Dog Hair on the Furniture; it’s that time again – HaliPawz

It is that time again.  Shedding season has begun in my household. I know, I know, it’s a year round thing when you have larger dogs, but the excessive shedding has been going on for a few weeks now.  With the weather starting to turn nice, I had my patio door and my front door open at the same time and watched the fallen hair travel all around my hardwood floors.  When you see it on the floor, you know it’s on the furniture too.  I keep blankets on all of the living room furniture to catch the hair, but sometimes Bella decides she wants to do some rearranging and pulls it off to find herself a more comfortable spot.

Bella on the couch with toy

Blankets moved, Pillow flipped down for comfort, Toy in paw

Back in 2015 I created a video showing my technique to removing dog hair from my couch. It was one of the first videos I ever shared.  I did not have any editing skills, still don’t really, but the end result was still OK.  I happened to see it today when I was looking for a different video and thought it was a perfect time to share it again.

How to remove dog hair from furniture

Hope the tip works for you.  Do you have another method you prefer?  Share in the comments.

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Psychological WARdrobe of weight loss – HaliPawz

Losing weight has its benefits, and here is no doubt about it.  I think sometimes though, we forget that our body is going through more changes than just the loss of fat from our body.  As the pounds come off, we have to address a variety of things, things other may not completely understand.  For me, one of the hardest areas is my wardrobe.  I know this is more psychological than anything, but it is something I’m sure others losing weight may have an issue with as well. It’s like waging war with yourself, but no one is the winner.

I’ve lost 50 pounds so far.  While I am happy with the weight loss, I am still very overweight and I’m back on track trying to lose another 40-50 pounds.  I will share more about the “getting back on track” part later.  Today I want to address clothing.  I wear black pants and button up shirts with our company logo on them every day at work.  Seems pretty simple.  When I started the job a year ago, I paid close attention to the sizing chart Lands End provides with their business attire.  I made sure I selected shirts matching my measurements.  When I first started wearing them, they fit fine, they buttoned up ok, but when I sat down, I HATED the way they fit.  I do not usually wear button up shirts and I’m sure this is the reason.  They would pucker in the belly area, reminding me, and everyone else, I am overweight.  As I lost weight, the shirts slowly started to lose the visible pucker.  It was nice.  The only problem is I now look like I am swimming in my shirts when I’m standing up.  When I heard they were placing a Lands End order, I went ahead and had them order me one new shirt.  ONE.  Not five like I currently own, but ONE!  My rationale was, I’m not done losing weight so I didn’t want to use up my uniform allowance on shirts too big for me.  It sounded good.  I knew the truth though….I knew I didn’t want to go back to wearing a shirt which would pucker in the belly.  The shirt arrived, I took it home, I tried it on, and, yes, if I was being honest, I would say it fit me EXACTLY like the first set of shirts fit me when I first started losing weight.  The only difference is, I have five BIG shirts so I don’t have to wear the tighter shirt.

We were taking pictures for work so I wore one of my baggy shirts and brought my new one along to put on for the picture.  Again, my reason for the second shirt was because I knew we were doing the pictures later in the day and I have a propensity for spilling something on me and I wanted a spare shirt.  Let’s face it, we all know the real reason, I wanted the baggy shirt for comfort then change into the tighter shirt for pictures and THEN change back into my baggy shirt for the rest of the day.  It is a little ridiculous, I know.  I admit it.  Typing it here and now reminds me how silly it is, but it’s something I have to get past.

I own two pairs of black pants I wear to work every day.  I do a load of laundry every other day throughout the week.  I have one other pair in the same size, but they don’t have pockets, so I will only wear them when I truly forgot to do laundry.  The sad thing is, over a month ago I bought a pair of pants in my new size.  They fit great.  You can actually see my legs.  They don’t look like they are two sizes too big and dragging on the ground…..which, by now, I’m sure you can imagine is EXACTLY how my current work pants look.  I’ve worn them ONCE to work.  They weren’t baggy.  They weren’t loose.  They weren’t comfortable.  I felt like I looked fatter in them.

Please understand, body image isn’t really an issue with me.  I openly admit I’m overweight.  I’m not the type of person to wear a bikini the size I am, but I don’t feel it would be wrong to do so if I wanted to.  I just don’t want to.  I’m happy with myself and who I am.  I just can’t let go of the baggy clothes to wear clothes to fit my new size.  I’ve gotten used to the comfort of the ones I’m wearing and when they are tight, it bothers me.  I try to convince myself to wear them, because then they would be tight and it would motivate me to keep losing weight and I TRY to do it.  I look at them in the morning and think to myself, just wear them.  It’s how your clothes USED to fit you before you lost the weight and then I grab the more comfortable clothes.

I use other excuses as well, such as, I don’t have the money to buy a bunch of clothes in my current size only to have to buy more when I finish losing my weight.  Another one is, maybe I’ll like the smaller size and then get frustrated because I only have one pair.  The funniest one, to me, is well I can’t find the exact same pants I’m currently wearing and I don’t like the material of the new ones as well so I just don’t wear them.  I know it is all psychological.  I know the clothes fit me now like my old one’s fit me when I was 50 pounds heavier.  Perhaps just putting this down in words, sharing the craziness, will help me to realize it is time to start wearing some of the clothes to fit me today.

What are some of the psychological obstacles you face in your weight loss?  Has anyone else had trouble giving up their larger clothes?  I have given up a few pairs of jeans because they just would not even remotely stay up anymore and with my weird build, belts don’t really work.  Baby steps I guess.

No matter where you are in your weight loss,  remember someone has gone before you and someone is coming behind you with the same, or similar struggles.  Don’t give up.  If you get off track, just plant the seeds to get back on.

Every day is a new day, embrace it, and move forward! Paula Halifax Optician

Mounted Archery – What AM I thinking? – HaliPawz

Towards the end of last year I made a decision I was going to try Mounted Archery. What the HELL was I thinking?!?! Don’t get me wrong, I think the sport looks amazing and I’m looking forward to trying it, but seriously, me? The one who still competes in the walk – trot division at the fun show? Me, the one who has a panic attack before throwing my foot into the stirrup EVERY time? Now I think it’s smart for me to attempt something where I have to let go of my reins and trust me connection with my horse, trust my ability to balance without falling (yes, I know balance has nothing to do with holding the reins but in my mind it does!), trust myself to do this at any speed faster than a walk? I cannot believe I’m thinking this is a good idea.

I love my horse, Luke. He is an wonderful boy.

I adopted him November 2011 from an amazing horse rescue, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, Inc, and have loved him from the moment he arrived in Kansas City. I took lessons, I worked with him, I try to get him the best feed, I do what every good horse owner should do, except deal with the mental block that keeps me from becoming a better rider. Luke has never done anything to make me feel like he isn’t there for me. Just the opposite really….when I’m in the saddle, he’s different. He’s slower, he’s steady, he seems to sense I want calm, and for the most part, gives it to me. When a stronger rider is on him, he goes into a more spirited version of himself and responds accordingly.

I made a decision last year. I decided I was going to STOP saying “I’m a bad rider” and figure out a way to change it. The first thing is to figure out what I would enjoy doing with Luke. I have learned I don’t truly enjoy trail rides with my friends but I do enjoy the controlled environment of arena work. Now this may be a “what comes first, the chicken or the egg” situation, meaning I might not like trail riding because I’m not confident in the saddle, but if I get better in the saddle, I might enjoy trail riding. Time will tell. The second thing is, I have to pick something or some things to do which will result in me wanting to be in saddle more. I had taken a tracing lesson last year with Brandy Von Holten and truly admire her as a person as well as an equestrian. I saw where she was going to be doing a ground zero archery clinic this spring and my curiosity was piqued. I liked archery as a child, hadn’t done it as an adult, but thought it sounded interesting. A decision was made. I was going to try mounted archery!

I started where every decision seems to lead; the internet. I searched everything I could find on archery, mounted archery, equipment, techniques, etc. I didn’t want to put a lot of money into it in case it wasn’t something I enjoyed and, let’s face it, budget always has to be a factor.

I found a bow for a reasonable price and asked my mom for it for Christmas. Since I’m her favorite daughter (ha ha, now I’ll know which sisters read my blog. I know I’m not her favorite, she loves us all equally….blah blah blah 😂) she, of course, said yes. The bow took a LOT longer to arrive than expected, I won’t go into details but it was ordered the beginning of December for a Christmas delivery and I didn’t get it until February. Once I had it, I needed to find arrows and other items just to get started. I read where real feathers for the fletchings are better but they are also more expensive. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to shoot this thing! Oh yeah, let’s talk about this bow for a second. Mounted Archery requires you to use a traditional bow, similar to the Mongolian style….with no shelf! It’s bad enough you have to shoot at a target while you are moving, on a horse, but you have to do it with a complicated bow! Again, what am I thinking?

After a long search, I decide to order some arrows off of Amazon. I always make sure to use smile.amazon so a portion of my purchase goes to a rescue of my choice. I have Crosswinds Equine Rescue as my rescue I support. I figure they are too far from me to give of my actual time, so it’s only fitting I give back to them this way. I chose the arrows I did because they were reasonably priced, bright colors, and would be good for basic ground practice in the beginning.

I watched a few YouTube videos to help me understand exactly how to shoot this crazy bow with no shelf. I appreciated BackyardBowyer for his simple approach to teaching how to hold the bow and shoot it. I watched a few of his videos and decided I was going to try the off the thumb method because it made the most sense for grabbing and positioning the arrow while moving. I ordered a leather thumb ring when I ordered the arrows and waited patiently for the to arrive.

My plan was to practice from the ground first before even attempting to add Luke into the equation. Let’s face it, dropping an arrow on my horse would not be a good thing. I found an archery target at Wal-Mart marked down to $8.50 and went to pick it up. I now had everything I needed to attempt to shoot. A friend of mine is also trying this and said we could go out to her dads to try but I was excited so I set the target up on top of my outdoor trash can, walked back about 10 feet (I figured I’d start simple since I live in the city, didn’t want to risk my neighbors) and drew back my first arrow. THUNK! It totally missed my target and bounced off my privacy fence. Oops. Arrow # 2. Repeat of 1. Arrow #3….another repeat. This isn’t looking good for me. Arrow #5 HIT!!! Yes! I could do this! Arrow #6….repeat if 1-4. In total, I hit the target twice. Not a complete fail but not good either. I decided for the sake of my arrows, my privacy fence, and my neighbors safety, I would stop practicing in my back yard until I’m better and find a more suitable place to practice.

I’m nervous beyond belief of this endeavor but also very excited. My archery clinic is in April so I have some time to practice before then.

I’m hoping this is the year I go from “I’m not a great rider” to “I’m looking forward to riding” I’ll still do the fun shows in Oak Grove, MO each month like I have every year. I’ll stay in the walk – trot division this year and I’m ok with it. I may even consider doing some obstacle competitions this year. I just want to enjoy time with my horse ON my horse. I want to focus on moving forward and not letting fear or nervousness keep me from doing something I believe I will truly enjoy.

Have you tried Mounted Archery? Have you ever been nervous mounting? What are some things you enjoy doing with your horse? I’d love to hear your stories. Feel free to share in the comments.

Wish me luck on this new adventure. I’ll keep you posted!