and dad taught him how to play dead. Bashful is a happening pebble. He actually has his very own segment called Field Trip with Bashful… the international rolling stone. It is about all of his adventures in field trips around the world. He goes to all kinds of different places and stays with host families for two weeks.” Bashful has been to France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hawaii, and so many more fun places.

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I gave Bashful a little kiss and welcomed him to New Orleans, Louisiana. He’s going to be our houseguest through Thanksgiving, and my humans and my little sister Tallulah Bee and I are beyond excited about showing him a good time.

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No sooner had Bashful rolled out of the box than he and my humans were off to the bus stop for his first big adventure . . .

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. . . and his first “go cup,” which he enjoyed while waiting for the bus to arrive. Go cups are a very New Orleans thing. In most cities, you have to consume your adult beverages inside. Not in New Orleans. Here you’re free to poor that drink into a plastic cup and sip it while strolling down the street. Judging from that little smile on Bashful’s face, I think it’s safe to say that he was happy to embrace the go-cup tradition.

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After a short bus ride to the Central Business District, Bashful plopped himself down on the bar at Borgne (pronounced “born”) restaurant for what my humans say is one of the best happy hours in the city of New Orleans.

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After digging into the catfish sliders and the fried turkey necks, I think Bashful would have to agree with my humans.

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Next stop was a quick photo-op outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome . . .

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 . . . and then another photo outside of the Smoothie King Center . . .

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 . . . before heading inside to watch the Phoenix Suns play our very own New Orleans Pelicans in what I am quite sure was Bashful’s first NBA basketball game.

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My humans’ normally sit in the nosebleed section. But their ticket rep must have heard about their very special houseguest, because on this night they were upgraded to these sweet seats. They’re thinking of asking Bacon if Bashful can stay through the end of basketball season. 😉 Unfortunately, even the great Bashful wasn’t able to bring the Pelicans their first win of the season.

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So it was time to jump back on the bus and head toward home.

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I was so happy to see Bashful again and to hear about all of the fun he’d had on his first night in New Orleans. I’ll be honest with you, I think he was a bit tired, so we’ve let him catch up on his rest the last few days. Trust me, he’s going to need his energy to take on the Big Easy through Thanksgiving. We have quite the adventures planned for our new little friend.


Quarantine

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It seems like just yesterday I was telling you about the arrival of my little sister, Tallulah Bee. And then I blinked my eyes, and we were celebrating her first birthday. Well, my friends, last week my baby sister . . . how can I put this delicately . . . became a woman. Yep, Tallulah Bee is in heat, and the quarantine has begun.

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We’re all new to this. My humans have always had a fabulous six-month birthday gift for their dogs: We either get spayed or neutered. Light the birthday cake candles; cue the confetti machine; and release the balloons. But Tallulah’s breeder requested that we allow her to go through one heat cycle. There are arguments for and against. We’re honoring the breeder’s wishes; after all, she knows more than a thing or two about Golden Retrievers. So here we go. The quarantine is on. I promise to be right by my sister’s side all the way . . . at least in spirit. A girl needs her sleep.

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We’ve loaded up on supplies to get us through the quarantine.

TOP PAW DISPOSABLE DIAPERS: My human mommy and I immediately went to the store to make this purchase. Tallulah is a big girl, but we never really saw her as an extra-large girl. Surprise! She weighs 63 pounds, so we had to go with the extra-large diapers that should fit 55 to 90 pounds. I say should because we tried putting these on once. Total disaster. They were beyond a tight fit. Turns out Miss Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only  pretty girl with some extra junk in her trunk. Fortunately, we haven’t needed the diapers . . . yet . . . but if we do, Mommy’s trying to think of a way to combine two for maximum Golden coverage. Stay tuned for that.

EARTHBATH GROOMING WIPES: When Tallulah was just a tiny puppy still living with her breeder, her name was Pink. They called her Stinky Pinky because she was always getting into trouble. Let’s just say that my little sister has morphed back into Stinky Pinky. She is not a rose-scented pink powder puff at the moment. That’s why my human mommy was overjoyed to discover the Earthbath Grooming Wipes in a blog post from our friends at Barking from the Bayou. Talk about perfect timing. She quickly made this purchase. (And then she too quickly cut the top off of the package to get to the wipes. Desperation makes humans do crazy things. If you purchase the grooming wipes, follow the handy “Open Here” instructions.) The Earthbath Grooming Wipes have made life with Tallulah Bee far more tolerable, although we look forward to saying goodbye to Stinky Pinky once and for all when the quarantine ends.

PEDIGREE DENTASTIX FRESH BITES: My sister–bless her heart, as we say in the South–has been very conscientious about trying to keep herself clean. Unfortunately, this has left her with less-than-minty-fresh breath. (I know. This is too much information. But honestly, what part of this blog post isn’t?) So we’re trying the Fresh Bites. She still has some pretty foul-smelling breath, but we’re afraid it would be even worse without the doggy breath mints . . .and that’s a chance we’re not willing to take.

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Oh, and my humans have stocked up on their quarantine supplies, too, which they are appropriately enough enjoying from their Golden Retriever wine glasses.

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We’re taking the quarantine one day at a time. We honestly have no idea what to expect. We’ve been reading back through the posts our friends at Marking Our Territory shared when Penny was under house arrest. Sharing is caring, as they say, and we cannot thank Mr. Will enough for his insights into surviving “the event.” Mostly, Tallulah Bee is pitiful. She sleeps more than usual, and she is super cuddly (which makes my humans extra thankful for those grooming wipes and doggy breath mints). I’m thankful that she isn’t as interested as usual in bothering playing with me. But I do kind of miss my rambunctious little sister, and I know she misses her long morning walks with Mommy. This too shall pass. The quarantine will be lifted and, when the vet says the time is right, Tallulah will get her belated six-month birthday gift from my humans. Until then, wish us luck. We’re on a pretty steep learning curve.


HL Does NOLA from A to Z: ZEPHYR FIELD

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Z is for Zephyr Field. While technically not located in New Orleans (it’s in Metairie, a suburb near New Orleans), the stadium is home to the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball team, a Triple A affiliate of the major league Miami Marlins . . . so I’ve decided that it counts on our tour of the Big Easy (and Z seems like an okay place to start breaking the rules 😉 ). The 10,000-seat baseball stadium opened in 1997 and until recently served only as a site for baseball, including Zephyrs games and some college match-ups. But earlier this month the band Mumford & Sons played a successful concert at the ballpark, so it seems that Zephyr Field might be expanding its horizons in the future. (I could have said that the park will be pinch-hitting as a concert venue . . . but I decided not to push my luck.)

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Zephyr Field is even dog friendly . . . at least one day out of the year. The Zephyrs hosted Bark in the Park at a mid-April game. The first 500 fans received dog bowls. Unfortunately, my humans had human commitments that day, so I didn’t get to attend. I really need to work on getting my driver’s licence so I don’t have to count on them to take me places.

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There’s a pretty good chance that the Zephyrs won’t be the Zephyrs this time next year and that the ballpark will have a new name too. The Zephyrs, who moved to New Orleans from Denver almost 25 years ago, were named for a train that connected Denver to Chicago. (It’s interesting that The Zephyr rollercoaster was one of the main attractions at the old Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park in New Orleans, but that is not the origin of the baseball team’s present name.) There’s currently a contest to rename the team. If you have a good idea, click here. You could win some lovely prizes!

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Speaking of prizes, this is the final day of my Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and I wish I had prizes for everyone who stuck with me throughout the journey . . . whether you stopped by just one day or checked in all 26. I hope you learned a little something about the city of New Orleans, my beautiful hometown.

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As far as I know, there isn’t a Reader of the Year Award associated with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but if there were my friend Emma would definitely go home with the trophy. Emma commented on every single post in my journey through the alphabet and throughout the Big Easy. Thank you oh so very much, Emma. I am so happy to count you as one of my truly amazing blogging friends. Please drop by Emma’s beautiful, informative, entertaining, and totally sweet blog by clicking here. You’ll love her . . . I promise.


HL Does NOLA from A to Z: S is for STREETCARS & SISTERS

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S is for streetcars and sisters. Today our tour of New Orleans takes a little detour. This is my sister Tallulah Bee’s first birthday. Woo hoo! So we’re throwing a NOLA-sized party . . . and in a city that’s known for partying, that’s a pretty big party. The pictures above were taken when Tallulah was about four months old. We were spending the afternoon in the Warehouse District (which is also called the Arts District) and Tallulah decided that she wanted to take a streetcar ride. Shhhh . . . don’t tell her that it’s just a bench made to look like the real thing. Streetcars in New Orleans date back to the 1830s, and at one time they ran from one end of the city to the other. (You can read more about New Orleans streetcar history by clicking here.) But buses began to overtake the streetcars in the 1960s and–with the exception of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar–the lines all but disappeared. Today the New Orleans streetcar is having a renaissance. There are several lines operating throughout New Orleans, with more lines being added. The streetcar (which is run by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority) is a great way to see New Orleans. You can buy a pass–called a Jazzy Pass–that allows you to take multiple trips on the streetcars (and buses) over a set number of days. Check out the streetcar lines and schedules here and click here for more information about Jazzy Passes.

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Now back to my sister, Tallulah Bee. She looks like she’s ready to get this birthday party started, doesn’t she. (Or maybe she looks like she’s already been partying a little too much. It’s hard to tell.)

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Because no birthday party is complete without a birthday cake, we joined our human mommy in the kitchen to do a little baking while our human daddy served as the official party photographer. As you can see, Tallulah is a little rule breaker. I know that feet are not allowed on the countertops, but sometimes she “forgets” this rule. We both know that licking the beaters is the best part of baking, and I will be the first to admit that Tallulah showed great restraint as Mommy decorated the cake.

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And here’s the final product. Trust me, it didn’t look like this for very long. If you’re interested in the recipe for this dog-friendly cake (made with banana and peanut butter . . . yum!) and the dog-friendly icing, click here. I promise you it will be a hit!

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So happy, happy first birthday sweet Tallulah Bee. You’re a little rule breaker, and sometimes you’re a whole lot of puppy and a really huge pest, but you’re a precious little girl with a heart of pure Golden love. We’re so happy that you’re a part of our family . . . and we wish for many, many, many more happy years to come. Love you, Tallulah Bee!

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This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.


Black and White Sunday: A Super Smile

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I’m letting my little sister have the Black and White Sunday spotlight today. That’s quite a smile, Tallulah Bee!

Thank you to Black and White Sunday Blog Hop hosts Dachshund Nola and Sugar the Golden Retriever.

 

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The Intern

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The other day, my human mommy/blogging assistant and I had a high-level business meeting. We decided that it was time to add an intern to the staff of my multi-media empire. At first I was super excited.

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And then I learned that our new intern would be my pesky little sister, Tallulah Bee.  Really?

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It was clear to me–almost immediately–that her computer skills are lacking.

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To be totally honest with you, I think she spends most of the day on Facebook.

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When she’s not fooling around on Facebook, she’s gazing out the window.  I’m constantly having to tell her to get back to work.

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And I thought interns were supposed to run errands for their bosses. Half the time when I need a dog treat or something, that girl’s sound asleep.

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Mommy says that I should have some patience. She says that Tallulah is young. She’s new to the job. She’s a smart girl and she’ll catch on quickly. I don’t know, friends. So far this intern experiment is looking like a disaster to me. It’s a good thing we’re not paying her.


Wordless Wednesday: Is She Still Back There?

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Introducing Tallulah Bee

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I dropped a bombshell on you last time, didn’t I? Yep, I have a new little sister. It is with great pleasure that I introduce Rhythm’s Tallulah Bee for Harper Lee. That’s her big fancy registered name, but we just call her Tallulah. She came from a place called Rhythm Golden Retrievers in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and she’s named after the actress Tallulah Bankhead. My new little sister, who is 11 weeks old, has been with us for a little more than two weeks. I think I’m in love.

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Tallulah and I have done quite a bit of playing in our first two weeks. My humans say that she has really brought out the puppy in me. They don’t always sound particular happy when they say that, but I think it’s a good thing. If this play, play, play routine continues, my human mommy/blogging assistant/official photographer will seriously need to work on her action photography skills.

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Just between us, friends, playtime can be a bit exhausting. But I’m the big sister, so I feel a real responsibility to watch over my little sister as she sleeps.

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To celebrate Tallulah’s first weekend with us, we had a little pool party. Now you might recall from a previous post that pool parties are not my favorite. That all changed when I saw my new little sister in our pretty pink pool. I couldn’t stay out. Tallulah and I even blew bubbles together. So much fun.

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And speaking of fun, on a recent evening walk I convinced my humans to make a quick stop at a place called Coquette so that I could introduce little Tallulah to the art of the nightcap. As you can see from the water all over the sidewalk, we had a very grand time.

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My little sister has a lot of growing up to do. I will admit that she can be a bit of a pest at times (my humans say that I am often the instigator; don’t believe that), but she’s super smart and super sweet . . .

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. . . and I think we’re going to make a perfect pair.