Happy International Cat Day!

posted in: Nonfiction, Our Work, Woof Trekking, Writing | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Happy International Cat Day! We have two cats that we absolutely adore and celebrate every day, not just on International Cat Day. Mac is the furry mom to Billy, a 9 year old male tabby. You can read more about him here. Billy is the definition of a mellow cat. He loves to sleep and once a day harass Izzy, our crazy Wheaten Terrier.
cat, feline, domestic shorthair
Al is the furry mom to Tyra, a 13 year old female white cat. You can read more about her here. Tyra is not a fan of other animals but loves to cuddle with Al.

We have taken both of them on road trips with us at different times in the past. Check out our book, Woof Trekking: How To Road Trip with Your Pets, where we give advice on how to travel with your favorite cat.

We recently read about a pretty cool cat. The newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand is Jacinda Ardern and she has an awesome cat named Paddles. Paddles is unique because she has a set of crazy thumbs! She also has her own twitter account which is pretty hilarious.

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Tips for Holiday Travel with Pets

Tips for Holiday Travel with Pets

posted in: Nonfiction, On the Road, Our Work, Travel, Woof Trekking, Writing | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

With the holidays coming up, many of you will be traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. Pet lovers may be taking their precious pups and furry felines on the road with them, perhaps for the first time. If you are new to the ways of Woof Trekking (road tripping with your pets), this may cause some anxiety for both the humans and the pets. But have no fear, we are here to help.
We have been traveling with our two dogs, Izzy and Nana, and one cat, Billy, for four years. We have gained a lot of knowledge to share with you. If you are new to our blog, you can take a look at our previous woof trekking posts here. We have also written a book about our experience with traveling with our cat and two dogs. You can get your copy on Amazon and Kobo.
woof trekking, pets, road trip, vacation, holiday, travel, travel with pets
You may be surprised that we travel with our cat, however Billy is a pretty chill cat who does fairly well on the road. If you want to take your cat with you (or a skittish dog for that matter), taking them on short, little trips to see how they handle going in the car is a good idea. We actually have two cats, but Tyra doesn’t travel well and prefers to stay home and be kenneled.

We have previously talked about what to pack for both your dogs and your cats. Some important items include: food, bowls, and kitty litter box.

Safety is very important while traveling with your pets and we have some tips to keep everyone safe. First of all safety in the car is very important, both of our dogs wear car harnesses so they can be buckled in. Billy also wears a harness so he too can be buckled up while riding in a human’s lap. You can read more about car harnesses here.

Some dogs and cats travel really well on the road and have no problems. Nana is one of these dogs. She loves car rides and watching the world pass by. Izzy is the opposite, she loves getting into the car but as soon as it starts moving, she becomes anxious and starts to whine. When we travel, we give her Dramamine, per the recommendation of our vet, and it takes the edge off. (Always talk to your vet before giving your pet medication.) Billy on the other hand gets motion sick in the car. He also gets Dramamine to help him deal with this. You can read more about Anxiety and Motion Sickness here.
pacific coast highway 9
The last point we would like to make is about hotel safety. Some hotels are better than others but all should be inspected before letting your pets loose. We have found some interesting objects hidden under the bed. Our biggest tip is to get down on your hands and knees with a flashlight to clear the floor of any dropped pills and other foreign objects.

Go forth and don’t be afraid to take your pets on the road with you. If you want to read more about our travels, get a copy of our book. Bringing your pets on your travels will make your adventures even more memorable!

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Woof Trekking Now Available!

Woof Trekking Now Available!

posted in: Nonfiction, Our Work, Travel, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Yesterday, we introduced you to our new series, Woof Trekking. We also shared with you all about how our grandparents inspired us to go on our very first Woof Trek. These travels have taught us so much about road tripping with our pets that we decided we needed to share our experiences.

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On June 23rd, we announced our newest book, Woof Trekking. Today, the book is finally ready for you! Woof Trekking is currently available through both Amazon and Kobo. It will also be available soon for iBooks and Nook.

Read the full description below:

wooftripping kindle cover new author name

Have you ever wanted to take your pets on a road trip with you but didn’t know where to begin?

Let Woof Trekking: How to Road Trip with Your Pets be your guide. Since 2012, we have racked up over 20,000 miles Woof Trekking to such diverse destinations as: Los Angeles, Savannah, Philadelphia and Portland picking up many useful tips and tricks along the way. Now they are ready to share their knowledge and experience with you. So buckle up and get ready to Woof Trek!

This straightforward guide is packed with helpful features including:

• What is Woof Trekking?

• Top 3 Reasons to Woof Trek

• How Far Can You Drive in a Day?

• Navigating Your Way

• Anxiety and Motion Sickness

• Car Harnesses

• Keeping Cool and Hydrated

• Finding Pet Friendly Hotels

• Keeping Your Pet Safe on the Road and in the Hotel

• Discover Pet Friendly Activities

• Packing Checklist

For those of you who follow our posts regularly, you may remember that our initial release date was July 1st. We published the book as promised on the 1st, however, we encountered some unexpected technical difficulties. These have since been resolved, and the book is now officially ready for purchase. If you purchased an incorrect version of the book, you should receive an email from Amazon with access to the correct version of the eBook. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Please check out our latest book and tell your friends and followers!

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Tucson Festival of Books 2016: First Look

Tucson Festival of Books 2016: First Look

posted in: Entertainment, Nonfiction, Our Work, Photography | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Last Saturday at this time, I was packing up to take another trip to the University of Arizona. 2016 was my fifth year attending the Tucson Festival of Books.

Check out my posts from TFOB 2015 here and here.

This week, I will be blogging about the panels I attended this year and sharing photographs from the sessions. Today, I am giving you a first look.

Here is Sunny the Saguaro, the Saguaro National Park mascot, giving a high-five outside the National Parks Tent.

tucson festival of books, arizona, national parks

We spotted local meterologist, Erin Christiansen, at the KGUN 9 tent.

tucson festival of books, weather, kgun, erin christiansen

The next few images are from the Science Stage. Here is the Speckled Rattlesnake from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

tucson festival of books, speckled rattlesnake, snake, arizona sonora desert museum

View my previous Desert Museum post about Big Horn Sheep here.

A Great Horned Owl named Lute from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

tucson festival of books, Great Horned Owl, arizona sonora desert museum

A North American Porcupine named Rue from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

tucson festival of books, porcupine, arizona sonora desert museum, north american porcupine

A Mexican Military Macaw from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

tucson festival of books, parrot, mexican military macaw, arizona sonora desert museum

Panelists from “Understanding our Nearest Neighbors in the Solar System” at the Science Stage.

tucson festival of books, arizona,  space, lunar and planetary lab, kuiper belt

A rock sample of Azurite and Malachite at the University of Arizona Mineral Museum located on the lower level of the Flandrau Science Center.

tucson festival of books, flandrau, geology, rocks, azurite, malachite, bisbee, arizona

Diana Gabaldon at the panel: “Diana Gabaldon and Outlander.”

tucson festival of books, outlander, diana gabaldon, starz

I hope these photos of TFOB 2016 whetted your appetite for more posts! I’ll be back soon.

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Shakespeare’s First Folio!

Shakespeare’s First Folio!

posted in: Entertainment, Nonfiction, Our Work | 2 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Shakespeare’s First Folio! is touring the United States this year, celebrating 400 years of William Shakespeare. This educational odyssey is thanks to the Folger Shakespeare Library, which maintains the largest collection of First Folios (82, in case you were curious).

To see when it is coming to a city near you, check the list of tour locations. Or if you can’t wait, you can read the First Folio right this second, online here.

When we discovered that the First Folio was coming to Arizona, we had to go! So on a typically sunny Tucson day, we headed out to the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona to check it out.

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama

The First Folio was protected in a plexiglass box and was opened to the “To be, or not to be” section of Hamlet.

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama

Hallowed words right there!

According to The Collation, early modern texts often used the long s, as seen in “that is the Question.” A long s was used if the s occurred in the beginning or middle of the word. A regular s was used at the end of the word. Similar rules apply for u/v and i/j. (See The Collation for more.)

The docent at the exhibit, Jessalyn, was very friendly and informative. She greeted us with a laminated copy of the print below:

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama
Jan Collaert I (Netherlandish, Antwerp ca. 1530–1581 Antwerp)
New Inventions of Modern Times [Nova Reperta], The Invention of Book Printing, plate 4, ca. 1600
Engraving; sheet: 10 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (27 x 20 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1934 (34.30(5))
Jessalyn explained that typesetters working in printers’ workshops kept capital letters in the upper case and little letters in the lower case. Hence, they reached into the upper case to procure uppercase letters and lower case to retrieve lowercase letters. The terms evolved from there. A handy bit of trivia!

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama

Jessalyn also pointed out that there were no computers and no word processing software during those times, hence they had to do things manually, including estimating the spacing of the letters and paragraphs. Many works produced by the printers’ workshops get a little disorderly in the middle. An example can illustrate the reason for this:

When they worked on a sheet, the left side was page 1 and the right side was page 10, so they had to give their best guess as to how far to set the letters apart from each other. When they got to the middle, pages 5 and 6 in the example, they often either had too little or too much space. In the case of too little space, the typesetters were forced to cram the letters together. In the case of too much space, they often filled the empty space with elaborate decorations.

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama
The above photo and next two photos are from the exhibit panels accompanying the First Folio.

Shakespeare composed 38 plays during his lifetime. Thirty-six of those were compiled after his death and published in the First Folio in 1623 by two actors who appeared in his plays, James Heminges and Henry Condell. If these two men had not published the First Folio, the 18 highlighted above would have been lost forever.

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama

There are several phrases Shakespeare invented that are now common phrases we use today. A sampling includes “be it as it may” and “forgone conclusion.” For more, check out the word bubble above.

shakespeare, hamlet, first folio, globe theatre, drama

Another thing Jessalyn noted was that English settlers arriving in America from the 1600’s all the way through the 1800’s often only had two books with them: the Bible and a copy of Shakespeare’s Folio. It is said that these two books provided the basis of all new books in English since then.

As a writer, I was so happy to get the chance to view the First Folio in person! It was a great privilege. Thank you to the Folger Shakespeare Library and the University of Arizona for making this happen!

I want to end with a little story.

As we were leaving the museum, we heard the museums workers saying, “Here come the Rhodes Scholars.” My eyebrows went up as I saw a large group of seniors piling into the museum.

It turns out this group was from Road Scholar. According to their website, “Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.” I had heard of many travel groups like Viking River Cruises and Smithsonian Journeys, but this was the first I had heard of this group. Here is a list of the trips they feature in Arizona. Definitely something to consider for future trips.

I hope you learned something new by reading this. Happy Wednesday everyone. As usual, I welcome your comments below!

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Today In History: Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’

Today In History: Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’

posted in: Entertainment, Music, Nonfiction, Our Work | 2 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

On December 18, 1892, the unofficial soundtrack of Christmas premiered in St. Petersberg.

I attended Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite every December when I was in elementary school, like many other Americans.

According to philharmonia.co.uk, about forty percent of major US ballet companies’s annual ticket revenues come from The Nutcracker.

In honor of today’s 123rd anniversary, I searched for a quote from the great composer and found one on bio.com.

“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.” —Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

quote, music, composer, Tchaikovsky

This quote should help you stay hungry and inspired this holiday season!

If you are a big Nutcracker fan, check out this  article from the Huffington Post, This Is The Only Version Of ‘The Nutcracker’ You Need This Season.

It features a modern take on Tchaikovsky’s classic featuring dancers from So You Think You Can Dance.

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How To Get Out Of A Jaded Rut

How To Get Out Of A Jaded Rut

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Are you jaded?

Everyone is jaded at one point or another.

Aerosmith wrote a song about it. More on that below.

Do you remember life before you were jaded?

Do you remember standing at the foot of a towering tree, admiring the kaleidoscope of sunlight, branches, and leaves far above you?

Remember when life was beautiful and you truly believed that everything was possible?

It had to end sometime, right? Welcome to the jaded-hood.

Some people believe it is a necessary rite of passage, from blissfully ignorant youth to jaded adult. But I disagree.

Jadedness (1)

Failure & Jadedness 

Is it possible to overcome those jaded moments?

Short answer: Yes.

The first step to solving a problem is always to understand the cause.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of jaded is “feeling or showing a lack of interest and excitement caused by having done or experienced too much of something.”


By that definition, we can become jaded simply by living.

The first time we experience jadedness is often as a teenager, when we become jaded about school and learning new things.

Also at this time, we can easily become jaded about relationships after experiencing heartache. We started to become disillusioned about matters of the heart.

Aerosmith’s Jaded is a perfect illustration of this type of jadedness.

A Way Out

The more failure and disappointment we experience in life, the more jaded we can become.

It’s difficult to be optimistic and positive in this world, and even if you do manage it, you will be called naive.

But life is a mix of good and bad, of joy and heartbreak, of optimism and pessimism.

And in a world of uncertainties, one thing is certain: Life always goes on.

george bernard shaw

So when you feel jaded by life, because

  • you will never be good at math
  • or you will never paint like Monet
  • or you will never find your one true love…

remember, it is best to never say never.

There is always tomorrow.

Tomorrow will bring new moments, twinkling moments of laughter and joy. These moments will replenish your sense of wonder and might just renew your faith… Faith that maybe the world is not just a loathsome stew of hardship, but a place of love and harmony.

And then…

When you stand at the foot of a towering tree, you will look up and you will see magic.

self help, good vibes, positivity

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Thank you for stopping by!

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